Things To Do in Orlando That Aren’t Theme Parks

Orlando has no shortage of theme parks, but there's definitely more to this central Florida city. Check out these other attractions!

There is no shortage of theme parks in Orlando, Florida. Between Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld and LEGOLAND – plus a collection of over-the-top water parks – Orlando offers an action-packed time for vacationers.

Related: Quick and Easy Tips That Will Help You Save Money at Disney Parks

Orlando’s theme parks are amazing, don’t get me wrong. But what do you do when you’re ready for something different? After all, it’s nice to make the most of your vacation by seeing and doing everything this Central Florida city has to offer! And while all those theme parks are usually a central part of everyone’s trip to Orlando, there is definitely more to see and do.

So, when you’re ready for an off-day – that is, a day away from roller coasters and princesses – check out these other fun things to do in Orlando. From alligators to Broadway shows, airboat rides through the wetlands and high-tech golf, there is a little bit for just about anyone.

Enjoy the Beauty of the Orlando Museum of Art

Orlando Museum of Art
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At the Orlando Museum of Art, you’ll find a large, varied collection to enjoy, from ancient Egyptian relics to thought-provoking modern works. Founded in 1924, the museum boasts a wide range of permanent and rotating exhibitions from both local and international artists. Take a stroll through the exhibitions, or get hands-on with the museum’s many workshops or classes.

Get Outside With Kayaking or Canoeing

There are actually several opportunities for kayaking in and around Orlando. In fact, many Orlando-area resorts offer kayaking excursions. However, visitors can experience guided canoe or kayak tours of Shingle Creek, which is known as the “Northernmost Headwaters of the Florida Everglades.” It begins in Orlando and flows for 23 miles to Lake Tohopekaliga. You can also experience Shingle Creek by foot or bicycle on the Shingle Creek Regional Trail.

Fly Over the Gators at Gatorland

white alligator at Gatorland
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Gatorland is a pretty cool attraction on its own. They have alligators and crocodiles of all sizes, plus the largest collection of rare white leucistic gators. On top of that, they also have a free-flight aviary, a petting zoo, and animal shows. The flamingos are my favorite!

But if you really want to kick up your visit a notch, try out the thrilling Screamin’ Gator Zip Line! Soar along five intense lines ranging from 230 feet to more than 500 feet, zooming at speeds near 30 mph over all those gators and crocs below.

See the Swamps With an Airboat Tour

airboat in Florida with alligator in the water
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If you really want a classic Florida experience, glide across tranquil wetlands with an airboat ride. You will get up close to alligators, stunning birds, and many other wild critters that call the Florida wetlands home. Some of these airboats can go up to 50 mph, too! There are plenty of companies offering airboat tours, and some of them also have their own animal parks that are included in the ticket price.

Practice Your Swing at TopGolf Orlando

TopGolf is a unique take on a driving range. Utilizing state-of-the-art tech, like microchipped golf balls, they take it to a new level with interactive virtual reality games. You can even play some of the most iconic golf courses in the world right from your bay. TopGolf also features a sports bar and restaurant, HDTVs in every bay, and a rooftop terrace with fire pits.

Spend an Afternoon at the Orlando Science Center

Orlando Science Center
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The Orlando Science Center is one of Central Florida’s most popular family attractions. It’s not just a run-of-the-mill science museum. It is highly interactive, with multiple floors of hands-on exhibits. Exhibit halls cover plenty of topics, from the human body to dinosaurs to outer space. Check out the free-flight aviary and the aquatic habitat, where you can get closer to the real animals of Florida. They even have a makerspace, where you have access to tools, materials, and mentors to turn creative ideas into reality.

See a Show at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

The Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center is actually a two-block destination that includes multiple theaters and halls. Here you can catch nationally-known Broadway shows, classical concerts, ballets, comedy acts, and more. It’s a hub for international, national, and local artists alike. The center also has the Seneff Arts Plaza, an outdoor space for food trucks, festivals, cultural events, and holiday festivities.

Step Back in Time With Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

Titanic: the Artifact Exhibition
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You might not expect to find the infamous ocean liner in Orlando, but you can step back into April 1912 with this experience. There are hundreds of artifacts that have been recovered from the shipwreck, plus full-scale room recreations and costumed actors. Dive in with one of the guided tours available, or embark on a self-guided tour. You can even come aboard to attend a first-class dinner gala, including the Captain’s cocktail party and reenactments of the night of April 14, 1912.

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