Things to Do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks
When it comes to filling your vacation itinerary, Orlando offers no shortage of things to do. For starters, we’re not known as the Theme Park Capital of the World for nothing, being home to eight wildly popular theme parks, including those at Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando and LEGOLAND® Florida Resort. But did you know that we also have a vast array of recreational activities and indoor attractions beyond the theme parks?
To guide you, we’ve compiled a list of Orlando’s top outdoor and indoor attractions, as well as dining experiences that qualify as attractions in their own right. Because we know you’re going to want to spend time at our theme parks … but we wouldn’t want you to think they’re the only reason to visit Orlando!
Outdoor Attractions and Activities in Orlando
The opportunities for outdoor fun in and around Orlando are endless, including ziplining, airboat rides, animal encounters and much more. For additional information on these and other outdoor experiences, visit our Attractions, Golf, Orlando Outdoors & EcoTourism, and Sports, Recreation & Outdoors pages.
Boggy Creek Airboat Rides
Located in Kissimmee near Walt Disney World, this attraction invites you to glide across the headwaters of the Florida Everglades at speeds up to 40 mph aboard six-passenger airboats that have been inspected and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. During the 45-minute tour, you’ll encounter areas untouched by man and see a wide range of exotic wildlife. Night expeditions, which last an hour, are also available.
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Bok Tower Gardens
Just 10 miles from LEGOLAND Florida, this is one of Florida’s first attractions and best-kept secrets. The National Historic Landmark was dedicated in 1929 as a gift of gratitude from Edward Bok, a humanitarian, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and world peace advocate. Bok Tower Gardens’ nearly 700 acres of citrus groves, woodland gardens, nature trails, conservation lands and endangered plants are the perfect setting for visitors to explore breathtaking sights throughout the year.
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Nestled in lush, tropical foliage, the Central Florida Zoo is home to 23 acres of native gardens and more than 500 animals. It also features an insect zoo, a reptile house, a children’s area with animals you can feed and pet, a splash playground, and Seminole Aerial Adventures. The zoo is located in Sanford, about 20 minutes from downtown Orlando.
Fun Spot America Theme Parks
Fun Spot America is Central Florida’s only family-owned theme park, and it has two locations: International Drive in Orlando and Kissimmee near Walt Disney World. Both provide the same level of fun, but they are distinct enough to allow for completely different experiences. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or someone who prefers the lights and sounds of an arcade, these parks offer plenty of excitement for the entire family, including multi-level go-kart tracks and Orlando’s only wooden roller coaster.
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Have you ever fed a giraffe? At this attraction in Dade City, about an hour from Walt Disney World, you’ll get to know giraffes and other species from around the world, all in a setting that seems right out of Africa with huge live oaks and open grasslands. Offering tours exclusively by reservation, it’s on 47 acres of countryside adjoining Florida’s second largest wilderness area, the Green Swamp, complete with native orchids, lush pastures and rolling wetlands.
Situated on more than 100 acres, one of Orlando’s oldest attractions provides affordably priced family fun. See thousands of alligators and crocodiles, along with an aviary, a breeding marsh with observation tower, Florida panthers, a petting zoo, and a splash pad for younger visitors. The park also offers one-of-a-kind reptilian exhibitions, including the Gator Wrestlin’ Show, Gator Jumparoo and special up-close encounters. Last but not least, get even more thrills from your visit with the separate-ticketed Screamin’ Gator Zip Line and Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure.
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Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park
Practice your best Tarzan yell before heading to this attraction, which is located near Walt Disney World in Kissimmee. It features 97 challenges for climbers of every skill level, including swings, nets, ropes, a trapeze and other ways to show off. Safety is never an issue, either, as you’ll be securely clipped to a safety cable, and all guests receive a safety demonstration from trained instructors.
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Orlando Watersports Complex
Close to Orlando International Airport, this unique water park offers waterskiing, wakeboarding, wakeskating, wakesurfing and kneeboarding on a massive boat lake. It’s also home to Central Florida’s first Aquapark, where you can have hours of fun on a series of inflatable, interlocking climbing obstacles, pathways and slides. However, guests under 18 require parental waivers, and there’s a mandatory one-hour lesson for children under 10.
Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf
Get ready to enjoy swashbuckling fun for the whole family on International Drive! This imaginative miniature golf experience offers two championship, 18-hole courses, where you putt your way through mountain caves, over footbridges and under waterfalls. The attraction also has a beautiful picnic area for birthday parties and group events.
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Revolution Off Road
An off-road motor and fishing venue set in 230 acres of Florida countryside, this attraction is close to all major tourist attractions. You’re invited to jump in the driver’s seat for the guided adventure of a lifetime on all-terrain vehicles, dune buggies or even ARGO amphibious Mucky Ducks. Revolution also offers bass fishing on its private lake, as well as archery lessons and clay shooting. Plus, all equipment is included.
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Safari Wilderness Ranch
You’ll be enveloped by an open vista of grazing animals surrounded by cypress domes and bay trees at this attraction, located 45 minutes from Walt Disney World. During this natural adventure, knowledgeable and experienced guides will take you through large herds of exotic game on 260 acres of pristine wilderness. Tours are offered daily and by reservation only.
Wild Florida Airboats and Gator Park
Travel deep into 4,200 acres of protected swamps, marshes and rivers that make up the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. On your journey, you’ll get an in-depth look at the gators, birds, eagles, trees and plants that can be found in the area’s beautiful wetlands. What’s more, airboat tickets include complimentary admission to the wildlife park and a hands-on gator demonstration.
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Indoor Attractions in Orlando
Looking for an indoor activity during your stay in Orlando? No problem! We have indoor attractions for all ages and interests — from making your own Crayola crayon or indoor skydiving, to experiencing an upside-down “amusement park for the mind” or putting pedal to the metal on high-speed go-karts. Visit our Attractions page for even more ideas on ways to have indoor fun in Orlando.
America’s Escape Game
If riddles and puzzles are your thing, you won’t want to miss this game, which is located on International Drive. You and a team of up to nine other people will be locked in a room, after which you’ll have 60 minutes to solve riddles and puzzles to escape. You can also choose from six different experiences, each providing a unique challenge to solve.
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
Race with a legend at the only indoor karting experience endorsed by Mario Andretti! Adjacent to International Drive and the Orange County Convention Center, this 150,000-square-foot facility features multi-level indoor karting, 12 lanes of boutique bowling, more than 120 arcade and prize games, two-story laser tag, six virtual-reality racing simulators, a motion theater, and an extreme ropes course with a curved-rail zipline, as well as a full-service restaurant and bars.
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Breakout Escape Rooms
Grab your family, friends, coworkers or even strangers to experience these one-of-a-kind escape games close to International Drive. Themes here include The Ringmaster’s Den, Game of Espionage and Zombie Roadhouse. Giving you 60 minutes to escape, the non-linear rooms will have you puzzled and using your brain to find hidden secrets, decipher clues and locate keys that will lead you to freedom.
Chocolate Kingdom: Interactive Factory Adventure Tour
This interactive journey near International Drive reveals how chocolate transforms from the bean into a creamy, dreamy treat. Guided by a prince and his dragon sidekick, you’ll go through the attraction’s Cacao Tree Greenhouse, Chocolate Museum, Mystical River of Chocolate and Bean-to-the-Bar Factory, which uses old-world machinery. You’ll even have the chance to create a customized chocolate bar!
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Enjoy a full day of creative play and colorful fun with 26 hands-on activities at this family-friendly attraction, located at The Florida Mall®. Covering two stories and 70,000 square feet, Crayola Experience invites you to name and wrap your own Crayola crayon, and learn how crayons are made in a fun live show. You can also sculpt colorful creations at the Crayola Model Magic compound, watch as your digital art comes to live on a huge interactive wall, and melt crayons down into shapes.
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Drive Shack Orlando
Just 15 minutes from Orlando International Airport, Drive Shack invites golfers of every age and skill level — as well as people who have never picked up a club — to experience an all-new take on golf. Instead of worrying about pars, birdies or holes-in-one, you’ll play fun games like ShackJack, which is based on classic blackjack, or Monster Hunt, where you destroy monsters to save a princess. And it’s all complemented with gourmet food and beverage options.
