Top 10 Free Things to Do
They say the best things in life are free. As far as we’re concerned, the best things in life are here in Ocala/Marion County! Check out our Top 10 Free Things to Do for tips on how to maximize your fun while minimizing spending.
1. Stroll through Tuscawilla Art Park
Discover beautiful pieces of art in this quaint park when you go for a stroll through Tuscawilla. Set in the historic Tuscawilla district, visitors can enjoy the natural setting while viewing one of the many sculptures or joining one of the many cultural events that takes place here.
2. Go to a Local Splash Pad
When you’re in the Sunshine State, it’s pretty common to want to cool down now and again. One of the most convenient and easy ways to do that is to visit one of our local splash pads. Come have fun at Wilma Loar Splash Park in Belleview, or Lily’s Splash Pad and Citizen’s Circle Splash Pad in Ocala.
3. Explore Fort King National Historic Landmark
Fort King is a sight to behold, and free to boot. Check out the Fort that stood as a base of operations during the Second Seminole War, a museum with artifacts from the Fort’s history, or simply take in the views while walking the interpretive path from the Fort.
4. Walk around Ocala Historic Downtown Square
There’s nothing like going for a little window shopping in a beautiful historic district, and that’s exactly what you’ll find when you visit the Ocala Historic Downtown Square. For some extra excitement, be sure to join us for the Ocala Historic Downtown Market every Friday and Saturday or in the evening on the First Friday of the Month (September – May) for the First Friday Art Walk.
5. Take a Hike
Take in the natural splendor of Mother Nature when you go for a hike on one of our many trails. Some trailheads may charge fees, so just be sure to check beforehand at FloridaStateParks.org.
6. Line Dance at our Community Centers
Like to dance? Get in line. Learn the ins and outs of line dancing at our community centers in Ocala/Marion County. Get Beginner/Improver Instruction courses from Forest Community Center at Sandhill Park on Wednesday evenings from 6pm-8pm and Silver Springs Community Center on every 1st and 3rd Friday from 6pm-7:30pm.
7. Catch a Flick at After Dark in the Park
Who doesn’t love a night out at the movies? Every month, Ocala Recreation and Parks shows a movie at one of their parks that’s open to the public. Popcorn and drinks are available for purchase if you enjoy a snack with your movie, but all you really need is a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.
While it may be a simple pleasure, stargazing is something many people can’t enjoy because of our busy urban lives and light pollution. However, in Ocala/Marion County we have plenty of wide-open spaces that make for excellent stargazing. Watch the weather for a clear night, and enjoy the show!
9. Visit the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners Association Museum and Gallery
Ocala/Marion County is the Horse Capital of the World®, and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners Association Museum and Gallery celebrates all things equine. There’s so much to see: Florida's first Kentucky Derby winner Needles' 1956 trophy, the Needles collection, Dr. Fager’s famed "speeding ticket" for his world record dirt mile run, the Affirmed collection and more. While donations are appreciated at the museums, it’s totally free. Not to mention totally cool!
10. Attend a Local Event
There’s always something fun going on in Ocala/Marion County, and often enough, it’s something free. Check the Ocala/Marion website frequently for free upcoming events.
Around here, it’s easy to have more fun for less. So what are you waiting for? Come explore and experience all the wonders and fun of Ocala/Marion County.