Have the high admission prices at Orlando’s theme parks got you down? The good news is you can enjoy freebies and wallet-friendly family activities in Orlando’s North Seminole County — only about 45 minutes away — where the fun, and even the hotels, are less expensive.
If “free” is your favorite price, follow the staff of the Seminole State Planetarium, who put on a road show at local parks and venues around Central Florida during Telescope Thursdays. Everyone is welcome to take a turn looking at the night sky, and the fun usually lasts 7–10 p.m.
The planetarium also hosts Star Parties at various times during the year, where visitors and locals can come to enjoy dome shows, speaker presentations and telescope observations. Check out the Planetarium’s Facebook page for upcoming events.
Got cyclists in the family? Rent a bike or bring your own to the monthly Critical Mass! Sanford Edition! Event, which takes place on the last Friday of the month. Or, bike the Seminole Wekiva Trail, a 14-mile paved trail that features amenities along the way. You can also hike the trail, which wends through several charming neighborhoods.
Music lovers of all ages can enjoy tunes at the Rhythms at the Roost free live concert events all summer at Crane’s Roost Park. The park also puts on free Sunset Cinema outdoor movies on select Saturdays. Join in the fun at the Alive After 5 Street Party in historic downtown Sanford, the second Thursday of every month except for July and August.
Also in downtown Sanford, Art Walks are held on the third Saturday of every month, designed to show off the many galleries in the area. Kids can join in by hunting for so-called Sanford rocks, painted rocks hidden here and there in the district.
If your visit coincides with the first Wednesday of each month, enjoy live music, art shows, food trucks and a beer and wine garden during WineArt Wednesdays in Lake Mary, where everything but the food and drink are free.
Lake Concord Park puts on a monthly Casselberry Art and Music in the Park, where live music, artisanal crafts and food trucks create a party atmosphere on the second Friday of each month 6–9 p.m.
Finally, watch youth, collegiate and non-professional teams playing baseball, soccer and tennis at the 102-acre Boombah Sports Complex www.PlayOrlandoNorth.com at Seminole County in Sanford, where there is even a playground for little ones who need to let off steam.
For more on almost-free and affordable events and attractions, check out www.DoOrlandoNorth.com.