It’s easy to see why family holidays in Orlando are so memorable. This Florida metropolis has it all: white beaches, theme parks, gastronomic wonders, and fascinating history. There are plenty of activities to do in Orlando, Florida for any kind of family.
The intense summer heat and humidity begin to cool down with a few bouts of rain in September, making it a very pleasant month to visit Orlando. With most kids being back to school, expect the crowds to remain minimal throughout the month. Homeschoolers- this is your opportunity to experience the city in a unique and secluded way. So what’s stopping you? Pack your bags and head to Orlando to have a wonderful off-season family vacation.
Before you go, read on to learn how to travel like a pro and discover the top things to do in Orlando in September. From blood-curdling Halloween theme park events to magical fairy door exhibits and food festivals, this city has got something for everyone: parents, preschoolers, and teenagers!
Best Things to do in Orlando in September with Kids
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Have a blast at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Are you wondering if Disney’s International Food & Wine Festival is a family-friendly event that your children will enjoy? Our answer is a resounding “yes, yes, and yes!” Typically running from July to November, the ideal month to visit this festival is September due to fewer crowds.
Encourage your little ones to sample new flavors and cuisines from all six continents. From deconstructed pavlova to luscious donuts, there’s something for everyone at this food and drink extravaganza. When visiting with kids, we recommend looking over the menu ahead of time to get a sense of what they might enjoy.
Aside from the food and wine, there are also plenty of engaging games for kids and adults. Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak is a transcontinental scavenger hunt that is both entertaining and relaxing for the whole family. Purchase a map at the Port of Entry and set out on a quest to discover Remy’s statues in each World Showcase country. Every find can be matched with a sticker on the map, and the winner receives a special award!
Kidcot Fun Stops at the World Showcase will appeal to children who love free gifts (read: any kid, ever). Interacting with the international cast members will provide kids with tidbits about different cultures while also giving them the shot to win free coloring cards at each stop.
Kids also have fun at the candy sushi workshop where they get to put on their creative hats and make sushi out of candy with some help from Disney’s talented chefs!
Pro-tip: It’s a good idea to bring plenty of water, wet wipes, and take-out containers with you when taking the kids to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.
Get into the Halloween spirit with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party- It’s BACK!
Bring Halloween into your family’s lives early this year by taking them to witness the themed decorations at Magic Kingdom and give your child an unforgettable experience. This event is perfect for families as it offers the best of both worlds: terror (kid friendly) and delight!
Taking place on select nights in Aug through Oct , this special event haunts Magic Kingdom Park after normal park operating hours from 7 p.m. to midnight.
Attractions include all of the below! Disney state”:
- The Headless Horseman will ride his ghostly steed down Main Street, U.S.A. as a prelude to “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade,” which features floats filled with Disney Characters dressed in their Halloween best, Disney villains and the Haunted Mansion graveyard diggers.
- What’s Halloween without candy? During Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, guests can go trick-or-treating for M&M’S, SKITTLES, SNICKERS, and other Halloween favorites at locations throughout Magic Kingdom Park. And new this year, guests will also receive a reusable trick-or-treat bag featuring a keepsake 50th Anniversary celebration and Halloween design.
- Join the Sanderson Sisters during the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” stage show at Cinderella Castle as they call upon their frightening colleagues to conjure the ultimate “Hocus Pocus” Party Potion.
- Celebrate the season alongside favorite Disney characters as they take over the park for their favorite party of the year.
- Overlays themed for the occasion will return to several popular Magic Kingdom attractions: Space Mountain, Mad Tea Party, Pirates of the Caribbean and Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor.
- The Pumpkin King himself, Jack Skellington, will host “Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular.” This can’t-miss nighttime extravaganza features projections, special effects and lighting mixed with fireworks, music and Disney characters.
- Discover sweet and savory menu items inspired by fall flavors and the Halloween season.
- NEW! In honor of the 50th Anniversary celebration, Disney are adding even more fun to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party this year in the form of event-exclusive step-in photo opportunities. And in addition to the reusable trick-or-treating tote bag, guests will also receive a Halloween-themed 50thAnniversary celebration commemorative print. “
The best part about this event is dressing up with your family in “eerie-sistible” costumes while getting to meet and greet Disney characters like Goofy, Chip ‘n’ Dale, and Pooh. Kids also get to go trick-or-treating in their adorable costumes at many sites around Magic Kingdom.
