Affordable Holiday Fun: Activities in Orlando for Under $50

Published date on December 19, 2023

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Discover Christmas Activities Under $50 in Orlando! Enjoy a festive season with dazzling lights, theme park magic, and cultural events, all within your budget for a memorable holiday.

Celebrating Christmas in Orlando doesn’t have to break the bank. This guide highlights a variety of Christmas activities under $50, offering a festive season filled with light displays, cultural events, educational experiences, and delightful dining options. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you’ll find plenty of ways to soak up the holiday spirit in Orlando without exceeding your budget.

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Dazzling Light Displays at Local Parks

Cranes Roost Park’s Festive Lights

Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs transforms into a holiday spectacle from November 23, 2023, to January 1, 2024. Here, you can witness over 200,000 lights adorning more than 100 holiday displays. The highlight is the nightly fountain show, choreographed to classic holiday tunes, occurring at 6, 7, 8, and 9 pm. This event, combining visual splendor with musical harmony, is an ideal family outing, offering a memorable experience without any cost.

Winter Garden’s Holiday Light Extravaganza

Winter Garden’s City Hall becomes a center of holiday cheer with its light show on select dates in December 2023. The whole downtown area gets a festive makeover, including a Winter Wonderland for children at City Hall. This event provides an excellent opportunity for families to enjoy the holiday ambiance in a historic setting.

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Exploring More Light Displays

For those eager to explore more, Orlando offers a plethora of light displays throughout the city. From community parks to local neighborhoods, there’s no shortage of festive lights to see. Check out Orlando Date Night Guide’s comprehensive guide to the best holiday lights in Orlando for more ideas for Christmas activities under $50.

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Tips for Enjoying Light Displays

  • Timing: Arrive early to find good parking and enjoy the displays before the crowds.
  • Dress Appropriately: Florida evenings can be chilly, so bring a light jacket.
  • Capture the Moment: Don’t forget your camera to capture these beautiful light displays.

These dazzling light displays offer a perfect way to enjoy the holiday season, fostering a sense of community and celebration. By highlighting such free and low-cost events, this guide ensures that everyone can partake in the joy of Christmas in Orlando 2023.

Unique Holiday Experiences at Theme Parks

Orlando’s theme parks offer a variety of festive activities, perfect for celebrating the holidays without breaking the bank.

Disney Springs Water Tower
Disney Springs Water Tower

Walt Disney World’s Holiday Magic

Walt Disney World brings the holiday spirit alive from November 11 to December 31, 2023. Each park and Disney resort hotel is adorned with festive decorations, offering special holiday food, beverage options, and character appearances, including Santa Claus. Disney Springs also gets into the holiday spirit with decorations and treats. For an extra special experience, check out the new Disney Jollywood Nights event​​.

SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration

From November 10, 2023, to January 2, 2024, SeaWorld Orlando hosts a Christmas Celebration included with park admission. This event features festive shopping, delicious food, and dazzling live shows inspired by the natural world, making it a must-visit for holiday enthusiasts​​.

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

Running from November 11, 2023, to January 7, 2024, Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town offers holiday traditions with a twist. Enjoy the Holly Jolly Express, view twinkling lights, visit Santa, and meet characters from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The park also features festive live shows and special holiday dining and shopping​​.

Holidays at Universal Orlando

Universal Orlando Resort’s holiday celebration, from November 10, 2023, to January 1, 2024, includes seasonal shows and decorations at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Enjoy hot Butterbeer, witness the Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s, and visit Whoville for The Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular​​.

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These theme park events offer a delightful way to experience the joy and magic of the holidays. Each park presents its unique spin on holiday celebrations, ensuring visitors of all ages can find something to enjoy.

Christmas Activities Under $50: Cultural and Artistic Events

Orlando’s Christmas season is enriched with an array of cultural and artistic events that are both affordable and engaging. Let’s dive into some of the highlights:

Candlelight Concerts: A Musical Holiday Experience

Immerse yourself in the spirit of the season with the Candlelight Concerts, featuring a special holiday performance. The event showcases a blend of holiday pop classics and modern favorites, including a unique take on Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”. These concerts are a feast for the senses, offering a perfect blend of classical and contemporary music in a festive setting, with ticket prices starting from $38.50​​.

Theatrical Delights: Engaging Holiday Performances

Orlando offers a range of theatrical performances that cater to various tastes. For instance, the Enzian Theater presents classics like “It’s a Wonderful Life”, providing a nostalgic holiday experience. Additionally, you can enjoy unique performances such as “A Victorian Holiday Tea”, featuring traditional Christmas carols and an extraordinary one-man performance of “A Christmas Carol” by Southern Winds, with tickets ranging from $55-$65​​.

