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10 Things to Do in Central Florida Locals Love

Friday, February 26, 2021

10 Things to Do in Central Florida Locals Love

Orlando leads the country as one of the most exciting travel destinations. However, what happens when you what to leave tourists behind and do as the locals do? In addition to theme parks, Central Florida boasts a large selection of hiking trails, beaches, parks, playgrounds, and more. If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative than a day at a theme park, we’ve got you covered. We’ve assembled a list of 10 fun things to do in Central Florida for you to check out.

1. Visit the Central Florida Zoo

Set off on a day of fun for the whole family at the Central Florida Zoo. Explore our over 26 acres of lush tropical plantings and encounter over 100 different species of animals. You never know what you’ll discover on your adventure.




2. See Central Florida from Above

If you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for things to do in Central Florida, we’ve got thrills for you. See nature from a different perspective with Seminole Aerial Adventures. Swing from trees, tackle obstacles throughout the ropes course, soar on zip lines, and more! Challenge your body and mind.

A person in an attraction crossing through a rope

3. Meet a Giraffe Up Close

Meet some of the tallest residents of the Orlando area! Visit our interactive exhibit and get to know our giraffes. Feed Rafiki and Gage as they stretch to take a treat directly out of your hands!

Children feeding a giraffe at the zoo


4. Explore Central Florida at Night

Looking for a different experience from your typical day at the zoo? Consider a Night Hike! Experience the zoo after dark on a guided flashlight tour. Encounter nightlife and nocturnal animals asleep during regular hours.

Two guides explaining to some children about a bird

5. Visit the Central Florida Botanical Gardens

Take in the natural beauty of Central Florida in our botanical gardens. Keep out a careful eye to spot hummingbirds, butterflies and more as you encounter more than 600 varieties of flora at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Enjoy the natural beauty of medicinal plants, wildflowers, ferns, and more.

In addition to plantings throughout the Zoo’s pathways, our botanical collection includes special destination gardens  including:

  • ZOO Topiary
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Health and Wellness Garden
  • Browse Garden
  • Spiny Garden
  • Wildflower Collection
  • Spectrum NEWS13 Children’s Garden

Don’t miss your chance to enjoy one of the most naturally beautiful things to do in Central Florida.


6. Cool Off and Splash in the Sun

Cool off from the Florida heat at the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground. Enjoy this family friendly oasis with water features like:

  • Sprinklers
  • Sprays
  • Streams
  • Bucket Dumps
  • Raining Trees

Your kids will love the animal features throughout the entire splash area.

Children playing in a water attraction

7. Visit the Barnyard Buddies Children’s Zoo

Enjoy a hands-on experience and make new friends in the process! You’ll find our Barnyard Buddies Children’s Zoo right by the ZOOfari Outpost Gift Shop. Meet and greet animals like:

  • Alpaca
  • Chickens
  • Goats
  • Llama

Get up-close and feed our furry friends out of the palm of your hand.

The face of a donkey in a zoo

8. Learn About Animals Native to Central Florida

Take advantage of the chance to learn more about the animals of Central Florida! Whether at home or at the Zoo, our in-person and virtual outreach programs keep you connected to the animals.

A bear in the zoo

9. Volunteer in Central Florida

If you’re looking for things to do in Central Florida that you can feel good about, consider volunteering! We offer volunteer programs for animal lovers of all ages. Our programs include opportunities for teens, adults, and corporate groups  too.


10. Protect Native Central Florida Species

Conservation efforts are at the core of every zoo. Zookeepers spend their time caring for endangered and at-risk species and teaching visitors about how to do the same. Even something as simple as paying a visit to our Zoo in the Orlando area helps native Central Florida animals.



Discover More Things to Do in Central Florida

Change up your daily routine and take your family on a new adventure. Whether you’re looking for a COVID-19 safe activity or planning a future visit, you have endless options for things to do in Central Florida. Try something new soon!

Take advantage of fun things to do in Central Florida without leaving your home. Explore our options for virtual outreach programs for animal lovers of all ages. Attend a virtual ZOOventure class on Zoom. Don’t let COVID-19 limit your options of ways to have fun in Orlando.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most popular things to do in Central Florida?

There’s no shortage of family friendly things to do in Central Florida. Take a break from busy theme parks and enjoy a day of relaxed family fun at the zoo. Go off the beaten path and take advantage of a favorite local spot.

What are some fun things to do in Central Florida for Easter?

Celebrate Spring in Orlando by checking out our Hippity Hop Adventure, presented by VyStar Credit Union! It’s fun day at the Zoo for the whole family packed with activities and treats along the Egg Trail, and even a chance to meet the Easter Bunny.

What are some things to do in Central Florida when it rains?

Don’t let the rain put a damper on your choices of things to do in Central Florida. Our Zoo to You! Video Series activities make it easy for you to bring all the fun of the zoo home. Check out our arts and crafts, meet our animals and so much more.

What are things to do in Orlando, Florida?

Orlando is home to many of the best things to do in Central Florida. In addition to big theme parks, don’t miss local favorite gems! Explore our beautiful zoo and botanical gardens for a day of learning and family fun.




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