Orlando is known for its endless sunshine and countless theme parks. And there’s plenty of both to be had. However, we’re going beyond the “Mouse” and the traditional theme parks and mixing it up a bit. There’s way more to do in and around Orlando than you may think. The city offers plenty of activities guaranteed to please everyone – from the nature lovers and history buffs to the water lovers and thrill seekers. So, we’ve put together a must-read list of 22 things to do with kids in Orlando!
- Florida is known for its sunshine year-round, with an average temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Central Florida’s weather, however, can sometimes be unpredictable. May through October is the rainy season, and you should expect rain showers just about every day. And during the winter months, it’s not uncommon to experience some wet, chilly weather.
- If you want to get around Orlando, the best route is either renting a car or taking a cab. There’s also the SunRail train network and the LYNX bus lines. Be sure to check with your hotel to see if they offer shuttles to major attractions or other spots around the city.
- If you’re expecting to spend some time on the beach, it’s important to know that the city of Orlando is landlocked. The closest beach is Cocoa Beach, which is an hour to the East. The next closest beach is an hour and a half away on the Western Gulf Coast. Lakes and ponds are typically off limits for swimming due to gators and unwanted microscopic creatures.
What to Pack
- With sunshine and warm weather being the norm most days of the year, you’ll want to pack accordingly. Bring light, protective clothing as well as sun and swim gear – hats, sunglasses, swimsuits, rash guards, and of course, lots of sunscreen.
- One of the most important things you can pack are reusable water bottles to keep you and your family hydrated. Also, bottled water can get pretty pricey, so you’ll be thankful to have a water bottle to fill up wherever you may be.
- If you’re visiting during the rainy season, pack wet-weather gear including umbrellas, ponchos, and light raincoats.
- The hot and humid climate make the perfect environment for bugs, especially during the summer months. Many of these pests bite and sting, so plan ahead by packing bug repellent and hydrocortisone cream.
3 Must-Stay Orlando Hotels
There are so many places to stay in Orlando, making it difficult to choose. We’ve made it easier with a list of three of our favorite hotels.
- Caribe Royale Orlando – This resort is truly an escape. With a focus on vacation living, they offer two-bedroom villas and spacious suites. Kids will love splashing in the pool which features waterfalls and a waterslide. Grown-ups will love their 5 unique dining experiences.
- Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa – This hotel is super family focused. The whole family can stay in one of their condo-style suites featuring full kitchens. Kids will be amazed at the Pirate Plunge Pool featuring a gigantic pirate ship. They can visit the outdoor playground or explore the game room. The spa even offers princess and pirate makeovers for the kids!
- Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort – The hotel has a variety of rooms and suites to fit any size family. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast before you start your day. Relax at their incredible outdoor pool, grab a meal at one of their two restaurants, or schedule some pampering at the spa.
22 Things To Do with Kids in Orlando
- Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex – There is so much to see and do for space lovers of all ages. Get up close to the Space Shuttle Atlantis, have an encounter with an astronaut, or explore hands-on exhibits. If you’re lucky, you’ll be there to catch a real rocket launch!
- Blue Spring State Park – The crystal-clear waters at this historic park are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and even scuba diving. You can go hiking, have a picnic, rent a canoe or kayak, or go on a riverboat cruise. You may also have an encounter with a manatee!
- Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf – This pirate-themed mini-golf course gives you the chance to explore waterfalls, sunken ships, pirate dungeons, and lush vegetation while you play. There are three different courses that are designed to entertain kids and adults alike.
- iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving – Soar high at this indoor skydiving center. Your instructor will show you the ropes and help you learn to fly! Kids as young as three can take part in this one-of-a-kind experience.
- Andretti Indoor Karting & Games – Race to the finish at his indoor family fun center that features go-karts, laser tag, bowling, virtual reality games, and racing simulators. It’s a great place to hang out on a hot day. They also offer an on-site restaurant with delicious food and drinks.
- The Escape Game Orlando – There are plenty of twists, turns, and surprises to be had for any adventurer. Find and solve clues and overcome challenges to help you escape and complete your mission. This experience is best for older kids and adults.
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not – With over 10,000 square feet of exhibits that will amaze and entertain, this museum is fun for the whole family. Enjoy animal oddities, marvelous miniatures, and plenty of strange attractions.
- Gatorland – Known as the alligator capital of the world, this spot has alligators and crocodiles galore. You can also explore an aviary, petting zoo, ride the zipline, go on an off-road adventure, or enjoy one of their shows.
- Dinosaur World – Featuring more than 150 life-sized dinosaur sculptures, this spot is the ultimate place for dinosaur lovers. Explore interactive exhibits or the dinosaur-themed playground, go on a fossil dig, or visit their massive gift shop.
- Nona Adventure Park – If you’re looking for an outdoor water adventure, this is the place for you. The entire park floats on top of Adventure Lake. Race along the inflatable obstacle course, where you can run, jump, slide, and splash. You can also wakeboard or stay on land to try the climbing tower and ropes course.
- Spirit of the Swamp Airboat Rides – Take an airboat tour through Central Florida’s swamps and marshes. Spot gators and other incredible wildlife and enjoy beautiful scenery.
- Capone’s Dinner and Show – Immerse yourself in a world of mobsters, dames, and prohibition. Unique decor, costumes, and characters will transport you back in time during this hysterical dinner and show. Guests can dress the part by pre-ordering accessories to wear.
- The World of Chocolate – Learn where chocolate comes from and taste chocolates from all over the world on a guided tour. Explore models of famous landmarks made of chocolate or dive into some extraordinary chocolate treats at their cafe.
- Wekiwa Springs State Park – With over 7,000 acres, this park features plenty of diverse plants and wildlife. You can swim, canoe, hike, or even camp. History buffs will love getting a glimpse of Native American and pre-Civil War history.
- SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology – With over 800 specimens and over 40 exhibits, this museum gives you the chance to explore the skeleton in a whole new way. Explore bones of different species including reptiles, primates, birds, carnivores, and local wildlife.
- WonderWorks – This place combines education and entertainment with everything from art and weather to sound and space. Challenge yourself on the ropes course, play a game of laser tag, or check out the Magic Comedy dinner show.
- Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour – Glide through pristine waters on this chain of lakes and two man made canals while you enjoy lush landscapes and local wildlife. You’ll also have breathtaking views of over-the-tops homes and estates on the shoreline.
- Slingshot – This attraction is not for the faint of heart and is best for adults and older children. Riders are catapulted over 400 feet into the air going 100 mph. Experience weightlessness before you free fall back to the ground.
- Kelly Park/Rock Springs – A free-flowing natural spring creates the perfect spot for swimming, tubing, or floating. See turtles and fish while you cool off in the clear water or take a hike on the walking path.
- Orlando Circus School – Get out of your comfort zone and take a class at this incredible circus school. Lessons include the trampoline, aerial silks and hoops, and of course the flying trapeze!
- Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens – Nestled inside a protected natural wetland, this zoo features animals from around the world. The zoo offers activities and events year-round including night hikes and up close encounters with animals. You can also explore beautifully maintained botanical gardens.
- Orlando Balloon Rides – Take an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over beautiful Central Florida. This experience is for those ages 7 and up and gives you the opportunity to capture photos of spectacular scenery and landscapes.
Be sure to save this guide when it comes time to plan your family’s trip to Orlando!
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