Things to Do in Orlando Beyond Theme Parks
When it comes to filling your vacation itinerary, Orlando offers no shortage of things to do. For starters, we’re the Theme Park Capital of the World, which makes us the only place on Earth where you can enjoy open-air adventures at Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando and LEGOLAND® Florida Resort — not just at theme parks, but at imaginatively themed water parks, too. But did you know that we also have a vast range of attractions and recreational activities beyond theme parks, including ecotourism adventures in the great outdoors, standalone attractions and other unforgettable ways to play?
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To guide you, we’ve compiled a list of Orlando’s top outdoor and indoor attractions. 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!
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 Ecotourism, Attractions, Golf and Sports pages.
Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures
Located about an hour south of Orlando’s main tourism districts, Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures 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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Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Nestled in lush, tropical foliage, Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens 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 the Seminole Aerial Adventures zip-line attraction. The zoo is located in Sanford, about 40 minutes north of our main tourism districts.
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Epic Paddle Adventures
Epic Paddle Adventures invites you to explore crystal-clear springs, search for marine life on the intercoastal, and enjoy some local sunshine on one of Orlando’s many gorgeous lakes. They pride themselves on providing hands-on, intensive instruction so you can feel comfortable on the water and focus on having the journey of a lifetime.
Fun Spot America
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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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. Gatorland also offers one-of-a-kind reptilian exhibitions and special up-close encounters. 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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Get Up and Go Kayaking
About 40 minutes north of Orlando’s main tourism districts, Rock Springs at Kelly Park boasts a free-flowing spring that Mother Nature keeps at a consistently cool 68 degrees. It’s an ideal location for a memorable family adventure — and there’s no better way to really see it all than renting 100% clear kayaks from Get Up and Go Kayaking!
Have you ever fed a giraffe? At this attraction in Dade City, a little over an hour west of I-Drive, 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, Giraffe Ranch is on 47 acres of countryside adjoining Florida’s second largest wilderness area, the Green Swamp, complete with native orchids, lush pastures and rolling wetlands.
Hollywood Drive-In Golf at Universal CityWalk
Play two state-of-the-art, 18-hole courses that pay homage to creature classics of yesteryear: “The Haunting of Ghostly Greens,” based on vintage horror, and “Invaders From Planet Putt,” focusing on “little green men”-style science fiction. Hollywood Drive-In Golf is part of Universal CityWalk, the open-air dining, entertainment and shopping district at Universal Orlando Resort.
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Nona Adventure Park
Make a splash at Nona Adventure Park with water-based, family-friendly adventures. Between the inflatable aqua park and obstacle course, wake cable course, ropes course, climbing tower, and rock walls, it’s one of the most exhilarating ways to play when you visit Lake Nona, minutes from Orlando International Airport.
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Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park
Practice your best Tarzan yell before heading to Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park, which is minutes from 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.
Real Florida Adventures
With more than 40 years’ experience, Real Florida Adventures has explored every nook and cranny of the Sunshine State, and they’re eager to share their energy and passion to help you create memories that will last a lifetime. Choose from a wide range of expertly guided tours, including Kennedy Space Center rocket launches, kayaking, natural springs, snorkeling with manatees, and airboat rides, to name a few.
An off-road motor and fishing venue set in 230 acres of Florida countryside, Revolution Adventures 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. All equipment is included.
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Spirit of the Swamp Airboat Rides
Glide through a beautiful, natural paradise of swamps, marshes and incredible wildlife at Spirit of the Swamp, about 30 minutes southeast of I-Drive. This operator uses small, six-passenger boats for an intimate experience, and private airboat rides are also available.
Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park
Using the latest tandem aerotowing techniques, Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park provides the safest, most enjoyable hang-gliding experience possible. Located southwest of Walt Disney World, they offer their signature Discovery Tandem Flights and hang-gliding instruction throughout the year.
West Orange Trail Bikes & Blades Co.
Stretching from Winter Garden in the south to Apopka in the north, the paved, 22-mile West Orange Trail is a must-visit for nature-lovers who come to Orlando — and Winter Garden’s West Orange Trail Bikes & Blades Co. puts it all in reach with hourly, daily and weekly rentals of road bikes, sport comfort bikes, kids bikes and trailers. They’ll even deliver to your hotel! Winter Garden is west or Orlando’s main tourism districts.
