There are so many family activities in Orlando that you don’t even need to go to the major theme parks to entertain the family. Of course, we usually hit up the parks anyway! It’s still great to know that you can do so much in the area without paying an arm and a leg for theme park admission. These are also great ways to take a day off from the parks when you’ve had a little too much!
4 Family Activities in Orlando
Disney World and Universal Studios are fun, but Orlando, and Florida in general, has been entertaining families with tourist attractions for years before those two parks became the main players. Gatorland has been around since 1949! Well before Walt Disney built Disney World. Tourist attractions are still going strong in the area, which is why it’s well worth it to take a day from the big parks and check out four of my favorite family activities around Orlando:
- The Crayola Experience
- Dinosaur World
- Safari Wilderness
Make sure to Pin this to your travel board!
Follow me on Pinterest too!
The Crayola Experience
This is hands down my favorite thing we have ever done in Orlando, big theme parks included. The Crayola Experience is set up like an art themed children’s museum with everything from making your own crayons to melting them down to create spin art.
My favorite part about The Crayola Experience is that it is open much later than the other tourist attractions. It’s open from 10 am to 8 pm, making it the perfect place to go with the kids if you are in town for a conference. I left a conference early and took the kids there during the late afternoon.
My only mistake was assuming we’d just need a few hours when you can actually spend half a day there. I literally had to drag my kids out of the building because they wanted to keep playing and creating.
Tickets are $22.99 in person, $19.99 online. Kids 2 and under are free. The best deal is to get a family pass for 4 for only $99.99. This is a great option for entertaining the kids especially on rainy or super hot days since everything is inside.
Another perk is that it is located in the mall which means you are very close to lots of affordable food options that won’t be hiked up for tourists.
Wow, Gatorland is truly a glimpse into old Florida living. It doesn’t just feel like a tourist attraction, it feels like a history lesson too.
There is so much to do from zip lining over gators to feeding them. We were given the option to feed the gators ourselves but decided to pass once we saw it being done. It looked so cool, but I’m positive my 3 and 1-year-old would not have been able to handle it. Even though we didn’t do any of the extras, we still had a blast walking around and looking at all the different alligators and crocodiles. Here’s a view of people getting ready to feed the alligators. Look how close they are!
The best part of our day was taking the train ride around the park. My boys loved the break and so did I! It was nice to sit down and get a tour of the beautiful landscape.
One thing that really made my day was the price of food and drinks. It was very reasonable, especially for a tourist attraction. We were able to eat lunch, get lemonade and snacks at decent prices that were not tourist traps.
Single day admissions online are $23.99 and $15.99 for ages 3-12. Pay $3 more when you pay on site.
I’d been dying to go to Dinosaur World since 2007. When we first moved to Florida we only lived about 45 minutes away from it. Ten years later and I finally had my excuse to go: two little boys who love excavating dinosaur bones.
This is a great half day adventure that you can do on your way in or out of Orlando if you are traveling from the south. If it’s not on your way, it will take about 45 minutes to get to Plant City from Orlando. It’s well worth the drive! You can even get some pretty amazing family photos.
The park offers fossil digs, dinosaur excavation, and much more. The entire park is mostly shaded which makes it enjoyable to run around with kids even on those awfully hot Florida summer days. The walkways are filled with these amazing replicas of dinosaurs.
My boys enjoyed looking for fossils the most, which is included in your admission! You even get to keep three of the fossils that you find.
Tickets with excavation passes are $23.27 for adults and $19.21 for kids. General admission is $17.07 and $11.72. Kids under 3 are free.
Upon arrival at Safari Wilderness, kids and adults can roam around the property while waiting for the tour to start. My kids loved running around the wide open spaces! After two days in Disney where I wouldn’t let them run away from me because of the crowds, they couldn’t get enough of the freedom. They kept running after the chickens, pigs, and cats that roam the property.
We took the vehicle safari tour that costs $75 per person. While the cost is a little pricey, it’s still less than a theme park ticket! The safari vehicle tour goes through over 260 acres of wilderness with exotic animals all along the way.
The tour guide stopped frequently to let us get a good look at the animals and get a chance to feed them. My two boys didn’t want to stop feeding the animals. They kept yelling, “more food, more food”. I’m sure the people seated close to us loved hearing them yell over the guide’s educational talk on this safari vehicle.
My favorite part of the trip was feeding the lemurs. For an extra fee you can feed the lemurs before you leave. It’s worth the extra money!
Enjoy Orlando for more than the theme parks
With young kids, it’s easy to make theme parks the focus of our Orlando trips. With so much to do in Orlando, it’s a shame to not explore the area more! Tom and I are up there a lot of conventions and work so we are going to have to make more of an effort to explore everything Orlando has to offer from local restaurants and breweries to the natural beauty of their springs! I can’t wait to keep exploring!