Top 30 Things To Do With Kids In Orlando This Summer

The countdown to summer vacation is on, and that means the scramble to find fun and activities to help fill those days is underway. Orlando is a treasure trove of amusements, diversions, and entertainment, so let’s start making summer plans!

Summer Activities with Kids

These ideas and things to do with kids this summer is curated by local Orlando parents, for visitors and locals alike to enjoy!

Freedom Month Sales Tax Holiday: July 2024

As you get ready to start planning out your summer adventures, make sure to keep the Freedom Month Sales Tax Holiday in mind.

This tax holiday runs for a full month this year, from July 1 – 31, 2024.

You’ll get a sales tax break on purchases of admissions to music, sporting, and cultural events; tickets to movies and museums; single admission or season tickets to theatre and dance performances; state park admission and annual passes; and use of fitness facilities will be tax free. This is the perfect time to plan some summertime adventures for the family and save a little money at the same time!

Swimming Area at Blue Spring State Park
Swimming Area at Blue Spring State Park image by Dani Meyering

Tickets, memberships, and passes, purchased during this time for use any time from July 1 – December 31, 2024, are tax-free.

The month-long summer sales tax holiday also applies to sales of certain boating and water activity equipment and supplies, camping equipment and supplies, fishing equipment and supplies, general outdoor supplies (including sunglasses, sunscreen, and grills), and residential pool chemicals, supplies, and parts.

Learn more about the Freedom Month Sales Tax Holiday and other Florida Sales Tax Holidays.

Educational Activities

Even though school is out, it’s always a good time to continue learning. Orlando has plenty of kids’ summer activities that promote education alongside entertainment, to help keep young minds stimulated.

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL

With over 350 animals from more than 100 species, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardnes is a great family excursion on a summer day. Not only can you visit the animals, but you can feed the giraffes, zip through the Seminole Adventures Aerial Zipline Course, get in-depth info from the keeper chats, or book an encounter with the zoo’s rhinos.

Camps, tours, and private events and excursions are available.

Image Credit Central Florida Zoo

PRO-TIPS: Read 6 Essential Tips for Visiting Central Florida Zoo with Kids

Orlando Museum of Art

2416 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803

With 10 to 12 exhibits on display, the Orlando Museum of Art provides access to art for all ages. In addition to strolling through the galleries, you can register your children (grades 1-12) for summer art camp!

Orlando Science Center

77 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803

Educational and exciting opportunities come to life in interactive and hands-on experiences at the Orlando Science Center. You’ll discover four levels of scientific fun including the super popular Kids Town area.

A rotating exhibit changes every few months and is on the main level, while classic exhibits like the dinosaur dig are available year-round.

young children enjoy Kids Town Orlando Science Center

DON’T MISS our Expert Tips for Visiting the Orlando Science Center.

Visit on your own, plan for a scheduled experience or check out the camps and other programming available.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not

8201 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

You’ll find oddities galore at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! This “odditorium” houses a collection of hundreds of unique, scientific and artistic finds.

This is a great indoor place to beat the heat. And while it is certainly a place for visitors and tourists, locals can have a good time too!

Image of part of the crime scene exhibit at Ripleys Believe It or Not Orlando
Ripleys Believe It or Not Orlando Image by Terri Peters

SEA LIFE Aquarium

8449 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

The SEA LIFE Aquarium in ICON Park boasts Florida’s only 360º Ocean Tunnel, which is sure to be a crowd-pleaser for littles. Inside the aquarium, you’ll find jellyfish, sharks, turtles, octopuses, rays, seahorses, and so much more. Check out all the exhibits, as well as some behind-the-scenes tours.

SEA LIFE Aquarium

Bonus Idea: Meet a Mermaid
Select Dates May 3rd – 27th

Come face-to-fin with a real mermaid during this limited-time event! Watch in wonder as they swim amongst stingrays, sea turtles, and tropical fish. Meet and snap a photo with a mermaid on land too.

Magical Mermaid Details

  • Fridays-Sundays from May 3rd – May 26th, PLUS Monday, May 27th!
  • At sea, a mermaid will swim underwater with dozens of sea creatures in the Atlantic Ocean habitat
  • Dives from 11:30am-1pm, 2pm-4pm, and 5pm-6:30pm
  • On land, meet a mermaid, meet & greets from 11:30am-6:30pm

Included in Sea Life Aquarium admission

Meet a Mermaid Image by Dani Meyering

WonderWorks Orlando

9067 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

Enter this incredible, upside-down structure for a day of truly wondrous entertainment and hands on learning. Once inside, kids can visit themed Wonder Zones, dedicated to topics like weather, art, space exploration, physical challenges, and so much more! Your little ones’ imaginations will soar with discoveries around every corner!

Amusement Parks + Attractions

Orlando is world-famous for its larger-than-life amusement and theme parks, making it a popular summer vacation destination.

Fun Spot Orlando

5700 Fun Spot Way, Orlando, FL 32819

This family-owned theme park combines an arcade with thrill rides, kids’ rides, and a splash pad for the best of all worlds! Reserve a cabana for a little extra privacy and a quiet home base while the kids enjoy the fun!