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Wild Florida Airboats, Gator Park & Drive-Thru Safari
At Wild Florida, 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. And now, you can drive a car through their Safari Park for a self-guided tour with more than 100 exotic animals and native Florida wildlife, just 45 minutes south of I-Drive!
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Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
One of the area’s best hidden-gem attractions, the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour offers a relaxing, narrated, one-hour cruise through the gorgeous waterways of Winter Park, about 30 minutes north of our main tourism districts. Along the way, you’ll see Rollins College, Kraft Azalea Gardens, Winter Park’s Isle of Sicily, multimillion-dollar mansions and an abundance of wildlife.
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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.
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
Race with a legend at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, 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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Enjoy a full day of creative play and colorful fun with more than two dozen hands-on activities at the family-friendly Crayola Experience, 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 life on a huge interactive wall, and melt crayons down into shapes.
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Part of the I-Drive Entertainment District, Dezerland Park is a destination in its own right with numerous indoor attractions to enjoy. Reasons to visit include Axecelsior Axe Throwing, Orlando Auto Museum, The Pinball Palace, Arcade Orlando, Bowling Orlando, Jump Start Trampoline Park, and Karting Orlando, among others.
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Leave Lake Nona with the perfect golf swing courtesy of Drive Shack, where you’ll play from climate-controlled, covered driving bays. Offering an innovative take on the sport, this venue turns golf into fun games like ShackJack, which is based on classic blackjack, and Monster Hunt, where you destroy monsters to save a princess. After your game, take a break with mouthwatering food and beverages on the outdoor deck overlooking Lake Nona.
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!
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At Escapology on International Drive, you and up to seven companions race against the clock to find clues, solve puzzles and escape inside of 60 minutes. Scenarios include Star Trek: Quantum Filament, Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Castle Adventure, Murder on the Orient Express, Lost City, Antidote, 7 Deadly Sins, Mansion Murder, Narco, and Under Pressure.
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ICON Park® Indoor Attractions
The adventures continue at ICON Park with indoor attractions for the whole family to enjoy.
In the Game ICON Park®
Get your game on with classic arcade and prize games, virtual-reality experiences, a 7D Motion Theater, a stunning Mirror Maze, and more at In the Game, one of many fun experiences at ICON Park on International Drive.
Learn more: Top 10 Things to Do on I-Drive
Madame Tussauds Orlando
Orlando’s chapter of this world-renowned attraction is part of ICON Park on International Drive. At Madame Tussauds Orlando, you can see lifelike stars from film and television, music, sports, pop culture, and history. You can even meet some of the world’s best-known superheroes as part of Justice League: A Call for Heroes, featuring the stars of DC Entertainment’s Justice League motion pictures, including Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg!
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Museum of Illusions
Billed as a brain-bending “edutainment” experience, Museum of Illusions at ICON Park boasts more than 50 incredible exhibits. Dive into a wild collection of interactive, immersive and decidedly incomprehensible exhibits based on math, science and psychology, all designed to blow your mind!
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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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The Wheel at ICON Park®
Technically speaking, The Wheel is outdoors, but you’ll experience it in climate-controlled comfort aboard one of the roomy, Wi-Fi-enabled capsules. Towering over International Drive, the 400-foot-tall observation wheel will give you an unbeatable view of Orlando. It’s the centerpiece of the ICON Park entertainment and dining complex.
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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 iFLY Orlando 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 our main tourism districts, to explore the past, present and future of space travel without ever leaving Earth. Admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex 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 & Legends, an immersive experience where the stories of NASA’s pioneering astronauts come to life, plus other features.
Learn more: Orlando STEM Attractions
Kings Dining & Entertainment
This is the perfect place to bowl, eat and lounge in a comfortable, fun and luxurious environment. Located on International Drive, Kings Dining & Entertainment 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.
Main Event Entertainment 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.
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Ripley’s Believe It or Not®
Don’t be fooled by this International Drive attraction’s outward appearance: Ripley’s Believe It or Not! isn’t 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 numerous unique galleries, with major updates being made in 2021. And the self-guided, self-paced tour means you’ll have plenty of time to see it all.
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 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. You’ll find Wonderworks in the famous upside-down building that’s part of Pointe Orlando on International Drive.
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