Pick your own strawberries at Oak Haven Farms. Photo by Charlotte Blanton
Pick your own strawberries at Oak Haven Farms. Photo by Charlotte Blanton

25 Things We Are Excited to Do with Orlando Kids This Winter

After a rough 2020, start 2021 by creating some special memories with your family with the help of this guide to fun things to do this winter in Orlando. 

From manatee sightings and strawberry picking, to a theme park festival and Disney movie nights, no matter where you are around Central Florida there is no shortage of fun things to do in the winter.  Don't forget to ​subscribe to our FREE newsletter as well for the best events, ideas, and happenings in the area delivered right to your inbox.

Not quite ready to go out in public yet?  Make memories at home with these indoor activities to do as a family.  

Read on for the best things to do this winter in Orlando with your kids.

If you prefer to remain indoors during this challenging time, why not enjoy a Mommy Poppins@Home class. Choose from Castles, Kingdoms, and Wizards, music and movementscience and alphabet, and more.

While we try to promote safe activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, keep your family and others safe by wearing a mask and maintaining appropriate distance. If you arrive at an event that appears too crowded, try using the “nearby” search feature on our event calendar to find something else to do.

Great Things to Do in Orlando this Winter with Kids

1. Take in a Dinner Show

Enjoy family entertainment and a delicious meal at the same time with a dinner show. Travel back to the time of castles and knights at Medieval Times or set sail on a nautical experience at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure.

RELATED: The Best Playgrounds in Orlando for Family Fun

See if your kids can spot the manatees in Central Florida. Photo by Charlotte Blanton

2. See the Manatees

During the winter months, these gentle giants congregate by the hundreds in spring waters to stay warm.  For all the details about local manatee sightings, check out our guide to the best places to see manatees near Orlando.

3. Ice Skating

Grab your skates (or rent at the venue) and glide around the ice. Ice skating rinks around Central Florida include RDV Ice Den in Maitland, The Ice Factory in Kissimmee, and Daytona’s Ice Arena.

4. Visit Florida’s Only Snow Park

Go snow tubing and build a snowman in an Arctic igloo at Snowcat Ridge, Florida’s first and only snow park.  There is also an Alpine Village with vendors and a nightly choreographed light show.

5. Epcot International Festival of the Arts

From January 8 to February 22, 2021, head over to Epcot for the annual International Festival of the Arts, which features a variety of culinary arts, performing arts, visual arts, and art activities for all ages to enjoy. Make sure to book a park reservation in advance.  All guests ages 2 and older are required to wear face coverings.

6. Strawberry Picking

December through March are prime strawberry picking months in Central Florida.  U-pick strawberry farms near Orlando include Oak Haven Farms & Winery in Sorrento (complete with a playground and zip line for the kids), Pappy’s Patch U-Pick in Oviedo, Southern Hill Farms in Clermont (kids will love the playground area here as well), Bekemeyer Family Farm in Winter Garden and Mick Farms in St. Cloud.

7. Visit a Playground

Enjoy the cooler weather outdoors and let the kids expel some energy at a local playground. Central Florida has so many great playgrounds to choose from.  I suggest mapping out a few great ones and packing a picnic lunch to make for a full day of family fun.

8. Wildlife Drives and Drive-Thru Safaris

Spot natural Florida wildlife from the safety of your car at these 10 wildlife drives around Orlando.  

9. Cheer on the Orlando Solar Bears

Watch a live hockey game with the ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears at the Amway Center.  Kids are sure to love Shades, the Solar Bears mascot.

10. Play a Game of Miniature Golf

Make some memories on the green and practice your putt with a family game of mini golf.  We’ve rounded up a list of miniature golf courses around Central Florida. 

11. Take a Ride on the SunRail

Hop on the train to explore many fun destinations around Orlando.  There are several stops along the route with fun things to do within walking distance.  My family enjoys boarding at the Sanford station and riding to the AdventHealth Orlando station. From there it’s a five-minute walk to the Orlando Science Center, which houses many fun exhibits and activities for all ages.

12. Stroll Through a Botanical Garden

There are some beautiful outdoor gardens to experience around Central Florida, including Leu Gardens in Orlando, Mead Garden in Winter Park and Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales (this one is a bit of a drive from Orlando, but kids can spend hours playing at the interactive Hammock Hollow Children's Garden).

13. Visit a Farmers’ Market

Support local growers and artisans at one of the many area farmers’ markets.  On Saturdays, try out the Winter Park Farmers’ Market, Winter Garden Farmers’ Market, or Lake Mary Farmers’ Market.  On Sundays, you can visit the Maitland Farmers’ Market, Mount Dora Village Market, or the City of Longwood Farmers’ Market.  There are also a couple of indoor markets open daily, including Plant Street Market in Winter Garden and East End Market in Orlando.

14. Ride a Swan Boat at Lake Eola

Tour downtown Orlando’s Lake Eola on a pedal-powered swan boat.  Boats are available daily for rental on a first-come, first-served basis.

15. Take a Scenic Bike Ride

Get fresh air and exercise while enjoying the sights in your community on a family bike ride.  Popular paved bike trails around Central Florida include the West Orange Trail, the Cross Seminole Trail, the Seminole Wekiva Trail and the Spring to Spring Trail.

