With Universal Orlando theme parks now open again and SeaWorld and select Disney parks just around the corner, many of our smaller attractions and date night go-tos are also reopening their doors with revised safety measures for eager date nighters. If you're feeling confident enough to leave the house a few times this summer to visit an old favorite, we've compiled this list of Orlando attractions reopening to help you plan a safe day or night out.
Bok Tower Gardens
It's worth the 1 hour 15 minute trek to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales to experience the secret garden vibes, sweeping views of Central Florida and to listen to the peaceful chimes of the carillon bells emanating from the iconic Singing Tower. Make a full day of it by grabbing provisions from the Blue Palmetto Cafe and setting up a picnic. While the main trail is paved, there are a handful of offshoot mulched trails if you want to get off the literal beaten path. For a contactless visit, purchase admission online in advance. Otherwise, you can purchase admission at the entry gate as usual. While masks aren't required for guests, they are encouraged, and all employees will be wearing them.
This retro theater has gotten creative over the last few months, offering moviegoers the chance to stream flicks from home via Enzian on Demand and launching a pop-up drive-in movie series with Bungalower (which has sold out every time!). If you've been missing the experience of actually going to the movies, Enzian is reopening Friday, June 12 at 50% capacity. To welcome you back, the theater is celebrating with Alfred Hitchcock week, screening classics Shadow of a Doubt, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, and The Birds. Additional movies include a free screening of I Am Not Your Negro on Sunday, June 14 and multiple showtimes for The Trip to Greece June 12 – 18. Arrive ahead of showtime for food and a craft cocktail from the open air, all outdoors Eden Bar.
Check out current showtimes here.
You can once more take in Orlando skyline and theme park views from inside the air-conditioned capsules aboard The Wheel at ICON Park. The focal point of the entertainment complex reopened in early June with enhanced safety measures and social distancing guidelines. All parties are currently being offered complimentary upgrades to private capsules for added safety (score!!), and capsules are cleaned between rides. Consider visiting next weekend to align your visit with the opening of Ole Red Orlando, Blake Shelton's Southern-inspired eatery, opening June 19.
ICON Park is also offering Florida Residents a $55 Play Pass, which includes one entry to The Wheel at ICON Park in a private capsule, plus one entry to Madame Tussauds Orlando, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, Orlando Starflyer, Pearl Express Train and 7D Dark Ride Adventure. You'll also score dining discounts at the complex's restaurants including Tin Roof, Sugar Factory, Tapa Toro and more along with exclusive access to an all-day happy hour at ICON Park’s Lawn Bar, Deck Bar and Wheelhouse Bar. Other perks include a $5 Play Card from Arcade City and shopping discounts. The pass is good for 30 days from the date of purchase.
Visit the ICON Park website for the latest updates and details regarding what's open, safety measures and more.
More details on what's open along I-Drive can be found in this I-Drive blog post.
Orlando Museum of Art
The Orlando Museum of Art is again welcoming you into the galleries as of June 9. To visit, make a reservation online since the museum is currently open with limited capacity. Now is a perfect time to visit and check out the impressive Living Color: The Art of the Highwaymen exhibition. The show features vibrant paintings of Florida's natural landscapes by The Highwaymen, a group of African American artists who began painting in the 1950s. The show has been extended and will be on display through August 16, 2020.
Orlando Science Center
Want to reconnect with your inner child? Orlando Science Center has been closed since March 16 and will officially open back up to the general public with limited capacity on June 15. You'll need to purchase a ticket online in advance along with a designated entry time. Upon arrival, you'll have your temperature checked and also need to wear a face covering. You can check out the full reopening plan here.
Florida State Parks
We could all use a little extra restorative time in nature right now, and many Florida State Parks are now reopen for day use and camping. Plan a day trip to hike, paddle, bike or cool off with a refreshing swim. For a secluded feel, head to Hontoon Island State Park which is only accessible by private boat or park ferry. There's no parking or admission fee, and you can rent bikes or bring your own to explore 8 miles of trails on the island. Or, try to 3-mile roundtrip hike which will lead you to an Indian shell mound.
Other parks to visit include:
- Blue Spring State Park
- De Leon Springs State Park (special note: The Sugar Mill Restaurant remains closed)
- Hontoon Island State Park
- Lake Louisa State Park
- Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park
- Washington Oaks Garden State Park
- Wekiwa Springs State Park
Wild Florida‘s drive-thru safari park proved to be a hit during the early days of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, and the park was able to stay open a lot longer than most area attractions. While there was a brief closure, the drive-thru experience is now open again, along with the Gator Park, add-on animal encounters (like hanging out with a sloth) and airboat tours. Drive-Thru Safari Park tickets are $20/person for Florida Residents ($9 off) and Gator Park admission is just $5/person for Florida Residents.
Topgolf's Orlando location along I-Drive reopened its doors on May 18. The venue is already primed for social distancing, with a space of 11 feet between hitting bays from tee to tee and enhanced cleaning practices. Bay capacity is limited to six guests. And, since the hitting bays are all climate-controlled, this is one outdoorsy activity you can still enjoy despite the summer heat. If you're a healthcare worker, you can score 10% off play now through August 31, 2020.
If you haven't yet seen Gatorland‘s hilarious yet informative social distancing Skunk Ape video, stop what you're doing right now and go watch it immediately. Besides making me laugh, it also made me feel pretty confident in the park's plans for keeping everyone safe, sufficiently clean, and respectful of personal space. Admission for Florida Residents is $14.99/person through the end of June 2020. You can also score discounted admission for the park's Screamin' Gator Zip Line.
A one-stop shop for dining, entertainment and shopping, Disney Springs has been slowly reopening over the past few weeks. Safety measures include reduced parking capacity, requiring all visitors to wear face coverings, and temperature checks for guests entering Disney Springs. Raglan Road, House of Blues Orlando (live music on the Front Porch daily), and Wine Bar George are a few of our go-to date spots open now. For a full list of what's currently open, visit the Disney Springs website here.
More activities to enjoy
- Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens
- Hidden Palms Ranch
- Central Florida Zoo
- Maitland Art Center
- Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
Disclosure: ICON Park, Wild Florida and Topgolf Orlando are some of our valued advertising partners.