15 Best Things to Do in Alafaya, FL

Waterford Lakes Town Center
felix Mizioznikov / shutterstock.com

Orange County, located in the heart of Florida, has a few unique towns and places. One of them happens to be Alafaya!

This is a census-designated area, with the population touching 78,113 in 2010, according to the 2010 census.

Your online search will tell you that Alafaya is only known for being close to Waterford Lakes and the University of Central Florida.

But that’s where you are wrong!

This wonderful area is full of parks, restaurants, and many entertainment options, all of which are family-friendly.

How this article was written: Our team first analyzed the scores and feedback across major platforms like Google Maps, Yelp, and Trip Advisor, considering not only the ratings but also the consistency of positive feedback. Following this, we conducted interviews with over 30 local residents who have been to these attractions and places to gather authentic, first-hand experiences. You can read more about our research process here.

While this list showcases some remarkable attractions, it's important to note there are many other exceptional places in Alafaya that are not featured here. Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city for yourself.

Eat, Shop, Play, and Have Fun at Waterford Lakes Town Center

Exterior of Waterford Lakes Town Center
Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock.com

One of the best things about this neighborhood is its one-stop shopping arena, Waterford Lakes Town Center.

This open-air center on the North Alafaya Trail is the preferred hangout spot for students, families, and tourists.

Some of the major shopping centers include Victoria’s Secret, ULTA Beauty, T.J. Maxx, Bath & Body Works, and Nike.

Tucked between these shops are famous restaurants like Chick-fil-A, Domu Chibi Ramen, and Marlow’s Tavern.

The center is made even more appealing with the peaceful landscaping—full of little lakes, fountains, and tree-lined roads.

Apart from shops, restaurants, and the cinema theatre, there are many features you can enjoy.

These include first-aid, a free library, a dog park and a children’s park, and vending machines. You will get access to ATM machines, device charging stations, a car washing facility, and high-speed WiFi!

Waterfront Lakes Town Center is a place where you can spend an entire day without getting bored!

Have a Fun-Filled Family Outing at Launch Family Entertainment Park

Are you traveling with family? Then you must visit Launch Family Entertainment Park without fail!

This indoor adventure park is spread over 50,000 square feet of fun experiences.

You get access to many activities, including bowling lanes, arcades, obstacle courses, VR games, and laser tag.

But the highlight of this space is the trampoline area, where you can bounce your worries away in a two-hour session.

There is also an on-site restaurant—Krave Restaurant—that serves pizza, snacks, ice cream, and fountain drinks.

Another dining option is Bar Hops, an upscale bar where you can enjoy scrumptious food, unique drinks, and a selection of local IPA.

Launch Family Entertainment Park always conducts various activities to keep it engaging. This includes children’s camps, teen parties, and special offers on special days!

If you want to experience this phenomenal place, make your way to North Alafaya Trail to visit the facility.

Spend a Peaceful Day Surrounded by Nature in Blanchard Park

In Blanchard Park, everyone will find something they will love!

It is long yet narrow, occupying 84 acres of space filled with all sorts of fun activities.

To appeal to your sporty side, there are basketball and tennis courts, volleyball on sand, and a multipurpose field.

If you visit with your family, you can use the picnic areas, rental pavilions, and playgrounds for kids.

The lake in the park is popular for canoeing and kayaking. You can also fish here and expect to catch bass, mudfish, and bluegill.

There are plenty of trails for you to walk or bike on, wide and well-maintained. Most people prefer the 8-mile trail parallel to the river, known as the Little Econ Greenway.

An attractive thing about Blanchard Park is that it is pet-friendly, as long as they are on a leash. As a result, you will see many people with their fur babies everywhere.

Visit Keg Social Orlando, a Thriving Place of Food, Drinks, and Fun

Keg Social Orlando offers its visitors the ultimate entertainment experience—full of food, drinks, and exciting events!

Located on Waterford Lakes Parkway, the facility gives you access to different activities, such as bowling, billiards, axe throwing, arcade, and ping pong.

You can also play beer pong and yard pong, as well as try your hand at karaoke.

It offers a delicious menu, such as starters, salads, entrees, poutine, and sliders.

You can wash this down with a vast selection of drinks, ranging from cocktails and spirits to drafts and canned alcohol.

The place also offers different spaces you can choose to enjoy! Flo Bar, Patio, Stadium-style seating area, and private rooms.

Certain days are reserved for special offers—Thursdays are for ladies’ night, while games are the focus on Monday nights.

Friendly staff, a lively atmosphere, and a way to engage everyone’s attention—now that’s what Keg Social Orlando is about!

