When it comes to things to do in Orlando with kids there are endless options for all ages. From famous theme parks and attractions to zoos, zip-lining, museums and even indoor skydiving – you’re sure to find fun activities for your tots, teens and in-betweens.
We’ve compiled this handy guide to help you navigate your way around the myriad things to see and do in Orlando with kids. Read on to find out more about the very best places to head or use the menu below to hop straight to the topic you’re interested in!
Theme parks & attractions
Spend a day at each Disney park
No list of things to do in Orlando with kids could start anywhere other than its most famous theme park (theme parks, to be precise). There’s not one, not two, not three but four action packed theme parks at Disney World including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom – and the parks are so huge you’ll probably need at least one day in each.
Top Villas offers some great deals on Disney tickets including 14-day and 21-day premium tickets with the choice to visit more than one park on the same day.
Make a splash at the water parks
The water parks may not be the first things that spring to mind when you think of Disney World, but Disney is actually home to two of the best water parks in the entire state. Blizzard Beach is for adrenaline seekers and has some of the fastest waterslides in the world. Typhoon Lagoon is geared more for younger kids and has a play area for pre-schoolers and a giant wave pool.
Check out Disney’s other attractions
Kids and adults alike can make the most of Disney’s other great attractions such as Disney Springs, golf courses, dining establishments and other on-site recreation activities.
Ride the Hogwarts Express
Kids of all ages will love Universal’s two world-class theme parks, brand-new water park and buzzing entertainment district. One of the most popular attractions for kids is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter which features the Hogwarts Express where you can travel between Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios.
Experience movie-inspired rides
Visitors can also make the most of other movie-inspired attractions at Universal including Transformers: The Ride 3D, Skull Island: Reign of Kong and Men in Black: Alien Attack, to name a few.
Soak up sky-high views
Icon Orlando is an amazing entertainment district packed with fun activities and attractions. Located on International Drive, it’s home to the 400-ft-high Icon Orlando observation wheel which offers panoramic views over the city.
Brave the world’s tallest swing
You’ll also find other unique attractions at Icon Orlando such as Orlando Sealife Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Skeletons Museum and the all-new Orlando Starflyer, the world’s tallest swing ride.
Refuel at Restaurant Row
Once you’ve worked up a hunger at all of the attractions on International Drive you can refuel at its famous Restaurant Row. This stretch of Sand Lake Road is home to hundreds of the area’s best eateries. From franchised venues, to one-of-a-kind spots, there’s something for all tastes and budgets.
Explore a fun waterside promenade
The vibrant Disney Springs complex at Disney World offers plenty of fun for visitors of all ages. This bustling waterside promenade is packed with unique boutiques, one-of-a-kind eateries and fun entertainment including a movie theater, water taxi rides, a virtual reality simulator and lots of live entertainment. Entrance is free.
Spend an evening at Citywalk
Also free of charge to get in is Universal’s Citywalk entertainment complex. A mix of shopping, restaurants and entertainment attractions, this is a great place to take the kids for an evening out. The venue has free self-parking after 6pm and is located adjacent to Universal Studios.
Get up close to alligators
The 110-acre Gatorland wildlife park is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles as well as an aviary, a petting zoo, a splash park and a 1,200-ft-long zip line. Four of the largest known alligators on Earth live at the park; you can also see alligator wrestling and enjoy up-close encounters with gators, snakes and other reptiles.
Or zip-line over them
The whole family can zip off on the thrilling Gator Zipline which soars over the park’s star attractions and travels at speeds of more than 30mph. Gatorland is located along South Orange Blossom Trail just south of Orlando.
Swim with dolphins
You can have a splashing time with the kids on a day out at one of Orlando’s many and varied water parks. We’ve already mentioned Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, as well as Universal’s Volcano Bay. There’s also Aquatica Orlando which offers marine life shows, thrill rides, aquariums and up-close encounters with dolphins, penguins and more.
Fly above the city
You can show your little ones the sight of Orlando from a whole new perspective on a hot air balloon ride above the city. You’ll get a bird’s eye perspective of everything from its world-famous attractions and theme parks to its orange groves, forests and swamps. Kids of all ages can ride with most providers in the region.
