When I first moved to Orlando a couple of years ago, I didn’t know what there was to do outside of the theme parks. Well, I am happy to report that while the theme parks are fun, and you might want to get passes to one or two while your kids are young, they are not the only things to do with kids in Orlando. There are plenty of other activities and they are much easier on the wallet! Here are 20 fun activities that we recommend in Orlando.

Outside Activities

  1. Ride the Swan Boats in Lake Eola –  Take the swan boats out for a spin on Lake Eola and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. If your kids are old enough, they can even pedal for a spell giving you time to relax. Boats are $15 for 30 minutes. Groupon has a deal right now where you can save 30% on a boat rental.
  2. Experience Adventure at Nona Adventure Park – Nona Adventure Park is a ton of fun for kids. They love climbing and running on the inflatables and jumping into the lake. You can go out there with them if you want or you can also sit on the side on watch from comfy chairs. Family doesn’t like the water? There is also a ropes course on site. It is definitely not for the faint of heart! If you are peckish, there is a restaurant on site where they sell lunch/dinner and also adult beverages should you choose to partake.
  3. Go Orienteering at Moss Park – Orienteering is an outdoor game that can be played as a family. Locate easy to find markers on a map. The goal is to determine the best route to find the markers in the least amount of time. After you find all the markers, you can go for a swim or play on the playground in the park.
  4. Enjoy the Water at Wekiwa Springs – Take your family to this natural swimming hole close to downtown Orlando. You can go swimming or snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of the springs. You can also go kayaking or canoeing in the springs. If you don’t have your own canoe or kayak, you can rent one for a nominal fee at the park.
  5. Look for “Treasure” on a Geocaching hunt in Orlando – Go geocaching as a family to look for “buried treasure”. In Orlando alone, there are over 1000 hidden caches. Go to https://www.geocaching.com/play register and find a hunt close to you. Best of all, there is no cost to play.
  6. Enjoy Nature at Leu Gardens – There is over 50 acres of gardens and lakes at Leu Gardens in downtown Orlando. Kids will especially love the Butterfly Garden, the Vegetable Garden and the Rose Garden. There are special activities year-round, including story-time, concerts and movie nights.

Indoor Activities

1) Take a visit back to the ye olde days at Medieval Times – We visited this past Christmas and the kids and adults alike had a fun time watching the competitions and cheering for our knight. Before or after the show take a walk through the medieval museum that is free to enter. 2) Go Upside Down at WonderWorks – Yes, we know that IDrive can be a beast, but the kids really enjoyed their time at WonderWorks. It has a lot of cool activities to keep them entertained, such as laser tag, a 4D theater, and a ropes course, along with over 100 games and activities. Related Post: 10 Tips for Visiting WonderWorks Orlando 3) Pose with your Favorite Celebrities at Madame Tussauds – We visited Madame Tussauds a few years ago and it was a fun couple of hours for the entire family. The wax figures aren’t roped off so you can get close-up to them and take pictures and make funny faces. My daughter really enjoyed taking photos with the figures, even though she didn’t know who everyone was. 4) Take to the Sky at IFly Orlando  – If you have ever wanted to go sky diving, but the whole jumping out of a plane thing doesn’t work for you, then you will want to check out IFly. In full disclosure, we haven’t done this activity yet, but the last time we were on IDrive, we saw a bunch of families taking part. The kids seemed to be having an amazing time. It is on our to-do list for sure! Related Post: Flying high at IFly Orlando 5) Learn about Space at Kennedy Space Center –  Even though this is a little bit of a drive, kids will love learning about rockets and the journey to the moon. They will be able to see real space shuttles and even operate a flight simulator. Related Post: 10 Tips for Visiting Kennedy Space Center 6) Get Colorful at Crayola Experience – The Crayola Experience is a fun day out for the entire family, although I do recommend getting a pass as it is only a few dollars more than a single ticket. Kids and parents alike can enjoy a variety of colorful, art-based activities inside. If your kids are anything like mine, they will want to go back multiple times. Related Post: 10 Tips for Visiting Crayola Experience 7) Discover Orlando Science Center – The Orlando Science Center is a great day out for the entire family, from babies on up. There are fun experiments for kids to try, they can build, they can climb, they can play. My 5-year old especially loves digging for dinosaur bones and learning about engineering in the kinetic zone. The 10-year old likes Dr. Dare’s Lab, where she gets to conduct experiments. They both love the live science shows, where something usually explodes! 8) Learn about Chocolate at Chocolate Kingdom – Go an interactive factory at Chocolate Kingdom to learn how chocolate is made. The tour last for 45 minutes and you will get to sample chocolate along the way. At the end of the tour everyone will get the opportunity to customize their own candy bar (additional cost). 9) Learn about Music at Symphony Storytime – Symphony Storytime with the Orlando Philharmonic is an awesome way for younger kids to learn about music. Each event features a different book that is read live by a narrator. Music helps to bring the books to life. After the show, there is the instrument petting zoo where kids get to try different instruments. Related Post: Symphony Storytime: A Way to Introduce Young Kids to the Orchestra

Free activities

  1. Take in a Concert at Disney Springs – Disney Springs holds free concerts every Friday and Saturday night. They have performances in three areas: The Marketplace, West Side and the Landing. During the holidays they have nightly concerts.
  2. Sing-A-Long with Chip and Dale at Chip and Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long. – Every evening at The Campsites at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is the You can bring along your own sticks and marshmallows to roast over the fire. After the sing along an outdoor movie is shown.
  3. Listen to Live Music and Movies at Old Town – Old Town features live music every night of the week all year round. Every Sunday they also feature an outdoor family movie free of charge.
  4. View Art at the Cornell Museum of Art at Rollins college – The museum holds a family day a few times a year. There are fun and educational activities that are perfect for the whole family, including gallery tours, scavenger hunts, games, and hands-on art making.
  5. Learn about Pioneer Life at Fort Christmas Historical Park – See a full size replica of Fort Christmas as well as 7 historical homes showing pioneer life in Orange County from the 1870s to the 1930s.

What are your favorite activities to do with the kids?