When people think of Orlando, they automatically think of theme parks. While theme parks are fun, and we do love going to them, we don’t want to go to them all the time. But what is there to do in Orlando besides theme Parks? Here are 55 activities that you can do in Orlando instead.
Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks – Indoor Activities
This interactive journey near International Drive reveals how chocolate transforms from the bean into a creamy, dreamy treat. Guided by a prince and his dragon sidekick, you’ll go through the attraction’s Cacao Tree Greenhouse, Chocolate Museum, Mystical River of Chocolate and Bean-to-the-Bar Factory, which uses old-world machinery. You’ll even have the chance to create a customized chocolate bar!
Enjoy a full day of creative play and colorful fun with more than two dozen hands-on activities at this family-friendly attraction, located at The Florida Mall®. Covering two stories and 70,000 square feet, Crayola Experience invites you to name and wrap your own Crayola crayon, and learn how crayons are made in a fun live show. You can also sculpt colorful creations at the Crayola Model Magic compound, watch as your digital art comes to life on a huge interactive wall, and melt crayons down into shapes.
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At this International Drive attraction, you and up to seven companions race against the clock to find clues, solve puzzles and escape inside of 60 minutes. Scenarios include Antidote, Budapest Express, Cuban Crisis, 7 Deadly Sins, Mansion Murder, Narco and Under Pressure.
Orlando’s chapter of this world-renowned attraction is part of ICON Park on International Drive. Here, you can see lifelike stars from film and television, music, sports, pop culture and history. And now, you can even meet some of the world’s best-known superheroes as part of Justice League: A Call for Heroes, an all-new exhibit featuring the stars of DC Entertainment’s Justice League!
See the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany and other artists and jewelry designers at the Morse Museum of American Art. You will see paintings, lamps, pottery, jewelry, art glass and decorative art.
The Orlando Science Center is a private science museum located in Orlando, Florida. View millions of stars in the domed planetarium and peer into their largest public refracting telescope to catch a breathtaking glimpse of the Florida night sky.
This is an indoor mini golf arena which glows in the dark. Your kids will definitely enjoy a game of mini golf in the dark at Putting Edge, definitely very different from what they’re used to. They also have video games and snacks for an additional charge.
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Don’t be fooled by this International Drive attraction’s outward appearance: It’s not really falling into a sinkhole! It’s just one of many odd and unbelievable sights, sounds and experiences at the 10,000-square-foot venue. Inside, the whole family can enjoy fascinating, interactive exhibits and explore an impressive variety of artifacts and displays in 16 unique galleries. And the self-guided, self-paced tour means you’ll have plenty of time to see it all.
Experience and see the real skeletons of almost 400 animals at SKELETONS: Animals Unveiled. This unique educational experience for your kids will allow them to view over 40 animal skeleton exhibits.
The original “indoor amusement park for the mind” melds education and entertainment into more than 100 hands-on exhibits for all ages. Features include six interactive “Wonder Zones” based on a range of themes, as well as laser tag, a three-story ropes challenge course and the XD Theater 4D Motion Ride. Also home to The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show, you’ll find it in the famous upside down building that’s part of Pointe Orlando on International Drive.
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Discover this and more at the world of chocolate Museum tour. Where you will learn everything about chocolate history and try chocolates from around the world.
Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks – Shows
Knock three times, give the secret password and discover the era of mobsters, dames and prohibition at this dinner attraction near Walt Disney World in Kissimmee. The one-of-a-kind speakeasy and cabaret features singing, dancing, sensational costumes, stand-up comedy, romance and goofy gangster action, plus lots of audience participation.
Located in the heart of International Drive, Mango’s offers a lavish dining experience like no other. Watch in wonder as the world-famous Mango’s Dancers perform on an Italian glass mosaic after walking past an amazing terrazzo mural. Outdoor covered patio spaces include a sidewalk café and a second-floor veranda, which are surrounded by the copper sculpture Mambo Bar, the mystical Samba Bar and the lovely Mermaid Bar.