Go to a funfair
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Located on Highway 192 in Kissimmee is the 19-acre Old Town entertainment complex. Featuring over 70 shops, restaurants, bars, rides and family attractions, it’s the perfect destination for an afternoon or evening of fun with the kids. Catch a magic show, visit a haunted house, ride the ferris wheel at the funfair or enjoy some free live entertainment.
See a classic car cruise
You can also enjoy weekly family-friendly events at Old Town including America’s longest-running weekly car show and cruise every Saturday. Check out hundreds of classic cars followed by the Saturday Night Classic Car Cruise starting at 8.30pm.
Picnic by a swan-filled lake
This 43-acre oasis in the heart of Downtown Orlando offers spectacular views over the city’s iconic skyline. You can eat a picnic next to the lake, feed the resident swans, enjoy one of the many free concerts at the amphitheater, or pop by the farmer’s market on Sundays.
Treat your family
You can buy designer brands for all the family at super-low prices at Orlando’s Premium Outlets located in Vineland and along International Drive.
Ride round the city
Are your kids train-obsessed? Take your young train fans on free rides around the city when you use Orlando’s Sunrail. Kids age 6 and under ride for free when traveling with a paying adult.
Learn more about science
A great thing to do in Orlando with kids is to take a trip to one of city’s many educational venues. The Orlando Science Center offers all kinds of fun science-themed experiences with its daily workshops, giant-screen films, fascinating demos and live exhibits. Admission costs $14.95 for kids, $20.95 for adults and is free for under 2s.
See a rocket launch – for free!
If you don’t mind driving you should take the kids on a day trip to the Space Coast. At Cocoa Beach Pier or one of the many other Space Coast beaches you’ll get a great view of a live rocket launch from the Kennedy Space Center. All of the Space Coast beaches are within 100 miles of Orlando so you’ll easily make it there and back on one tank of gas.
Tour the Kennedy Space Center
Prefer to get up an close view of rockets? NASA’s launch headquarters is the only place in the world where you can see famous spacecraft, get up-close to launch areas, meet real-life astronauts and train in spaceflight simulators. Admission includes the $100 million Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit, the Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D space films in the Imax Theater and a bus tour.
Visit the largest library in Florida
You can take the kids for a fun day of reading, computing and fun activities at the Orange County Library. There are Early Literacy Stations which provide access to a wide variety of learning software in the areas of English, math, science, and the arts. Entrance is free.
Discover the magic of color
Kids can name their very own crayon, see how crayons are made and and watch as their art comes to life on a huge interactive wall at The Crayola Experience. It has 26 hands-on attractions including a two-story crayon-themed playground.
Discover hundreds of tropical plants
Kids will be in their element at the colorful Harry Leu Gardens located on the shores of Lake Rowena. Packed with hundreds of fascinating plants including tropical and sub-tropical species, the gardens are a scenic haven when you need time to out from touring Orlando’s busy theme parks. Entrance to the gardens and museum is around $4 for children, $10 for adults and free for children age 3 and under.
Music & theater
Do a movie night at Harry Leu
If you time your trip to Harry Leu Gardens right you’ll be able to catch an outdoor movie. Movie-goers can bring their own blankets, lawn chairs and picnic dinners (including alcohol for the adults) and snuggle up for an evening movie shown on a huge outdoor cinema screen. There are also a number of vendors on-site selling pizzas, ice cream and other refreshments. You can keep up-to-date with what movies are on here.
Or at Winter Park
Another great movie night is Popcorn Flicks in the Park, held on the second Thursday of each month at Winter Park. The film series features classic films for the whole family, totally free of charge. Shows typically start at 8pm and are accompanied by complimentary popcorn for all.
See a street show
Spectators of all ages are invited to watch hundreds of street performers in action at Orlando’s amazing Immerse festival. Held in Downtown Orlando each year, the event features an array of interactive, immersive and inspiring experiences. Whether it’s a concert pianist being pushed through the streets on a mini stage, or acrobats performing gravity-defying stunts above City Hall, the whole family are sure to be impressed – plus entry is free.
Attend a family show
You can attend a special family performance or class at the Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Upcoming shows include The Nutcracker Family Show and Peter & the Wolf Family Weekend.
