Things to Do in Orlando Beyond Theme Parks
Orlando offers no shortage of things to do. Sure, we’re the Theme Park Capital of the World. But did you know that we also have a vast range of attractions and recreational activities beyond theme parks, including ecotourism adventures in the great outdoors, standalone attractions and other unforgettable ways to play?
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To guide you, we’ve compiled a list of Orlando’s top outdoor and indoor attractions. Because we know you’re going to want to spend time at our theme parks — but we wouldn’t want you to think they’re the only reason to visit Orlando.
The opportunities for outdoor fun in and around Orlando are endless, including ziplining, airboat rides, animal encounters and much more. For additional information on these and other outdoor experiences, visit our Ecotourism, Golf and Sports pages.
Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures
About an hour south of Orlando’s main tourism districts, Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures invites you to glide across the headwaters of the Florida Everglades at speeds up to 40 mph aboard six-passenger airboats. During the 45-minute tour, you’ll encounter areas untouched by man and see a wide range of exotic wildlife. Night expeditions, which last an hour, are also available.
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Discover more than 900 animals from around the world set within the natural beauty of Florida landscapes, just an hour from Orlando’s tourism districts on Florida’s east coast. Kayaking next to a giraffe, touching a rhino, feeding colorful parrots, walking with kangaroos, and even soaring high above a South American rainforest are all part of a “typical” day at Brevard Zoo.
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Captain your own personal catamaran across some of the cleanest waterways in Florida at Catboat Escapes, located in Clermont about 40 minutes west of Orlando’s main tourism districts. Glide across open wetlands, through cypress trees, across vast lakes and down into Cypress Cove, with Spanish moss dangling above you as your personal guide tells entertaining stories about the Crooked River and the community that lives around it.
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Nestled in lush, tropical foliage, Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is home to 23 acres of native gardens and more than 500 animals. It also features an insect zoo, a reptile house, a children’s area with animals you can feed and pet, a splash playground, and the Seminole Aerial Adventures zip-line attraction. The zoo is located in Sanford, about 40 minutes north of our main tourism districts.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Go beyond a typical aquarium experience and immerse yourself in the world of marine life rescue at Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), about 90 minutes from Orlando’s tourism districts on Florida’s west coast. Explore the working animal hospital, feed sting rays and participate in education presentations. You can also enjoy animal encounters, behind-the-scenes tours, eco-boat excursions and other programs, including watching the daily care of rescued creatures, fun educational presentations, and more.
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Congo River Golf
Play award-winning miniature golf at Congo River Golf in Kissimmee close to Walt Disney World® Resort. As you play, explore the Congo and experience tranquil waterfalls, mysterious caves, tropical rainforests, challenging golf holes and more on an unforgettable African adventure.
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See over 200 life-size dinosaurs in a natural setting at Dinosaur World, a self-guided outdoor museum in Plant City about an hour west of Orlando’s tourism districts. In addition to the standing exhibits, reasons to visit include a fossil dig for children, two live shows, an indoor museum with real artifacts and an animatronic dinosaur display.
Epic Paddle Adventures
Epic Paddle Adventures invites you to explore crystal-clear springs, search for marine life on the intercoastal, and enjoy some local sunshine on one of Orlando’s many gorgeous lakes. They pride themselves on providing hands-on, intensive instruction so you can feel comfortable on the water and focus on having the journey of a lifetime.
Fun Spot America
Fun Spot America is Central Florida’s only family-owned theme park, and it has two locations: International Drive, aka I-Drive, in Orlando and Kissimmee near Walt Disney World. Both provide the same level of fun, but they are distinct enough to allow for completely different experiences. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or someone who prefers the lights and sounds of an arcade, these parks offer plenty of excitement for the entire family, including multi-level go-kart tracks and Orlando’s only wooden roller coaster.
