Most people associate Orlando with Disney World, but the city has so much more to offer. If you are headed to Orlando but want a break from the big attractions like Universal and Disney, there are plenty of local arts and culture venues to take in. Here are a few of the best:
SAK Comedy Lab
SAK Comedy Lab has been performing improv comedy in Orlando since 1991. The troupe performs most nights of the week in their Church Street theater. They are best known for their “Duel of Fools” shows, an improv comedy contest where two teams compete against each another to make the audience laugh the hardest. Comics from SAK have gone on to do national work, writing for shows that include 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, and The Office.
Locals would call The Social the most famous and intimate venue in Orlando. Bands from all over the country come here to play live for enthusiastic audiences, and you’ll have several to choose from throughout the week. Inside, you’ll find two full-service bars to sate your thirst during shows. On Sunday nights, DJ Frankie G takes over, playing bachata, salsa, and merengue. Parking is easy, with two city parking lots within a couple of blocks of the venue.
The Mennello Museum of American Art
Poised on the shore of Lake Formosa in Loch Haven Cultural Park, this museum is one of Orlando’s most charming art venues. At $5 per full-price ticket, it is also a welcome reprieve for your wallet from pricier area attractions. The Mennello Museum, owned and operated by the City of Orlando, houses the largest collection of work by American artist, Earl Cunningham (1893-977). The museum also offers special exhibitions, publications, and programs celebrating other traditional and contemporary American artists. This museum houses the largest public collection of art in Florida. It’s a great place to enjoy a bit of air conditioning if you are doing the Orlando Urban Trail on foot or by bike. You can also easily check out other Orlando cultural destinations from here, including the Orlando Science Center and the Orlando Museum of Art.
Mad Cow Theatre
The Mad Cow Theatre offers opportunities to see both modern and classic plays. With two theaters, there is always a great show to check out. The Mad Cow Theatre is also host to the Orlando Cabaret Festival. Held in late April or early May of each year, this festival features jazz and cabaret artists from all over the world.
In one of Florida’s top cultural capitals, you have the opportunity to take in art exhibits, music, live comedy, and more.
Are there any must-see art and culture hot spots we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!