Discover Orlando: Family Fun Beyond the Theme Parks

  • Author: Admin
  • June 13, 2024
Discover Orlando: Family Fun Beyond the Theme Parks
Discover Orlando: Family Fun Beyond the Theme Parks

When most people think of Orlando, Florida, images of thrilling roller coasters and beloved characters at world-famous theme parks come to mind. However, this vibrant city offers so much more beyond the boundaries of these popular attractions. From serene nature trails to fascinating cultural experiences, Orlando is a treasure trove of family-friendly activities waiting to be discovered. In this guide, we'll take you on a journey to explore the hidden gems of Orlando, ensuring your family vacation is filled with unforgettable memories.

Exploring Orlando's Natural Beauty

Orlando is not just about adrenaline-pumping rides; it’s also a haven for nature lovers. One of the best ways to experience the city’s natural beauty is by visiting its numerous parks and gardens.

Harry P. Leu Gardens

Located just a few minutes from downtown Orlando, the Harry P. Leu Gardens span over 50 acres and feature an impressive collection of tropical and subtropical plants. Stroll through the winding pathways, explore the butterfly garden, and enjoy a peaceful picnic by the lake. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children, making it an affordable family outing.

Wekiwa Springs State Park

For those who love outdoor adventures, Wekiwa Springs State Park is a must-visit. Just a 30-minute drive from Orlando, this park offers crystal-clear springs perfect for swimming, canoeing, and kayaking. There are also over 13 miles of hiking trails to explore. The entrance fee is $6 per vehicle, and you can rent canoes and kayaks for around $20 per hour.

Cultural Attractions and Activities

Orlando’s cultural scene is as dynamic as its theme parks. Delve into the city’s rich history and vibrant arts scene with these family-friendly attractions.

Orlando Science Center

The Orlando Science Center is an interactive wonderland for kids and adults alike. With exhibits ranging from dinosaurs to outer space, this hands-on museum encourages learning through play. Tickets are $21 for adults and $15 for children aged 2-11. The center also hosts live science demonstrations and IMAX movies.

Orlando Museum of Art

For a more tranquil experience, visit the Orlando Museum of Art. The museum features an impressive collection of American contemporary art, African artifacts, and ancient American works. Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for children. The museum often has family-friendly events and workshops, so check their schedule before you go.

Family-Friendly Accommodations

Finding the right place to stay can make or break your vacation. Orlando offers a range of accommodations to suit every family’s needs and budget.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort

If you're looking for a fun, retro vibe, the Cabana Bay Beach Resort is a great choice. This Universal Orlando Resort hotel features family suites, a lazy river, and a bowling alley. Prices start at around $150 per night.

Floridays Resort Orlando

For more spacious accommodations, consider the Floridays Resort Orlando. This resort offers two- and three-bedroom suites, complete with full kitchens and living areas, perfect for larger families. Rates start at $200 per night, and the resort also has a large pool area and a convenient location close to many attractions.

Savoring Orlando's Culinary Delights

No vacation is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. Orlando boasts a diverse food scene that caters to all tastes and preferences.

The Coop

Experience authentic Southern comfort food at The Coop. This casual eatery in Winter Park serves up delicious fried chicken, waffles, and homemade pies. A family meal here will cost around $40.

Hot Krust Panini Kitchen

For a quick and tasty lunch, head to Hot Krust Panini Kitchen. Known for their gourmet paninis and salads, this spot is perfect for a family meal on the go. Expect to spend about $10 per person.

Planning Your Visit: Travel Tips and Costs

Getting There

Orlando is well-connected by air, with Orlando International Airport (MCO) serving as the primary gateway. From the airport, you can rent a car or use rideshare services to get around the city.

Estimated Costs

  • Flight: Varies based on location and time of booking, average round-trip from major US cities is around $300 per person.
  • Accommodation: Ranges from $150 to $250 per night for a family suite.
  • Attractions: Budget around $20-$30 per person for each attraction.
  • Food: Approximately $50-$100 per day for a family of four.

Travel Tips and Cautions

  • Weather: Orlando is known for its hot and humid weather, especially in summer. Stay hydrated and apply sunscreen regularly.
  • Crowds: Popular attractions can get crowded, particularly during holidays and school vacations. Plan your visit during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) for a more relaxed experience.
  • Safety: Orlando is generally safe, but like any major city, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings.


Orlando is a city that offers more than just thrilling theme parks. With its stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural attractions, and delectable cuisine, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're exploring serene gardens, diving into hands-on science exhibits, or savoring local flavors, Orlando promises a family vacation filled with joy and discovery. So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and embark on an adventure that goes beyond the ordinary in the heart of Florida.