Indoor Activities in Orlando
Orlando is in the Sunshine State, but from late May through September, afternoon showers are common. Fortunately, our summer rain is typically over quickly and helps us beat the afternoon heat, but the question remains: What can you do in Orlando when it’s raining?
The answer: Quite a lot! For instance, you can still enjoy Orlando’s theme parks during a rainstorm — just throw on a poncho or open an umbrella. If that’s not your style, or if high summer temperatures have you longing for some cool diversions, there are plenty of indoor activities and attractions where you can continue your fun-filled Orlando vacation, including these winning options.
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Indoor Attractions in Orlando
Some of the best ways to have fun indoors in Orlando can be found on and around the epicenter of our tourism district: International Drive, aka I-Drive. Anchored by Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld® Orlando, this vibrant area is packed with delicious dining, unique retailers and some of Orlando’s most popular indoor attractions.
Take ICON Park™, for example — the entertainment, dining and shopping hub that’s home to the famous, 400-foot-tall observation wheel, The Wheel. Although the attraction itself sits outside, you can board it without getting wet to enjoy unbeatable views of Orlando’s landscape. (The Wheel does pause operations during extremely severe weather, though.)
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That’s just the start of ICON Park's indoor attractions. Other ways to play here while staying cool and dry include Madame Tussauds Orlando, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, 7D Dark Ride Adventure and Arcade City Orlando. The first two are part of Merlin Entertainments, which also operates LEGOLAND® Florida Resort.
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International Drive is also home to Pointe Orlando, which features a robust selection of restaurants, retailers and attractions — including WonderWorks. Housed in International Drive’s famous upside-down building, this family-friendly attraction features six themed “Wonder Zones,” indoor laser tag, a ropes course and other fun activities.
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Offering bowling, arcade and prize games, billiards, a free-roam virtual reality game and more, Main Event Entertainment is also part of Pointe Orlando. In a similar vein, Kings Dining & Entertainment on I-Drive is a gaming paradise, with 22 bowling lanes, foosball, ping pong, billiards and shuffleboard. The activities at both locations are complemented by mouthwatering food menus and full bars.
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Ripley’s Believe It or Not! doesn’t just have a presence in Orlando — they love us so much, they’re headquartered here! Their International Drive location is filled with unusual items and bizarre artifacts ranging from authenticated dinosaur eggs to a 12-foot gorilla made of tire pieces, all inside a building that appears to be sinking into the ground.
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Feeling the need for speed? You can do that indoors in Orlando, too, thanks to high-speed attractions like Andretti Indoor Karting & Games and I-Drive NASCAR, both in the International Drive area. In addition to kart racing, these venues feature games, bowling and other activities, as well as full restaurants and bars.
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You can even fly inside on International Drive at iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving! Safe for visitors ages 3 and up, this unique attraction uses vertical wind-tunnel technology to create a wall-to-wall cushion of air that simulates the feeling of flight.
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Chocolate-lovers in search of indoor fun won’t want to miss I-Drive’s Chocolate Kingdom — Interactive Factory Adventure Tour, where a prince and his dragon sidekick will take you through the tastiest, most imaginative factory this side of Willy Wonka. And yes, they have a river of chocolate!
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Although not technically on International Drive, Crayola Experience at The Florida Mall® is worth the short drive if you’re visiting Orlando with children. It offers 26 hands-on attractions that are perfect for keeping little ones occupied on a rainy day, including painting, sculpting, drip art and even creating a custom crayon.
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Last but not least, if you’re trying to escape rain or heat, might as well literally escape at one of Orlando’s indoor escape room attractions. On International Drive, they include The Escape Game Orlando, Escapology and Lockbusters Escape Game. If you’re in downtown Orlando, you can test your wits at The Great Escape Room.
Indoor Shopping in Orlando
Shopaholics never mind a little rain. After all, it presents a great opportunity to shop for clothes, souvenirs, electronics and more at high-end boutiques and artisan shops at Orlando’s expansive indoor malls!
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As the largest shopping mall in Central Florida, The Florida Mall contains more than 250 retail, entertainment and dining choices. It also has a several area exclusives, including M&M'S® World, American Girl, Carlo’s Bakery and The Disney Store, in addition to the aforementioned Crayola Experience.
Other popular stores at The Florida Mall include A/X Armani Exchange, Apple, Banana Republic, MAC Cosmetics, Mayors Jewelers and more. While you’re there, be sure to take advantage of services and amenities that include valet parking, free WiFi, currency exchange and two children’s play areas.
More refined shopping can be enjoyed at The Mall at Millenia, just 10 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort. Here, you can immerse yourself in more than 150 brands (including 40 market exclusives) and upscale restaurants. Top retail options include Apple, Bloomingdale’s, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, Tiffany & Co. and others.
Services at The Mall at Millenia include complimentary WiFi, device-charging stations, currency exchange, valet parking and a multilingual staff. You can also get assistance from Visit Orlando representatives courtesy of our dedicated presence at the concierge desk.
Indoor Arts & Culture in Orlando
Museums, galleries and other cultural venues in Orlando can transport you to another time and place while providing welcome respite from sun or showers. Of course, they’re great to visit when the weather is nice, too!
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Some of the best examples can be found in Winter Park, a charming, tree-lined city about 20 minutes north of downtown Orlando. It’s home to Rollins College’s Cornell Fine Arts Museum, which offers engaging fun for the whole family with more than 5,500 works of art, informative tours and even scavenger hunts. Best of all, admission is always free.
Winter Park also features The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, which exhibits a comprehensive collection of works by renowned designer Louis Comfort Tiffany — including many of his iconic lamps. Nearby, the city’s Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens preserves the creations of its namesake sculptor.
Just outside downtown Orlando, beautiful Loch Haven Park is a cultural hub with diverse offerings, starting with the Orlando Science Center. This venue’s exciting, interactive, family-friendly exhibits invite you to view planets through a state-of-the-art refractor telescope, uncover dinosaur fossils and even engineer your own roller coaster.
Loch Haven Park also hosts the Orlando Museum of Art, which houses 10 to 12 exhibits annually, with collections ranging from ancient art to contemporary masterpieces. Nearby, you can peruse the works of self-taught American artist Earl Cunningham at The Mennello Museum of American Art.
Loch Haven Park’s other permanent members include Orlando Repertory Theatre (aka Orlando Rep), Orlando Shakespeare Theater (aka Orlando Shakes), Orlando Fire Museum and the headquarters of Orlando Ballet. In May, the park hosts the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, aka Orlando Fringe, which is the longest-running event of its type in the country.
In downtown Orlando, sample multiple galleries under one shared roof at CityArts Factory, which offers complimentary admission. And downtown’s Orange County Regional History Center and Heritage Square Park is a Smithsonian Institution affiliate where you can explore 12,000 years of Central Florida’s history.