50 Things To Do in Orlando With Kids Before They Grow Up
Our guest contributor is Angie Lynch, who writes A Whole Lot of Nothing
As a native Floridian, I know my way around the Sunshine State. Having kids with whom to experience all of the activities and attractions, it’s extra fun to see the Orlando area from a kid’s point of view. Orlando is known for being a vacation destination, and alongside all of the theme parks, Central Florida is home to amazing kid-friendly activities. From the nature trails to water parks to professional sports and art classes to sweet treats, Orlando has a never-ending list of fun things for families and kids to do.
1. See the nighttime fireworks show at Magic Kingdom over Cinderella Castle at Disney World.
2. Attend an Orlando Magic basketball game.
3. View the manatees at Blue Springs State Park.
4. Swim with the dolphins at Discovery Cove.
5. Go ice skating at RDV Sportsplex.
6. Take a hotel tour of Disney resorts while Christmas decorations are on display, making sure not to miss out on the life-size gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian.
7. Walk through the downtown farmer’s market, eating grilled corn on the cob.
8. Drink a pint of Butter Beer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.
9. See the stars at the Orlando Science Center observatory.
10. Ride a bike on the West Orange Trail.
11. Watch a movie with dinner at the AMC Downtown Disney 24 Fork & Screen.
See all of the millions of Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in December. (Unfortunately, Holiday 2015 was the last year for this attraction. Thank you to reader Ann for the update.)
13. Jump off onto a zip line over the swamp canopy in Kissimmee.
Get slimed when you stay a weekend at Nickelodeon Suites Resort Hotel. (closed as of April 18, 2016. Sad panda and thank you to readers who chimed in.)
15. Meet Mickey Mouse at Disney World.
16. Play and learn science at Wonderworks, the upside down building.
17. Choose an adventure at Wekiwa Springs.
18. Visit the Holocaust Memorial in Maitland and watch a film about those who lived it.
20. Dine with the Disney Princesses at Akershus in Epcot.
21. Go on the Phineas & Ferb Agent scavenger hunt in Epcot.
22. Have a gourmet mini cupcake and a cup of frozen yogurt at Sweet! by Good Golly Miss Holly.
24. Earn a driver’s license from Driving School at LEGOLAND.
25. Trade pins with cast members all around Disney World.
26. Watch the annual Citrus Bowl Parade pass through Downtown Orlando.
27. Order the Kitchen Sink at Beaches & Cream at Disney’s Beach Club, and eat the entire thing.
28. Visit the Orlando History Center during one of their special events.
29. Hang out at the Children’s Library at the downtown Public Library, reading aloud your favorite books.
30. Plan ahead for an Off-Broadway tour performance at Bob Carr Performaning Center.
31. Spend a day at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium discovering historic oddities.
32. During the non-summer months, picnic with the elephants at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
33. Putt-putt to your heart’s content at the one of the 5 Central Florida Congo River Golf locations.
34. Drive out to Green Meadows Farm and petting zoo to meet with the animals, ride the train, and take a pony ride.
35. See the hundreds of alligators and gator wrestling show at Kissimmee’s historic Gatorland. Make sure to find the enormous albino aligator!
37. Jump around at AirHeads Indoor Trampoline Arena.
38. Have lunch at Dave & Busters then stick around for an afternoon of arcade fun.
39. Find your way through Long & Scott’s Corn Maze during the Fall months, making sure to take a hay ride through the farm.
40. Attend a spring training game for the Atlanta Braves at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
41. Watch the as the ducks march through the Peabody Hotel on International Drive.
42. Take an airboat ride through the Florida swamps at the headwaters to the Everglades.
43. Pick a bushel of citrus from U-Pick Showcase of Citrus in Clermont.
44. Attend an Orlando Solar Bears hockey game (beginning in Fall 2012).
45. Spend the weekend at Star Wars Celebration at the Orlando Orlando County Convention Center.
46. See a kid’s theater show at the Orlando Repertory Theatre.
47. Take an art class at Crealde School of Art in Winter Park.
48. Race the whole family in go-carts at Fun Spot.
49. Swim the day away on the water slides and wave pools at Wet n’ Wild.
Related: Here’s our 65 Things You Must Do & See at Disney World list.
(This series was inspired by Mommy Poppins’ 100 Things to Do with Your Kids in NY Before They Grow Up.)
Top Photo credit: Thinkstock