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Taking the kiddies on vacation may limit your night life, but you'll be too tired from all the daytime fun to even notice.  Orlando is best known for its theme parks.  A visit with the family is sure to include experiences as Disney's Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom.  Of course if you want to visit all the countries of the world in a day there is no other place to do it that is better than Epcot.

If you have extra time, here are a few other ideas of fun activities in and around Orlando for the family.

Space Case

Space Coast is only 35 miles from the major theme parks in Orlando but its worlds away.  Along the Atlantic Ocean, Space Coast boasts 72 miles of shore, which includes saltwater estuaries and beaches.  While there, visit the Kennedy Space Center, which offers a tempting Tour of Restricted Areas plus IMAX theaters.  There's also flight simulator training, preferably for those who skipped lunch.

Education Vacation

Trick the kids into learning during the summer by visiting Orlando's Science Live programs at Orlando Science Center.  A local kids' favorite, the center offers live and interactive exhibits like stingray and alligator feedings, dinosaur safari, and deliver the weather forecast, complete with green screen.  Situated on several floors, there's something here for every age range, which is helpful when traveling with groups of varied ages.

Nurture Nature

Orlando features dozens of parks and lakes for the family to get away from the artificial theme parks for a dose of reality, serenity, and beauty.  Lake Eola sits smack in the center of Orlando, a natural respite in the hubbub of the city.  Ride in the swan boats and take in the beautiful fountain.  Nature-loving campers should visit Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake.  Explore the terrain Florida is famous for at Orlando Wetlands Park.  Hike the trails or just take in the splendor of the marshes and lakes.

Bird's Eye View

Several companies offer hot air balloon rides to see Orlando the way only our feathered friends get to see it.  Downtown Disney even offers a "ride" in a giant balloon tethered 400 feet above the ground.  Or, charter a helicopter to fly over the International Drive area.  Prices vary by length of trip, so if Universal is the desired destination, pick a helipad on International Drive.  For viewing Disney, book a tour that leaves from Kissimmee and save some money by saving on flight time.  For historic nostalgia, pilot a real WWII airplane at Warbird Adventures.  Yes, a real plane.  And yes, really flying.  There's also a museum next door.  Warbird Adventures is in Kissimmee, a 30 minute drive from Orlando.

Cartoon Fun

Cartoons rule at Nickelodeon Suites Resort.  Each room is decorated with Nick's famous characters like Spongebob, Dora, and The Fairly Odd Parents' Cosmo and Wanda.  And just minutes away are Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando (where the Cat in the Hat spends his off season), SeaWorld, and Wet 'n Wild.  There's sure to be lots of silly fun close by.  Want to feel that tickle in your tummy on a roller coaster but hate waiting in line?  Other than waiting until mid-August or September to visit, try Disney's FastPass, which allows you to visit other attractions while the computer saves your place in line.  The computer tells you when to come back to the line to claim your turn.  There is a limit as to how many places you can save at once, but think of the freedom you'd enjoy with just a few!

Visit the Orlando Hotels page for more information.