15 Top Things to Do In Orlando with Kids
Some of the top things to do in Orlando with kids involve the theme parks. Your ideal visit will depend upon the age of the kids. Still, for the smaller ones, no vacation will be complete without a visit to Walt Disney World Resort. Disney's Magic Kingdom highlights include the iconic Cinderella Castle, an encounter with beloved characters like Mickey Mouse or the Princesses, and a spin on some of the legacy rides like "it's a small world" or one of the other 40 rides and classic attractions. Read more about Adventure in the Magic Kingdom.
The tweens and teens may prefer Disney's Hollywood Studios with its look behind their favorite movies like Star Wars: Galaxy Edge or thrilling rides and coasters like Twilight Zone Tower of Terror or the Rock'n'Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith.
Animal lovers and adventurous kids of all ages and adults will find Disney's Animal Kingdom fascinating. They'll see exotic animals as they take the Kilimanjaro Safari and Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain and journey deep into Asia and Africa.
The entire family will be exposed to cultures from around the world while experiencing some great attractions like Test Track and you can treat your Frozen fans to Norway's Frozen Frozen Ever After and meet Snow White in Germany and Belle in France with a visit to Disney's Epcot.
Another of the big two theme parks, Universal Orlando Resort, offers up thrills and chills for kids of all ages. Some favorites at Universal Studios Florida are The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade at Universal Islands of Adventure. Thrill to Hollywood Riptide Rocket and lots of other fantastic rides themed to their favorite characters.
And if you're visiting in warmer weather, a day at one of the water parks is a must. Take time to chill out in the pools, lagoons, and beaches, enjoy the slides and rides, and have some aquatic fun. Some favorites are Disney's Blizzard Beach, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Universal's Islands of Adventure, Aquatica Orlando, Volcano Bay, Legoland Florida Water Park, SeaWorld Orlando, and Discovery Cove. Read more about Exploring Orlando for Families.
Let's face it. Park tickets to the top theme parks can be pricey, and the lines can be challenging with kids. That's why we've put together an insider list of great things to do with kids beyond the world of theme parks. Orlando is perhaps one of the top family destinations in the world and is jam-packed with fun, excitement, and thrills, for all ages when you know where to look. When you plan your itinerary, add in a few of our top Orlando kids activities to have the most exciting and active vacation ever. And the bonus is that many of them are super affordable. Get exploring these Orlando kids activities now!
Our 15 Top Things to do in Orlando with Kids Besides the Theme Parks
- Orlando Tree Trek Park - Located in Kissimmee, this adventure park is packed with action and activity that will leave your kids exhausted from fun. The park is full of swings, nets, ropes, Tarzan swings, and more for an action-packed day. It is perfect for kids age seven and up. It offers 97 aerial challenges, including 50-foot high rope bridges through a forest canopy, 425-foot zip lines, swinging logs, crossing suspension bridges, and leaping into hanging nets. All climbers are securely clipped in, and all riders are given safety instructions. This is one active day sure to burn off some of that vacation excitement and energy.
- WonderWorks is a different kind of amusement park and attraction that offers hands-on experiences and interactive exhibits designed to stimulate interest in science. They will enter an upside-down building and visit five locations around the country where their imaginations will run wild. The exhibits experiment with light and sound and simulated natural disasters. Over 100 exhibits include the Imagination Zone, Space Discovery, and the Light and Sound Zone. Experience the glow-in-the-dark Indoor Ropes and black-lit Laser Tag arena. There is plenty for all ages to do and learn at this unique family vacation attraction.
- Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve - Take a break and enjoy Florida outdoors with a visit to this 438-acre park and hope to see belted kingfishers, tree swallows, wood storks, and 100 other species of birds. Stop by the Vera Environmental Center and see what else is feeding there. Take a leisurely hike with 3.6 miles of well-maintained trails for some outdoor family fun. Tibet-Butler is located close to Walt Disney World Resort and features a welcome center.
- LEGOLAND Florida Resort is a great place to make memories and even offers a family-friendly waterpark with coasters, waterslides, and more. It is a vast amusement park located in Winter Park featuring LEGO-themed rides, attractions, and character meet-and-greets for the little ones. Don your 3-D glasses and destroy skeletons and ghosts. This one skews for the younger ones age 2-12. The kids will love driving their own LEGO car down two-lane streets featuring a real round-about and stop signs at Ford Driving School or taking an interactive water ride at LEGO World of Chima. The park covers 150 acres so bring your comfy shoes.
- Lake Eola Park - When it's time to take a break from the crowds and the excitement, head downtown Orlando to Lake Eola Park. This public park encircles Lake Eola and offers a chance to walk the pathway that borders the lake, stop and enjoy a picnic under the trees or rent a swan-shaped paddle boat and get out on the water for an hour or two. You'll want to feed the many swans and other birds that live there. Check out the Chinese Pagoda and kids' playgrounds and soak up the great view of Orlando's skyline. This is a slice of relaxation right downtown.
