Sunny Orlando is world-renowned for its beaches and legendary theme parks such as Universal Studios and Disney World. If the weather during your Orlando getaway doesn’t cooperate, don’t panic. There are plenty of indoor points of interest in the city for both kids and adults. Stay out of the rain at these fun indoor attractions, which are all conveniently located within proximity of most Orlando vacation rentals.
1. Visit the Orlando Science Center
Make the most of the rain with a visit to the Orlando Science Center, which sits just a few minutes north of downtown Orlando. Set your kids free to explore four different floors, each packed with interactive exhibits, live programs, and movies. Walk through an LED tunnel and experiment with lasers in Playing With Light, or become a meteorologist in the WFTV Severe Weather Center 9 Experience. Delight your dinosaur fans in the DinoDigs area, where little ones can hunt for faux fossils in the dig pit. A short drive away, try Cuban food at Cindy’s Cafe or head to Yamasan Sushi and Grill for fantastic fresh sushi.
2. Hit the Mall
You won’t notice the rainy skies with a day of shopping at one of Orlando’s spectacular malls. Start at The Florida Mall, a huge shopping center located less than 10 miles east of Universal Orlando. With stores such as ZARA, American Girl, Apple, and M&M’s World, the Florida Mall has something for the whole family. While you’re there, check out the Play Park or the Crayola Experience, where your little ones can paint, experience digital rainbow rain, and create a customized crayon. If you’re staying near Florida Center, the Mall at Millenia is a beautiful, upscale shopping option. Shop Louis Vuitton and Banana Republic, and grab a snack at Haagen-Dazs or the elegant Earls Kitchen + Bar.
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3. Explore Madame Tussauds
Take selfies with your favorite celebrities at Madame Tussauds Orlando. Check out Tiger Woods mid-swing in the Sports area, sit with Oprah in the TV Zone, or share the stage with Katy Perry in the Music exhibit. Bring your kids to pose next to Kung Fu Panda or hop on Elliot’s bike to pedal E.T. home. The museum is located about 8 miles north of Disney and 4 miles south of vacation rentals near Universal, so it’s an easy drive or cab ride. Nearby, check out Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and the Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, or pick up dinner at the colorful Fat Fish Blue restaurant.
4. Check Out Masterpieces at the Orlando Museum of Art
Experience Orlando’s excellent cultural scene at the Orlando Museum of Art, which sits about 4 miles north of downtown. Examine ancient Peruvian pots and Mezcala carved stone in the Ancient Americas Collection, and marvel at originals by Andy Warhol in the Contemporary American Graphics Collection. The museum has a particularly beautiful collection of African art ranging from ancient hunter’s coats to vibrant, hand-beaded aprons. Feel free to bring kids, and check the calendar for the child-friendly Art in the Afternoon events. Afterward, catch a performance at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater next door, or head south on Mills Avenue for dinner at The Brass Tap or Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.
5. Catch an Orlando Magic Game
Head to the Amway Center in downtown Orlando to watch the Orlando Magic, one of the city’s favorite sports teams. During basketball season, the NBA team hosts a wide range of games that are fun for the whole family. The state-of-the-art arena broadcasts exciting light shows during breaks, and the thrilling halftime entertainment keeps kids engaged. Before the game, fill up at the Magic Grill or Jernigan’s Restaurant, which are both located onsite.
6. Examine Bones at the Skeletons Museum of Osteology
See more than 500 different animal skeletons at the Skeletons Museum of Osteology, which is located just off of Interstate 4 between Universal and Disney. Marvel at a leopard skeleton perched on a branch, or see the fascinating bone structure of the rough-toothed dolphin. If your stomach can handle it, you can even watch as beetles remove dried tissues from new bones. Next door, Tapa Toro serves Spanish-inspired food, and across the street, Ben and Jerry’s offers indulgent ice cream treats.
7. Work Off Your Energy at the Outer Limitz Indoor Trampoline Arena
If your family needs to work off some energy on a rainy day in Orlando, head straight for the Outer Limitz Indoor Trampoline Arena, which is located just a couple of minutes from Universal. Here, every surface is covered with trampolines, so your kids can literally bounce off the walls. Head into the dodgeball arena for a family face-off, or practice your wildest flips and spins into the foam pit. If you’re not afraid of heights, climb through the Netted Ropes Obstacle Courses, which hangs 14 feet above the arena, or work through the five-level Spider Zone. Afterward, refuel at Chaska Grill or Thai Silk, which sit seconds away on foot.
8. Kennedy Space Center
About an hour east of Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center is one of Florida’s most exciting attractions. Hop on the bus tour of the shuttle launch pads, or get out of the rain in the Apollo/Saturn V Center, where you can stand under the Saturn V, the largest rocket that’s ever been launched. Get close to the actual space shuttle Atlantis in the Mission Zone, and then experience the thrill of liftoff in the Shuttle Launch Experience. Plan to spend the whole day onsite; after you explore, grab a pack of Space Dots ice cream and head to the IMAX Theater for two different 3D movies, and later, head to the Orbit Cafe for a fun, cafeteria-style meal.
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