Kid-Friendly Hotel Close to Orlando Attractions
If the kids haven't spent all their energy after a day of scurrying around Orlando's theme parks, the Maingate Lakeside Resort will step up to the challenge. Surrounded by leafy palm trees, three full-size swimming pools and two kids' pools welcome pintsize guests to splash and swim. Two playgrounds, two half-court basketball courts, an 18-hole mini-golf course, and an arcade provide hours of diversions, and poolside cabanas replenish expended energy with refreshments and hot snacks off the grill. Overlooking picturesque Black Lake, Maingate Lakeside Resort entertains across its kid-friendly campus, located within driving distance of Orlando's popular attractions.
At the onsite Greenhouse Restaurant, chefs lay out a breakfast buffet (up to $10/person; with each paying adult, one child 9 or younger eats free) of made-to-order omelets, waffles, fresh Florida fruit, scrambled eggs, pancakes, french toast, and a daily special. Casual pub fare populates the menu at Hurricane Sam's Bar and Grill, with dishes such as a croissant club sandwich ($7.95) and southern-fried-chicken tenders ($9.50) making fine complements to hand-dipped, butter-pecan ice cream.
Kissimmee, Florida: Old-Town Charm near Several Family-Friendly Attractions
Kissimmee's prime location near the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios makes it a popular home base for park hoppers. For a brief escape from the amusement-park hustle and bustle, the shops along downtown Orlando's Ivanhoe Row are filled with antiques and unusual finds, such as kitschy vintage clothing and Mickey Mouse's childhood report cards. Closer to the hotel, shoppers can stroll down the clean streets of Celebration, Florida, a Pleasantville-esque community designed by the folks at Disney. Pastel-hued specialty shops along tree-lined boulevards hawk home goods, clothing, candy, and jewelry.
Fewer than 2 miles from the resort's doorstep, the Walt Disney World Resort's four theme parks and two water parks draw visitors from around the world. Disney's Hollywood Studios recreates the magic of Tinsel Town with décor influenced by the 1930s-era silver screen. Housed in a reproduction of Grauman's Chinese Theater, The Great Movie Ride journeys through legendary moments in cinematic history, including scenes from The Wizard of Oz, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Singin' in the Rain. At the 300-acre Epcot park, the World Showcase presents the culture, architecture, and cuisine of 11 countries.