Evening Adventures in Orlando for Families
Orlando, located in the sunny state of Florida, is well known for its theme parks. Millions come every year to experience Magic Kingdom, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, Legoland, Animal Kingdom…Orlando has a theme park for everyone.
But the fun doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down. Orlando also features some exciting evening adventures for families. This post covers that.
Your Home in the Magical City
If looking for accommodation in Orlando, Orlando vacation rentals is an excellent choice. You’ll find everything from apartments to villas, all with comfortable living rooms, fully-equipped kitchens and (sometimes) private pools. Perfect accommodation for families.
Top Evening Adventures for Families
1. Light shows and fireworks
Many of the theme parks feature shows. Magic Kingdom offers “Disney Enchantment”, a light and fireworks show that lights up Cinderella castle (note: the light shows at Magic Kingdom are considered the best of all the Disney light shows). Universal Studios has “Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle”. EPCOT Center had “Disney Harmonious’ which unfortunately ended in 2023…but they’re introducing “Luminous the Symphony of Us” in late December which is running nightly through 2024.
There are many other light shows in Orlando. Whatever you do, see at least one.
2. Themed Restaurants in Orlando
There are many themed restaurants in Orlando where you can enjoy dinner while keeping entertained. How about a Pirates Adventure dinner show? Or a Medieval times dinner where knights on horses joust in front of you? Or Disney’s T-Rex café where you eat among dinosaurs?
There are lots of fun dining options for families in Orlando.
3. Outdoor movie Nights
At night, many public parks and open spaces feature movies. Families bring blankets and picnics (and often their own wine) and enjoy movies under the stars.
Many places feature outdoor movie nights including the amazing Leu Gardens (a large botanical oasis). Some places feature Disney classics, others feature comedies, the Harry Potter series or animated children’s movies. More resources here: outdoor movie nights.
4. Night time Wildlife Experiences
Many theme parks offer night time adventures. At the Central Florida Zoo you can do “Night hike at the zoo” where you can have close up encounters with animals at night (Central Florida Zoo is Orlando’s best known zoo with over 350 species including leopards, lemurs, sloths and plenty of reptiles). Gatorland offers tours where you see (and feed) alligators at night. For those with children over 8, Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers a night safari. Note: it’s a real safari in a safari vehicle and you’ll see all kinds of animals native to the African savannah (giraffe, wildebeest, zebras, ostrich, gazelles, impala, kudu and many others). You can even take an Airboat Adventure tour over the Everglades and see alligators.
5. Orlando’s Night Gardens
Orlando has many beautiful gardens. I’ve mentioned above the amazing Leu Gardens (where they have outdoor movies). There you can wander at night under colorful, twinkling lights and enjoy the flora. They have different lighting themes depending on the season. Lake Eola has great views of the Orlando skyline, a lake full of swans and a fountain lightshow.
Orlando has many gardens and they are especially beautiful at night.
6. Universal City Walk
It’s a large entertainment complex with a whole lot of activities. It has an 18-hole mini-putt with an Alien movie theme, some escape rooms and a cinema. Lots of family-friendly restaurants like The Cowfish and Hard Rock Café (where kids are served their food on guitar-shaped plates).
7. Icon park
Icon park is an Amusement park with lots of fun things for kids. You’ll find Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, the SeaLife aquarium, the Carrousel on the Promenade and The Wheel. The Wheel is one of Orlando’s landmarks, a giant observation wheel that goes up 400 feet in the air (a 20-minutes ride which offers great views of Orlando).
8. Ripley’s Believe it or not Orlando
Your usual weird Ripley’s stuff (shrunken heads, alien artefacts, a mirror maze) but with some Florida themed stuff like fossilized alligators. Fun for both kids and adults.
9. The World’s largest McDonalds
Yes, Orlando has the world’s largest McDonalds. 3 floors in total including arcade games, play areas and a 30-foot statue of Ronald McDonald. Best yet, it’s open 24 hours.
10. Go-Kart Racing
Go-kart is great fun. There are many venues in Orlando but not all are child-friendly: at Andretti Indoor Karting they have tracks for younger drivers (minimum 36 inches) as well as older kids and adults. They also have other games such as laser tag, racing simulators and reality bowling.
11. A Ghost tour
Orlando has a lot of ghost tours but not all are child friendly. An exception is American Ghost Adventures. Set in downtown Orlando, it’s a 2-hour tour covering some of the spooky stories and buildings along the route. Spooky but not too spooky.
12. Night time Helicopter Tour
It’s not inexpensive – but one of the most memorable tours you could ever experience is taking a night time helicopter tour over Orlando. From the sky you’ll get an aerial perspective over the different theme parks (Universal Studios, the Disney complex, Magic Kingdom, Harry Potter World) seeing them all lit up from the sky.
There’s lots to do in Orlando by day and by night. From fantastic light shows to themed restaurants to night time outdoor adventures, the fun doesn’t end in Orlando.