$10 or Less: Great Ideas for Affordable Family Fun in Central Florida

Pack your next Central Florida vacation full of family fun without breaking the bank with these affordable area activities. Here are a few family-friendly adventures to consider adding to your next visit that each cost just ten dollars or less.  

Disney Springs


Disney Springs is a great way to get a taste of Disney fun without paying steep admission prices. It is free to park and free to enter the area, and once inside, you’ll be treated to more than one hundred shops and kiosks, sixty amazing dining options, and twenty-three attractions and events. For a simple night out, head over for an evening stroll and grab a bite from the 4 Rivers food truck or a tasty treat at the Ghiradelli soda fountain and chocolate shop. Round out your visit with a $3 ride (all ages invited) on the marketplace carousel or the marketplace train express. 

Celebration


Just next door to the Disney complex you’ll find the charming residential town of Celebration, Florida. Originally developed by The Walt Disney Company, the unincorporated area is home to a handful of shopping options and a healthy array of dining venues. To enjoy a low-cost day here, you can meander walking paths along Lake Rianhard and grab a quick sip from one of the downtown taverns, wine stores, or coffee shops at the Celebration Town Center. Take in the early 20th-century architectural style of the community (built in the late ‘90s) and make note of the meticulously manicured landscapes. For added fun, plan your visit during one of the town’s notable annual events, like its fireworks spectacular or art and wine walk.

Lake Eola Park


Located in downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park is a great venue to take in downtown views while getting your steps in for the day. The park features a .9-mile loop around Lake Eola, where you’ll see the city’s iconic pedal-powered swan boats as well as live swans. On Sundays, check out the Orlando Farmer’s Market for fresh local fare and interesting artisanal finds.  

Mead Botanical Garden

About thirty minutes away from the theme parks, in Winter Park, another great location for family fun is Mead Botanical Garden. Showcasing 48 acres of bountiful blooms, here you can see the Legacy Garden and Greenhouse, explore several natural areas, and take in two butterfly gardens bursting with fragrant flowers. The garden is open daily from 8 a.m. until dusk. Perhaps best of all, admission is free for the public, so no matter how large your vacation group is, this is an affordable departure from a day at the parks. Plus, there are many special events held throughout the year, so check the calendar to plan your visit.     

Expand your vacation savings by lodging at an affordable resort near all the action. Marriott Orlando has many options, including several adjacent to the major theme parks, such as Residence Inn by Marriott Orlando at SeaWorld, and TownePlace Suites by Marriott Orlando Lake Buena Vista. To stay close to the action on International Drive, consider Aloft Orlando International Drive, Comfort Inn International, Element Orlando International Drive, and Best Western International Drive. Other reliable options are Wyndham Orlando Resort & Conference Center/Celebration, and Staybridge Suites Orlando Royale Parc.