If you’re thinking about making a trip with your family down to Orlando, but don’t know what else there is to do with your family besides visiting the mouse or spending all your precious hard-earned galleons down Diagon Alley, there’s no need to fret. Orlando may indeed be world-renowned for its spectacular theme parks and thrill-seeking attractions, but those just barely begin to scratch the surface. There’s plenty of things to do in Orlando besides theme parks.
While Florida’s Disney World and Universal Studio’s Harry Potter World may be what you think of in Central Florida, there’s much more fun to be had. From downtown Orlando to all across the city you will find family fun. There are kids museums, space and science museums to boat tours and even airboat tours. These are other many things to do in Orlando besides visiting one of its theme parks.
The Escape Game Orlando
If you have older children, or simply plan on bringing a few friends with you, The Escape Game Orlando is a neat place to check out. You’ll have one hour to escape every room and challenge while using your problem-solving skills and clever techniques along the way. This location is included with your Go Orlando Pass.
Winter Park Scenic Boat Tours
The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tours travels through three lakes for an hour-long pontoon boat ride. It takes place in a beautiful and peaceful setting, with plenty of palm trees and greenery, while you travel past private mansions, and may even spot an alligator resting on the shoreline at times.
Technically this is located on a Disney property, but not in a park that you need a ticket to access. It is in Disney Springs, which is a great place to visit in and of itself. No park entry necessary. No big rides. But lots to check out. And, our favorite experience here was The Void. At The VOID visitors don virtual reality gear and enter a hyper reality world of a Star Wars (or other) adventure. You will step into an immersive world disguised as Storm Troopers to embark on a rebel mission to capture Imperial intelligence. One of the most unique experiences at Disney World, no doubt. Make an appointment in advance to secure your spot. Children must be ages ten and over to participate.
Want to tell your friends that you had the opportunity to get a picture while standing next to Brad Pitt or Michael Jackson? Now you can. At Madame Tussauds, you’ll find just about every single one of your favorite stars and celebrities made into life-size wax figures. It’s a self-guided tour where you can take as many selfies for as long as you wish.
There are Madame Tussauds locations across the country. In fact, it also makes our list of fun things for kids to do in Las Vegas.
Gray Line Orlando Tours
If this is your first time visiting the Orlando area, the Gray Line Orlando Tours is one we’d especially recommend. You’ll take a boat cruise through Lake Eola while admiring the architecture as you head towards Winter Park and the town of Celebration. Once the ride is finished, head over to the shopping and dining district of Park Avenue that has something for everyone.
Sea Life Aquarium
Also located in Orlando, the Sea Life Aquarium allows your kids the opportunity to pet real sharks, rays, and sea turtles. The aquarium is home to some truly impressive sea creatures, where it also features underwater tunnels that you can walk through to marvel at them.
Have you ever had the opportunity to get a family picture along with several alligators in the backdrop? At Gatorland, your family will enjoy exciting exhibits and entertainment, have the chance to take a train ride around the park or head down one of their number of ziplines.
Kennedy Space Center
Do you have a future astronaut in the family? Even if you don’t, the Kennedy Space Center that’s just an hour east of Orlando, will be well worth the trip. There’s a number of real space rockets, out-of-this-world exhibits, flight simulators, and tours. If you’re there at the right time, you might even have the privilege to watch a real launch.
Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show
Do you enjoy a good laugh while your kids prefer magic? Now you can have both. If you’ve never been to a dinner show before, the Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show will be a great one to start with. You may even have the chance to be picked out of the crowd as a volunteer to help bring the magic to life. Your meal will include salad, pizza, a beverage, and dessert.
Orlando Science Center
The Orlando Science Center offers a variety of exhibits that will both educate and entertain. Littles can tinker, climb and splash at Kids Town. Dino Digs and Nature Works are both sure to keep everyone engaged with the prehistoric world of dinosaurs and animals from the diverse Florida ecosystem.Older kids will love The Hive, Kinetic Zone, the STEAM Gallery and Our Planet. Of course the one that would most engage the dad in our family is Pompeii.
Boggy Creek Airboat Adventure
Here you can take a wild ride in an airboat to discover the headwaters to the Florida Everglades, just south of Orlando. You will see all kinds of wildlife including Gators. Plus the kids can mine for gem stones. All around a fun experience.
If you have young kids, the Crayola Experience an excellent way to spend the day out of the heat. Located near the airport, here your kids can create with color. The can make their own crayons, make melted crayon art, take a scavenger hunt or mold Crayola clay into figures. There’s even an indoor playscape. Lots of fun for the littles!
Splash in Pool or Waterpark
Most of the resorts in Orlando have fun pools. Ours at The Fountains Orlando kept the kids occupied for hours. But of that’s not enough certainly check out one of the many water parks for splish splashin’ fun.
As you can see, there are a number of other fun family-friendly things to do in Orlando besides theme parks. If you and your family have visited Orlando before and enjoyed other destinations and attractions besides its theme parks, we’d love it if you’d be willing to share in the comments below.
Certainly many families want to visit Orlando for Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando. We did. But we were glad to also have the opportunity to return and experience some of the many other fun things to do in Orlando besides theme parks.
Insider Tip: While you may want to stay on property at Disney World or Universal Studios for Fast Pass perks, The Fountains on International Drive, a Bluegreen Vacations property, is really a fabulous place to have some space, an amazing pool and many things to do right on property. It is also a central location for all of the fun things to do in Orlando besides theme parks.