Florida is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country, but you don't have to head to the beach for a fun family adventure here. Instead, you can head inland to Orlando, which is known primarily for its world-class theme parks. The city offers far more than just rides and coasters, however, as it's packed full of exciting attractions suitable for the whole family. Learn all about the best kids activities in Orlando and start planning the ultimate family vacation.

Explore world-class theme parks

Orlando kids' activities are often centered around the local theme parks. While there are plenty of other things to do in town, taking advantage of the theme parks in the area can certainly create memorable experiences. You'll find plenty to visit, and you can spend multiple days exploring them all, so it's perfectly reasonable to center your entire vacation around the parks. Check out the best theme parks to enjoy when you're looking for kid activities in Orlando—and don't worry, there will be plenty of fun for the grown-ups, too.

1. Disney World

No trip to Orlando would be quite the same without a trip to Disney World. Disney World is home to unending fun for kids and adults alike. There's so much to see and do here that many families make Disney the sole focus of their Orland visit. Disney World comprises 6 different parks, each with something special to offer. Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios offer a traditional theme park experience with fun rides. Epcot lets visitors enjoy a more international experience, while Animal Kingdom shows off exotic creatures. You'll also have access to 2 water parks.

2. Universal Studios

At Universal Studios, you can "ride the movies," as their rides and coasters are based on popular film and entertainment productions. Within the complex, there are 2 different parks, and they both have unforgettable experiences to offer. Universal Studios Florida offers standard rides and experiences like Transformers: The Ride-3D ©. Meanwhile, Islands of Adventure is more concerned with high-speed roller coasters such as The Incredible Hulk Coaster©, which reaches speeds of up to 67 miles per hour. Of course, one of the most iconic parts of Universal Studios in Orlando is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter ™.

Enjoy budget-friendly attractions

Your trip to Orlando doesn't have to break the bank. The theme parks can be costly, but you can still enjoy fun for the family that's entirely free to access. These attractions tend to revolve around the natural splendor of Orlando, allowing you to take in the lush environments with vibrant greenery and the sparkling waters of local lakes. While you can't reach any ocean shore in Orlando, you'll still have plenty of beaches around lakes. Take a look at some of the best Orlando attractions for kids that are entirely free.

3. Visit Lake Eola Park

In downtown Orlando, you can visit Lake Eola Park, one of the most notable bodies of water in the area. You can go for a relaxing mile-long stroll around the lake if you're trying to get some exercise in. When it comes to keeping kids entertained, however, you'll likely have to head into the water itself, which is easy to do here. If you're looking to venture in farther than the surrounding sidewalk, you can rent one of the swan-shaped paddleboats.

4. Go bird-watching at the Tibet-Butler Preserve

Bird-watching isn't typically something that keeps kids entertained, but the great variety of species that frequent the Tibet-Butler PreserveTibet-Butler Preserve can keep them fascinated and longing for more. The preserve spans 438 acres and is home to more than 100 different species of birds. Among the local species, you can spot wood storks, tree swallows, and belted kingfishers. Keep in mind that this is all contained within a lush, green protected natural area with easy paths and charming wooden bridges.

5. Explore the Cornell Fine Arts Museum

If your family is interested in art, you can explore a comprehensive collection without having to pay an admission fee at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. The museum is known for being diverse and features a wide range of cultural expression and artistic mediums on display in its collection of more than 5,600 works. The collection continues to collect newer pieces, but some of its oldest date back to the 14th century. Most of the collection is 2D art, with more than 700 paintings and over 2,000 works on paper.

Visit fascinating interactive museums

Orlando is packed full of exciting museums that showcase a wide variety of different topics. While dry history may not be enough to keep the whole family excited, quite a few museums around town are specifically designed to keep kids entertained and enthralled by the fascinating exhibitions they have to offer. Learn about the best museums in the city that both you and your kids can enjoy.

6. See oddities at Ripley's Believe It or Not

The Ripley's Believe It or Not museum showcases the stranger aspects of our reality, highlighting oddities and some downright unbelievable occurrences. Even the museum itself seems a bit off, as it's situated in what appears to be a sinkhole. Of course, it isn't an actual sinkhole, and the museum is perfectly safe. Inside this museum, you'll find yourself simultaneously delighted and shocked by what's on display. Among the most popular exhibits are a car made from toothpicks and a collection of shrunken heads. You can even see dinosaur fossils and other oddities that leave awe-inspiring impressions.

