25 Fun Things To Do in Orlando with Toddlers
While it may seem that most of the fun things to do in Orlando are geared toward big kids, or even teenagers, there are actually plenty of toddler activities nearby.
As a mom raising young kids in Central Florida, I can relate to the need to find those scaled down theme park rides for little kids, as well as free, low-key visits to playgrounds. So read on for the top things to do in Orlando with toddlers, from rides and zoos to splash pads and indoor activities, too.
Looking for more things to do? Filter our events calendar by age and date to find upcoming age-appropriate events for toddlers and preschoolers (or their big siblings). And don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Orlando newsletter to get posts like this sent directly to your inbox.
Best Orlando Theme Parks and Rides for Toddlers
There are two traditional theme parks at Universal Orlando: Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure. At Universal Studios, toddlers can explore two play areas: Fievel’s Playland and Curious George Goes to Town, as well as rides like Kang & Kodos' Twirl 'n' Hurl and Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster. Then, take a ride on Hogwarts Express to Islands of Adventure, where you’ll find more fun play areas including Camp Jurassic in Jurassic Park, If I Ran the Zoo in Seuss Landing, and Me Ship, The Olive in Toon Lagoon. There are also kid-friendly rides on many of the islands. In Jurassic Park, take a ride on the Pteranodon Flyers; we loved this one when my boys were little! Over at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, dare to try the Flight of the Hippogriff family coaster. Families will find the bulk of the tot-friendly rides in Seuss Landing, including The Cat in the Hat, High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride, Caro-Seuss-el, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
Legoland is geared toward kids ages 2-12, making it the ideal Florida theme park for toddlers. Legoland Florida has multiple playgrounds and play areas for youngsters to explore, and many toddler-friendly rides. As a parent, one of my favorite things about Legoland is that they offer small Lego play areas for kids to enjoy while waiting in line for the rides. Just keep in mind that this one is in Winter Haven, not Orlando.
An aquarium, character meet-and-greets, and mellow rides are available at Epcot International. Photo courtesy of Disney
3. Disney World
Out of the four main Disney theme parks, Magic Kingdom is the best park for toddlers with 32 attractions geared toward preschool-ages, including favorites like It’s a Small World and Dumbo the Flying Elephant. At Epcot, there are several rides with no height requirement, character meet and greets, and a large aquarium. Have a little Toy Story fan? Head to Hollywood Studios’ Toy Story Land and take a ride on Toy Story Mania, and be sure to check out Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway as well. At Animal Kingdom, little ones can see a variety of animals up close on Kilimanjaro Safaris, and little dinosaur fanatics will love DinoLand USA.
Watch your little one’s eyes light up when dining with their favorite character. Disney offers several character dining options, both at the parks and at its resorts. At SeaWorld, families can dine alongside orcas or sharks (not technically characters, but still a really fun experience for kids). Universal Orlando’s character dining experiences are currently closed due to the pandemic, but we are hoping they return soon!
Little ones will love exploring Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld, watching a parade of their favorite characters, splashing in the water works area, and experiencing the kid-friendly rides. SeaWorld also hosts several fun kid-friendly events throughout the year.
Tiny tykes are sure to enjoy playing in Disney Springs’ free splash pad, excavating dinosaur fossils at T-Rex Café, and the hands-on play areas and Disney-inspired sculptures at The LEGO Store. They might even catch a glimpse of the Coca-Cola Polar Bear at the Coca-Cola Store. For a small fee, kids can take a ride on the Marketplace Carousel or Express Train as well.
At Universal Orlando’s entertainment district, toddlers can splash around the free splash ground in the center of CityWalk, or practice their swing at the Hollywood Drive-In miniature golf attraction. For a sweet treat, try one of the famous milkshakes at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, or a sprinkle doughnut at Voodoo Doughnuts. They’ll also love taking a ride on the free water taxi.
Feed the animals at the Central Florida Zoo.
Things to Do with Toddlers at Orlando’s Other Attractions
Orlando is home to many attractions where little ones can meet native and exotic animals. The Central Florida Zoo is a great option for younger children. It includes a large splash pad with an adjacent interactive children’s garden, as well as a children’s playground, butterfly garden, and petting zoo area. Children 2 and younger get in FREE, and the zoo also offers fun recurring events. The Brevard Zoo is lovely for young visitors as well, as there are many interactive exhibits for kids to explore, as well as a shallow water play lagoon, petting zoo, and tortoise-themed playground. At Gatorland, toddlers will love the themed splash pad, petting zoo, and train ride.
The Crayola Experience is a wonderful trip with tots, who will enjoy hours of interactive play and toddler activities. Kids can experience more than 20 attractions including a 4-D coloring adventure, silly selfie station, drip art area, and more. There are also two separate playground areas, one for toddlers and another for big kids. Bonus: Kids 2 and younger get FREE admission.
Toddlers will have hours of fun at the Orlando Science Center. There is an expansive KidsTown play area, which includes an Orange Grove imaginative play room (fitting for the history of the Orlando area), special Toddler Town just for ages 2 and younger, a drip-drop splash area, play theater, ClimbTime play structure, and more. Kids can also see giant dinosaur fossil replicas, play in the Dino Digs area, and walk through the NatureWorks exhibit to see real alligators, snakes, turtles, and other animals native to Florida.
Check out big and small fish at the Sea Life Orlando Aquarium.
Little ones will enjoy walking through a 360-degree surrounded by fish, turtles, and sharks, changing the colors on the jellyfish wall, touching a starfish in the Coastal Rockpool, and other interactive exhibits at Sea Life Orlando Aquarium.
