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Best Things to Do In Orlando With Kids

Are you planning a trip to Orlando with the little ones? Get ready for lots of magic and an exhaustingly fun time. It's a vacation they will want to do over and over again—but all that magic comes with a price. Theme park admissions can add up fast. Luckily, there are tons of other things to do in Orlando with kids. And (spoiler alert!) they won't break the bank. 

Read on to learn how you can make the most of your time and budget in Orlando. Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando certainly warrant a visit, but you can offset the money you spend on the big parks with in-between days spent discovering all the other fun things Orlando has to offer. From water parks to museums to lazy days at the beach, the following guide will help you discover all there is to do in Orlando with kids.

things to do in orlando not disney

The Obvious - Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando

  • Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is the heart of Orlando, and you will want to include at least one visit in your itinerary. The rides, the experiences, and the adventure will make memories your kids will never forget. However, Disney can be overwhelming and expensive. The good news is that for many people, a little Disney can go a long way — one or two park days peppered in your entire stay may very well be enough, though you’ll have to decide how you want to allocate that time. 

Walt Disney World offers four theme parks (Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Disney's Hollywood Studios), as well as miniature golf courses, two water parks, and Disney Springs for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Your choice of theme park is going to be determined by the kids' ages and likes. For the younger set, the Magic Kingdom is a must. You’ll definitely want to do a little homework on the Disney site and have a family meeting to plan out your itinerary before you get to Orlando! Read How To Plan Disney Trip on a Budget

  • Universal Orlando

The other leader when it comes to theme parks is Universal Orlando. Universal Orlando has Universal Studios Orlando, Universals' Island of Adventures, Volcano Bay, and CityWalk for shopping, dining, and maybe a Blue Man Group show.

Universal is a "must-do " for kids that are just a little older—old enough (and tall enough) for Universal’s many thrill rides and movie and TV-themed rides. Regardless of age, Harry Potter fans can’t miss a visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. 

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Beyond Disney and Universal: Other Great Things to do in Orlando with Kids.  

  • SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium

SeaLife Orlando Aquarium is a fascinating, family-friendly underwater experience. Located on International Drive within ICON Park (and near lots of other attractions), SEA LIFE features a full range of exhibits, interactive activities, animal feeding, and even a Dive Adventure Trail. Enjoy the secrets of the underwater world as you explore habitats like the Pacific floor and the waters of the Indian Ocean, or immerse yourself in life under the sea with the 360-degree Underwater Tunnel where you can observe sharks and rays swimming above and around you. 

  • SeaWorld Orlando 

At SeaWorld Orlando, you get the complete package. Not only does the park offer live, family-friendly presentations featuring amazing sea creatures such as dolphins, orcas, penguins, and sea lions, it also boasts world-class roller-coasters, including Ice-Breaker, a brand new ride featuring the steepest beyond vertical drop in Florida. For little ones, SeaWorld Orlando’s Sesame Street Land is a huge hit. This recreated neighborhood based on the beloved TV show allows kids to experience all kinds of interactive and educational fun, including Abby Cadabby's garden, Big Bird's nest, Mr. Hooper's store, and the 123 stoop. Sesame Street Land also includes six different rides, dry and wet areas, and a daily Sesame Street parade. 

  • Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove (operated by SeaWorld) offers an unforgettable marine experience where kids have the opportunity to get in the water and swim with bottlenose dolphins. They can also snorkel along the colorful reefs, discovering thousands of tropical fish as they go. Additional adventures include watching sea otters frolic, observing sharks (safely secured in their tanks, of course), and walking through an aviary with over 250 tropical birds, including brilliantly colored toucans and parrots. 

things to do in Orlando with kids
  • ICON Park - The Wheel, Madame Tussauds,

ICON Park packs lots of fun and activity into one stop. With easily accessible free parking, this is a place you won’t want to miss. Take a ride on the iconic Wheel at ICON Park, where you'll soar in a private capsule 400 feet above the city for a panoramic and breathtaking experience. Visit Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum and pose for selfies with your favorite movie stars and celebrities. Enjoy dozens of restaurants and great shopping while you're here. 

  • Crayola Experience

Allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy all the amazing activities at Crayola Experience. Featuring more than 25 hands-on attractions, this family-favorite destination shows kids how crayons are made in a live show then lets them name and wrap their own crayon, play on the interactive floor, and create their own melted wax painting. There's even a Toddler Town for the smaller ones to play, complete with a climbing structure. Show up early! Crayola Experience is a favorite, and it fills up quickly.

  • Orlando Science Center

Make up for the time away from studies and thrill young, curious minds with a visit to Orlando Science Center. The kids will learn from and enjoy the center’s many interactive exhibits and experiences, all of which focus on science and technology. NatureWorks takes a deep dive into the natural world, while Kids Town is a miniature town with plenty of interactives for role-playing. The DinoDigs fossil display has real fossilized dinosaur eggs, and OurPlanet explores the Universe. Two theatres feature a full program of exciting presentations. Check ahead to see what's on the schedule. 

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  • WonderWorks 

This unique amusement park for the mind aims to excite children about science by combining education with entertainment. Set in an upside-down home, the attraction boasts more than 100 exhibits that challenge the mind and spark the imagination. Six separate Wonder Zones are packed with hands-on activities, including the Imagination Zone, where kids can make their own art, play with gears, and defend the world from aliens. There’s also a Space Discovery Zone, Light and Sound Zone, and Wonder Art Gallery. Beyond the exhibits, WonderWorks also offers black-lit Laser-Tag, an indoor ropes course, and the 4D XD Motion Theatre. 

Get Outdoors and On the Water! 

  • Orlando Watersports Complex 

Teenagers will love the opportunity to enjoy Orlando's fantastic great outdoors at Orlando Watersports Complex. This extensive watersports park offers all kinds of water fun, including knee-boarding, wakeboarding, waterskiing, wake-skating, and wake-surfing. The park has a boating lake with two cable systems and a two-tower system that offers a "get-up" guarantee! Come on! Who can resist? Leave the theme parks behind for a day and wear off that vacation energy in the Florida tropics. Stick around and enjoy the beach area with a picnic or something from the snack bar. 

Only in Orlando

  • Pirates Dinner Adventure

Packed with excitement and a favorite with kids of all ages, Pirates Dinner Adventure is a thrilling dinner show featuring swordfights, songs, sea monsters, and more. The cast of acrobats, entertainers, and cutthroats perform on a reproduction of an 18-th century Spanish galleon, which sits in a 300,000-gallon indoor lagoon complete with night sky lighting. It’s an action-packed evening that includes a delicious feast fit for the captain’s cabin. 

Big Savings on Great Things to Do in Orlando with Kids 

  • Go City Pass

You can save big on dozens of top Orlando attractions with a Go City Pass. Choose an All-Inclusive Pass (available for 3, 5, or 7 days) and save up to 50% on combined admissions to top attractions such as LEGOLAND Florida, WonderWorks All-Access, The Wheel at ICON Park, Madame Tussauds, and SeaLife Aquarium. Or choose an Explorer Pass, which allows you to select from two up to five attractions (the pass is good for 60 days) and save up to 40%. Purchase your City Pass online then download the Go City app to your smart phone and start exploring.

For an amazing and budget-friendly trip, check out Free Things to Do in Orlando Today

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