You'll notice a lot of shopping malls as you drive around Orlando. One of the more recent additions in the International Drive area is Festival Bay located near Universal Studios. The mall has the usual suspects (clothing stores, restaurants), but there are also three attractions that children big and small will absolutely love.
1) Monkey Joe's is an indoor bounce house pumped full of fun (and, well, air). For less than $10 per child, children (only those 12 and under) can bounce all day long. Parents are unfortunately not invited to jump, but can accompany children 3 and under into the bounce houses. The large room where everything resides is a mecca of large slides, climbing walls, and inflated bridges and tunnels. And for parents? There's an arcade where parents can sit in massage chairs, watch the big screen TV, or surf the net on the free Wi-Fi connection.
2) Putting Edge Fun Center is an indoor mini-golf attraction. Prices begin under $10, but the best aspect of Putting Edge is that it glows in the dark: black lights and tons of florescent paint make this place fun for all ages. The entire family will be entranced by the music and surroundings. Be sure to wear white so that you glow in the dark -- your kids will get a kick out of it! Once you are done with your round of mini-golf you can hit the arcade.
3) Vans SkatePark is an attraction for skateboarding enthusiasts. Whether your child is a beginner or an expert, they will be in awe of this establishment that has a warm-up course, a street course, and an outdoor course. There are also two ramps and a "dough boy bowl." You can rent all the equipment you need for your child so you don't have to worry about traveling with bulky gear. Vans will be an especially huge hit with your teenagers. Tickets to Vans SkatePark runs $15 or under, depending on day of the week.
This are only three of the many things that the Festival Bay mall has to offer, so I'd definitely check it out! Two hotels located near Festival Bay are The Crowne Plaza Hotel (where kids 10 and under eat free!) and the Caribe Royale Orlando, which kids will love for the waterslide and two game rooms.
--Lee Allport of MySentimentExactLee.com
[Photos courtesy of Lee Allport]