- Medieval Times is one of Orlando's premier dinner shows. Located in a castle, you'll be immersed in Medieval times and experience a show featuring knights and squires, magnificent horses, and flying falcons. Cheer for your favorite of six knights competing in a jousting tournament while you enjoy a four-course banquet. You'll see jousting, swordsmanship, hand-to-hand combat, and fantastic horsemanship as part of this story set in Medieval Spain. Visit the gift shop, Hall of Arms, and a Museum of Torture. Medieval Times is one of the most popular dinner shows in Florida.
- Pirates Dinner Adventure - Forget about boring dinners and experience a touch of the pirate life at this unique Pirates Dinner Adventure. The experience is set aboard an 18th-century Spanish galleon which sits in a 300,000-gallon indoor lagoon complete with night sky lighting. There are six six-sided ships in the showroom surrounded by the pool and audience. The one-of-a-kind show features acrobats, entertainers, and buccaneers who set sail through danger and excitement, including sword fights, sea monsters, songs, and includes a captain's feast. This is great fun for all ages. Arrghh!
- Crayola Experience - The Crayola Experience is conveniently located at The Florida Mall, just in case anyone is in the mood for shopping. This unique family attraction features more than 25 hands-on interactive experiences and activities. Kids will explore technology and art as they learn how crayons are made, create, name, wrap their own crayons, and create a melted wax painting. There is an indoor playground for the bigger kids and a Toddler Town for the little ones. Get there early as it gets busy. This is creative play at its best.
- Chocolate Museum - A visit here will teach you how chocolate is made in an interactive and entertaining tour that is fun for all ages. The chocolate sculptures feature landmarks like the Great Wall of China and Mount Rushmore and range up to 6 feet high. And the free chocolate samples are pretty tasty too.
- Beach Day! - Add a short road trip to your vacation with an hour ride east to the iconic Cocoa Beach. Famous for its surfing, it is home to a beautiful beach and great surf breaks. The Cocoa Beach Pier has shops and good eats, and it is the quintessential beach town. You'll find parking, bathrooms, and all you need for a visit to the white sandy beach. Stop by the iconic Ron Jon Surf Shop for fantastic shopping and all things surf. You may even want to take a surf lesson. Cocoa Beach is the gateway to Kennedy Space Center, and it's easy to add that to your visit to the Space Coast.
- Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is the destination for indoor fun. Enjoy 2-level indoor karting, laser tag, VR games and arcades, boutique bowling, zip-lining, a rope obstacle course, and lots more. Challenge your fears and show your skills!
- Fun Spot America is the perfect spot to take a roller coaster ride or drive a go-kart. Enjoy the Splash Pad, Mini Blower, Screamer Head Rush, Bumper Boats, and lots more.
- Gatorland - Don't leave Florida without a chance to see the legendary Florida alligators. You'll have the opportunity to feed them and even hold one for the most epic selfie ever. You'll want to get your ticket before the show, where the handlers will show you how it's done. Try the zip-line over a bunch of alligators for a real thrill. This theme park and wildlife preserve focuses on alligators and crocodiles, with the main event - the Gator Jumparoo Show, where you'll see them jump for their dinner.
- Chip & Dale's Campfire is great fun located within Walt Disney World. No ticket is required for this nightly campfire celebration, followed by a classic Disney movie under the stars. Roast marshmallows, sing songs and have fun with Chip 'n' Dale. You can bring your own or purchase a s'mores kit from the Chuckwagon Snack Bar. This is an excellent complimentary Disney experience.
- Madame Tussaud's may provide some of the best selfie opportunities in town. Pose with celebrities like Taylor Swift, Albert Einstein, or other sports and movie stars. Make sure your phone is fully charged! Madame Tussaud's is located in ICON Park with free parking and is right next to The Wheel, SEA LIFE, and more attractions.
Some tips for visiting Orlando with kids
Orlando is a mega destination that is packed with attractions and activities for all ages. Located in Central Florida, it also is within reach of some of the best of Florida's natural beauty, including nature parks, lakes, and beaches. Don't make the mistake of trying to do it all or over-scheduling. Kids that are overtired can get cranky and won't enjoy themselves if they have too much running around. Pick an activity or two that each of the kids will enjoy. Plan out your itinerary to space out the theme parks, outdoor activities, the more active activities, and any day trips. This will provide an exciting and balanced vacation with something for everyone. And don't forget to schedule some downtime and time for exploration and unexpected adventures. Don't worry. You are sure to want to come back and explore more of our top things to do in Orlando with kids.
Vacationing at Walt Disney World in Orlando can be overwhelming and a little bit intimidating, even for the return visitor. There are so many attractions and thousands of things to see and do.
Orlando is much more than theme parks these days! Explore the Orlando outdoors, and you will find that it offers an abundance of natural beauty, outdoor activities that will chill you out, or get the adrenaline pumping, unusual wildlife, and lots of ways to explore.