When most people think of Orlando they think of theme parks and dinner theater. While it’s true that Orlando does have world renowned attractions and shows, the city also has a more adventurous side. It’s a side that many people may not even be aware of, but I hope that will change once you see all of the adventurous things to do in Orlando for thrill seeking families.

OFF-ROADING

Come prepared to get dirty. Really dirty. There are several places in Orlando that offer off-roading experiences. My favorite place, both for price and experience, is Revolution Off Road. Revolution is a family owned business that specializes in ATV tours, Dune Buggy rides, 4×4 Jeep off-roading, and the one of a kind, Mucky Ducks, all-terrain and amphibious vehicles. If you aren’t quite on board with all that adventure, don’t worry, you can enjoy a leisurely day of fishing or an hour or two of archery instead. Recommended ages: 6 to adult.

Get down and dirty at the Mucky Duck Experience at Revolution Off-Road.

HOT AIR BALLOONING

I grew up watching the yearly hot air balloon races in Reno, NV and have always dreamed of boarding a giant balloon and letting the wind carry me away. I finally got my wish this year thanks to Orlando Balloon Rides. This once in a lifetime experience is a must do for any adventurous family. Getting up before dawn, helping unload and inflate the balloon and finally soaring above Orlando is something that I will never forget. Because the route changes daily due to weather patterns, you will never have the same experience twice. Recommended ages: 4 to adult.

Sit back and enjoy the view from Orlando Balloon Rides’ hot air balloon.

AIRBOAT RIDES

Airboats are a fun and exciting way to get to know Orlando nature. Cruise though Orlando’s waterways at top speed and get a crash course on Orlando’s wild side. Your guide will introduce you to birds like the American Bald Eagle, local vegetation and the occasional gator. (Yikes!) There are many places to take an airboating adventure, but my two favorites are Boggy Creek Airboats and Spirit of the Swamp. Recommended ages: 3 to adult.

Going on an airboat ride with gator sightings is one of the adventurous things to do in Orlando

SWIMMING WITH MANATEES

This is a once in a lifetime experience for any adventure loving family! Riverventures offers three-hour manatee tours that include snorkeling with the gentle giants. On these tours you travel down the Crystal River while learning about manatee conservation efforts and what is being done to protect these majestic animals. Once you arrive at your destination you are given a safety speech and the dos and don’ts of the experience, and then you will be set loose to swim and engage with wild manatees. Pretty awesome, right?

All swimmers must be comfortable in the water, and children under the age of 18 require an adult to be in the water with them. Recommended ages 4 to adult.

TREE TREK ADVENTURE PARK

Let your family embrace their inner monkeys. Tree Trek Adventure Park has a variety of challenging ropes courses for different levels and ages, including suspended bridges, swinging surprises, Tarzan swings, nets and a giant zip line. Plan on spending at least 2-3 hours completing the courses and it is highly recommended that you book your reservations ahead of time, especially in the busy summer season. Recommended ages: 7 to adult.

If you haven’t experienced these adventurous things to do in Orlando yet, what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Orlando now and make sure you stay at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, where you can relax after a day of excitement at the world class spa while the kids unwind in the three-acre lazy river.

This article was originally published by Hilton Mom Voyage.

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