Soaring temperatures, rainy afternoons, and a daily giving of thanks for air conditioning…yep, it’s officially summer in Orlando! Don’t let the season put a damper on date night; instead, tackle this bucket list of summer date ideas with your partner while staying cool.
Updated May 2023 by Brie Gorecki
Have kids with you? Check out Top 30 Things To Do With Kids In Orlando This Summer from our sibling site, Orlando-Parenting.com.
Orlando Summer Bucket List
1. Sip a frosty cocktail at an ice bar
Icy temperatures are non-existent in Central Florida, but we do have a chilly ice bar to mimic the experience. Don your cozy winter jacket (provided with your ticket package), and sip an ice-cold concoction with your date when visiting ICEBAR Orlando on International Drive. It's the perfect antidote to steamy summer temperatures! Start off in the Fire Lounge with cocktails and light bites before heading into the frosty bar complete with aquatic themed ice sculptures.
Florida residents can take advantage of the Florida Freeze package, which includes ICEBAR Entry, jacket and gloves rental, a premium drink and one appetizer of choice in the Fire Lounge for just $25.
2. Cool off by swimming or tubing at a nearby cold spring
Wekiwa Springs, De Leon Springs, and Kelly Park are a few great go-to swimming spots nearby. If you’re up for a summer day trip, make the trek to Rainbow Springs State Park, KP Hole or Ichetucknee Springs where you can tube in refreshingly cool spring water for hours. Or, check out one of these must-visit Florida tubing destinations. Just be aware that the parks close once they reach capacity, almost a guarantee on summer weekends.
Explore even more Natural Springs Near Orlando.
3. Spend the day at a local waterpark
What better way to cool down is there than spending the day at a local waterpark? Island H2O Live! at Margaritaville Resort Orlando features a lazy river, adults-only pool area, multiple slides, a wave pool and more.
And now you can relax with a great book in hand and a drink in the other. Island H2O Water Park has now made it possible for guests to enjoy a curated collection of books in partnership with the Osceola Library System, becoming the only water park in Central Florida to offer its own Little Free Library. Park goers can now pick up a book in the wave pool area, which will house the park’s literary treasures.
Inside Universal’s Volcano Bay, you’ll find 18 different rides, including a trap door slide that travels through Krakatau, the volcanic centerpiece of the park. In addition to slides, there’s also a wave pool, lazy river, and a fearless river. Don’t forget to sip some adult beverages at the park’s two island bars.
Alternatively, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is especially popular this time of year. Be prepared by checking out our Typhoon Lagoon Tips.
And if you have kids along then head to Aquatica Orlando where the NEW Turi's Kids Cove is ready! Splish, splash, spray, and play in this ALL-NEW water adventure attraction filled with watering palms, tipping buckets, spraying jets, water bobbles, and more. Plus, your kids can grab a tube and glide into fun on the ALL-NEW Tamariki Twirl, a kid-sized wave slide designed just for them!
Explore places to Go Swimming with Kids in Orlando
4. Float down a lazy river
One of the perks of living where people vacation is that we’ve got pretty awesome resort pools and lazy rivers right in our backyard. Lazy rivers and pools are typically exclusive for hotel guests, but some resorts offer access when you purchase a day pass or spa treatment.
A few local resorts with epic lazy rivers include JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Reunion Resort, Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, Hilton Orlando, and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.
5. Tackle the Disney monorail pub crawl
Disney’s monorail is free to ride and stops at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and three Disney resorts: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Your best bet is to use a ride share service. Start off the day with a dining reservation at the resort of your choice and ride the monorail to each resort from there.
Check out our Monorail Pub Crawl itinerary for the best date night spots. Or, take your date night to new heights on a Disney Skyliner Crawl.
6. Go bioluminescent kayaking under the stars
For a totally unique summer date idea, words can’t describe the magical experience of kayaking during bioluminescence season. Just a short drive from Orlando, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is a hotbed of bioluminescent activity in the summer months. Watch in awe as the waters come alive with a blue glow in response to the tiniest disturbance. There’s no nearby light pollution, so you’ll also enjoy fantastic views of the night sky.
