If you are planning a trip to Central Florida, you probably already know there are so many things to do in Orlando with kids! It is a mecca of thematic entertainment and activities.
Of course, there are epic theme parks like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, and more. And, while those are very much worth doing when visiting Orlando, that’s not all there is to do!
There are quite a lot of things you may not know about, great indoor activities in Orlando, and excellent things to do in Orlando with toddlers.
As a former resident, with family still living in Central Florida, I’m very familiar with the area. In fact, having visited there year after year, we discovered a range of fun things to do in Orlando with kids besides Disney (although I do need my time with the mouse.)
My years of visiting this area have helped me know the best things to do in Orlando with kids. I want your vacation to be epic, so check out this list of 50 fun things that will keep your family amused and make a vacation you’ll remember for years to come.
This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you should you make a purchase using this link. See my disclaimer. Featured image photo credit: © Taeman1980 | Megapixl.com
The Best Things To Do In Orlando With Kids
While the theme parks are the most popular attractions in Orlando, not everyone wants to deal with the crowds at theme parks. And, even if you are planning on a Walt Disney World Resort or Universal Theme Park vacation, it is always good to take off days.
There are plenty of other Orlando attractions for kids that they will love just as much. Here are some of my favorites.
Best Things To Do In Orlando With Toddlers
While nearly all of the theme parks in Orlando have toddler-friendly options, this section is about the best things to do in Orlando with kids besides Disney and other theme parks. See the theme park section below for information about which theme parks are the best for toddlers.
1. Visit Celebration, Florida, and Tour the “Disney Town”
Celebration, Florida is the “town built by Disney.” While it was originally built by The Walt Disney Company and opened in 1996, only parts of it are still managed by Disney.
Its town center is now owned by a different company. And though it is a real town, built on Walt’s vision for a town similar to his hometown, many people love to visit it for its connection to Disney and seasonal events.
Known for its unique home styles and hometown feel, it is a great place to walk around the lake, enjoy lunch, and do some bike riding around Celebration. You can rent bikes (they have small bikes too) from Celebration Bike Rental and ride through the quiet streets or along the scenic waterfront and winding trails.
And, toddlers love to splash around in the town fountain. It is definitely one of the best things to do in Orlando with kids.
2. Sealife Orlando Aquarium
Toddlers love aquariums. Visiting the Sealife Orlando Aquarium is one of the best indoor activities Orlando has to offer, and it’s toddler-friendly.
Venture into an underwater world where you can see jellyfish and a sea turtle. You can even touch some of the sea life, like the starfish. Exploring underwater has never been so fun.
3. Medieval Times Dinner Theater
The Medieval Times Dinner Theater is the perfect activity to take in at night or if it’s raining outside. This activity is a fun thing to do in Orlando with toddlers, and for the whole family, as you watch knights battle each other on horses while you eat your meal.
My kids loved routing for our knight, who won the show! It’s definitely worth checking out, and you may even get chosen to be a part of the show.
4. Monster Truck Ride at Showcase of Citrus
This activity at Showcase of Citrus is one of the best things to do in Orlando with toddlers, and in fact, was a favorite of my kids! Take a 4×4 tour through a working citrus and cattle ranch in the world's largest monster truck! See Watusi Water Buffalo, zebra, and more.
You even get to feed the wildlife on the tour (my toddlers loved to throw the oranges to the animals.) It’s the perfect laid-back activity that even toddlers will love.
5. Feed Giraffes at Brevard County Zoo
Just under an hour's drive from Orlando is a wonderful family zoo. The Brevard County Zoo is a great outing for the whole family. See 900 different animals from all over the world, including kangaroos and some you’ve probably never seen before.
At the Expedition Africa giraffe platform, you can see animals such as Impalas, caribou storks, White Rhinos, Rock Hyraxes, Grevy’s Zebras, giraffes, and more. Plus, you get to feed the giraffes!
