Orlando certainly isn't your average sleepy college town – it's a bustling international destination with a mind-boggling assortment of activities and events all year long. Itching to get out and about? Check out this list of fun, interesting, and affordable things to do this spring & summer near your UCF apartment!
Gorgeous Lake Eola
Park near Downtown is known for its swans and paddle boats, but it also has a full calendar of happenings, a large amphitheater, as well as playgrounds and walking trails. Every Sunday features the Orlando Farmers Market, where you can find fresh produce, local honey, art, unique gifts, and much more. Free outdoor yoga classes are on the northeast lawn every Sunday morning at 11am. Lake Eola Park hosts events such as theater performances by Orlando Shakes, the yearly Pet Parade and Festival, Earth Day celebrations, concerts, and half-marathons and fun runs for charitable organizations. It's also just a short drive from the University of Central Florida.
Movies on the Lawn
Movie theaters are squicky and expensive – but going to nighttime outdoor movies is cheap and enjoyable. You can usually bring your own food and drinks and have a good time relaxing with friends instead of kids kicking the back of your seat or your feet getting stuck on the floor. Just don't forget your bug spray! The Enzian Theater
presents a different flick for free on the second Thursday of each month in various charming parks around the greater Orlando area. It's also home to romantic Eden Bar, an outdoor café and lounge that's perfect for date night
. Stunning Leu Gardens on North Forest Avenue hosts a movie night once a month and you're welcome to BYOB. The Dr. Phillips Center's Frontyard Festival goes through the end of May and offers movie nights, concerts, and live theater. Southern Hill Farms in Clermont
not only has cheap movie nights, but you can also pick your own blueberries, strawberries, and sunflowers.
Mead Botanical Garden
Conveniently located in Winter Park
, this 48-acre urban garden has tons of events year-round. Join a yoga class for only $10 every Wednesday and Saturday morning, or try Tai Chi on Fridays. Admission to the park is always free, and you can also take classes on gardening, bird watching, or how to hunt for or grow edible mushrooms. MBG also has annual events like The Great Duck Derby and Backyard Biodiversity Day, book launch parties for local authors, and outdoor music and theater performances at their Grove Pavilion. Well-behaved and leashed pets are welcome here, so it's perfect for a puppy date. Mead Botanical Garden is also a super popular wedding venue, with several elegant spaces available for rental.
Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival
Happening in May, this popular annual theater festival draws visitors and performers from all over the world. Ticket prices range from completely free to only $12, so you'll be able to enjoy a ton of shows without spending a fortune. The Fringe Fest offers over 800 theatrical performances, as well as a free outdoor music festival. A lot of the activity happens at Loch Haven Cultural Park, but there are some events at Ivanhoe Village and other venues near your UCF apartment. This is a remarkably diverse festival, and the shows are not juried - content can range from the very risqué to tear-jerking melodramas. This is also a great way to meet awesome people in the local theater scene, and there are usually boozy and boisterous after-parties each night.
Art, Wine, and Walkin' Around
Convince your friends that you're a cultured and classy adult by taking them to one of Orlando's many free or very affordable arts events. The Orlando Museum of Art on North Mills Ave
has 1st Thursdays, a monthly party where you can view the latest exhibits while vibing to a DJ and sipping cocktails. On the third Saturday each month, you can go on an Art Walk and visit a selection of galleries in historic downtown Sanford
, and enjoy live music and your favorite beverage. Don't miss WineART Wednesdays in beautiful Lake Mary, featuring food trucks, local bands, art, and of course, wine. There's also the Thornton Park
Wine and Art Walk on the second Thursday of each month – for only $10 you'll get to see some amazing art, swill a bunch of good wine, and keep the glass. You might even find some art at one of the vendor's booths that you can add to your UCF apartment!
New and interesting events are being scheduled all the time in Orlando, and the summer is always filled with exciting special events. Let us help keep you up to date on all the cool things to do near your UCF apartment!