30+ Fun Cheap and Free Things to Do in Melbourne FL

I find Melbourne, Florida to be a pretty affordable place to live or visit compared to other tourist destinations in Florida. If you are looking for something fun to do on a budget, there are plenty of fun things to try here!  Today I want to share all my ideas for cheap (under $100) or free Melbourne, Florida activities. This includes everything from a thrilling trek through the jungle to a relaxing sunrise on the beach.

I have broken my list up into unique, nature, active, and beach things to do. No matter how tight your budget or the weather, there is something on this list for everyone. If you are looking for affordable or free Melbourne, Florida activities, read on for plenty of inspiration!

cheap or free melbourne, florida activities

Unique Things to Do on a Budget

This first section looks at some uniquely Melbourne things to do for less than $10 per person. this includes experiencing all the Space Coast has to offer from rocket launches to local downtowns. Here are eight activities to consider for an affordable experience.

1. See a Rocket Launch

The Space Coast is one of the few places in the world where you can watch a rocket launch and they occur quite frequently here! Check out the schedule at SpaceFlightNow and plan a day to watch the next launch. You can have a picnic on one of the Patrick Air Force beaches while you wait or drive closer and watch from the river. The best part is it’s free to do!

rocket launch on the space coast from the beach

2. Take a Drive on Scenic A1A

For a simple and free activity, take a scenic drive down A1A. Once you go past Spessard Holland Beach, the area starts to get more remote. You can marvel at the beachfront mansions and drive over Sebastian Inlet for some bird’s eye views of the water. We do this frequently and always stumble upon something new! All you need is a car and a little gas money for this lovely experience!

3. Take Photos on a Self-Guided EGAD Mural Tour

If you like art, the Eau Gallie Arts District is the number one place to go! Not only do they have a variety of colorful and creative murals, but there are also art galleries and creative shops. I love coming here to walk around and take pictures in front of the murals. You can spend a couple of hours wandering around, taking pictures, and window shopping without spending a dime!

Intracoastal Mural in EGAD

4. See an Outdoor Movie in Wickham Park

A variety of local parks host outdoor movie nights, but Wickham Park is the most consistent. This park hosts a free car under-the-stars movie night once a month with fun, family-friendly movies. Whether you are a family looking for a cheap night out or an adult on a budget, this makes for an enjoyable activity.

5. Take a Stroll in Downtown Melbourne

Downtown Melbourne is another historical spot in town that also has a lot going on. You can come here for shopping and dining or enjoy a relaxing stroll by the harbor and riverside. Other sites to check out include the Henegar Center built in 1919, the Green Gables House, and even Hell ‘n Blazes brewery. This brewery is located in a building that burnt down multiple times before turning into a bank!

You can spend an hour or so walking around and browsing the antique shops for free. And if you want more to do, Hell ‘n Blazes has fun games inside that you can play for just the price of a $5 pint of beer.

view from the landing melbourne fl

6. See a $5 Movie at Premiere Oaks

Premiere Oaks is my favorite movie theater in town, not just for its gorgeous, classic movie aesthetic, but also for its affordable movie nights. Every Tuesday, movies cost just $5 per person and you can see anything you want that isn’t 3D! On Wednesdays and Sundays, they also host a Flashback Cinema night where you can see a beloved classic for $5 as well. I find this to be a wonderful way to spend a few hours for less than the cost of a meal!

7. Visit the Saturday Farmer’s Market

Every Saturday, Downtown Melbourne hosts a Farmer’s Market with all sorts of unique businesses to check out. Here you can purchase produce, plants, artisan goods, and meals from the farmer’s market. However, if you want to keep it a free activity, you can simply browse the markets and even try some samples. Many people bring their dogs here so it’s a fun way to meet people in the community for free!

plants at melbourne florida farmers market

8. Check out the Sands Space History Center

History buffs will love taking a half-hour drive to Cape Canaveral to visit the free Sands Space History Center. Here you can learn about each of the Cape Canaveral launch sites and see artifacts from the space center throughout time. though you will probably only spend an hour or less here, it’s a wonderful place to learn about space flight.

Free Things to Do in Melbourne, FL

For those who want to get some fresh air, there are so many outdoorsy options in Melbourne! For cool winter and spring days, I have found all sorts of nature trails and places to paddle. These next eight ideas

9. Explore Turkey Creek on foot, bike, or board

Turkey Creek is a gorgeous park with so many trails to explore. Andrew and I love walking through the Creek Overlook Trail and around the Hammock trail. We have even seen manatees here before! It’s totally free to visit for a hike, mountain bike ride, or paddle if you own your own kayak or paddleboard. Expect to see manatees, turtles, alligators, birds and if you are lucky, dolphins.