One of the best parts about this event is dressing up as a family and going trick-or-treating. Kids love stopping at the many sites around Magic Kingdom and meeting Disney characters like Goofy, Chip ‘n’ Dale, and Pooh along the way. Make sure you check the dress code before you go. eg the normal Disney dress code rules don’t apply in terms of anyone over 14 and adults can dress up for the MNSSHP but outfits must not touch the ground, accessories cannot resemble a weapon and masks can’t be worn. See the full rules here.
Halloween is one of the best times to visit Disney World and is most certainly something worth paying for, in our opinion. Guests can enter from 4pm making the most of the night!
Let loose at VIDIYO Music Fest
If you’re looking for a non-Halloween event to attend this September, look no further than VIDIYO Music Fest at LEGOLAND Florida. Sing and dance your heart out at this family-friendly event that includes interactive Orlando activities, sing-alongs, concerts, and dance-offs.
Bob your head at international sensation DJ L.L.A.M.’s concert. Watch your kid step into their full creative potential at the VIDIYO producers studio where they’ll get to direct, produce, and star in their own music video. The diverse musical selection will appeal to kids of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. You’ll love watching the wonder on their face when they discover that their favorite Minifigures can be brought to life and made to appear in their clip!
Other fun parts of the event include competing for the Best Dressed Award at the VIDIYO producers’ studio by dressing up as your favorite band members and heading to the creative pop-up stations to participate in interactive singing and dancing competitions as a family.
Expand your palate with Magical Dining Month
Orlando’s finest September-long event aims to bring to you more than 50 of the city’s top restaurants, including some of Disney’s most popular! Every participating restaurant offers three-course, prix fixe dinners at a set price for each person.
The menus include a wide variety of appetizers, entrees, and desserts that you can choose from to make your meal. There are no discounted prices for families and sharing is not allowed, so be sure to go all out and make lunch an event by saving enough room in your tummy!
Visit Orlando is committed to serving underserved areas and contributing to their well-being. One dollar is donated to charity for each meal purchased at this event, which has resulted in over 1.8 million dollars raised since 2009, and many children-associated organizations aided.
Regardless of where you are put up in Orlando in September, finding a place to eat is a breeze with this event, which is great news for managing mini hunger meltdowns. There are also several options for individuals who follow a vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free diet. So, get ready to have magical dining nights with your family without burning a hole in your wallet.
Creep it real at Halloween Horror Nights
For more than a century, Universal Orlando has been successful in providing its guests with the most terrifying night of their lives. Halloween Horror Nights includes ten movie-inspired haunted houses, five scare zones, live shows, themed food, and merchandise. This event begins in September and continues on select nights till November. It’s best to visit in September for fewer crowds and the most harrowing experience.
The haunted houses are intricately made walk-throughs that will send shivers down your spine. Each one is distinct and takes around three to five minutes to cover. They all have elaborate designs, ghosts, sound and lighting effects, and mirroring to create a tense atmosphere. The Beetlejuice Haunted House is decorated with classic moments from the popular Tim Burton film and is a must-see. Visit The Haunting of Hill House if you want to leave with your heart pounding!
The entire park lights up with themed decorations in the scare zones. These are more ideal for children than haunted houses because they are less spooky. They’ll undoubtedly enjoy Seek and Destroy, a non-scary innovative zone focused on an alien invasion of the globe.
The event would not be complete without Universal’s Halloween-themed food and drinks. The Twisted Blood ‘N’ Guts is a fan favorite that will leave your insides on fire.
Although Universal suggests that this event is for teens and adults, many younger children have been known to have just as good a time. It’s best to use your discretion before bringing your kids.
Fairy Doors at Leu Gardens
A child’s imagination is truly their greatest playground, and this event at Leu Gardens will have them going wild with wonder. Picture them running around the lush and lovely park looking for hidden fairy doors mounted on the trees. Every year, Leu Gardens is transformed into a fairy wonderland for the enjoyment of anyone and everyone with a little magic in their heart.
If you’re searching for a low-cost activity to do with your family, this is it! Each admission ticket entitles you to a map that consists of fantastic fairy tales to tell your kids when they discover a door. Don’t forget to keep your phone at the ready to take all the cute pictures you can of them discovering the charming doors.
