Help visiting Orlando
September 11, 2010 5:40 PM   Subscribe

I need suggestions for kid friendly, single dad, cheap, fun things to do in Orlando.

We're a military family that will be hitting I-95 for Orlando tomorrow. The wife is TDY and we're accompanying her for a 5 day vacation. She'll be doing the Army thing from 8-5, so I need to edutain 2 boys - ages 1 and 4 - during that time.

We've gotten our free tickets to Sea World and Busch Gardens. That's 2 days down. I need suggestions on kid oriented, single dad friendly events. I was thinking cool parks, zoos, iMax or museums.

Other info:
* I don't mind driving distances for good experiences.
*I lived in Orlando for 5 years as a Navy brat, so I'm familiar with the town.
* My best friend will be going with me to Sea World, and she may have suggestions considering she's lived in Orlando for 30 years.
* I'm also Army and will throw on my uniform or flash my ID card if it means a discount on something cool for my boys.
posted by Davaal to Travel & Transportation around Orlando, FL (11 answers total)
Actually, you really can't do all of Sea World in one day - and with two kids that young they won't have the stamina to spend 12 hours in the park. I think Sea World tickets are good for two days. I'd plan on spreading it out over two days. It's been a while since I've been to Busch Gardens, but I don't remember it being the best place for two kids under 5. Most of the attractions aim a little older. The shows will be cool, but they may be a little bored there.

And um, you are in Orlando. Disney World?
posted by COD at 7:08 PM on September 11, 2010

Best answer: I can give you tickets for free entry to Universal Studios, good for one day to both parks. Private message me if you are interested.
posted by Jazz Hands at 7:19 PM on September 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

When you're tired of the "edu" of edutaining, try Downtown Disney. It's free admission and a bunch of outdoor stores & attractions, including one of those neat splash fountains the little ones can get wet in. Walk the lakeside, let the kids play with the Lego outside the Lego store, ride the somewhat cheap carousel and have some ice cream to wrap up the afternoon. For your wallet's sake, keep them out of the stores and DisneyQuest.
posted by ladygypsy at 7:37 PM on September 11, 2010

Wonderworks! Cool upside down building outside; fun, hands on exhibits, including a bubble lab (so cool). Your 4 year old should be able to participate in almost all of the exhibits, and you'll have a good time, too.
posted by mewithoutyou at 7:43 PM on September 11, 2010

If you are at the Lego store and have about thirty bucks a kid, across the way is trex cafe. Not worth it for lunching there at their age, but build a dino (instead of bears) is something the four yreae old might love.

Lego store has a cool play area with duplos for the younger and Lego for the elder.

Sea world is two days at that age; pack a lunch and a double stroller. It's got a lot but it is all waay spread out over creation.
posted by tilde at 7:45 PM on September 11, 2010

Orlando is home to the world's largest (I think) McDonald's playground. Buy a Happy Meal, and let them go wild.
posted by AlliKat75 at 8:17 PM on September 11, 2010

Boggy Creek Airboat Rides is pretty neat. They pilot you around a swampy area to see wildlife, and you often get to see alligators. It was fun, but I forget what it costs, and it's somewhat out of the way.

There was a pretty neat magic museum on I-Drive at one point. I don't know if it's still there. There were a lot of kids when I went and they seemed to be having a good time.
posted by wierdo at 8:30 PM on September 11, 2010

How about some down time? A simple picnic in a park and/or the kids reading space at a library or book store?

3-4 days of excitement is a lot for anyone. Watch for crankiness(in them or you) as a sign that they're ready to take a break.
posted by vitabellosi at 5:22 AM on September 12, 2010

And um, you are in Orlando. Disney World?

The OP's request included the word "cheap," and I don't think "The World" qualifies for that adjective.
posted by virago at 10:04 AM on September 12, 2010

When I was little, I loved the boat tours of Winter Park, which go through the canals between the lakes. You often see all sorts of wildlife, and it's just a relaxing low-key trip through the beautiful older parts of town rather than the shiny new Disneyfied Orlando. Afterwards, you can get lunch nearby and visit the Orlando Science Museum, which is fun.
posted by judith at 12:04 PM on September 13, 2010

Oh yes. I had completely forgotten about the boat tour in Winter Park. I was 19 when I did it, so I don't know how much a kid would like it, but I found it entertaining.
posted by wierdo at 7:12 AM on September 14, 2010

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