The Best Things to do in Orlando, Florida

The 15 Best Things to do in Orlando, Florida

A trip to Orlando, Florida means a vacation filled with adventure! Considered the “Theme Park Capital of the World,” you can spend your days bursting through the air on roller coasters and taking in fully immersive entertainment. 

But Orlando is a hub for so much more. From spotting tons of local wildlife to learning about the worlds beyond our own, your trip will be filled with wonder. No matter what you’re into, there are plenty of Orlando activities that are fun for the whole family!

With so much to see and do in Orlando, it’s tough to know where to start. So we’ve compiled our list of the absolute best things to do in Orlando for you. Whether you’re a child dreaming of becoming an astronaut or a kid at heart who wants to experience a little magic, there’s something for everyone. Stick to these fun and unique Orlando bucket list activities, and there’s no doubt you’ll have an amazing time exploring this wild and wonderful Florida city!

The 15 Best Things to do in Orlando

1. Relax on Rock Springs at Kelly Park

Best Things to do in Orlando, Florida: Rock Springs

Kelly Park is home to some of the best sights in Orlando. Although there are almost 900 springs in Florida, the Rock Springs at Kelly Park stand out among the rest. You could head to one of Orlando’s many water parks, but Rock Springs is considered Orlando’s natural lazy river.

These serene natural springs offer you a chance to lay back and relax in a cool water pool. But if you’re a little more adventurous, you can also journey down the rock run. All you need is an inner tube, and you’re ready to go. 

When you’re done swimming, you can explore the rest of Kelly Park on its nature trails. Kelly Park goes to show that, although Orlando is often considered one of the top theme park destinations in the world, the natural beauty of the area also offers some of the best Orlando sightseeing. 


2. Have Fun with the Family at Fun Spot America

Fun Things to do in Orlando, Florida: Fun Spot

With locations in both Orlando and nearby Kissimmee, the Fun Spot brand offers plenty of fun for the whole family in the Orlando area. Ride White Lightning, Orlando’s only wooden roller coaster, or fly through the air on the Freedom Flyer. Race your family on the park’s many go-kart tracks. There are also tons of options for little ones, from the Bumper Boats to the Happy Swing.

As a family-owned park, Fun Spot America focuses on making your day all about family and all about having the best experience possible. You can rent your own private cabana in the parks, giving you and your little ones a little downtime when you all need some quiet time. 

And if the parents need a break, the kids can still play in the Splash Pad, a water-centric section of the park with slip-resistant flooring, interactive water toys, and spraying elements. You can also get an up-close look at gators at the park’s Gator Spot, a collaboration between Fun Spot and nearby Gatorland.


3. Make a Splash at Nona Adventure Park

Nona Adventure Park is one of the coolest things to do in Orlando. Located on Orlando’s Lake Nona, this water-based family entertainment center is all about fun and adventure.

Conquer the inflatable obstacle course at the Aqua Park, where you’ll challenge your family to take on the Tire Run, Ninja Jump, and many more features. Perhaps whoever loses has to buy lunch at Splashes Bistro, which offers gourmet pizza, specialty drinks, and one heck of a view. 

For more fun on the water, you can rent gear to water ski, kneeboard, or wakeboard. Never wakeboarded before? The Nona Adventure Park staff are on hand for one-on-one instruction.

For more fun out of the water, you can head to the Climbing Tower, which will have you taking to the skies. Climb up to 60 feet on the ropes course, challenge your friend to the twin sky ropes to see who rings the bell first, or take on one of three 50-foot climbing walls. Younger adventurers can challenge themselves on the junior course, where parents can be nearby to help their little ones maneuver through their journey.


4. Swing Your Way Through Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park

Orlando, Florida Things to do: Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park

The Nona Adventure Park isn’t the only Orlando location where you can climb high. At the Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park, you can practice your best Tarzan impression and learn how to swing through the trees. This park is for those in your group who love to be challenged and who definitely aren’t afraid of heights.

Featuring a 425-foot giant zip line and 97 aerial challenges, there’s always something to do at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park. The park features four adult obstacle courses, ranked from Green to Red in terms of difficulty. 

