Things to Do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks: 7 Must-Try Activities

Everyone heads to Orlando to have fun at the theme parks, but did you know that there are tons of other exciting family-friendly activities to do in the City Beautiful? If you’re wondering what to do in Orlando besides theme parks, read on for more fun-tastic ideas!

From Orlando kids museum to rocket launches at the Kennedy Space Center, this Central Florida city is more than just theme parks.

Follow along as we help you discover all Orlando has in store besides theme parks, including activities to do in Orlando, such as exploring the Chain of Lakes, wandering around Winter Garden, Winter Park, or Lake Eola, or checking out the Florida Mall instead of Disney Springs.

Not that we don’t love theme parks, but when you want something different, try getting your hands dirty with some outdoor adventure at the family friendly Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park.

Inject some adrenaline with an airboat tour or a leap of faith on your first free fall at iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving. Or add a dash of arts and culture to your trip with a visit to the oldest museum in Orlando.

Here are some of the best things to do in Orlando not theme parks!

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7 Activities You Need to Do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks

Free Fall for the First Time at iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving

Wondering what to do in Orlando besides Disney?

Is skydiving on your bucket list, but unsure you can take the thrill? Get a taste of what it’s like to free fall with iFLY’s Indoor Skydiving. iFly has multiple branches worldwide, one of them in Orlando. We’ve tried it ourselves, thinking it was an exciting activity to do once for fun, but we ended up leaving with a new love for skydiving.

If you’re anything like us, once you try it, you will love it! You can even change gears and go for a unique go-kart experience at one of Orlando’s exciting kart tracks or take part in an exhilarating round of laser tag. Definitely one of the unique things to do in Orlando besides theme parks!

Technically, you won’t be “sky” diving. iFLY’s indoor facilities let you experience the sensation of flying inside a state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnel. First-timers will be assisted by a licensed instructor for a safe flight experience, so even kids as young as three years old can try it! 

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Pro Tip: You will be provided a flight suit and a helmet during the orientation, but you are expected to arrive with well-fitting, lace-up sneakers or running shoes. 

The iFly experience lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes. This includes checking in, going through the orientation if this is your first time to fly (or if you’re a Return Flyer who hasn’t flown in the last three months), and diving inside the wind tunnel.

You can fly solo with your instructor, but flying with friends or family is also an exceptional experience. The photos and video footage from your indoor skydiving experience will be amazing, and you’ll all be given e-copies with your very own iFLY USB. 

Two people in red sky diving suits in the indoor sky diving tunnel at iFly Seattle in Seattle, Washington, USA
photo credit: iFly via Facebook

Fuse Learning and Fun with a Visit to Orlando Science Center

If you plan to visit Orlando and stay in Downtown Orlando, Orlando Science Center is one of the top attractions you should visit! The best Orlando hotels, like DoubleTree by Hilton and Universal’s Aventura Hotel, are just 10 to 15 minutes away from this interactive science museum.

With so many educational exhibits that make learning fun for the kids, the Orlando Science Center is a good break from theme parks. Enjoy a laid-back but thoroughly entertaining few hours exploring the museum’s eight-themed exhibitions.

Are the kids into anything and everything that’s got to do with dinosaurs? The DinoDigs exhibit hall is perfect for indulging their interests! Oooh and Aaah over giant fossil replicas of ancient sea creatures or dinosaurs.

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Adjacent to DinoDigs is the Poozeum. Yep, you read that right! 

This new exhibit displays a collection of some of the largest coprolites (a scientific term for ancient fossilized poo) ever found. Barnum, the Guinness World Record Holder for “world’s largest fossilized excrement from a carnivore,” is on display along with dozens more dino dung dating back 11,700 to 200 million years ago.

While Poozeum is not for everyone, you can explore the rest of the exhibits that cover a wealth of scientific subjects. If you’re planning an Orlando trip, watch out for “Life,” a new permanent exhibition focused on nature, conservation, and Earth’s changing climate. It opened sometime in late 2023 and replaced the museum’s longtime NatureWorks exhibition.

