The Best Things To Do In Orlando: 7 Family-Friendly Activities

Food & Drink

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Orlando is known around the world for its theme parks—but one cannot live on pixie dust alone. Here are some fun, family-friendly activities outside the parks for when you need a break from roller coasters and mascots.

Disney Springs

Disney Springs

Courtesy of Disney

While Disney Springs is part of the Walt Disney World resort, there’s a lot to do there that isn’t mouse-related, like floating 400 feet in the air in the world’s largest tethered helium balloon, or cruising around the lake in an Amphicara boat-car hybrid. Big-name chefs like Wolfgang Puck and José Andrés have opened culinary destinations at Disney Springs, but there are plenty of family-friendly options like T-Rex, where dinosaurs are everywhere you turn.

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Universal CityWalk

Rising Star at Universal CityWalk

Courtesy of Universal

The area outside of Universal Studios theme park has endless options for food and entertainment, whether you’re attending the parks that day or not. You can sing karaoke backed by a live band at Rising Star, dance at The Groove, or hear live reggae at Bob Marley—A Tribute to Freedom, which is a restaurant and live-music venue modeled after the late singer’s home in Jamaica. The Steampunk-themed Toothsome Chocolate Emporium is a restaurant that creates “culinary alchemy” for dessert.

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Andretti Indoor Karting & Games

Andretti Indoor Karting & Games

Courtesy of Visit Orlando

You may not be able to drive a race car like Mario Andretti, but at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, you can pretend for a day. There, you can drive electric Sodi RTX Karts, or feel some real speed on a pro-racing simulator. Sky-trail ropes courses, laser tag, an arcade, and bowling let you be as active as you want and still call it fun.

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Orlando Science Center

Orlando Science Center

Courtesy of Visit Orlando

This isn’t your average science class. The Orlando Science Center brings scientific concepts to life with exhibits like Kinetic Zone, where kids can interact with electricity, and Fusion: A STEAM Gallery, which blends art with science, technology, engineering, and math. A 180-degree, 8,000-foot “CineDome” screen puts you in the center of movies about exploring the natural world. And there’s a 3D-movie theater, too.

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Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show

The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show

Courtesy of Visit Orlando

This family-friendly dinner theater attraction will feed you all the pizza you can eat, and then read your mind. The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show happens nightly at WonderWorks, which is an upside-down building full of exhibits and activities like a life-size Lite Brite and a glow-in-the-dark ropes course. During the dinner show, magicians will make predictions, read your thoughts, and make your belongings disappear—so don’t hand them your wallet.

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Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group

Courtesy of Universal

Part rock show, part comedy performance, and part dance party, Blue Man Group is a theater attraction that has entertained over 35 million people worldwide. The troupe’s Orlando home is at Universal CityWalk, where they perform their interactive, larger-than-life show nightly.

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Icon Park

The Wheel at Icon Park

Courtesy of Icon Park

The most visible part of Icon Park is The Wheel, which, at 400 feet, is the tallest observation wheel in the East Coast. Closer to the ground, though, there’s so much more: wax recreations of the stars at Madame Tussauds; a killer whale skeleton at Skeletons: Museum of Osteology; a 360-degree ocean tunnel at Sea Life Orlando Aquarium; and other entertainment like a rooftop bar and interactive movies.

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