8 Fun Family Activities in Orlando You've Never Heard Of
8 Fun Family Activities in Orlando You've Never Heard Of
Are you a big fan of things to do in Orlando that are family-oriented, BUT aren’t the usual run-of-the-mill theme park procession? When most people think of Orlando, the thing that comes to mind is Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and especially Disney World. While most people should visit these attractions at least once in their lifetime, that's not all there is to Orlando.
If you’ve lived here for any amount of time, or checked in to more than a few Orlando hotels in your lifetime for a family stay here in the City Beautiful, then you know that this place has plenty more to offer than theme parks. Join us on a journey of discovery in this roundup and learn about eight family activities in Orlando that most people don't know about!
Shhh! It's The Best Fun Family Activities in Orlando!
Orlando is among the most popular metropolitans in Florida. It's very well known for its family-oriented attractions like Disney World and SeaWorld.
But since you’re ready to head off the beaten path, and these attractions are (arguably) already famous, we’ll focus on wonderful family attractions in Orlando that are often overlooked, starting with:
1 | The Wheel at ICON Park™ (formerly Orlando Eye) | The The Wheel at ICON Park™ is one of the best attractions in Orlando. This Ferris Wheel stands 400 feet tall in the heart of the city. Just so you know, it was built and is managed by the same company behind the famous London Eye. During the ride, you and your family can enjoy a magnificent view of the cityscape while being safely enclosed in a temperature-controlled capsule. During days with maximum visibility, you can view Cape Canaveral and downtown Orlando.
WHERE: 8375 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819 | WHO: 407-601-7907
2 | The Escape Game | Out of all the escape rooms in Orlando, The Escape Game is still our top vote for a fun family experience that involves escaping a room with a timer. They have a rotating portfolio of escape room challenges. What's even better is that it's mostly a problem-solving test that all the family can enjoy. There are also different challenges to choose from, such as Prison Break, Classified, Gold Rush, Mission: Mars, and The Heist. If you are looking for a unique and exciting way of bonding with your family, then The Escape Game Orlando is a perfect attraction. Individual actions and decisions in the game will contribute to the overall success of the group. Hence, it promotes cooperation and joining of the heads to find a solution. With the timer to beat, it's a fun, challenging, thrilling, and wholesome attraction for the entire family.
WHERE: 8145 International Dr #511, Orlando, FL 32819 | WHO: 407-501-7222
3 | Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge | If you think Walt Disney Resort is huge, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is about four times as large. It covers an area of about 218 square miles, and it's home to Florida's most exceptional indigenous species. And though technically, it's a bit of a day trip from Orlando to Florida's East Coast, it's an excellent venue for the kids to check out different animals in their natural habitat. Furthermore, there are plenty of places to experience an authentic southern lifestyle here on the refuge. The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is home to more than 1,000 plant species, 117 fish species, 31 mammal species, 330 bird species, and 68 amphibians and reptile species. With so many animals and plants, there's always something exciting to observe in almost every corner of this park!
WHERE: 1987 Scrub Jay Way #32782, Titusville, FL | WHO: 321-861-0669
4 | Orlando City Soccer Club | If your family loves sports, then visiting Orlando Soccer Club may be one of the most exciting things you can do while visiting Orlando. The Orlando City Stadium is the home of the Orlando City Soccer Club, which is the newest entry to the Major League Soccer eastern conference. What's even more conducive is the amazing mild climate conditions that amplify the whole stadium experience. It's rarely too hot, and it's never too cold. Hence, your family can fully enjoy the excitement and drama of a soccer game. Plus, it's hard to miss the Orlando City Soccer Club logo, which portrays a glorious lion on a purple shield.
WHERE: 655 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32805 | WHO: 407-480-4702
5 | McDonald's | You might be wondering why a McDonald's is included in this list. After all, it's a fast-food chain that's all over the world. Yet, this one is special. For one, this McDonald's is made to look like a giant bag of French fries. But that's not the real kicker. This one is the largest McDonald's in the world, and it even has a 30-foot statue of the official mascot. The entire establishment is world-class. Customers use a touchscreen to order food. Aside from the favorites like the McWings and McChickens, this branch also sells pizzas and pasta. Furthermore, you can also find a full dessert bar. There are also plenty of arcade games to keep the young ones entertained. This one-of-a-kind McDonald's is located on International Drive, which means there are also other cool nearby attractions to visit.