Gatorland

14501 S Orange Blossom Trl, Orlando, FL 32837

See ya later, alligator! At Gatorland, families can enjoy learning about alligators, crocodiles, reptiles, and even capybaras! The zoo also offers ziplining, a gator “night shine”, interactive experiences, and its Gator Gully Splashpad.

Image Credit Gatorland

The new Croc Rock three-in-one adventure features rock climbing, a swing bridge and zipline all in one. The water features at Gator Gully Splash Park are a welcomed way to cool off.

Legoland

1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884

Just a bit down the road, you’ll find a world dedicated to everyone’s favorite building bricks. Younger kids will enjoy Legoland’s Theme Park and Water Park. The two concept resorts are fun to explore as well.

Related Post: How to Enjoy LEGOLAND Florida’s Annual Summer Brick Party with Kids

Peppa Pig Theme Park

1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884

Right next to Legoland you will find the one and only Peppa Pig Theme Park! From jumping in muddy puddles to riding in the red car, your entire family will enjoy re-creating the most oinktastic moments from Peppa Pig. Get ready to splash, oink, giggle, and play all day long.

Peppa Pig Theme Park
Daddy Pigs Roller Coaster at Peppa Pig Theme Park Image from Peppa Pig Theme Park

Dezerland Park

5250 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

The largest indoor attraction in the state, you’ll find all kinds of fun and thrills inside Dezerland Park. Try action-packed activities like bowling, go-karts, axe-throwing, laser tag, glow-in-the-dark golf, pinball and simulators for a full day of wild fun!

The Orlando Eye At Icon Park

8375 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

Reserve your tickets for an awe-inspiring trip around this 400-foot high observation wheel. From the comfort of the enclosed, climate-controlled vehicle, you and the children can take in the very best aerial views of Orlando. You might even get a good look at the construction of Universal Epic Universe!

Each ride lasts about 18 minutes, after which you can explore more of ICON Park. Compare different experiences when you ride in the day vs. the evening!

the wheel at icon park
Image Credit ICON Park

You may also want to consider one of the affordable summer day trips near Orlando.

Orlando Theme Parks

Aquatica and Discovery Cove

7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando, FL 32821

Head over to Aquatica for some of the best water slides and swimming in Orlando.

In fact, Aquatica Orlando has a special Aloha to Summer event to make it even more fun. Before you go check out our essential tips for Aquatica Orlando so you can have the best time. A new kids’ play area and a new enhancement to a popular water slide are fun additions.

Turi's Kid Cove Entrance and Sign Aquatica Orlando
Turis Kid Cove Entrance image by Dani Meyering

Discovery Cove is an amazing thing to do in the summer. It may seem like an extravagant splurge, but keep in mind every single thing is included! Breakfast? Check! Lunch? Check! Soft drinks, ICEEs, and other beverages? Check!

You don’t even have to pack towels, sunscreen, or goggles – it’s all provided!

Hibiscus Hideaway Pizza and Snacks at Discovery Cove
Hibiscus Hideaway at Discovery Cove image by Dani Meyering

You can keep things relatively low-key by just booking a day pass and hold off on the extras. Swimming among rays and fish in the Grand Reef will take your breath away. Feeding birds in the aviary as they land on your hands and shoulders makes for some unforgettable moments. And the lazy river flows through the aviary as well as past animal areas for otters and marmosets!

Plus there are multiple animal encounters at multiple spots in the park, including a sloth, an armadillo, owls, and more! This tropical oasis is one of the best things to do in Orlando.

Our Editor, Dani Meyering, recently visited on a hosted experience to check out the new Flamingo Point area. You can get up close to incredible Caribbean flamingos at this new habitat that just opened.

Feeding Flamingos at Flamino Point During the Flamingo Mingle experience at Discovery Cove
Feeding Flamingos at Flamino Point image taken by Michelle Spitzer for Dani Meyering

There are add on experiences like snorkeling with sharks, hand feeding the flamingos, and the famous dolphin swim too!

Universal Orlando

6000 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819

Explore the magic of Harry Potter, the mystery of Jurassic World, and the action of Marvel superheroes at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. The hilarious Minion Land is a new addition to Universal Studios, and there’s even more family fun in store. Opening this summer is Dream Works Land, full of kid-friendly attractions.

Visit the theme parks, or the shops and restaurants at CityWalk for a fabulous day, weekend, or full vacation. Cool off at Volcano Bay, with plenty of water fun for all ages.

Image Credit Dani Meyering

Walt Disney World

1180 Seven Seas Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

The Walt Disney World property is arguably one of the most popular, kid (and adult) friendly venues in the Orlando area. Whether visiting as a local, or staying overnight, there is no shortage of things to do.

The Disney theme parks are magical and top-notch. If you decide to visit the theme parks, make use of the Rider Swap option if you have young kids. And familiarize yourself with Disney Transportation.

Of course, there is a free to visit shopping and dining complex. Be sure to dine at one of the best restaurants at Disney Springs for kids.

