Fun Things to do with the Kids: Out of the Ordinary

Fun activities for the curious and creative, plus adventures for for space-lovers.

Fun Things to do with the Kids!

The Great Outdoors
Get Movin’
Out of the Ordinary/Out of this World
Simple Delights and Fun N Games
Hands On/Food Fun

Explore the Seas

At Epcot, that is, where kids as young as 8 can snorkel the Caribbean Coral Reef as part of the Epcot Seas Aqua Tour. Using SCUBA-assisted snorkeling equipment, kids and parents float on the surface and enjoy a clear view of the more than 65 species of marine life. Want to go deeper? SCUBA-certified divers can explore the nearly 6-million-gallon tank as part of Epcot DiveQuest, a one-of-a-kind entry for your dive log. Tours last 2½-3 hours and include video presentations and behind-the-scenes access.


Luxury Camping 

If you’re not the outdoorsy type, try “roughing it’’ during a staycation at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. When you request the Ritz-Carlton In-Room Camping Experience ($75), the staff will set up a tent with a lantern and a double-sized featherbed. Your children can even enjoy s’mores, a book and an alligator stuffed animal they can take home with them. And of course, guests have access to swimming pools, a lazy river, playgrounds, free ice cream and even special activities like canoeing from the beach.

Record Your Own Demo

Do you have a musical family? Make a keepsake everyone will treasure at the recording studio in the Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation and Creativity at the Orlando Public Library, where you can lay your tracks down for free. Did you get the “free” part?  The Audio Production Studio has space for a full orchestra and there’s a piano for your use. All you need to bring is a memory stick to save your recording. If you don’t know how to use the technology, they’ll teach you.

Florida Mall 

Colorful Fun
Do you love watching your kids be creative but don’t love the mess? No problem. At Crayola Experience in The Florida Mall, kids can melt and mold their own crayons, customize a label, learn how crayons are made, create their own puzzle, paint, and watch their drawings come alive on a big screen. There are also two play areas, a playground for big kids and a spot just for toddlers. Buy a ticket for a day or an annual pass for $34.99 and take them back all year long.

Girl’s Day Out
The American Girl store’s diverse collection of dolls, clothing and accessories allows young girls to choose a playmate that relates most to them—whether by personality, skin tone or beliefs. Girls can also shop the award-winning bookstore for personal stories about their doll. The store’s full-service salon for dolls offers hair-styling, facials, ear-piercing and more. The shop’s bistro offers afternoon tea with a craft project for $13.50, or guests can pop in anytime for a full meal or dessert, like the signature chocolate mousse flower pot.


Savor the Skies

Staged for the first time in 2014, the Winter Sky Festival brings together scientists, techies and engineers with the aim of captivating the imaginations of budding astronomers. Besides food trucks, speakers, robotics demonstrations and a showcase of emerging technologies, the event features more than 20 telescopes provided by several astronomy societies so that kids of all ages can see the stars like never before. The Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium at Seminole State College hosts this free event on Jan. 16 from 5:30-10:30pm.

At the Orlando Science Center, the Crosby Observatory houses Florida’s largest publicly accessible refractor telescope. This one-of-a-kind custom-built telescope, along with several smaller scopes, is available on select Friday and Saturday nights for solar and night sky viewing. Saturn can only be observed during the summer months, and it’s worth breaking family curfew to try.

Get Lost in Space

If you haven’t been to Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex since the Atlantis exhibit opened in June 2013, go now. Of the four existing space shuttles on display in the world, Space Shuttle Atlantis was given the most breathtaking, comprehensive display. This is multi-generational fun with the chance to meet an astronaut, climb through a Plexi-tunnel suspended high in the air as part of a space station model, and experience a space shuttle simulator.

Categories: Features