There is also a toddler play area and splash area, and a train ride toddlers will love! This is definitely one of the best things to do in Orlando with toddlers.
6. Lake Louisa Park
If you are looking for a quiet reprieve from the business of Orlando, Lake Louisa is a beautiful state park located only 30 minutes away. Visitation is limited, so make sure you check for the latest hours of operation and restricted activities.
At only $5 per car, this is one of the cheap things to do in Orlando with kids where you can go bicycling or camping at multiple sites – glamping, primitive camping, and traditional camping. These are just a few activities to do at Lake Louisa State Park.
7. Orlando Science Center
Are there any science lovers in your family? Well, this fun activity is just for them, and everyone will learn about the wonders of science.
The center’s exhibits showcase interactive experiences, and you can explore the world of natural science. At the Orlando Science Center, you can choose your own adventure. Visiting the science center is the perfect indoor activity Orlando visitors will love and a great thing to do in Orlando with toddlers and older kids.
8. Crayola Experience
Everyone loves the Crayola Experience, where you can learn about the magic of color through many kid and toddler-friendly activities.
Located at Disney Springs, it’s an interactive experience that is both one of the best indoor activities Orlando has to offer and a great thing to do with toddlers. Here you can express your creativity and learn all about the science of color in a new way.
9. Pirate’s Dinner Adventure
Aarrgh Matey! Similar to the Medieval Times Dinner Theater, the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure is one of the many great things to do in Orlando with toddlers.
Enjoy a swashbuckling tale as pirates dual it out while you eat. And if you have anyone brave in your family, they may be picked to become a part of the show!
10. Visit Alexander Springs
Another toddler-friendly activity in Orlando is Alexander Springs in the Ocala National Forest. Florida has many crystalline springs that are frequented by visitors and locals for eco-adventures. Go hiking, camping, snorkeling, and swimming in crystal water for an adventure you’ll never forget.
Best Things To Do In Orlando With Kids and Teens
These are great things to do in Orlando with kids besides Disney that older kids and teens will love!
11. Boggy Creek Airboat Ride
Another one our family’s top picks for fun things to do in Orlando with the family is an airboat adventure at Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures. A short drive from Orlando, this is an all-inclusive fun activity because you can visit a Native American village, sift through a gem mine, or even sit down for a BBQ dinner.
The airboat ride is also an adventure as you spot alligators peeking up through the swamp grass. It is definitely one of the best to do in Orlando with kids.
12. Pioneer Village
For a bit more of a historical experience, visit the Pioneer Village. Florida’s history is fascinating, and Pioneer Village takes you on an adventure to the pioneer times where you can visit period buildings.
Watch women use a spinning wheel or see a working structure like the blacksmith shop. Exploring the Pioneer Village is a toddler-friendly activity, but it may be more interesting for older kids.
13. Hot Air Balloon Ride at Disney Springs
If you’ve never ridden in a hot air balloon, then you definitely want to add this activity to your list. This custom-built balloon built for Disney by Aerophile, the leading balloon flight company in the world, is a great way to get a fantastic view of the area from above.
Teens, kids, and adults will all love their eight-minute tethered balloon ride in a beautifully painted helium balloon.
14. Go Mini-Golfing at Pirate’s Mini Golf or Disney’s Fantasia Mini Golf
No family vacation would be complete without a game of mini-golf. Mini-golfing is one of our favorite kids’ activities in Florida because the weather is usually mild all year.
Try a mini-golf game at Pirate’s Mini Golf or play at Fantasia Fairways Miniature Golf. Embark on a fun-filled adventure through whimsical golf scenes and broomsticks that drench unsuspecting golfers. This is a great mid-day or evening activity to do in Orlando with kids.
15. Go-Karts at Old Town
Most kids and teens love Go-Karting, so this is one of the most fun things to do in Orlando with kids! Race each other around a small track or visit one of the other family-friendly attractions in Old Town, located right outside of Celebration.
