Orlando for Grown-Ups: The Definitive Guide

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Orlando Resort Pools Locals Can Use - Four Seasons Orlando

With Mickey Mouse in our backyard and thousands of visitors flocking to Orlando each year, there’s no shortage of family and kid-centric activities throughout the city. But who says kids get to have all the fun? Dive a little deeper into Orlando and you’ll find a multitude of adult-centric activities. Here’s our guide to experiencing the best of Orlando for grown-ups!
 

Pool Time

 
Remember the summer days of your childhood spent lounging by the pool and eating concession stand snacks? Reconnect with those youthful memories by spending the day at an Orlando resort pool that’s just for adults. Relish in relaxation at the tranquil (and completely renovated) Ritz-Carlton Spa pool. With a spa reservation, select pools welcome non-resort guests for the day.
 
Prefer to feel like you’re on vacation for the whole day? The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress features a stunning grotto-style pool worthy of exploring with your date. Purchase a day-use pass (more details in this post) or plan a luxurious weekend staycation. 
 

ResortPass for Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
Image credit: Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

 

Disney, Grown-Up Style

 
Theme parks may be primarily geared towards kids and families, but there are plenty of opportunities for grown-up fun. Pause for a date at adult-centric spots inside the parks, such as Nomad Lounge (Animal Kingdom), BaseLine Tap House (Hollywood Studios), or Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar (Epcot).
 
Of all the parks, Epcot has a reputation for being the most adult-friendly, especially when it comes to the annual Food and Wine Festival. Feast (and sip) your way around the world to experience a multitude of flavors from the world’s diverse cultures.
 
Alternatively, conduct your own pub-crawl or progressive dining experience while bar hopping at Disney Springs or resort hopping via the Disney monorail on a DIY pub crawl. Or, opt for a resort hopping Disney Skyliner Gondola Crawl.
 

 

Sunset Dining

 
What’s more romantic for date night than pulling up a seat to feast while watching the sun dip below the horizon? Here are a few of our go-to's for a romantic sunset dinner:
 

 

Canvas Restaurant in Lake Nona

 

Orlando Beer Spa

 
International Drive has a one of a kind spa experience you've got to try at least once. At My Beer Spa, sink into a relaxing tub for a blissful beer soak while you treat yourself to self-serve craft beer on tap. Couples can choose a private room with one tub or two, and the experience lasts for one hour.
 

Image credit: Dani Meyering

 

Leu Gardens Movie Night

 
On the first Friday of most months, Leu Gardens sets up an outdoor movie screen and invites you to come cuddle up on the lawn to watch a Hollywood flick. Fill a picnic basket with food, wine, and beer and stake out your spot on the lawn before watching a movie under the stars. Movies typically begin around 7:30pm, but the gardens open at 6pm. Most movies are PG-13. Food trucks and concessions with freshly-made popcorn are usually on the scene. 
 
Check the events page for upcoming movie nights.
 

Orlando for Grownups - Leu Gardens movie night
Image credit: Leu Gardens

 

Visit Our Downtown Winery

 
Wine enthusiasts have endless sipping options in Central Florida. In the Mills 50 District, Quantum Leap Winery produces sustainable wines with grapes from around the world. Check their calendar, which is always packed with unique events, or join the wine club. If you’d rather sip at a wine bar, VINIA Wine + Kitchen and Imperial Wine Bar are a few local favorites.
 
The Thornton Park District's monthly 2nd Thursday Wine & Art Walk provides another unique way to savor wine. For $15, you'll get a glass and a map detailing more than 20 businesses offering samples throughout the evening.
 

Dr. Phillips Center by Night

 
One of our favorite swanky dates is getting dressed up for a show at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. This stunning arts center features multiple theaters, a Broadway show lineup, grand lobby, and more. Plus, it’s within walking distance of some of our favorite downtown restaurants, including Kres Chophouse and The Boheme.
 
Frontyard Festival is an ongoing outdoor event series featuring a lineup of concerts, themed brunches, performances, community fitness classes and more. Book your own socially distanced box for up to 5 people and order food and beverages from local food vendors for delivery straight to your box.
 

Orlando events - Frontyard Festival series at Dr. Phillips Center
Image credit: Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

 

Laugh it Up at SAK

 
Laugh the night away as you watch a live Improv comedy show at SAK Comedy Lab! In collaboration with audience participation, onstage comedians invent characters and scenarios on the spot. Attend one of the weekly signature shows, or put your own skills to the test by signing up for an 8-week Improv course. There's a new Wine Down show perfect for date night.
 

