Indoor Activities in Orlando
In the heart of the Sunshine State, Orlando boasts many open-air experiences, from theme parks, water activities and ecotourism to live sports, outdoor festivals, strollable neighborhoods and more. But depending on the time of your visit, afternoon showers might occur. Which raises the question: What can you do in Orlando when it’s raining?
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The answer: Quite a lot. For starters, you can still enjoy Orlando’s theme parks and outdoor attractions during inclement weather — just throw on a poncho or open an umbrella. If that’s not your style, continue your fun-filled vacation with indoor activities and attractions all over town. Check out these winning options the next time you’re 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, which uses climate-controlled capsules. 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 Max Action Arena.
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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.
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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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You can also secure lanes at Aloma Bowling in Winter Park or Boardwalk Bowl near the University of Central Florida, both about 25 minutes from our tourism districts. The latter is close to Launch Entertainment Orlando, which features trampolines, an arcade, an onsite restaurant and more.
Dezerland Park offers numerous indoor attractions under one roof in the I-Drive district, starting with Axecelsior Axe Throwing. 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.
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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) and K1 Speed Orlando 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.
Discover: Orlando’s Best Go-Karting
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), The Escape Effect, and Escapology. If you’re in downtown Orlando, you can test your wits at The Great Escape Room.
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For a delicious time indoors, visit Chocolate Kingdom — Interactive Factory Adventure Tour or hop into some hops at Beer Spa, both part of the I-Drive Entertainment District. Themed, interactive dinner theaters throughout the area are another great indoor entertainment option, such as Capone’s Dinner & Show and Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament in Kissimmee near Walt Disney World® Resort, plus Pirates Dinner Adventure and Teatro Martini Orlando in the I-Drive area.
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Heck, you can even golf indoors thanks to climate-controlled attractions where you drive from covered bays. Also featuring full kitchens and bars, they include Topgolf Orlando next to Andretti in the I-Drive area and Drive Shack in Lake Nona.
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If you’re up for a road trip, several indoor attractions await you on Florida’s east coast about an hour from Orlando. Although Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is an outdoor campus, most of the things to do there are indoors. Other east coast attractions worth visiting include the American Space Museum & Space Walk Hall of Fame, Immersive Van Gogh, and The Wizard of Oz Museum.
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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. 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.
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Luxury shopping experiences 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. Services at The Mall at Millenia include complimentary Wi-Fi, device-charging stations, currency exchange, valet parking and a multilingual staff.
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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. Don’t miss the shopping at Disney Springs®, Universal CityWalk, ICON Park or Pointe Orlando, either.
Museums, galleries and other cultural venues in Orlando can transport you to another time and place while providing a 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 Museum of Art, which offers engaging fun for the whole family with more than 5,700 works of art, informative tours and even scavenger hunts. Best of all, admission is always free.
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Winter Park also has The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, featuring 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.
At the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, you can explore the district’s origins as a key African American community. Uncover more history at Winter Park’s Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida and the nearby Art & History Museums — Maitland.
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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.
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Loch Haven Park also hosts the Orlando Museum of Art, which houses 10 to 12 annual exhibits 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.
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Loch Haven Park’s other permanent members include Orlando Shakespeare Theater (aka Orlando Shakes), Orlando Repertory Theatre (aka Orlando Rep), 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. While that is primarily an outdoor show, Orlando Fringe also operates a year-round venue, Fringe ArtSpace, in downtown Orlando’s Church Street district.
While downtown, you can 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.
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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.
There Is Always More to Do in Orlando
Endless adventures await in Orlando — and Visit Orlando powered by BestofOrlando.com can help you save on admission to top theme parks, attractions and experiences. Take advantage of our free planning tools to discover more ways to save money in the Theme Park Capital of the World.