Tots, Teens & In-Betweens: Where To Take Your Kids in Orlando

Welcome to Orlando, the Floridian utopia of parental promises, a place where not only childhood dreams come true, but a living time machine of sorts, where grown-ups regress with joy as they glide through tree tops a la Tarzan at attractions like Zip Orlando, take in the sights from 400 feet at the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye and test their mettle at problem solving while the clock ticks down at I-Drive's mind-bending escape room attraction, Escapology. While many people think of the City Beautiful as a destination focused solely on theme-park attractions, it's a consummate myth. Options for back country exploration via canoe, kayak, foot, horseback and even ATV or zipline – with venues like Wekiwa Springs State Park and others just minutes from Disney – are many. Educational entertainment at the state-of-the-art Orlando Science Center consistently delights all ages via permanent and rotating exhibits, as well as large-screen films and laser shows at its Dr. Phillips CineDome. Thrill seekers in search of something truly unique (yes, even those with a fear of heights) can sample the art of the skydive at iFLY Orlando's incredible indoor vertical wind tunnel. And if you're sold on the idea of that ubiquitous bag of Florida oranges as a gift for the folks back home, you may as well pull them from the tree yourself at the area's signature U-Pick: Showcase of Citrus.



There's just something about a farm that brings out the child in all of us. Green Meadows is a favorite for local parents of young children, not to mention school and camp groups, an attraction where kids enjoy hands-on learning and delight in...  Read More



Return to Florida's natural beauty at Wekiwa Springs State Park. Hike through wild, diverse ecosystems, paddle the famous Wekiva River, or camp beneath the stars. Wekiwa Springs offers nature lovers the opportunity to experience a part of...  Read More

Showcase of Citrus
Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson


Owned by fourth generation citrus farmers, Showcase of Citrus is one of those classic "only in Florida" activities you have to do at least once (or, like the locals, you can come back again and again). This farm is home to 13 varieties of...  Read More



Escape Rooms are a trending to-do these days. Have you found out what all the fuss is about? Escapology, with its convenient I-Drive location, is a great place to do it. Here your group – as few as 2, as many as 5 – will get one hour to...  Read More



Thirty-six holes of kitschy '50s fun await mini-golfers at this CityWalk-ensconced tribute to the era's sci-fi and horror movies. It is Universal Orlando, after all. Miniature golf aficionados of all ages will enjoy these exceptionally cool...  Read More



From goats at the petting zoo to the super cool insect zoo (your enthusiasm will depend on your comfort level with creepy-crawlies) this Sanford Zoo isn't as small as it may seem. More than 500 animals representing roughly 200 species call this...  Read More



Zip Orlando is home to one of Florida's longest, fastest,and highest ziplines and offers a course with eight lines total, each ranging from 225 to 950 feet long and up to 65 feet off the ground – exciting stuff! Suspension bridges add even...  Read More



Fear of heights? No worries. Live your dream of experiencing the adrenaline-infused skydiver's high of freefall in the controlled environment of iFLY Orlando's vertical wind tunnel. Adventurous adults and even seniors enjoy this attraction as...  Read More



Giant screen movies and planetarium shows, towering dinosaur skeletons, four floors of interactive science exhibits in the realms of weather and space, lights and lasers, electricity and magnetism, live animals and live science programming...  Read More



I-Drive 360 is a relatively new entertainment complex on International Drive, and an easy one to locate sans GPS – as its icon is visible for miles. The glittering Coca-Cola Orlando Eye observation wheel towers at 400 feet. One circuit takes...  Read More


Meet A.D. Thompson

Amy Drew has spent nearly three decades as a professional writer and roughly half her life as a Floridian. The words, she has found, come easier with bare feet and rum.

A roller coaster...  More About A.D.