Indoor Activities in Orlando
Orlando is in the Sunshine State and boasts many open-air experiences, including theme parks, water activities and more, but from late May through September, afternoon showers are common. Which raises the question: What can you do in Orlando when it’s raining?
Learn more: Orlando Weather Forecast
The answer: Quite a lot. For instance, you can still enjoy Orlando’s theme parks and outdoor attractions during a rainstorm — just throw on a poncho or open an umbrella. If that’s not your style, there are plenty of indoor activities and attractions where you can continue your fun-filled vacation. Check out these winning options the next time you’re in Orlando.
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 districts: the International Drive Entertainment District, aka International Drive or 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.
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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.)
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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 (save on discount tickets), SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium (save on discount tickets), Museum of Illusions, and In The Game ICON Park. The first two are part of Merlin Entertainments, which also operates LEGOLAND® Florida Resort.
Learn more: Things to Do in Orlando for $29 or Less
International Drive is also home to Pointe Orlando, which features a robust selection of restaurants, retailers and attractions — including WonderWorks (save on discount tickets). 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.
Learn more: Pointe Orlando
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.
New to I-Drive, Dezerland Park offers numerous indoor attractions under one roof, starting with Axecelsior Axe Throwing. In addition to a variety of games and surprising twists like moving targets and end-grain wood, they have traditional-style scoring targets for competitive throwers, as well as safety axes for little ones. Other attractions at Dezerland Park include Karting Orlando, Orlando Auto Museum, Bowling Orlando, Jump Start Trampoline Park, The Pinball Palace and Arcade Orlando, with more on the way.
Learn more: Dezerland Park
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! (save on discount tickets) 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.
Feeling the need for speed? You can do that indoors in Orlando, too, thanks to high-speed attractions like Andretti Indoor Karting & Games (save on discount tickets) in the International Drive area. In addition to kart racing, this venue features games, bowling and other activities, as well as full restaurants and bars.
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.
Although not technically on International Drive, Crayola Experience (save on discount tickets) at The Florida Mall® is worth the short drive if you’re visiting Orlando with children. It offers dozens of 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.
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 (save on discount tickets) and Escapology. If you’re in downtown Orlando, you can test your wits at The Great Escape Room.
Learn more: Orlando Escape Room Tips
Heck, you can even golf indoors thanks to climate-controlled attractions where you drive from covered bays. They include Topgolf Orlando next to Andretti in the I-Drive area, Drive Shack in Lake Nona, and Tiger Woods’ brand-new PopStroke in east Orlando by University of Central Florida.
Learn more: Orlando Golf
Indoor Shopping in Orlando
Shopaholics never mind a little rain. After all, it presents a great opportunity to hunt 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 American Girl and Carlo’s Bakery, in addition to the aforementioned Crayola Experience.
Learn more: Premier Orlando Malls
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.
Learn more: Orlando Shopping Tips
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 Wi-Fi, device-charging stations, currency exchange, valet parking and a multilingual staff.
Although Orlando’s premier malls offer wall-to-wall indoor shopping, you’ll have a roof over your head at retailers throughout the area. These encompass our discount and factory outlets, as well as eclectic boutiques in neighborhoods and towns, including those in stately Winter Park.
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.
Learn more: Orlando Arts, Culture & History
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 Museum of Art, which offers engaging fun for the whole family with more than 5,600 works of art, informative tours and even scavenger hunts. Best of all, admission is always free.
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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. And at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, you can explore the district’s origins as a key African American community.
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.
Learn more: Orlando STEM Attractions for Kids
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 and other creators at The Mennello Museum of American Art.
Learn more: Orlando Museums & Galleries
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, which offers complimentary admission. Snap! Gallery has even more art to peruse. Close by, 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.
Learn more: Orlando History
Also downtown, the Wells'Built Museum of African American History and Culture features exhibits about the Civil Rights movement and African art and artifacts. Originally constructed as the Wells’Built Hotel, the venue hosted numerous Black musicians and other historic personages during the segregation era. Today, it’s on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places — stop by and see why.
Learn more: Wells’Built Museum