Orlando is one of the world’s most visited family destinations.
Things to do in Orlando could keep you busy for weeks, but its famous theme parks are definitely a must.
While its illustrious theme parks may steal the limelight, when visiting Orlando there are an amazing amount of other sites, scenery and fun things to experience here.
With a vibrant and well-kept city centre and a climate that averages around 75° Fahrenheit, Orlando promises visitors all year round appeal for the entire family.
Things To Do In Orlando
1. Walt Disney World Resort, Magic Kingdom Theme Park
Walt Disney World Resort is seen as the largest of the major theme parks with four theme parks including Disney’s Hollywood studios. There are two water parks, a dining district, and many on-site resorts.
The Magic Kingdom theme park is definitely one of the ‘must see’ things to do in Orlando.
This amusement park is full of Orlando magic and was the first theme park to be opened at the resort.
Magic Kingdom park is especially good for for children of all ages and with so much family fun on offer it’s difficult to choose where to start.
Getting a first glimpse of Cinderella’s castle really does immerse you in the Disney world and seeing so many characters come to life from the big screen, with parades, shows, and rides, it really is one of the best things to do in Orlando..
Some of the main areas to be explored in this Walt Disney World theme park are: Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Main Street, U.S.A.
Address: Magic Kingdom Theme Park, 1180 Seven Seas Dr. Walt Disney World Resort, FL 32830.
2. Universal Orlando resort
There are three amazing theme parks here – Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay water parks.
There are a variety of ticket types you can buy that get you into one, two or all three theme parks and can be purchased for one, two, three, four or five days.
For extra Orlando magic there is the Universal Annual pass.
No Orlando trip would be complete without a visit to the Universal Studios adventure park. It has eight sections and there is an impressive arch at the entrance.
There are so many fun things to see and do, including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which for Harry Potter fans is a must as you step inside a world where magic is real.
This Wizarding World allows you to enjoy a multi-dimensional thrill ride, magical experiences, and much more.
In the Islands of Adventure theme park there is the Jurassic Park River Adventure. This starts as a very calm cruise before the boat is guided into a raptor enclosure. It then twists and turns, eventually leading to an impressive 85 foot drop with speeds of 50 mph.
Orlando’s theme parks have so many rides and experiences that they can’t all be described, however they are certainly worth the visit!
To get a bit more from your theme park experience there is a behind the scenes tour. These extra tours at Orlando theme parks teach you interesting facts about the parks making visits all the more fun.
Address: Universal Orlando resort theme parks, 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
3. Central Florida Zoo
The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens is a 116-acre zoo and botanical gardens located just north of Orlando, on the edge of Lake Monroe in Sanford.
The Zoo has a variety of animals, including some of the rarest and most endangered species on the planet. It is home to more than 350 animals representing over 100 species.
Apart from the zoo there are other fun things in this adventure park, such as the seminole aerial adventures.
This thrilling challenge for your body and mind offers both nature enthusiasts and challenge seekers the chance to enjoy thrills as you travel from tree to tree. For this exciting physical and mental challenge, you’ll use rope bridges, zips, suspended disks, and a variety of unique tools.
For the kids there’s Barnyard Buddies Children’s Zoo.
At the farm, children can interact with farm animals like alpacas, chickens, donkeys, goats, and llamas for a small extra fee and feed distinct species at this petting zoo. Adults are welcome to enjoy the petting zoo as well!
Address: Central Florida Zoo, 3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771
4. Winter Park
Winter Park is a city near Orlando. It’s known for its abundant outdoor spaces like leafy Central Park which is great for an afternoon walk or picnic.
Just one commuter rail stop north of Downtown Orlando, Winter Park is a pedestrian friendly area.
Park Ave, in Winter Park, is a hub for dining, retail, and exploring. Although small in size, it boasts unique eateries, splendid shopping, and artistic activities
Winter Park offers great cultural activities including the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. This museum has a vast collection of Louis Tiffany’s glass windows and other artworks.
There is also the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour which is less than five minutes walk from Park Ave. The tour is a one hour pontoon boat ride narrated by a knowledgeable guide.
Extremely popular with the locals, this public Winter Park gives you a break and some time in Orlando besides theme parks.
5. Icon Park
Located in the heart of Orlando’s International Drive, Icon Park is an entertainment complex and amusement park featuring fun and games for the whole family.
At Icon park there are over 40 restaurants, funky bars, boutique shops, and amusement park rides.
Icon park Orlando has the famous 400 foot tall Observation Wheel attraction and from the top of the wheel, you can see Walt Disney World, Universal studios Florida, and Orlando’s abundance of nature reserves and lakes.
There is also the Orlando StarFlyer Icon Park, which claims to be the world’s tallest swing ride attraction standing at 450 feet. Riders are double-seated with a friend or partner and secured with seat belts and harnesses for safety. (The record for the world’s tallest swing ride has now been taken by the Bollywood SkyFlyer in Dubai just 10 feet taller at 460 feet).
Icon Park is great for those looking for thrills and adventure.
Address: Icon Park, 8375 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
6. Kennedy Space Center
The Kennedy Space Center, located on Merritt Island in Florida, is the largest and most active spaceport in the world.
The center has been the launch site for every American manned space mission since 1968.
It is also currently responsible for processing and launching all US military satellites.
The center covers a total of 140 square miles, making it larger than the city of San Francisco.
It includes the launch pads used by the Space Shuttle and other rockets, as well as the Vehicle Assembly Building where spacecraft are prepared for launch.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers tours of the facility and allows visitors to see behind-the-scenes of America’s space program.