The Escape Game Orlando
Located in the heart of I-Drive, and rated as Orlando’s No. 1 escape room by TripAdvisor, The Escape Game offers immersive, 60-minute adventures that bring epic stories to life in a one-of-a-kind tactile experience. You and your team will work together to find clues, overcome challenges and ultimately complete a mission. Escaping will require teamwork, communication, wits, a sense of adventure, and more importantly: you!
The Great Escape Room
The only attraction of its kind in downtown Orlando, The Great Escape Room features three challenging scenarios, including The President’s Bunker, Professor Moriarty’s Gameroom and Dr. Watson’s Infirmary. Your group will have to work together as a team to solve various mysteries and escape, and you’ll only have 60 minutes to do it!
Hukoo’s Family Fun Center
Located across the street from The Florida Mall, this 25,000-square-foot entertainment center provides hours of family fun. You can enjoy arcade games, laser tag, bumper cars, climbing walls and more. They also have a mini-bowling alley, a laser maze, and a café with pizza, subs, burgers and more. Plus, admission and parking are always free.
Rain or shine, racing excitement is always guaranteed at this indoor attraction on International Drive. In addition to state-of-the-art electric race karts, I-Drive NASCAR has an arcade with more than 60 games, a four-lane bowling alley, three pool tables, and a full bar and restaurant offering 180-degree views of the action.
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iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving
If you’ve always wanted to experience skydiving but aren’t too keen on the whole “jumping out of a plane” aspect, head to this attraction on International Drive. There’s no parachute and no jumping. Instead, you’ll float on a cushion of air thanks to iFLY’s innovative wind-tunnel technology. It’s safe for guests as young as 3, and you’ll be guided by a personal flight instructor.
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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Head to Florida’s east coast, about an hour from downtown Orlando, to explore the past, present and future of space travel without ever leaving earth. Admission nets you the chance to see Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Saturn V moon rocket, plus a wealth of other artifacts, replicas and displays, but the fun doesn’t stop there. You can also experience Heroes & Legend, an immersive experience where the stories of NASA’s pioneering astronauts come to life, plus other features.
Kings Dining & Entertainment
This is the perfect place to bowl, eat and lounge in a comfortable, fun and luxurious environment. Located at Pointe Orlando on International Drive, it features 22 bowling lanes, billiards, ping pong and even bocce ball, plus two premium bars serving innovative cocktails. It also boasts a chef-designed menu centered around fresh takes on American classics.
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Lockbusters Escape Game
Part of International Drive’s stellar lineup of attractions, Lockbusters does away with traditional locks and keys for an innovative take on the traditional escape-room genre. Challenges include The Collector, Bank Heist, Pirate Adventure, Chopper Down and Cremlocke Manor, all of which provide fully immersive experiences.
Machine Gun America
Feel the power of automatic armaments and other exotic guns at this unique attraction in Kissimmee. Choose from a full range of guns, ranging from World War II to the modern era, in a state-of-the-art facility with ample safety measures and trained, specialized staff to keep you secure.
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Madame Tussauds Orlando
Orlando’s chapter of this world-renowned attraction is part of ICON Park on International Drive. Here, you can see lifelike stars from film and television, music, sports, pop culture and history. And now, you can even meet some of the world’s best-known superheroes as part of Justice League: A Call for Heroes, an all-new exhibit featuring the stars of DC Entertainment’s Justice League!
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Main Event Orlando
Eat, bowl and play with state-of-the-art bowling, virtual and interactive games, billiards, a high-ropes adventure course, 61 HDTVs, and chef-driven dining, all in a 50,000-square-foot facility. Main Event also boasts the first-ever, free-roam, multiplayer, virtual-reality game! It’s part of the Pointe Orlando dining, entertainment and shopping hub on International Drive.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Don’t be fooled by this International Drive attraction’s outward appearance: It’s not really falling into a sinkhole! It’s just one of many odd and unbelievable sights, sounds and experiences at the 10,000-square-foot venue. Inside, the whole family can enjoy fascinating, interactive exhibits and explore an impressive variety of artifacts and displays in 16 unique galleries. And the self-guided, self-paced tour means you’ll have plenty of time to see it all.
