Things To Do in Central Florida Under $25

By: Peyten Palo

One-of-a-kind, family fun adventures are more affordable than you might think. Check out our guide to amazing things to do in Central Florida under $25. And we can assure you that they are as memorable as they are value-packed!

Things To Do in Central Florida Under $25

Experience Lakeland & Winter Haven

$25 or Less Per Person

Wonder House

Tour the historic Wonder House in Bartow, FL. With its concrete walls inlaid with glass tile mosaics, it’s no surprise the unique homestead quickly became a popular tourist destination from the 1930s – 1960s. After many years of being vacant, the once vibrant home, fell into disrepair. Fortunately in 2015, a young couple fell in love with the undeniable charm of the Wonder House, and made it their mission to restore the estate to its former glory.  In fact, you can watch the restoration process on the Netflix Original show, Amazing Interiors. Today you can tour this historic home by reservation only Friday-Sunday. Admission is $25 or less per person for daytime tours!

The Living Water Boat Cruise

Explore the many lakes that make up Winter Haven’s Chain of Lakes during a tour with The Living Water Boat Cruises. Many of Winter Haven’s lakes are connected by canals, so you can easily spend hours on the Chain of Lakes while you explore this beautiful city. Not only will you get to see beautiful homes and wildlife (yes, you’ll probably see alligators), but you will also enjoy hearing about the area as the boat captain narrates the adventure. The Living Water Boat Cruises is HIGHLY rated on TripAdvisor, and they offer tours that are fun for both kids and adults. They offer many different boat tours starting around $25 per person!

family of four on pontoon boat during tour with The Living Water Boat Cruises in Winter Haven, FL

Frank Lloyd Wright Tour

Probably the most successful way to view Frank Lloyd Wright’s work is on any of the tours offered. Even if you were born and raised in Central Florida, one of these tours can change your whole perspective. Many tours start at $25 or less per person and will give you a great overview of the many architectural works on the Florida Southern College campus. Reservations are strongly suggested.

$20 or Less Per Person

Bok Tower Gardens

Historic Bok Tower Gardens, a national historic landmark, features two hiking trails, 50 acres of gardens, the 20-room El Retiro Estate and the 205-foot art deco and neo-Gothic Singing Tower carillon. Bok Tower Gardens has fascinated millions of Florida visitors since it’s opening in 1929. Enjoy various different events throughout the year, as there’s is always something new to enjoy at the Gardens. Admission is $17 per person and $5 for dogs.

$15 or Less Per Person

Florida Children’s Museum

The ALL-NEW Florida Children’s Museum located at Bonnet Springs Park is curating the world for all children to explore. There’s something for the whole family spread across 47,800 square feet of hands-on exploration. Decide what you want to explore in this BRAND-NEW, state-of-the-art facility designed to build a bigger purpose for the Central Florida community. The new museum features two floors of interactive galleries from the design park, to watermelon seeds, to city play, it’s the perfect day outing for family fun! Daily admission to the museum is $15/person and annual memberships are also available!

Florida Air Museum

Florida Air Museum, Florida’s official aviation museum and education center, features a dynamic display of unique designs, classics, ultra-lights, antiques, and warbirds. This Lakeland museum is more than a collection of airplanes, it stands as a tribute to the history and joy of flight. Exhibits educate about pioneers like Howard Hughes, early air racers, and Floridians and others who have influenced the world of aviation. General admission is $15/person .

$10 or Less Per Person

Silver Moon Drive-In

Looking for a nostalgic family-fun activity? Head to the drive-in! The Silver Moon Drive-In has two screens usually showing first-run movies. Each screen has a double feature seven nights a week. You’ll enjoy listening to the movie through your FM car radio, but they also have in-car speakers available on some rows. Tickets are less than $10 per person AND your ticket is good for all movies on a single side. Head to the drive-in for your next family night!

$5 or Less Per Person

Feeding the swans at Lake Morton

As you tour around charming downtown Lakeland (Swan City), look out for Queen Elizabeth of England’s gift to the City of Lakeland in 1957: a pair of swans. This resulted in the graceful bird becoming a beloved symbol of the city. Drive a loop around Lake Morton, to see the Lakeland Swans – and the other birds and wildlife that make this lake home.

Insider tip: Take quarters if you’d like to feed the swans. Bird feeders (that look like gumball machines) with approved feeder pellets are located around the lake.

Free Things to Do

Bonnet Springs Park

Just opened, Bonnet Springs Park, in Lakeland is a 168-acre urban oasis bringing Central Florida’s natural beauty to life. It’s a place where art, recreation and fun intersect by design, featuring a vast array of wonderful amenities. Bring the whole family including your dog! Highlights include the Hollis Family Welcome Center, the Ag America Heritage Garden, The Florida Children’s Museum, Kid’s Treehouse, and open-air concerts and events. Admission to the park is free.

Polk Museum of Art

Polk Museum of Art is one of the top-ten art museums in Central Florida, featuring educational programs, diverse exhibits and dynamic events. With a diverse exhibition schedule, dynamic event calendar, and comprehensive educational programming, you will find Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College is truly more than an art museum. Admission to the museum is always free.

Circle B Bar Reserve

Circle B Bar Reserve is a prime destination for hiking, bird watching, cycling, AND alligator spotting. Visit the Polk Nature Discovery Center and learn about Polk County’s ecosystems through hands-on activities or climb around on the indoor play area that’s perfect for kids. A trip wouldn’t be complete without an alligator sighting, which can be safely done from the preserve’s pier or shoreline. Admission to the reserve is free.

Polk County History Center

Housed in a 1908 courthouse, this museum showcases the history of Polk County. The Polk County History Center‘s galleries rotate exhibits every two months. With 11 permanent and 4 temporary galleries, the History Center offers abundant opportunities for discovery for history and heritage lovers enjoying a Central Florida vacation. Admission is always free which includes a gift shop and children’s gallery.

Lake Wales History Museum

Originally a train depot, the Lake Wales History Museum features exhibits beginning with the foundation of Lake Wales in 1911 as well as the formation of the city, industry, places of interest and developments in the 19th century that led to the settlement of the area. Admission to the museum is free.

Cypress Gardens Water Ski Show

Members of the original Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team continue to WOW Central Florida audiences, and work to pass on their water skiing skills to the next generation. The show features an hour of performances with beginner and professional skiers, some young, and some young at heart. The shows happen on the third Saturday of every month. If you’re attending the show, be sure to bring a blanket or lawn chairs for seating. Burgers, hot dogs, snacks, drinks, t-shirts and hats will be available for sale. There is no admission price for the show. The show is held on Lake Silver in Winter Haven.

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