Top Arts & Culture in Orlando for Adults
Orlando is the Theme Park Capital of the World, but we’re also an emerging leader when it comes to cultivating and promoting the arts. Live performances, musical concerts, engaging museums and fantastic festivals await adult visitors, including these highlights. Discover a different side of Orlando during your next visit.
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Build your next Orlando adventure around some of our best-known cultural celebrations. For the latest details, including dates for their next editions, refer to Visit Orlando’s Events Calendar.
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Taking over downtown Orlando’s historic Tinker Field in November, the world-famous Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) music festival features scores of the world's top dance music artists and plenty of festivities.
Held during Thanksgiving weekend, FusionFest event brings the world to Orlando with a cornucopia of global dishes, interactive experiences, and contests celebrating fashion, music, dance, short films and more, all designed to honor each person’s heritage while exploring how we influence each other and create our own unique identity. Admission is free.
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ZORA!® Festival Season
First presented in 1990, and named in honor of author Zora Neale Hurston, ZORA! Festival Season is a multi-disciplinary, intergenerational event composed of public talks, conferences, movie screenings, arts education programming, a dance party, and an Outdoor Festival of the Arts. The event takes place primarily in Eatonville, 10 miles north of Orlando, and throughout Orange County.
The stage is set for Broadway productions, uplifting dance, side-splitting comedy and more at performing arts venues throughout Orlando.
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Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
The state-of-the-art Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in the heart of downtown Orlando houses the intimate, 300-seat Pugh Theater; the 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater; and the acoustic, 1,700-seat Steinmetz Hall, which has an N1 sound rating and debuted in January 2022. The Dr. Phillips Center has hosted symphonies, stage shows, pop concerts and even comedians since its opening, with new performances coming throughout the year.
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See plays, concerts, movies and more at the Garden Theatre, located in Winter Garden, just west of our main tourism districts. Originally built in 1935 as a single-screen cinema, the venue is one of the key attractions on historic Plant Street, which is also home to several museums operated by the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation and other reasons to visit.
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Part of Orlando’s artistic landscape for more than four decades, Orlando Ballet performs exclusively at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando.
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Orlando Philharmonic seeks to be the wellspring of music in Central Florida. Performing at the new Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and The Plaza Live in the Milk District near downtown Orlando, the orchestra strives for artistic excellence and thrives on diversity in genre, in programming, in collaboration, in audiences and in the musicians themselves.
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Orlando Shakespeare Theater
Also known as Orlando Shakes, Orlando Shakespeare Theater doesn’t limit itself to productions of its namesake’s work, but it certainly excels at bringing the Bard to life. It’s located in Loch Haven Park between the Audubon Park Garden District and Mills 50 district near downtown Orlando.
The Winter Park Playhouse
Just off gorgeous Park Avenue in the upscale city of Winter Park, about 25 minutes north of our main tourism districts, The Winter Park Playhouse is an intimate, 123-seat theater that showcases unique, up-close-and-personal productions. They host a robust series of musicals and cabarets designed to entertain, uplift and inspire.
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CENTRAL FLORIDA COMMUNITY ARTS (CFCARTS)
Throughout the year, CFCArts’ Choir, Orchestra and Children & Youth Arts programs produce seasonal productions. Additionally, lessons, workshops and classes are available from their School of Performing Arts.
Explore local artists, legendary creators, compelling history and more at Orlando’s stellar lineup of museums and galleries.
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The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Located in Winter Park, The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art has the world’s most comprehensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s works including famous art glass, leaded-glass lamps, windows, jewelry, pottery and even paintings. It also houses Tiffany’s chapel interior from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, aka the Chicago World's Fair, as well as works by other late 19th- and early 20th-century American artists.
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Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida
For more than 30 years, the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida has provided unparalleled opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to visit, reflect and grow. In addition to a permanent exhibit that focuses on the Holocaust, the Center provides a full cultural season every year with films, lectures and rotating exhibits. It’s in Maitland, just north of Winter Park.
The Mennello Museum of American Art
Located on the banks of Lake Formosa in Loch Haven Park, just a short distance from downtown Orlando, The Mennello Museum of American Art has a permanent collection of work by acclaimed, self-taught American artist Earl Cunningham. It also presents curated exhibits, programs, educational initiatives and publications celebrating the work of other traditional and contemporary American artists.
Orlando Museum of Art
Operating since 1924, Orlando Museum of Art in Loch Haven Park hosts compelling collections and exhibits, including focuses on American art, African art, art of the ancient Americas, contemporary art and more. Each year, it presents 10 to 12 onsite and 13 off-site exhibitions, in addition to enrichment programs, lectures, classes and outreach services.
Orange County Regional History Center
In downtown Orlando, this restored, historic, 5-story county courthouse was built in 1927 and now showcases the vast collection of the Historical Society of Central Florida, Inc. Inside, Orange County Regional History Center explore three floors of dynamic permanent exhibitions covering 12,000 years of Central Florida history, from the region’s fascinating transition from Indian settlement, to a small town surrounded by citrus groves and cattle ranches, to today's tourist-centric community.
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Pulse Interim Memorial
Part of downtown Orlando’s SoDo District, the Pulse Interim Memorial serves as a beacon of hope for a future where every human can live their truth, while simultaneously honoring the 49 lives lost on June 12, 2016. It’s open year-round, and admission is free. A larger, permanent memorial is currently in development.
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Rollins Museum of Art
Part of Rollins College in Winter Park and offering free-admission, Rollins Museum of Art boasts more than 5,600 works of art ranging from the ancient to modern periods. It also has the Orlando area’s only sizable collection of European Old Masters. More of the museum’s treasures can be viewed at The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at The Alfond Inn.
Wells’Built Museum of African American History and Culture
Originally known as the Wells’Built Hotel, this historic venue in downtown Orlando’s Parramore district is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Today, it houses memorabilia of Orlando’s African American community, exhibits about the Civil Rights movement, and African art and artifacts.
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Winter Garden Heritage Foundation Museums
The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation operates three museums in its namesake city, about 30 minutes west of International Drive. The Heritage Museum showcases west Orange County’s rich history, while the History Research & Education Center offers an extensive archive dedicated to the area’s past. Finally, the Central Florida Railroad Museum celebrates the long history of rail travel in the region.
Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts
For more than a quarter-century, this Eatonville landmark has honored the works of its namesake author and provided gallery space for artists of African descent. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. The museum also produces the annual ZORA! Festival.
ALBIN POLASEK MUSEUM & SCULPTURE GARDENS
Once the home to its famed, namesake sculptor, this museum and its lush grounds keep Polasek’s work alive for new generations to discover. Additionally, limited-edition reproductions of the artist’s creations are available for purchase. The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens are in Winter Park.