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Situated on more than 100 acres, one of Orlando’s oldest attractions provides affordably priced family fun. See thousands of alligators and crocodiles, along with an aviary, a breeding marsh with observation tower, Florida panthers, a petting zoo, and a splash pad for younger visitors. Gatorland also offers one-of-a-kind reptilian exhibitions and special up-close encounters, as well as the separately ticketed Screamin’ Gator Zip Line and Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure.
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Get Up and Go Kayaking
About 40 minutes north of Orlando’s main tourism districts, Rock Springs at Kelly Park boasts a free-flowing spring that Mother Nature keeps at a consistently cool 68 degrees. It’s an ideal location for a memorable family adventure — and there’s no better way to really see it all than renting 100% clear kayaks from Get Up and Go Kayaking.
Have you ever fed a giraffe? At this attraction in Dade City, a little over an hour west of I-Drive, you’ll get to know giraffes and other species from around the world, all in a setting that seems right out of Africa with huge live oaks and open grasslands. Offering tours exclusively by reservation, Giraffe Ranch is on 47 acres of countryside adjoining Florida’s second largest wilderness area, the Green Swamp, complete with native orchids, lush pastures and rolling wetlands.
Hollywood Drive-In Golf at Universal CityWalk
Play two state-of-the-art, 18-hole courses that pay homage to creature classics of yesteryear: “The Haunting of Ghostly Greens,” based on vintage horror, and “Invaders From Planet Putt,” focusing on “little green men”-style science fiction. Hollywood Drive-In Golf is part of Universal CityWalk, the open-air dining, entertainment and shopping district at Universal Orlando Resort.
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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex & Nearby Museums
Visit space without ever leaving Earth. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center invites you to witness actual rocket launches, meet real astronauts, and see if you have “the right stuff” via immersive training experiences, all while exploring the past, present and future of space exploration. (Rocket selfie, anyone?) The historic, world-famous venue is just an hour from Orlando’s tourism districts on Florida’s east coast, resulting in an easy day trip. And with so much to see and do, it’s easy to make a full day of it — especially when paired with the nearby American Space Museum & Space Walk of Fame or, for a change of pace, The Wizard of Oz Museum.
Explore Orlando’s wild waterways in style with a helping hand from Luxe Rentals, which is open daily as long as the sun is out. Whether you want to take the family on a thrilling jet ski ride or have a relaxed date night on a sunset cruise, they are ready to help make your dreams come true. What’s more, skilled instructors will be on the water with you at all times to ensure your safety and comfort.
Nona Adventure Park
Make a splash at Nona Adventure Park with water-based, family-friendly adventures. Between the inflatable aqua park and obstacle course, wake cable course, ropes course, climbing tower, and rock walls, it’s one of many unique experiences awaiting you in the forward-thinking Lake Nona community, minutes from Orlando International Airport.
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Orlando Kart Center
Located about halfway between our main tourism districts and Orlando International Airport, Orlando Kart Center (OKC) offers outdoor go-karting on a 6/10-mile track and an 8/10-mile track, both with real curbing and bumps. Their karts are gas-powered and can go up to 45 mph, and there’s even an option to race your own go-kart if you have one.
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Standing 450 feet tall, Orlando StarFlyer gives you the chance to zoom over International Drive at speeds up to 60 mph — if you dare. Prioritizing safety, the family-friendly thrill ride is one of many things to do at ICON Park® in the International Drive Entertainment District.
Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park
Practice your best Tarzan yell before heading to Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park, which is minutes from Walt Disney World in Kissimmee. It features 97 challenges for climbers of every skill level, including swings, nets, ropes, a trapeze and other ways to show off. Safety is never an issue, either, as you’ll be securely clipped to a safety cable, and all guests receive a safety demonstration from trained instructors.
Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf
Ahoy, mateys — and fore! The affordably priced Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf on I-Drive has two nine-hole courses with lots of piratical flair, including cascading waterfalls, dungeons, tropical vegetation and an actual pirate ship.
