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Things To Do In Orlando

With more than a dozen theme parks and even more fun things to do, Orlando is the place to be for a joyful vacation. You can go behind-the-scenes at Universal Orlando, or you can become a kid again at Walt Disney World. While the kids are at theme parks, adults can try some of the country’s best golf courses or find adventure in a fun downtown area. Keep scrolling to learn more about all of the activities, attractions, and deals in Orlando.

A hub for fantasy, fun, and excitement, visitors to Orlando must visit one of its many theme parks. They feature everything from dolphin acrobatics at SeaWorld to a world of the future at Epcot. The best things to do near Orlando include:

  • Walt Disney World: Four different theme parks, two water parks, 27 themed resort hotels
  • Universal Orlando: A show business themed park where you can “ride the movies”
  • SeaWorld Orlando: Interact with marine animals with rides and live entertainment
  • Discovery Cove: Dolphin encounters, snorkeling with rays, and a lazy river
  • Epcot: Explore the future and other countries in a fun and educational way

While it is renowned as a kid’s playground, Orlando also has a wide selection of cheap things to do that don’t involve theme parks. You can take a walk around Disney Springs or find fresh foods and veggies at the WInter Park Farmers’ Market. For a cold pint of beer, visit the World of Beer where you can sip with a view. Cheap things to do near Orlando include:

  • Disney Springs: Outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment in a visually pleasing environment
  • Downtown Orlando: With six different neighborhoods, there is lots of exploring to be done here
  • Spook Hill: A spooky location where an optical illusions plays tricks on visitors
  • Winter Park Farmers’ Market: Fresh, local produce on sale outside a vintage train depot
  • World of Beer: Overlooks Lake Eola, a daily happy hour, and live music

Orlando is more than sunshine and roller coasters. Visitors can take a stroll around Disney’s Boardwalk or check out the bustling Church Street District in the heart of Downtown Orlando. For the best views in the city, head to the 400 foot tall Orlando Eye. Popular attractions near Orlando include:

  • Disney’s Boardwalk: A waterfront quarter mile of unique dining, shops and exciting nightlife
  • The Florida Mall: An open-air mall with sit down restaurants and upscale dining
  • Church Street District: The center of downtown Orlando, unique shops and exquisite dining
  • Downtown Disney: Free access to everyone, visitors are transported to Coney Island in the 1920s
  • Orlando Eye: 400-ft tall Ferris wheel boasting a bird’s eye view of the city

Orlando has many last minute activities for kids and parents alike. The Orlando Brewing Company is always a sure bet with live music, organic beer, and local flavors. Exciting activities near Orlando include:

  • Orlando Brewing Company: Local menus, organic beer, and outdoor live music
  • JLA Distillery: A family owned craft whiskey and spirits distillery
  • Orlando Improv: Adult only comedy club with big names and rising stars
  • Orlando Circus School: Learn the trapeze and other circus arts here
  • The Mall at Millenia: A large indoor shopping mall with food court

For those that seem to have more energy after the sun goes down, Orlando’s many bars and venues offer a mix of drinks, live music, and late-night food. Kings Entertainment, open until 2 a.m., has everything you need for a fun night including bowling, billiards, and much more. Nighttime activities near Orlando include:

  • Blue Man Group: A live performance incorporating dance, music, and art
  • Howl at the Moon: Popular bar offering live music and high-energy fun
  • House of Blues: Experience some of the best up-and-coming bands with food
  • Kings Entertainment Orlando: late-night venue with two bars and lots of games
  • Universal CityWalk: Dozens of clubs, entertainment experiences, restaurants, and shops

Orlando is ripe with mimosas, water sports, and things to do on the weekend. You can watch a hoops game in awe, or SCUBA dive with manatees.