16. Splitsville at Disney Springs
If you are looking for one of the best indoor activities Orlando has to offer, Splitsville at Disney Springs is a great thing to do for kids and teens.
The indoor bowling alley is thematic and fun, and after you score some strikes, you can enjoy dinner. It is a fun thing to do in Orlando with kids.
17. Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
If you are looking for ideas for indoor activities in Orlando on a rainy or super hot day, Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is a great thing to do with kids. With everything from indoor go-karting, virtual reality, ropes course, video games, boutique bowling, laser tag, dining, and more, this is sure to keep your kids and teens busy!
18. Madame Tussauds Orlando
Another fun thing to do in Orlando with kids is visiting Madame Tussauds Orlando and see the iconic wax museum of celebrities and beloved characters. Get your selfie with a star – a waxed version, that is – at the world-renowned wax museum.
19. Horseback Riding at Disney’s Fort Wilderness
Everyone thinks of theme parks when someone mentions Disney. But like I always say, Disney is an experience, not a destination. One of those experiences includes horseback riding.
- Shetland ponies
- Percheron and quarter horses
- Paint horses
The whole family will love visiting the ranch, and kids 9 and up can enjoy taking a 45-minute trail ride through the woodlands at Fort Wilderness. My husband loved his ride on Prince Charming's horse! It is a great thing to do with kids in Orlando.
20. Orlando Eye Ferris Wheel
A visit to the Ferris wheel at ICON Park is a must for your vacation checklist. It opened as the Orlando Eye in 2015 and is a popular attraction.
It’s a giant wheel at 400 feet tall. Visit other exciting shops, amusement rides, and games in the park.
21. Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
The Titanic disaster still captures the attention of many people over 100 years after its fateful journey. At the Titanic Artifact Exhibition, you can see over 300 artifacts that have remained in place for decades and were collected from the wreck site.
Things like tableware, boots, and other everyday items help you relate to the people who lost their lives in the 1912 sinking of the ship. You will also meet costumed characters who take on the role of passengers and learn a lot about this historical event.
22. Take an Amphicar Ride at Disney Springs
It’s not a car, it’s not a boat. It’s an amphicar!
For a great thing to do in Orlando with kids, how about taking a ride in a vintage amphicar (amphibious car) and tour Lake Buena Vista. It’s a fun but relaxing alternative activity the whole family will love and is a great thing to do with teens in Orlando.
23. Tree Trek Adventure Park
Orlando is full of fun outdoor family activities and the Tree Trek Adventure Park is one of the most popular. Zipline through the trees, challenge yourself on the ropes courses, and swing and crawl the exciting treetop obstacle course. It is one of the most active Orlando attractions for kids.
24. Swim with Manatees at Crystal River
Looking for a unique fun activity near Orlando for families? Here's one you won't forget.
You can swim with the manatees at Crystal River. Snorkel through gorgeous springs filled with unique wildlife, and enjoy these gorgeous creatures.
This river adventure takes place on a pontoon boat and allows you to see the wildlife and scenery up close. It is definitely one of the more memorable Orlando things to do with kids.
25. Skeletons Museum of Osteology
If you have a budding scientist, they will love this unique museum dedicated to the form and function of the skeletal system. Educational as it is fascinating, Skeletons features over 800 specimens of skulls and skeletons from around the world. It is a great indoor activity in Orlando for kids.
The kids will love an adventure in Gatorland as Florida is well-known for these large reptiles. Experience Florida as a local and visit crocodiles, birds, tortoises, wild cats, snakes, and of course, alligators.
Your children will love visiting the critters. Get up close and personal with all sizes of gators, watch the fascinating shows, and you may even get to touch a gator!
27. WonderWorks Orlando
WonderWorks is an indoor amusement park focused on making science fun by combining entertainment and education. Make giant bubbles in the Bubble Lab and experience the power of a hurricane in the Hurricane Shack.
