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Family fun things to do in Orlando that aren't major theme parks

Orlando Family Fun Magazine
Posted at 5:17 AM, Mar 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-11 08:28:37-05

ORLANDO, Fla. — If you're looking for some family-friendly, fun things to do during Spring Break but don't want to spend a lot or go far, consider heading to Orlando.

It doesn't have to be all about the theme parks. We talked to the Editor-in-Chief of Orlando Family Fun Magazine about all there is to do in Orlando.

"So they're starting to open a lot of these new businesses. So Nona Adventure Park, that just opened a couple of years ago, and then a couple of other places on my list just opened recently. So if people haven't been to Orlando in a while, they're going to find that there are a lot of new attractions for them to take the kids to," said Mikaela Walker, Orlando Family Fun Magazine.

Walker is also a mom to a 7-year-old and a 12-year-old. So finding things to do with them and not fork over a lot of cash is important.

"My best advice to moms would be to plan only one activity per day. I know we think we're going on vacation, we have to squeeze in all these things. But what happens is that that prop that leads to more meltdowns, breakdowns, you're rushing from one location to the other. So it's not as fun," Walker said.

"So I try to plan one thing in the morning, that's between two and four hours. And then after that, we go with the flow. So we'll walk around, we'll see what we'll find. We'll go to a park, maybe have a picnic. Just play and the kids love it. And then it's not you're not so frazzled as a mom, and I would say stay over if you can, because dealing with I-4 driving back and forth. That is is not fun."

"The last thing I'd say — don't overly complicate it, especially when you have younger kids," Walker added. "I have figured out that a lot of the things that I want to do, the kids don't care. It's more that I am like, I need to take my kids to do this activity. And the kids are like we get to hang out with you. That's all we care about. We don't care where it is. We're hanging out and we're having fun. So don't overly complicate it."

Here are Mikaela's Top 10 places to go in Orlando this Spring Break:

10 Affordable Activities to do in Orlando over Spring Break

Museum of Illusions

  • Opened in 2021 in Icon Park
  • At the museum you are able to participate in various illusions such as hanging off of a wall or being upside in a photo
  • They are also additional picture illusions on the wall – like eyes in a picture following you while you walk
  • There are puzzles to solve and games to play
  • In total, there are over 50 exhibits/illusions at the museum
  • This is great add on to other activities at Icon Park, such as The Wheel, Madame Tussauds, Sea Life Aquarium or the Arcade/4D ride
  • Cost: $24.99 adults/$20.99 kids (3-12)/$21.99 Florida Residents

Fun Spot America

  • Fun Spot America is one of the smaller amusement parks in the Orlando area
  • They have one location in Kissimmee and one in Orlando
  • You don’t have to pay to enter the park, only if you are going on rides
  • They have a good variety of rides including roller coasters, a carousel, and go karts
  • There is a kiddie land for younger kids
  • Parents are able to ride for free with younger kids (under 54” rides) with a Chauffeur Pass
  • The skycoaster is a popular ride where you are dropped from 250 – 300 ft in the air (Orlando is 250 and Kissimmee is 300) and fly across the park
  • Cost: Fun Pass is $54.95 and Mega Fun Pass is $64.95 (includes a skycoaster ride)

Gatorland

  • Gatorland is a great place to see and learn about alligators
  • Gatorland has alligators of all sizes from newly born baby gators to giant gators that have been around for awhile
  • The park features a couple fun shows – one called Jumparoo, where the alligators jump out of the water to grab food and the Up Close Encounters Show where you get to see different creatures from around the world
  • The show: Alligators Legends of the Swamp is an educational show that teaches you all about alligators
  • You can purchase a package to take pictures with an alligator after the show
  • Gatorland also features a splash park, a train ride that takes you through the back of the park and some of the exhibits, an aviary and a petting zoo
  • Cost: $32.99 adults/$22.99 kids (3-12)/$31.98 seniors 60+ (Gatorland frequently has Florida Resident rates, check website for up-to-date deals)
  • Best Deal: Greater Gator Package – $39.99 adults/$32.99 kids includes admission, photo op with an alligator, unlimited train rides and gator chow to feed the alligators

Pinspiration

  • If your kids love making a mess and making art, then Pinspiration is a fun option
  • You are able to reserve a private splatter room where you can go wild with various paints and splatter them on canvas to create splatter paintings
  • Each person in the group gets to make one small painting and you can choose to add on an extra larger size painting for your group
  • Don’t worry about the mess – they give you overalls to cover your clothes and hair and goggles to prevent the paint getting in your eyes
  • There are two locations: one in Oviedo and one in Winter Garden
  • It is $18 per person for the splatter room and the room can hold up to 6 people in Oviedo and up to 5 people in Winter Garden

