Updated January 2018
When it comes to how to spend a sunny day, there’s no shortage of options around Orlando. A majority of our local attractions are best enjoyed under partly cloudy skies and in warm temperatures (hello, beach day). But what’s there to do for date night when summer showers seem to last forever? What’s an Orlandoan to do beyond ordering pizza and binge-watching the latest craze to hit Netflix?
While it’s totally acceptable to snuggle up in your PJs and catch up on your favorite TV show guilty pleasure, keep yourself from going stir-crazy by partaking in one of these indoor date-worthy activities. (And don’t worry, Netflix will still be there when you get home.)
Get your Game On
Check out an arcade-themed bar
Drinking and playing games go hand in hand. While the days of beer pong have likely come and gone, several Orlando bars allow you to sip adult beverages while indulging your inner child. BART is a small hole in the wall bar packed with vintage arcade games (think Pac-Man and Frogger), and local art lining the walls adds extra personality to the small but lively space. The drink menu features an impressive selection of craft beer and wine. Another local favorite, Joysticks Arcade Lounge & Retro Bar packs a punch with quirky decor, arcade games, air hockey, and signature cocktails.
Race around an indoor go-kart track
Several indoor go-kart racing options are available to Orlando locals including K1 Speed (near the Florida Mall), I-Drive NASCAR (just off International Drive) and Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, which has an arcade bar, ropes/zipline course, laser tag, bowling and more in addition to karting. Both options are located about 15 minutes from each other, so visit each one if you’re having a good time. I-Drive NASCAR offers a $2 Florida Resident discount with proof of residency. Just don’t forget to wear closed-toe shoes!
Explore Main Event Entertainment
This sprawling entertainment complex is just one of many ways to spend date night at Pointe Orlando on International Drive. While you’ll have to make a run for it getting from the parking garage to the indoor game hub, an array of fun games await once you’ve made it indoors. Bowling, virtual reality, games, and a ropes course are just a few fun adventures to choose from.
Play laser tag at Battleground Orlando or Hard Knocks
Remember elementary school birthday parties spent roller skating and playing laser tag? Enjoy a heavy dose of nostalgia while playing a game of laser tag, grown-up style. Battleground Orlando offers indoor tactical courses, and Hard Knocks (located in Pointe Orlando on I-Drive) specializes in combat mission laser tag.
Play a round of glow in the dark mini golf
Putting Edge is an 18-hole indoor mini-golf course lit completely by black lights. Put on your favorite white t-shirt and have a friendly competition. For extra fun, follow the instructions at each hole for alternative putting methods, like one hole in which you must kick the ball soccer-style instead of using your putter.
Drink and Dine
Share a meal at an indoor market
Orlando is home to several wonderful indoor markets, each featuring a variety of food options alongside items from local vendors. Market on South specializes in vegan-friendly fare (like those Orlando-famous Valhalla Bakery doughnuts, now also available at Valkyrie Doughnuts), East End Market has a little bit of everything, and Plant St. Market is home to Crooked Can Brewery and a coal-fired pizza joint, Michael’s Ali Coal Fired Pizza, in addition to many other vendors. You can even take a food tour of the market and several other Winter Garden restaurants with Winter Garden Food Tours.
Sip craft beer at your favorite local brewery
The craft beer movement is going strong in Orlando with new breweries being announced frequently. Check out Crooked Can Brewing in Winter Garden (the Cloud Chaser Hefeweizen is blissful), or Orlando Brewing, which serves up varied brews in a chill atmosphere. Other local breweries include Ocean Sun Brewing (you can bring your dog inside with you), Ten10 Brewing, and Deadly Sins, among others. Here’s our full brewery guide.
Take a cooking class
Publix Aprons Cooking School has locations in Winter Park and Dr. Phillips, and each location offers classes almost every day of the week. If the weather outside is dreary, check the schedule to see if there are any openings. The demonstration style classes at Publix allow you to sit back and watch the entertaining chefs do the cooking step by step as you follow along with recipe cards. It’s dinner and a show all in one!
Try Coca-Cola from around the world at the Coca-Cola Store
While Disney Springs is a mostly outdoor attraction, don’t rule it out for a rainy day. The walkway from the Orange Garage lets out near the Coca-Cola Store. The top floor is a covered rooftop bar featuring Coca-Cola beverages. Choose from alcoholic beverages (I recommend the Cherry Coke Ripper), fountain drinks, bottled or canned drinks, and trays like the International Tray (16 samples of Coca-cola beverages from around the world) or the Float Tray.
Sit Back and Relax
Book a couples spa day
For the ultimate in rainy day relaxation, visit one of Orlando’s local spas. Options include the Duet Signature couples massage at Poseidon Spa (in the Grand Bohemian Orlando), custom facials at Spa Orlando (the Gentleman’s facial is tailored to men), or a 2-hour couples package (includes a 50 minute couples massage and 50 minute pedicure for both) at Mokara Spa located inside the Omni at ChampionsGate.
Catch a film at Enzian Theatre
Going to the movies is a standard rainy day option, so freshen up this go-to activity by watching an independent film or cult-classic at Enzian Theatre. In addition to the feature film (showing daily), Enzian also shows cult classics, film festival picks, and other special programs. It’s also home to Eden Bar and the yearly Florida Film Festival. Check their calendar online for a full list of upcoming films and events.
Create your own stay at home fun
For those days when the weather is extra dreary and you just can’t bring yourself to change out of your pajamas, get creative with a fun date night at home. Try tackling a DIY project together, or make a quick run to La Femme du Fromage in East End Market to pick up cheesy supplies for a make-at-home cheese board.
Learn Something New
Nerd out at the Orlando Science Center
The Orlando Science Center is just as fun for adults as it is for kids. Inside you’ll find exhibits focused on nature, dinosaurs, planet Earth, and more. Live science demonstrations take place on most days, but check the schedule on the day of your visit to confirm. Listen for news on upcoming seasonal Science Night Live events; these are themed evenings exclusively for adults 21 and over.
Visit the Sea Life Aquarium
Located in the same complex at the Orlando Eye, the Sea Life Aquarium is surprisingly enjoyable and larger in size than it appears from the outside. Walk through an ocean tunnel, spot sharks and sea turtles, or catch one of the daily dive shows. If you purchase tickets online with your Florida Resident discount, tickets are $22.50 (instead of $25).
Spend the afternoon at a local museum
If you’re a fan of art and history, you’re in luck! Learn about Central Florida’s history at the Orange County Regional History Center, check out the latest art exhibits at the Orlando Museum of Art (and dine at a Mills50 area restaurant afterwards), view Tiffany glass and American art at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, or visit one of your own favorites.
Feature image credit: Joysticks Arcade Lounge and Retro Bar