Unusual things to do
Explore an upside-down mansion
You can’t miss Wonderworks Orlando, even if you try – it’s the only building along International Drive that’s upside down! The huge mansion is home to 100+ hands-on exhibits set across 6 wonder zones covering the themes of natural disasters, light & sound, space discovery, physical challenges, optical illusions and imagination. General admission is $24.99 for kids and $33.99 for adults. Kids age 3 and under go free.
Go indoor skydiving
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Orlando with kids, it doesn’t get much cooler than indoor skydiving. Kids will be blown away, literally, when they take a dive at the impressive I Fly skydiving simulator. This is as close as you can get to experiencing exactly how it feels to jump out of a plane, but without the parachute and pre-jump nerves.
Solve a crime
Teams of up to 5 players can work together to solve ‘crimes’ at the innovative Escapology attraction in Orlando. Can you complete your mission in the Cuban Crisis game? Channel you inner detective in Budapest Express or rescue a US Navy submarine in Under Pressure? The whole family are welcome.
Visit a weird museum
Expect to see hundreds of kitschy oddities on display at Ripley’s Orlando including shrunken heads, bizarre wax figures, rare animal skeletons, candy art and weird historical artifacts. You’ll be taking your kids on a journey through the strange, the bizarre and the downright unbelievable.
See landmarks made of chocolate
See how chocolate is made, learn about its history and see famous people and landmarks sculpted in chocolate at the Orlando Chocolate Museum and Cafe. A great place to visit with kids, the venue offers daily tours on the hour every hour.
Take a trip to the Holy Land
If you want to head away from Orlando’s mainstream theme parks why not take the kids on a trip to the Holy Land Experience? The park brings the Bible to life through theatrical productions, educational exhibits and full-size recreations of Biblical scenes. You’ll find a Jerusalem street market, the Great Temple, the House of Judea, the Cavalry’s Garden Tomb and Esther’s Banquet Hall, as well as entertainment and storytelling.
Go on a guided tour around the Titanic
At Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, visitors young and old can take guided tours and see full-scale recreations of the luxury ship including the grand staircase and authentic items that were found on board.
Meet Sesame Street characters
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Seaworld’s latest attraction is themed around Sesame Street. The family friendly land will feature everyone’s favorite Sesame Street characters as well as a raft of new amazing rides. Also, for the first time at Seaworld the park will host daily parades featuring characters, music and dancing.
Embark on a Serengeti Safari
Families with kids aged 5 and up can take a safari across the Serengeti Plain in a special open-air touring vehicle. Busch Gardens’ Serengeti Safari offers guests a unique and up-close look at African wildlife. You and your kids can hand-feed giraffes, spot zebras and rhinos, and make the most of amazing photo opportunities.
Learn circus skills
Children and adults are all welcome to participate in the variety of activities offered by the Orlando Circus School. Whether you want to do the flying trapeze, learn some aerial hoops or perfect your trampolining, this is the place to head.
Go mountain biking
You won’t find any mountains in Central Florida but you will find plenty of places where you can take your mountain bike off-road. Hal Scott Preserve has 17 miles of trails which are mostly flat so make for an easy ride for younger kids. Wekiwa Springs State Park also has some great biking trails including its main trail, which is nearly 8 miles long. You’ll be grateful for a swim in the natural spring after a long day of riding.
See a mermaid show
Kids of all ages will love seeing the world-famous mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs perform an awe-inspiring version of The Little Mermaid live in a submerged 400-seat auditorium. The mermaids perform amazing choreographed routines including eating and drinking underwater, followed by photo opportunities at the theater windows.
Ride on a river boat
If you’re looking for things to do in Orlando with kids, why not take them on a fun river boat cruise? You can sail down the scenic Weeki Wachee River and see nesting birds, manatees and colorful fish in all shapes and sizes. River boat cruises run continuously from 10am through 5pm and are free with paid admission to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.
Hit the beach
A trip to the beach will always be one of the best things to do for families, and in Orlando you’re not far from some of Florida’s best options. Cocoa Beach is located about one hour east of the city and has large picnic pavilions, scenic walkways and outdoor showers and restrooms. Also a one-hour drive away is Daytona Beach which boasts boasts a boardwalk and a pier, a water park and a family entertainment center. This guide has info on some of the other beaches near Orlando.