Close up of a family playing at a water exhibit at KidsTown at Orlando Science Center in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Institute of Museum and Library Services via Facebook

Bring Out the Van Gogh in You at Crayola Experience Orlando

Here’s one more on our list of exciting things to do Orlando besides theme parks.

Beyond theme parks, there are plenty of unique things to do in Orlando. One such activity is the Crayola Experience Orlando. It’s conveniently located in Florida Mall, a family-friendly Orlando shopping destination that also happens to be less than 30 minutes from Walt Disney World Resort and popular Orlando attractions.

Crayola has always been a brand about colors, so you can expect the same from this experience. Children are treated to dozens of hands-on activities that bring out their creative side. One of the most exciting Orlando activites (we can hardly contain ourselves!) to look forward to is the chance to make your own crayons. 

Choose a color, choose a shape, and let Crayola’s magical machine do the rest! Wait for a few minutes to get your unique creation. And yes, you can name your own crayon! You get a free token with your ticket, which allows you to name one crayon. Keep it as a souvenir or, for the romantic in you, name it after a friend back home and give it as a thoughtful gift.

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There are over 25 attractions spread out over 70,000 square feet at Crayola Experience Orlando, which is your answer to what to see in Orlando besides theme parks.

Spend hours of fun unleashing your creativity and admiring each other’s work. Watch the Chaos and Creativity show, grab a bite at the Cafe Crayola, and demonstrate your cool moves with the Dancing Crayon!

Front of Crayola Experience in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Crayola Experience Orlando via Facebook

Solve Mind-Bending Puzzles at Escape Game Orlando

Wondering what to do in Orlando Florida besides Disney with a group of friends?

Are you an escape room enthusiast? Use any of Escape Game Orlando’s indoor adventures to test your investigator skills. It’s a unique thing to do in Orlando apart from theme parks, providing a different kind of excitement and adventure.

Prison Break’s difficulty level is rated 9 out of 10. It is the most challenging room at Escape Game today. The year is 1955, and there you are, inside a bleak cell, wrongfully accused of a crime.

Your new “home” once belonged to an inmate who disappeared without a clue. They’re still looking for answers about what happened to him. So maybe you should, too, before you suffer the same fate that many whispers suggest was unsavory.

Don’t worry if you’re a novice! There are easier games to play that are just as thrilling and mind-bending. The playground’s difficulty level is rated 6 out of 10. Summer break is coming, but you still have unfinished business to attend to. 

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Your movement is limited to two rooms–the classroom and the playground–until you finish the assignment. However, this assignment is unlike anything you’ve encountered in a classroom before. You’ve got a great squad to help you ace the ultimate group project.

Whatever the difficulty level, you have 60 minutes to probe and solve the mysteries inside the escape room you choose. It’s a unique activity to get the group pumped up for more Orlando adventures!

photo credit: The Escape Game (Orlando) via Facebook

Play at Orlando’s Best of the Best Golf Courses

Wondering what to do in Orlando other than theme parks if you prefer to play outdoors?

Golf enthusiasts visiting Orlando will be pleasantly surprised to find that the City Beautiful is also home to 25 of the best golf courses in Florida. Winter Park Golf Course, known as the “Winter Park 9” or “WP9,” offers a highly-rated 9-hole experience at an affordable price.

Orlando is known for its world-class theme parks, but did you know it’s also home to 25 of the best golf courses in Florida? For this reason, the City Beautiful is “the happiest place on earth” for many golfers.

For traveling golfers, there are dozens of golf courses to choose from without signing up for a membership. So start accumulating your aces at Winter Park Golf Course. Those in the know dubbed this course “Winter Park 9,” or simply “WP9”. This highly-rated public 9-hole gem has a starting fee of $20, making it one of the best golf deals you’ll find in Orlando.

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If you’re staying at any of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels, check out the four Disney golf courses. Each Disney golf course has a magical landscape signature that only Disney can offer.

