When someone mentions Orlando, it’s likely the first things that pop into mind are castles and wizards, a mouse and sea life. After all, Orlando is the Theme Park Capital of the World. The theme parks are certainly huge draws for visitors to Orlando, so we thought it’d be fun to take a look at five other family-friendly attractions in and around the area for your family to enjoy the next time you’re in The City Beautiful.
Rock Springs Clear Kayak
Kayaking is fun for the whole family, made even more so with clear kayaks. Head out to Rock Springs Run State Reserve in nearby Sorrento and rent a clear kayak from Get Up & Go Kayaking to paddle the crystal-clear spring waters for a completely new paddling experience. For an adventure further afield, drive about 45 minutes east of Orlando to Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge just outside of Titusville for a bioluminescent tour in the clear kayaks and watch the water light up all around — and underneath — you.
Forever Florida – Ziplines & Adventures in the Wild
Fly through the air or stay on the ground and ride horseback through the Florida wilderness on a choose-your-own adventure with Forever Florida in nearby St. Cloud. For an even more adventurous fully-guided adventure, take on the Rattlesnake Zipline Roller Coaster, which launches riders through the treetops along a rigid zip-rail system, or slow down for a more relaxing experience on the Cypress Canopy Cycle, a reclined bicycle in the treetops, safely suspended from steel cables.
iFly Indoor Skydiving
Another way to take flight — without taking off in an airplane — is at the new iFly Indoor Skydiving facility on International Drive, opened earlier this year. Gear up and “fly” in one of two all-glass wind tunnels, and your family can watch you soar from the outside.
Orlando Science Center
In downtown Orlando, the Orlando Science Center is fun for the entire family. Spend a day exploring, experimenting and discovering through hundreds of hands-on exhibits spread across four stories. A sky-watching observatory lights up the night sky and 3D theaters add to a day of fun.
Add some color to your family’s lives at the Crayola Experience at The Florida Mall, and learn at the same time. Color, chemistry and digital technology blend together in 25 hands-on activities, from naming crayons to bringing drawings to life. Your family likely never knew how much goes into creating the crayons with which you doodle.
Halloween is right around the corner, which means its time to start making plans for spooky and scary stops for having fun with the family this fall. New York’s Cayuga County is always a fun visit for family travelers, but if you plan on being in the area this October, you will definitely want to explore its haunted history with some choice spots along New York’s Haunted History Trail. This curated list of haunted and spooky stops throughout New York features incredible locations showcasing the perfect combination of the state’s beautiful charm and fascinating history.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
The next two seasons see Franklin, Tennessee, come alive with festive events, fun pop-ups and colorful lights. Family travelers planning a trip to Tennessee this fall or winter must make time for Franklin, a city just south of Nashville with plenty of history and festivities awaiting.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Mysterious glowing seas? Yes, actually! Through October, Florida’s Space Coast waters within Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River and Indian River Lagoon glow with blue-green bioluminescence — a phenomenon resulting from the presence of comb jellies and dinoflagellates (tiny, single-celled marine plankton that exist in some freshwater locations).