Visit a motorsports stadium
Also on the east coast is the Daytona International Speedway which offers daily track tours and is home to the champion Daytona 500 car and the Motorsports Hall of Fame. In addition to at least 9 major event weekends, the Speedway grounds are used for concerts, car shows and other fun goings on.
Catch a football game
Camping World Stadium in Downtown Orlando plays host to some of the biggest football games in the state. There’s the NFL Pro Bowl, the Camping World Bowl and the High School Championships to name a few. You’ll find plenty of other family friendly events on throughout the year like the adrenaline-charged Monster Jam truck competition.
Do some river tubing
A top spot for tubing, Kelly Park features a free-flowing natural spring and a crystal clear creek where you can float the days away. You can bring your own tubes or rent one from just outside the park. Park admission is $3 per vehicle for 1-2 people and $5 for 3-8 people.
Drive down to the Everglades
Located a few hours south of Orlando, the Everglades National Park offers up-close views of alligators and crocodiles, as well as walking tours, airboat tours, bike trips and canoeing excursions. Entrance is around $20 per car and is valid for 7 consecutive days.
Enjoy a day at the zoo
Treat yourself and your family to a fun day out at Central Florida Zoo. The zoo is home to more than 400 animals including some of the rarest and most endangered species on Earth. Keeper Chats happen around the park daily, you can also cool off at the tropical splash park or go on a thrilling zip-line adventure.
Christmas at the theme parks
Orlando’s famous theme parks are an absolute must-visit for families during the holidays. Disney World, Universal and the other main parks all bring the season to life with spectacular decorations, parties, parades and fireworks displays. Highlights include Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays, both at Disney World, the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular and Macy’s Parade at Universal, and Legoland’s Christmas Bricktacular. Most events are included in regular park admission.
Independence Day parties
Over the Independence Day weekend you’ll find non-stop celebrations and parties all over Orlando. There are special events on at all of the theme parks, there’s also a free fireworks and laser show at Lake Eola Park, a huge Independence Day bash at Baldwin Park, a light show at Icon Orlando, a fireworks show at Celebration town center, plus an abundance of other celebrations.
Mardi Gras at Universal
If you’re visiting with the kids in spring you’ll be in time for the lively Mardi Gras celebrations at Universal which run from early February through April.
Family friendly Halloween parties
The mildest Halloween celebrations can be found at Disney World in the form of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party which costs around $85 per ticket and is held on select nights from August through October. At Legoland there’s Brick-or-Treat, also great for little ones, and at Universal there’s Halloween Horror Nights which is for older and more hardened horror fans. Central Florida Zoo also runs a family friendly Zoo Boo Bash in late October.
Kids New Year’s Eve
Kids can enjoy all the fun of New Year’s Eve but with a sensible bedtime at Legoland’s special Kid’s New Year’s Eve. Run on ‘Kids Standard Time (KST)’ the the event features dance parties, scavenger hunts, brick building and a dazzling fireworks finale. On New Year’s Eve the countdown takes place at the very kid-friendly hour of 8pm also known as midnight (KST)!
Places to stay in Orlando with kids
If you’re planning a family getaway to Orlando you’ll be spoilt for choice deciding on where to stay. Whether you want a peaceful break away from the hubbub or a fun-packed adventure in a family resort, Top Villas offers it all.
Located just 6 miles from Disney World, Reunion Resort is a great choice for families. It’s home to a wide range of condos, villas and mansions, and many properties come with their own pools, hot tubs, game rooms and themed kids’ bedrooms. You’ll also find amazing resort amenities including a water park, golf courses, restaurants, a spa and a kids club.
Another great place to stay in Orlando with kids is the exciting Encore Resort at Reunion. Nestled in an exclusive spots close to the theme parks, it offers unlimited water park access and free shuttle transfers to Disney World and Universal Studios. Encore Resort is home to an impressive range of family villas that are available for short stays of just 3 nights or more.
Another top family resort is Championsgate which has golf courses, a water park, a movie theater and plenty of great restaurants. You’ll also find fantastic family friendly accommodation at Windsor Hills Resort, Formosa Gardens, Emerald Island and Solterra Resort, to name just a few.
Book instantly online
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