Things to do in Orlando

5 of Our Favorite Museums in Orlando

Orlando is a work of art. Discover the museums that act as a testament to the city’s rich history, mistifying creativity, and diverse culture.

To get a real sense of Orlando's cultural depth, turn to the city's museums. From artistic masterpieces to scientific revelations, Orlando's museums capture history. Its unconventional lenses offer visitors a glimpse into city lore through unseen perspectives.

Embark on your Orlando museum adventure by pinning down your first stop. We’ve compiled a list of things to do in Orlando, from the ethereal to the prehistoric.

Museums for Art Enthusiasts

Your inner art lover comes out to play at these museums that capture the spirit of Orlando's creative scene. Traverse galleries with renowned works and step into a glowing world of industrial masterpieces. These monuments to creativity are one of the best things for adults to do in Orlando.

1. Orlando Museum of Art

The best of human artistry is on full display at the Orlando Museum of Art. Chart a path across galleries filled with entrancing abstract art and contemporary portraiture. A rotating mix of special exhibits covers everything from the soul of the American experience to the hidden beauty of the mundane. Within its walls, the OMA showcases talent born and nurtured right in the city, giving local artists a space to explore their experiences.

Looking for a way to flex your creative muscles? Get involved at an OMA-hosted workshop for a discovery of your own artistic abilities. Guided by an artistic pro, you'll sit down with a sketchbook in front of a thought-provoking masterpiece. You'll learn the delicate art of watercolor and set forth on an exclusive tour of the galleries. For even more involvement in this cultural landmark, reserve a spot in the book club for a round of engrossing literary gossip. Or, save your visit for symphony night and enjoy a transformative audio-visual performance.

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2. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Wonderland awaits you at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, a celebration of an artistic legend in creative history. This gallery space houses the world's largest collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, a decorative artist beloved for his imaginative stained-glass masterpieces. Take in the scope of Tiffany's work as you traverse the exhibition, from intricate interior design pieces to bold jewelry.

Tiffany's groundbreaking artistic vision is the true spectacle at this museum. It deftly blends vulnerability and strength using mediums like glass and industrial steel. Pieces, such as the stained-glass chapel interior from Chicago's World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, showcase Tiffany's incorporation of natural light to provoke a moving response. Here, you'll become an expert on this larger-than-life artist through a fascinating, guided tour. You can also enroll in a museum-sponsored program for an even deeper look at Tiffany's life and legacy.

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Interactive Museums

Looking for a more hands-on enlightenment experience? Interactive, fun museums are one of the most unique things to do in Orlando. You’ll be immersed in every enthralling exhibit.

3. Orlando Science Center

A little mad science never hurt anyone, right? At the Orlando Science Center, you'll find yourself hypnotized by the bewitching majesty of the natural world. Take a step into prehistoric times, get to know the breathtaking wonders of the biosphere, and uncover the mysteries of your own backyard through a series of vibrant, interactive experiences. Visitors of any age will appreciate the thoughtfully curated exhibits. They're designed to immerse and engage while showcasing feats of scientific discovery.

Hands-on programs will lead you far beyond the exhibition, from a wacky experiment lab to a high-flying flight simulator. Once you've made your final scientific breakthrough, take your seat in the in-house theater to catch a showing of a fascinating documentary on everything from fuzzy penguins to architectural curiosities. Through interactive discoveries and detailed scientific exploration, the Orlando Science Center manages to combine learning and entertainment into a museum-going experience that's both unconventional and completely alluring.

Discovering Orlando's History and Heritage

Orlando's rise in status as a major American city is a thrilling saga you have to see to believe. Ripe with cultural significance and fascinating historical details, the museum below offers visitors an intimate look at the city's shocking — and completely true — backstory.

4. Orange County Regional History Center

The Orange County Regional History Center presents an encyclopedic look at the history made on Orlando soil. Housed in an old courthouse practically vibrating with historic energy, this gallery space brings the city's rich background into the spotlight through a series of engaging exhibits. Here, you can explore the vast web of factors that turned Orlando into the cultural dreamland it is today. From aviation to citrus fruits, visitors get the inside scoop on the elements that transformed the city from an agricultural powerhouse to a thrilling wonderland.

Start your historical journey by discovering how Black history guided the growth of central Florida. Take a closer look at the lifestyles of the state's indigenous peoples. Then, uncover the secrets of Orlando's rich transportation legacy, from the horse and buggy to the steam engine. The heart and soul of this museum shine through in each elaborate exhibit — all dedicated to preserving Orange County's vibrant history for future generations — for a sojourning experience that alights you emotionally.

The Magic of Disney

5. Disney's Hollywood Studios: Walt Disney Presents

Walt Disney, the creator of Disney, brought to life the magical characters and worlds so beloved across the globe today. At Disney's Hollywood Studios Walt Disney Presents, visitors get a glimpse at the man who used his imagination to build a kingdom. Start your voyage through this gallery, charting Disney's course from a small town to Orlando and beyond. Bursting with rare artifacts from Disney's personal collection, this exhibition offers a look at his history.

You'll get to know the man behind the magic as a friend of your own by observing hand-drawn sketches, family photos, and one-of-a-kind costumes. Before you go, sit for a screening featuring rare audio recordings and videos that enhance Disney's legendary story. Visitors of all ages are immersed in exhibits and rare displays telling Disney's creative adventure. You need a Disney's Hollywood Studios ticket to partake in this exploration of an iconic figure in art history.

Photographer: kaleb tapp

Insider Tips for Enjoying Orlando's Museums

Museum-going is almost an art form in itself. Before your trip, nail down your itinerary in advance to make sure no exhibit goes unexamined. This means checking visitation hours and securing your tickets before you go. Staying up to date on museum events ensures you don't miss out on a special program that will make your visit even sweeter.

Why not make a day out of your historic discoveries? With cozy cafes and local restaurants in every pocket of the city, pop in to feed your stomach after you've fed your mind. That way, you'll get to explore Orlando's delicacies all in one swoop. If you've opted for a magical Disney expedition, take the opportunity to explore the park and turn your museum day into a spellbinding memory.

Embrace Orlando's Cultural Diversity

Individuality and curiosity combine to form a cultural landscape that transcends traditional norms. A trip to these museums gives you a peek at what makes Orlando one of the nation's wildest destinations. Visit a museum here for an experience that'll leave you entertained and educated.

Theme parks have turned Orlando into a shimmering gem of a city. Go beyond the rides to explore the cultural wonders that deepen its dazzling charm. Whether it's a fascinating museum, an unconventional dining experience, or a high-flying acrobatics performance, such as Drawn to Life, activities galore await your arrival.

Ready to have your breath taken away by the spectacular feats of our shows in Orlando? Reserve your tickets today to take part in this thrilling journey with all your favorite Disney friends.

Photographer: Mick Haupt

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