In early July, our family took a small trip to Orlando for a week’s vacation. My husband had been crazy busy with work and work travels plus refereeing basketball and we needed some family downtime. So he planned a family get-away to Orlando Florida. We knew of some famous places we’d like to visit even before we left but others, we figured out while we were there. I’m sharing part 1 of our trip and three of the places we visited the first few days on the trip. Two of these were free and one was very low cost. If you’ve been to Orlando at all or know anything about it, you’ll already know that it is a very popular place for vacations with many different attractions and things to do. And you may also know that most things don’t come free. But there are some free and low cost activities you can do with your family that would not break the bank if you do a search to find them.
We left home around 3:30 in the morning to catch our 6:00 am flight, with three sleeping kids in the making (6 and under). Hectic? Yes! But once we were on board a flight, they watched shows on the iPad and phones for a bit, then dozed off to sleep again. This photo is when we were coming back – not sure what happened to the ones on the way there. Maybe we were all too sleepy to think about it:) Anyway, it’s been a little while since I shared our family outings and travels (I used to share them weekly) so here are some photos from our this trip along with doing them for almost nothing.
We traveled just before Independence day and spent July 4th exploring Wild Florida and Sea Life Aquarium. We’ve been to Orlando before but these two places were new areas to explore.
Wild Florida – Free Admission
We spent the morning of Independence Day exploring Wild Florida. It is a Gator and Wildlife Park that was free to explore from June 2017 until December 2017 in celebration of their 7 years of adventure. Wild Florida is home to some wild life creatures (various birds, snakes, goats, monkeys, zebras, etc.) and a swamp with a ton of alligators. The area span is not too big, like a mini zoo, and one can explore the entire place in just a couple hours. The park also hosts air-boat rides and animal shows during certain times of the day. It really was a nice little activity to do as a family, not so hectic, not un-usually hot and the walk around the park was do-able with the little kids. We did not do any air-boat rides (not sure if there was any that day either) and we did not stay long enough for the animal show. But we enjoyed exploring around slowly, seeing the animals, and the kids loved feeding the birds and goats and playing in the playground.
Sea Life Aquarium – Low Cost
Before we left for the trip, we had looked into a possible trip to SeaWorld. While we were in Orlando, we just could not bring ourselves to purchase these tickets so we looked into other options. We needed to find another aquarium since we had already told the kids we were planning on going to SeaWorld. My husband found an alternative which costed just a fraction of the price and so much smaller to tour. I’m sure, it’s nothing compared to SeaWorld as in the grandeur and fun, but we were OK with only seeing some sea creatures for a lower price.
Sea Life Aquarium is not very big and it is tucked in a little re-creative area with social shops such as Ben and Jerry’s. I had to mention Ben and Jerry’s because they have some of THE BEST ice-cream. I don’t have a photo to show the actual shop but here the girls are on the other side of Ben and Jerry’s with the Sea Life Aquarium in view.
While there are not a ton of sea animals at the aquarium, there are enough for a smaller family event, especially if there are tiny kids involved. It was not crowded and our kids (and us) enjoyed looking at some fish, sharks, a hug turtle swimming and doing flips, and they also enjoyed touching some starfish.
Between Wild Life Florida and Sea Life Aquarium, I’d say our day was fun filled with low or no cost activities to enjoy. Once we were back at the hotel later that evening, we chose to skip going back out to watch the fireworks. The kids were already tired so it was better to just chill with s’mores (I made) and watermelon, of course. It was the fourth of July after all:)
Cocoa Beach – Free
What’s a trip to Florida without going to the ocean? You just got to! Plus as someone who grew up with lots of oceans, I just had to. So we went to Cocoa Beach – a free activity (except for parking). It was about a 40 minute drive from the hotel we stayed at but well worth the drive. The kids had So MUCH fun!!!!! Especially our 6 year old daughter and 2 year old son. Our 4 year old little daughter was a bit skeptical this time around so she just played on the sand with sand toys. (I think the waves scared her a bit because recently, we went to a lake and she thoroughly enjoyed playing in the water – no crashing waves). Here are just a few photos from Cocoa Beach. The water was beautiful, just the perfect temperature, and it was just a beautiful evening to be at the beach.
So these are some of the free and low cost activities we did in Orlando while on vacation back in July. I’m working on Part 2 of the trip which costed us some but all in all, we do feel that it was a week of fun. . . with some tiredness, too:)
Have you been to Orlando on Vacation? Did you discover anything you could do for free or for a low cost? Would love to hear about them in the comments.