Orlando is home to some of the best theme parks in the world but do you really want to wander around in that heat every day? Here are some choices for those days you don’t fancy a theme park – our things to do in Orlando besides Theme Parks.
Kennedy Space Museum
Head here for a space journey like no other, ideal for children of all ages. Entrance is included in the Go Orlando Pass.
Orlando is surrounded by nature trails, preserves and parks. Head to Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve for some good hikes and trails or head to Winter Park; just north of Orlando, for some picturesque boat rides.
Hire a boat
Finding time to unwinding the hot summer months is essential whilst in Orlando. Our favourite thing to do was hire a boat and go sailing across the lake. Our resort (Westgate Lake Resort) included a massive lake with paddleboat and motorboat hire available. Paddleboat’s are also popular at the Lake Eola Park for a slower pace of life.
An eco-friendly alternative to the speed or motor boat, there are a selection of companies that offer Kayaking tours through Shingle Creek. The Ritz-Carlton offer daily tours but can be pricey.
Orlando Magic – NBA Team
Whilst in Orlando, catch the Orlando Magic NBA team as they shoot some hoops – with tickets available from $25.
Whether you’re looking for a premium expansive golf course or a fun, family-friendly round of mini-golf, Orlando has it all. Most large resorts offer impressive golf courses and equipment hire whilst the Shingle Creek Golf Club is a popular choice for those looking to do some serious golfing. If, like me you, you like to hit (or dribble) a ball around, then head to the various mini golf courses on International Drive; the Pirates themed course is a great choice for families and couples
Airboat Swamp tours
There are lots of companies in Orlando offering Swamp Boat Tours, where you can explore the wild and spot some alligators.
Orlando is a haven of discounted designer outlets and expansive shopping malls with every store imaginable. The Mall at Millenia and The Florida Mall are both impressive and offer a variety of stores whilst the Orlando Premium Outlets Vineland Avenue and International Drive are both great for new fashions at discounted prices.
Orlando Brewing Company
An organic brewer offering the best beers in Florida.
Become a cowboy at the Forever Florida Ranch, where you can go zip lining, horse riding or go on an open coach adventure. The Forever Florida coach tour is included on the Go Orlando Pass.
Charles Homer Morse Museum
This art museum holds the most comprehensive and impressive collection of works from artist Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Take a hot air balloon ride
Explore the theme parks and Orlando from above, with a hot air balloon ride.
Machine Gun America
Practise your shooting skills with one of the many shooting experiences at Machine Gun America – children from as young as 10 can also shoot.
Just under an hour from Orlando, Daytona Beach is full of family fun including water rides, motor-sport attractions and of course, a glistening beach.
International drive is packed full of exciting things to see and do, from kid museums to crazy golf, themed restaurants to indoor rides and experiences.
A perfect way to end a busy day, the Orlando Eye gives you the chance to sit back and view this bustling place from a glassed capsule.
Nightlife at City Walk
So every year, hundreds of families head to Orlando but so do groups of early twenty-somethings and couples. Families can head to one of the many themed restaurants in the City walk or Downtown Disney area whilst those without the kids can head to the various bars and clubs that Orlando offers after dark. Check out the Ice Bar for a fun and cool night.
Gatorland offers a chance to be up close and personal to alligators, a perfect ‘half-day’ trip before heading back to relax in your hotel or villa pool.
The Orlando Science Center
With various exhibits and interactive sections, the Orlando Science Center is a great way to spend a few hours exploring.