7. Soar high at Warbird Adventures

Almost every child has a dream of flying in some capacity, and Warbird Adventures highlights the rich history of aviation with numerous models of historic planes on display. Viewing the exterior of these models is just the beginning, however, as guests will also be able to take a look at the inside to see what it was like to be in these planes during their operational years. If the museum alone isn't enough, you may want to take your little one on a more thrilling adventure, such as flying in one of the planes for real.

8. Have fun learning at the Orlando Science Center

The Orlando Science Center is among the more well-known museums in the area, thanks to the variety of exciting features it has on offer. You'll be able to see numerous exhibits covering dinosaurs, space, electricity, magnetism, and more. Towering fossils can be found inside along with a planetarium that hosts shows with colorful lights and lasers. One of the more appealing aspects of this science center is just how hands-on it can be. Your child can see live animals up close, experience the winds of a Category 1 hurricane, and see remnants of prehistoric underwater leviathans.

Explore a variety of fun activities at ICON Park

ICON Park is one of the most prominent destinations in all of Orlando, thanks to its wide variety of activities and attractions appropriate for the whole family. Whether you're interested in shopping, visiting museums, eating out, or riding rides, it's all available within ICON Park. This is one of the best destinations to visit if you're trying to add some variety to your family vacation that will keep everyone entertained all day long.

9. Ride a huge Ferris wheel

The Wheel at ICON Park is a massive Ferris wheel that lets you look out across the Orlando skyline on a relaxing and scenic ride that reaches a height of 400 feet. It's a fairly popular way to get your bearings upon entering Orlando, so consider making ICON Park's Wheel one of your first stops on your trip. To give you an idea of just how massive this wheel is, consider how you might normally picture the 2- or 3-person seat in a Ferris wheel. In ICON Park's wheel, there's room enough for 15.

10. See your favorite celebrities as wax figures

Madame Tussauds Orlando is the local branch of this world-famous attraction in which you can see wax figures of some of the most iconic people and characters from pop culture and history. You'll see Hollywood legends like Marilyn Monroe along with pop stars like Taylor Swift. Historical figures like Neil Armstrong are also presented in intricately detailed wax splendor. One of the more impressive aspects of this museum is that it's home to iconic DC superheroes crafted as they appear in the 2017 film "Justice League," such as Aquaman holding his trident and Superman lifting a helicopter.

11. Explore the remnants of a famous shipwreck

ICON Park is home to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, a comprehensive collection of exhibits showcasing the fate of the infamous ocean liner. This museum displays more than 200 artifacts from the Titanic, along with helpful guides that can take you through the experience of the ship's final hours. In addition to the actual period pieces, the exhibition contains several replicas of iconic spots within the ship, such as the Grand Staircase, the Promenade Deck, the Verandah Cafe, and a first-class suite.

12. Play miniature golf

At Pirate's Cove Adventure miniature golf, you'll have 18 holes of fun surrounded by pirate-themed decor and challenges. This family-friendly experience will take you through a wacky interpretation of pirate lore as you pass by waterfalls, streams, and vibrant vegetation. The pirate history is well researched, so you'll get a tame, family-friendly version of actual events that's also educational. The course itself is full of surprising traps as well as caves, bridges, and special routes that will test your skills without being too challenging for kids.

13. Flex your imagination at an educational museum

WonderWorks Orlando is one of the most popular destinations in ICON Park, as it disguises an educational museum as a fun-filled theme park for kids. Numerous hands-on exhibits can be found inside, with 6 different zones tackling different subjects. A ropes course, laser tag arena, and 6D motion ride are also found here. You shouldn't have any trouble finding the place since the building itself appears flipped completely upside down as if a tornado swallowed it up and spat it back out.

14. Enjoy the taste of Chocolate Kingdom

If your kids love chocolate, a stop by Chocolate Kingdom could very well be the highlight of the entire trip. Not only can you taste all sorts of delicious chocolates, but you can also learn all about the process of making chocolate, from bean to bar. In classic Wonka fashion, this experience even includes a river of chocolate, but without the boats. Visitors can immerse themselves in unending chocolate splendor led by a personal tour guide.

15. Explore marine diversity

SEA LIFE Orlando is a fun aquarium that's home to more than 5,000 species of marine animals. They're not all from the Atlantic, either, as the local species are from 3 different oceans. When you and your family visit, you can explore several interactive displays, walkthrough aquariums, and bubble ports offering unique views of the local inhabitants. The tunnel walkway is particularly popular, as it allows visitors to immerse themselves in marine life with creatures swimming all around them, wall to wall.