We go to Orlando at least a few times a year, usually lured by the magic and excitement of the Disney parks but this time we wanted to check out other fun things to do in Orlando beyond the parks and as we discovered Orlando has lots of fantastic options when it comes to family friendly attractions. Going to the big parks is fun but it’s also hectic and tiring: the crowds, the long lines, walking long distances under the hot Florida sun. On this trip we were meeting with friends and we just wanted to take it easy and do some fun activities with the kids. All of these activities make great options for those days when you want to take it slower or take a break from the parks. Many of these options are also great ideas for things to do in Orlando when it’s raining or when it’s a bit cold. Yes for us Floridians 40s is very cold and we would rather be indoors, don’t judge!
We are huge fans of aquariums and my kids where thrilled to visit the Sea Life Aquarium. Home to over 5,000 underwater creatures from the three oceans of the world the Sealife aquarium provides countless opportunities for kids and adults to interact with the exhibits from getting inside the aquariums through glass domes and changing the color of the lights in some of the aquariums to touch screen interactive exhibits where they provide many learning opportunities.
The 360° Underwater Tunnel was a pretty cool experience for the whole family and my kids loved touching rays and countless starfish at the touch tank. The aquarium is small but it makes up for it with the fun and colorful exhibits and the amount of interactive opportunities for visitors.
When you buy online adult admission tickets are $20 and $15 for kids 3-12 years old. Purchase a discounted combo ticket to visit The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds Orlando and Sea Life Aquarium for savings of more than $20. For even more savings combine all three attractions with a Legoland ticket and save over $50.
Orlando Science Center
The Orlando Science Center is a real gem and a must do for families visiting Orlando. With countless interactive exhibits where kids can discover and learn through touching exploring and experimenting the Orlando Science Center gives kids the opportunity to learn about everything from electricity and engineering concepts to dinosaurs and local wildlife.
We have gone to many science and children’s museums and the Orlando Science Center is now one of our favorites. All of the exhibits really captured my children’s attention sparking their curiosity and creativity. We spent hours here and the kids did not want to leave and we didn’t even get to do it all. We focused in the exhibits but the Orlando Science Center also has 3D movie theaters that offer an array of awe inspiring educational documentaries and Hollywood blockbuster movies.
We can’t wait to go back and next time we will sure to take plan our visit so that we can check out the Crosby Observatory. Atop Orlando Science Center the observatory houses Florida’s largest publicly accessible refractor telescope along with several smaller scopes which available at selected times for solar and night sky viewing.
The Crayola Experience
The Crayola Experience is located in the Florida Mall and offers kids 70,000 square ft of hands on colorful attractions. Focusing on fostering creativity the 25 interactive attractions combine color, chemistry and digital technology to create a one-of-a-kind family attraction.
My kids really enjoyed melting their own crayons to create colorful masterpieces and melting and molding their favorite Crayola crayon colors into a fun shaped keepsake. They saw their creations come alive by digitalizing them in the Art Alive and Color Magic areas and where engaged and entertained with creative activities for hours.
Regular admission is $18.99 online for adults and kids 3 and up and for only $29.99 you can get an annual pass!
The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye
The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye is a 400-foot-tall observation wheel providing breathtaking panoramic views of Central Florida within fully enclosed, air-conditioned glass capsules. Before entering the 20-minute ride, guests will enter a 4D theatre and watch a short film about Florida. Although I am usually a bit afraid of heights I felt completely secure and you get truly amazing views of Orlando and the theme parks.
There are interactive screens on each capsule so that you can find out exactly what you are looking out. The kids had a great time trying to guess what everything was and trying to locate the parks and other Orlando major attractions. Being able to get a bird’s eye view of all their favorite Orlando attractions what a lot of fun!
Putting Edge is glow in the dark mini golf course is like nothing we had ever seen. The kids just loved the whimsical neon designs and the glow in the dark balls and bracelets. This 18 hole mini golf course was perfect for our family, not too hard for the kids yet fun enough for the adults. Located at the Artegon Marketplace, which in itself is worth a visit with it’s artisan marketplace and eclectic ambiance that does not make it feel like a mall at all.