Florida is always going to be known for its theme parks, particularly Disney World and Universal Studios, but these aren’t the only attractions that the Sunshine State offers. As a matter of fact, there’s a huge number of things to do apart from theme parks, and the number is only going to keep growing. Florida has numerous beautiful beaches, world-class museums, and kid-friendly attractions that will keep you (and the entire family) occupied for your entire stay, whether it’s a few days or a few weeks. Below are 10 of the best things you can do there if you want to avoid theme parks.
10 Marvel At Genuine Titanic Artifacts
History nerds, as well as fans of the movie, will love this Titanic museum that’s located about 35 minutes from downtown Orlando. It’s filled with actual artifacts of the sunken ship that were recovered from the Atlantic Ocean, as well as artifacts from the era the ship was from. Educational tours are provided by actors who play the parts of the actual Titanic crew and passengers. You’ll see a replica of the stateroom and the ship’s famous Grand Staircase, among many others. On your way out you’ll also see a frozen replica of an iceberg.
9 Channel Your Inner Tarzan At Tree Trek Adventure Park
Located just a few minutes from Magic Kingdom, Tree Trek Adventure Park is an adrenaline-pumping attraction with thrilling zip lines and ropes courses. There are 97 aerial challenges for climbers of all skill levels, four adult obstacle courses, two separate courses for kids featuring 21 challenges, and a giant 425-foot zip line. You can have all the fun you want without worrying about safety issues as you’ll be clipped to a safety cable. Plus, you’ll also get a safety demonstration from their instructors. All you’ll need to remember is to stay hydrated.
8 Ride In A Hot Air Balloon
If you’ve never been in a hot air balloon before, then perhaps it’s time to change that. Book a ride at Orlando Balloon Rides to enjoy captivating sights over Orlando, including the theme park area. The whole experience is about four hours long, with about 45 minutes to 1 ½ hour of it being the actual flight duration. On landing, there will be a traditional champagne toast to celebrate your once-in-a-lifetime experience (non-alcoholic beverages are offered as well). The company boasts a 100% safety record and all their balloons have the latest safety features.
7 Broaden Your Knowledge At The Kennedy Space Center
About an hour from downtown Orlando is the Kennedy Space Center, NASA’S launch headquarters where you can explore the history and specifics of space travel, see rockets and experience flight simulations and meet astronauts. You could easily spend half a day here since there are tons of things to see and do. Their most popular attractions include the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, Astronaut Training Simulators, Shuttle Launch Experience, Astronaut Training Experience, and the Explore Tour where you’re accompanied by a space expert to see multiple icons of spaceflight operations.
6 Feed Some Giraffes
In Dade City, there is a fun and wholesome attraction that people of all ages are sure to enjoy. At Giraffe Ranch, you’ll get to feed giraffes and smell their grassy breath. But that’s not all; the 47-acre ranch has exotic species, open grasslands, huge live oaks and wetlands that will almost make you feel like you’re actually in Africa. Among the things you can do here are safari vehicle tours where you’ll have close-up encounters with rhinoceros, zebras, antelopes, ostriches, and more unique and endangered species. There are also camel expeditions that allow you to ride on camels and guided Segway safari tours.
5 Meet Some Alligators At Gatorland
People who frequent the internet are sometimes greeted with news of alligators coming out of their habitat in Florida to terrorize random strangers as well as homeowners. If you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to get super close to alligators (and pet them), then Gatorland is the place to go. Covering over 100 acres, Gatorland has thousands of alligators and crocodiles, a petting zoo, an aviary, reptilian exhibitions, and wild, exotic cats. Not only that, but they also offer exciting rides and a thrilling zip line experience with breathtaking views of Gatorland’s attractions.
4 Skydive Without A Parachute
Skydiving is an activity that many are afraid to try. That makes total sense, as one mistake could literally send you to the afterlife. But at iFLY Orlando, you can experience skydiving without jumping out of a plane and fearing for your life. You’ll be floating in a glass tunnel equipped with iFLY’s innovative technology. Safe for flyers as young as three, you’ll be provided with the necessary equipment like a jumpsuit, goggles and a helmet. A personal flight instructor will also be guiding you. The minimum number of flights you can book per person is two, with the maximum being five.
3 Try Indoor Karting
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games is another attraction you can visit to satisfy your need for an adrenaline rush. Covering 150,000 square feet, this climate-controlled facility features a plethora of activities that will keep you entertained for an entire day. These include multi-level indoor karting, over 120 arcade games, 12 lanes of boutique bowling, extreme ropes course featuring a curved zip line, a two-level laser tag arena, six virtual reality racing simulators, a 7D interactive motion theater, a full-service restaurant and bar, 10,000 square feet of event space, and a Sky Bar with a panoramic view of the track.
2 Unleash Your Creativity At Crayola Experience
A family-friendly attraction located at The Florida Mall, Crayola Experience covers two stories and 70,000 square feet of creative and colorful fun. There are 26 hands-on activities that will make use of your creativity. Here, you can name and wrap your own crayon, discover how crayons are made, sculpt colorful creations, melt crayons into shapes, and watch your digital art come to life on a massive interactive wall. The attraction also houses a two-story playground and the World’s Largest Crayola crayon. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out their retail store—it has the biggest selection of Crayola products and offers unique souvenirs.
1 Challenge Your Brain By Playing An Escape Game
If you’re going with family or friends, convince them to play a round of escape game with you. Escape games are adventure-based games that use mental and physical skills to solve a series of puzzles and riddles. Each escape game facility will have its own set of themes, but the game is normally an hour long on average. If there’s enough of you, you can play as a team, but sometimes you’ll have to team up with strangers to meet the required number of players. It’s a good way to give your brain a workout and meet some new people.NEXT: 25 Most Charming Cities And Communities Found Only In Florida