Satisfy your Sweet Tooth with Sweet! by Holly

Alafaya has a list of lowkey attractions—Sweet! by Holly is one of them.

This little bakery is one of the many outlets in Waterford Lakes Town Center, famous for its sweet treats.

The shop is a mellow little space featuring calm lights, cozy seating (indoors and outdoors), and a mouthwatering sweets display!

You can get cakes, silver cakes, frozen yogurt, and cupcakes, which are available in large and mini sizes. Different delicacies, like cheesecakes and cinnamon buns, frequent the menu as weekend specials.

When you visit the store, you will see as many as 30 flavors of cupcakes, such as coffee, cookie dough, crème brûlée, lemon, and key lime. No flavor is favored over the other, as people love all these cupcakes too much to decide on one!

Sweet! By Holly is bound to be a hit with you. Why? Because the owner, Hollis Wilder, is a celebrity chef and is the only three times winner of Cupcake Wars!

Escape the Reality with The Escape Ventures Orlando

What out-of-town trip is complete without visiting the local escape room? But Alafaya’s is one of the best you will ever see!

The Escape Ventures Orlando stands tall in Waterford Towers and offers five escape experiences.

These rooms are Operation Arctic Storm, Neighborhood Watcher, No Vacancy, Bros for Life, and Granny’s Blackmail.

All these games need at least 4 to 10 people for the best time. Thus, it is a great choice for family, friend groups, and team-building outings.

The difficulty levels of the rooms vary; you can choose the one you’re most comfortable with.

The Escape Ventures Orlando has won numerous awards since its conception, including Travelers’ Choice 2021 and Top Escape Room 2022.

It’d be a shame if you didn’t visit this adventurous place!

Enjoy a Unique Golfing Adventure at Congo River Golf

Signage of Congo River Golf
LnP images / Shutterstock.com

If you are traveling with a group, adding Congo River Golf to your list of activities is a must!

It is right by the East Colonial Drive, an easily accessible road for locals and tourists.

This award-winning place offers you a miniature golf course with the theme of an African adventure.

The golf course features 18 holes and runs through a rich tapestry of waterfalls, tropical rainforests, and dark caves.

You can upgrade your visit by opting for a package that offers tons of other activities. This will include basketball hoops, an exciting scavenger hunt, and gem mining.

On top of that, you can also feed the baby alligators lounging in the Congo River on-site!

The staff is helpful and friendly and assists you whenever needed, especially when dealing with gators.

Congo River Golf is a spunky place where you become 19th-century explorers—like Stanley and Livingston—while playing golf!

Plan a Wild Escape at Exotic Animal Experience

Exotic Animal Experience (E.A.E.) is not a typical zoo you can find anywhere else. It is, in fact, a singular experience that lets you meet animals in a no-cages environment.

Make your way to Bancroft Boulevard to visit this seven-acre private establishment.

This zoo lets you interact with the animal species thriving there, which includes kangaroos, lemurs, sloths, deer, and spider monkeys. You can also connect with a prehensile-tailed porcupine, a capybara, and a galago.

But wait, there are more! E.A.E also has goats, a baby camel, and dogs.

All these animals have been here since they were babies and, thus, are socialized and friendly. That is also why they wander around the house and in the yard like loose (but safe) cannons!

It also offers different visiting packages—private and group visits, one-animal-centric visits, and more.

So, book an Exotic Animal Experience visit and get ready for the wildest experience of your lifetime!

Visit Astro Skate of Orlando, the Perfect Place to Bond with Family

If you are looking for a fun way to spend your day, choose skating at Astro Skate of Orlando.

This skating center is by S Goldenrod Road, where you get to skate on a massive rink.

There is a twist, though! The center organizes different types of skating every day, such as hip-hop family skate, soul roll, and adult night skate.

You can participate in the skating fun all week, except Mondays—though those are available for private parties.

The place also offers skating lessons for all ages and different skill sets. Moreover, private lessons are available if you want to learn at your pace!

The center also offers an indoor bouncy house, some arcade games, and food. Here, you can fill up on chicken, pizza, popcorn, desserts as well as soft drinks.

Along with such unique features, Astro Skate also has friendly staff, a safe environment, and it is affordable!

Spend an Active Time in Tanja King Memorial Park

Tanja King Memorial Park was built to serve the Avalon Park community—but it is also a good tourist spot now!

It spans three acres of land, filled with a variety of activities suitable for everyone.

There are basketball, racquetball, and baseball courts, an open field, and baseball fields. You can also access a splash park and a playground.

The park offers a calm cabana for group hangouts, complete with restrooms and picnic tables.