There are plenty of ways to stay cool with these Kayaking Experiences Every Orlandoan Needs to Have.
7. Play tourist at International Drive
We locals sometimes roll our eyes at the tourist scene, but you'll miss out on a ton of date ideas if you overlook it all. The excitement and energy of the attractions area is hard to beat and its full of things to do. In fact, we've got 50 Date Ideas on International Drive for Locals.
8. Go ice skating
Who says you can’t ice skate in the summertime? RDV Ice Den is open for public ice skating every day of the week. The chilly indoor facility is perfect for a budget-friendly date night. Admission is $15 – $18 including skate rental and skate rental.
9. Stroll through the zoo at dusk during Sunset at the Zoo
Meander through the zoo, while stopping along the way for animal meet and greets and snacks at the zoo's concessions during Central Florida Zoo's summertime Sunset at the Zoo series. This family-friendly event invites you to the zoo on the fourth Friday of each month for several hours of fun music, family activities, and more.
Bonus: admission is only $6/person when purchased online ($8 at the gate)! There is also a Family 4-Pack (4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 regular fountain drinks) for $40.
Event dates are: May 26, June 23, July 28, August 25, and September 22
10. Dine on the St. Johns Rivership
The Barbara-Lee, an authentic sternwheeler docked in Sanford, departs almost daily for river cruises along the St. Johns River in Sanford. Try the Saturday dinner dance cruise, which pairs tasty cuisine with live music and dancing. The boat is air-conditioned indoors, making this a summer-friendly night out.
11. Share an ice cream flight
Nothing beats a scoop of ice cream (or four) on a hot day. Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream in Audubon Park has tons of homemade ice cream flavors but one of the best items on the menu is the ice cream flight. Choose six flavors and get a scoop of each, served up in mini waffle cone cups in a cupcake tray.
The ice cream flights are also available at other Scoop Shop locations.
Starting June 1 to the end of July, the scoops shops of Kelly's Homemade Ice Cream will feature three flavors that are super fun for summer.
Cracker Jack, Double Bubble, and Bomb Pop Sorbet not only make for great summer flavors, but can also come served in a Kelly's Ice Cream plastic baseball helmet.
12. Go on a Sunrise to Sunset Road Trip
Where else can you soak up the sunrise on one coast and then drive to another to drink up the sunset, all in the span of one day? Thank’s to Florida’s peninsular shape and relatively narrow width, you can experience a truly unique sunrise to sunset road trip from coast to coast. For maximum enjoyment, consider making this a two-night venture by booking a hotel on the east coast and another on the west coast.
Follow our itinerary for a road trip from Cocoa Beach to Clearwater.
13. Check out Summer Spectacular at SeaWorld Orlando
When the sun goes down, the night fires up at SeaWorld’s Summer Spectacular. Join playful, glowing sea creatures and world-class DJs for a family-friendly dance party beneath the waves. Then end the night with a fireworks and fountains spectacular. Select Dates, May 27 – Sept. 4, including Memorial Day and Labor Day.
FREE BEER – From May 8 to July 27 guests who are 21 years and older can enjoy one free beer at the Waterway Grill Bar between 11 a.m. and one hour before the park closes.
Pass Members have an exclusive deal and can receive two free beers during this period. These complimentary drinks are a great way to celebrate the excitement of Summer Spectacular and the arrival of Orlando's newest attraction, Pipeline: The Surf Coaster. Visitors are invited to join in and experience the thrilling atmosphere of SeaWorld's vibrant Summer Spectacular, which includes fantastic new entertainment and thrills.
This includes the Surf Holiday show, a live stage performance with singing, dancing, and an inspiring story about preserving and conserving the beauty of our living oceans. The nights end with Ignite, a spectacular fireworks display that showcases the brilliance of the sea in the sky.
