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Free and Cheap Museums for Kids in Orlando for Thrifty Family Fun

Let’s be honest, Saturday morning you wake up and tell your kids “we’re going to the museum today!” and the best response you may get is, “oh mannn!” Kid’s hear the word “museum” and think of dusty old artifacts and boring times. But after visiting many of these places myself, I can say with certainty – your kids will have fun! 

Take advantage of the free and inexpensive local museums in Orlando and show your kids something both educational and cool. I parsed through the dozens of local museums and hand-picked the ones I know my kid would enjoy, and yours will too. Make a day of it! Pack a picnic, make a theme day, and get into the fun together!

FREE Museums in Orlando

These museums are among the best free things to do with kids in Orlando.

Winter Park History Museum

Address: 200 W. New England Ave.,Winter Park, FL 32789
Hours: Open Tues-Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday 10am-2pm

This cozy museum has scenes to set the stage for learning about the history of Winter Park, which can be a fun little outing before a stroll on Park Ave for lunch or a run through the grassy central field near the Farmer’s Market. Kids will enjoy imagining life “back in the day” and looking at what kids used to play with in the early days of Winter Park’s history.

Central Florida Railroad Museum

Address: 101 S. Boyd St, Winter Garden, FL 34787
Hours: Open Tues-Saturday 11am-3pm

This great museum flies under the radar at the far end of the main drag in Winter Garden. Outside, find an old train car, signaling you’ve found the entrance. Look around and marvel with your children about the days of steam engines and old rail cars and then pop down to the Plant Street Market for some food and perhaps a tour of the Crooked Can Brewery.

Orlando Fire Museum

Address: 814 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803
Hours: Open 10am-4pm Friday and Saturday

This joyful museum is great for history buffs, kids who like big trucks, and just about everyone in between. The charming museum is free for all, and worth 20-30 minutes to browse the artifacts and history of the Orlando Fire Department, started in 1885.

Orlando Fire Museum image by Dani Meyering

Take a photo on a fire truck and bring home a souvenir from the gift corner. It’s a wonderful way to spend a little time indoors with your kids. Be you go, read about our own experience here, and important tips for visiting the Orlando Fire Museum.

Mead Gardens

Address: 1300 S. Denning Drive, Orlando
Hours: Open 8am to Dusk daily

OK, not a museum per say, but did you realize that Mead Gardens is FREE!? I didn’t. The stunning Mead Gardens has lush pathways and tranquil spots perfect for a serene sit down with your kids, blowing bubbles, having a snack, and just enjoying those lovely Florida days.

Low Cost Museums in Orlando

Mennello Museum of Art

Address: 900 East Princeton Street, Orlando, FL 32803
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Sunday 12 – 4:30 p.m.
Kids under 6 are free, ages 6-17 are only $1!

This museum is part of the Orange County Library Local Wanderer program, so keep your eyes out for free passes!

Enjoy beautiful art pieces and a colorful gallery for the whole family. They often host events in their lawn, like plays or local productions, and the lawn area is great for kids to run and play in the sculpture garden.

Mennello Museum of American Art Image by Terri Peters

Located just beside the Orlando Science Center parking garage, enjoy a fun day in the “museum zone” as I like to call it, having lunch at 4Roots Cafe within the science center (one of our favorite restaurants for families), or venture over to the Orlando Family Stage or the Free Orlando Fire Museum. The lake views and outdoor strolls are worth a moment in nature too, so fill your day with fun for everyone.

Read more: Mennello Museum of American Art – One of Orlando’s Best Museums

Orange County Regional History Center

Address: 65 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, Florida 32801
Hours: Open 10am-5pm Mon-Sat, 12-5pm on Sundays
Kids under 4 are free, Ages 5-12 cost $6. FREE every third Thursday from 5-8pm

I must have passed this place a thousand times when I worked downtown. Something about saying, “ok kids let’s buckle up for the regional history center!” doesn’t quite elicit excitement in the littles. But honestly, you’d be wrong not to visit this really well done museum hiding downtown.

With its grandiose exhibits and life scenes it feels a bit like what you’d see cruising the “The Land” ride over at EPCOT. There’s tons to see, and it’s a great way to spend some time downtown before hitting the Orange County Library for a workshop or class, or for a walk around Lake Eola. This is a no brainer on the fun things to do with kids list.

This museum is part of the Orange County Library Local Wanderer program, so keep your eyes out for free passes!

Orlando Museum of Art

Address: 2416 N. Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
Hours: Open Tues-Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday & Sunday 12-4pm, Mondays and Holidays Closed

Visit for their family events throughout the year including workshops and classes, or visit for a docent-led family or “stroller” tour. The family led tour is every first Saturday of the month at 1pm. The stroller tour is select Wednesdays from 10:30-11:30 and is only $15 for one adult plus up to 4 children.

I know first hand that bringing a child to a quiet art museum puts parents on high alert, for fear of tantrums or loud outbursts (which then inevitably lead to docent shushes and embarrassing moments), so these family tours are great for putting those fears aside. Kids are welcome as they are, so that the whole family can enjoy the fun.

Kids under 5 are free, or choose the family bundle for $45, which gives admission to 2 adults and up to 3 children. Special event days for Bank of America card holders grant free admission to the card holder. More details here.

The Morse Museum

Address: 445 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Hours: Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m., Friday, 9:30 a.m.–8 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m.–4 p.m.

Kids under 12 are free, Fridays are free for all from 4-8pm November through April

This sensational museum highlights gorgeous Tiffany stained glass, which children will find fascinating and parents will silently scream inside (Don’t touch! Don’t touch!). The panic I felt taking my child in here was real, as any dart away from me could mean big trouble for mama, but the docents couldn’t have been sweeter. They see families all the time, and were happy to show us some of the interesting paintings and sculptures that children would like.

Stained Glass Window in Morse Museum in Winter Park
Morse Museum in Winter Park image by Maria DiCicco

The chapel and layout of the museum breaks up the norm of wall to wall gallery space and makes for a truly enlightening day or evening out. Enjoy the colorful gift shop before heading out to Park Ave for a meal.

More FREE Orlando Museums:

The Wizard of Oz Museum

Address: 7099 N Atlantic Ave, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920
Open Daily, 9am-5pm

The Wizard of Oz Museum in Cape Canaveral may be a little outside Orlando’s reach, but being capped with the crown of Tripadvisor’s #1 Children’s Museum in the country out of 619 listed, that’s worth the drive.

Dorothy Dress and Shoes at Wizard of Oz Museum Entrance Michelle Spitzer

Explore props from the original movie, memorabilia, and the immersive room taking you down the yellow brick road, through fields of poppies, and more. Parents and children sing this museums’ praises all over the country, so go check it out.

Children 2 and under are free, with kids 3-12 being $15.99.

author avatar
Maria DiCicco
Globetrotting since 1995, Maria is a daughter, girl-mom and wife to a Spaniard. She is a karaoke wunderkind, natural born storyteller and creative writer. She’s a wine and gin enthusiast and charcuterie builder extraordinaire. Seeking to inspire others to “Travel More”, she shares travel advice, destination spotlights and more at her site AlwaysPackTissues.com.