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June 6, 2014

20 Free Things to Do this Summer in the City


ORLANDO (CityofOrlando.net) – School is out for summer and the City of Orlando offers plenty of fun activities and amenities for families to enjoy.

Many of the events and facilities that make Orlando a great place to live are free of charge. Here is a list of 20 free things for families to do in the City this summer.

Stroll Through Greenwood Urban Wetlands
Close to Downtown Orlando, Greenwood Urban Wetlands features a meandering walkway, great for strolling through the scenic park. Bridges span the lake at different points, offering great views of fish and turtles in Lake Haven. Developed in 1991, the park functions as a stormwater treatment facility. Aquatic plantings and extensive tree plantings help filter the water and create a serene, attractive 19-acre park. Benches and picnic tables are scattered throughout the park.

Greenwood Urban Wetlands
1411 Greenwood Street

Celebrate Our Nation’s Birthday at Lake Eola Park
On July 4, celebrate America’s birthday at Fireworks at the Fountain at Lake Eola Park. The patriotic celebration includes a large children’s play area and live entertainment beginning at 4 p.m., featuring the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orlando Concert Band. Fireworks will light up the Downtown skyline starting at 9:10 p.m.

Lake Eola Park
195 North Rosalind Avenue
Fireworks at the Fountain information

Bike the Orlando Urban Trail
Kids and parents will enjoy the pleasant bike ride along the Orlando Urban Trail. The bike path, which is also open to walkers and joggers, opened in 2012. From Loch Haven Park to Magnolia Avenue and back, the trail is about three miles round trip.

Orlando Urban Trail
Starts near 900 East Princeton Street

Get Close to Nature at Eagles Nest Park
An urban wetland and a nesting area for the American Bald Eagle are found within the 485 acres of Eagles Nest Park. The majority of the land in the park is an educational environmental study area.

Eagles Nest Park
5165 Metrowest Boulevard

Explore Orlando’s Botanical Oasis
Admission is free at Leu Gardens on the first Monday of each month (July 7, Aug. 4). Leu Gardens features 50 acres of plants as well as the historical Leu House Museum, located in the heart of the garden.

Leu Gardens
1920 North Forest Avenue
Learn more about Leu Gardens

Honor Our Veterans
On the north shore of Lake Baldwin, Orlando Veterans Memorial Park has nine memorials that honor our veterans for their service to our country. Large trees shade much of the four-acre park and a small gazebo offers wonderful views of the lake.

Orlando Veterans Memorial Park
2380 Lake Baldwin Lane

Stroll and See Art in Orlando
Supported by private philanthropy, See Art Orlando features eight permanent, contemporary public art sculptures that were crafted from a variety of different mediums in Downtown Orlando. Unveiled in 2013, the pieces in the collection are centrally located and allow for a nice evening stroll that can start on South Orange Avenue and end at Lake Eola Park.

See Art Orlando walking tour map

Go to the Movies at Lake Eola
Movieola combines the beauty of Lake Eola Park and family-friendly flicks. On the last Friday of every month through August, a free, family-friendly movie will be shown on Lake Eola’s East Lawn. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. with games, music and food available for purchase, with the movie starting at 8:30 p.m. “Despicable Me 2” will be show on June 27 and “Lego Movie” is slated for July 25.

Lake Eola Park
195 North Rosalind Avenue
Movieola schedule

Have a Ball at Orlando Festival Park
Bring the family to Orlando Festival Park for a little competition. The park includes multiple sand volleyball courts and is a great spot to have a ball.

Orlando Festival Park
2911 East Robinson Street

Get Artistic at the Mennello Museum
The Mennello Museum of American Art offers free admission on June 8, July 13 and Aug. 10 for its Free Family Day on the Second Sunday promotion. Activities include make-and-take craft stations from noon-2:30 p.m. The art projects are not just for kids as they relate to current exhibits at the museum. Volunteers are on hand to give mini tours of the galleries, which feature American art of all genres and time periods.

The Mennello Museum of American Art
900 East Princeton Street
Learn more about the Mennello Museum of American Art

Lunchtime at Loch Haven Park
Orlando Loch Haven Park covers 45 acres and serves as the region’s premier cultural park. With plenty of shade from majestic Oak trees, the park, which features a large lawn area, is a wonderful location for a picnic lunch.

Orlando Loch Haven Park
777 East Princeton Street

Walk Around Lake Baldwin
An early-evening walk around Lake Baldwin can provide a relaxing way to end a summer day. The 2.7-mile trail has numerous benches with great views of Lake Baldwin.

Lake Baldwin Park
2380 Lake Baldwin Lane

Get Out and Skate
Both experienced and beginner skateboarders and in-line skaters will have a great time on June 21 during the Orlando Skate Park’s Go Skate Day, when entry is free to the park. The event includes contests and giveaways and is a great opportunity to maneuver the park’s 8,000-square foot flow course for the first time.

Orlando Skate Park
400 Festival Way

Go Fish at Lake Ivanhoe
Just north of Downtown, Lake Ivanhoe has a well-stocked lake, a boat-launch location and several shaded areas. In addition to largemouth bass, Lake Invanhoe has black crappie, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, redear sunfish, spotted sunfish and warmouth.

Gaston Edwards Park
1236 North Orange Avenue

Get Natural at Orlando Wetlands Park
Located in East Orange County, Orlando Wetlands Park is a great place to relax and enjoy nature. Featuring 1,650 acres of hardwood hammocks, marshes and lakes, the park is part of a water treatment system. Bird-watching, nature photography, jogging and bicycling are among the activities at the park, which has over 20 miles of roads and woodland trails.

Orlando Wetlands Park
25155 Wheeler Road, Christmas
Explore Orlando Wetlands Park

Make Time to Play
Orlando leads all cities in Florida with seven Playful City USA recognitions from KaBoom, a national non-profit dedicated to creating playspaces for children. Many City parks have great playgrounds, including George Barker Park. A favorite destination of children, the playground offers a climbing wall, spinners, slides and plenty of room to run around.

George Barker Park
2000 Monte Carlo Trail

See the Swans
A trip to Lake Eola Park is not complete without a look at its signature swans. Five different breeds of swans call the park home: Trumpeter, Whooper, Black Neck, Australian Black and Royal Mute swans. Three feeders are located throughout the park to purchase the correct food for the swans. Other approved food items include lettuce, loose field greens and spinach leaves.

Lake Eola Park
195 North Rosalind Avenue

Tour Some Historic Trees
The City of Orlando has proudly received Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA status since 1976 and the City is home to numerous historic, majestic trees. The majority of the significant trees are located in and near Downtown, offering the opportunity for a pleasant bike tour that can start at Mayor Carl T. Langford Park on Central Boulevard and end in Orlando Loch Haven Park on Princeton Street.

Significant trees map

Play Disc Golf Near Orlando International Airport
A 56.37-acre park, Airport Lakes Park has plenty of recreational amenities, including a disc golf course. The nine-hole course will test your precision and accuracy.

Airport Lakes Park
7098 Shadowridge Drive

Meander Along Fern Creek
Dickson Azalea Park offers a unique and beautiful location to walk amid lush landscaping, butterflies and singing birds. Fern Creek moves through the park, which was used as a watering hole years ago by cattle. The park includes the Washington Street bridge, which was constructed in 1926.

Dickson Azalea Park
100 Rosearden Drive

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