With the ticket prices for attractions and things to do in Florida’s top theme and water parks rising each year, local and out-of-state families are finding it harder and harder to find affordable things to do while on vacation in Florida. With the average worker’s paid time off being two weeks, no one blames families for looking for the most cost-effective, fun activities and attractions to visit with limited vacation time. To save you some time on planning, here are six different attractions to include in your travel plans that will showcase the real side of Florida.
1. Wild Florida
Whether it’s someone’s first or 50th time, there’s something about riding on an airboat through the Florida Everglades at Wild Florida that can make anyone want to shout, “Again!” With more than 70 different species of wildlife living in or around Lake Cypress, you’ll want to make sure your camera is charged, and remember to bring an empty memory card. But Everglades airboat tours aren’t the only thing Wild Florida offers. After skimming across the shoreline of beautiful swamps, marshes, and rivers looking for wildlife, make sure to visit the Gator Park. Inside, visitors and families will be able to get up close and personal with over 200 exotic and native animals through interactive activities and exhibits. Their Drive-thru Safari Park is a must-do, giving guests the opportunity to observe animals such as antelope, zebras, and water buffalo roaming freely across 170 acres of open landscape.
2. Paddling Center at Shingle Creek
Everyone needs to have a few days of downtime, and what better place to do it than surrounded by nature? Located off West 192, the Paddling Center at Shingle Creek is a nature enthusiast’s sanctuary. With kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards available for rent, the Paddling Center offers a variety of activities, from individual excursions to guided tours up and down Shingle Creek. Along with escaping the rush of the city and theme parks, Shingle Creek is one of the many rivers that feed into other lakes and streams that actually make up parts of the Everglades.
3. Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek
If there are any history buffs in your family, be sure to add the Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek to your “Things to do in Orlando” list! While it might be hard to imagine, Osceola County wasn’t always all about characters and castles. With a hospitable climate, frequent rain, and acres of grass, Florida, specifically Osceola County, was and is still one of the top beef-producing counties in the country. When visiting the Pioneer Village, guests are able to take a step back in time to old Kissimmee and see pioneer family’s cracker houses, along with other buildings from the county’s early days.
4. Orlando Tree Trek Adventure
Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park is the perfect place for adventurers of all ages to explore Central Florida from the treetops. Located off I-4, the park has a total of nine ropes courses; four adult courses (ages 12+), three junior courses (ages 9-11), and two kids courses (ages 6-8). The activities include climbing 50-foot-high ladders, making your way across cross wobbly suspended bridges and flying through the trees on giant zip lines. With the sun shining bright the park allows for lots of fun with the family all while enjoying the natural views of Florida.
5. Hidden Palms Ranch Horseback Riding
For horse and nature lovers alike, Hidden Palms Ranch & Trail Rides in Sanford, Florida is guaranteed to be an experience to leave visitors with unforgettable memories. A change of pace from the hustle and bustle of the big city of Orlando, Hidden Palms Ranch offers private guided horseback rides through the trails of Lake Jesup Conservation Area as well as one-on-one horse experiences for the littlest of horse lovers. The farm that began with only one horse has now grown to accommodate nine horses, chicken, farm dogs, among other animals, and is now a perfect opportunity to experience Central Florida off the beaten path.
6. Revolution Adventures
Searching for an adrenaline rush? Consider Revolution Adventures a must-do for your Orlando vacation plans. Set on 230 acres of Central Florida terrain, guests have the opportunity to go on self-driven adventures on Revolution Adventure’s ATVS and experience a wilder side of Orlando. Or you can try your hand at skeet shooting, trophy bass fishing, or target archery. You also can get mucky on their “Mucky Duck”, an 8-wheeler that can make its way through land and water. No matter your skill or comfort level, there is something for everyone and a team of trained professionals to lead the way.
Whether you’re a true daredevil with a taste for adventure or someone who prefers to lay back and relax, there is no shortage of unique things to do in Florida. Explore Central Florida beyond the theme parks and experience Florida’s fresh air and sunshine. Plan your family’s Central Florida vacation now and get prepared to have the time of your life.