42 THINGS TO DO IN ORLANDO WITH KIDS (BESIDES THE THEME PARKS)

Orlando, Florida is known for its amazing theme parks — but it has so much more than that!

Although the theme parks are amazing, Orlando is filled with other family-friendly fun. The downtown area is filled with activities that are perfect for families. Visit the neighborhood parks, take a trip to the beach, eat dinner with pirates, see the aquarium, or visit the amazing museums that everyone in the whole family will love.

Orlando is the perfect place for an amazing family vacation. Ready to get started? Here are 42 things to do in Orlando with kids that we know you and your family are going to love!

42 THINGS TO DO IN ORLANDO WITH KIDS (BESIDES THE THEME PARKS)

ZIP LINE AT GATORLAND

Looking for an exciting outdoor adventure? Look no further than the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line at Gatorland in Florida! This thrilling zip line experience will take you on a journey along 1,200 feet of high-flying, heart-pounding fun from some of the best zip line towers in the world.

Standing over seven stories tall, these towers offer incredible views from high above the treetops – and you’ll even get to soar over some of the park’s star attractions, like Cuban and Nile crocodiles, before flying over the Alligator Breeding Marsh, complete with 130 giant alligators below!

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just looking for a unique way to explore the great outdoors, the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line at Gatorland is sure to give you an experience you’ll never forget.

LAKE EOLA SWAN BOAT TOUR

Are you looking for something fun and unique to do in Orlando? Why not rent a swan boat at Lake Eola! You don’t need a reservation; you can just walk up during the hours of operation and snag a boat from the boat concessions.

This is a great activity for couples or groups of friends looking for something fun and different to do in Orlando.

MADAME TUSSAUDS ORLANDO

Get up close and personal with your favorite celebrities at Madame Tussauds Orlando. From Taylor Swift to Neymar, you can strike a pose with them all.

Make your own wax hand to take home, and fly back through history to meet our greatest leaders. Save the world with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. And don’t forget to take the ultimate selfie while you’re here!

MEDIEVAL TIMES

If you’re looking to travel back in time to the era of castles and princesses, there’s no better place to do it than at Medieval Times.

At Medieval Times, you’ll be transported back to a time of knights and chivalry as you watch an exciting tournament unfold before your eyes. You’ll cheer on your favorite knight as they compete in thrilling jousting matches and sword fights, and you’ll be treated to a delicious four-course meal fit for royalty.

With its unique combination of history, excitement, and great food, Medieval Times is the perfect place to spend an evening with family and friends. 

PANCAKES AT SUGAR MILL RESTAURANT

There’s nothing quite like starting your day with a delicious stack of pancakes. And when those pancakes are from Sugar Mill Restaurant, you know they’re going to be good. This beloved Old Florida establishment has one very unique feature…YOU are the star line cook. 

Every table comes equipped with its own commercial grade griddle for you to create your own pancakes. You’re provided with a choice of homemade buttermilk or stone-ground batter. From there, you’ll flip your own flapjacks!

Once they are looking golden, you can choose from a variety of toppings, like fresh berries and whipped cream to chocolate chips and maple syrup. So come on down to Sugar Mill Restaurant and enjoy a delicious breakfast made just the way you like it.

INDOOR SKYDIVING AT IFLY

Soar like a bird and experience the freedom of flight at iFLY Orlando. The indoor skydiving facility allows you to enjoy all the thrills of skydiving without having to jump out of an actual airplane! 

iFLY has a  vertical wind tunnel that creates a wall-to-wall cushion of air on which flyers can safely float. There is no parachute, no jumping, and nothing attaching you to planet Earth.

It’s safe for kids, challenging for adults, and realistic for skydivers. They provide all the gear, and a personal instructor will guide you through your flight. This is one activity that’s especially popular with older kids.

WEEKI WACHEE SPRINGS

Weeki Wachee Springs is one of Florida’s most unique roadside attractions. This legendary enchanted spring is the only one of its kind in the world and has been dazzling visitors with its beautiful, mesmerizing mermaid performers since 1947.