WHERE: 6875 Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819 | WHO: 407-351-2185
6 | Harry P. Leu Gardens | A family-oriented list of attractions wouldn’t be complete without a botanical garden. And in Orlando, there's a 20-hectare garden that you shouldn't pass. It's officially called the Harry P. Leu Gardens. This garden houses more than 1,000 rose bushes, which are in season between April and January. On top of that, the garden features the largest collection of camellias within North America. Plus, there's a citrus grove. The butterfly garden is also a popular attraction for the little ones. Harry P. Leu Gardens is located near Lake Ivanhoe.
WHERE: 1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, FL 32803 | WHO: 407-246-2620
7 | Tiffany Stained Glass at Morse Museum | Tiffany Stained Glass was very popular during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It features a unique coloration and texture that's eye-catching, which contributes to its popularity. Since Tiffany Glass is art-related, a lot of people assume that the largest collection can be found in Paris or New York. However, it's actually in the Morse Museum of American Art. There's a section there where you can find an extensive collection of Tiffany glass artworks. There are Tiffany glass pottery, art glass, jewelry, leaded-glass windows, and lamps. It's also an excellent educational experience for the kids as they will learn how it's made.
WHERE: 445 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789 | WHO: 407-645-5311
8 | Wekiwa Springs | If you want the family to have a relaxing day, then Wekiwa Springs is an excellent option. The place offers a beautiful setting for a myriad of leisure activities like a picnic. The main attraction is the cold springs, and anyone is free to enjoy a dip. If you want something more exciting, then there are plenty of water activities to do, such as snorkeling, kayaking, and canoeing. For anyone who wants to stay above water, then the place is also great for cycling and hiking. With a peaceful and beautiful setting, it's hard to make a mistake by choosing to relax at the Wekiwa Springs.
WHERE: 1800 Wekiwa Cir, Apopka, FL 32712 | WHO: 407-553-4383
Use Our Handy Map of These Great Orlando Finds to Help Find Your Way Around!
Last Tips For Doing Family Activities in Orlando
Every place has its unique peculiarities. Hence, there are certain things that you must know before you do family activities in Orlando in order to avoid unnecessary issues or problems.
Below are a few of the most notable ones.
Know the Accommodation: Orlando is a hotspot for tourists. To house these visitors, there are more than 400 hotels in the city. As a result, a lot of these hotels have formed into different sub-categories as a way to better cater to specific guests.
If you are traveling to Orlando, make sure you know the kind of accommodation you are getting to avoid any surprises. If the price is too low, then double-check the inclusions or the type of accommodation.
On the other hand, plentiful accommodation also means you can choose something more interesting. For example, if your travel party is rather big, then a vacation home may be a better option. A vacation home is also an excellent idea if you want more space and privacy. Also, there are other options like campgrounds, RV sites, and timeshare resorts.
Beaches and Lakes: It's a common assumption that since Orlando is in Florida, there are plenty of beaches. Unfortunately, this is mostly untrue. In fact, you typically need to drive about an hour or more to get to a beach.
What is more common in Orlando are lakes and ponds. However, not all of these lakes and ponds are okay for swimming. Some are not even open to guests. Generally, it's related to safety issues as there are bodies of water that have alligators and microscopic creatures that may cause serious problems.
Fortunately, there are enough lakes and ponds to keep the visitors happy. Just be sure to pay attention to the signs and warnings. It's in your best interest to follow them.
Tropical Weather: Orlando has a tropical climate. Hence, be prepared for heat and high humidity. This means that you should dress for the weather, bring sunscreen, and carry plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you aren’t used to the tropical climate, then pace yourself.
You'll likely be surprised how draining or exhausting high temperatures and high humidity can be. You also have to understand that Orlando will exhibit unpredictable weather. Even during summer, there's always a fair chance of rain on any given day. But don't let this turn you off! Just be prepared with ponchos or umbrellas, especially if you're visiting in the summer!
In most cases, it will rain for an hour, and the sun will be back again. However, this doesn’t mean you can ignore the weather forecast. Always pay attention to any extreme weather forecast in Florida as it may mean the difference between a soggy trip or a sunny day experience!
Final Thoughts on Orlando Family Fun!
Orlando may be famous for the theme parks and amusement parks, but the place has more to offer. There are museums, wildlife refuge, natural water parks, and botanical gardens to say the least. What's even better is that most of the family-oriented attractions have some educational elements. And you know what they say, learning is more effective when you are having fun. Like what Orlando has to offer? Learn more about thrilling things to do in Orlando at night, the history of Orlando, and the top romantic places in Orlando all here on Westgate's travel blog!
* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.