What to do in Orlando, Florida: Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park

Kids can challenge themselves on one of two courses at their own difficulty level. From leaping onto nets to balancing on hanging skateboards, these challenges are unique and will have your heart racing, no matter which difficulty level you choose to do.


5. Go for a Ride at Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park

Cool Things to do in Orlando, Florida: Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park

What’s the best way to go Orlando sightseeing? From the air, of course! Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park offers hang gliding journeys all year round. Take a Tandem Discovery Flight, where a trained instructor will fly with you at 2,000 feet in the air. From there, you’ll learn how to free-fly, allowing you to take in the beauty of Orlando from an aerial view. 

Hoping to learn to hang glide on your own one day? You can also take an instruction course. With the instructor flying with you, you’ll learn how to steer your glider, being given more control with every flight until you’re ready to fly on your own. 

Best Things to do in Orlando, Florida: Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park

Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park’s 100-acre take-off and landing field also ensures that you don’t have to wait for perfect conditions to get into the air, giving you more time in the air and less time staying on the ground.


6. Observe Wildlife at Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Fun Things to do in Orlando, Florida: Central Florida Zoo

The Central Florida Zoo is home to more than 350 animals across over 100 species. Learn all about these stunning and rare creatures with the zoo’s Keeper Chats, located throughout the zoo. Get up close to the giraffes and even feed them, or head to the Barnyard Buddies area, where your little one can pet sheep, alpacas, and more. 

If you’re a thrill-seeker, learn to swing from the trees like the monkeys in the Seminole Aerial Adventures. In this zipline course, you’ll navigate rope bridges, suspended disks, and more. 

Or, if you want to escape the heat, you can play around the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground. Discover breathtaking flora and the creatures that live among it in the botanical gardens. Keep an eye out for hummingbirds, butterflies, and more of nature’s wonderful pollinators. 

From November to January, the zoo and botanical gardens transform at night for the Asian Lantern Festival. The paths will be illuminated with over 30 hand-constructed lanterns designed to celebrate Asian traditions and cultures. 


7. Tour the Everglades on an Airboat

Unique Things to do in Orlando, Florida: Everglades

If you’d rather see Florida’s critters in their natural habitat, take a trip a little further south and tour the Everglades. The Everglades are home to alligators, turtles, crocodiles, snakes, river otters, frogs, and more, and that’s just in the water. You may even spot bears and panthers about in the trees.

With all that wildlife, it’s not a great idea for tourists to try to explore the Everglades on their own. Instead, board an airboat guided by a trained professional who can help you get up close to these creatures in a safe way.

One of our favorite airboat options is Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures, where you’ll start your journey in nearby Kissimmee. You’ll begin at Boggy Creek’s 32-acre landscaped park, where you can get a close-up glimpse of juvenile alligators, mine for gems, and learn how Native Americans once lived in the swamp.

From there, you can fly through the water on either half-hour or one-hour airboat tours. Private tours are also available. To see the creatures that don’t come out during the day, you can also book a sunset or night tour!


8. Have Fun at the Crayola Experience

Must do things in Orlando, Florida: Crayola Experience

The Crayola Experience at the Florida Mall is definitely one of the must-do things in Orlando if you have young children in your vacation group. The colorful adventures at the Crayola Experience allow children to experience the intersection of art and technology and see color in a whole new way. 

Transform old crayons into a new souvenir at the Melt & Mold station. Color and cuddle your own complimentary Scribble Scrubbie, a washable pet your child can design over and over again. 

What to do in Orlando, Florida: Crayola Experience

Dance around the Stomp and Play area, where an interactive floor unlocks hidden games. Or create your own car or fashion in the interactive You Design studio. Your little one will love seeing models walk the runway or cars race through a course in their unique designs.

For an additional fee, your child can take part and take home specialty crafts, including wax hands, sand art, and gems they mined themselves. But for another souvenir included in admission, you can personalize and wrap an authentic Crayola crayon that’s uniquely yours. 


9. Study Space at the Kennedy Space Center

Best Things to do in Orlando, Florida: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex needs to be on every science lover’s Orlando bucket list. Located in nearby Cape Canaveral, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex allows you to journey through time and space to study NASA’s history.

Ask a real astronaut all the questions you’ve always wondered about space travel. Learn about how we made it to the moon and get a look at the real launch of Apollo 8. Train like an astronaut in high-tech simulators and experience your own space shuttle launch. 

