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! Downtown Orlando and surrounding areas offers many things to do outside the theme parks.
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.) And, it is definitely one of the most fun places for spring break in Florida for families.
My years of visiting this area have helped me know the best things to do in Orlando with kids. Whether you stay at one of the theme parks or in one of the awesome vacation rentals in Orlando, you can enjoy an epic family trip.
So check out this list of over 50 fun things to do in Orlando that will keep your kids and family amused. And they will help 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 walking 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.
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, FL with kids besides Disney and other theme parks. And there are so many fun things your little ones will love!
If you are looking for fun stuff to do with toddlers, this section is for you!
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. The Sealife Aquarium is one of the most fun things to do in Orlando!
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, if you are looking for things to do with kids in Orlando, FL. This activity is a favorite of ours, and 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 medievil dinner.
My kids loved routing for our favorite knight, who won the show! It’s definitely worth checking out, and one of the most fun things to do in Orlando. And you may even get chosen to be a part of the show.
4. Monster Truck Ride at Showcase of Citrus
If your kids would like to see animals, but you don't want to commit a full day to the Central Florida Zoo, this is one of the most fun things to do.
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.
If you are a fan of zoos, the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford is also another great spot to visit with kids!
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, the Orlando Science Center is a fun activity is just for them, and everyone will learn about the wonders of science.
The exhibits at the Orlando Science Center 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. This is absolutely one of the most fun things to do in Orlando for toddlers.
Located at the Florida Mall, 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 really fun things to do in Orlando with kids besides Disney that older kids and teens will love!
11. Boggy Creek Airboat Ride
Another one of our family’s top picks for fun things to do in Orlando with the family is an airboat adventure at Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures. You'll enjoy an airboat experience through mossy, cypress swamps in the Central Florida Everglades. 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 on International Drive.
It’s a giant wheel at 400 feet tall. Visit other exciting shops, amusement rides, and games in the park. While you are here, there are so many fun attractions and fun things to do. You will be plenty entertained at Icon Park.
The Icon Park area on International Drive is a day full of fun! It's also the area where you will find the Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, Madame Tussauds's, the Museum of Illusions, and Ripley's Believe It or Not (a few streets away.) The lovely complex at Icon Park also has great restaurants, entertainment, and is pedestrian friendly.
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.
It also includes interactive exhibits, and you will receive a ticket of a passenger who was actually on the Titanic. At the end, you will learn the fate of the person whose ticket you received. It is a very interesting thing to do in Orlando with kids.
The Titanic Exhibition is one of the great indoor activities in Orlando for those wanting to learn more about this famous unsinkable ocean liner. And it is a really fun thing to do in Orlando with kids, as well as educational!
22. Museum of Illusions
One of the most fun things to do in Orlando with kids is to visit the Museum of Illusions. This super cool museum at Icon Park in Orlando is one not to be missed.
There are over 50 exhibits that will fool your eyes and mind with fascinating interactive displays. Our family did this fun museum recently and loved it.
Guides along the way help you with where to pose yourselves so you can take images that will fascinate family and friends back home. From looking like a giant to a miniature, a floating head on a table, or even climbing on a ceiling, the Museum of Illusions is one of the best things to do in Orlando with kids!
23. 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 at the Disney resort and is a great thing to do with teens in Orlando.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. Tubing At Kelly Park
If you are looking for other attractions near Orlando, Kelly Park is a natural spring area with a tubing park the whole family will enjoy. Called Kelly Park and Rock Springs in Apopka, this is a wonderful thing to do on a warm day and a great thing to do in Orlando with kids (besides Disney.)
In addition to swimming in crystal clear swimming holes, you can also take a tube ride (think lazy river) at Kelly Park. There is also playgrounds, picnic areas, and lots of hiking. Admission is $3 per vehicle for 1-2 people; $5 per vehicle for 3-8 people; and $1 for additional person/walk-ins/motorcycles/bikes. No pets are allowed.
27. 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!
29. 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.
30. 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 and something the entire family will enjoy!
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.
From the Space Shuttle Atlantis and interactive exhibits to meeting a real astronaut, the Kennedy Space Center is as much educational as it is fun. The entire family will enjoy this fascinating activity.
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. Kennedy Space Center is an absolute must-see for any budding scientist or space enthusiast, and one of the best Orlando area activities for kids.
