Anybody who is a native of Orlando knows that there is no end to engaging, fun venues for entertainment. In fact, the city is famously known for being one of the largest amusement park hot spot of the United States. Within just a few short miles from downtown you have parks such as Disney, Epcot, Universal, SeaWorld and many more! These parks alone are a major draw for tourists as well as native Floridians but there are a lot of families traveling to Orlando for vacation that may not be too keen to spend their time at some of the busiest, most expensive places the sunshine state has to offer.
One example of this is definitely parents with small children. Like us, who don’t see toting tiny littles around through all of the hustle and bustle as a feasible option, tourist families would much prefer a smaller scale entertainment venue. Little ones are apt to get cranky, tired, overheated/cold, hungry and a myriad of other issues that can quickly make a fun day go downhill. Plus, after shelling out the big bucks for top dollar amusement parks (Disney, SeaWorld, etc.) it can be frustrating and disheartening to parents to have to pack up the family and leave midway through the day.
This is why, as parents with a toddler, that we decided to do a little digging and see what the city of Orlando has to offer for travelers who want to get the most out of their trip. We were shocked at just how many different options Orlando has available, especially in terms of affordable entertainment for the younger family members in a traveling group. If Orlando is on your traveling bucket list in the near future and you’ve been stressing about options that you can enjoy with even the smallest members of your family, stay tuned because we’re about to list 7 of the best options we found!
1. Take a ride on the Icon Orlando.
Are you a fan of breathtaking views? If so, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to board the tallest observation wheel on the East Coast. Be sure to come with your camera/phone fully charged because you won’t want to miss a single beautiful moment from the time you board until the time you disembark from this giant rotating observation wheel. Single day admission is also super affordable, so if in the future we’re able to visit with our little one, it won’t break the bank either!
2. Take the family tubing down river at Kelly Park/Rock Springs Run.
There are those who dream to see blue waters but don’t like to fry at the beach. That’s us, and Kelly Park offers a great alternative with its spring fed waters that stay cold (68 degrees!) all year long and crystal clear waters. The park features a fully functional concession stand, picnic pavilions, souvenir shops and much more. You can rent tubes onsite as well as reserve camping spots if you’re looking to spend a weekend at the springs. Admission is typically about $6 per carload, parking is within easy walking distance to the water and the experience is one you’ll keep with you for years to come.
3. Get creative at the Crayola Experience.
As one of the most iconic brand names in U.S history, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to explore Crayola if you find yourself in the Orlando area. With dozens of creative, hands-on experiences featuring every color imaginable (and even ones you can name yourself) the Crayola is a unique and one-of-a-kind family adventure that you’ll want to revisit time and time again. Among the available things to see and do, you can shop the gift store, travel between a dozen activity station, play games and grab a tasty lunch from the snack bar. There’s even an indoor playground on site to help keep the smaller members of your group happy.
4. Satisfy your sweet tooth at the World of Chocolate Museum.
Yes, you read that right, there’s a museum dedicated to chocolate right in Orlando. From the moment you step foot in the museum your journey to all things chocolate will begin, including a brief stop in the rain forest to learn about cacao, the origin of all things chocolate. Though the guided tour itself is only 45 minutes in length you’ll get the full experience with stops that include 25 sculptures made purely from chocolate, see some of the machinery used to make chocolate and visit the tasting room! From there you can explore the cafe as well, so no need to despair once the tour is over.
5. Get your glow on at the Putting Edge.
Family members of all ages will love being transported from their every day world and into a world of ethereal glowing features. This illuminated universe is made even more epic by the fact that you get to play mini golf against your loved ones and visit the included arcade if golf isn’t your thing.
6. Enjoy the farm experience at Green Meadows Petting Farm.
As of this very moment, the farm is expanding and moving to another location so it’s closed for the big move, however, it’s definitely an experience you don’t want to miss with your little ones. From cows to chickens and goats, you’ll be in awe at the animal encounters that are available for the picking and your little ones will delight in being able to provide the animals with daily snacks.
7. Fly into the sky with the Orlando Balloon Rides.
If you’re the fearless type, then these hot air balloon rides are for you! This is truly the experience of a lifetime, as the Orlando Balloon Rides company has become one of the worlds largest operators of commercial hot air balloons to date. The company is committed to making each and every experience a memorable, experience for each member of your party.