Legoland is geared toward kids ages 2-12, making it the ideal Florida theme park for Orlando preschoolers. 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.
2. Peppa Pig Theme Park
Peppa Pig Theme Park, located next to Legoland, is perfect for toddlers, and what toddler doesn't love Peppa Pig? The park has tot-friendly rides, play areas, shows, and a Muddy Puddles splash pad. You cane even snap a picture with Peppa herself!
Out of the four main Disney theme parks, Magic Kingdom is the best park for tots, with 32 attractions geared toward preschool-ages. At Epcot, there are several rides with no height requirements. Have a little Toy Story fan? Head to Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios and take a ride on Toy Story Mania. At Animal Kingdom, little ones can see a variety of animals up close, and little dinosaur fanatics will love DinoLand USA.
At Universal Studios, Orlando toddlers can explore two play areas, as well as tot-friendly rides. Then, take a ride on Hogwarts Express to Universal's Islands of Adventure, where you’ll find more fun play areas and 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.
Little ones will love exploring Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld Orlando, 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.
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). And at Universal's Islands of Adventure, little superheroes can team up with their favorite Marvel characters in a fun and interactive dinner experience.
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. 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 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!
Young children can feed the animals at the Central Florida Zoo.
Things to Do with Toddlers and Preschoolers in Orlando
Orlando is home to many attractions where little ones can meet native and exotic animals. The Central Florida Zoo 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. The Brevard Zoo has many interactive exhibits for kids to explore, as well as a shallow water play lagoon, petting zoo, and playground. At Gatorland, toddlers will love the themed splash pad, petting zoo, and train ride.
Enjoy hours of interactive play and activities at the Crayola Experience. Photo courtesy of Crayola Experience
Crayola Experience Orlando is a wonderful trip for tots, who will enjoy hours of interactive play and activities. Kids can experience more than 20 attractions including a 4D 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 ages 2 and younger get FREE admission.
Test your bionic skills at the Orlando Science Center.
Orlando preschoolers and 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; 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 dinosaur fossil replicas, play in the Dino Digs area, and coming in Spring 2024, a brand new Life exhibit with live animal habitats.
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Check out big and small fish at the Sea Life Orlando Aquarium.
12. Sea Life Orlando Aquarium
Located at ICON Park, little guests 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.
WonderWorks Orlando offers a wacky, wild world to explore.
You can't miss this iconic upside-down building in Orlando's tourist district of International Drive. Toddlers and preschoolers can explore with their senses in the Bubble Lab, Light and Sound Zone, and the Imagination Lab.
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 splash pad, fossil dig, dino gem excavation, and interactive shows.
The Kennedy Space Center is a must-visit attraction for all ages, and its Planet Play indoor play area is the perfect addition for youngsters. This multi-story indoor attraction allows kids to play amongst the planets through fun activities such as sliding down an astronaut field, walking on Saturns rings, and crawling through a black hole.
Orlando is home to several fun museums to check out with your little one. Little train conductors will love the Central Florida Railroad Museum, plus it's free to visit! Snap fun photos with your kiddos at the Museum of Illusions, and enjoy a sweet treat at the World of Chocolate Museum.
Help your toddlers develop their motor skills with a round of putt-putt golf. There are several great mini-golf courses all around Orlando.
Turi's Kid Cove has zero-entry access and plenty of fun things to do, making it the perfect water area for young guests.
Water Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers in Orlando
Many of Central Florida’s public pools feature areas geared toward toddlers and preschoolers. The Bob Makinson Aquatic Center in Kissimmee and the Oviedo Aquatic Facility 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 area for toddlers.
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 thrill rides for "big kids." Aquatica has a newly renovated Turi's Kid Cove with a shallow zero-entry pool, splash area, and lots of fun slides. Legoland’s water park features a Duplo Splash Safari shallow water play area. And Buccaneer Bay’s spring fed water park includes a Caribbean Cove area for younger kids.
Visit a swim-worthy spring with your toddlers, 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, Orlando preschoolers 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.
Explore Central Florida's beautiful waterways with a family boat trip. At Disappearing Island, littles will love playing along the beach area. Along the Harris Chain of Lakes, make a pit stop to let toddlers explore Tavares' seaplane-themed splash pad and playground area. And along the St. Johns River, take a trip to Silver Glen Springs and anchor the boat in the crystal clear waters outside of the spring.
There are several big, fun-climbing trees at the Nature Center at Bonnett Springs Nature Park.
Play Spaces & Playgrounds for Orlando Toddlers
When my kids were younger, one of our favorite no-cost activities was "park hopping" at nearby 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 play spaces ideal for toddlers and preschoolers. These are great options for rainy days and boiling summer months when it’s too hot to be outside. These indoor play areas are ideal for ages 5 and under. 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.
Central Florida has a handful of indoor trampoline parks, and many have dedicated areas/times for toddlers. Altitude Trampoline Park holds weekly Junior Jumper Jams for ages 6 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. And Sky Zone's Orlando location offers a Little Leapers program for ages 6 and under on weekday mornings.
This FREE outdoor park is the perfect day trip from Orlando. Let the littles burn some energy exploring a treehouse, climbing a tree, and playing on the parks multiple playground areas. The onsite Florida Children's Museum is the perfect place to cool off and explore (note: the museum does have an admission fee).
More Fun Things for Preschoolers and Toddlers in Orlando
28. 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, Bubble Playtime, and Toddlerumpus. Osceola County Libraries host events like Storytime at the Park, Learn 2 Read, and Jammy Jamboree.
Harry P. Leu Gardens hosts fun traveling exhibits throughout the year, such as hidden fairy doors and a dinosaur invasion, spread throughout the 50-acre botanical oasis. There's also a free monthly storytime program. 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 a 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.
32. Lukas Nursery Butterfly Encounter
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 $7.
During the winter months, manatees like to congregate in Orlando's freshwater springs. Plan a trip to Blue Springs State Park to catch a glimpse of them, and little ones can enjoy the playground afterwards.
During the months of April and May, several Central Florida farms offer u-pick blueberries, and December through March are prime months for strawberry u-pick farms. Plus, many of these farms offer additional activities perfect for kids, such as playgrounds, tractor rides, and more.
Explore the outdoors with a tot-friendly hike. Visit farm animals and enjoy an interactive nature walk at Bill Frederick Park, let your tots bike along the looped biking trail at Gemini Springs, and play in the shallow and clear ravine waters at Hidden Water Preserve.
An earlier version of this article published in February 2020.
Unless noted, photos by the author.