Top Attractions in Orlando: Best Things to See and Do with Kids
Orlando is Florida’s most visited city, and for good reason! Orlando is known for its theme parks, but there’s so much more to see when visiting Central Florida. Swim with dolphins, zipline over alligators, book a boat or kayak tour, see a real space shuttle, and more. Read on for all of our favorite family-friendly Orlando attractions.
Looking for somewhere to stay on your Orlando attractions trip? We've rounded up the Best Orlando Hotels for Families and the Best Hotel Water Parks in Orlando. If you prefer to camp, check out these awesome Florida campgrounds!
Kid-Friendly Tourist Attractions in Orlando
1. Walt Disney World Resort – Lake Buena Vista
With more than 50 million visitors each year, Walt Disney World (WDW) is the most visited vacation resort in the WORLD! The highlight of WDW are the four main parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios – but it also features more than 25 hotels and resorts, two water parks, and the Disney Springs entertainment district. Don’t forget to book a character dining experience during your trip as well.
Become a part of Harry Potter's world at Universal Orlando Resort.
2. Universal Orlando Resort – Orlando
Visitors to Universal Orlando’s two main theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, can immerse themselves in experiences from their favorite films and television shows, such as Harry Potter, Jurassic World, SpongeBob, and more. In addition to the theme parks, Universal Orlando boasts Volcano Bay water park, seven hotels and resorts, and the CityWalk entertainment district.
3. SeaWorld – Orlando
A global leader in marine animal care, rescue, conservation, and education, SeaWorld Orlando allows guests to get up close and personal with sea life, enjoy rides, shows, and more. SeaWorld also has an adjacent water park, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove, an all-inclusive day resort where guests swim with dolphins and snorkel with rays.
Watch pirates dual at the Legoland Florida Resort. Photo courtesy of Legoland
4. Legoland Florida Resort – Winter Haven
Just 30 minutes outside of Orlando sits Legoland Florida Resort, home to the Legoland theme park, Legoland water park, and the new Peppa Pig theme park. Guests can stay onsite at the Legoland Hotel, Pirate Island Hotel, or Legoland Beach Retreat.
ICON Park's iconic Wheel is a welcome site of Orlando.
5. ICON Park – Orlando
When planning your visit to Orlando attractions, make sure to include ICON Park! This entertainment complex is home to fun attractions such as The Wheel, Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, and Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, as well as a variety of rides, shops and restaurants.
6. Kennedy Space Center - Merritt Island
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is worth the 45-minute commute from Orlando, especially for families interested in space and NASA history. Get an up-close view of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, wander through a rocket garden, and let the kids burn some energy at the Planet Play experience.
Fun Spot America throws great holiday-themed events, like Mardi Gras activity.
7. Fun Spot America – Orlando and Kissimmee
Fun Spot America has two Central Florida parks. Both parks feature fun thrill rides, coasters, family rides, an arcade, and go-karts. Admission and parking at Fun Spot is completely free— purchase a day pass for the rides and attractions or pay per ride. The Orlando location includes a Gator Spot exhibit and a splash pad.
8. Harry P. Leu Gardens – Orlando
Leu Gardens’ 50-acre botanical oasis hosts fun traveling exhibits throughout the year, such as hidden fairy doors, dinosaur invasion, and a dragon treasure quest. Regardless of exhibit, it’s worth visiting to stroll the elaborate gardens.
9. Orlando Science Center – Orlando
There’s something for all ages at the Orlando Science Center. Little ones will love the expansive KidsTown play area and digging for fossils in DinoDigs, while older kids can explore the Fusion STEAM gallery, Kinetic Zone, and The Hive Makerspace.
10. Ripley’s Believe It or Not – Orlando
Awe at some of the world’s most unusual artifacts at Ripley’s Orlando museum. Explore a "Weird Florida" gallery, experience a Florida sinkhole, check out shrunken heads, and more.
11. WonderWorks – Orlando
Don't miss this upside down building along International Drive. WonderWorks is home to a laser tag arena, glow-in-the-dark ropes course, 4D simulator ride, interactive exhibits, and a magic comedy dinner show.
