Looking for things to do in Central Florida with kids? There are many options. We’ve listed theme parks as well as easy day trips from Orlando.

Things To Do In Central Florida With Kids

We always tell people that there’s a lot more to Central Florida than people think. If you’re traveling to the area with kids, you might be heading straight for the theme parks. If you are, we know you’ll have a lot of fun.

However, there are also day trips from Orlando to consider. Both indoor and outdoor activities that your kids will love, like blueberry picking, horseback riding, and even spending time with mermaids! 😉

Enjoy Theme Parks In Orlando

If you’re specifically looking for things to do in Orlando with kids, then one of the obvious choices is taking them to a theme park. There are many options, so you can choose which theme park depending on your child’s interests.

Disney World is an obvious favorite, with a variety of attractions including water parks, shopping areas, and amazing award-winning restaurants. At over 43 square miles, there’s something for everyone.

One of our favorite Disney World parks is Animal Kingdom, which we had never been to as a kid. When we went recently, we had such an incredible time! We saw so many animals, enjoyed amazing shows, and rode Expedition Everest which was a pretty thrilling roller coaster!

things to do in Central Florida with kids includes visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom
Our first visit to Animal Kingdom was epic!
Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life
Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life

Pick Your Own Blueberries

One of the popular day trips from Orlando that the whole family will enjoy is a trip out to Cavallo Farm and Market. Located in the town of Lecanto, they have a year-round market where you can get produce that is mostly organic and local to Citrus County. They also have a boutique store that offers guests eco-friendly bath & body merchandise, unique household items, honey products, baked goods, fresh bread, olive oils and vinegars, and jams and jellies.

For a fun outdoor experience, pick your own blueberries when they are in season during April and May. We really enjoyed walking through the blueberry vineyards; they’re so picturesque and the blueberries are the biggest we’ve ever seen! They are also a lot more flavorful than the ones we usually get at the grocery store.

Cavallo also has a winery where they make wine out of their blueberries. They produce 20,000 bottles of wine, and after sampling five of them, we can tell you that they are delicious. So we suggest spending a day at Cavallo with the family. Walk among their old moss covered trees, pick some blueberries, do some shopping, and enjoy some wine. Because Cavallo isn’t just a blueberry farm; it’s a food and wine destination.

popular day trips from Orlando include picking blueberries at Cavallo Farm and Market
Picking blueberries at Cavallo Farm and Market
things to do in Central Florida include blueberry picking at Cavallo Farm and Market
The whole family will enjoy roaming the grounds of the farm

Go On A Safari

Another fun activity for kids in Central Florida is Safari Wilderness in Lakeland. Visitors can go on a safari and see over 400 different species of animals.

You have the option of seeing the animals from a pretty cool customized vehicle, or go riding on the back of a camel! Kids can enjoy feeding the animals as well. Who wouldn’t want to feed an adorable ring-tailed lemur!

Ring-tailed lemur
Ring-tailed lemur

See Real Mermaids

How would your family like to spend time with real live mermaids? Without a doubt one of the best things to do in Central Florida with kids is to visit Weeki Wachee Springs. At this natural Florida spring, you can kayak, take a river boat cruise, and during summer months enjoy their waterpark.

Of course, you can also see their iconic mermaid shows that have been a Florida roadside attraction since 1947. Watch in amazement as the mermaids perform choreographed shows with costumes, props, and music. Everyone loves the Weeki Wachee mermaids. Even Elvis saw a show here!

Watching a Weeki Wachee mermaid show is one of the best things to do in Central Florida with kids
Watching a Weeki Wachee mermaid show
day trips from Orlando include visiting Weeki Wachee
We got to talk to a real mermaid!

Take A Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Central Florida

About 40 minutes west of Orlando is the city of Clermont, home to Orlando Balloon Rides. There’s nothing quite like riding a hot air balloon, and it’s a fun activity the whole family will love. It requires an early start to your day, but the views of Central Florida are worth it.

The view of Central Florida from a hot air balloon
The view of Central Florida from a hot air balloon
fun things to do in central Florida with kids include going on a hot air balloon ride
Buddy enjoying the view

Pro Tip: Check out these other awesome Hot Air Balloon Experiences Around The World!

Go Horseback Riding

If your kids enjoy horseback riding, head over to the city of Ocala. It is the “Horse Capital of the World” and has over 1,200 breeding and training stables within a 50-mile radius.

Many facilities offer tours and you can see anything from a vet helping an injured horse to a professional rider working with their horse on a track. You can also arrange to go for a horseback ride; both novice and experienced riders will enjoy the many trails around Ocala.

petting a horse in Ocala
Ocala is the “Horse Capital of the World”

Go Kayaking In Central Florida

Another fun outdoor activity in Central Florida that the whole family will love is kayaking. We suggest paying a visit to any of the area’s state parks or wilderness preserves. They’re a great place to go kayaking.

Central Florida has many lakes, springs, and rivers with crystal clear water, making them perfect for seeing local wildlife. Don’t be surprised if you spot a manatee while kayaking!

things to do in Central Florida with kids includes kayaking
Kayaking in Central Florida

Spend Time With Manatees

Speaking of manatees, one of the most memorable things to do in Central Florida is to spend time with manatees. These gentle creatures are drawn to the warm springs in this area of the state, especially during the winter months. One of the most popular places to see and even swim with manatees is Crystal River.

Manatees in Crystal River
Manatees in Crystal River

Explore Exploration Tower

This impressive building is full of fun exhibits and activities. The Canaveral Port Authority opened Exploration Tower in November 2013 and it has 7 floors dedicated to preserving the history of the port and it’s surrounding area.

We really enjoyed the sixth floor which is dedicated to space exploration. There are photos, memorabilia, and videos about the many launches that have taken place in nearby Kennedy Space Center. The views from the seventh floor are pretty impressive too!

Exploration Tower in Cape Canaveral
Exploration Tower in Cape Canaveral
One of the many cool exhibits inside Exploration Tower
One of the many cool exhibits

Learn About Space

Another fun day trip from Orlando that the kids will enjoy is to Kennedy Space Center in Titusville. Central Florida has a lot of beautiful natural features but a fun contrast is the very modern complex that holds rockets and buildings dedicated to telling the history of space exploration.

Many of the exhibits are interactive, which we know kiddos will appreciate. There are also dining options throughout the complex, so you could really spend all day here.

Kennedy Space Center is a popular day trip from Orlando
Inside Kennedy Space Center

Final Thoughts On Things To Do In Central Florida With Kids

So as you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Central Florida with kids. We like the variety of both indoor and outdoor activities as well as the fact that there are off the beaten path options. Trust us, your kids will be talking about their time in Central Florida for years to come!

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Looking for things to do in Central Florida with kids? There are many options. We've listed theme parks as well as easy day trips from Orlando.