Weekend activities near Orlando include:

  • Orlando City Soccer: Orlando’s very own MLS team
  • Camping World Stadium: a great outdoor venue for sports or live music
  • Blue Spring Park: Scuba diving, kayaking, swimming with manatees, and more
  • Daytona Beach: one of the most popular beaches in Florida
  • Orlando Magic Basketball: Experience the NBA in Orlando

The choice is yours: Disney World or Universal Studios? Outside of the main theme parks, families can head to Gatorland for face-to-face experiences with alligators or they can cool off at the island-themed water park Volcano Bay.

Family-Friendly things to do near Orlando include:

  • Oviedo Recreation Gym: Rock climbing for all ages
  • Volcano Bay: An island themed water park in Universal Orlando
  • Orlando Watersports Complex: Offers beginner wakeboarding and water skiing lessons
  • Disney’s Magic Kingdom: As the sun sets, fairy tale fireworks begin
  • Gatorland: One of the world’s best places to view and interact with alligators

Why not treat your loved one to something romantic? There are many romantic things in Orlando, including park movie nights and exquisite dining. The following activities showcase all that Orlando has to offer couples. Date night ideas near Orlando include:

  • Popcorn Flicks in Winter Park: Catch a movie and some popcorn in the park
  • Victory Casino Cruise: Gambling, drinks, food, and the open ocean
  • Aloma Cinema Grill: Watch a blockbuster with a meal in plush chairs
  • Movie Night at Leu Gardens: Watch a movie in this beautiful garden
  • Chez Vincent: sample delicious French cuisine at this high-end restaurant

Friend groups big and small can head to the Orlando Kart Center to race against one another, or they can hit the dirt trails at Revolution Off-Road. Whether your friends want to relax or compete against each other, Orlando has something for everyone. Things to do with your friends near Orlando include:

  • Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets: take your friends to score great deals
  • Orlando Kart Center: race your friends outdoors
  • Revolution Off-Road: ATVs, off-road tracks, fishing and archery
  • Running for Brews: Run a 5k to sample tasty craft brews
  • American Escape Rooms: test the resourcefulness of you and your friends

Orlando offers many museums and science centers that educate visitors about their exhibits while also providing solace from the sun. Planet Obstacle is a fun place to go if you like trampolines, bouncing, or anything in between. Orlando things to do indoors include:

  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando: Check out the weird and awesome displays
  • Orlando’s Museum of Art: Experience the growth of Florida’s art culture
  • Cornell Fine Arts Museum: Free museum offering art history lessons
  • Planet Obstacle: Bounce, spin, and flip at this trampoline park
  • Orlando Science Center: Learn about all of its latest scientific exhibits

Orlando may seem like an urban jungle with roller coasters for high rises, but there are lots of things to do outdoors. Lake Eola is in the center of Downtown Orlando and is a beautiful place to take a walk or have a picnic. A short drive from the city, Ocala National Forest is packed with miles of hiking trails and endless nature. Active things to see in Orlando include:

  • Lake Eola: The perfect location for a picnic in the heart of downtown Orlando
  • Harry P. Leu Gardens: 50 acres of semi-tropical and tropical gardens
  • Mead Botanical Gardens: Expansive and tranquil space full of different plants and flowers
  • West Orange Trail: Rent a bike or take a walk along this world-class rail trail
  • Ocala National Forest: Take a hike on trails winding around ponds and remnants of homesteads

Although Orlando has more than enough activities to fill your vacation, you should set aside time to visit the surround cities. Old Town Kissimmee boasts its very own amusement park as well as an outdoor shopping mall. Head to the 1.5 million acres of wetlands at Everglades National Park for a look at the local wildlife. Must-see places near Orlando include:

  • Old Town Kissimmee: An amusement park and outdoor shopping mall
  • Celebration Town Center: An expertly planned community designed by The Walt Disney Company
  • Everglades National Park: 1.5 million acres of wetlands with an abundance of wildlife on display
  • Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards: Experience the flavor of local Florida wine
  • Wekiva Island: Live bands, kayak or paddleboard rentals, and a relaxing environment