The wait is finally over for Pipeline: The Surf Coaster, the highly anticipated new attraction of 2023, which officially opens to the public on May 27. This exhilarating coaster celebrates surfing cultures from around the world and provides a unique experience with surfboard ride vehicles that simulate the sensation of riding a wave. Whether you're a thrill seeker or prefer a more approachable coaster, this ride is suitable for all levels of excitement.
14. Laze the day away at Wekiva Island
Wekiva Island, a local gem located at Wekiwa Springs, offers endless activities. Take a swim, rent a cabana, go kayaking and paddle boarding, or sip on adult beverages at the on-site bar.
Explore our favorite things to do at Wekiva Island.
15. Try indoor skydiving
Feeling adventurous, but not quite ready to jump out of an airplane? Indoor skydiving is the perfect date for you. iFLY Orlando offers this unique 2-hour experience on International Drive.
16. Take a nighttime flashlight tour of Gatorland
Beat the heat by heading to Gatorland after the sun goes down for a guided flashlight tour of this slightly-kitschy Central Florida attraction. With only the light of a flashlight to guide you, you'll navigate through the Alligator Breeding Marsh, searching for alligators lurking in the waters below and even having the chance to feed them.
Gator Night Shine tours are $24.99/person and take place select nights year-round. Each tour begins at dusk and lasts 1-1.5 hours.
17. Chill out at an inflatable waterpark
Nona Adventure Park is a cable park, aerial ropes course and inflatable water park all in one in Lake Nona. The 1000′ floating aqua park includes a variety of challenges, including a Ninja jump, towering waterslides, a tire run and more. You can also get in touch with your inner-kid at the Orlando Watersports Complex Aquapark, a LEGO-inspired floating inflatable waterpark complete with climbing obstacles, a balance beam, slide and more.
Related: 7 Places to go Ziplining in Orlando and Beyond
18. Pick up new skills at a couple's cooking class
There are hundreds of cooking classes in Orlando to choose from, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. While any class is suitable for date night, couples cooking classes make for an extra special evening. Publix Aprons Cooking School and Truffles & Trifles both host monthly hands-on cooking classes for couples.
19. Make a Masterpiece in Pinspiration's Private Splatter Room
For a romantic night out, Pinspiration offers a unique date night package for two where you’ll get a little messy creating a masterpiece together. Dubbed the Splatter Date, this artsy date night experience includes private access to Pinspiration’s “splatter room” which is used exclusively for splatter painting. This method involves flinging, throwing and dripping acrylic paint onto the canvas.
The Splatter Date Package is $99 and includes the private Splatter Room, 1 large or 2 small canvases, protective painting gear, a “Glow Upgrade” (glow-in-the dark painting experience under black lights), chocolates for two, and two glasses of champagne for $99.
20. Book a staycation
You don’t need to leave your zip code for a romantic getaway with your love. Plenty of Orlando resorts are offering summer deals and packages with serious perks.
21. Go glamping
Plan a weekend in nature camping with a twist. There are multiple places to go glamping in Orlando and nearby. We're especially fond of Timberline Tampa with their air-conditioned tents.
22. Day trip to Kennedy Space Center
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is a must-do this summer, even if you’ve visited in the past. Walk among rockets, see the space shuttle Atlantis and Saturn V rocket, be amazed at stunning IMAX films and check out the Heroes & Legends exhibit. Take this summer date idea to the next level by planning your visit to coincide with a rocket launch.
Related: Day Trip to Titusville
23. Play a round of glow in the dark mini golf
Putting Edge has a fun glow in the dark mini golf course that is great for a rainy summer day. While it may be a bit cheesy, the course is surprisingly challenging and a fun way to pass an hour.
Looking for more ways to cool off? Check out our Indoor Date Ideas
24. Attend a Nighttime Market or Event
For a summer date idea that won’t break the bank, visit a local nighttime street festival or art walk after dark. Try the Thornton Park District's monthly Wine & Art Walk on the 2nd Thursday of each month for drink samples and art along the way. Or, find food truck fare and adult beverages every Tuesday at Tasty Takeover in The Milk District.
