25 Ways to Beat the Heat in Orlando: Heat Wave Indoor Activities and Outdoor Cool Fun
Florida is known as the Sunshine State, so there’s no surprise that with all that sun, it can get extremely HOT, especially during an Orlando heat wave. Orlando summer temperatures average around 90 degrees, and with humidity factored in, the heat index is easily over 100 degrees! As temperatures rise, luckily there are plenty of cool things to do in Orlando. From splish-splashing water fun to indoor attractions with refreshing air-conditioning, we’ve put together a list of 25 activities to embrace during a blistering Orlando summer.
Whatever you choose to do this summer, remember to bring plenty of water and sunscreen for any outdoor activities. For more warm-weather fun, visit our Orlando Summer Activities Guide.
Cool Things to Do in Orlando this Summer
Florida’s spring-fed swimming holes remain a constant 68 to 72 degrees year round, making for a perfect summer outing. Word to the wise: Plan to arrive early as many of the Florida springs hit capacity shortly after opening.
2. Public Pools
Take a refreshing dip in one of these Orlando public pools or resort pools that offer day passes.
3. Splash Pads
For little ones who are not quite ready for a day at the spring or swimming pool, Orlando splash pads are ideal spots to cool off and burn some energy before naptime.
St. Pete Beach tops many lists of the best Florida beaches. Photo courtesy of Visit Florida
There’s no better place to visit during an Orlando heat wave than a local beach, and there are several within an hour or two drive from Orlando.
Planning a staycation? Check out these Orlando hotels and resorts with amazing water parks on site.
Stay cool indoors at Dave & Busters. Photo by the author
Orlando indoor playgrounds allow toddlers and young kiddos to explore through hands-on play activities.
Older kids and teens can escape the heat at indoor entertainment centers, including arcades, indoor go-kart tracks, trampoline parks, laser tag, and more.
8. ICON Park
ICON Park is home to wonderful indoor attractions, including Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, Madame Tussauds Orlando, Museum of Illusions, and In The Game arcade. The Wheel at ICON Park features air-conditioned capsules.
You can’t miss this fun attraction on Orlando’s International Drive! It’s the iconic upside down building, and features three floors of indoor fun for all ages.
Orlando has no shortage of amazing lakes, perfect for water sports and other water activities such as tubing, knee boarding, jetskiing, kayaking, fishing, and more.
Enjoy delish flavors at Orange Blossom Candies & Cream, including the namesake orange blossom. Photo courtesy of the shop
11. Ice Cream
Cool down with these frosty treats in Orlando.
12. Water Parks
Get drenched at Orlando water parks complete with water slides, rides, lazy rivers, water playgrounds, and more activities to survive an Orlando heat wave.
13. Escape Rooms
Work together with family or friends to beat the clock at an indoor Orlando escape room.
14. Summer Day Trips
Sometimes you just need a change of scenery, and many of these summer day trip destinations include indoor and water-based activities ideal for sweltering temperatures!
Climb, jump, slide, and splash at these bouncy aqua parks around Central Florida.
Enjoy an intracoast trip to Disappearing Island. Photo by the author
16. Boat Trips
Tour beautiful waterways on an Orlando boat trip. Don’t have a boat? No worries! Many Orlando companies offer sightseeing tours, airboat tours, and paddling tours.
Bay Scallop season starts July 1 in several west Florida regions. This popular water activity is like an underwater treasure hunt. Be sure to get a Florida saltwater fishing license in advance!
Spend a day exploring NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, a one-of-a-kind Central Florida destination complete with simulators, hands-on play, 3D space films, behind-the-scenes tours, and so much more. Bonus: Most attractions within the complex are indoors!
19. Summer Movies
Many Orlando theaters offer affordable family movies over the summer, a great indoor activity to avoid the heat and summer storms.
20. Orlando Museums
This diverse collection of fun museums around Orlando are perfect indoor activities to escape the elements.
Explore Florida’s wildlife and even exotic animals from the comfort of your own, air-conditioned(!) car at local wildlife drives or drive-thru safaris.
Drip, drop, FUN at OSC's KidsTown! Photo by the author
When temperatures rise or storms set in, sneak in some educational fun at the Orlando Science Center.
Enjoy the nostalgia of a drive-in movie this summer. There are three drive-in theaters within a short drive from Orlando.
Discovery Cove allows families to see nature at its finest. Photo courtesy of Discovery Cove
24. Discovery Cove
Create unforgettable memories swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove. You can also snorkel with rays and hand-feed tropical birds at this all-inclusive day resort.
25. Epperson Lagoon
Located 1.5 hours from Orlando, Epperson Lagoon is a tropical lagoon with over seven acres of crystal clear blue waters, a floating obstacle course, water slide, kayaks, and paddle boards.