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Real Florida Adventures
With more than 40 years’ experience, Real Florida Adventures has explored every nook and cranny of the Sunshine State, and they’re eager to share their energy and passion to help you create memories that will last a lifetime. Choose from a wide range of expertly guided tours, including Kennedy Space Center rocket launches, kayaking, natural springs, snorkeling with manatees, and airboat rides, to name a few.
An off-road motor and fishing venue set in 230 acres of Florida countryside, Revolution Adventures is close to all major tourist attractions. You’re invited to jump in the driver’s seat for the guided adventure of a lifetime on all-terrain vehicles, dune buggies or even ARGO amphibious Mucky Ducks. Revolution also offers bass fishing on its private lake, as well as archery lessons and clay shooting. All equipment is included.
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The Showcase of Citrus
Located in Clermont about an hour east of Orlando’s main tourism districts, The Showcase of Citrus is a family-owned and operated, 2,500-acre estate that cultivates over 50 varieties of citrus. From U-pick citrus to monster truck tours to gem mining to simply enjoying a relaxing picnic, there are activities for everyone of all ages.
Spirit of the Swamp Airboat Rides
Glide through a beautiful, natural paradise of swamps, marshes and incredible wildlife at Spirit of the Swamp, about 30 minutes southeast of I-Drive. This operator uses small, six-passenger boats for an intimate experience, and private airboat rides are also available.
Want to drive a tank but not prepared to join the military? Visit the only place in Florida where you can do so: Tank America. Take command of a real Abbott Self-Propelled Gun tank and conquer a half-mile of obstacles, turns and hills with lots of surprises along the way.
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Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park
Using the latest tandem aerotowing techniques, Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park provides the safest, most enjoyable hang-gliding experience possible. Located southwest of Walt Disney World, they offer their signature Discovery Tandem Flights and hang-gliding instruction throughout the year.
West Orange Trail Bikes & Blades Co.
Stretching from Winter Garden in the south to Apopka in the north, the paved, 22-mile West Orange Trail is a must-visit for nature-lovers who come to Orlando — and Winter Garden’s West Orange Trail Bikes & Blades Co. puts it all in reach with hourly, daily and weekly rentals of road bikes, sport comfort bikes, kids bikes and trailers. They’ll even deliver to your hotel. Winter Garden is west of Orlando’s main tourism districts.
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Wild Florida Airboats, Gator Park & Drive-Thru Safari
At Wild Florida, travel deep into 4,200 acres of protected swamps, marshes and rivers that make up the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. On your journey, you’ll get an in-depth look at the gators, birds, eagles, trees and plants that can be found in the area’s beautiful wetlands. What’s more, airboat tickets include complimentary admission to the wildlife park and a hands-on gator demonstration. And now, you can drive a car through their Safari Park for a self-guided tour with more than 100 exotic animals and native Florida wildlife, just 45 minutes south of I-Drive.
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Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
One of the area’s best hidden-gem attractions, the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour offers a relaxing, narrated, one-hour cruise through the gorgeous waterways of Winter Park, about 30 minutes north of our main tourism districts. Along the way, you’ll see Rollins College, Kraft Azalea Gardens, Winter Park’s Isle of Sicily, multimillion-dollar mansions and an abundance of wildlife.
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About 90 minutes from Orlando’s tourism districts, ZooTampa is a place where you can come nose-to-nose with an endangered Florida panther, witness life-saving care of majestic manatees, go on a safari through Africa, and so much more.
Orlando has indoor activities for all ages and interests — from making your own Crayola crayon or indoor skydiving, to experiencing an upside-down “amusement park for the mind” or putting pedal to the metal on high-speed go-karts. Visit our Arts & Entertainment and Shopping pages for even more ideas on ways to have indoor fun in Orlando.
Altitude Trampoline Park
Channel your energy and cut loose with your best flips and tricks at Altitude Trampoline Park. Located in Kissimmee near the theme parks, this attraction offers 35,000 square feet of indoor trampolines and other fun activities.
