Attractions: Eight Great Father’s Day Activities In Central Florida
Thanks to the beautiful weather and close proximity to theme parks and beaches, Orlando has no shortage of fun things to do with dad on Father’s Day.
*Photos by Roberto Gonzalez
Cirque du Soleil: Drawn to Life
The creative minds at Disney have teamed up with Cirque du Soleil for Drawn to Life.
“It’s a mix of animation, acrobatics and puppetry,” said communications manager Janette Vazquez.
Drawn to Life tells the story of a girl who dreams of becoming a Disney animator like her dad. It’s a fitting theme for Father’s Day.
The acrobatics are mind-bendingly entertaining. And being a Disney production means the animation and puppetry are both world-class. cirquedusoleil.com/drawn-to-life
Dave & Busters
If a 10,000 square foot arcade with a restaurant featuring everything from deep-fried buffalo wings to cheeseburgers topped with pork belly sounds like an ideal Father’s Day, then Dave & Busters is your spot.
The arcade has games for all ages, including the latest virtual reality technology. If dad is proficient at Skee-ball, he could rack up prize tickets, redeemable for goodies at D&B’s patented Win! store.
You can cap off dad’s day with a slice of Big Daddy Chocolate Cake. Be sure to ask for extra forks, portions are huge. daveandbusters.com
Orlando Ale Line
Orlando is home to many great breweries. Thanks to the Orlando Ale Line, which runs from South Orlando all the way to Winter Park, dad can sample many fine brews without having to worry about driving.
The shuttle makes 45-minute stops at 10 different breweries. For Father’s Day they are offering private tours. Shuttles fit up to 16 people, which leaves plenty of room for dad to invite friends. orlandoaleline.com
Orlando Wetlands Park
With a brand new 2,200-foot boardwalk passing through a dome of freshwater cypress trees, now is the perfect time to visit Orlando Wetlands Park.
June is the tail end of nesting season. If you’re lucky, you might see a baby roseate spoonbill or juvenile sandhill crane.
Although the wetlands are a birder’s paradise, many come for the reptiles. According to manager Mark Sees, the park is home to roughly 1,700 alligators. orlando.gov/Parks-the-Environment/Directory/Wetlands-Park
Cocoa Kayaking Tours
Father’s Day falls during prime bioluminescent season, when naturally occurring microorganisms light up the waterway at Cocoa Beach. Catherine Hodge from Cocoa Kayak recommends the sunset tour. “It’s the best of both worlds,” she said.
In a magical, bucket list experience, paddlers get to see the sunset paint the sky. Once it disappears into the horizon, the water takes on a bioluminescent glow. Although there are no guarantees, dolphins and manatees are regularly spotted. cocoakayaking.com
Wave Masters Surf School
Home of the original Ron Jon Surf Shop, the waves at Cocoa Beach are some of the best on the East Coast. Whether dad is a novice or a seasoned surfer looking to pick up a few tips, Wave Masters offers lessons for all skill levels.
Owner John Casselli has been surfing competitively for over 30 years. He offers group lessons for the entire family. Wave Masters provides the boards, all you need is a swimsuit and some sunblock. wavemasterssurfschool.com
Epic Axe Throwing
Axe throwing locations are popping up around the country for good reason: it is serious fun.
At Epic Axe Throwing, you can rent an axe-throwing session by the hour. People typically opt for a one- or two-hour session. Coaches show you the proper technique for getting the axe to stick to the target, which is trickier than it may sound.
If dad takes to the sport, he could join Epic’s weekly competitive league. Epic offers beer and wine. You are welcome to bring outside food for a Father’s Day picnic in a truly unique setting. epicaxethrowing.com
Otto’s High Dive
If dad likes delicious food and innovative cocktails, take him to Otto’s High Dive in the Milk District. Having just opened in December, this Cuban eatery has already been added to the Michelin Guide.
Otto’s offers 33 different rum cocktails.
“When people think rum, they think tiki drinks. We’re focused on more refined cocktails,” co-owner Justin Levaughn said.
Their Cuba Libra is made with homemade cola, which gives it a little spice. One of Otto’s popular dishes is the Cuban classic ropa vieja. On Father’s Day, they will be roasting whole pigs in the parking lot. ottoshd.com