Orlando’s original dining entertainment experience presents a heart-pounding show that tells a tale of devotion, courage and love. Travel through the mist of time to an age where bold knights on spirited horses display the incredible athleticism and thrilling sword fights that have made Medieval Times one of America’s most popular dinner attractions. Housed in an actual castle, they’re located close to Walt Disney World in Kissimmee.
You are invited to step into a world of comedy, mystery and intrigue at Sleuths, located on International Drive and suitable for all ages. Mingle with unusual characters as you become the detective and solve the crime through a live interrogation where the action is fast and the laughter is contagious. Dinner includes hors d’oeuvres, a choice of entrée and dessert, as well as unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks.
Watch a magic show that is performed by tricky magicians and also be a part of it. They also have the World’s Greatest Magic Shop and your kids can purchase some things to try their own magic tricks art home.
For a unique taste of the local culture, together with an intimate immersion into the Orlando music scene, come check out the House of Blues in Orlando, Florida! Home to countless award-winning performances over the years, this top-tier venue regularly plays host to some of the top blues musicians to grace the face of the planet today.
Attend a fun pirate adventure and dinner at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure. It has a cast of singers, actors, and stunt performers, among others. It is a real action-packed with cannon blasts which every kid is guaranteed to enjoy.
Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks – Outdoor Activities
Visit Leu Gardens, a 50 acre botanical garden in downtown Orlando. See a variety of plants, vegetables, herbs and even animals. Bring a picnic lunch with you and find a nice shady spot to sit down for a bit and just enjoy the ambience.
Looking for thrills? You’ve come to the right place! Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park is a progressively challenging aerial obstacle course set high atop the trees in a natural pine forest, each one more exhilarating than the last.
An off-road motor and fishing venue set in 230 acres of Florida countryside, this attraction is close to all major tourist attractions. You’re invited to jump in the driver’s seat for the guided adventure of a lifetime on all-terrain vehicles, dune buggies or even ARGO amphibious Mucky Ducks. Revolution also offers bass fishing on its private lake, as well as archery lessons and clay shooting. Plus, all equipment is included.
Visit Wekiwa Springs State Park and explore their trails on foot, bike or horseback. If you want to cool off after hitting the trails, or just in general, take a swim in the Wekiwa Springs. You can also go snorkeling in the crystal clear water.
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Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks –Animals
At the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens you can experience interacting with animals for around the world such as rhinos, giraffes, monkeys and leopards
Take a deep dive into the world’s oceans at The Florida Aquarium. Here you’ll learn about the ocean’s many animals as well as Florida’s natural habitat and other ecosystems all through interactive and immersion galleries. The Florida Aquarium is also home to a 500,000 gallon tank where you can enjoy a closer look at some of the greatest creatures in the world.
Have you ever fed a giraffe? At this attraction in Dade City, about an hour from Walt Disney World, you’ll get to know giraffes and other species from around the world, all in a setting that seems right out of Africa with huge live oaks and open grasslands. Offering tours exclusively by reservation, it’s on 47 acres of countryside adjoining Florida’s second largest wilderness area, the Green Swamp, complete with native orchids, lush pastures and rolling wetlands.
Outschool is great for kids to learn at home. They can try all sorts of classes from music, art, cooking, acting and more. Both my kids love Outschool. They have taken multiple classes with them.
Officially characterized as a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge, one of 562 nationally protected spaces within the United States dedicated to the continued preservation of America’s wildlife, vegetation, and fish, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge hosts more organized life than perhaps you’ve ever experienced. Home to over 1,000 plant species, which together with 117 species of fish, 330 birds species, 31 individualized mammal species and 68 reptile and amphibian species make for a truly unforgettable visit, the site itself is captivating from the moment you set foot upon its lands.
