9+ Fun Things to Do In Orlando The Whole Family Will Love
Are you looking for a list of fun things to do in Orlando that the whole family will love?
Orlando is one of the best places to travel with kids if you are looking for endless options for entertainment and activities.
Known for its theme parks, Orlando is also perfect for kids looking to get outdoors and explore, and parents looking for a wide range of activities to please the entire family.
Whether you’re hitting all the rides at Orlando’s amusement parks, or looking to experience Florida’s natural beauty, planning ahead is the key to a successful Orlando vacation.
To make your planning simple, here are 9+ fun things to do in Orlando with kids of all ages.
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Fun Things to Do in Orlando
Located in central Florida, Orlando is one of the most visited cities in the world, primarily due to tourism.
When traveling to a city jam-packed with activities and attractions, you’ll definitely need a minimum of 3 days to explore Orlando.
However, most people spend 5-14 days here because of the multitude of things to see and do.
Be sure to consult a sample Orlando itinerary, like this one, as an example of how to structure your days to fit in all of the best Orlando attractions.
Keep in mind that no matter where you are in Orlando, you’re never too far from International Drive (Florida’s version of the Las Vegas Strip).
This is the main road where you’ll find the water parks, theme parks, and resorts that are mentioned in this list.
Here is our list of the most fun things to do in Orlando, Florida!
1. ICON Park
As one of the best things to do in Orlando, ICON Park is home to world-class attractions including 40+ shops, restaurants, and attractions.
Kids of all ages will find something to love, whether it’s an immersive experience at the In The Game 7D Motion Theatre, or meeting their favorite celebrities in wax form at the famous Madame Tussauds Orlando wax museum.
A highlight for small children is taking a ride on the Pearl Express Train that runs through the park.
If you prefer heights, must-see attractions at ICON Park include riding The Wheel (a 400-foot tall observation Ferris wheel) as well as taking a turn on the Orlando StarFlyer, the nation’s tallest swing ride!
When riding The Wheel, enclosed climate-controlled capsules will take you around and up in the air for more than 20 minutes to enjoy panoramic views.
Our favorite restaurants at ICON Park The Shake Shack (for burgers and shakes), Sugar Factory (try the crepes!), and Uncle Julio’s Mexican Restaurant (for fajitas and a chocolate pinata).
Additional planning tips: You’ll find the best prices for ICON Park attractions when purchasing them online ahead of time, or in a bundle. You can choose to do a lot, or a little here, based on how much time you have.
Parking is free in their covered parking garage located right on the property.
2. Sea Life Orlando Aquarium
Also located within ICON Park is another fun Orlando attraction, Sea Life Orlando Aquarium.
With nine interactive zones taking you through the diverse world of aquatic life, Sea Life Orlando Aquarium is known for its up-close-and-personal animal encounters.
Your kids will love seeing familiar animals like clownfish and sea turtles, as well as rare, endangered species such as sharks, colorful coral, and mysterious jellyfish.
Get up close and personal with sea creatures big and small, travel under the sea in Florida’s only 360° Ocean Tunnel, gently touch starfish and anemones in the Coastal Rockpool, and interact with beautiful tang fish at the Feeding Frenzy.
There is plenty more to keep kids occupied including a child’s play area, storytime, sing-alongs, and educational talks about fascinating sea creatures.
Additional planning tip: Going to Sea Life Orlando Aquarium is a great rainy-day Orlando activity.
For added fun and $10 extra per ticket, consider scheduling a Behind the Scenes Tour.
During this 30-minute experience, you’ll get to see a day in the life of an aquarist and learn all about how they care for the sea creatures at Sea Life Aquarium.
*Read about our adventures visiting Sea Life Aquarium at Legoland California as part of our 6-day San Diego itinerary!
3. Walt Disney World
One cannot mention fun things to do in Orlando without including The Walt Disney World Resort, also called Walt Disney World or Disney World.
As the most well-known of Orlando’s amusement parks, Walt Disney World is made up of four separate theme parks:
- Magic Kingdom Theme Park
- Epcot Theme Park
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
The whole family will love Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
For older kids, we recommend Epcot.
