Top 5 things to do in Florida with kids (besides Disney!)

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I’ve mentioned before I would LOVE to go to Florida and not do the theme parks… I know I know shock horror right!!?  Chances are it won’t happen until the kids are older and are all “Disney’d out” if you like, but the further away I venture from Disney and the theme parks the more powerful that desire becomes.

Kid friendly places in Florida

This list is something I always refer back to when I discuss with Hubby the possibility of heading back over the pond ‘for a break’ so check out my top 5 things to do with kids in Florida (besides Walt Disney World!)

Top 5 things to do in Florida with kids (besides Disney!)

Downtown Celebration

My first would be to visit Downtown Celebration.  We did this for the first time on our most recent trip across the pond last October and truly loved it!  It’s located just south of Disney and as you drive down the road of Celebration village towards the Town Center you will be in awe of all the beautiful (and totally unaffordable!) houses!

Sitting by the lake in a rocking chair its certainly one of my musts!  But do take care with children, there are no fences that run alongside the [gator filled] lake so do not let them out of your sight!

Celebration Fl restaurants

We’ve had breakfast at the Market Place Cafe a few times and it was such a refreshing change from a theme park meal I have to say and felt it was really quite reasonably priced in comparison to what we usually pay for breakfast on property. [this quaint little town is totally free to walk around!]

Top 5 things to do in Florida with kids (besides Disney!) - Downtown Celebration
Top 5 things to do in Florida with kids (besides Disney!) Marketplace breakfast receipt

My second recommendation is to visit a park. Nope not a theme park… I’m talking about state parks. They are nothing like your regular play parks at home but are beautiful, cultural parks and there are tons of them around the tourist areas of Orlando.

Wedding Venues in Florida

My personal favourite has to be where we got married; Cypress Grove Park.  You will need a car to get to the majority but this one in particular is worth the trip out for sure, plus it’s not far from Mall at Millenia and north of Universal Studios if you want to kill two birds with one stone.

The 1925 estate house in the grounds makes an amazing back drop for photographs and again I know I’m biased but its truly beautiful. [again the grounds are totally free to walk around!]

Top 5 things to do with kids in Florida (besides Disney!) cypress grove wedding venue

Winter Park is another state park I would love to visit on a next trip as well.

Florida day trips

Thirdly, would be to visit a beach.  Although I personally have never done this I would love to!  My husband has though and whenever we depart Port Canaveral on a Disney Cruise I admire those located on the east coast of Florida all the time!   If you are still on the beach around 5pm and time it right you will get to see some of the cruise ships leave too!

Although a little further south then the entrance to Port Canaveral, Cocoa Beach looks beautiful and I’m pretty sure if you were to walk north from Cocoa Beach you would be able to see the ships leave. 

[you will find that any beach you head to from the Orlando area you will come to a toll so be sure to keep your change to hand!]

Top 5 things to do with kids in Florida (besides Disney!) cruise view of beach

International Drive outlets

Fourth I would have to say shopping.  Although kids maybe aren’t a massive fan of traipsing around shops, Florida truly has something for everyone.  There are very equipped with things you can hire and push around the children in such as cars etc – pick up one of those as you go in and trust me they will be happy!  There are four main shopping outlets/centers that we’ve visited in and around the Orlando area of Florida; Mall at Millenia, Florida Mall and the two Premium Outlets north and south of International Drive.

Both malls house department store style shops with Macys, American Girl and JC Penney at Florida Mall and your higher end stores such as Prada, Tiffanys, Michael Kors etc at Mall at Millenia.

The outlet stores are pretty much like our outlets here in the UK, they have your high street discount stores such as Adidas, Nike and Toys r Us and you will even find a Character Warehouse aka a ‘cheap Disney store’ should you want to pick up some massively discounted Disney goodies !!

Top 5 things to do with kids in Florida (besides Disney!) discount orlando outlet tag on clothes

Mini Golf International Drive

Lastly, and by no means least, mini golf.  Yes that might sound a little crazy [no pun intended!] in comparison to other recommendations I’ve mentioned and you’re probably thinking ‘seriously!? Not really worth taking time out of your holiday to visit surely?’ but seriously kids and adults will love it!

There are so many out there and every single one are all fantastically themed!  We always end up at the Pirates Cove Adventure Golf and we are yet to find one better.  It’s affordable and fun!

Top 5 things to do with kids in Florida (besides Disney!) themed mini golf

I would really love to hear what some of your favourite things to do outside of the theme parks so feel free to leave a comment down below, oh and if you too are into Florida vlogs then feel free to check out our most recent Florida series over on our YouTube channel.

If you got value out of this or feel it would be something some one you know would love to read too then feel free to share (or PIN to read again later!)

..and if you love Disney, Orlando & the surrounding area as much as I do feel free to check out some of my previous posts below:

5 things to get excited about coming to Disney World in 2019

Everything we know about the Disney Free Dining 2020

Cheap things to do in Orlando | 10 Orlando attractions for £20 or less!

Travel agent trickery – how to avoid over paying on your next trip to Florida

Walt Disney’s Old Key West resort review

How to do Walt Disney World in 7 days!

10 fun facts about Mickey Mouse that you may not know!

Post Cruise day room review of Hyatt at Orlando International Airport

Where to have a quick breakfast in Walt Disney World

Vanellopes Sweet Treats on the Disney Dream

Packing for Walt Disney World – a trip must have!

Liberty Tree tavern restaurants review

Top 10 tips on travelling to Walt Disney World with children

Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House review

How our last Disney trip cost just £197!

Top 5 reasons to visit ‘Ohana restaurant at Polynesian Resort

Make savings and save book seats 72 hours in advance with Virgin Flying Club!

Where to get cheap official Disney merchandise outside of the parks?

Tusker House Animal Kingdom restaurant review

Best stroller rental in Orlando?

Manchester Airport Hotel & Parking – Clayton Hotel review

Manchester Airport Hotel & Parking – Premier Inn Runger Lane South review

5 things I disliked about our last Disney Cruise

Crystal Palace Magic Kingdom restaurant review

Disney Free dining is back… and here’s everything you need to know!

Top 10 tips on how to get the most from your FREE Disney Dining plan!

How we got our Disney accommodation for FREE!

Top 5 things to do in Florida with kids (besides Disney!)


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4 Comments

  1. Emma
    16th August 2017 / 18:05

    We went to Circle B nature reserve it was gorgeous alligators just there chilling in the water! so much wildlife to see was awesome

  2. Hannah
    20th September 2018 / 22:55

    Early morning shelling! & watching the sunset at Pier 60 ? x

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