You can go walking and biking on the neat paved paths spread throughout the park.

On top of that, it is pet-friendly! You can take your pets to frolic around the space as long as they are on the leash.

Entry to Tanja King Memorial Park is also easy, as the parking space is ample and easily accessible.

Get your Bowling Shoes on at Boardwalk Bowl Entertainment Center

Bowling is an activity everyone can enjoy. As a result, Alafaya offers you its own bowling center—Boardwalk Bowl Entertainment Center!

Located on East Colonial Drive, this place offers up to 80 lanes lining either side of the space. You can come here with your friends and family for a fun game or even participate in bowling leagues.

But first, you will see an arcade right at the entrance, a mesh of neon-flashing game machines.

The on-site restaurant, Brooklyn South Bar & Grill, offers a delicious menu of snacks and drinks.

This way, you can alleviate your bowling experience with pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and beers!

You can also enjoy an exciting game of billiards on the 8 pool tables available at Brooklyn South Billiards.

With a friendly staff, prompt service, and good shoes on rent, you can’t not have fun at Boardwalk Bowl Entertainment Center!

Devour the Authentic and Tasty Food of Lechonera Orlando

Craving for some authentic Puerto Rican food? You can enjoy that in Lechonera Orlando!

This restaurant is a quirky place by Downey Park, with a soft exterior and plenty of parking space.

The cozy inside of the restaurant features a long counter with food on display and a separate space for seating.

The place maintains the flavorful vibrancy of Puerto Rican cuisine, making it a hit among visitors.

The menu offers a lot of things to choose from, from Arroz con gandules and pernil to rotisserie chicken to Pastelón. You can also get a filling meal of rice, chicken, meat, seafood, and sides.

Lechonera Orlando is always bustling with people, with lunchtime being the busiest.

But, even if you may have to stand in line, the food is always hot and ready for you to dig in!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore the Immersive World of Walt Disney World Resort

Road arch of Walt Disney World Resort
Jerome LABOUYRIE / Shutterstock.com

If you decide to explore the areas around Alafaya, you can kickstart the journey with Walt Disney World Resort.

This world-famous place is only half an hour’s drive away from the city, nestled in the quiet town of Bay Lake.

There are four theme parks—Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, and Magic Kingdom Park. These parks showcase different themes, but each will give you an authentic Disney experience.

It also features two water parks—Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park.

Some of the other things this resort offers are 40 hotels, golf courses, and Disney Springs, an outdoor shopping center.

There is no way you can explore the entirety of the amusement park in a day. That is why you must visit again to soak in the unparalleled experience of Walt Disney World Resort!

Catch a Classic Movie at the Popcorn Flicks in the Park

Enzian Theatre, Florida’s independent cinema and the organizer of the Florida Film Festival, has a unique segment for all film lovers! This segment is Popcorn Flicks.

In this theatre-organized event, you can watch classic movies for free with your family or friends.

You can bring whatever you want—a blanket, snacks, and a full picnic—to make it an even more fun experience.

It takes place every second Thursday of each month in Winter Park’s Central Park, starting between 7 and 8 PM.

There are times it may be canceled because of the state’s uncertain weather. But don’t worry! You can check in with them before you have to make the journey to the park.

If you plan on getting away from Alafaya for an exciting evening, don’t forget to attend Popcorn Flicks in the Park!

Visit Gatorland, the Alligator Dreamland

Entrance to Gatorland
James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

If you are enthusiastic about alligators or just want to experience something thrilling, you must visit Gatorland!

It is situated on the Orange Blossom Trail, almost thirty minutes from Alafaya.

This 110-acre park offers many activities you can partake in. Observe a breeding marsh, sign up for off-road swamp vehicle tours, and pet animals at the petting zoo. You can also enjoy the zip lines and check out the birds at the lovely aviary.

Alligators at Gatorland
Julie rubacha / Shutterstock.com

There are many animals here, such as snakes, tortoises, wild cats, birds, and capybara. But the star of the show is the alligators!

Known as the Alligator Capital of the World, the place is full of crocodiles and alligators of various sizes. It even features leucistic and albino alligators.

There are also a few food outlets and a gift shop that sells seemingly unlimited plushies, apparel, souvenirs, and gifts.

People watching the alligators at Gatorland
The Image Party / Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

You may think Alafaya is a nondescript neighborhood of Orlando. But only visiting will tell you the wonders such a small place can offer.

In fact, the area has the quirkiest things to do—from a restaurant serving Puerto Rican cuisine to an adventurous golfing center.

One thing is for sure, though—even if it’s a one-day trip or a long stay, Alafaya, Florida will never fail to entertain you!

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