Stay cool while pursuing the coolest outdoor attractions and activities in Orlando this fall and winter, including kayaking at Rock Springs Run State Reserve (pictured, courtesy Get Up & Go Kayaking).
As the warmer season starts to disappear and cooler temperatures roll in, there’s an entire world of unique outdoor experiences for you to discover in Orlando. Whether you’re interested in adventures on land, sea or air, here are the top 15 ways to make the most of Orlando’s gorgeous environment during fall and winter (and even into spring!) — from high-octane thrills such as zip-lining and off-roading, to mellower pursuits like horseback riding to bird-watching.
Discover: Fall Events in Orlando
Outdoor Attractions Near Orlando’s Theme Parks
Discover outdoor attractions, from hang gliding to ice skating, just moments away from Orlando’s incredible theme parks.
Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park
Save on discount tickets: Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park
Operate ATVs, dune buggies and ARGO amphibious vehicles through 200 acres of tracks and trails at Revolution Adventures in Clermont, about 30 minutes west of Walt Disney World.
Save on discount tickets: Revolution Adventures
Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park
Take to the skies at Wallaby Ranch, the largest hang-gliding flight park in the world. Glide over Central Florida on a tandem discovery flight, which includes 15 minutes of guided free flying over lakes and woodlands.
Discover: Orlando Ecotourism
Airboat Tours in Orlando
Speed through the headwaters of the wild Florida Everglades on a guided airboat tour. See native Florida wildlife like blue herons, bald eagles and even alligators. Try Spirit of the Swamp Airboat Rides for private swamp tours lasting up to two hours, Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures (get discount tickets) for dazzling sunset tours, or Wild Florida (get discount tickets) for a full day of fun — admission to their onsite Alligator Park is included with every airboat tour!
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Horseback Riding in Orlando
Slow down on a guided horseback ride through tree-lined floodplains and idyllic Central Florida woodlands. Tri-Circle-D Ranch is a convenient option located at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground at Walt Disney World, offering scenic trail rides for adults and old-fashioned pony rides for the younger set. You can even book a festive sleigh ride through the woods during the holiday season! For true untouched Florida wilderness, venture out to Hidden Palms Ranch in Sanford, about 40 minutes north of our main tourism districts, or Lake Louisa State Park, located about 30 minutes from Walt Disney World. And though they’re best known for fun on the water, Epic Paddle Adventures offers horseback riding, too.
Ice Skating in Orlando
Ice skating in Orlando? You got it! Ice skating is available year-round at indoor rinks like RDV Sportsplex, and you can even find a few festive outdoor rinks throughout the holiday season. Skate alongside SeaWorld® Orlando’s Central Lagoon during SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration (park admission required) or lace up your skates at annual holiday celebrations like Now Snowing in the town of Celebration near Walt Disney World.
Seasonal Festivals & More Outdoor Fun in Orlando
Pick your own pumpkins, sunflowers and produce, plus enjoy live music, entertainment and more outdoor fun at fall festivals throughout Orlando. In November and December, soak up a little holiday magic at festive celebrations like the Oh, What Fun! Holiday Festival in Lake Nona, minutes from Orlando International Airport (MCO).
Discover: Holiday Season Events in Orlando
West Orange Trail
This paved, 21-mile path will take you from Winter Garden in the south to Apopka in the north, with plenty of gorgeous nature — plus free amenities — along the way. Explore the boardwalk trail to Lake Apopka at Oakland Nature Preserve, coast beneath a canopy of ancient live oaks, and cool off with a locally crafted brew at Crooked Can Brewing at Winter Garden’s Plant St. Market. Want to bike the trail but didn’t bring one with you? West Orange Trail Bikes & Blades Co. in Winter Garden can hook you up.
Discover: Orlando Breweries
Natural Springs Near Orlando
Florida’s natural springs remain warm year-round, so you can go for a swim, join a guided eco-tour, and even see manatees when temperatures begin to drop. Join Adventures in Florida eco-tours for an unforgettable manatee encounter at Blue Spring State Park, located one hour north of Orlando, or head to Silver Springs State Park for a tranquil paddleboarding encounter with Epic Paddle Adventures. Glide through crystalline waterways at Rock Springs Run State Reserve in a clear kayak from Get Up and Go Kayaking, or cool off at Wekiwa Springs State Park. These getaways are all an hour or less from our main tourism districts.
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Glamping in Orlando
Enjoy the great outdoors in comfort with an overnight cabin or glamp site stay. Try Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont for spacious cabins, eco-tents and luxury bell tents, or venture out to Westgate River Ranch for air-conditioned luxury tents, wagons, teepees and more.
Outdoor Adventure Parks in Orlando
Gear up for a full day of high-octane thrills at aquatic adventure parks like Nona Adventure Park, where you can conquer a 1,000-foot-long inflatable obstacle course and learn to wakeboard at speeds up to 36 MPH. Orlando Watersports Complex, minutes from Orlando International Airport (MCO), was recently voted the number one wakeboard park in the world. And Buena Vista Watersports, near Walt Disney World, offers boat rentals, jet skis, kayaks and more for an incredible day on the water.
Nature Preserves Near Orlando
Explore cypress swamp, oak hammock, and other native Florida ecosystems at spectacular free nature preserves throughout Central Florida.
Tibet-Butler Preserve and Oakland Nature Preserve both have kid-friendly interpretive trails, hands-on learning centers, and a serene lakeside setting within 30 minutes of Walt Disney World. Or try Split Oak Forest, minutes from Orlando International Airport, where you can spot rare and protected species like bald eagles, gopher tortoises, and wood storks among the trees.
Plus, see conservation in action at Disney Wilderness Preserve, 11,500 acres of protected land located 40 minutes from Walt Disney World. The preserve is home to over 1,000 plant and animal species, including fox squirrels, wood storks, and rare red-cockaded woodpeckers.
Lake Nona Sculpture Garden
Discover Orlando’s artistic side at outdoor sculpture gardens throughout the city. One of the newest additions is the Lake Nona Sculpture Garden, a 50,000-square-foot space in its forward-facing namesake community. It’s entirely free to visit, as are the sculptures at downtown Orlando’s Lake Eola Park and the outdoor sculpture garden at The Mennello Museum of American Art. And don’t miss the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens in Winter Park, where you can see over 200 of the artist’s works, including several sculptures nestled throughout a three-acre garden.
Discover: Lake Nona Sculpture Garden
Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
Winter Park’s famous Scenic Boat Tour is a great way to see local birds — not to mention the beautiful waterways and homes that wind through this charming city 20 minutes north of Orlando.
Discover: Winter Park
Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
Take a leisurely one-way drive along Lake Apopka’s north shore, hopping out along the way to spot ospreys, red-shouldered hawks and over 360 additional bird species who call the area home. Download the audio guide online to learn about the rich history of Lake Apopka, the fourth-largest lake in the state of Florida, as you continue along the 11-mile wildlife drive.
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