In collaboration with LEGO Education, your little one will also get to experience a one-of-a-kind STEAM learning experience where they’ll do hands-on activities to teach them about the engineering and creativity that goes into space travel. Your kids will also love exploring Planet Play, a multi-story indoor play center where they’ll map a constellation, climb through a wormhole, and more.

For more in-depth learning, tours are available throughout the day, like the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour, where you’ll even get access to some of the restricted areas of the Kennedy Space Center. But whether you explore on your own or take a guided tour, you’re sure to have a day of fun, adventure, and education at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.


10. Go Park Hopping at Walt Disney World

Unique Things to do in Orlando, Florida: Walt Disney World

For many people, visiting Orlando just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Walt Disney World Resort. This top travel destination is on everyone’s Orlando bucket list for a reason. Originally opened in 1971, Walt Disney World has been entertaining adults and kids alike with its family-friendly environment filled with some of the best things to do in Orlando. 

Spending a day in Walt Disney World can be tricky because there’s just so much to do. If you only have a day, we recommend getting yourself a park hopper pass so you can see more of what this theme park destination has to offer. 

Head to Magic Kingdom to see the land that started it all and spend your day playing with princesses, pirates, and so much more. Over at Hollywood Studios, you can join the rebellion with your favorite Star Wars characters, race through Los Angeles with Aerosmith, or shrink down to the size of a toy to play with Woody, Jessie, and all the Toy Story pals. 

In Animal Kingdom, you can get up close and personal with animals from all over the world, as well as some creatures that you used to believe only existed in legend. When you go to EPCOT, you can wine and dine your way around the world in between soaring through the skies and building the technology of tomorrow.

Walt Disney World also has a shopping, dining, and entertainment district called Disney Springs, where you can get a little R&R in between your days at the theme parks. If you visit during hotter parts of the year, you can also cool off at one of Disney’s two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.


11. Become a Wizard at Universal Orlando

What to do in Orlando, Florida: Universal Orlando

Many people are Disney fans or Universal Studios fans, but we say, why not be both? Currently, Universal Orlando consists of two theme parks, the original Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. But Universal is hard at work building a third gate, Epic Universe, which is set to open in the summer of 2025. Universal also has a water park across from its theme parks, Volcano Bay.

When you journey to Universal Studios, you’ll hang out with the Minions, do some alien hunting, and save the world with the help of the Transformers. Over in Islands of Adventure, you can help Spider-Man save New York, get up close with King Kong, and immerse yourself in the dino-filled universe of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World.

But some of the best sights in Orlando can be found at Universal’s Harry Potter-themed areas. In Universal Orlando, you can head to Gringotts for a ride unlike any other, while in Islands of Adventure, you can explore the stunning village of Hogsmeade and take a tour of Hogwarts. 

If you buy a two-park ticket, you can board the Hogwarts Express to take you between the two parts of this magical world. Both sections of the theme parks are designed to be fully immersive and make you feel like you’ve truly entered another world.

If you’re a fan of frights, you should be sure to visit Universal during the Halloween season. Universal is well-known for its incredible Halloween Horror Nights. With tons of themed haunted houses and mazes, unique foods in the Halloween spirit, and actors around every corner ready to give you a fright, you’ll love this one-of-a-kind experience.


12. Go Under the Sea at SeaWorld Orlando

Cool Things to do in Orlando, Florida: SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld is known for its dolphin and orca shows, but this theme park is a particularly great stop for thrill-seekers. Manta will have you soaring through the skies in a unique, manta ray-inspired flying coaster. 

Climb abroad Orlando’s only floorless roller coaster, Kraken, inspired by the mythical beast itself. The biggest thrill-seekers in your group will love Mako, a hypercoaster known for high speeds and wild dives named for the fastest shark in the world.

For those in your group looking for a more relaxed time, you can visit with turtles, sharks, penguins, and more. Your little ones will love playing with Elmo, Big Bird, and more over at Sesame Street Land. 

