Walt Disney World and Universal Studios are two of the most famous destinations in the Sunshine State. But what are other exciting things to do in Orlando, Florida? Gardens, gators, and galleries are just a taste of the sights held in one of the most famous cities in the US. Keep reading to find out which venues could be top of your list.
Family-Friendly Things to Do in Orlando, Florida
1. Fun Spot America
Fun Spot America is an adrenaline-filled location that features the only wooden rollercoaster in Orlando, an arcade, bumper cars, and multi-level go-kart tracks. Kids can enjoy a three-story Funhouse, fairground rides, and carousels at this underrated marvel.
For a fun-filled amusement park with a nostalgic feel, enjoy the free admission at Fun Spot America. Here is the only family-owned theme park in Central Florida, and you can find it on International Drive in Orlando.
Enjoy seeing live alligators behind the safety of a barrier when you visit Gatorland. The fun and educational attraction give you an unforgettable experience of Florida wildlife that will amaze reptile-lovers, both young and young-at-heart. Crocodiles, native birds, Florida panthers, and petting zoo animals also make their home here.
Gatorland is famous for the Gator Jumparoo Show, where you can see how high alligators can leap out of the water. If you feel daring, ride a zip line over the breeding marsh for a truly unique experience. You can even see live gator wrestling here at one of the most unique things to do in Orlando, Florida.
3. Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens
See 23 acres of native gardens and over 500 animals at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Children can enjoy a petting zoo and splash playground, and the Seminole Aerial Adventures zip line is fun for the family.
Housed in a protected wetland region, this will give you a reprieve from the crowds where you can visit rhinos, leopards, llamas, an insect zoo, and a reptile house. Enjoy a rare opportunity to feed a giraffe and learn about the zoo’s efforts to protect endangered species in captivity and the wild.
4. Chocolate Kingdom Orlando
Anyone craving chocolate will love this Wonka-esque tour to discover how chocolate is made. Travel from the Cacao Tree Greenhouse, where you’ll learn about cacao beans and farming practices, past the Mystical River of Chocolate to the Bean-to-Bar Factory.
Partaking in an interactive tour allows you to design your chocolate bar and enjoy one of the tastiest things to do in Orlando, Florida. Reserve a tour in advance, or show up for any of the hourly tours beginning at 11 AM and closing at 5 PM.
Edutainment Things to Do in Orlando, Florida
5. Kennedy Space Center
One of the coolest things to do in Orlando, Florida, is to enjoy an array of artifacts, replicas, and displays at this East coast space center. Embrace the wondrous journey of US space travel throughout history in a place that will lift the hearts of space enthusiasts and aspiring astronauts.
Here you can experience a tour of a NASA facility, meet an astronaut, and see space shuttles at the Rocket Garden. And if you time it right, you can even witness a live rocket launch, creating memories to last a lifetime.
6. WonderWorks Orlando
WonderWorks Orlando is a science center that offers family-friendly fun for all ages. Walk through an upside-down house, catch the lightning of a Tesla Coil in the palm of your hand, test your grit in a wind tunnel, or hold onto your seat in a simulated 5.3 earthquake.
Kids and adults can enjoy learning and interact with over 100 creative exhibits. Walk right over from shopping and dining at Pointe Orlando to enjoy this marvelous attraction.
Cultural Things to Do in Orlando, Florida
7. Orlando Museum of Art
Enjoy international artworks, including textiles, pottery, and the creations of Indigenous Americans, Africans, and other cultural groups at the Orlando Museum of Art. You can also drop by for an adults-only Art Night Out, where you can create your work of art to remember Orlando.
There are 10 to 12 exhibits throughout the year, so you can always see something new whenever you visit. The cultural nonprofit has been promoting the arts since 1924 and is one of the best things to do in Orlando, Florida, to enhance your cultural experience.
8. Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe
Visiting this impressively-named church is not only ideal for visiting Catholics, but it is also an opportunity for sightseers with different beliefs to appreciate a beautiful architectural site for learning and spiritual engagement.