manatees at turkey creek in palm bay

10. Discover Local Nature at Rockledge Gardens

A walk through the Rockledge Gardens is one of my favorite free Melbourne, Florida activities. In addition to seeing tropical plants in the garden center, there is also a farmers’ market daily with snacks and drinks. Be sure to check the schedule ahead of time for unique events like gardening seminars, art walks, yoga, and holiday parties that are free or less than $10 per person

11. Take a Hike through Viera Wetlands

Up in Viera, the wetlands are another biologically diverse spot worth exploring. The Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands is a 200-acre spot home to many birds, gators, and other creatures. It is free to enter and you can drive around or take a leisurely hike or a bike ride.

viera wetlands gator sighting

12. Find a Plant at Frida’s

Another cheap thing to do in Melbourne, Florida is to visit my favorite plant store. Frida’s has so many gorgeous plants to purchase and you can learn about how to grow them. Many are under $10 too! Though it’s not a free experience if you buy something, even just browsing can spark some creativity.

13. Explore the Jungle in Coconut Point Sanctuary

For a free place to explore, Coconut Point Sanctuary is an awesome spot to check out. This is a natural trail in Melbourne Beach that offers a glimpse of what this coastal island looks like in its native form. The trail is about a mile long, but provides all sorts of interesting sights like pelicans and saw palmetto.

coconut point sanctuary trail in melbourne beach

14. Take a Moonlight Stroll at Erna Nixon Park

Another park offering free Melbourne, Florida activities is Erna Nixon Park. This has an elevated boardwalk where you can stroll for free during the day and look for birds, tortoises, and plants. However, they also offer a moonlight stroll evening a few times per year. Be sure to mark your calendars for this, where you can visit at night and enjoy live music and telescopes to see the night sky for only $4 per person.

15. See Bioluminescence

I’ve talked a lot on the blog about how the Space Coast is one of the few places in the world you can experience bioluminescence. For optimal results, you should probably head up to Titusville to see it, but there are a few spots in Melbourne to find it too. If you have your own kayak or paddleboard, simply head to the intercoastal for a paddle on summer nights when there is no moon for the best chance to see it. I have Oars and paddles to be a great park to put your watercraft in for free and see the bioluminescence.

bk adventure Florida bioluminescence kayaking

16. Visit the Barrier Island Sanctuary

If you feel like learning about the local nature, the Barrier Island Sanctuary is an excellent and free place to do so. Here you will find exhibits about sea turtles, fish, sharks, and other creatures that make up the barrier island ecosystem. Though the museum will only take an hour or so to peruse, there are also nature trails and a pristine beach to enjoy while you are here.

Affordable Beach Things to Do

If you like going to the beach, there are so many unique and free ways to experience it in Melbourne, Florida! Most beaches offer free parking and from there you can come up with all sorts of beach activities to do for free. Here are some of my favorite beach experiences I have had without spending a dime!

17. Relax by the Ocean at Spessard Holland Beach

I love spending a day at the beach for an easy and relaxing day and Melbourne has plenty of options! Our favorite beach is Spessard Holland, where there is free parking and a food stand with snacks.

For more quiet and tranquil beaches, you can also head south to Coconut Point Park and Juan Ponce de Leon Landing beach. Both have free parking and plenty of space to spread out and relax.

melbourne beach day

18. Watch the Stars at Hightower Beach

Any beach with free parking will do, but we have had a great time star gazing at Hightower Beach. Come in the evening with a beach blanket on a clear night and see what stars you can see. Make sure to watch for shooting stars!

19. See Nesting Turtles on a Turtle Walk

Every summer, hundreds of turtles come to the beaches of Brevard County to lay their eggs. If you are here from June through August at night, you may get a chance to see them! The Sea Turtle Preservation Society hosts turtle walks where you can learn all about the turtles and get a few glimpses of them. These cost at least $20 per person and fill up fast, so you can also take your own walk along the beach at night and look for turtles. Make sure to abide by these rules for being a responsible turtle watcher before you do!

turtle sighting walk in melbourne beach florida

20. Go Fishing at Sebastian Inlet State Park

The Sebastian Inlet State Park is a beautiful spot just south of Melbourne with all sorts of ways to explore. You can wade in the inlet, check out the museum, or even camp here! If you want to go fishing somewhere in Melbourne, this is one of the best spots. There are two long jetties that are perfect for fishing or just admiring the views. It costs $8 per vehicle for up to 8 people, so you can visit for only $1 per person

21. Take Your Four-Legged Friend to Canova Dog Beach

If you have a dog, Canova Beach is the only dog beach in Melbourne, Florida and dogs have a blast running around. You can bring your dog here for free and enjoy the beach together. There are also a few local dog parks that also make for an entertaining and free experience, including the Pieloch Dog Park and the Satellite Beach Dog Park.

florida beach dog

22. Watch the Sunrise at the Beach

One bucket list experience that every Floridian needs to see is a sunrise from the east coast. You can do this for free here just by waking up early and driving to the beach! I recommend watching from Paradise Beach with a thermos full of coffee for the perfect morning.