Island H2O Water Park

Island H2O Water Park kicks off its “Summer of Events” lineup starting Memorial Day weekend, bringing guests a wave of memorable experiences, live music, and family-friendly fun. Catch Dive-In Movies at Live! Lagoon Wave Pool, enjoy “Island Beats” live entertainment, or head to a Foam party!

Opt Outside

Even on the hottest days, exploring the world around us can be a welcome reprieve from screens and more high-intensity activities. Central Florida is home to a vast variety of trails, nature preserves, bodies of water, and so many more

DISCOVER MORE: Places to Go Swimming in Orlando

Harry P. Leu Gardens

1920 North Forest Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803

Lose yourself in over 50 acres of botanical gardens. These curated gardens are designed for visual enjoyment, as well as teaching visitors to understand the plants and flowers native to the area. Memberships are available, as well as camps, classes, and tours. Keep an eye on the summer schedule for special events like story times, movie nights, and more.

Mead Botanical Gardens

1300 S Denning Dr, Winter Park, FL 32789

This 48 acre garden is free to the public and features hiking trails, a greenhouse, butterfly garden, pond and more. Check in for activities like tours, camps, community gardening, and guided tours.

Mini Golf

Kids (and adults) of all ages love putt putt and Orlando is home to some incredible courses. Putt your way past the pirate ship at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf or try your luck in the jungle with Congo River Golf. For a more upscale experience, try Top Golf.

Image Credit Dani Meyering

Tree Trek Adventure Park

7625 Sinclair Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34747

Book tickets for the whole family to this aerial adventure, set high in the pine trees. Children as young as six can take part in the fun. With two courses for kids 6-8, three for children 9-11 and four for ages 12 and up, you’re sure to have fun on the elevated obstacle and giant zips (height and weight restrictions apply).

Ignite Your Imagination

Put away the screens and let your imagination lead the way. From creating pieces of art, to imagining yourself in the lists of a joust, Orlando has plenty to help keep that creativity going!

Art & History Museums Maitland Summer Workshops

231 W Packwood Ave, Maitland, FL 32751

Reserve your space now for the free summer workshops at A&H Museums. Kids and families can drop in to create things like sculptures, pinch pots, nature wands, and more. Work at your own pace throughout the week!

The Crayola Experience

8001 S Orange Blossom Trl, Orlando, FL 32809

You’ll spend time creating, learning, and exploring at over 27, Crayola-themed, hands-on activities at The Crayola Experience. Learn all about how crayons are made, name and wrap your own Crayola crayon color, star in your own magic coloring page, and so much more!

Image Credit Crayola Experience

Medieval Times

4510 W Vine St, Kissimmee, FL 34746

Calling all kings, queens, princes, and princesses! Enter this interactive jousting experience, featuring a jousting tournaments with battling knights, charging horses, magic, and so much more. You’ll enjoy a medieval style meal in the lists as you cheer your knight to victory!

Museum of Illusions

8441 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

Reservations are required for this unique attraction, good for ages three and up. Marvel over 50 optical illusions that will boggle your mind and keep you guessing!

Free and Low-Cost Activities

It’s easy to get caught up in the more famous attractions, but there are plenty of kids’ affordable activities in Orlando that fit well with most budgets

Kids Bowl Free

You’ll be racking up the strikes with free bowling at select lanes in Orlando. Check the Kids Bowl Free directory for the closest participating bowling alley.

Aloma Bowling Centers usually offers a special free bowling deal from during summer break at their three locations – Airport Lanes in Lake Mary/Sanford, Aloma Bowl in Winter Park, and Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando. Kids 15 and under can enjoy two free bowling games per day Monday through Friday from open to 5pm. Bowling games for parents and additional games for children are available for $2 per game.

Related post: Bowling Alleys in Orlando

Lake Eola

512 East Washington Street, Orlando, FL 32801

Visit the green space and beauty of Lake Eola Park in the heart of Orlando. The lake is surrounded by a sidewalk, perfect for walking or running. Take in the wildlife, rent a swan boat, check out a performance in the Disney amphitheater, or grab a bite to eat at the restaurants surrounding the park.

Orange County Library System

With 15 branches and online experience, the OCLS is a great, budget-friendly way to spend your summer days. Bookmark their calendar of events for story times, book clubs, games, activities, classes, workshops, and fun for all ages!

Splash Pads

The local splash pads are a great way to cool off, and are generally free or very inexpensive to visit. Favorites include the Apopka Splash Pad, Bithlo Community Park, and Dr. P. Phillips Community Park.

Image Credit Nancy DeVault

Wekiva Island

1014 Miami Springs Drive, Longwood, FL 32779

Pack up the family for a day enjoying the Wekiva River from this 2,000 square foot venue. Swim, fish, rent paddle crafts, play volleyball, relax on the beach or boardwalk, or chill out around the fire pit. Cabanas and event space available for rental, too!

And if you catch a break and get some kid-free time, explore OrlandoDateNightGuide.com’s 50 Summer Bucket List Ideas.

Featured Image: LEGOLAND Florida Water Park. Image Credit: Brie Gorecki

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Jenn Leonard