The basilica was specially constructed in 1979 to provide a worship center for the stream of tourists entering Orlando after Disneyworld opened its doors. The Roman stylings are a stunning sight that 2000 people can enjoy at once.
Even if you’re not attending service here, you can still peruse the Shrine Museum, filled with paintings and statues that date back to the 16th century. There’s also a rosary garden, allowing you to take a quiet moment for yourself if you like.
9. Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
From musicals to opera and cinema, experience dazzling performances at the Dr. Phillips Center. Surrounded by restaurants and nightlife venues in the center of downtown Orlando, this glass-fronted building has been sharing its artistry since 2014.
The complex includes three theatres and is the residence of the Orlando Ballet. Being swept away at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is one of the ideal things to do in Orlando, Florida, for lovers of theater and live art. Even if classical styles aren’t to your taste, you can witness comedians, record artists, family shows, dancers, and symphonies displaying their talents at this fantastic center.
10. Old Town
Stroll through 10 acres of boardwalk streets that give you a sense of 1950s Florida style. Old Town is a historic area with more than 70 specialty shops, including spas, tattoo parlors, diners, and even an amusement park.
The retro scene has been open since 1986, and you can experience live entertainment and activities when you check your calendar first. There’s even a classic car show every Saturday, making this one of the best things to do in Orlando, Florida, for those with an eye for vintage automobiles.
11. Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp
Metaphysics-enthusiast this is to place for you, Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp. Please join a class during the day, and stay the night if so.
Also known as the “World’s Psychic Capital,” this quaint home to psychics and mediums features a variety of workshops that will guide you on a journey to connect with your spirituality. Get acquainted with this quirky community, and enjoy a psychic reading there.
Outdoorsy Things to Do in Orlando, Florida
12. Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park
Overcome up to 97 challenges for novice and professional-level climbers. Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park is a pine-filled playground that includes swings, nets, ropes, and a trapeze where you can test your mettle. Even if you’re an amateur daredevil, you can trek safely with your safety cable and brief training demonstrations from on-site instructors.
Test your skills here! For those who love traversing ropes and aerial obstacle courses. There are two courses for kids so the whole family can catch some thrills at this 15-acre attraction. Can you balance on hanging skateboards and slide down a 425-foot zip line? Here is the place to find out.
13. Harry P. Leu Gardens
These foliage-filled gardens furnish 50 acres of over 2000 exotic and rare plants. Tropical and semi-tropical species reside here, alongside Spanish moss-covered oaks and lovely camellias. No matter when you visit, there will always be something in bloom, creating new and refreshing scenery for visits at all times of the year.
Take this opportunity to slow down at the Harry P. Leu Gardens, where you can also take a tour of the Leu House Museum to learn more about the founder and his desire to help people enjoy nature and its flora. Explore vegetable gardens, rainforest canopies, a rose garden, a butterfly garden, and art exhibits while visiting Orlando, Florida.
14. Epcot International Flower Garden Festival
One of the best things to do in Orlando, Florida, for nature-lovers is attending this international festival. Hosted annually at the Epcot Center, this allows visitors to view magnificent topiary gardens and exhibits and vendors offering botanically-inspired treats.
Grab some sushi or another favorite snack and tour the magical garden that can only be experienced at this distinguished floral event.
15. Lake Louisa State Park
Gallop along riding trails spanning three to six miles, guided by an experienced ranger who can help you notice and appreciate the native flora and fauna. If horseback riding isn’t for you, over 15 miles of unpaved trails are available for cycling and hiking at Lake Louisa State Park.
Take a one or two-hour ride with friendly horses or picnic by the lake. You can even kayak or camp at this scenic state park featuring some of the most picturesque activities in Orlando, Florida.
Wrapping Up Best Things to Do in Orlando, Florida
The best things to do in Orlando, Florida, include exciting interactions with wildlife, stunning performances by professional artists, and heart-pounding experiences on various rides and attractions. There’s truly something for everyone in this diverse, historic city.
Expand your Florida vacation even further by choosing from the best state parks to visit in Florida. Happy travels!