There are so many budget friendly and free things to do in central Florida. In the heart of this area, west of the beaches and east of Orlando, you will find the St. Cloud area. Although St. Cloud has a downtown area that you can visit for a city vibe, the surrounding land is mostly quiet and rural with an old Florida feel. Loaded with orange groves and farms, there is a lot of land in this area that is untouched. This is where you will find some time out in nature. Here are our top choices for the area:
1. Wild Florida – cost varies, sometimes FREE special admissions
Wild Florida,is a small zoo and air boat tour location on a beautiful lake in central Florida. The air boat rides are not free, but this location is listed because they often offer free admission to their animal park. For Florida residents, admission is $5 a person year round. They have such a wide range of amazing animals, and an alligator show (pictured above).
2. Bull Creek Wildlife Preserve- FREE
If you are looking for seclusion in the wilderness, this is your place. This preserve is enormous and is a favorite for hunters during season. There are trails you can walk or just drive around the main path. Enjoy triple n ranch which is right next door as well.
3. Deer Park Peaches (April & May only) – $3 per pound
This cute family owned farm is one of my favorite free things to do in central Florida. They open their gates in April & May for peach picking! (And sometimes oranges in the fall and blueberries in the spring). It is $3/lb for peaches. There are restrooms on site and local honey for sale as well. Pack a picnic lunch and eat on their deck! Check their Facebook page for updates on hours.
4. Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge – Donation Based
To the west of St. Cloud, near lake Nona and Boggy Creek, there is a nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary that my children really enjoy visiting. This place is donation based (recommended $5 per person but not enforced). There is also a trail outside of the animal sanctuary.
5. Downtown Kissemmee – FREE unless shopping 🙂
Venture out of St. Cloud to visit downtown Kissemmee. This is one of the few quaint places left near Orlando. The downtown boasts many shops and restaurants. There is a music store, a pizza and bar, and an ice cream factory. At Abracadabra ice cream factory, they will freeze the ice cream right in front of you! For paying customers they offer bounce houses for the kids as well for one hour (bring socks!).
While you are in the area you can also visit our page on Orlando attractions that you can do with your friends or family here.