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
Race with a legend at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games — the only indoor karting experience endorsed by Mario Andretti. Adjacent to International Drive and the Orange County Convention Center, this 150,000-square-foot facility features multi-level indoor karting, 12 lanes of boutique bowling, more than 120 arcade and prize games, two-story laser tag, six virtual-reality racing simulators, a motion theater, and an extreme ropes course with a curved-rail zipline, as well as a full-service restaurant and bars.
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Chocolate Kingdom — Interactive Factory Adventure Tour
Embark on a delicious journey at Chocolate Kingdom — Interactive Factory Adventure Tour in Orlando’s I-Drive entertainment district. Joined by a handsome prince and his dragon sidekick, your personal tour guide will take you through a Cacao Tree Greenhouse, a one-of-a-kind Chocolate Museum, a Mystical River of Chocolate, and a Bean-to-the-Bar Micro Batch Factory that uses old-world machinery. You’ll even have the opportunity to create a customized chocolate bar.
Enjoy a full day of creative play and colorful fun with more than two dozen hands-on activities at the family-friendly Crayola Experience, located at The Florida Mall®. Covering two stories and 70,000 square feet, Crayola Experience invites you to name and wrap your own Crayola crayon, and learn how crayons are made in a fun live show. You can also sculpt colorful creations at the Crayola Model Magic compound, watch as your digital art comes to life on a huge interactive wall, and melt crayons down into shapes.
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Part of the I-Drive Entertainment District, Dezerland Park is a destination in its own right with numerous indoor attractions to enjoy. Things to do include Axecelsior Axe Throwing, Orlando Auto Museum, The Pinball Palace, Arcade Orlando, Bowling Orlando, Jump Start Trampoline Park, Karting Orlando, and Rage Room Orlando, among others.
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Knights, pirates, mobsters and more provide dazzling entertainment while you feast on delicious fare at Orlando’s famous themed dinner shows. In the Lake Buena Vista area, top options include the original Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament (get discount tickets), Capone’s Dinner & Show, and the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review, the latter of which is at Walt Disney World. In the I-Drive area, choices include Mango’s Tropical Cafe, Teatro Martini Orlando, Pirates Dinner Adventure and Wantilan Luau at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando.
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Leave Lake Nona with the perfect golf swing courtesy of Drive Shack, where you’ll play from climate-controlled, covered driving bays. Offering an innovative take on the sport, this venue turns golf into fun games like ShackJack, which is based on classic blackjack, and Monster Hunt, where you destroy monsters to save a princess. After your game, take a break with mouthwatering food and beverages on the outdoor deck overlooking Lake Nona.
The Escape Game Orlando
Located in the heart of I-Drive, and rated as Orlando’s No. 1 escape room by TripAdvisor, The Escape Game offers immersive, 60-minute adventures that bring epic stories to life in a one-of-a-kind tactile experience. You and your team will work together to find clues, overcome challenges and ultimately complete a mission. Escaping will require teamwork, communication, wits, a sense of adventure and most importantly: you.
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At Escapology on International Drive, you and up to seven companions race against the clock to find clues, solve puzzles and escape inside of 60 minutes. Scenarios include Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Castle Adventure, Murder on the Orient Express, Antidote, 7 Deadly Sins, Mansion Murder, Narco, and Under Pressure, with Star Trek: Quantum Filament and Lost City coming soon.
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ICON Park® Indoor Attractions
The adventures continue at ICON Park with indoor attractions for the whole family to enjoy.
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The Wheel at ICON Park®
Technically speaking, The Wheel is outdoors, but you’ll experience it in climate-controlled comfort aboard one of the roomy, Wi-Fi-enabled capsules. Towering over International Drive, the 400-foot-tall observation wheel will give you an unbeatable view of Orlando.