Take a closer look at unique animals in the Safari Wilderness Ranch. You will get to see zebras, deer, ostriches, camels, red lechwe, and more. If your kids love animal encounters, then this is perfect.
Travel deep into 4,200 acres of protected swamps, marshes and rivers that make up the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. On your journey, you’ll get an in-depth look at the gators, birds, eagles, trees and plants that can be found in the area’s beautiful wetlands. What’s more, airboat tickets include complimentary admission to the wildlife park and a hands-on gator demonstration. And now, you can drive a car through their Safari Park for a self-guided tour with more than 100 exotic animals and native Florida wildlife!
Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks –Bowling
This is the perfect place to bowl, eat and lounge in a comfortable, fun and luxurious environment. Located at Vue at ICON Park on International Drive, it features 22 bowling lanes, billiards, ping pong and even bocce ball, plus two premium bars serving innovative cocktails. It also boasts a chef-designed menu centered around fresh takes on American classics.
Eat, bowl and play with state-of-the-art bowling, virtual and interactive games, billiards, a high-ropes adventure course, 61 HDTVs, and chef-driven dining, all in a 50,000-square-foot facility. Main Event also boasts the first-ever, free-roam, multiplayer, virtual-reality game! It’s part of the Pointe Orlando dining, entertainment and shopping hub on International Drive.
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Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks – Sports
No questions “axed” at this downtown Orlando attraction, which features multiple axe-throwing lanes, expert coaching, and delicious food and drinks. Bullseye!
Just 15 minutes from Orlando International Airport, Drive Shack invites golfers of every age and skill level — as well as people who have never picked up a club — to experience an all-new take on golf. Instead of worrying about pars, birdies or holes-in-one, you’ll play fun games like ShackJack, which is based on classic blackjack, or Monster Hunt, where you destroy monsters to save a princess. And it’s all complemented with gourmet food and beverage options.
Love golf? Never played it? Either way, you’ll have a blast at Topgolf, which is adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center in the International Drive area. Featuring a fun take on the game that uses a scoring system similar to bowling or darts, the venue also has an impressive food and drink menu. What’s more, all of the attraction’s 102 climate-controlled driving bays have HDTVs and music selection.
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Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks – Games
Classic arcade and prize games take center stage at this attraction, one of many fun experiences at ICON Park™ on International Drive.
Dave & Buster’s is a large entertainment facility filled with everything you’d need to have a fun time, arcade games, a full sports bar, and a great restaurant. Dave and Buster’s is a great alternative to the theme parks; here you can have tons of fun without having to spend hours queuing up for rides. It’s the place where the fun lasts through the night, and you can eat, drink, play and watch sports, all under one roof.
Let your kids play arcade games in Happy Days Family Fun Center. Among the games are Pinball Machines, Arcade Machines, Classic Arcade Games, and 360 Play, among others.
Play all types of Virtual Reality Games at Mind Immersions including. The gaming studio is divided into three main sections: individual game rooms, motion games, and group games. In all areas, the player or players get to decide what game they want to play.
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This virtual-reality arcade on International Drive boasts more than 30 games and experiences. Options include multi-player games, solo experiences, and even a VR escape room for two to four players.
Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks – Go-Karts
Race with a legend at the only indoor karting experience endorsed by Mario Andretti! Adjacent to International Drive and the Orange County Convention Center, this 150,000-square-foot facility features multi-level indoor karting, 12 lanes of boutique bowling, more than 120 arcade and prize games, two-story laser tag, six virtual-reality racing simulators, a motion theater, and an extreme ropes course with a curved-rail zipline, as well as a full-service restaurant and bars.
Rain or shine, racing excitement is always guaranteed at this indoor attraction on International Drive. In addition to state-of-the-art electric race karts, I-Drive NASCAR has an arcade with more than 60 games, a four-lane bowling alley, three pool tables, and a full bar and restaurant offering 180-degree views of the action.
Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks – Rides
Fun Spot America is Central Florida’s only family-owned theme park, and it has two locations: International Drive in Orlando and Kissimmee near Walt Disney World. Both provide the same level of fun, but they are distinct enough to allow for completely different experiences. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or someone who prefers the lights and sounds of an arcade, these parks offer plenty of excitement for the entire family, including multi-level go-kart tracks and Orlando’s only wooden roller coaster.
If you’ve always wanted to experience skydiving but aren’t too keen on the whole “jumping out of a plane” aspect, head to this attraction on International Drive. There’s no parachute and no jumping. Instead, you’ll float on a cushion of air thanks to iFLY’s innovative wind-tunnel technology. It’s safe for guests as young as 3, and you’ll be guided by a personal flight instructor.
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Go up — way up — and away with the Orlando area’s premier balloon ride operator. Float gently across the Orlando skyline as you enjoy the world’s oldest and safest form of flight while checking something memorable off your bucket list. Flights start just a short distance from Walt Disney World.
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Towering 450 feet over I-Drive — 50 feet taller than its neighbor, The Wheel — this ICON Park attraction is the world’s tallest swing ride. Climb aboard to enjoy speeds of up to 60 mph from 425 ft in the air…if you dare.
Screamin’ Gator Zipline is voted as the best zipline in the U.S. Experience a thrilling ride in this zipline while flying over the crocodiles and alligators. Besides, you will see the beautiful scenery overlooking Gatorland.
Technically speaking, this attraction — formerly known as the Orlando Eye — is outdoors, but you’ll experience it in climate-controlled comfort aboard one of the roomy, WiFi-enabled capsules. Towering over International Drive, the 400-foot-tall observation wheel will give you an unbeatable view of Orlando. It’s the centerpiece of the ICON Park entertainment and dining complex.
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Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks – Water Fun
Most of the time Orlando’s weather allows for some fun water adventures. Buena Vista Watersports is the place for water play with water skiing, wake-boarding, tubing, a sandy beach and more. You can do it all on the 400-acre private Lake Bryan.
On Florida’s west coast, opt for a three-hour “Swimming With Manatees” tour or a 90-minute “Eco Tour,” with the chance to see otters, dolphins, wild pigs, gators and, of course, manatees. This attraction also offers SCUBA training and fresh-water dive tours.
Get your heart pumping and hire a jet ski from Extreme Jet Ski of Orlando. Located 4 miles from Disney, this place lets you take a ride across the lake for an amazing adventure. Hire rates start at around $55.
Nona Adventure Park is a water based family fun center. They have an aqua park with a variety of obstacles, including climbing walls, whirlpools and slides, as well as two cable runs where you can wakeboard, kneeboard and water ski. If you want to stay dry, they also have a climbing tower with rock climbing wall and ropes course.
Experience a paddle adventure and learn to stand up on paddleboard in just a few minutes at Paddleboard Orlando. Also, they have paddleboard adventure trips, private paddleboard parties, and a lot more.
Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks – On a Boat
Located in Kissimmee near Walt Disney World, this attraction invites you to glide across the headwaters of the Florida Everglades at speeds up to 40 mph aboard six-passenger airboats that have been inspected and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. During the 45-minute tour, you’ll encounter areas untouched by man and see a wide range of exotic wildlife. Night expeditions, which last an hour, are also available.
Offering 60- and 90-minute airboat rides through the pristine headwaters of the Florida Everglades, this attraction offers unique adventures in the great outdoors. They’re located minutes from Walt Disney World.
Climb aboard the 25-foot vessel and feel the wind in your hair. If you’ve ever wanted to go sailing, now is your time. Perfect for getting out on the water and watching the sunset or just having a nice, relaxing day on the water.
This Winter Park Scenic Boat tour takes you through the beautiful chain of lakes in the Orlando’s Winter Park neighborhood. This is led through a one hour guided tour on seven lakes and two canals.
Which place are you looking forward to trying out?
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