Plan your visit
The Orange County Regional History Center, housed in a historic courthouse in the heart of downtown Orlando, offers four floors of exhibits exploring 12,000 years of Central Florida’s rich heritage. A Smithsonian affiliate, the museum also offers visiting exhibitions and a wide range of programs for families, children, and adults.
Selections from the vast and varied collections of the Historical Society of Central Florida illustrate Central Florida’s fascinating past.Explore our past
As an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the History Center presents limited-run exhibitions of great depth and insight.On display now
An Evolving Community Resource
The Orange County Regional History Center is working to build an even better experience while we continue to recover from the pandemic’s considerable effects on our resources. We’re deep in the exploration stages of fully renovating and updating our current exhibitions and seeking ways to expand the History Center.
Much has changed since the History Center opened more than two decades ago. We are honored by our national awards, Smithsonian Affiliation, and accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, and have spent the past several years researching and growing our collection to better reflect the experience of our entire Central Florida community.
We also continue to offer more diverse programming and special exhibitions on topics we plan to include in our future visitor experience. This work takes thoughtful time and care, and we go forward with dedication to building strong relationships across the community and engaging in meaningful conversations. As always, we welcome your participation and encourage you to share your thoughts through our contact form.
Coming up: Lunch & Learns, Family Days, and more
Around the Museum Blog
- 01 AugRead more about Can’t Stop the Music
By Whitney Barrett, History Center Archivist From the Spring 2022 edition of Reflections From Central Florida Although you might not think of Orlando as a popular music destination, many of the great singers of jazz, blues, and gospel music passed through the city during its history. Big names such as Ray Charles,
- 20 JunRead more about Orlando’s Pioneering Drive-In Movie Theater
By Lesleyanne Drake Across the nation, there is one industry that appears to be flourishing during the pandemic: drive-in movie theaters. Orlando’s first drive-in movie theater opened on February 7, 1940, at 1001 South Orange Blossom Trail. Originally called “The Drive-In Theater” and later renamed the Orlando Drive-In, it was
- 23 MarRead more about Downtown Orlando’s Civil Rights Sit-Ins
On March 9, 1962, eleven Black students were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct for simply refusing to vacate a whites-only lunch counter during a peaceful sit-in demonstration at Stroud’s Rexall Drugstore on Orange Avenue and Church Street.
- 03 JanRead more about “I’m the Gay Pastor of the Gay Church”
Joy MCC is part of the Metropolitan Community Churches across America, congregations that actively promote acceptance and understanding around issues of sexuality, gender, and race, to name a few key initiatives.
What our visitors are saying about their experience
I want to thank the staff at the History Center for my daughter’s experience this summer [at camp]. Every staff member has been kind, talented and prepared – and helped nurture my daughter’s love of invention and creation. She deeply enjoyed the program. Thank you!Ximena Cordova Palma
I just have to tell you what a spectacular time our classes had today! The kids talked about it all afternoon, and all of our teachers raved about it! How early is too early to book for next year?Teacher Judy Lindquist, Andover Elementary School
The exhibits were interesting and well put together. I particularly enjoyed all the information about Florida’s citrus industry. Exhibits focusing on tourism were a close second favorite. Staff was helpful, and we enjoyed the optional audio tour.Halee Pearl
Great local museum! Took our daughter when she was 3 and she loved it. She asked to go back and at 5 she loved it even more! If you live in central Florida, or are visiting, you really need to check it out!Joanna Bond