Whether you want a quick 9-hole game or a more challenging 18-hole pursuit, Disney’s Palm Golf Course, Magnolia Golf Course, Lake Buena Vista Golf Course, and Oak Trail Golf Course are open for public play.

mickey mouse shaped sand pit in Palm Colf Course with trees in the background in Disney World, Orlando, Florida
photo credit: Walt Disney World Golf via Facebook

Bask in Art and Masterpieces at Orlando Museum of Art

Art and culture enthusiasts have many choices when it comes to museums and galleries in Orlando. Orlando Museum of Art is one of them. Having been founded in 1924, it’s the oldest museum in Orlando but is still popular among locals and tourists who want to learn more about the rich history of the City Beautiful. 

Pro Tip: Museums On Us offers free general admission to more than 150 museums (including the Orlando Museum of Art) during the first full weekend of every month. Present your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch card, and you’re good to go!

Yes, you can add this to your list of free things to do in Orlando besides theme parks! Things to do in Orlando Florida besides theme parks can be just as fun while you save on travel.

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The museum presents 10 to 12 exhibitions on-site annually. Exhibits are rarely permanent, so there is something new to see every time you visit. Feast your eyes on American art, African art, contemporary graphics, and more artistic interpretations that seek to inspire.

Summer art camp and family programs are also available as seasonal activities (a seasonal activity that is also part of our top things to do in Orlando besides Disney), so check out the official website for registration before you go! 

photo credit: Orlando Museum of Art via Facebook

Sweat It ‘Til You Make It at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park

If you’re a sucker for outdoor adventure, Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park needs a spot on your travel bucket list. With obstacle courses for adults, kids, and even the littlest adventurers, this high-flying attraction is perfect for the whole family and is one of the best things to do in Orlando apart from theme parks. You won’t run out of things to do in Orlando besides parks!

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Swing on Tarzan ropes, climb ladders 50 feet up, leap into hanging nets, and cross wobbly suspended bridges. Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park is also home to breathtaking 425-foot plunging zip lines. It’s part of the park’s thrilling tree top experiences that you’ll navigate at your own pace, making it one of the best things to do in Orlando besides theme parks. 

As part of the park’s commitment to family-friendly adventures, adults and kids can begin the obstacle courses together. Adults start on the Green course, while kids can jump ahead to the Yellow course. To add to the fun, there is a path below the Yellow course that lets parents take Insta-worthy photos to remember the experience.

woman climbing through tree trek adventure in orlando, florida, usa

Things to Do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks FAQs

If you’re in Orlando and yearning for a beach, you’re in luck. The closest beach to Orlando is none other than Cocoa Beach, just an hour’s drive away. Renowned for its beautiful sandy shores and excellent surf, Cocoa Beach promises a tranquil or adventurous day out, depending on your preference.

To fully experience the magic and wonder of Orlando, a trip of roughly 5 days is commonly suggested. This offers you ample time to explore the city’s renowned theme parks, visit a selection of cultural attractions, and sample Orlando’s distinctive culinary landscape. Nevertheless, if your schedule permits, adding a few extra days can allow you to unwind and take advantage of Orlando’s world-class spas and shopping opportunities.

Grab the Best Orlando Deals and Packages

Got your list of things to do in Orlando other than theme parks?

There’s more to discover! The city’s top attractions are all around Orlando. Therefore, you can make the most of your vacation by planning your trip in advance. Whether you’re planning a day trip or a whole week of fun, there are heaps of unique experiences to try out in Orlando besides theme parks.

Our list of Orlando’s top attractions includes deals and packages to Universal Orlando Resort, Walt Disney World, ICON Park, water parks, and other theme parks like Fun Spot America. But if you’re looking for experiences beyond the thrills of family-friendly theme parks, grab bundles and special offers to some of Orlando’s hidden gems and underrated activities for less!

What Will Your Next Adventure Be in Orlando?

Let us know in the comment section below!

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Written by Nicole King

There are only two things that make Nicole really happy–books and travel! When her head’s not buried in a book, she’s most likely...

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