What is there to do in Orlando this Memorial Day?
Memorial Day weekend is almost here! Are you ready? Do you need some curated, uber-cool ideas about how to spend the Memorial Day holiday? Here are 23 cool ideas (off the beaten path!) about how to spend your Memorial Day holiday!
Even more ideas can be found in our 50 Summer Date Ideas list.
Featured Idea – NEW Additions at Gatorland
The Gatorland you know and love for its hundreds of alligators and crocodiles, Screamin’ Gator Zipline, Gator Jumparoo Show and Alligator Breeding Marsh now has new adventures and animals to enjoy this summer! The new Croc Rock three-in-one adventure features rock climbing, a swing bridge and zipline all in one.
There are also new water features at Gator Gully Splash Park where guests can cool off and new animals to meet, including the recently debuted Capybara Encounter. Learn more at gatorland.com.
1. Watch Memorial Holiday Fireworks
Book a Memorial Weekend getaway at one of our fabulous local resorts and enjoy the added bonus of holiday fireworks displays. Orlando World Center Marriott (Sunday at 9pm followed by laser light show at 9:15 pm) and Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate (Saturday at 9pm) will all have festive displays for resort guests.
Glo Summer Nights Celebrations and Weekly Fireworks Displays
Boasting signature weekly fireworks displays in addition to spectacular glow-charged nights at the recently debuted Grande Lakes Waterpark, alongside an abundance of activations fit for every traveler. Throughout the summer, Grande Lakes Orlando will play host to an array of experiences perfect for families and guests of all ages including dazzling fireworks displays that will take center stage every Saturday evening.
There are even Memorial Day Weekend Deals!
2. Orlando Fringe
Take in a few shows at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival which is back this year from May 16 – 29, 2023, perfect for something fun to do the Memorial Day weekend. This 14-day art festival features hundreds of shows throughout multiple venues in Orlando’s Loch Haven Park. Shows range from comedy to burlesque, music to drama, and everything in between.
3. Outdoor movies
Catch a flick at a local drive-in movie theater this Memorial weekend, or watch an outdoor movie.
4. Bike ride Memorial Weekend date
Rent bikes this Memorial Holiday Weekend and cycle the West Orange Trail. We love starting at Killarney Station and ending in Downtown Winter Garden. Oakland Nature Preserve is a notable stop along the way, with a boardwalk to Lake Apopka and free admission. The Cross Seminole Trail is another option.
5. Have lunch on a farm
Memorial Day weekend is the last day to enjoy lunch under the gorgeous oak tree at Bountiful Farms Bistro. The farm will close for the season at the end of May, and will reopen in October. Current hours are Wednesday – Saturday from 11am – 3pm. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 352-409-3204.
6. Float down a river in a tube this Memorial Day
Soak up the sun at one of Central Florida's natural lazy rivers. Two of our favorite spots are Kelly Park and KP Hole.
FYI: Kelly Park will fill up to capacity. Get there early to get in line if you're hoping to get in.
7. Go on a safari
For an activity that's just as suitable for a date day as a family outing, check out a local safari experience. Wild Florida has an awesome drive-thru Safari Park with animal feeding experiences available as an add-on. Plus, the park will be celebrating its annual Gator Week from Monday, May 29 through June 3, 2023, with free admission for all. Giraffe Ranch is another option.
8. Wekiva Island
Laze the day away at Wekiva Island. Private cabanas are available for rent and there's live music every Saturday evening.
DISCOVER: 7 Things to Do at Wekiva Island
9. Munch Your Way through a Local Farmer's Market
Pick up something delicious and locally grown at one of our local farmer's markets. Then take it home to create a delicious meal combining local produce with your favorite meats on the grill. Try the Windermere (Friday), Winter Park (Saturday), Winter Garden (Saturday) or Lake Eola Farmer’s Market (Sunday).
10. Pick your own Blueberries and Peaches
Blueberry season is in full swing in Florida but it won’t last long! The season typically winds down near the end of May/early June, so get out there and visit a local u-pick farm like Southern Hill Farms while you can. Farms are also offering u-pick sunflowers, wildflowers, peaches and more.