Free Festive Events: Celebrating Without the Price Tag

For those on a tight budget, Orlando has several free events. The Annual Violectric Holiday Show at Lake Eola Walt Disney Amphitheater, for instance, merges traditional Christmas carols with classic and modern rock hits, creating a one-of-a-kind musical experience. Another free event is the Winter Spark Parade in Downtown Baldwin Park, offering a holiday festival atmosphere with artists, vendors, and opportunities for pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus​​.

Artistic Exploration: Exhibitions and More

Orlando’s cultural scene extends beyond music and theater. Art enthusiasts can indulge in various exhibitions and art shows that showcase local talent and creativity. These events are often free or have a nominal entry fee, making them accessible to everyone.

Community Engagement: Parades and Local Festivities

Community-driven events like the Winter Park “Ye Olde Hometown” Christmas Parade and the Mount Dora Christmas Parade bring together locals and visitors alike. These parades offer a glimpse into Orlando’s community spirit and are a great way to celebrate the season with the locals.

In summary, Orlando’s cultural and artistic scene during the Christmas season offers a variety of experiences that cater to all ages and interests. From musical concerts and theatrical performances to free community events and art exhibitions, there’s something for everyone, ensuring a memorable holiday experience without exceeding the $50 budget.

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Aquarium and Museum Visits

Orlando offers a rich array of affordable aquarium and museum experiences, as part of the best Christmas activities under $50, perfect for those seeking cultural and educational activities during the Christmas season.

SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium

For an underwater adventure, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium at ICON Park is a must-visit. With tickets priced at $27.99 for adults and $23.99 for children when purchased via Visit Orlando powered by BestofOrlando.com, you can explore a 360-degree ocean tunnel and encounter a variety of sea creatures including sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles. This experience is not only educational but also mesmerizing for visitors of all ages​​.

Orlando Science Center

If you’re looking for a more diverse educational experience, the Orlando Science Center offers interactive science programming across four floors. With exhibits ranging from dinosaur skeletons to space exhibitions, there’s something to pique the curiosity of every visitor. Admission is affordable, at $24 for adults and $18 for children, making it a great option for families​​.

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

For art enthusiasts, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum in Winter Park is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The museum’s collection includes art glass, jewelry, paintings, and Tiffany’s famed leaded-glass lamps. This museum provides an intimate look into the artist’s creative process and is an enriching experience for those interested in art nouveau​​.

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Orange County Regional History Center

Dive into local history at the Orange County Regional History Center, located in the heart of downtown Orlando. This museum offers a journey through 12,000 years of Central Florida’s history, making it an enlightening visit for those interested in the region’s past and cultural heritage​​.

Additional Attractions

Orlando also offers other museum experiences like the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, showcasing European Old Masters and contemporary works. For those interested in natural history, the Skeletons: Museum of Osteology at ICON Park presents an array of over 400 real-life animal skeletons in dynamic displays​​.

These attractions in Orlando provide an enriching blend of art, history, science, and nature, all within a budget-friendly range. They offer valuable learning experiences and a chance to explore the city’s cultural richness beyond the theme parks, aligning perfectly with the search intent of finding Christmas activities in Orlando under $50.

Outdoor Adventures and Sports

Orlando is not just about theme parks; it’s also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and sports fans, offering a variety of activities for under $50. Here are some highlights:

SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium

For those who love aquatic life, the SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium offers a chance to come face-to-fin with sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, and more. Tickets for adults are $27.99, and $23.99 for children when purchased via Visit Orlando​​.

Dezerland Park

Dezerland Park, Orlando’s largest indoor entertainment center on International Drive, offers a range of activities including Karting Orlando ($26.95 for adult races) and Bowling Orlando ($27.95 for 30 minutes per lane). It’s a perfect spot for those looking for some indoor fun and adventure​​.

Indoor Go-Karting

For a dose of speed and excitement, indoor go-karting at K1 Speed or Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is a great option. With prices starting at $19.99 for adult races, it’s an affordable way to enjoy some friendly competition​​.

Gatorland

Gatorland offers a unique glimpse into Florida’s wildlife with thousands of alligators and crocodiles. Adult admission is priced at $24.99, making it an affordable and educational experience for the whole family​​.

Harry P. Leu Gardens

Nature lovers can visit the Harry P. Leu Gardens, a 50-acre botanical oasis in Orlando. It boasts three miles of paved scenic walkways, a rose garden, and bamboo gardens, providing a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle​​.

Sports Events

For sports enthusiasts, Orlando offers various events like soccer matches at Orlando City Stadium and basketball games at the Amway Center, with tickets starting as low as $12 for some events. It’s a great way to experience the local sports culture without spending a lot​​.

These activities are ideal for those looking to explore Orlando’s outdoors and engage in sporting activities, all while staying within a modest budget. They provide not only entertainment but also an opportunity to appreciate the diverse attractions Orlando has to offer beyond its famous theme parks.

