15 Family Adventures in “The City Beautiful” (besides theme parks)


Growing up my mom was always amazing at finding activities around our hometown (Kenosha, WI) that were cheap AND entertaining for kids. Let’s just say, I pretty much inherited that from her because I seem to always be “on the look out” for fun and unique things within the Orlando area.This past year I have collected ideas about fun activities to do with children that doesn’t involve a trip to a theme park. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love taking a trip to Disney, but there is so much more that Orlando offers besides just the theme parks.

Everyone always asks us “Why did you move to Orlando, of all the places?” Well for starters, it was definitely the warmer weather. Our plan was never to stay in Orlando, but then… I fell in LOVE with this city! It pulled on my heart strings the moment I noticed how much it offers in just pure entertainment. (I’m a mama that likes to “explore”.) So, I’m taking this opportunity to pull out my list (really it’s just in my mind) and share with you! Many activities I included are either FREE or reasonably cheap

15 Family Adventures in “The City Beautiful” (besides theme parks)

1. Lake Eola 

  • This is honestly one of my favorite places to go! Always check to see if there is an event taking place, just recently we went to the Paws in the Park and it was so much fun for my 12 month old! 

Things to do:

  • play at the park
  • go on a self guided SEE Art walking tour to find all 8 sculptures around the lake (you can click here to use as a guide)
  • have a picnic
  • bring a soccer ball and play in the grass area
  • attend the farmer’s market on Sundays
  • view all the beautiful birds (many swans are laying their eggs right now, click here to use as a guide)
  • don’t forget to spot out the turtles in the lake (kids love this) 
  • go on a swan paddle boat ride

2. All Fired Up

  • Paint pottery with your children at this Winter Park location. 
  • You can bring your own food and drinks, or order take out! 

3.  Scenic Boat Tour in Winter Park

  • Afterwards make sure to get ice cream at Kilwin’s located right on Park Avenue! (YUM!) 

4. Explore Mead Garden

  • Definitely pack a picnic and have your children explore the area. Recently we spotted an owl, which was really neat to see. 

5. Explore Harry P. Leu Gardens 

  • On the first Monday of the month they host a story time for little ones and afterwards you get to walk the garden for FREE (UNLESS there is a special exhibit taking place) 

6. Explore Dickson Azalea Park

  • Explore the enchanted park along with taking fun family pictures (it’s seriously one of my favorite hidden areas). 
  • Play at Langford Park (they just recently placed a Free Little Library near the park, so if you have any books you would like to give away make sure to bring one with “take one, give one” system).
  • Make sure to walk the boardwalk. 

7. Explore Bill Fredrick Park

There are so many things to do here!

  • wonderful parks 
  • children’s farm
  • hiking trail with fun hands on activities (outdoor xylophone!) 
  • swimming 
  • canoeing 
  • fishing 

8. Science Center 

  • They just opened their new Kids Town section,  it’s AMAZING!  (remember teachers and children under 2 get in for FREE).
  • there are so many exhibits to explore, currently they have the Astronaut Exhibit taking place. 

9. Sea Life Aquarium 

  • Buy online the day before to save up to 25% off your tickets.
  • Teachers and children under 2 get in for FREE. 

10. Ride the I-Ride Trolley on International Drive

  • Spend an afternoon exploring shops, and other attractions along I-drive. 

11. Bike Rides on the Orange County Trails 

  • Choose from one of the many bike trails within Orlando and enjoy an afternoon of biking, along with stopping for lunch at a local restaurant.
  • Click here to view a detailed list of bike trails within the area.

12. Splash Pads

  • Enjoy an afternoon getting wet (especially when it’s hot).
  • Click here to view the Orlando Moms Blog splash pad list.

13. Explore Winter Park Village 

  • Grab frozen yogurt at Menchie’s then walk across the street where there is a small fountain, turf areas, and a huge chess board outside 
  • You can also shop & catch a movie while you’re there. 

14. Spend the afternoon at Downtown Disney 

  • Their new parking garage is amazing and FREE, so need to worry about the whole parking fiasco.
  • So many new amenities to explore as well!

15. Chocolate Factory Tour with “Chocolate Kingdom”

  • I have yet to go, but this is definitely something on my bucket list! 


 Explore all of Orlando’s beautiful playgrounds!

My favorites so far are: 

  • Lake Lily Playground 
  • Community Playground or “Castle Park”
  • Lake Eola Playground 
  • Azalea Lane Playground 

Explore Nearby Florida Springs 


What would you add to this list?  

Here’s to The City Beautiful in offering so many beautiful things to explore with our children! 

15 Family Adventures in “The City Beautiful” (besides theme parks)



  1. As a momma from the UK, always frequenting Orlando and moving full time in September 2018 with 2 littles, blogs like this are not only a fantastic resource but also get me very excited!! Thanks for some fantastic information!


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