11. Take a Hike
Some of our local favorites include Lake Lotus Park, Lake Louisa State Park, Wekiwa Springs State Park, and Flat Island Preserve. Or, try one of these natural parks near the theme parks.
12. Brewery Hop
Orlando has a fantastic craft beer scene and there are new craft breweries popping up around town. Our Beer Lover's Guide to Breweries in Orlando has them all. And if the kids need to come along, check out 10 Kid-Friendly Orlando Breweries.
13. Go kayaking
There are so many kayaking experiences near Orlando. Explore Rock Springs Run in a clear kayak, paddle the headwaters of the Everglades from The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek (in Kissimmee), or try a nighttime paddle with A Day Away Kayak Tours.
14. Visit Downtown Celebration
Get out and enjoy the sunshine with a lunch date and a walk around Downtown Celebration. Share truffle fries and flatbreads paired with wine at Imperium, get a scoop (or two) of gelato from Le Macaron, rent bikes, or explore the paved pathways on foot.
15. Make your own pancakes
Eat DIY pancakes at Old Spanish Sugar Mill at DeLeon Springs. This open air eatery is THE reason De Leon Springs State Park needs to be added to your bucket list. You get all-you-can-eat pancakes, made by you. Be prepared for a wait no matter what time of day you visit, as this is a popular activity.
16. Pack a picnic
Nothing says summer quite like lazing the day away on a picnic blanket in a local park. Go on a romantic picnic with our favorite spots as your guide.
Book a local staycation at Orlando World Center Marriott which is hosting a Memorial Weekend celebration with BBQ/live DJ & Fireworks.
18. Hop on the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
Make Memorial Day weekend the time you finally take the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour. Tours run daily on the hour from 10am – 4pm and tickets are $16. Combine this with a double date for Prato and gelato.
19. Dine outdoors
See how many of these 75+ restaurants with great outdoor seating you can make it to in the span of the long weekend.
You don't have to be an overnight guest to spend the day at one of Orlando's best resort pools. Many hotels and resorts offer day passes through Resort Pass or grant access to locals for the day with a qualifying spa appointment. Memorial Day weekend in Orlando is the perfect time to spend the day together poolside.
21. Try an Only in Florida adventure
There are some things you just can’t do anywhere else. Enjoy a unique experience by trying one of these only in Florida adventures.
22. Icon Park
Memorial Day Weekend at The Wheel at ICON Park will be shining red, white and blue and there will be a variety of specials available to active and retired military members at ICON Park. Enjoy delicious food or stop by some of Orlando's top attractions at a discounted rate.
Also, The Wheel will be offering a free ticket to all active and retired military personnel and a 50 percent discount to their accompanying family members.
23. Check out some Memorial Day Events in Orlando
In addition to our curated list, here are a few events happening this holiday weekend for you to check out:
Rock N’ Blues Concert & Car Show
Saturday, May 27, 4pm
Lake Concord ParkView more than 100 classic cars ranging from Camaros to Chevelles to Mustangs, plus food trucks and live music. FREE Admission
Memorial 4 Day Weekend
Friday, May 26 – Monday May 29, 2pm – close
Promenade at Sunset Walk, 3251 Margaritaville Blvd. Kissimmee
Enjoy live music, street performers, markets, car shows and more.
Freestyle Fever Summer Dance Party
Saturday May 27, 7pm
Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
Make your way to the oceanfront Avalon Terrace for a freestyle summer dance party by the beach! Featuring performances by your favorite freestyle artists and DJs. $25 – $50
Memorial Day at Sanford
Veterans Memorial Park
Monday, May 29, 9am
Honor and preserve the legacy of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and members of the Coast Guard, our heroic guardians of freedom, who gave their lives in service to this Country
|Memorial Day Event at Boxi Park|
Monday, May 29, 12pm – 10pm
Boxi ParkFeaturing live music and BBQ specials.
No cover, price of food and beverage varies
Feature image credit: Orlando World Center Marriott