31. 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.
32. 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, live music, and entertainment extravaganza, this area is full of activities and experiences kids will love.
From M & M’s World where kids love to do chocolate tasting 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!
33. 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!
34. 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.
35. The Escape Effect
If you are looking for a great indoor thing to do in Orlando with kids and teens, The Escape Effect will not disappoint! This award-winning escape room attraction has four fun and cool thematic escape activities kids and teens will love.
It's a great family activity to work together as you immerse yourself in the theme and try to solve the clues to escape. The Escape Effect also has Orlando's ONLY two-hour escape room and their first 90-minute escape room. Kids will love this fun experience (especially on one of Florida's typical rainy summer afternoons.)
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.
36. 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!
37. Peppa Pig Theme Park
Now when you visit Orlando, you have another exciting adventure to explore. The new Peppa Pig Theme Park has opened and is delighting Peppa Pig friends everywhere! This is one of the best things to do in Orlando with toddlers. From riding the Daddy Pig coaster to Peppa Pig's Pedal and more, your kids will love hanging out with everyone's favorite Pig family!
Currently, Walt Disney World requires advance reservations through 2022. For more details, check out my post on Disney World 2022: What You Need To Know Before Visiting Walt Disney World This Year
38. 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. Located in Lake Buena Vista, this park and the Walt Disney World Resort is about 25 minutes outside of downtown Orlando.
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.
39. 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.
40. Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Walt Disney World'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.
41. Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World 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 in the Dinosaur world when you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
42. 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. Universal Studios is the park with many of the movie-and super hero adventures.
Ride the Jurassic World VelociCoaster or hang out with the minions at Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. Step into Diagon Alley or enjoy a donut and coffee in the world of the Simpson's. There are plenty of places to eat and tour with fun activities to keep you busy for days. Universal Studios is full of fun things to do with kids, right in Orlando.
43. Universal’s Island of Adventure
Universal’s Islands of Adventure is another one of the parks at Universal Orlando Theme Park. Universal's Island of Adventure is 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.
44. Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Kids who love Harry Potter (and Harry Potter fans of all ages) 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 Universal theme parks (for Universal Studios 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, enjoy Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey experience, 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!
45. 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 so be sure to add Fun Spot America to your things to do in Orlando with kids list.
46. 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, sea creatures, 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.
47. 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.
48. 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: Water Parks
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.
49. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park
There are plenty of things to do at Walt Disney World's Blizzard Beach Water Park, 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. This is one of the best water parks for all ages from tots to teens.
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.
50. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
The whole family (including toddlers) will love Walt Disney World's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, 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 water park experience. It is a great thing to do when visiting Orlando with kids.
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 Walt Disney World 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.
51. 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.
52. 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.
53. 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!
55. 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.
More Things To Do Near Orlando With Kids
Did you know you can expand your family vacation beyond Orlando? Easily accessible by a few hours drive, plane, or train, here are a few other places to visit with great things to do near Orlando with kids.
- Biscayne National Park
- Disney's Vero Beach Resort
- Anna Maria Island
- Florida Keys
- Everglades National Park
- St. Augustine
Getting To Orlando With Kids
Flying To Orlando
Orlando International Airport
Orlando International Airport is the easiest and closest airport. The Mears Shuttle Service offers airport transfers to many of the resort areas, including Walt Disney World. You can also rent a car.
A word of caution: Orlando International Airport is EXTREMELY BUSY. And, it can be a bit confusing because both the A and B sides look alike and there are shopping areas that look alike so it is easy to get turned around.
When you are flying home, leave yourself EXTRA EXTRA TIME. The security lines are often very long, so this is an airport you need to plan additional time to ensure you don't miss your flight.
Tampa International Airport
You can fly to Tampa International Airport and drive to Orlando. This is about an 1.5 to 2 hour trip. There are a few shuttles that can be booked from Tampa to Orlando or you can rent a car and drive.
Sanford International Airport
Sanford International Airport is a smaller airport about 45 minutes from Orlando. It is common for flights from England to arrive here, and can be less expensive than flying into Orlando. You can catch a shuttle or rent a car.