Weekend Getaways

 
For the ultimate romantic getaway, check into the beachside Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach. You'll feel like a rockstar while checking out regular outdoor concerts on the hotel's main stage, indulging in music-inspired spa treatments, brunching on the weekends, lounging by the beachfront pool or hanging out on the beach. Cars aren't allowed on the strip of sand in front of the resort.
 
If an epic pool is part of your perfect staycation criteria, book a room at Reunion Resort. Float down the lazy river, splash and play in the waterpark, dine at multiple restaurants (stop for sushi in the Grande Lobby Bar and do date night at the newly-renovated rooftop bar and restaurant, Eleven) and enjoy close proximity to all of the theme parks. Villas are available for the ultimate getaway.
 

Image credit: Reunion Resort

 
Lastly, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes offers a multitude of options for local couples looking to get away from it all. Participate in onsite eco experiences like kayaking and falconry school, or dine at one of the hotel's renowned restaurants. Date nighters will love the dry aged steaks at Knife & Spoon and farm to table fare and cocktails at Highball & Harvest. Book a spa treatment and then retire to the relaxing spa pool for the day. The hotel recently underwent a $30 million renovation and is looking better than ever.
 
Other getaways we love:

  • Streamsong Resort
  • Orlando World Center Marriott
  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin
  • Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center 

 

The Happiest of Hours

 
Date night doesn’t need to be reserved for the weekend. Meet up midweek for nibbles and cocktails during a budget-friendly happy hour date. Many local restaurants offer robust happy hour menus with signature cocktails and shareable dishes priced at $10 or less. Here are our picks for the best Orlando happy hours.
 

Atypical Bar Hopping

 
We love our local dives and watering holes, but it’s fun to change things up every once in awhile. Sip craft cocktails at a true speakeasy after obtaining the day’s password at Hanson’s Shoe Repair or get your nerd on at The Geek Easy while sipping craft brews. Immerse yourself into the world of Indiana Jones at Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar, sip Instagram-worthy tiki cocktails at The Suffering Bastard, or climb the staircase to The Treehouse. The options are endless!
 

Photo credit: The Treehouse Orlando

 

Couple's Cooking Classes

 
Ready to heat things up? In the kitchen, that is! Add a little spice to your at home date nights by picking up new skills at a local cooking class. The Publix Aprons Cooking Schools in Winter Park and Dr. Phillips, and Truffles and Trifles in College Park both offer cooking classes specifically for couples. Check our guide to local cooking classes here.
 

Sip and Sample Under the Stars

 
Escape to Italy for the evening while sipping wine and feasting on gourmet food samples at Loews Portofino Bay. Harbor Nights (temporarily on pause) is an ongoing foodie-friendly event that takes place at the Universal Orlando Resort several times per year. In addition to food and wine, enjoy the romantic setting and live music.
 
Other notable foodie events for adults include the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic (October) and Magical Dining (August – October).
 

Channel Your Inner Mixologist

 
Ready to make your cocktail dreams come true? Several bars in Orlando and beyond regularly invite curious cocktail lovers to grab a seat at the bar and learn the art of mixology. In downtown Orlando, The Courtesy hosts a cocktail class on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month for $60, inclusive of full-size cocktails, materials, and gratuity.
 

The Courtesy cocktail class in Orlando
The Courtesy cocktail class | Image credit: The Courtesy

 

Orlando Museum of Art… After Hours

 
While we totally recommend regularly visiting the rotating exhibitions at the Orlando Museum of Art, 1st Thursdays are a fresh new way to wander the museum at night. Featuring a new theme each month, the event features original work inspired by the theme, in addition to adult beverages for purchase. While you’re there, check out the permanent and rotating exhibits, too.
 

Unwind at a Local Spa

 
Leave the kids at home and check into a local hotel spa for some pampering together! Indulge in a couples massage, book half-day treatment packages, soak in a hydrotherapy tub and more. Check out our guide to the Best Orlando Spas for Couples for our top picks.
 

Get Artsy

If you and your sweetie love exploring your inner artists, sign up for a public pour party with The Dirty Pour Project. Held at local breweries around Orlando, these public painting classes will teach you the art of fluid painting. After diluting your paint colors with water, layer them into a plastic glass, dump it onto a blank canvas, and watch the colors mix to create an abstract and original piece of art.
 
Other fun options: 

 

The Dirty Pour Project

 

Dinner + A Show

 
Teatro Martini is an adults-only dinner and a show experience on International Drive featuring dancers, an aerialist, comedians, and more. There's also an option for just drinks and the show if you want to grab dinner somewhere else before or after. Showtimes are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm. After the show, explore the speakeasy bar, Jewel, which has dueling pianos and a fun atmosphere.
 
Also check out HAÖS on Church located downtown on Church Street for burlesque and variety shows.

 

Feature image credit: Four Seasons Resort Orlando