The park also offers kayak rentals, paddling adventures, and riverboat cruises to explore the stunning underwater world for yourself. And don’t forget to visit Buccaneer Bay, Florida’s only spring-fed waterpark! With its sandy white beach, swimming area, slides, and more, it’s the perfect place to cool off on a hot day.

So whether you’re looking for a fun-filled day of family adventure, or a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Weeki Wachee Springs is sure to enchant you.

THE WHEEL AT ICON PARK

If you’re looking for an unforgettable way to experience Orlando, look no further than The Wheel at ICON Park. This 400-foot tall observation wheel offers breathtaking views of the cityscape that are sure to leave you in awe. And with air-conditioning and stability control in every capsule, you can rest assured that you’ll be comfortable throughout the entire ride.

Not to mention, The Wheel is also equipped with 64,000 color-changing LEDs that are used for stunning light shows in the evening. This is one of the absolute best things to do in Orlando with kids, and they’re sure to love it!

ORLANDO REPERTORY THEATRE

The Orlando Repertory Theatre is a great place to see amazing plays featuring Orlando’s youngest actors!

The family-friendly theatre is located in downtown Orlando, and is within walking distance of many restaurants and bars. In addition to shows, they offer kids’ classes and workshops.

Their shows are amazing, making the Orlando Rep a must-visit.

SHOWCASE OF CITRUS

Visiting the Showcase of Citrus is a fun and educational experience for the whole family. You can pick your own citrus, take a monster truck tour, mine for gems, or just enjoy a picnic in the beautiful setting. There is something for everyone to enjoy at this unique attraction.

The Showcase of Citrus is located on a 2,500-acre estate in Florida, and is home to over 50 varieties of citrus trees. The family-owned and operated business has been welcoming visitors since 1989.

LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK

Looking for a glamping destination that offers stunning natural scenery and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy? Then look no further than Lake Louisa State Park in Florida.

This park is home to 11 distinct plant communities and is a great place for birdwatching, with bald eagles and ospreys often spotted in the area. You can also go canoeing, kayaking, or paddle boarding on one of the park’s three major lakes, or explore the 7 miles of trails by bike.

When it comes to accommodations, Lake Louisa State Park offers glamping at its finest. You can choose to stay in a beautifully appointed luxury tent complete with a queen-size bed, or go for something a little more rustic and stay in a cozy eco-tent. Whichever option you choose, you’re sure to have an unforgettable glamping experience at this idyllic state park.

SEALIFE ORLANDO AQUARIUM

SEA LIFE Orlando takes you on a journey beneath the waves, where you can come face-to-fin with more than 5,000 creatures, including sharks, seahorses, stingrays, and much more.

This world-class aquarium is home to Florida’s only 360-degree ocean tunnel, providing an immersive experience as you walk underneath the waves. Along the way, you’ll see rescued sea turtles, touch a sticky anemone, and even hand-feed some of the friendly fish.

With over nine different exhibits to explore, SEA LIFE Orlando is the perfect place for a family day out or a fun date night. And best of all, no flippers required!

CITRUS TOWER

The Citrus Tower is one of Orlando’s first attractions, built in 1956. The tower stands at the height of 226 feet, with the highest antenna pier reaching 500 feet above sea level. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Central Florida from the glass-enclosed observation deck.

The Citrus Tower offers stunning views of the surrounding 8-county area, as well as the delightful rolling Florida hills. On a clear day, you can even see as far as Cape Canaveral!

TITANIC EXPEDITION

When visiting the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, you step back in time to April 1912, when the “Ship of Dreams” set out on its maiden voyage. Upon entering, you will receive a replica boarding pass and assume the role of a  passenger. You will chronologically follow their individual journey through Titanic. 

The Exhibition is home to over 300 authentic Titanic artifacts and historical items, as well as complete recreations of some of the most famous rooms aboard the vessel. 

You’ll have the opportunity to visit iconic spots such as the Grand Staircase, First Class Parolo, and more. You’ll even step out onto the Promenade Deck (think Leo DiCaprio) and feel the chill of the Atlantic air. 

The Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is a moving and unforgettable experience that brings the history of the Titanic to life. Visitors of all ages will be captivated by these exhibits and learn about this iconic ship.

GIRAFFE RANCH

If you’re looking for an up-close and personal experience with some of the world’s most fascinating animals, look no further than Giraffe Ranch. This working ranch is home to a variety of exotic species, including giraffes, hippos, rhinos, and more.

During your visit, you’ll have the opportunity to feed the giraffes, ride a camel or Segway around the property, and learn all about the ranch’s animal residents from an expert guide. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!

PIRATE’S DINNER ADVENTURE

Orlando’s Pirate’s Dinner Adventure is one of the most unique and thrilling dinner shows anywhere! Guests have the opportunity to watch as Captain Sebastian the Black leads his crew of renegades in a battle against an angry sea dragon within a 300,000-gallon indoor lagoon.

The show features breathtaking feats of aerial agility and spectacular musical talent, making it a must-see for any Orlando visitor.

In addition, guests have the chance to play an actual role in each show, making it an interactive and truly unforgettable experience. You will be captivated by sword fights, songs, sea monsters, and a captain’s feast. 

KAYAK SHINGLE CREEK

If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks, look no further than kayaking at Shingle Creek Regional Park.

Located along the busy Disney tourist corridor in Kissimmee, this paddling trail is one of the prettiest in Florida. You’ll kayak through a beautiful cypress forest, spot alligators and turtles, and see a myriad of water birds. It’s a great way to experience the “real” Florida.

TREE TREK ADVENTURE PARK

Looking for a fun and thrilling adventure? Look no further than Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park! This aerial obstacle course is set high up in the trees, providing an exhilarating and unique experience like no other.

Swing on Tarzan ropes, climb ladders 50-feet up, leap into hanging nets, and navigate swinging logs – there’s something for everyone at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park.

And for those who are looking for an extra thrill, soar through the trees on giant zip lines! Whether you’re visiting Orlando with family, friends, or on your own, make sure to add Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park to your list of must-do activities.

TAKE THE I-RIDE TROLLEY

By using the IRide Trolley service, you can sit back and enjoy an easy ride up and down International Drive. The trolley is cost-effective, takes the hassles of parking and driving in busy areas out of your trip, and allows you to cruise the Drive in style!

The IRide Trolley is the exclusive, convenient, and affordable transportation to hundreds of exciting destinations within the International Drive Resort Area.

RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT ODDITORIUM

Have you ever wanted to see a real-life Florida sinkhole? Well, at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium near Orlando’s Discovery Cove, you can! This 10,000 square foot exhibit features 16 different galleries with hundreds of amazing and unbelievable displays.

From interactive experiences to hair-raising artifacts, there is something for everyone at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium.

THE WORLD OF CHOCOLATE MUSEUM

The World of Chocolate Museum is a unique and interactive experience that takes you on a journey through the history and origins of chocolate. You’ll learn about the different types of cacao, the process of making chocolate, and taste some of the finest chocolates from around the world. The museum also features 25 solid chocolate sculptures of iconic landmarks, making it a truly unique and memorable experience.

After visiting the museum, take a seat at the Café to relax and refuel after exploring all the museum has to offer. They serve a variety of chocolate-themed dishes, as well as a selection of coffees and sandwiches. And, of course, they have a wide selection of chocolate desserts to choose from.

FUN SPOT AMERICA

If you’re looking for a fun day out with the family in Orlando, look no further than Fun Spot America! With a variety of rides and games for both kids and adults, there’s something for everyone at Fun Spot.

From classic rides like bumper cars to the unique U.S. patented multi-level go-kart tracks, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. And for those looking for a thrill, be sure to check out the wooden coaster – the only one of its kind in Orlando!

DISCOVERY COVE

Discovery Cove is a one-of-a-kind, all-inclusive experience where you can swim with dolphins, rays, and exotic fish, hand-feed birds in an aviary, and relax on pristine beaches.

There are a variety of activities appropriate for all ages at Discovery Cove. Children of all ages can enjoy Explorer’s Aviary, the Grand Reef, Wind-Away River, Serenity Bay, and all the pristine beach areas.

SWIM AT WEKIWA SPRING

The Wekiwa Springs water is crystal clear and refreshing, with a temperature of 72 degrees year-round. The spring is surrounded by a natural open setting, perfect for setting up a picnic and making an entire day trip!