7. Florida Everglades
The Florida Everglades are a subtropical wetland with a freshwater circulation that begins in the Kissimmee River near Orlando.
The Everglades are protected because they have a unique ecosystem.
There are many ways to experience the Florida Everglades including specialized airboat tours from Orlando that are an excellent way to enjoy the native Florida wildlife.
The nearby cities of Kissimmee and St Cloud give good access to these wetlands, while some airboat tours also organize hotel pickup and drop off from Orlando.
The Boggy Creek airboat adventures provide various tours in the Everglades. During this airboat adventure, you’ll motor across the water and shoot between walls of tall grass as you go.
The best time to visit is in the dry season, that runs from early December to late April. At this time temperatures are pleasant, there are fewer mosquitoes, and there is a much higher possibility of wildlife spotting.
Address: Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures, 2001 E. Southport Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34746
8. Tibet Butler Nature Preserve
The Tibet Butler Nature Preserve is a county park located on the shore of Lake Butler, just a few miles outside of Walt Disney World, southeast of Orlando.
The area has 3.2 miles of hiking trails winding in 438 acres of natural wetlands, flatlands and the scrub ecosystems of Florida.
The preserve is suitable for the entire family. Some of the most popular loops in Central Florida include longleaf pine forest and scrub, Bayhead swamp and cypress-lined lakeshore, and river wilderness.
Entry is free and the preserve is open throughout the week, although a few trails can be flooded during the summer months.
Address: 8777 Winter Garden, Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32836
9. Lake Eola Park
If you need a break from theme parks during your Orlando vacation then a visit to Lake Eola Park is recommended.
The entire family can enjoy a picture-perfect sanctuary where you may stroll along the banks of a beautiful lake, rest in the shade of huge trees, and soak in the colors and scent of lush gardens.
Located in downtown Orlando, with a sidewalk that circles the lake 0.9 miles in length, you can rent a swan-shaped paddle boat or take in a concert, movie or a play at the Walt Disney Amphitheater.
As you enjoy a leisurely stroll you can marvel at the spectacular view of the Orlando skyline.
Definitely worth a visit when you need something else in Orlando besides theme parks.
10. Disney Springs
Disney Springs was previously known as Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village as the complex is bordered by Lake Buena Vista.
It has some great entertainment and dining options, and is free to enter for anyone. There is also free parking on site.
Disney Springs is a great place to walk around, sit and relax, do a little shopping and have a bite to eat as they have something for everyone.
There are also plenty of fun things to do such as a hot air balloon ride which is actually a 8-minute tethered adventure in the largest hand-painted helium balloon.
Kids can also have so much fun riding family favourites like the classic Marketplace Carousel and the Train Express for a small fee.
Another great adventure for the whole family is Splitsville that is a two-story bowling alley with gourmet food options and 2 sushi bars.
With so much to to see and do at Disney Springs it’s well worth a visit.
Address: Disney Springs, 1486 Buena Vista Dr, FL 32830
11. Hollywood Drive in Golf, Orlando
Hollywood Drive In Golf is Orlando’s mini-golf destination that has two eccentric miniature golf courses that use interactive elements and special effects.
There are a choice of two family friendly golf courses, ‘The Haunting of Ghostly Greens,’ that features graveyards and haunted houses, and ‘Invaders From Planet Putt,’ that features alien invaders and robots, both equally fun.
Each golf course has it’s own challenges for all abilities.
The golf course is open 7 days a week and can be booked online.
Located at the end of the moving walkway from the parking area at Universal Orlando CityWalk, it’s certainly one of the most interesting things to do in Orlando.
12. Rock Springs, Kelly Park
Kelly Park is a public park in Rock Springs, Wyoming, located near the center of the city.
The park covers an area of approximately 1,000 acres and includes a variety of features such as hiking trails, picnic areas, a playground, and a pond.
The park is named after John Kelly, one of the city’s early settlers. Kelly was born in Ireland in 1817 and immigrated to the United States in 1833. He eventually made his way to Wyoming, where he established a ranch near what is now Rock Springs.
In 1866, Kelly donated land to the city for use as a public park. The park has since been expanded and now includes several different trails for hiking and biking, a playground, and a pond. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, elk, and bighorn sheep.
Kelly Park is one of the most popular attractions in Rock Springs and provides residents with a place to enjoy the outdoors.
13. Orlando Science Center
The Orlando Science Center is an indoor, interactive science museum.
This Orlando museum has four floors of exciting exhibits, an amazing giant screen, traveling exhibits, labs and workshops, theaters, an observatory, and live shows.
A perfect day trip to learn and entertain, there’s no better place that combines family fun and knowledge all under one roof.
An ideal place to spend a day with or without children.
It’s advised that you should plan at least 3 hours at this Orlando museum as there is a lot to see and experiment with.
Address: Orlando Science Center, 777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803
Where is a good aquarium in Orlando?
The Sea life Orlando aquarium that is located on International Drive in the ICON park complex is very good, some of the exhibits include a 360° Ocean Tunnel, Jelly Wall, Indian Ocean exhibit, Feeding Frenzy and Coastal Rockpools. The Sea life Orlando aquarium is a one-of-a-kind experience will get you up close with some amazing underwater creatures.
What is the best month to visit Orlando Florida?
The best time to visit Orlando is from March to May, during that time of year you’ll find the most pleasant weather.
Does the the Blue Man Group still perform at the Universal Orlando resort?
Unfortunately the Blue Man Group announced they would be ending their residency.
Where is good for shopping in Orlando?
Pointe Orlando is an outdoor shopping center and Florida mall, located in Orlando. You can find it at 9101 International Drive, adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center.