16. Visit Animals at the Zoo

Get a front-row view of bears, rhinos, giraffes, and more at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Guests can purchase tickets in advance online, and face coverings are required for guests age 13 and older. 

17. Showcase of Citrus

Take a famous monster truck tour and pick fresh citrus at Clermont’s Showcase of Citrus. Kids can also visit with the resident farm animals and pan for gemstones at the Gem Mine.

RELATED: 15 Fun Things to Do with Orlando Toddlers

Thrill to the gators and more at Gatorland. Photo courtesy of Gatorland

18. Gatorland

Visit the alligator capital of the world.  Gatorland’s 110-acre theme park is home to more than 2,000 american alligators, as well as crocodiles, wild cats, birds, and snakes. Note that face masks are a county requirement, and will be enforced by the mascot “social distancing skunk ape.”

19. Dr. Phillips Center Frontyard Festival

From December 2020 to May 2021, enjoy live entertainment, Disney movie nights, and more from the safety of your own socially distanced box on the lawn of the Dr. Phillips Center.

20. Plan a Staycation

Orlando is famous for family-friendly hotels and resorts. Plan a winter weekend staycation and enjoy all the amenities they have to offer. Check out our guide of some of the best Orlando hotels for families.

21. Visit a Nature Preserve

Take the kids on a nature walk at a local nature preserve: You can even paint some rocks ahead of time to bring and hide for others to find. Tibet-Butler Preserve in Orlando has a loop hiking trail, boardwalk, environmental center, and butterfly garden. Little ones will love the NaturePlay trail at Oakland Nature Preserve, which also has an environmental education center complete with animal exhibits. Trout Lake Nature Center in Eustis has walking trails, a boardwalk, a museum, and an education center with displays and an interactive touch table for hands-on learning.

22. Enjoy a Drive-In Movie

There are a handful of drive-in movie theaters near Central Florida for families. Enjoy a night out taking in a flick from the comfort of your own car.

23. Boat Trips

When temps are on the warmer side (yes, even during the winter months), it’s a great time to take a boat trip to enjoy the scenic Florida waterways. Visit our list of six boating destinations around Central Florida to experience with your family.

24. Popcorn Flicks in the Park

The City of Winter Park and Enzian Theater team up to host this FREE monthly outdoor movie event in Central Park.

25. The Villages Balloon Festival

Awe at dozens of hot air balloons hovering during this winter festival in The Villages, just a short drive north of Orlando. Kids are also sure to love the free fun zone complete with inflatables and more.

Medieval Times
4510 W. Vine St
Kissimmee, FL

Pirate's Dinner Adventure
6400 Carrier Dr
Orlando, FL

Blue Spring State Park
2100 W. French Ave.
Orange City, FL

Three Sisters Springs
123 NW Hwy 19
Crystal River, FL

RDV Sportsplex Ice Den
8701 Maitland Summit Blvd.
Maitland, FL

The Ice Factory of Central Florida
2221 Partin Settlement Road
Kissimmee, FL

Daytona Ice Arena
2400 S. Ridgewood Ave
South Daytona, FL

Snowcat Ridge
27839 Saint Joe Rd.
Dade City, FL

Walt Disney World - Epcot
200 Epcot Center Dr
Orlando, FL

Oak Haven Farms & Winery
32418 Avington Road
Sorrento, FL

Pappy's Patch U-Pick
700 Florida Ave
Oviedo, FL

Southern Hill Farms
16651 Schofield Rd
Clermont, FL

Bekemeyer Family Farm
1055 E Story Rd
Winter Garden, FL

Mick Farms
4261 Canoe Creek Road
St Cloud, FL

Amway Center
400 W Church St
Orlando, FL

Harry P. Leu Gardens
1920 North Forest Avenue
Orlando, FL

Mead Botanical Garden
1300 S Denning Dr
Winter Park, FL

Bok Tower Gardens
1151 Tower Blvd,
Lake Wales, FL

Winter Park Farmers Market
200 West New England Ave
Winter Park, FL

Winter Garden Farmers Market
300 W Plant St
Winter Garden, FL

Lake Mary Farmers Market
100 N Country Club Rd
Lake Mary, FL

Maitland Farmers Market
701 Lake Lily Dr
Maitland, FL

Mount Dora Village Market
230 W. 4th Avenue
Mount Dora, FL

City Of Longwood Farmers Market
311 Warren Ave
Longwood, FL

Plant Street Market
426 W Plant St
Winter Garden, FL

East End Market
3201 Corrine Drive
Orlando, FL

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
3755 W. Seminole Blvd
Sanford, FL

Showcase of Citrus
5010 US Highway 27
Clermont, FL

Tibet-Butler Preserve
8777 Winter Garden - Vineland Rd.
Orlando, FL

Oakland Nature Preserve
747 Machete Trail
Oakland, FL 34760

Trout Lake Nature Center
520 E County Road 44
Eustis, FL

14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 32837

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
445 S. Magnolia Avenue
Orlando, FL

Central Park
150 W Morse Blvd
Winter Park, FL

The Villages Polo Club
703 N Buena Vista Blvd
The Villages, FL
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