25. Embark on a Drive Thru Safari
Get up close and personal with exotic animals without leaving the comfort of your car’s air conditioning. Wild Florida recently doubled the size of its popular drive-thru safari. Throughout the four-mile expedition set on 170 acres, spot 150+ animals and even add on a stop to hand feed giraffes. Stick around to visit the Gator Park afterwards, which is included with the safari park admission cost.
Alternatively, Safari Wilderness is a 260-acre wildlife area in Lakeland where exotic animals roam free. While you can’t drive through in your own car, there are guided safari tours in an open-air vehicle with a canopy over top to keep you cool.
26. Watch an outdoor movie
There are opportunities to catch an outdoor movie all summer long, from Popcorn Flicks in the Park in Winter Park and Movie Night at Leu Gardens.
27. Cool down with a boozy treat
The Pop Parlour (locations downtown and at UCF) puts a grown-up spin on popsicles with boozy infusions. Get your fix with flavors like Mango Mimosa and Watermelon Mojito to beat the steamy Florida heat. Craving a milkshake? Indulge in a boozy shakes at The Soda Fountain in College Park.
28. Book a Couples' Spa Day
JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort invites you to Central Florida’s newest luxury spa experience, Spa by JW. Nourish yourself with cleansing facials, tranquil massages and invigorating body treatments to rejuvenate mind, body and soul.
Make it a Self-Care Summer with Spa Specials such as the Resilience Wellness Ritual Package ($345) or the Vitality Wellness Journey Package ($540). Be sure to check their website for additional summer specials.
Related: Best Orlando Spas for Couples
29. Avoid high gas prices and plan a SunRail date
Take advantage of cheap transportation and convenient stops. Multiple SunRail stations are near beautiful parks. Plan an Outdoorsy Date Using the SunRail Schedule and Routes.
30. Stay cool during a drive-in movie
If it’s too warm to enjoy an outdoor movie, catch a flick while lounging in the comfort of your air-conditioned car. The Silver Moon Drive-In in Lakeland is a short drive away and screens double features of first-run movies. Our guide to drive-in movie theaters has more ideas.
31. Visit the Orlando Cat Café
Cat lovers will want to make the 40-minute drive to the Orlando Cat Café in Clermont. Grab your coffee, and then head into the cat play area to spend an hour petting and playing with the resident felines. All cats are available for adoption.
Related: Unique Coffee Shops for a Low-Key Date
32. Explore Disney Springs Happy Hours
Save some money at Disney Springs. From swanky steakhouses to a quirky themed bar, here are our favorite places with must-try happy hours at Disney Springs for your next date night.
33. Spark romance at Orlando's Most Romantic Experiences
Fuel the romance in your relationship. From incredible restaurants to unforgettable outdoor activities, these are the Most Romantic Experiences in Orlando.
34. Take flight on The Wheel at ICON Park
On a clear day, The Wheel at ICON Park offers unparalleled views of nearby theme parks, resorts, and the Orlando skyline. Bonus: each capsule is air-conditioned. Florida Residents can score discounted tickets online.
Related: Don't miss these Things to do at ICON Park
35. Have a Dr. Phillips Center date night
Not only will you escape the summer heat in Orlando, but you'll embark on an artistic journey when you see a live show at Dr. Phillips Center. We've got lots of tips for an unforgettable night at the Dr. Phillips Center.
36. See a classic movie
Have an out of the box dinner and a movie night by visiting Enzian Theater and Eden Bar. This theater screens independent, foreign, and classic films. 35mm Cult Classics are screened several times a month, and Saturday Matinee Classes are screened the second Saturday of each month. Grab drinks and a bite to eat at Eden Bar before or after the show to round out your date.
Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center is Sanford also screens classic films once a month.