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SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium
Dive deep into an underwater world of wonder at SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, part of ICON Park. Soak up incredible views from Orlando’s only 360-degree underwater tunnel, where sharks and rays swim overhead, and gaze at breathtaking creatures as you walk through themed habitats. It also features a special play area for younger guests.
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Love golf? Never played it? Either way, you’ll have a blast at Topgolf, which is adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center in the International Drive area. Featuring a fun take on the game that uses a scoring system similar to bowling or darts, the venue also has an impressive food and drink menu. What’s more, all of the attraction’s 102 climate-controlled driving bays have HDTVs and music selection.
The Wheel at ICON Park™
Technically speaking, this attraction — formerly known as the Orlando Eye — is outdoors, but you’ll experience it in climate-controlled comfort aboard one of the roomy, WiFi-enabled capsules. Towering over International Drive, the 400-foot-tall observation wheel will give you an unbeatable view of Orlando. It’s one of several attractions at the ICON Park entertainment and dining complex.
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The original “indoor amusement park for the mind” melds education and entertainment into more than 100 hands-on exhibits for all ages. Features include six interactive “Wonder Zones” based on a range of themes, as well as laser tag, a three-story ropes challenge course and the XD Theater 4D Motion Ride. Also home to The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show, you’ll find it in the famous upside down building that’s part of Pointe Orlando on International Drive.
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Unique Dining Entertainment in Orlando
With more than 5,000 restaurants to choose from, Orlando offers a complete range of culinary options, stretching from gourmet food trucks to the very best in fine dining. What’s more, we’re home to several unique restaurants where you can combine high-quality fare with unforgettable entertainment, including these standouts!
Capone’s Dinner & Show
Knock three times, give the secret password and discover the era of mobsters, dames and prohibition at this dinner attraction near Walt Disney World in Kissimmee. The one-of-a-kind speakeasy and cabaret features singing, dancing, sensational costumes, standup comedy, romance and goofy gangster action, plus lots of audience participation.
Mango’s Tropical Café
Located in the heart of International Drive, Mango’s offers a lavish dining experience like no other. Watch in wonder as the world-famous Mango’s Dancers perform on an Italian glass mosaic after walking past an amazing terrazzo mural. Outdoor covered patio spaces include a sidewalk café and a second-floor veranda, which are surrounded by the copper sculpture Mambo Bar, the mystical Samba Bar and the lovely Mermaid Bar.
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Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
Orlando’s original dining entertainment experience presents a heart-pounding show that tells a tale of devotion, courage and love. Travel through the mist of time to an age where bold knights on spirited horses display the incredible athleticism and thrilling sword fights that have made Medieval Times one of America’s most popular dinner attractions. Housed in an actual castle, they’re located close to Walt Disney World in Kissimmee.
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The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show
This hilarious show at WonderWorks in the Pointe Orlando complex combines high-energy comedy improvisation with spectacular magic to thoroughly entertain audiences of all ages. During the show, you will enjoy unlimited pizza, salad, dessert, beer, wine and soda. Reservations are required.
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The ROCK Dinner Show at Orlando Forum
Presenting a high-energy musical journey of the most iconic rock and pop artists of all time, The ROCK Dinner Show can be enjoyed at the Orlando Forum on International Drive. Feel like rock royalty as you savor a three-course, from-scratch meal while an all-star cast of legendary performers amaze your senses with energizing music, sensational dancing and electrifying visual effects.
Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows
You are invited to step into a world of comedy, mystery and intrigue at Sleuths, located on International Drive and suitable for all ages. Mingle with unusual characters as you become the detective and solve the crime through a live interrogation where the action is fast and the laughter is contagious. Dinner includes hors d’oeuvres, a choice of entrée and dessert, as well as unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks.