When you think of Orlando, Florida, one of the first things that automatically come to mind is the Walt Disney World theme park.
Orlando is one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations and is popularly dubbed as “The Theme Park Capital of the World.” Although Walt Disney World is the city’s most popular tourist attraction, of course it is not the only place that tourists should flock to. There are many other wonderful places and things to see and do in this Floridian city that will certainly fill your vacation itinerary.
As a parent, I look for ways that go beyond theme parks that should still be fun and kid- and family-friendly. And Orlando is easily one of the best places to have a holiday with the kids. However, traveling to Orlando is not exactly cheap, but all hope is not lost! We have gathered some tips on how to maximize your budget while traveling to Orlando without sacrificing fun, leisure and good memories.
Even if you don’t drop by at the theme parks, your holiday in Orlando will still be filled with fun, leisure and learning. Here are the other fun alternative things to do in Orlando besides going to theme parks:
1) Tibet-Butler Nature Reserve
The Tibet-Butler Nature Reserve is located on the banks of Lake Tibet-Butler, southeast of Orlando. It provides an excellent escape from the maddening crowds and the intense summer heat. This is a small county park (measuring 440 acres) but it offers lush greens, shade, fresh air, beautiful scenery and tranquility. Enjoy the relaxing and peaceful views of Lake Tibet-Butler, have a leisurely and scenic stroll, eat picnic lunches, visit the butterfly garden and play at the wheelchair-accessible sandbox.
One of the oldest existing establishments in Orlando, it remains a popular and affordably-priced tourist attraction which is perfect for families. Gatorland won’t be called the “Alligator Capital of the World” for nothing. Take your family to see thousands of alligators and crocodiles, and other activities to see and do such as visiting the aviary, petting zoo and breeding marsh with boardwalk and observation tower. There are also live shows such as alligator wrestling. A trip to Gatorland is fun as well as educational – and this is a wonderful opportunity for children to learn more about animals and nature in general.
3) Orlando Watersports Complex
Looking for an easy escape from the intense heat and and some action at the same time? Head over to Orlando Watersports Complex, which is situated nearby Orlando International Airport. It offers a variety of activities such as waterskiing, wakeboarding, wakesurfing, wakeskating as well as the first aquapark in the whole of central Florida. It also offers classes that range from boat lessons to paddleboarding. However, those under 18 require parental waivers, and children under 10 are obliged to undergo a one-hour lesson.
4) International Drive Orlando
Orlando’s tourist center, not surprisingly, offers a wide variety of activities that will keep your hours full. You can find wax statues of famous historical figures at the Madame Tussaud museum, hit the tees at Pirate Cove Adventure Golf, see weird artifacts at Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, engage in a yummy interactive journey at the Chocolate Kingdom, or explore marine life at the SEA Life Orlando Aquarium. This place also offers other amenities such as shopping, dining, live entertainment, recreation and nightlife. It’s guaranteed that you will never have a dull day at the International Drive Orlando.
5) Orlando Science Center
As parents, we want to make our family holidays worthwhile by including fun but educational trips especially for the kids. In Orlando Science Center, learning science does not have to be pedantic, boring or confounding. In this private museum, you can find and experience interactive exhibits, awe-inspiring giant-screen movies, engaging live events, and exciting scientific experiments that will definitely feed your kids’ curious minds and passion to explore. Rain or shine, you can spend your whole day here at the Orlando Science Center.
If your scope goes beyond Walt Disney World and the other theme parks, you will be able to find other fun things to do in Orlando as well as more opportunities for relaxation, learning and creating beautiful memories with your family.