Nailed it DIY

  • At Nailed It DIY, Creativity and power tools come together
  • At Nailed it DIY, you are creating your own signs
  • You get to choose from hundreds of stencils online from holiday-related, sports-related, activity-related, motivational sayings, etc.
  • You also get to choose from square, round, rectangular, stacked and framed signs
  • When you go into the shop, all your materials are laid out at a workstation for you to create your sign
  • You to get to file, buff, staple, hammer
  • Kids are able to do all of the activities
  • Cost is based on the sign that is chosen but prices start at $10

Nona Adventure Park

  • Nona Adventure Park has three main sections: an aquapark, ropes course and a cable park
  • The aquapark has over 1000 feet of fun with multiple obstacles to climb and jump on – some of the obstacles are the tire run, ninja jump and the whirlpool
  • Buy tickets for a 50-minute session in the Aquapark for $12 if pre-purchased online and $15 in person
  • Must be at least five years old to go to the aquapark (ages 5 to 8 have to go with an adult)
  • The ropes course has 36 floating platforms that you can go between with fun features such as a wobble bridge, tilting boards a jungle trail and more
  • There are three 50 foot climbing walls and 60-foot sky ropes that allow you to race a friend or family member
  • Must be over 4’7” and over eight to go on the regular ropes course
  • There is also a junior ropes course for kids three to eight
  • The ropes course is $15 per person for a two-hour session on the regular course and $10 for the junior course
  • The cable park has two tracks with 8 towers
  • It is great for beginner to advanced wakeboarders
  • Packages include all equipment
  • For $45 get a two-hour beginner package
  • For $65 get a two-hour PRO package

Planet Obstacle

  • Planet Obstacle is the World’s largest indoor obstacle park
  • There are trampolines, ball pits, bungees, indoor zip lines, bumper cars, rock climbing wall and a ropes course
  • They also have two American Ninja Warrior Courses – one for the kids and one for adults
  • Cost: All-access passes are $55.95 on a weekday/$59.95 on a weekend but they frequently have specials on 1-hour and 2-hour play passes

Leu Gardens – Dragon Hidden Treasure Quest

  • Leu Gardens is a 50-acre botanical garden in downtown Orlando
  • The property is split into 10 different mini gardens including: the Tropical Stream Garden, the Rose Garden, the Butterfly Garden, the Vegetable Garden, the Color Garden, the White Garden, the Arid Garden, the Herb Garden, the Idea Garden and the Palms, Cycads and Bamboo Garden
  • Right now, through April 3 there is a special exhibit Dragons Hidden Treasure Quest at Leu Gardens
  • Families can join in the fun of a mythical journey through gardens to find the dragons’ hidden treasure.
  • Each guest/ “seeker,” will receive a special map that will take them on a treasure hunt through the gardens where they have to solve puzzles and find the next clue
  • Cost: $15/adult and $10 per child 4-17 (Dragon Hidden Treasure Quest is included with admission

Drive Shack

  • You don’t have to be a golfer to play at Drive Shack
  • They offer fun games that you can play
  • One of our favorite games is Monster Hunt, where you kill different monsters by hitting balls to different locations on the course
  • They have all the clubs you need at the bays, or you can bring your own
  • At Drive shack you pay per bay, not per person, and each bay holds up to 6 people
  • You can also have food delivered to your bay
  • Cost: before 1 p.m. $25 per bay/1 p.m. to 5p.m. $35 per bay/5 p.m. on $45 per bay (all prices are for one-hour bay rental)
  • Nearby Drive Shack is Boxi Park which is an outdoor container park with different food choices, a playground and beach volleyball course that are free to use and live music/DJs on the weekends

Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari

  • Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari Park is a self-guided drive along a 2-mile route
  • In the Safari Park, there are 150 animals – a combination of exotic animals and animals native to Florida
  • See animals such as white-tailed deer, bison, wildebeest, zebras, watusi, and oryx
  • You are able to stop and hand-feed giraffes (extra cost of $5)
  • When you purchase a ticket to the drive-thru safari, you can also enter the Gator Park
  • In the Gator Park, you can see more animals close up, such as lemurs, bobcats, two-toed sloths and of course gators
  • There is also an animal petting zoo, an exotic animal show and a gator show
  • Cost: $23 per adult/$18 per child (under 13) – these rates are special Florida resident rates