Disney World parks offer all of the entertainment and amenities you could ever wish for including Disney-operated accommodations, themed dining experiences, iconic Disney snacks, character meet-n-greets, nighttime fireworks shows, and lots of rides!
In addition, Disney’s devoted Cast Members (the staff that you’ll meet in the park) are super helpful and pride themselves on providing the most magical customer service around.
Though there have been multiple Disney changes to be aware of since its reopening after the worldwide pandemic, Disney is back better than ever.
With new rides, shows, attractions, and skip-to-the-front-of-the-line options, a visit to Walt Disney World is an Orlando family activity you don’t want to miss!
Additional planning tip: Due to the gigantic size of these theme parks as well as the massive crowds there, our #1 Disney planning tip is to allow for 1 full day at each park of your choice.
In addition, always have a basic understanding of the layout of the parks by consulting our 1-day touring plans:
We recommend checking into these park tickets and add-on prices beforehand, as Disney World is not cheap.
We kept track of each and every one of our expenses when touring Disney and created this Disney cost calculator.
4. Legoland Florida
Another one of the best Orlando kids activities is a day spent at Legoland!
Legoland Florida is an outdoor amusement park, resort, and water park (all dedicated to Lego bricks!) that is specifically geared towards kids ages 2-12.
Not only are all their rides appropriate for little ones, but there is plenty of outdoor play space, activities for kids while waiting in line, and an indoor baby center.
Comparable to Walt Disney World in many ways, including size (150 acres), there are a few advantages that Legoland holds, most notably that the entrance gate is right next to the parking lot – no monorail needed!
Its sprawling size means that there is plenty of room for a water park and botanical garden, as well as family-favorite rides like Ninjago the Ride, and Lego Movie Masters of Flight.
Ride the rides a few times, then stick around to meet some of the kids’ favorite Lego characters!
Additional planning tip: Entry to Legoland Florida’s onsite water park is available as a regular ticket add-on when visiting the main theme park.
Just steps away from Legoland, The World’s First Peppa Pig Theme Park is opening on February 24, 2022. Get all the details here!
5. Kelly Park
Get away from the hustle and bustle of Orlando’s theme parks and explore Florida’s natural landscapes at Kelly Park and Rock Springs Run State Preserve.
This widely-popular park features a clear blue natural-flowing spring fed from a crevice in the rock below.
Here you can swim, go tubing, kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding as the water stays a beautiful 68 degrees all year long!
Tube rentals are available from vendors outside the park though guests may also bring their own pool noodles or floats that are less than five feet in length or width.
As one of the best budget-friendly activities in Orlando, Kelly Park is only $5 per vehicle for admission to the park.
Additional planning tip: On summer days, Kelly Park typically reaches capacity within one hour of opening.
We’ve heard of people getting in line as early as 4:30 AM with visitors and locals looking to beat the Florida heat.
If you do not make it in on your first try, Kelly Park personnel hands out vouchers to the first 50 cars in line that will allow them access starting at 1:00 PM.
6. Orlando Waterparks
Orlando is home to an abundance of amazing and creatively-themed waterparks.
The best thing about waterparks is that there truly is something to do for all ages whether it be slow and windy slides, lazy rivers, wave pools, kiddie splash areas, high adrenaline slides, family raft rides, or cabanas and relaxation zones.
What makes Orlando waterparks stand out from the rest is their gigantic size, epic themes, and top-notch customer service and cleanliness that match the brand that they’re affiliated with.
Are for which one you choose will depend on its location, price, anticipated crowd level, or expected vs. offered experiences.
Included in our list of the best things to do in Orlando are the following waterparks:
- Universal’s Volcano Bay
- Aquatica Orlando
- Discovery Cove (Our favorite! An inclusive resort-like atmosphere with dolphin experiences.)
- Legoland Florida Waterpark
- Disney’s Blizzard Beach Watepark
- Disnye’s Typhoon Lagoon Waterpark
- Nona Adventure Park (A huge inflatable aqua park.)
Additional planning tip: Depending on the timing of your visit, some waterpark experiences may be temporarily modified.
Additionally, Orlando’s water parks are subject to seasonal and maintenance closings so be sure to check each individual homepage during your planning.
7. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
I highly recommend visiting these theme parks if you’re looking for fun things to do in Orlando, as they are truly one of a kind.
Located within both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure are different areas and attractions as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (which is a must for all-ages of Harry Potter fans!).
Walk down Diagon Alley, visit Olivander’s shop where the wand chooses the wizard, and explore the dangerous depths of Gringott’s Bank.
Then, take the Hogwarts Express to Universal’s Islands of Adventure to ride Harry Potter-themed rides, like Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and the Flight of the Hippogriff.
One of the best fully themed worlds in any Orlando amusement park, the immersive experience, interactive activities, thrilling rides, and dining and shopping opportunities make The Wizarding World of Harry Potter a full day of fun.
If it’s your first time visiting here, be sure to read these 45 quick Universal tips that’ll ensure you don’t miss out on any of the must-see attractions.
Additional planning tip: A standard theme park ticket is needed to access the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
If you’d like to visit the shops, nightclubs, and restaurants in Universal Citywalk however, no park ticket is needed!
Exploring Universal Citywalk is another great idea of fun things to do in Orlando besides theme parks.
Recommended Hotel Nearby: Universal’s Loews Royal Pacific Resort
8. Seaworld Orlando
Many people don’t realize that Seaworld Orlando offers both up-close marine animal experiences and shows, as well as rollercoasters and rides!
This park truly has it all, plus it is beautifully landscaped and does not have the typical hectic theme-park atmosphere.
As one of our all-time favorite things to do in Orlando, I highly recommend spending an entire day at SeaWorld Orlando.
Our favorite experiences are the orca, dolphin, and sea lion shows that are thoroughly enjoyable and keep the whole audience engaged and smiling.
Plus, there’s just something so special about being up close to the beautiful sea animals and brilliant blue water that make SeaWorld so memorable.
Additional planning tip: Along with needing to pay the price for park tickets, general parking is $25 per vehicle.
Outside food and beverages are not allowed in the park, however, restaurants and concessions are available.
9. Crayola Experience
One of the best activities for toddlers in Orlando is the Crayola Experience.
Watch your kids’ creativity run free with endless options for colorful crafts, drawings, and crayon creations.
They will be able to take part in a 4D coloring experience, solve color puzzles, paint with melted crayons, and see their creations projected onto giant coloring surfaces.
Your kids can also become the star of their own coloring page, and turn their old crayons into new creations with the Melt and Mold activity.
Lastly, they can bring a piece of Crayola magic home with them by naming and wrapping their very own crayon!
Additional planning tip: The Crayola Experience is located within the Florida Mall, which is Orlando’s premier shopping center.
With over 250 stores such as American Girl, The Disney Store, Banana Republic, Dillards, Hollister, and Michael Kors this is the ultimate shopping experience – and another one of the best things to do in Orlando if you like to shop!
Additional Orlando Family Activities
With so many fun things to do in Orlando, we couldn’t limit ourselves to 9!
So, if you have more time in Orlando, consider checking out our other favorites:
- Gatorland (Alligator and crocodile exhibits and an awesome Gator Wrestlin’ Show!)
- Fun Spot America (Multi-level go kart tracks and a wooden rollercoater are highlights here.)
- Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park (97 challenges on swings, nets, ropes, and trapezes.)
- TopGolf Orlando (Perfect for teens and golf-lovers; Climate-controlled driving bays.)
- iFly Orlando (Indoor skydiving.)
- Take a day trip to Daytona Beach (56 minute drive) or Siesta Key, Florida (2 hour drive).
Where to Stay in Orlando
Where to stay in Orlando may be one of the most complicated choices when visiting there.
After all, there are literally so many places to stay in and around Orlando whether it be at high-end Disney-themed resorts, local hotels, or vacation rental condos, homes, and townhomes.
Your final selection will be based on price, availability, and on how far you’re willing to travel to each of the Orlando attractions that you’re interested in.
We chose to stay at Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista for its ultra-affordable prices, awesome pool area, and central location.
Read our full review of Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista here.
Do you know of any other Orlando kids activities that you would recommend to others? I’d love to hear from you!Jen
*Before leaving, be sure to check our Travel Resources Page to find exclusive travel discounts and to book hotels, rental cars, and guided tours.*