37 Family-Friendly Fun Things To Do In Central Florida
We love living in Orlando. There are so many attractions and fun things to do in Central Florida that it is hard to be bored. Check out this list of over 35 Central Florida attractions for you to check out on your next visit!
This museum features the work of Czech-American sculptor, Albin Polasek. Housed in a historic home, it will be a treat for any art lover.
(Adults-$10/Students (K-12) $3)
The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey is a cool facility in Maitland that rescues and rehabilitates birds of prey. Most patients are released back to the wild. However, some have been too injured to survive in on their own and find their permanent home at the center. (Adults-$15/Children-$7)
Take an airboat ride on Lake Jesup, which is home to the largest population of alligators in Florida. Afterwards, enjoy some yummy
munchies at the Black Hammock Restaurant (Adults-$27.95+Tax/Children-$22.95 +Tax) Check website for coupons and discounts
This National Historic Landmark is home to the incredible singing tower, as well as a bird garden and relaxing garden. (Adults-$14.00/Children-$5.00)
This Theme Park spans 353 acres, is home to multiple steel coasters, and has an African-Animal Theme guaranteed to delight visitors of all ages (Adults- $98.99 and up, but click here for a discount of up to $20)
Catch a Local Game Of Your Favorite Sport
Orlando is a fantastic city for sports year-round. With the Orlando Magic, Orlando City Soccer Team, Solar Bears Hockey and the minor league baseball team, the Florida Fire Frogs, you can catch a game no matter what time you plan on visiting (P.S. I mention the Fire Frogs in this post for 8 budget-friendly Orlando activities)
The Central Florida Zoo spans 116 acres just north of Orlando near Sanford, FL. Along with a wide variety of animals, the Zoo features a children’s petting zoo and botanical garden. (Adults-$19.50/Children, ages 3-12-$13.75)
Check out this great post from my gal pal Erin on some of the best reasons to purchase an annual pass to your local zoo.
The Citrus Tower Stands 224 feet tall and pays tribute to the citrus industry in Florida. it is considered one of Orlando’s first monuments, built in 1956. (Adults-$6.00/Children-$4.00)
This historic landmark stretches into the Atlantic and is an amazing place to stroll, shop and eat. It is free to stroll most of the pier, but there is a small fee to go to the very end at Rikki Tikki Tavern.
The only teaching museum in greater Orlando, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum is housed on the campus of Rollins college and is FREE for admission.
Creativity is fueled here with 26 hands-on activities. It is the perfect place to let little imaginations run wild with colors and art. ($22.99/Single-Day Admission, $29.99/Annual Pass) Groupon frequently runs deals. So, make sure to check that site prior to purchasing your admission.
The Daytona International Speedway is home to the Daytona 500 and is arguably the most distinguished track in all of NASCAR. The speedway offers tours every day of the week. ( Adults-$18.00/(Ages 6-12) $12.00/5 and under free)
About 30 minutes from Kissimmee this place screams vintage Florida. with a large variety of jams,jellies and candy visitors can sample the goodies. On weekdays, guests can enjoy watching employees making their yummy products. FREE
Escape rooms are such a fun way to test your wits, develop your team work and can be a bit of an adrenaline rush as you try to beat the clock. The Escape Room on I-Drive is near other major attractions and hotels and features several unique rooms that will get your brain working in a fun-filled way!
We personally enjoyed the Heist Room. Definitely challenging, but we escaped with just barely over a minute left!
Located 20 miles east of Orlando, Fort Christmas is a great place to spend a quiet afternoon soaking in Florida history. Guests can tour seven preserved homes from various eras and visit a full-size replica of Fort Christmas; a fort erected on December 25, 1837, in that spot during the Second Seminole War. Multiple picnic areas are provided and the youngest visitors will enjoy the modern playground. Best of all, it’s completely free!
Nature’s marvel, bioluminescence, is a rare phenomenon only found in rare parts of the world. You can experience it at Florida’s Indian River lagoon by taking a nighttime kayaking tour you won’t forget! ( $30-$40 pp)
Enjoy an eco-tour that allows you to observe Florida Manatees in their natural habitat (Groupon frequently runs discounts. Prices vary)
This theme park is also a wildlife preserve for Florida’s most famous reptiles. Guests can observe various alligator species, including the rare ‘white alligators.” The more adventurous can enjoy extra fun by zip lining and even gator wrestling. ($26.99-Adult/$16.99-Child, Florida Resident rate up to half off)
50 acres of tropical and semi-tropical gardens provide an oasis in the city at the Harry P. Leu Tropical gardens. (Adults-$10/Child-$3.00)
NASA’s famous launch complex houses exhibits, memorabilia, the astronaut hall of fame and more. Oftentimes, guests are provided the opportunity to meet live astronauts and tour the spaceport. ($50 adult/$40 children. Military and senior discounts available) Click here for additional ticket discount information.