The swimming area is over half an acre and reaches an average depth of four feet – making it an ideal swim spot for families with children.

Whether you are looking to take a dip in the refreshing water or just enjoy the scenic surroundings, Wekiwa Springs is the perfect place to spend a day in nature.

ORLANDO CIRCUS SCHOOL

The Orlando Circus School is a great place to learn about the circus arts. The school offers classes in acrobatics, aerial arts, trampolining, trapeze, and more.

The school also has a performance troupe that performs at local festivals and events. The Orlando Circus School is a great place to learn about the circus arts and to see some amazing performances.

U-PICK STRAWBERRIES

Looking for a fun and delicious activity to do with the family? Head to one of these local farms to pick your own strawberries! You’ll love getting to experience the Florida farm life, and your kids will have a blast filling up their baskets with fresh berries:

  • Atwood Family Farms
  • Southern Hill Farms
  • Mick Farms
  • Bekemeyer Family Farm
  • and more!

BOGGY CREEK AIRBOAT ADVENTURE

Boggy Creek Airboat Adventure is one of the top airboat attractions around Orlando. Located just minutes from all the major theme parks, the airboat tour takes you into the headwaters of the Florida Everglades.

Your adventure begins as you board your airboat and glide across the water. Keep your eyes peeled for alligators, turtles, and a variety of birds as you explore the wetlands.

As you cruise through the cypress trees, you will feel like you are in another world.

MARGARITAVILLE RESORT ISLAND H20 WATERPARK

Whether you’re looking to cool off on a hot day or just want to have some fun in the sun, Margaritaville Resort Island H2O Waterpark is the perfect place for you! With over 20 different experiences, including slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you’re looking to make a splash, be sure to check out the thrilling slides, like the Hashtag Heights or the Profile Plunge. For a more relaxed experience, float down the lazy river or lounge in the wave pool.

Kids will love playing in the children’s area, which features kid-friendly slides and a splash pad.

BEAR CREEK NATURE TRAIL

The Bear Creek Nature Trail is a hidden gem in the Orlando area. This nature trail is located in the suburb of Winter Springs, and it provides a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The path is just over a mile long, and it winds its way through a beautiful hammock of cypress, oak, and palm trees. The trail also offers stunning views of a nearby creek. This is a great place to come for a peaceful walk in nature, and it’s also a great place to take your dog for a nice hike.

CELEBRATION, FLORIDA

Celebration, Florida is a charming small town with tree-lined streets and captivating architecture. The downtown area is compact and walkable, making it a great place to explore with kids.

There is a diverse mix of shops and restaurants and a variety of housing options, from grand estate-style homes to more modest apartments.

Celebration is also home to many parks and playgrounds, making it an excellent destination for families. It was originally designed by the creators of the Walt Disney Company, who designed the area in historical small-town America fashion. 

CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE

Crayola Experience is a fun-filled place where families can come and spend 3-4 hours exploring 27 different hands-on attractions.

These attractions include the opportunity to star in your own coloring page, name and wrap your own Crayola crayon, embark on a 4-D coloring adventure, and learn how crayons are made in a live manufacturing show. There is also a café on site serving light meals and snacks.

Crayola Experience is the perfect place to explore your creativity and have lots of fun!

TUBING AT KELLY PARK

The best way to enjoy the natural lazy river (known as Rock Springs) at Kelly Park is by tubing down it! You can rent tubes from the park or bring your own. There are life jackets available for rent as well, so even non-swimmers can enjoy this activity.

Tubing is a great activity for people of all ages. It’s a relaxing way to spend some time in nature and take in the scenery. There are also a few small rapids along the way to add a bit of excitement.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even bring along a cooler and some snacks or drinks to enjoy while you float down the river. The water stays at a consistent 68 degrees – so it’s never too cold to tube!

WINTER PARK SCENIC BOAT TOUR

The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour is a must-do activity when visiting the greater Orlando area. This tour takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Central Florida, and you’re sure to see plenty of wildlife along the way.

The tour begins in the historic downtown area of Winter Park. You’ll board your vessel and be seated on one of the comfortable benches. The tour guide will then take you on a leisurely cruise through the scenic canals of Winter Park.