Orlando is centrally located, so it great base to enjoy many of the beaches and attractions on either coast. In fact, if you are road tripping, you can easily get to a beach on either the Atlantic or Gulf Coasts to extend your trip or vice versa. You could start on the coast, like at Vero Beach or Anna Maria, and road trip to Orlando.
Many families drive to Orlando from their home states, though this can be long. But particularly from the Northeast or Midwest or Southern states, families find driving and making a road trip out of it a lot of fun. Be sure if you make it a road trip, you have:
- A road trip packing list
- A road trip meals
- Snacks for the car
- Lots of road trip activities!
- These tips for road tripping with kids
Did you know, you can actually take a train to Florida to visit Orlando? Amtrak's auto train to Florida is convenient, affordable and a great adventure! My parents just took the auto train from Sanford to Virginia and back again, and they LOVED IT.
The best part is you don't need to rent a car in Sanford, because your car is on the train! Meals are served, you can relax and rest in your cabin, and let Amtrak do the driving. It is a great option for anyone wanting to travel in a unique and convenient way to Florida. And it is a great adventure to Orlando with kids.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is there to do in Orlando besides Disney?
There are so many things to do in Orlando besides Disney with kids! Many of these are included in this post. Our favorite things to do with kids besides Disney in Orlando include:
- Kennedy Space Center (to see the Space Shuttle Atlantis and many other space exhibits)
- Titanic: An Artifact Exhibition
- Museum of Illusions and Icon Park
- Orlando Science Center
- Central Florida Zoo or Brevard County Zoo
- Winter Park Scenic Boat Tours
- Medieval Times
- Pirates Dinner Adventure
- ICONic City Tour of Orlando
- Boggy Creek Airboat Ride or Central Florida Everglades Airboat Tour and Wildlife Park
Is Orlando family friendly?
Absolutely. While there is well over 50+ things to do in Orlando with kids on this list, believe it or not, there is so much more to do. Orlando is one of the most family-friendly cities in the world.
In addition to its epic theme parks and family friendly fun on International Drive, Icon park and downtown Orlando have so many fun things to do with kids. It is without a doubt one of the most family friendly cities in the United States and in the world.
Where can I see free alligators in Orlando?
Pretty much any body of water in Orlando will have alligators in it. If you visit the town of Celebration, there are very often smaller alligators swimming around in the lake.
Look for their noses popping up in the water. Other places to see free alligators in Orlando include :
- Most lakes in the area (like Lake Kissimmee, Lake Monroe, and Lake Eola)
- Walking Trails
Be careful around wild alligators and do not approach them. Also, do not feed them. They are wild animals.
If you see one, be sure and keep plenty of distance and keep children and pets away. Honestly, if you are really interested in seeing alligators, you can see them at Gatorland and on one of the airboat tours mentioned above. You can see them safely and of all shapes and sizes!
Is WonderWorks Orlando good for toddlers?
WonderWorks is an interactive, educational attraction for families. Kids of all ages will enjoy it but those ages 3 and up are best suited for this attraction. It has over 100 science-based interactive exhibits, a ropes course, and a 6D ride. Because it includes interactive displays and learning, it isn't the best place for toddlers alone unless they are with older kids as part of your group. See my section above for the best things to do with toddlers in Orlando.
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 with free admission.
Celebration Splash Pad Fountain
The town of Celebration is right outside of the Disney Resort area. But as an active town, it is free to visit, walk around, and even enjoy the “splash pad”, also known as the town fountain. Kids often wear swimsuits and run through the fountains to cool off on a hot day.
Kraft Azalea Garden in Winter Park
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. Located in Winter Park, there is a lot to do in this area after visiting the garden. From culinary delights to shopping and more, you will love a day trip to Kraft Azalea Garden and the town of Winter Park.
Garden fans should also consider a visit to Bok Tower Gardens, another favorite among locals.
The Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins
And here is another great thing to do in Winter Park. 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. Locals love Lake Eola Park, so when in Orlando, do the fun things the locals do! Only minutes from Downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park is a great thing to do in Orlando with kids.
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. And, indoor activities like The Escape Effect's escape rooms are open into the evening hours.
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 that the entire family can enjoy. 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.
And remember there are many ways to SAVE MONEY on a trip to Orlando. Even purchasing a Go City Pass will give you many options for tickets and activities at a discounted price, so you can have flexibility with the best things to do with kids in Orlando. Happy traveling!