37. Take a Day Trip to Keel Farms
Head to Plant City for an afternoon well spent at Keel Farms, a brewery, winery and restaurant all in one. Wander through the vines, sip craft beer and wines made onsite, or attend one of the farm’s fun events like sunset yoga.
38. Explore the great outdoors on a jet ski, boat, or paddle board
Rockon Recreation Rentals allows you to rent gear for a day on the water, including boats, jet skis and paddle boards. The site is basically the Airbnb of outdoor recreation, offering a directory of rental listings from businesses and locals alike throughout Florida.
39. Perfect your swing at a golf entertainment complex
For a sporty night out, head to Drive Shack in Lake Nona, which boasts 90 hitting bays (they're air-conditioned!), a full-service restaurant and bar, an outdoor lounge, free play game area and more. Play legendary golf courses or keep things light with one of the themed games. Golf lovers will also want to check out Topgolf, a sprawling, multi-level 65,000 square foot golf entertainment complex in Orlando. The Orlando location features Toptracer technology, creating an instant playback of your golf ball hit.
40. Watch Disney Fireworks
You don’t even have to enter the parks to see the Disney fireworks! Here are our favorite vantage points outside the parks.
41. Rise to the escape room game challenge
Put your problem-solving skills to the test as you work to solve mysteries and decode clues to escape your themed room before your designated time is up. Our guide to Orlando’s escape room games includes multiple mind-bending options.
42. Zip line after dark
There are several places in Central Florida to go zip lining, but only a few offer after dark fun. Located just over an hour from Orlando, The Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park offers multiple courses and experiences, including a nighttime adventure. During the Full Moon Zip Tour, you'll spend 1.5 hours traversing 5 zip lines (one over water!) and a rope bridge with only glow sticks to light your way.
43. Plan a summer movie night at Disney Springs
Summer is the season of blockbuster movies. One of our favorite places to see a movie in Orlando is Disney Springs thanks to its state-of-the-art theater and the ample supply of places to eat and drink before or after the move. Here's a Magical Date Idea: Dinner and a Movie at Disney Springs.
44. Go on a craft beer tour
Have you ever wondered about the history of craft beer in Historic Downtown Sanford? Or the story behind the district’s popular craft breweries? The Sanford Craft Beer & History Tour covers all that and more! Sanford Brew & History Tour is led by regarded beer aficionado and BJCP Certified Beer Judge, Gary Holmes. Tours start at 3:00 pm and last at least 90 minutes.
The craft beer tour costs $29 per person and beer samples are included. Everyone on the tour must be 21 and up to participate in this tour. A valid government-issued ID is required as proof of age.
45. Have a food truck date
Food truck meet-ups make for a perfect date whether it’s your first date or your 50th. We love Tasty Takeover in the Milk District every Tuesday evening.
46. Attend an Event at the OMA
Orlando Museum of Art hosts an array of events each month, from Art Night Out to Bank of America Weekends on Us every first weekend of the month (BoA cardholders only).
47. Dine with a Sunset View
It doesn't get more romantic than watching the sun dip below the horizon with your love. Pair this nightly spectacle with dinner at one of these local dining spots offering prime sunset views.
48. Cheer on the Lions at an Orlando City SC match
Show your pride for our resident soccer team and check out the stunning soccer stadium at a home game this season. Most games start at 7pm or later when the hottest part of the day is long gone. Check the game schedule online for a full list of upcoming games.
49. Try out a new-to-you restaurant during Bite30
Bite30, Orlando's restaurant week, is now multiple weeks from June 1 – July 9, 2023. Participating restaurants have curated a special 3-course prix fixe menu for a flat rate. This year's lineup includes 40 local restaurants.
50. Take a workshop
Make something new and pick up crafty skills at a hands-on workshop this summer. From active classes to art-focused workshops and cooking classes, there's no shortage of new skills to learn each month. Orlando Museum of Art hosts a monthly Art Night Out for adults, and Leu Gardens has a steady stream of monthly workshops covering everything from bee keeping to terrariums and blending your own essential oils.
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