What are the five best things to do with kids in Orlando?

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Susan Barnes
Blue Spring Stae Park©iStock/AndrewSmith

Sure, you can speed down Space Mountain and swim with Shamu, but Orlando offers plenty of other options for you and your youngins. Here’s a list of five things to do to keep you and the kids busy during your trip to Orlando:

1. For a different park experience, check out Dr. Phillips Community Park, close to all of the theme park attractions, but completely removed from the crowds. On the 80 acres of parkland, you and your kids can play on baseball and soccer fields, a basketball court and a playground, or go for a walk on the hiking trails. Fido can have fun at the dog park, too - a perfect outing for the whole family, sans lines and high prices.

2. Kids of all ages will have a hair-raising time at the Orlando Science Center; the temporary “High Voltage” exhibit explains all about the electron. Hundreds of exhibits, programs and labs make this one of the top hands-on science centers in the U.S., and sneaks in a bit of learning, too.

3. Dinosaurs may be extinct, but the fun isn’t at Dinosaur World, the world’s largest dinosaur attraction, just 45 minutes west of Orlando. Life-size dinosaurs replicas - 150 of them - make their home in the wooded lands. You and your kids will be able to pick out your favorites; we’re partial to the stegosaurus.

4. Though you can’t swim and dive with them, manatees make Blue Spring State Park their home during the winter, and you can get a close look at the endangered species, something you can see in the natural anywhere else. And when the manatees aren’t around, you can go in the always-73-degrees water for a swim yourself.

5. Make your way to downtown Orlando for a walk around beautiful Lake Eola; a lot of people have heard of the Swan Hotel at Disney World, but at Lake Eola, you can feed actual swans.

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