The centerpiece of downtown Orlando is the beautiful Lake Eola Park. Its fountain is an Orlando icon. Visitors can take a beautiful, leisurely stroll around the entire lake or enjoy going out on the swan paddleboats and cruise around the lake. ($15 per half hour flat rate. Boats hold up to 5 people)
Lakeridge Winery is one of Florida’s finest wineries and offers tours and tastings 7 days a week, they also offer various family-friendly events throughout the year. Their tour is nice and informative, and the relaxed atmosphere makes it not weird if you have to bring a stroller along.
This LEGO themed amusement park and water park features over 50 rides, shows and attractions. It is perfect for kids from toddlerhood to early teens. The perfect destination for any lego fan! ($80 per ticket, but check online for frequent discounts. Undercover Tourist is a great place to start)
The whole family will love this attraction just north of Orlando. A variety of butterflies float around the indoor exhibit and will even land on your fingers for a feeding. make sure to go on a sunny day or call ahead to confirm they are open, as the butterflies are weather-dependant ($6.00 admission, 3 and younger are FREE)
Madame Tussad’s is the premier chain that features wax replicas of celebrities, sports star, and American icons. take photos next to your favorites. they are so real-looking, it is hard to tell that they are made of wax! ($25/pp, but save a little more by purchasing online)
Nestled about an hour north of Orlando in DeLeon Springs State Park, is a hidden gem that is truly a treat; the Old Spanish Sugar Mill and Griddle House. the family-owned restaurant delights pancake lovers ( like my kiddos) with all you can eat pancakes, that you cook at your very own personal griddle. You can check out my post on the restaurant here. ($5.75 pp, all you can eat pancakes) Click here to check out my post about The Sugar Mill.
Stunning 360-degree views of The City Beautiful can be seen from high up in the Orlando Eye, a 400-foot tall observation wheel. Adult Tickets are around $25, but click here for a discount of 20% or more.
The Orlando Philharmonic is Central Florida’s local collaboration of highly talented, professional musicians who delight and entertain in various incredible performances year-round. (Cost: varies)
With four floors of exhibits, the Orlando Science Center is an incredible place to spend a day. It is one of our personal favorites when it comes to fun things to do in Central Florida with kids. Most exhibits are hands-on and there are several demonstrations throughout the day. Whether your little one likes dinosaurs, animals, space, or cars…there will be something here to excite their senses and engage their mind. Standard adult admission is $20.95, but Florida teachers can get in free with school credentials.
The Ponce De Leon Lighthouse is Florida’s tallest lighthouse, standing at 175 feet. It overlooks the amazing ponce inlet beach, a fabulous ( generally quiet and non-touristy) beach on the Atlantic. The tower has been standing since 1887 and is a delightful historic day trip for the family today. ($6.95-adults/$1.95 child)
Explore all varieties of sea life at the aquarium, observe live demonstrations and enjoy its crowning jewel, a 360 degree walk-through ocean tunnel. Admission starts at $20, but for more value, combo tickets can be purchased with the Orlando Eye and Madame Tussaud’s.
This theme park and marine zoological center educates guests on conservation, provides hands-on exhibits, thrill rides and live animal shows to delight visitors of all ages. Tickets start at $79.99, but Undercover Tourist offers amazing discounts and Florida teachers can get an annual pass free!
Enjoy a lunch or dinner cruise down the St. John River on an authentic sternwheeler rivership, the Barbara-Lee. Live entertainment is provided and the meal is included in the cost of the trip. Cruises start at $46 pp.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at the World of Chocolate museum and cafe. Tour the museum featuring 25 sculptures carved out of solid chocolate. After you marvel at the displays, enjoy some hot cocoa with a snack at the on-site cafe. ($14 pp if purchased online. Groupon frequently runs deals)
This goes without saying, but the world’s most famous theme park is truly the happiest place on earth. You will need several days to do each of the 4 parks, plus Disney Springs. Tickets are pricey, but I always recommend undercover tourist for discounts, such as a free extra day for a 3 day park hopper purchase. Priceline frequently has deals posted, as well. Before you pack for your trip, check out this post for my top 5 must-have items you will need for a stress-free Disney day.
An 18 passenger pontoon boat cruises guests around the stunning chain of lakes in Winter Park, FL. This outing is suitable for visitors of all ages who desire an “off the beaten path’ quieter vacation experience. My friend Gina over at MomExploresOrlando.com wrote this really nice post about the boat tour. Check it out. (Adults- $14/Children $7)
With two theme parks, an epic water park, and amazing shopping and restaurants at CityWalk, Universal Orlando has something for everyone! Rivaling Walt Disney World as one of the top Orlando theme parks; Universal is home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Diagon Alley, which are epic experiences on their own. 1 day tickets start at $165, making multi-day tickets a better value. again, Undercover Tourist and Best of Orlando are good places to check for discounts.