30 Things We Are Excited to Do with Orlando Kids This Winter
Start 2022 by creating special memories with your family with the help of our guide of fun things to do this winter in Orlando. From manatee sightings and strawberry picking, to a theme park festival and Scottish Highland Games, no matter where you are around Central Florida there is no shortage of fun things to do in the winter.
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Be sure to check with the venue for its COVID guidelines and requirements before heading out to any event. Some events are getting canceled or postponed at the last minute due to the latest COVID surge.
Great Things to Do this Winter in Orlando with Kids
1. Take in a Dinner Show
Enjoy family entertainment and a delicious meal at the same time with an Orlando area 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.
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 the best places to see manatees near Orlando.
3. Ice Skate
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.
The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World Resort invites guests to take fun photo opportunities. Photo by Matt Stroshane
5. EPCOT International Festival of the Arts
From January 14 to February 21, head over to EPCOT for the annual International Festival of the Arts, which features a variety of culinary, performing, and visual arts, as well as art activities for all ages. Make sure to book a park reservation in advance. All guests ages 2 and older are required to wear face coverings indoors.
6. Strawberry Pick
December through March are prime strawberry-picking months in Central Florida. Find information about all the u-pick strawberry farms near Orlando in our Strawberry Picking article.
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 ones to choose from. We suggest mapping out a few great playgrounds and packing a picnic lunch to make for a full day of family fun.
The Wild Florida Drive-Thru gives you a front-seat view of its exotic herds. Photo by Eva S., courtesy of Wild Florida
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.
Hop on one of the many trains to explore destinations around Florida. Photo by the author
11. Take a Scenic Train Ride
Hop on a train to explore many fun destinations all around Florida this winter. Whether you're looking for a day trip by train or a themed train ride, we've got a list of 10 great train rides in Florida for families.
Enjoy a winter walk through Leu Gardens. Photo by the author
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 (kids can spend hours playing at the interactive Hammock Hollow Children's Garden). Leu Gardens is opening a Dragons Hidden Treasure Quest exhibit mid-January that kids are sure to enjoy!
13. Visit a Farmers Market
Support local growers and artisans at fun farmers markets. On Saturdays, try out the Winter Park Farmers Market, Winter Garden Farmers Market, or Lake Mary Farmers’ Market. On Sundays, visit the Maitland Farmers Market or the Mount Dora Village Market. There are also a couple of indoor markets open daily, including Plant Street Market and East End Market.
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 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. Animal Adventures
Visit with bears, rhinos, giraffes, snakes, and more with these Orlando Zoos and more places to see animals around Central Florida.
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.
Thrill to the gators and more at Gatorland. Photo courtesy of 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. For the month of January, Florida residents receive a 50 percent discount on admission fee.
19. 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.
20. Take a Hike
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. Partake in Scottish Highland Games
25. Character Meals
Make mealtime silly and dine with Mickey, Minnie, and their pals at these character dining options in Orlando.
Battle it out at an indoor play space like Altitude. Photo by the author
26. Indoor Play Spaces & Entertainment
When it's too rainy or cold to go outdoors this winter, head to an indoor entertainment center, with options including arcades, go-karts, and trampoline parks. For little ones, check out the top indoor play spaces for kids in Orlando.
27. Escape Rooms
Work together as a family to see if you can beat the clock at one of these Orlando escape room attractions.
28. Spend the Day at Universal CityWalk
Visit Universal CityWalk for miniature golf, movies, karaoke, and lots of family-friendly dining options.
29. Go Camping
Pack up the camper for a getaway at great Florida campgrounds. Gather around the campfire, make s'mores, and enjoy great amenitites at these campsites.
30. Disney Springs
Get your Disney fix while avoiding the big park admission prices at Disney Springs, which offers tons of great things to see and do with kids.