You can even ride the Astronaut Training Gyro and do many more science-based activities. It is a fun and unique thing to do with kids and teens in Orlando.
28. Kennedy Space Center
In my opinion, the Kennedy Space Center is hands-down one of the best things to do with kids if you visit Orlando. Though it isn’t in Orlando exactly, it is about an hour's drive, it is well worth the trip.
There’s so much to see at the Kennedy Space Center Complex and you could easily take two days to see it all. The exhibits are separated by chronological era into different Mission Zones.
Experience the history of humans in space in a hands-on way. You can even tour the launch pad area, where Space X launches their rockets. It is an absolute must-see for any budding scientist or space enthusiast, and one of the best Orlando area activities for kids.
29. Universal CityWalk
If you are looking for an evening activity or a fun thing to do with kids in Orlando with shopping, dining, and entertainment, Universal CityWalk is a great place for a walkabout.
A collection of kid-friendly dining, fun shops, mini-golf, and a movie theater makes this a great thing to do with kids in Orlando after a day at the parks.
30. Disney Springs Shopping & Dining
Another great thing to do with kids in Orlando on a day off or in the evenings is a trip to Disney Springs. A shopping, dining, and entertainment extravaganza, this area is full of activities and experiences kids will love.
From M & M’s World to a mega Lego Store, Disney shops, non-Disney shops, and dining for every taste bud, this is a destination unto itself. And check out the cupcake ATM kids are sure to love!
31. Catch an Orlando City Soccer Club Game
Soccer fans will love supporting the local team. You can also tour their new Exploria Stadium, an ultimate experience for any soccer fan!
32. Orange County Regional History Center
Take a trip back in time at the Orange County Regional History Center in downtown Orlando. This indoor activity is perfect if the weather is bad and will keep your family entertained for hours. Enjoy four floors of exhibits covering 12,000 years of Central Florida’s history and heritage.
Best Things To Do In Orlando With Kids: Theme Parks
Of course, many people go to Orlando to visit one of the many theme parks. And indeed, they are often the main attractions of any Orlando vacation because they offer so many things to do with kids.
You’ll find many Disney and Universal theme parks, but there are also many other great amusement parks to explore. You can spend all day at these theme parks because there are plenty of places to eat and activities to do for families.
33. Legoland Florida
Kids love Legos, and not far from Orlando is Legoland Theme Park as well as a Water Park to beat the heat. Conquer the dragon or defend Bricksburg at the Battle of Bricksburg and much more.
As it is under an hour's drive from Orlando, it can definitely be part of any vacation to Central Florida and is one of the best things to do in Orlando with toddlers.
There are also plenty of fun activities adults love, like a visit to the Ford Driving school to get your driver’s license. Legoland is a fun activity for families and lego-loving kids!
34. Magic Kingdom
The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort has been a popular theme park in Florida for years. At the Magic Kingdom, you can explore enchanted worlds and make your dreams become a reality.
Children of all ages, including toddlers, will love meeting Disney characters and enjoying Disney World resort attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pan’s Flight. As a life-long Disney fan, this is one of my favorite things to do with kids in Orlando.
35. Epcot Center
The Epcot Center is another kid and toddler-friendly Walt Disney World Orlando destination where you get to travel under the sea, around the world, and to outer space.
Epcot is also a great thing to do with teens in Orlando, with its’ Test Track and Mission Space rides, and kids of all ages can learn about countries around the world at Epcot’s World Showcase.
36. Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a great activity for the whole family, including toddlers.
Explore all the Star Wars Experiences and visit Toy Story Land to eat at Woody’s Lunch Box or ride the Slinky Dog Dash. It’s one of the best Orlando attractions for kids.
37. Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is another great thing to do with kids in Orlando. It is also full of things to do with toddlers. This theme park is full of adventures for kids like the Na’vi River Journey and the Avatar Flight of Passage.