Interactive and Educational Activities

Orlando is brimming with interactive and educational experiences suitable for families and individuals alike. Here’s a list of activities that offer both learning and fun Holiday events Under $50:

WonderWorks Orlando

WonderWorks Orlando is an amusement park that combines education and entertainment, offering over 100 hands-on science exhibits. This 28,000-square-foot facility includes laser tag, a ropes course, and a 6D motion ride, making it a perfect destination for families seeking a blend of fun and learning​​.

Museum of Illusions

The Museum of Illusions, located at ICON Park, offers a unique “edutainment” experience. With more than 50 exhibits, it’s an excellent place for those looking to engage their minds and creativity. It’s also a great spot for capturing some unique, Instagram-worthy photos​​​​.

Orlando Science Center

The Orlando Science Center is ideal for fostering curiosity in STEM fields. With 11,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits, it offers opportunities to explore a variety of topics from fossils to space exploration. This venue is perfect for children and adults alike who are keen on science and discovery​​​​.

Crayola Experience

Located in The Florida Mall, the Crayola Experience provides a colorful and creative adventure for families. This 70,000-square-foot facility is filled with interactive activities like drip art and a color playground. It’s an ideal spot for children to unleash their creativity​​​​.

Main Event Entertainment

For a mix of fun and games, Main Event Entertainment at Pointe Orlando offers activities like bowling and laser tag. This entertainment complex is a great place for families or groups looking for a variety of engaging activities under one roof​​.

Additional Options

Orlando also offers Holiday events Under $50, such as SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, Madame Tussauds Orlando, and Gatorland, providing a range of experiences from wildlife exploration to meeting lifelike wax figures of celebrities​​​​.

These interactive and educational activities in Orlando not only fit into a budget of under $50 but also ensure a fulfilling and memorable experience for visitors of all ages. Whether it’s exploring the wonders of science, delving into optical illusions, or engaging in creative play, Orlando has something to offer for every interest.

For those looking for free Christmas events and shows in Orlando in 2023, there’s an abundance of festive activities to choose from, ensuring a holiday season filled with joy and celebration.

Parades and Light Displays

  1. Sanford Parade of Lights: Held on December 9, this nighttime parade in downtown Sanford is a visual treat with illuminated floats. It’s a perfect opportunity to enjoy a festive atmosphere and explore local dining and breweries​​.
  2. Winter Park Boat Parade: Also on December 9, head to Dinky Dock Park to witness impressively decorated boats and docks. This event, organized by the Winter Park Notary Club, showcases the creativity of residents and local businesses​​.
  3. Casselberry Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony + Holiday Lights: On December 2, Lake Concord Park in Casselberry lights up with holiday displays and decorations, offering a charming evening stroll through the park​​.

Concerts and Performances

  1. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art: Offering free admission on Friday nights from November 24 to December 29, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy special holiday performances and explore the gallery​​.
  2. Holiday Concerts at Cranes Roost Park: On December 8, this event will feature live music and a festive atmosphere, ideal for those looking to enjoy holiday classics in a lively setting​​.
  3. Orlando Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”: A must-see holiday tradition, this performance at the Dr. Phillips Center of the Performing Arts from December 8th to December 24th features world-class dancers and enchanting choreography​​.

Additional Free Events

  1. Holinights Celebration at Promenade – Sunset Walk: Offering live music, tree lighting, snowball fights, and a holiday craft market, this event runs select nights from November 17 to December 25​​.
  2. Winter on the Avenue: Taking place on December 1 in Central Park on Park Avenue, Winter Park, this event includes a tree-lighting ceremony, carolers, and Santa Claus appearances​​.
  3. The Illusionists Magic of the Holidays: On December 15, enjoy a thrilling performance by The Illusionists at the Dr. Phillips Center of the Performing Arts, perfect for those seeking a magical holiday experience​​.

These events not only offer a festive way to celebrate the holiday season in Orlando but also provide opportunities for families and individuals to enjoy the spirit of Christmas without spending a dime. From parades and light shows to concerts and ballet performances, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Orlando this holiday season.

Exploring Orlando’s Natural Beauty

Orlando’s natural beauty offers a variety of inexpensive outdoor activities perfect for those looking to enjoy the serene side of the city.

Wekiva Springs State Park

Wekiva Springs State Park is a natural gem where visitors can enjoy the crystal-clear spring water. Perfect for a day of swimming, kayaking, or simply relaxing by the water. The park’s entry fee is very affordable, providing a full day of nature exploration.

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

Experience the unique wildlife of Central Florida with a drive through Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. This 11-mile drive offers a chance to see a diverse array of birds and native animals in their natural habitat. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local ecosystem and is open on weekends.

