Things to Do in Orlando, Florida With Kids

Things to Do in Orlando, Florida With Kids
If you're visiting Orlando with kids, you're in luck. There are plenty of things to do. Whether you're hoping to spot wild alligators or movie stars, Florida provides a diverse variety of environments and activities to participate in. If you're looking for Florida activities that don't involve fairy tale castles, consider kayaking, swimming with dolphins or shrinking yourself.

Swim with Dolphins

The Discovery Cove inclusive park is an all-day event. Included with adult and kids admission is a hearty breakfast and lunch as well as snacks and beverages throughout the day.

Kids enjoy having unlimited access to the Explorer's Aviary where tropical birds fly right over head. With any luck, one will perch on their arm for a visit. Kids will feel like they've set foot in Mermadia when they swim or raft through the rain forest, past waterfalls and through underwater caves in the Windaway River.

Families can lounge by the shore of Serenity Bay or take a dip in the 80 degree water. Suit up in the snorkeling gear, which is also included in the price and take a dip in the Tropical Reef grotto. Heck, they even provide the towels and sunscreen.

At some point in the day, you and 5 to 7 other guests get to swim with the bottlenose dolphins. A one-on-one encounter with dolphins is a once-on-a-lifetime opportunity, and Orlando is one of the few cities that offer such an amenity. The dolphin-swim begins in shallow water where guests and trainers work together to get guests and dolphins comfortable with one another. If you dare, you can hold tightly to a dorsal fin and go zipping through the deeper water with your new dolphin friend.

Visitors to Discovery Cove also get a 14 day pass to Sea World Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa or Aquatica. Parking is included.

Discovery Cove
6000 Discovery Cove Way
Orlando, Florida 32821
(877) 434-7268
discoverycove.com

Disney Hollywood Studios

Disney in Orlando is about much more than just the Magic Kingdom. Disney's MGM Hollywood Studios is one of the most popular kid-chosen destinations. With movie sound-stage tours, live performances, behind-the-scenes attractions, rides and other attractions all centered around the production, animation and special effects of Disney's animated and live-action films as well as Disney's television shows.

For active kids, however, the "Honey, I shrunk the Kids" playground is quite possibly the funnest place on the planet. Everything here is larger than life. Kids and adults get a kick out of being smaller than a blade of grass. The bumblebees are 40 feet tall and a 52 ft leaky garden hose turns monster-sized yard waste into water slides. Find your way out of a plant-root maze and pose for a photo on the back of an ant.

Disney's Hollywood Studios
3111 World Drive
Orlando, Florida 32830
(407) 939-6244
disneyworld.com

Kayak the Waterways

Just past the Orlando city border to the north is the Wekiva River Basin and to the east is the Little-Big Econ Wilderness Area, both of which are host to meandering freshwater streams and rivers, where kayakers can coast through oak groves draped with Spanish moss. Kids get excited about the prospect of meeting up with a real live alligator. Tropical birds, turtles and other local critters make the day unforgettable, and even with kayak rental, cheaper than hanging out with the mouse. Kayak outfitters in Orlando have daily and hourly rental fees, camping equipment rental and can even transport you or your gear to the trail. An hour's drive to the east puts you right at the Atlantic Ocean, where sea kayakers paddle amongst dolphins, sting rays and manatees.

Wekiwa Springs State Park Nature Adventures
1800 Wekiwa Circle
Apopka, Florida 32712
(407) 880-4110
canoewekiva.com

Article Written By Lisa Russell

Lisa Russell has been a freelance writer since 1998. She's been published in "Rethinking Everything Magazine," "Playdate" and "Home Educator's Family Times." She has a professional background in education, cosmetology and the restaurant industry. Russell studied early childhood education at Antelope Valley College, and is pursuing a degree in law.

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