You’ll see plenty of magnificent homes and estates along the shores, as well as some of the area’s famous landmarks. You’re likely to see some of the local wildlife, including alligators, cranes, and waterfowl. The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour is a great way to experience the beauty of Central Florida!

CENTRAL FLORIDA ZOO & BOTANICAL GARDEN

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Garden is a great place to take the kids for a day of fun and learning. With more than 350 animals representing over 100 different species, there is plenty to see and learn about.

The zoo also has a number of interactive exhibits, making it a great place to spend the day.

ORLANDO SCIENCE CENTER

The Orlando Science Center is a great place to take kids to learn about science and technology. Many interactive exhibits allow children to explore and experiment.

The staff is also very knowledgeable and can answer any questions you may have.

LEU GARDENS

Leu Gardens is a 50-acre botanical lovers’ heaven perfect for a day trip. The gardens feature beautiful flowers and plants and a historic home gifted to the city by Mr. Harry P. Leu and his wife, Mary Jane.

Visitors to the gardens can take a self-guided tour or participate in one of the many educational programs offered. 

WONDERWORKS DINNER SHOW

If you’re looking for an entertaining and interactive dinner show in Orlando, look no further than WonderWorks! Guests of all ages will enjoy this hilariously funny dinner show, featuring audience participation and non-stop laughter.

Plus, the dinner includes unlimited fresh hand-tossed cheese and pepperoni pizza, salad, beer, wine, soda and dessert.

AQUAPARK 

You’re guaranteed a fun-filled day out with the kids at AquaPark! This 10,000-square-foot inflatable water park playground is perfect for kids of all ages. The park offers three different skill levels of wet obstacle courses, including a trampoline, a massive climbing tower, and rodeo slide!

There is also the option to try out water sports like waterskiing, tubing, and even wakeboarding! Come check out this unique water park on your next Orlando trip!

OLD TOWN

There’s something truly magical about Old Town. This 18-acre walking district transports visitors back in time with its historical architecture and distinctive storefronts. It’s the perfect place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some old-fashioned fun.

Old Town is home to over 70 unique shops, restaurants, bars, rides, and attractions. Visitors can enjoy a variety of fun activities, including visiting an amusement park to ride the roller coaster, taking a spin on the carousel, playing in the arcade, or solving an Escape Room escape game.

There’s also live music every night, making Old Town the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day of exploring the greater Orlando area.

BIKE WEST ORANGE TRAIL

The West Orange Trail is a 22-mile long biking route located in Central Florida, just northwest of downtown Orlando. The trail is one of the most popular in Florida due to its proximity to the city, and its reputation as an incredible biking experience.

Riders on the West Orange Trail get the chance to ride through some of the coolest downtowns around, including Winter Garden. Connecting small communities and suburban neighborhoods, the West Orange Trail is a must-do for any avid biker. 

MUSEUM OF ILLUSIONS

If you’re looking for a truly unique and unforgettable experience, look no further than the Museum of Illusions. This one-of-a-kind museum is dedicated to exploring the world of optical illusions and perceptual puzzles.

With over 50 different exhibits, the Museum of Illusions is sure to dazzle and amaze visitors of all ages. From seemingly impossible objects to mind-bending optical illusions, there’s something for everyone at this one-of-a-kind museum.

And if you’re looking to test your own perception and sense of balance, be sure to try out the Museum’s “Reverse Room,” which is sure to leave you feeling disoriented and dizzy!

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER

Located about 45 minutes from Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center is a must-visit with kids when you’re in the area. This center is where you can see memorabilia from the United States space program, along with historic spacecraft.

This Space Coast facility offers visitors the chance to experience a space shuttle launch, take a closer look at the space shuttle Atlantic, and lots more. You can also visit the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Cape Canaveral.

The Gift Shop is another add-on attraction of the center, where you can buy mementos to take back from your visit here.

JUST CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT THE THEME PARKS?

I know, some people just can’t even fathom heading to Orlando with the kids in tow, and skipping a theme park (or two!) If that’s you, then let us help with a few posts from our travels (and friends’ travels) over the years.

MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA

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