Living in Miami with a 3 and 5 year we frequent Orlando a lot. While we have had our share fare of fun visiting Disney and Universal there is so much more to Orlando. Whether you’re spending a week or a weekend here are things to do in Orlando besides theme parks.
Things to Do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks
Andretti Indoor Karting and Games
Looking for something to do in Orlando when it’s raining or the sun is baking? Andretti Indoor Karting and Games is the perfect thing to do in Orlando besides theme parks. When we visited my daughter wasn’t tall enough to do the go-karts but we still had a ton of fun. She personally loved doing laser tag, singing in the karaoke booth and playing the arcade games. Andretti also has a bowling alley, ropes course, and wine room!
If you are a sucker for a good photo opp like I am you will love Wall Crawl. They have lots of backdrop to take photos in front of and you can take your own or upgrade your ticket to include a photo package. The walls change every season so even if you’ve been once, the next time you visit you could have new options.
Wonderworks is a mix of so many things. There are exhibits where you can learn facts, test out experiments, and look at optical illusions. You also have the opportunity to complete a ropes course, compete in a game of laser tag and ride an astronaut simulator. Be sure to look on Groupon for discounted rates or get a Go Orlando Card which grants admission to 25 places for 50% off general rates including Wonderworks.
The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show
Inside of WonderWorks is the Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show. It’s geared towards kids so come here to let them laugh the night away. It’s very interactive and kids can volunteer to go on stage and participate. The show includes all you can eat pizza and salad and comes with desert. For adults you can choose wine or beer in addition to soft drinks. My daughter had a great time and so did the adults. This attraction is also included in the Go Orlando Card.
If you need to cool down during your visit, Icebar Orlando is the perfect place. Coats and gloves are included in admission so no need to worry about that. Enjoy sitting on ice seats and seeing all the amazing ice sculptures. Kids who are at least 8 can visit from 5pm-9pm.
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Clear Kayak at Rock Springs
After using a clear kayak on out trip to Aruba I’ve been hooked. I was very excited to find out you could do this about 30 minutes North of Orlando at Rock Springs. We took a 2.5 hour tour with Get Up and Go Kayaking and it was amazing. The water is crystal clear and we even saw three otters swimming through the springs, lots of turtles and pretty birds. There is an opportunity to get out and swim during the tour.
Island H2O Live Waterpark
Who doesn’t love a good water park? While most of the water parks in Orlando are associated with theme parks, Island H2O Live is not. Located onsite the Margaritaville Resort Orlando it’s free of Disney characters and the mayhem that comes with that. It’s open to the public so you don’t have to be staying at the resort to visit. It’s also significantly cheaper than the other water parks in the area.
Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
The name says it all but Ripley’s Believe it or Not will stun you with the crazy things that are true in this world. From shrunken heads to the tallest person on earth, Ripley’s is filled with bizarre and mysterious truths. It’s located on iDrive near tons of restaurants and other things to do in Orlando.
If you want to see wildlife in their natural habitat Blue Springs is the place to go. It’s a designated Manatee Refuge in the winter and there are over 400+ manatees in the area. You can do a ton of water activities here like tubing, swimming or canoeing down the river.
Kennedy Space Center
If you’re child loves space and/or astronauts you have to visit Kennedy Space Center while in Orlando. It’s a 45 minute drive from the airport but worth every second. You’ll be able to see tons of rocket ships, a reenactment of the moon landing, what it’s like to be in zero gravity and meet astronauts that have been to space. Plan to spend the whole day here because there is tons to do. Admission is also included in the Go Orlando Card and with normal tickets costing $57 it’s a no brainer to purchase the card especially if you plan to visit both here and LEGOLAND .
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While they do sell astronaut costumes at Kennedy Space Center I recommend buying in advance. You’ll save a lot of money buying it online on Amazon, about 50% savings. My daughters came with a helmet as well but she prefers to “show her face”. You will definitely see this outfit again come Halloween!
Electric Ocean at Sea World
Ok so while Electric Ocean is in the theme park Sea World it is a completely different event. It’s a huge dance party with special lights and a lot of fun for kids. Watch the promo video here for a better idea. It goes on from 5:30-9:30pm.
If you’re looking for things to do in Orlando besides theme parks that get you one with nature check out Weikiva Island. You can kayak, canoe, paddle board, and swim on the island.
The Crayola Experience
While I do think Disney is great for toddlers if you’re looking for things to do in Orlando besides theme parks because you’re traveling with younger kids The Crayola Experience is perfect. I took my daughter when she was two and she loved it. There are two play areas along with crayon experiences. You can create your own crayon labels, make your own coloring book pages from pictures you take, make your own crayons in different shapes, and more. Be sure to check Groupon as they usually offer discounted tickets.
Fun Spot America
Even though you may be looking for things to do in Orlando besides theme parks it doesn’t mean you don’t want to go on rides. So if you want some thrills without the theme park crowds spend a day or afternoon at Fun Spot America. They have a location in Orlando and Kissimmee and you can pay per ride or purchase an all day pass. If you buy the Go Orlando Card you’ll get four rides included.
Boggy Creek Airboat Tour
Living in Miami we’ve visited the Everglades there and done an airboat tour and my daughters loved it. You can do the same in Orlando at Boggy Creek Airboat Tour. It’s such a different activity than what most people come up with when thinking of things to do in Orlando. Admission is also included in the Go Orlando Card.
Pirate Adventure Dinner
If your kids are as obsessed with pirates and mermaids as mine are they will love the Pirate Adventure Dinner. They have a 6pm and 8pm show filled with crowd participation and aerial acrobats. While their website has tickets for $63 we found this on Groupon for $25 for kids and $29 for adults which includes your meal. The Groupon did come with a surprise tax add-on when we called to make our reservation, $15 total for our 4 tickets. Still we enjoyed the evening and the kids had so much fun.
iFly Indoor Skydiving
If you’re not ready for the real thing iFly Indoor Skydiving is a great way to prepare yourself or just have some fun without jumping out of a plane. Kids as young as 3 years old can participate and my daughter had the time of her life. She did two 1-minute flights and wanted to do more.
If you like chocolate you’ll enjoy the tour at Chocolate Kingdom. It’s an interactive tour that not only give you a history of chocolate but gives you a taste in various states and forms. If you have kids they will love the part of the tour where they get to catapult marshmallows into a dragons mouth. At the end of the tour you can customize your own chocolate bar for an additional fee. Before the tour I thought we would get to mix our own ingredients and chocolate together but they do it for you. For the extra $7 it costs for the bar we could have skipped it and just bought some pre-made chocolate, still we enjoyed the tour.
Take a Day Trip to Tampa
Tampa is only an hour drive from Tampa and also has a ton for kids to do. Pack you’re bathing suits because they have beautiful white sand beaches. Here are things to do in Tampa with kids.
There are so many things to do in Orlando besides theme parks. Even hanging out at your resort can be fun. Our favorites are the Holiday Inn Vacations Club at Orange Lake, Hyatt Regency Cypress Creek and Margaritaville Orlando Resort. Did you find this helpful? Please share it!