November 19, 2021

25 things to do with out-of-towners in Orlando (that aren't theme parks)

Once the handshakes and hugs are distributed, every holiday season visit from family and friends reveals the same question: what am I going to do with these people?

While staring at each other until you can draw each other's faces from memory is always an option, it's not necessary. Orlando is stuffed with entertainment options to keep in-laws and blood relatives alike out on the town and out of your hair. Even if you can't stomach a trip to the most magical adult daycare on Earth, there are plenty of fun attractions just waiting to fill the days that turkey and ham aren't on the menu.

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Cruise through Winter Park's canals
Scenic boat tours of Winter Park's waterways launch hourly starting at 10 a.m. every single day.
Photo via Winter Park Boat Tours

Cruise through Winter Park's canals



Scenic boat tours of Winter Park's waterways launch hourly starting at 10 a.m. every single day.

Photo via Winter Park Boat Tours
Give your wallet a workout
Sharp-elbowed shoppers can brave the Mall at Millenia and the Premium Outlet Malls, where parking is a bloodsport, but Winter Park's Park Avenue, Audubon Park's Corrine Drive or the tiny Milk District are more our shopping speed. 
Milk District photo by Zac Alfson

Give your wallet a workout

Sharp-elbowed shoppers can brave the Mall at Millenia and the Premium Outlet Malls, where parking is a bloodsport, but Winter Park's Park Avenue, Audubon Park's Corrine Drive or the tiny Milk District are more our shopping speed.

Milk District photo by Zac Alfson
Scope out manatees
The Blue Springs state park and manatee refuge is still a great place for finding Florida's most iconic animal. But they're having a really tough year, so don't bug 'em.
Photo via Adobe

Scope out manatees



The Blue Springs state park and manatee refuge is still a great place for finding Florida's most iconic animal. But they're having a really tough year, so don't bug 'em.

Photo via Adobe
Head to the Frontyard Festival
The Dr. Phillips Center's wildly successful COVID-19 workaround was extended into this December.
Photo by Matthew Keller Lehman

Head to the Frontyard Festival



The Dr. Phillips Center's wildly successful COVID-19 workaround was extended into this December.

Photo by Matthew Keller Lehman
Get your glow on
Titusville's glowing bioluminescent lagoon has as much wow factor as Disney's fireworks.
Photo via BK Adventure

Get your glow on



Titusville's glowing bioluminescent lagoon has as much wow factor as Disney's fireworks.

Photo via BK Adventure
Paddleboard Lake Ivanhoe
A paddleboard is one of several ways to see Orlando's booming restaurant and bar district along Lake Ivanhoe.
Photo via Epic Paddle Adventures/Facebook

Paddleboard Lake Ivanhoe



A paddleboard is one of several ways to see Orlando's booming restaurant and bar district along Lake Ivanhoe.

Photo via Epic Paddle Adventures/Facebook
Bike Orlando's urban trails
Orlando is far from a biking mecca, but long-distance and urban trails are littered throughout the city for anyone who wants to pedal.
Photo via Bike Orlando

Bike Orlando's urban trails



Orlando is far from a biking mecca, but long-distance and urban trails are littered throughout the city for anyone who wants to pedal.

Photo via Bike Orlando
Use your feet to see some nature
While you're up and moving, why not take in the sights along the Black Bear Wilderness Loop Trail?
Photo via Florida Hikes

Use your feet to see some nature



While you're up and moving, why not take in the sights along the Black Bear Wilderness Loop Trail?

Photo via Florida Hikes
Take a stroll through Leu Gardens
You don't need to leave town to see green. Bonus points: This Orlando attraction goes all out on holiday lights when Dazzling Nights kicks off Nov. 19.
Photo via Leu Gardens

Take a stroll through Leu Gardens



You don't need to leave town to see green. Bonus points: This Orlando attraction goes all out on holiday lights when Dazzling Nights kicks off Nov. 19.

Photo via Leu Gardens
Get glassy-eyed in Winter Park
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art holds the world's most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. That's bragging rights, pal.
Photo via Morse Museum/Instagram

Get glassy-eyed in Winter Park



The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art holds the world's most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. That's bragging rights, pal.

Photo via Morse Museum/Instagram