7 Things to Do In Orlando With Toddlers

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.

Although we’ve included 7 of what we consider the best experiences to share with your family, little ones included, we haven’t even scratched the surface of what awaits you in Orlando, Florida. A quick internet search will provide you with dozens of other opportunities that we strongly suggest taking advantage of if you’re looking to save money as well as ensure that your youngest family members can join in on the fun during your Orlando vacation!
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5 Top Things to do at Walt Disney World Florida

I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t had a bucket list for travels. Even if it’s local, or just a few hours worth of travel time, friends/family and strangers can be heard saying how they have a dozen places or more that they’ve dreamed of traveling to. Personally, I have dozens of destinations on my travel list. Yes, this includes both near and far destinations but on the larger scale of things, my most fantasized about locations are many thousands of miles from my hometown. I’ve dreamed of worldwide travel since my childhood, especially travel that is done stateside.

In fact, one of my most desired places to visit is Walt Disney World, which most known is located in none other than sunny, Florida! Although I’ve been longing for pristine beaches, shady palm trees, quaint beach side eateries and marine life, I can’t deny that a day filled with pure Disney magic & fun has been beckoning to me as well. Walt Disney World has long been called the most magical place on earth, and with all of the spirit of childhood dreams & experiences meant to stay with visitors for a lifetime, it has more than earned its reputation over the last 40+ years since its grand opening.

Although I have yet to cross Disney World off of my ever growing bucket list, I know a few who have and had so many delightful stories to tell. From my loved ones and even those I’m just meeting, the stories of things they want to experience when/if they ever visit are endless. This is why I’ve decided to compile my own list of top things to do at Walt Disney World, should my day ever come to sprinkle myself in Pixie Dust and explore every nook & cranny of the most magical place on earth. I hope that for those who have never experienced Walt Disney my list helps inspire them to either make or add new experiences to their list of things to do; for those of my readers who have made the trip, I hope my list can hold up to the true experience you’ve gotten to live!

1. Character Meet & Greet.

This might be something that is best suited for little ones but to be honest, meeting the Disney Characters that have brought magic into my life as well as countless others, is among the first things I’ll be doing if I ever make it through the gates of Disney World! Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Peter Pan, Ariel and more can be found around the park (check your map so you don’t miss scheduled meet ups!) waiting for you with a hug and eager to hand out autographs.

Visitors can also schedule FastPasses to be able to schedule a meetup with multiple characters at once, like Anna & Elsa. Meeting your favorite characters will require dedication and research but if you’re a true Disney fan it’ll be worth the leg work.

2. The famed Fireworks show.

Who doesn’t love a good fireworks display? I know I certainly do! If you’ve heard about the character meetups before then you’ve definitely heard word about the world famous fireworks shows at Disney World. The best part about this spectacular shows is that there’s more than one so you’re guaranteed to witness one or the other or both if you’re paying attention/plan accordingly.

You can catch the formal shows that are done in specific areas of the park or you can catch the standing view shows that are done park-wide, featuring dazzling fireworks & an accompanying parade. If you can’t bear to settle for second best, I’ve heard that the show you want to be at can be found within Magic Kingdom, at the Happily Ever Show. Living out your childhood dreams at Walt Disney World will be topped off by the iconic Disney castle coming to life with animation, story, and song to tell some of your favorite character stories.

3. Grab a seat and Be Our Guest.

As a die hard Beauty and the Beast fan, this is one experience that I can’t pass up, no matter what experienced try to dazzle me along the way. I’ll have to be sure to make my reservation well in advance because as I’ve heard it be told, it’s almost impossible to get a dinner reservation unless it’s done with plenty of planning beforehand. Lunch is easier to get into, however it isn’t exactly the full experience I’m dying for.

4. Dine Around the World.

This particular feature of Disney is able to be experienced by both adults and children. Celebrated in Epcot (another park within Disney) visitors can experience the wonders of food around the world or popular adult beverages from France, Germany, etc. You won’t walk away disappointed or with an empty stomach, that’s for sure!

5. Calling Avatar fans!

I know I should have mentioned more about rides and dining options in my earlier 4 top things to do a Walt Disney World BUT I couldn’t pass this one up. If you’ve ever seen the film, Avatar, then you know you absolutely have to have to experience Pandora – the World of Avatar, for yourself. Visitors can experience 3-D rides such as Flight of Passage, wander though the floating mountains or go on to dine at vegetarian friendly restaurant locations inspired by the movie.

    Like I said, I know I should have talked more about rides, food, etc. but from my own bucket list and those I’ve spoken to about their own experiences, the top 5 had spoken to me. My research also led me to so many other noteworthy things to do within Walt Disney World but maybe my readers will get a part 2 to the Top 5 Things to do at Walt Disney World, in the near future!

