Keeping kids entertained on a family vacation can get expensive but the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Florida makes it easy. There’s no need to leave the resort with these 8 free activities the kids can do right onsite.
Explore the Atrium
Trek over wooden walkways and bridges through the Everglades. Stroll along the dock in the Keys. Walk through St. Augustine’s Castilo de San Marcos (albeit a scaled down version). The kids can do it all within the Gaylord Palms’ amazing atrium, found in the center of the resort. The glass roof over the entire atrium floods the place with natural light and in the evening themed lighting is placed throughout the atrium. Every day my kids loved walking around, finding new corners and pathways. The atrium is a great way to keep the kids busy on a rainy day too.
Ride the Waterslides
The Gaylord Palms has two outdoor pools, including a quiet pool only for adults. The main pool has a zero entry access point, ideal for young kids and non-swimmers. The pool is great but what the kids will gravitate to is the Cypress Springs Family Fun Water Park. Kids climb structures, shoot water canyons, and cross under showerheads all worked into a multi-story water structure. Once up there they can choose one of four waterslides to get down to the bottom. Listen for the bell to stand clear (or stand under) the big tipping bucket for a huge soaker. My kids lived in the waterpark. For little ones, they have their own mini waterslide and water swings so they can enjoy some splashing fun too. Checkout the activity calendar for pool party activities too.
Go on a Scavenger Hunt
If your kids are up for little exploring, they can participate in the Puss-in-Boots Scavenger Hunt. Grab your clue sheet and pencil at the concierge desk and set off. All the clues have you roaming around the atrium or lobby of the Gaylord Palms resort. My two daughters enjoyed working on this together. By following the clues we actually found some parts within the atrium we had never seen before. Once the trek is completed and the kids have solved all the clues, they can return to the concierge to claim a small reward, a nice souvenir from the experience and their visit.
Meet some Characters
Guests can book the Shrek Feast experience at the Gaylord Palms’ Villa de Flora restaurant, enjoying a buffet breakfast and interacting with some of the Characters from the Shrek movies. However, your kids can enjoy meeting some of the characters for free autograph and photo sessions on various days of the week, no brunch booking required. Check the activities schedule to find out when and where to find the characters.
Visit the Crocodiles
While exploring the Gaylord Palms we stumbled upon a group of baby crocodiles sunning themselves on a rock, along with a handful of turtles. Every time we walked through the atrium the kids wanted to pass the crocodile pond. Sometimes we caught them swimming around. If your kids enjoy watching the crocodiles, they’ll love hanging out to watch the feeding. There’s also fish feeding the kids can watch over in the Keyes lagoon area of the Gaylord Palms atrium.
Watch the Game on the Big Screen
Big sports fans in the family? Head over to the Wrecker’s sports bar. This two story bar has TVs throughout the place but you’ll be transfixed by the two large screen (I mean super large screen) televisions on the wall. You can sit I the lounge seats and watch a variety of sports games on the big screen. While the kids are being entertained by the massive TVs, you can kickback and enjoy a drink from the bar. You can order a variety of snacks too should you get hungry. I would suggest the deep fried macaroni bites, a hit with the whole family.
Enjoy a Movie by the Pool
After a busy day, head over to the Cypress Springs Family Fun Water Park to enjoy a movie under the stars. Sit in the pool or grab a lounge chair to watch a DreamWorks film projected on the large outdoor screen. A great way to end the day with the kids.
Visit Downtown Disney
The Gaylord Palms Resort offers a lot to distract the kids but sometimes you want to head out and explore. Even if a trip to Disney World isn’t part of your Orlando vacation, you can still enjoy the shops, restaurants, and entertainment that Downtown Disney has to offer. The Gaylord Palms is only a 5-minute drive away from the Disney World entrance but you can still head downtown without a car with the resorts free shuttle bus. You can pick-up the shuttle schedule at the concierge desk.
If you are looking for accommodations that offer more than just a place to stay on your next Orlando family vacation, Gaylord Palms might just deliver.