23. Enjoy a Beach Picnic

For a picturesque meal by the water, pack a beach picnic and head to your favorite beach in Melbourne. I like making sandwiches or a little charcuterie board to enjoy while watching the waves, You have to eat anyways, so this is a scenic way to enjoy it without costing any more money!

florida beach picnic

24. Explore Canaveral National Seashore

If you want to visit a Space Coast beach like no other, it is worth taking the drive to Canaveral National Seashore. This is a protected area with a gorgeous, untouched beach and nature trails As it is a National Park site, it costs $20 per vehicle to enter. However, there are five no-fee days per year, and it is free if you have the national parks America the Beautiful pass. Though it costs a little more than other beaches to visit, the beauty of this one is unmatched!

Active Things to Do in Melbourne for Free

Another way to have fun without spending much money is by doing something active! There are so many exciting and free Melbourne, Florida activities that will get your adrenaline going. Between trying a new workout, playing a game, or going for a swim, here are my picks for active things to do on a budget.

25. Go for a Leisurely Bike Ride at Linear Park Trail

One of my favorite trails in Melbourne is the Linear Park trail in Suntree. This is a nice shady path ideal for walking or biking that is free to park at. The trail is 5.2 miles out and back on a boardwalk through the lush vegetation and wetlands. Though it is near the Brevard Zoo, the most exotic animals you will see are birds and gators. It still makes for a relaxing and scenic activity to enjoy any time of year.

linear trail melbourne florida

26. Take a Swing at Crane Creek Reserve Driving Range

There are lots of options for golfing on the Space Coast. Though many of the courses can be booked for less than $15 per game on GolfNow, going to the driving range is an even more affordable activity. Head to the Crane Creek Reserve Driving Range and hit 60 balls for only $7!

27. Paddle through Melbourne

For an adventurous experience, take a paddle through the mangroves! If you have a kayak, paddleboard, or canoe, you can paddle around Turkey Creek, Crane Creek, or the Intercoastal for free. If you don’t have anything to paddle with, see if a friend can lend you one, or ask Paddling Paradise if you can do a free trial or try a budget rental.

28. Do a Free 5K at a Brewery

Melbourne, Florida has lots of places to go for a free 5K run and some even offer free beer at the end! Both Hell ‘n Blazes and Intracoastal Brewing host free 5K’s on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. Pizza Gallery & Grill also offers a fun run on Monday nights and it comes with a free pizza on the first Monday of the month!

Hell 'n Blazes Brewing Co in Melbourne, FL

29. Try Geocaching

If you like scavenger hunts, geocaching is a free way to do your own anytime! Head to one of the many Brevard County parks on this list and see if you can find the listed geocache. It can be anything from a key to a sticker to even a little trinket! It’s more about the experience of finding something than the actual item and it is always a fun experience searching for it.

30. Play Disc Golf at Wickham Park

One last free thing to do in Melbourne, Florida is trying your hand at disc golf at Wickham Park. Here you can find a 23-hole course that is free to use. The goal is to get the frisbee in the basket with as few tries as possible, similar to golf itself. It’s a relaxing, yet challenging activity to try for free on a nice day!

31. Start off the Day Right with Live Sunrise Yoga on the Beach

For an extra peaceful yogi experience, head to Paradise beach Saturday’s at 8 AM for yoga on the beach. It costs $10 per person, but it’s worth it for this beautiful experience. You can also do free yoga at Wickham Park every Wednesday morning and at Ryckman Park every Tuesday and Thursday evening. Check out this page for more affordable yoga classes in Melbourne, Florida.

Yoga on the beach in Indialantic

Know Before You Go: Cheap or Free Melbourne, Florida Activities

I hope this guide helped you find some new and exciting things to do on a budget! This city has all sorts of affordable activities and I don’t buy into the town nickname of “Mel-boring”. Whether you are a local or visiting, here are some things to keep in mind when experiencing these cheap or free Melbourne, Florida activities.

  • Keep an eye on the weather when planning a date in Melbourne. Florida weather can change quickly, especially in the summer with storms popping up.
  • Parking is free at most places in Melbourne, with the exception of Downtown. Even here, you can usually find free parking unless there is a big event.
  • There is not a lot of nightlife here, besides Downtown Melbourne. It’s much more of a relaxing town! You can find live music at a lot of bars on weekends though.
  • If you are looking for a hotel, my favorite hotel is Hotel Melby. It is right in the center of downtown and close to all the best things to do in Melbourne, Florida
  • To find out some restaurant options to grab a bite before or after your activity, check out my guide to Melbourne, Florida restaurants! This has over twenty options for any budget.

What’s the best free thing you have done in Melbourne? Our go-to is a beach picnic, but we also still reminisce about a hike we had through Turkey Creek a few years ago! For more ideas for Melbourne, Florida activities, check out this guide for Romantic Things to Do and my list of Central Florida Day Trips.

free things to do in melbourne, florida