Leu Gardens is a stunning fifty-acre botanical oasis complete with a lake and walking trails. The lake itself is a child’s delight as it is home to a variety of fish, turtles, otters, and snakes that they’ll be able to spot. Not to mention that the lovely September weather makes it perfect for a scavenger hunt like this.
The park also offers pleasant picnic spots for families. So, once you’re done hunting for fairy doors, visit the lake and have a sweet picnic with your family before you call it a day.
SeaWorld Halloween events
We can’t talk about events in Orlando in September without mentioning Halloween at SeaWorld. The theme park offers two separate events in September: one for families with young children and one for those with teenagers. This is fantastic because it allows you to give your little ones a creepy-cute festival experience while saving a petrifying night out for your teens. Here they are:
Have a wicked good time at Halloween Spooktacular
SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular is a daytime family-friendly weekend event that is a tad more smiley than it is spooky. The candy trail is the highlight where you get to go on a trick-or-treat trail with your little ones. Collect your adorable themed bags and gather your candy at the trail’s stationed kiosks. Parents, don’t shy away! If you love candy, get in there and collect some for yourself too.
Several characters decked up in their scary bests are stationed along the candy trail to click pictures with your family. The underwater fantasy mermaids at the Mermaid Grotto are another kid favorite.
Head to the Sesame Street Halloween Parade to party with The Count, Big Bird, and Elmo. Or shake a leg at the aquatic-themed Halloween Dance Party. Costumes are of course welcome, but we encourage keeping them light and comfortable.
If you’re searching for something a little more, sign your kids up for an interactive cookie decorating workshop with the Cookie Monster himself. This activity requires the purchase of a separate ticket.
SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular does not have a separate ticket, and admission to the park is required. Your best bet is to arrive early and enjoy the theme park as well as the event.
Halloween at Howl-O-Scream
Seaworld Orlando’s Howl-O-Scream is an after-hours annual fright fest running on select nights throughout September and October. The entire park is transformed into a series of spine-chilling haunted homes, scare zones, and spooky live acts, allowing absolutely no relief from the terror that ensues! It’s one of the best things to do in Orlando in September for those looking for a good scare.
Each of the four haunted houses has its own gory theme. From staying the night at an eerie hotel to a jungle that lures you in, these houses are sure to get your heart pounding. Beneath the Ice is ranked as the highest scare with its multiple tight spaces and suspenseful angles. Waters Edge Inn provides a semi-scary experience if you’re looking for a haunted house that isn’t too intense.
The Scare Zones scattered throughout the park are notorious for not allowing any downtime between the horrifying ordeals at the haunted houses. Frozen Terror’s roving haunt is replete with fright actors wielding metal objects, banging sounds, fog, and gore.
Watch the Monster Stomp live show and be transported to the Victorian era. The unconventional rock event is the place to go for some comfort between all the horror.
Catch your breath and muster up some courage while sipping on some specialty drinks at Siren’s Last Call. Freaky Fanta is popular among children, while The Siren’s Kiss is a favorite with parents.
Free things to do in Orlando in September
Orlando, Florida offers plenty of family-friendly activities to do in September. Head to the Thursday Night Market at World of Beer to have a low-key weeknight with your family. The weekly event features live entertainment, famous local vendors, and tons of food trucks to satisfy your tastebuds. Your furry buddies are welcome too, so there’s no reason to miss out.
Peanut Butter Family Matinee is a kid-friendly event held at Enzian Theatre on the fourth Sunday of each month. Children under 12 can watch free movies like The Wizard of Oz, Enchanted, and Dolphin Tale. Adults, on the other hand, must pay a nominal price. If you want to watch a free movie as a family, visit Winter Park for Popcorn Flicks in the Park to catch an outdoor film and enjoy an evening of fun and laughter.
Kids Crew September Scavenger Hunt is one of the best free autumn activities in Orlando, Florida. Allow your children to explore and wander through Oviedo Mall while looking for hints and clues. The map for the hunt must be picked up at the Calliope Street art studio inside the mall.
Driving through the 11-mile magnificent wildlife sanctuary of Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is another one of the top things to do in Orlando in September. Expect to see sunbathing alligators, otters, and bobcats all within a few feet of you. Bring your binoculars to observe hundreds of different types of birds and butterflies. The trail has picnic pavilions and restrooms, so pick a sunny weekend and pack your baskets to unwind with your loved ones.
What are your favorite things to do in Orlando in September?
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