12. Dinosaur World
Does your little one love dinosaurs? A trip to Dinosaur World in Plant City (just off of I-4) is worth the drive. This nearby attraction features a boardwalk with interactive activities and life-size dinosaurs, two dinosaur themed playgrounds (one geared toward toddlers), a fossil dig, dino gem excavation, and interactive shows.
Orlando Water Parks, Splash Pads, and Pools for Toddlers
13. Orlando Pools
Many of Central Florida’s public pools feature areas geared toward toddlers and preschoolers. These pools are great to visit if you have kids of varying ages, because there is something for everyone. The Bob Makinson Aquatic Center in Kissimmee and the Oviedo Aquatic Facility both have water playgrounds. The Community Center Pool in Winter Park, Ocoee Family Aquatic Center, and Westmonte Recreation Center in Altamonte all include interactive splash play features for kids. The Wirz Park pool has a shallow wading pool just for toddlers. And many of these pools are also zero-depth entry, perfect for little ones to splash around.
There are so many splash pads around the greater Orlando area that are perfect for toddlers. Several are free to visit, while others have a small entry fee. Little ones will love the nature-themed splash pad in Kissimmee, and the seaplane-themed splash pad in Tavares.
The water parks around Orlando offer water play areas exclusively for youngsters, along with all those thrill rides for the "big kids." Universal’s Volcano Bay has a Tot Tiki Reef complete with a tot-sized volcano. Legoland’s water park features a Duplo Splash Safari shallow water play area. Buccaneer Bay’s spring fed water park includes a Caribbean Cove area for younger kids. And at Disney's Blizzard Beach, tots are sure to love Tike’s Peak, complete with miniature water slides and an igloo fortress.
16. Florida Springs
Visit a swim-worthy spring with your toddler, where the crystal clear waters stay at a constant 68-72 degrees year-round. Alexander Springs is ideal for little ones with its gentle slope and shallow wading area. At DeLeon Springs, little tykes will enjoy cooking their own pancakes right at the table (with parents help of course) at the Sugar Mill restaurant next to the spring. Rainbow Springs and Wekiva Falls both have a shallow water wading areas where tots can splash around.
Toddler Play Spaces and Playgrounds Near Orlando
When my kids were toddlers, one of our favorite no-cost activities to do was go “park hopping” to area playgrounds. Make a day of it by starting early, packing a picnic lunch, and seeing how many parks and playgrounds you can visit before naptime.
Orlando has many indoor spaces ideal for toddlers and preschoolers, from indoor playgrounds to free mall play areas. These are great options for a rainy day and for the summer months when it’s just too hot to be outside for very long. These indoor play areas are ideal for ages 5 and under, so just right for tots. Keep in mind that most of the indoor playgrounds listed require socks for adults and children.
Going out to eat with toddlers can be challenging, so why not bring them to a place where they can play while waiting for their meal? From the world’s largest McDonald’s to lakeside restaurants with playgrounds, plan a dinner date with your tot at one of these local eateries.
20. Trampoline Parks
Central Florida has a handful of indoor trampoline arenas, and many have dedicated areas just for little ones and toddler time events. Altitude Trampoline Park has locations in Sanford and Kissimmee, and both locations hold weekly Junior Jumper Jams for ages 7 and under. Sky Zone Clermont features a toddler zone for itty bitty kiddos, as well as a kid zone play structure for ages 10 and under. Defy Orlando offers a KidJump program where, with purchase of a KidJump ticket, parents/guardians can jump at no extra cost with little ones ages 6 and under every weekday from 9am-noon.
More Fun Things to Do with Toddlers in Orlando
21. Library Programs
Many local libraries have toddler-focused events throughout the week. Seminole County Public Libraries offer Toddler Time, Sensory Storytimes. and even Stuffed Animal Dance Parties. Orange County Libraries offer programs such as Artsy Toddler, Character Storytime, and Toddlerumpus. Osceola County Libraries host events like Storytime at the Park, Learn 2 Read, and Rhythm, Rhyme, & Storytime.
Leu Gardens hosts fun traveling exhibits throughout the year, such as hidden fairy doors, dinosaur invasion, and interactive games, spread throughout the 50-acre botanical oasis. Keep an eye out for the return of Leu Gardens’ monthly storytime program. It was put on hold during the pandemic, but we’re anxiously waiting its return! Kids 3 and under get FREE admission, and there are also certain days throughout the year that the garden offers free admission to everyone.
Snuggle baby goats, ride a pony, and more! There are many local farms that offer family-friendly events and farm tours such as Wildflower Farm in Orlando, Green Acres Farm in Oviedo, and Lil’ Bit of Life Farm in Mount Dora.
Enjoy a drive-thru safari, such as Wild Florida, for closer look at the animals.
Spot the animals on one of Central Florida’s wildlife drives or drive-thru safaris. Preschoolers can practice their counting skills spotting the many alligators on the FREE Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, or learn about native and exotic animal species at Wild Florida’s Drive-Thru Safari.
Toddlers will marvel at the butterflies and birds fluttering around the conservatory, and kids can even feed the butterflies from their fingertips. Open daily from 9am to 4pm, kids 3 and younger get in FREE at the Lukas Nursery Butterfly Encounter. Admission for ages 4 and older is only $7.
An earlier version of this article published in February 2020.
Photos by the author except where noted
Places featured in this article:
Harry P. Leu Gardens
My Little Town Kids Orlando
My Little Town Kids Sanford
Millie Moo's Indoor Play Cafe
Princesses and Princes Indoor Playground
Sky Zone Clermont
The CARE Foundation
Green Acres Farm of Oviedo / Geneva
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
Walt Disney World Resort
Universal Orlando Resort
Dinosaur World Florida