Five best museums in Orlando Florida

Orlando, a city in central Florida, is house to more than a dozen theme parks. It’s correct: Orlando is a magical place. And it’s not only because it’s house to Cinderella’s castle at Walt Disney World. There’s an unbelievable mix of fun things to do in this fabulous city that make it a perfect vacationing spot for not only families but growing singles, baby boomers, foodies, luxury shoppers, adventurous outdoor types, and international visitors. While the city was created on theme park name, the number and variety of Orlando attractions have expanded to include everything from world-famous restaurants to high-end outlet shopping centers to theatrical displays and fabulous concert and sporting event venues. Golfers love the primitive, challenging and legendary courses throughout the city and art-lovers enjoy the Orlando Museum of Art, Mennello Museum of American Art as well as some short, funky galleries and art studios sprinkled throughout the area.

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Orlando Museum of Art

With collections, both antique and modern, the Orlando Museum of Art encourages visitors with its vast array of works. Textiles and pottery from Africa and Mesoamerica, lovely American paintings and sculpture, fantastically advanced graphics and mixed media items await. In addition to its regular pieces, its calendar is alive each year with touring exhibitions to spark both inspiration and conversation. Its Loch Haven Park area makes it one of a family of artistic venues steps from one another. Think of visiting one in the morning and one in the afternoon, maybe with a picnic under the shady oaks outside in between.

Orlando Fire Museum

Need to make history as fascinating to kids as it is to adults? Serving it up inside a restored 1926 firehouse is an excellent start. The Orlando Fire Museum showcases the memoir of the City Beautiful’s bravest along with a multitude of old equipment that comprises an array of useful fire engines: LaFrance apparatus from the early 1900s, a 1919 ladder truck and another from 1926 to name a some. Additional artifacts on exhibit include helmets and other tools along with lithographs. Volunteer guides here are retired Orlando firefighters; they understand their stuff. This free attraction is welcoming on Friday and Saturday; donations for its upkeep are much appreciated.

Mennello Museum of American Art

Different cultural gem of Orlando’s Loch Haven Park, the Mennello Museum of American Art is housed in what was once a separate home, forming an intimate space for a broad array of exhibitions. The Mennello highlights American art of all genres and is home to a continual collection of paintings by “primitive” artist Earl Cunningham (1893-1977). External, a lakeside sculpture garden is still another of its caches – and also where the Mennello treats the annual Orlando Folk Festival, held the second week in February. Every second Sunday is Family Day, which gives child-friendly activities and free admission with mini-tours for children in the afternoon. The Mennello has a vibrant calendar of events; several are appropriate for children and families. Be sure to give it a look.

Orange County Regional History Center

This downtown museum, smack in the center of a wealth of other metropolitan Orlando offerings, houses multiple exhibits covering some 12,000 years of Central Florida history, from its Local American roots to its citrus-farming youth and more. Three stories of permanent installations are geared toward all ages and unique, limited-run exhibitions – recent runs include one that took visitors into the history of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights and added which showcased the art of Warner Bros. – are shocking, exciting and fun! Events and activities, multiple of them just for children and families, run regularly. Check the website before your visit.

Fort Christmas Historical Park

This excellent historical park – about 20 miles east of Orlando and a convenient standstill on the route to or from Kennedy Space Center – boasts multiple attractive features common to wilderness zones of the region: substantial shade trees, beautiful hiking trails, a well-kept playground and rentable picnic arcades suitable for huge gatherings. But it also boasts something the others do not: a full-sized copy of a fort constructed in 1837, one of about 200 built through the second Seminole Indian War, which ranged from 1835-1842. In addition to the relevant film and exhibit, Fort Christmas Historical Park is home to seven reestablished “Cracker” homes representing the conventional architecture of this area from the 1870s to the 1930s. Whether you’re an American history buff or a nature lover, this is a win-win, free-admission attraction.

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