There really is a lot to do in Orlando, the number one travel destination in the United States that's home to more than 12 theme parks. What do you do, though, when it’s raining in this Central Florida city? Brave the rain and head outside anyway? Below, we’ve handpicked 11 activities, both indoors and out, that’ll ensure you have a good time no matter the weather. The sky could be falling, but you’ll be having so much fun you won’t even notice.
Take a Midday Stroll at the Museums
You may not have heard that the museum scene in Orlando is poppin’, but lo and behold, there are quite a few worth visiting with permanent and rotating exhibitions.
The Orlando Museum of Art is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Check out the African art, art of the ancient Americas, and contemporary art collections. You can also bring the babies along for stroller tours or stop in for other cool events like Cocktails & Conversations, 1st Thursdays, and Writing in the Galleries.
Art not your thing? Check out the Orlando Science Center, which includes four floors of exhibits and plenty of hands-on learning experiences, or the Museum of Osteology, a skeleton museum with more than 40 exhibitions featuring hundreds of real animal skeletons.
Aguille Rock Climbing Center is the only dedicated climbing facility in Orlando. It first opened in 1997 and moved into a bigger and better location in January 2020. For $15 per person, a day pass includes bouldering, tope-rope, and auto-belay climbing. You can also rent equipment like a harness or shoes for under $10. Even if it’s your first time, there’s no need to worry: You’ll get the hang of it quickly and there are beginner-friendly activities. All guests must be at least four years old and 45 pounds.
Open daily except Thursday and Friday, the Pottery Studio has been in business since 1968 and boasts 12 electric pottery wheels, a slab roller, four electric kilns, and two gas kilns. You can even buy clay and tools to take home with you. If you plan to come with a group of 10 or more, you can schedule a private session for your team.
Hit Up the Theme Parks Anyway
A little light rain never hurt anyone, and theme parks tend to empty out when it’s not sunny. What does this mean for you? Shorter lines and wait times and fewer tourists, all around. Pack a raincoat or poncho and water resistant shoes and you’re ready for a day of fun—unless we're talking inclement weather because safety comes first. Whatever your theme park style, you've got your pick of options: Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Legoland, and more.
Make Your Way to the Water Parks
All you need is a swimsuit and a towel and you’re good to go. Getting rained on while checking out the lazy rivers and water slides is a non-issue. Choose from Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach or Aquatica and Universal’s Volcano Bay. Check out options for park passes, too. If you’re planning to visit more than one in a day, you may be eligible for discounts.
Catch a Movie
There may not be a better rainy day activity than cozying up at the movie theater with some snacks. If you want food and drink service with your movie, head to Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas Hamlin. The theater has fully-reclining leather seats, a gourmet menu and full bar, fantastic sound technology and projection, and a happy hour.
AMC Dine-In Disney Springs 24 is another great movie theater in the area. Here, you can take advantage of mobile ordering with the AMC Theaters App so your food is ready when you want it.
Get Acquainted with Disney Springs
There’s something for everyone at Disney Springs, as the shopping area is home to 103 shops, 64 restaurants, and 23 other attractions including live shows.
The NBA Experience draws basketball players and fans alike, while the House of Blues hosts both up-and-coming artists and renowned musicians. In terms of food, there’s a Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop for those craving something sweet. You can also pop into classic eateries like Splitsville, Planet Hollywood, Rainforest Café, and Morimoto Asia. If you want an unforgettable meal, head to Jaleo or Pepe, both by José Andrés. You might need a little more than a full day here, but if you don’t have that, just take what you can get.
Cure the Rainy Day Blues with a Little Shopping
The largest shopping mall in Orlando, the Florida Mall has more than 250 stores, where you'll find everything from contemporary and luxury brands to electronics, home décor, accessories, and health and beauty items. Attached to the mall is a 510-room hotel, so you can take a power nap and get right back out there for more shopping once you've rested up.
Another great Orlando mall is the Mall at Millenia; this one is a bit more upscale with brands like Gucci, Versace, and Prada, as well as departments stores such as Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s.
Experience what it feels like to jump out of a plane—without actually having to jump out of a plane. iFly Orlando, which opened its first wind tunnel more than 20 years ago, is an indoor skydiving center that offers training with a certified flight guide, all the protection you’ll need (a suit, helmet, and goggles), and a certificate of completion once you’re done spreading your wings.
Dive Into Oddities and Weird Artifacts
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is fun for the whole family. This attraction is open daily from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m., and is where you’ll find all the oddities, mysteries, and weird artifacts you could ever dream of. Discount tickets are available for locals and seniors and there are also last-minute deals here. It’s cheesy and fun and worth every penny.
Feel adrenaline rush through your body as you press pedal to the metal. At K1 Speed Orlando, you can sign up for go-karting any day of the week. Pricing varies here, ranging from $20 for one race to a $50 Speedpass that includes two races, a T-shirt, and membership. Discounts are available for active-duty military, police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel with proof of I.D.