Although there are plenty of animals to see at SeaWorld, you can have even more interactive encounters nearby at SeaWorld’s sister property, Discovery Cove. Swim with dolphins, snorkel through artificial reefs, or float along the Wind-Away River. You can also head over to SeaWorld’s Aquatica Water Park and plunge down the park’s massive water slides. 


13. Travel Back in Time in Old Town

Must do things in Orlando, Florida: Old Town

Old Town, located in nearby Kissimmee, is part amusement park, part shopping and dining complex, and all retro fun. This 18-acre walking district transports you back in time with timeless Florida architecture, classic carnival rides, and more than 70 family-friendly attractions.

Play beloved arcade games at the Happy Days Family Fun Center, become amazed at the Great Magic Hall, and test your skills at the Xtreme Ninja Challenge. Old Town’s carnival rides have something for the whole family, from the mini-vehicles for young ones at the Fun Rides booth to the Hurricane coaster for all thrill-seekers. 

Old Town holds unique car shows throughout the year, with new events popping up all the time. Old Town is home to America’s longest-running weekly car show every Saturday. Watch hundreds of classic cars cruise through the town in a parade like no other.

If you’re looking for comfortable dining, look no further than Old Town’s restaurants, which are a mix of classic American fare and more exotic treats. Looking for a unique souvenir to bring home? You’ll find it in Old Town, where you can make your own wax hands, pick up handmade leather and woodworking gifts, or take a journey through time in the general store.


14. Build with Bricks at LEGOLAND Florida

What to do in Orlando, Florida: LEGOLAND Florida

LEGOLAND Florida is one of the most fun things to do in Orlando if you have kids with you. Located in nearby Winter Haven, LEGOLAND features over 55 rides and attractions. 

Become a ninja on LEGO NINJAGO The Ride, race through the sky on The Great LEGO Race coaster, or take to the air on The LEGO Movie Masters of Flight, where you’ll join the movie’s characters in an indoor theater simulator ride. You can also meet LEGO characters throughout the park and watch them in shows like Brickbeard’s Watersport Stunt Show or LEGO MYTHICA 4D: Journey to Mythica. 

Little ones will also love that LEGOLAND is just next door to the new Peppa Pig Theme Park, designed to be a child’s first theme park. Take a ride on Daddy Pig’s Roller Coaster, chill out on a beanbag in the cinema with Peppa Pig episodes, or play along with Peppa herself at the Mr. Potato Showtime Arena. Because the same company operates the Peppa Pig Theme Park and LEGOLAND, you can purchase joint tickets to these parks, allowing you to spend multiple days at these child-friendly locations.


15. Enjoy the Beauty of the Harry P. Leu Gardens

Unique Things to do in Orlando, Florida: Harry P. Leu Gardens

Just minutes from Downtown Orlando is a gorgeous 50-acre botanical oasis, home to rare and unique plant life. You’ll have a new experience every time you go to these tranquil gardens. Depending on the time of year you visit, there will always be something new in bloom.

Keep your eyes peeled throughout your walk through the gardens as many unique art pieces are hiding among the flowers. With both permanent and rotating exhibits, you’ll find new sculptures with every visit. 

You can also step inside the Leu House Museum to learn more about the history of this stunning land. Learn about how the gardens came to be and how they ended up on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The Harry P. Leu Gardens holds events throughout the year to showcase beautiful blooms. From November 25 to January 1, over a million lights will illuminate the gardens in the Dazzling Nights event, while the Holiday Blooms event, running from November 28 to January 2, shows off thousands of poinsettias and more seasonal flowers.

 

There you have it! The 15 best things to do in Orlando. What’s your favorite thing to do in Orlando?


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Author

  • Jacqueline Gualtieri

    Jacqueline is a writer and editor pursuing the freelance life to explore the world. Born and raised in New Jersey, she spent her college years in Boston before settling down with her partner and puppy in Monterey, California.

    When she’s not writing, you can often find her planning her next trip. Road trips are her favorite, whether it’s driving across the country or simply exploring a new city in her own backyard. She loves uncovering the history of every new place she goes.

    Jacqueline has a restless passion for learning and makes it a goal to pick up a new skill every year. She’s picked up embroidery, crocheting, knitting, and cross-stitching, but she’s hoping to master more languages to help her in her travels. She’s also a published author, with short stories and poetry appearing in several anthologies.

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