    5 Best Beaches In Miami

    The sound of palm trees swaying lazily in the breeze, an endless abundance of warm sun rays on your skin, sandal weather all year around and quaint little tourist shops are just a few things that come to mind when I think of Florida, also known fondly as the Sunshine State. With its picturesque sunsets, the allure of endless beaches and warm weather, it’s no surprise that Florida is one of the most coveted travel destinations in the world. Tourists from colder states and even backpackers from overseas visit the state in troves every year just to get a taste of the Floridian lifestyle, some even going home briefly only to return months later to relocate permanently.

    While the state has a lot to recommend it to travelers and those fleeing colder weather, such as amusement parks, botanical gardens, and other hidden gems, the main attraction is certainly the beaches; hands down, no contest. The first question many tourists ask upon arrival is usually somewhere along the lines of a.) where’s the nearest beach? or b.) what is the best beach to take my family to, within easy driving distance. Visitors are always a hurry to hit the beach, dip their toes in the warm Florida waters and work on their tans.
    Now that I’ve, hopefully, given you a tantalizing glimpse of what visitors have in store for them while in the Sunshine state, I’d love to help further the cause by telling my readers about a few locations in particular that are the highlight of Florida’s beach scene. Central Florida beaches are quite the lure for tourists, however, Miami is the biggest bucket list destination for many tourists. This is due to the clear blue waters, shimmering white sands and exotic street fare offered right on the beaches. Locals and tourists alike spend their days crowded on the beaches, lining the sidewalks to visit popular eateries, bars, & soaking up the sun in the balmy Miami weather.

    There are dozens of beaches located in Miami, ranging from large to more intimate options depending on personal preference. Most are open to the public, although there are some that aren’t, and offer visitors the option of public restrooms, picnic areas and also, on-site grills. There are even on-site lifeguards who are trained to monitor the beach, use life saving measures should they be needed and who also keep beach-goers up to date with beach conditions by utilizing flags that list rip currents, wind conditions, etc.

    For my readers who have been dying to visit Florida or more specifically, Miami, I’ve done some research on the best beaches to visit and have come up with a list of my top 5. These beaches made it to my top 5 based on location, size, attractions and of course, the natural beauty factor. With that being said, let’s get started and see if any of them manage to get a spot in your Top 5!

    1. Virginia Key Beach.

    (Source: viginiakeybeachpark.net)

    Minutes away from some of the top tourist destinations in the area, retail hot spots and dining options, this particular beach stretches over a mile of natural shoreline and attracts both locals as well as tourists, who are able to traverse the beach/park via the miniature train that was built specifically for getting around the park itself.

    In addition to two different playgrounds, which are ideal for parents of small children, Virginia Key also boasts a historic carousal that still stands today AND a dance floor that is available for rentals for parties, events, etc.

    So in addition to a beautiful natural landscape that visitors can enjoy while being surrounded by swaying palms, Virginia Key has various other attractions with which to draw in visitors.

    2. 85th Street Beach.

    (Source: Vylla)

    I’m going to have to be honest and come right out to say that this one made it to my list simply because it’s one of the most secluded beaches in Miami and I’m all for relaxation without the added foot traffic, both automotive & people related. As one of the only stretches of beaches that are devoid of condos or traffic, 85th Street Beach is ideal for those who prefer quiet over large crowds.

    Due to being so far from the normal as far as beaches go, aka being less populated, 85th Street is also lacking in major draws such as food carts, grills, etc. so visitors will want to be sure to bring everything they’ll need for a days worth of fun in the sun.

    3. South Beach.

    If you’re dreaming of seeing Hollywood stars and basking in all of the glamour, then South Beach is the most happening beach in town. Frequented by celebrities and within walking distance of some of the hottest nightclubs in town, South Beach is ideal for those who don’t shy away from the spotlight/crowds.

    Additionally, if you like being more active than just settling down on the beach and staring out into the blue waters, don’t forget to head to Haulover Park, which is a short distance away, to enjoy activities such as bicycle rides, tennis, golf and for fishing!

    4. Homestead Bay Park

    (Source: Visit Florida)

    Although it has a $7 entrance fee and flotation devices are prohibited (wonderful conservationist effort on behalf of the animals & environment) Homestead Bay Park is ideal for those looking for a lowkey vacation spot. Located just North of the Florida Keys, Homestead Bay Park features crystal clear waters, a full service restaurant set in a tropical setting and a pool for those who aren’t a fan of swimming with the wildlife.

    5. Crandon Park.

    Last last but not least, this particular beach is the most idea for visitors who are traveling with family. Famous for its clear waters, white sand and depths that are ideal for little ones, Crandon Park is the perfect destination for travelers with small children. Featuring a board walk, nature center AND a family amusement center, you can’t go wrong by adding Crandon to your bucket list if you’re heading to Miami in the future!

    While I can only put words on a page, I can’t do justice to these Top 5 Miami Beaches but I do hope I at least painted a tangible picture for my readers to enjoy and consider while planning a trip to sunny Florida! If my Top 5 didn’t catch your fancy, don’t worry: there are MANY other beaches for tourists that you can find or if you’re feeling adventurous, inquire about once you’ve reached Miami.