12. World’s Largest McDonald’s – Orlando
Great Orlando attractions include food, so don’t miss a trip to the world’s largest McDonald’s right here in Orlando. It is conveniently located right off of I-4 near International Drive, and boasts a huge indoor playground and arcade.
Show off those chompers at Gatorland. Photo by the author
13. Gatorland – Orlando
One of the most common questions from Orlando visitors is, "Where can we see alligators?" Try the Alligator Capital of the World: Gatorland! It's home to more than 2,000 alligators, as well as crocodiles, wild cats, birds, and snakes. Little ones will love the splash pad, and thrill seekers can zip over the gators on the Screamin’ Gator Zipline.
14. The Florida Mall – Orlando
Rain in the forecast? Spend a day indoors at The Florida Mall. Younger kids can enjoy interactive play areas and activities at Crayola Experience, as well as the mall’s free indoor play park. American Girl doll fans can visit the American Girl store, and the whole family will enjoy browsing all the mall has to offer.
15. Central Florida Zoo – Sanford
Feed giraffes, spot black bears, and see more than 300 other animals at the Central Florida Zoo. Bring bathing suits for the kiddos to splash around in the tropical splash pad. Kids also love the petting zoo, children’s garden, and playground.
16. Old Town – Kissimmee
Old Town is an entertainment complex designed as a re-creation of a classic Florida town, hence the name. It features rides and attractions such as a carousel, Ferris wheel, arcade, escape room, magic hall, and ninja challenge. There are also shops and restaurants.
17. Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive – Apopka
An Orlando vacation can get pricey, so what’s better than a FREE activity to fit into your itinerary? The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is a free way to see Florida's wildlife in its natural habitat, as an 11-mile drive, open weekends and federal holidays. Every visit we see dozens of alligators and several species of birds; visitors have also spotted snakes, otters, and bobcats.
Party like its Mesozoic times at Dinosaur World.
18. Dinosaur World – Plant City
Little dinosaur enthusiasts love visiting Dinosaur World, about an hour’s drive from Orlando and right off of the I-4 corridor. This roadside attraction is home to hundreds of life-sized dino replicas, exhibits, themed play areas, and more.
19. Bioluminescence Tour – Titusville
Older kids (ages 5 and up), teens, and adults can experience the beauty of bioluminescence up close with a kayak tour on the Space Coast. During summer months, glowing plankton, known as dinoflagellate, multiply to create a magical, underwater glow; during the winter, comb jellyfish produce a similar luminosity.
20. Blue Spring State Park – Orange City
During the winter months, Blue Spring State Park is a safe haven for the Florida manatee, and they can be spotted by the hundreds on cold days. During the summer months, visitors can swim in the refreshing spring waters. The park also offers a guided river cruise along the St. John’s River, a hiking trail, playground, picnic facilities, and a concession area.
21. Rock Springs at Kelly Park – Apopka
This wildly popular natural spring is known as Central Florida’s natural “lazy river.” Visitors can rent tubes and travel down the beautiful stream run, or enjoy a large swimming area surrounding the spring.
Will your knight triumph at Medieval Times?
22. Medieval Times – Kissimmee
Enjoy dinner and a show at Medieval Times. Cheer on your knight in an epic medieval battle, complete with jousting, sword fights, horsemanship, and falconry, while feasting on a four-course meal.
23. Nona Adventure Park – Orlando
Cool off from Orlando’s summer heat at Nona Adventure Park, which features a floating water playground, wake cable system, climbing tower, and ropes course.
24. Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour – Winter Park
Orlando is known for its beautiful waterways! Cruise the pristine waters of Winter Park’s chain of lakes on a scenic boat tour.
Clearwater Beach is a fun place to visit for the whole family.
25. Clearwater Beach - Clearwater
Just two hours from Orlando, Clearwater Beach is one of the top beaches in the United States. Its gentle waves and beautiful white sand make it a great destination for families.
Photos courtesy of the venues