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Waterpark in Orlando, Florida
Photograph: Courtesy Aquatica Orlando

The 15 best things to do with kids in Orlando

From Disney World to the Science Museum, this is one of the most family-friendly destinations in the US

Written by
Allie Early
Danielle Valente
Krista Diamond

Visitors flock to Orlando in Florida for its incredible theme parks, water parks,  sporting events and more. In fact you could pretty much describe this beautiful city as one massive playground, full of sun, sea and fun. So it’s not surprise that some of Orlando’s biggest fans are, you guessed it, kids.

That’s right. If you think you love Orlando, imagine how it feels to a little one? This place is heaven for children, with enough room to run around for hours and enough kid-friendly pools to cool down in (it’s no wonder Orlando is one of our favorite family friendly vacation spots). From Disney World to LEGOLAND and Art Museums to the Science Centre, families young and old will never get bored here. Here are the best things to do with kids in Orlando. 

🎢 The best theme parks in Orlando
🎡 The best things to do in Orlando
🌳 The best parks in Orlando
🎨 The best free things to do in Orlando
🍴 The best restaurants in Orlando

Family-friendly fun in Orlando

What is it? Well, only the most magical place in the world! Walt Disney world is a world-famous, huge amusement park where you can meet Mickey himself and a whole load of Disney princesses. 

Why go? It’s no secret that Disney World is every kid’s ultimate dream. And how can it not be? Here you’ll find plenty of wild games and rides, mascots to take snaps with and delicious snacks. Kiddos can book onto dance parties, behind-the-scenes tours, film screenings and more and explore Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Typhoon Lagoon. And when you’re ready to rest those feet for a bit? Grab a bite at the Canyon Cafe, serving up buffet-style, child-friendly dining. 

What is it? Well the clue is in the name here, really. This is the wonderful world of Lego, where the rides aren’t actually made of Lego, but they look like it. 

Why go? Ever zoomed on a water racer made out of Lego? A Duplo splash safari? Well, Legoland was made for firsts. This is a magical place that looks just like your Lego set at home, where you can glide down a Build-a-Raft River and enter a double-decker Grand Carousel. If your kids are Lego fans (well, who isn’t?) they’ll love the seasonal events they put on here, from Halloween’s Brick or Treat to their vast summer schedule. 


What is it? Inspired by science and the world around us, WonderWorks is a cross between a museum and theme park that offers interactive exhibits to keeps kids curious and engaged.

Why go? The self-proclaimed edu-tainment center invites visitors to choose from six wonder zones, which includes themes such as space discovery and imagination. From there, adventurers explore a variety of activities that coincide with the zones, such as the forensic science exhibit in the imagination zone. If you're traveling with antsy kids in tow, make your way to the indoor ropes challenge or laser tag arena.

Book Orlando attractions.

What is it? With a wave of a wand, guests will experience see-it-to-believe it tricks and delve into the art of illusions. But this Florida attraction isn't just an ordinary magic show—it's an interactive, multi-room venue where visitors become participants and learn about the art's history, popular figures and classic stunts. 

Why go? Thanks to a variety of shows and guest appearances, The Great Magic Hall is a great follow-up to your theme park visit. Although it's a different form of entertainment than what you can expect from Epcot or Magic Kingdom, it's still equally as enticing.


What is it? The 66-year-old museum with a deep focus on all-things science attracts youngsters to its STEM Discovery Center, camp programs and competitions the way positively-charged protons find their way to negitavely-charged electrons to form an atom. 

Why go? Exhibits cater to all subjects, including nature, dinosaurs, the solar system and so much more. Museum-goers can take advantage of three theaters, events and even birthday party options!

What is it? Even though families are operating at one hundred miles a minute in Orlando, everyone needs to stop and smell the roses! This botanical garden is the perfect place to do so! 

Why go? There’s so much to see at Leu Gardens, including a rose, butterfly and vegetable garden, scenic trails and an overlook at Lake Rowena. Classes, camps and events are on hand for guests, and the attraction's website posts a calendar to let plant enthusiasts know what is in bloom during their visits. 


What is it? Skip the rides and long lines for an adventure to the shops, restaurants and live shows in Disney Springs.

Why go? You can still get a Disney experience without paying the hefty park admission fees. Disney Springs is free to walk through (you’ll just pay for entertainment as you go), and you can stock up on souvenirs along the way.

Take a hop-on hop-off trolley tour of International Drive and get discounts on experiences and restaurants. 

What is it? The Orlando Museum of Art, a hub of arts and culture since 1924, offers intriguing permanent and rotating exhibits in a variety of mediums.

Why go? Looking for a quiet afternoon? Bring your tweens and teens to ooh and ahh at permanent collections of African, American, ancient American and contemporary art (just to name a few) during your visit.


What is it? Perfect for movie-loving kids, park-goers at Universal get their fill of themed rides and experiences featuring their favorite characters.

Why go? Pick a Universal park to explore (there are three to choose from!), then to get your fill of Harry Potter adventures (The Hogwarts Express, Flight of the Hippogriff), check out Men in Black Alien Attack (you can use lasers to blast pesky aliens!) or clean up the house with Cat in the Hat before mother gets home.

What is it? The 400-foot-tall observation wheel is the eighth largest in the world and boasts sky-high views of theme parks and downtown Orlando.

Why go? Guests get a birds eye view of the city with a ride on ICON Orlando (formerly Coca-Cola Orlando Eye). Go at sunset to see the sights at their best from your air-conditioned capsule (shared with other passengers). There’s free parking near the attraction to keep the experience stress-free for families.


What is it? This top-rated animal sanctuary offers a closer look at Florida’s most notorious toothy reptile (and other critters, too).

Why go? The theme park and wildlife preserve is perfect for kids who dig animals. See wildcats, alligators, crocodiles, birds, snakes and other neat creatures on foot or zoom via zip lines 350 feet over the Alligator Breeding Marsh. Eeep!

What is it? A year-round water park with rides and play zones for toddlers, kids, tweens and teens that will tire your most active Energizer bunny after a visit. 

Why go? Check out Aquatica Orlando for maximum wet n’ wild fun! There are zippy slides, thrilling raft rides, wave pools, lazy rivers, multi-level water playgrounds and other fun activities for tykes, kids and tweens.


What is it? This no-frills day trip is ideal for those in need of some fresh air and pretty views.

Why go? Hop over to the spring-fed, crystal clear waters for swimming (the water is shallow for young swimmers), kayaking, boating, biking, hiking and wildlife-watching. Don’t forget to bring a picnic and visit early to beat the crowds.


What is it? Get your fill of NASA displays (including real space shuttles), memorabilia and even more spacey awesomeness.

Why go? Yes, it’s about an hour’s drive from downtown Orlando, but we’d be remiss in excluding one of Florida’s most impressive attractions from the list. A little time in the car is totally worth a look at the Saturn V Rocket and Atlantis, and you can even meet a real astronaut at Astronaut Encounter, a live presentation that’s included in admission.

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