Harry P. Leu Gardens

Harry P. Leu Gardens boasts 50 acres of beautiful gardens, including a rose garden and bamboo gardens. This botanical oasis is perfect for a peaceful stroll or a picnic amidst the lush surroundings.

Bok Tower Gardens

For a tranquil escape, visit Bok Tower Gardens. This picturesque park, set atop one of Florida’s tallest hills, features a Gothic bell tower that rings daily with carillon music. The expansive gardens, museum, and trails offer a perfect setting for relaxation and enjoying nature’s beauty.

Additional Outdoor Activities

Orlando offers other outdoor activities like canoeing and kayaking at Wekiva Springs, where you can experience the untouched wonders of Florida. For those looking for a more relaxed experience, the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour provides a narrated cruise showcasing natural wildlife and scenic views.

These natural attractions in Orlando offer a refreshing break from the city’s bustling theme parks and provide a chance to connect with Florida’s beautiful landscape and wildlife. They are perfect for families, nature enthusiasts, and anyone looking to enjoy Orlando’s serene side, all while staying within a budget-friendly range.

For those looking to indulge in special holiday dining and snacks in Orlando while sticking to a budget, there are several appealing options available.

  1. 4 Rivers Smokehouse: This barbecue spot offers smoked turkey, boneless ham, brisket, smoked salmon, or prime rib, with options to add a Fixins Package, which includes cranberry chutney and five sides. Prices range from $39.99 – $199.00 for proteins and $65.99 for the Fixins Package​​.
  2. Cafe Osceola at Rosen Shingle Creek: Enjoy a Christmas Day brunch featuring a variety of dishes from breakfast items to a carving station and dessert, priced at $89.95 for adults and $37.95 for children​​.
  3. Rosen Centre Hotel: Hosts a holiday buffet with a range of dishes and unlimited champagne and mimosas for adults. The pricing is $64.95 for adults and $27.95 for children​​.
  4. Tapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit at ICON Park: Offers a Christmas brunch buffet for $45 per adult and $16 per child, followed by a la carte dinner options​​.
  5. Unreserved: Hosting a Christmas Day brunch and dinner, with offerings such as omelets, crepes, seafood, and a turkey and prime meats carving station. Brunch is priced at $75 per person, while dinner is $95 per person​​.
  6. The Venetian Chop House at Caribe Royale: Offers a special Christmas Day menu priced at $120 per person​​.
  7. EvrBar Lounge at JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes: Features unique events like a Children’s Cookie Masterclass and Gingerbread Social, priced at $65 and $97 per person, respectively​​.

These options cater to a range of tastes and preferences, from traditional Christmas meals to unique culinary experiences. Reservations are highly recommended for these dining experiences, especially during the holiday season. Be sure to check with the respective venues for the most current pricing and availability.

Orlando’s Christmas season is a wonderland of affordable activities and experiences. From dazzling light displays and enriching cultural events to interactive activities and special holiday dining, there’s something for everyone to enjoy without spending a fortune. This guide to Christmas activities under $50 in Orlando is your ticket to a festive and budget-friendly holiday season, ensuring a merry and memorable experience for all.

FAQs

Q1: Where can I take my kids for Christmas in Orlando? A1: Orlando offers fantastic family-friendly Christmas experiences. You can take your kids to see dazzling light displays at local parks, explore theme park holiday events, or enjoy interactive and educational activities that are sure to create cherished memories.

Q2: What is on Orlando Christmas 2023? A2: Orlando’s Christmas in 2023 is packed with affordable activities under $50, including light shows, cultural events, outdoor adventures, and special dining options. Explore the city’s festive side without breaking the bank.

Q3: What is Orlando, Florida, most known for? A3: Orlando is renowned for its world-class theme parks, including Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando. It’s often referred to as the “Theme Park Capital of the World.”

Q4: How many theme parks are in Orlando? A4: Orlando boasts numerous theme parks, with major ones like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, LEGOLAND Florida, and more. In total, there are over a dozen theme parks to enjoy in the area.

Authors

  • Fabian Mendoza

    Master in Digital Marketing with over 15 years of experience, Fabian has focused a significant part of his professional career on promoting the tourism industry. From the beginning, he led commercial, communication, and marketing strategies for renowned tourist attractions in Colombia, his native country. Currently residing in Orlando, he has worked on projects that encourage tourism in the Caribbean region. More recently, he has dedicated himself to promoting Orlando, highlighting not only its famous theme parks but also its hidden gems.

  • Corey Piccirillo

    Corey Piccirillo was born on March 26, 1995, in Fort Lauderdale, FL. They received their education at The University of Florida, where they studied Mass Communication Spec. In Digital Strategy. Corey is a content creator in Orlando, FL. creating relevant travel content for tourists and locals alike. This includes writing on the blogs, capturing videos and pictures, and creating short-form content on social media.