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Madame Tussauds Orlando
At Madame Tussauds Orlando, you can rub shoulders with lifelike stars from film and television, music, sports, pop culture, and history. You can even meet some of the world’s best-known superheroes as part of Justice League: A Call for Heroes featuring the stars of DC Entertainment’s Justice League motion pictures, including Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg — and photography is always welcome.
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Max Action Arena
Enjoy axe throwing, virtual reality gaming, adventure rooms and an escape room at Max Action Arena.
Museum of Illusions
Billed as a brain-bending “edutainment” experience, Museum of Illusions boasts more than 50 incredible exhibits. Dive into a wild collection of interactive, immersive and decidedly incomprehensible exhibits based on math, science and psychology, all designed to blow your mind.
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SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium
Dive deep into an underwater world of wonder at SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium. Soak up incredible views from Orlando’s only 360-degree underwater tunnel, where sharks and rays swim overhead, and gaze at breathtaking creatures as you walk through themed habitats. It also features a special play area for younger guests.
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In the Game ICON Park®
Get your game on with classic arcade and prize games, virtual-reality experiences, a 7D Motion Theater, a stunning Mirror Maze, and more at In the Game.
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iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving
If you’ve always wanted to experience skydiving but aren’t too keen on the whole “jumping out of a plane” aspect, head to iFLY Orlando on International Drive. There’s no parachute and no jumping. Instead, you’ll float on a cushion of air thanks to iFLY’s innovative, vertical wind-tunnel technology. It’s safe for guests as young as 3, and you’ll be guided by a personal flight instructor.
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Kings Dining & Entertainment
Between 22 ten-pin bowling lanes, four full-size billiards tables, numerous table games, more than 60 giant HDTVs and other dynamic diversions — not to mention a full-service, chef-driven restaurant and two premium bars — a good time is easy to find at Kings Dining & Entertainment. It’s part of the I-Drive Entertainment District.
K1 Speed Orlando
Part of the I-Drive Entertainment District, K1 Speed Orlando is a single-track racing center with performance-focused electric go-karts that can reach speeds of 45 mph. It also features a miniature bowling alley, arcade games, pool tables, a full bar, an ice cream parlor, and a full-service, made-to-order kitchen.
Main Event Entertainment
Eat, bowl and play at Main Event Entertainment, part of the Pointe Orlando entertainment and dining district near the Orange County Convention Center. Explore over 55,000 square feet of fun with state-of-the-art bowling, laser tag, high ropes adventure courses, billiards and over 100 interactive video games. Top it all off with dining experiences ranging from fast-casual to chef-inspired as well as a wide selection of creative cocktails, beer and wine.
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Orlando Gun Club
Minutes from I-Drive, Orlando Gun Club strives to provide the ultimate shooting experience with a fully air-conditioned, state-of-the-art, clean, inviting facility staffed by friendly, knowledgeable professionals. Whether you’re a first-time shooter, avid hobbyist or firearms expert, they’re ready to meet your needs. And yes, gun rentals are available.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not®
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! on I-Drive looks like it’s falling into a massive Florida sinkhole — but don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere. Inside the 10,000-square-foot venue, be amazed, astounded and thoroughly entertained as you explore unusual and fascinating exhibits collected by world-famous traveler Robert Ripley and his successors.
Just off I-Drive and adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center, Topgolf Orlando offers a fresh spin on golf using climate-controlled driving bays where you can use the provided clubs or bring your own. Play matches elements of traditional golf with darts, and the action is complemented by a chef-inspired menu and full-service bars.
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Billed as an indoor amusement park for the mind, WonderWorks offers 35,000 square feet of “edu-tainment” with more than 100 hands-on exhibits designed to challenge the mind and spark the imagination. Just look for the famous upside-down building at Pointe Orlando on International Drive — the result of a once top-secret laboratory in the Bermuda Triangle that wound up in Orlando following an experiment gone awry. It’s also home to the Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show.
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