You can also go on an African Safari to see real exotic animals. Or, travel back in time on a race to rescue a dinosaur when you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
38. Universal Orlando Theme Park
Universal Orlando is a popular destination for families in Orlando. It’s three parks in one and an activity that toddlers can do too.
Ride the Jurassic World VelociCoaster or hang out with the minions at Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. There are plenty of places to eat and tour with fun activities to keep you busy for days. It is full of fun things to do with kids, right in Orlando.
39. Universal’s Island of Adventure
Universal’s Islands of Adventure is another one of the parks at Universal Orlando Theme Park. Go on an adventure with Spider-Man or ride the Incredible Hulk roller coaster.
You can also go on an adventure through the Temple of Poseidon or ride on the Cat in the Hat. There’s something for kids of all ages at the Universal's Island of Adventure.
40. Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Kids who love Harry Potter will love the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you can step right into Harry’s world. To enjoy the full Harry Potter experience, you need two park tickets (for Universal Orlando and Universal’s Island of Adventure).
You can walk down Diagon Alley, let the wand choose the wizard at Olivander’s, escape from Gringotts and eat at the Leaky Cauldron. Then, take Hogwarts Express over to Hogsmeade (at Universal’s Island of Adventure) and visit Hogwarts, ride Hagrid’s motorbike, ride a Hippogriff, and enjoy a day in the life of a wizard.
It is one of the best Orlando kids activities for any Harry Potter fan!
41. Fun Spot America
Fun Spot America has something for everyone, from roller coasters to arcade games in this classic Americana-style amusement park. Your family will love classic fair rides such as the Scramblur, and you can eat delicious food from menus designed by a top chef. Thrill-seekers will love this family-friendly destination.
42. SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld has been one of the most popular things to do in Orlando, Florida, with kids for decades. The whole family will enjoy live shows with Orcas, sea lions, dolphins, and more.
SeaWorld is best known for its live shows with animals, but the park also has other activities like rides and animal experiences. The park is divided into different areas by specialty attractions and is also toddler-friendly.
43. Sesame Street Land – SeaWorld Orlando
Visit Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld, where you can meet your favorite Sesame Street characters. You’ll also get to visit some of the popular locations seen on the show, like Hooper’s Store and Big Bird’s Nest.
What could be more fun than playing with Cookie Monster and Elmo? This is one of the best things to do in Orlando with toddlers.
44. Busch Gardens Tampa
The great thing about Orlando is it is not far from either coast. Just about an hour’s drive is Tampa, where the Busch Garden’s amusement parks have been a favorite for family adventures for years.
At Busch Gardens Tampa, you can take a Serengeti Safari tour and connect with animals up close.
When you’re done meeting animals such as sloths, cheetahs, and rhinos, ride some of the best roller coasters and many other exciting rides.
Best Things To Do In Orlando With Kids: Waterparks
Orlando can be hot, especially in the summer months. So one of the best kids activities in Orlando includes cooling off at one of the many water parks that are fun for the whole family. Here are some of the most popular water parks and one of our favorite family activities in Orlando.
45. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Waterpark
There are plenty of things to do at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Waterpark, including activities toddlers can do. You can eat at the Polar Pub beach bar or Lottawatta Lodge and slide down the world’s fastest and tallest free-falling slide, the Summit Plummet.
Go tubing in the Runoff Rapids, or pre-teens can go to Ski Patrol Training Camp. There are water activities for every age at this theme park.
46. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Waterpark
The whole family (including toddlers) will love the Typhoon Lagoon Waterpark, where you’ll learn about the legend of the whirlwind storm. The waterpark is beach themed, and you’ll feel like you are there with this fun thematic waterpark experience.
Your kids will love the raft rides and the Crush ‘n’ Gusher water coaster. The whole family can ride on the four-person adventure on Gang Plank Falls. It’s another fun Disney attraction that everyone loves, especially when it’s hot outside. Typhoon Lagoon is one of the best things to do in Orlando with kids and teens.
47. Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove is part of the Sea World Orlando park. You can swim with the dolphins, snorkel through a coral reef, and even swim with sharks!
It is an interactive marine experience for anyone who wants to get up close and personal with life under the sea. Afterward, relax on beautiful beaches with white sand. There are also rivers and pools you can wade in throughout the park.
Visit the Explorer’s Aviary or get close to your favorite animals at the Conservation Kiosk. There may be age requirements for some attractions, but there are activities throughout the park for kids of all ages.
48. Universal’s Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay is one of the tourists’ favorite things to do in Orlando with kids, and it’s the perfect place to get cool in the Florida hot weather. The main attraction is a volcano with water slides for thrill-seekers, and if you want something more relaxed, you can chill out in the winding river.
Rent a cabana to unwind throughout the day or reserve comfortable seating for the whole day. Dining packages are available to make things even more convenient.
49. Margaritaville Resort Island H20 Waterpark
If you are looking for water things to do in Orlando with kids besides Disney, the Margaritaville Resort Island H20 Waterpark is the perfect place to cool down. Float on a lazy river or play with the whole family in the splash zone.
You’ll also find plenty of opportunities for pictures in the park. There are video booths, on-ride videos, and pictures as well as selfie stations throughout the park. Make it a day by renting a cabana in Orlando’s newest waterpark.
Part of the SeaWorld Orlando complex, Aquatica has its own entrance and is another great waterpark in Orlando for kids. It lists itself as being the first waterpark in the world to be named a designated Certified Autism Center.
Complete with a huge selection of aquatic fun, including dual racing waterslides called RipTide Race to Roa's Rapids for a lazy river, and everything in between. The Walkabout Waters is a fun kids splash zone and water playground.
And, cabana rentals are a great way to spend the day. Aquatica is one of the best waterparks in Orlando and a great thing to do with kids on a hot Florida day!
51. Busch Gardens Adventure Island
If you are spending the day at Busch Gardens, note that it has its own waterpark called Adventure Island. Spend the day in one of the Island’s pools or enjoy the calm tube trip down the half-mile long Rambling Bayou lazy river.
The older kids will love the waterslides, and there are several options for dining such as Mango Joes, the Surfside Cade, the Island Taco Truck, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do in Orlando for free?
There are many free things to do in Orlando with the kids. Here are a few favorites.
Kraft Azalea Garden
Enjoy the serenity of the 5.22-acre Kraft Azalea Garden from 8 AM until dark. The garden is open to the public daily, and you’ll find it on Lake Maitland’s shore.
The Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins
Visit the fine art museum in nearby Winter Park, Florida, or student art exhibitions and a variety of historical collections such as European Art and American Art to 1950.
Fort Christmas Historical Park
Fort Christmas is a short 20-minute drive from Orlando, located in Titusville, Florida. It’s a replica of the original fort and teaches visitors what life was like when Florida was still considered a frontier.
To save money on tickets, you can get a discount card that will help save you money on dining, entertainment, and shopping at over 100 locations.
What can families do at night in Orlando?
Orlando is so good for families. So naturally, Orlando and the surrounding areas have plenty of things families can do at night.
Lake Eola Park is another place that has night-time activities like free concerts and movies in the park.
Remember, you can visit Disney Springs and Universal CityWalk for dinner, nighttime shopping, and activities like movies, bowling, and minigolf. These areas also have entertainment usually.
If you are in Orlando during the holidays, the town of Celebration often hosts “nightly snowing”, train rides, a visit with Santa Clause, and more. During other months, you may find evening festivals, concerts, or fireworks depending on the time of year.
Final Thought About The Best Things To Do In Orlando With Kids
As you can see, not only is Orlando good for families, there are enough things to do in Orlando with kids that could keep you busy for years. While many people come to Florida for the theme parks, there are plenty of Orlando kids activities outside the parks. From things to do in Orlando with toddlers to teens and even activities for grown-ups, there is something for everyone in this fantastic family vacation city.