02/26/2007 at 08:03 AM ET

I’ll be going to Orlando with Anya and my mom in late April for the JPMA tradeshow, which will be held at the Convention Center. Any suggestions on where to stay and what to do? We will -not- be going to Disney World. Anya will be 18 months old.Vendors: Let me know if you will be exhibiting.Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile


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Twinmom on

Sorry, can’t recommend anything, but are you going to be doing any more Anya updates? I love seeing her grow.

Melanie F. on

Amy on

you could try whats called downtown disney. it’s not really “disney” at all its been about 5 years since i’ve been there but its a bunch of shoping and right next to it is some Lego thing, i’m not 100% sure but i don’t think the lego thing cost money. its a big outdoor giant lego park/thing. my little boy is 20 months and i think he would like it. heres a webthing i found about it


sara on

Ohh! Welcome to Orlando (or whenever you get here)! Believe me, there are many many more things to do here besides Disney. And there are so many hotels here, your head will spin. You will have no problem getting a room. Holiday Inn, Mariott, Hilton…it’s all there.

The Convention Center is close to International Drive (locals just call it I-Drive). I-Drive is sort of the Vegas strip of Orlando. There are loads of shoppes and resurants and amusement facilites. So much to do.

Also, if you want to do something sweet, check out downtown Celebration. It is a mainstreet town with beautiful boutiques and stores. That is West of the Convention Center on Interstate 4.

Have fun!

madison on

My recommendations for lodging in Orlando when not doing Disney – the JW Marriott Grande Lakes or the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. I think both places are great for kids AND adults.

K Smith on

I live in Orlando and have a 16 month old son. Our new favorite place to go is the Orlando Science Center. They have an AWESOME kids area and tons of animals to see. You might also google the Orlando Rep Theater. We’re taking William to a showing of Suessical the Musical there is April. It’s children’s theater and very low key.

As far as where to stay, anywhere with a pool. Even if you’re not going to Disney, the Yacht and Beach Club Resort has an amazing sand bottom pool with a sand island for kids to play on.

Amy B. on

I live in Orlando, and can tell you that your best bet is to stay at one of the hotels on International Drive (“I-Drive”). In fact, if you can get a room at the Rosen, you would be doing well, as it is virtually connected to the Convention Center. The Peabody is right across the street, which is another good choice. As for things to do… My kids are 3 years and 21 months. We have Disney passes, and both enjoy it tremendously, at least Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. However, I think my youngest enjoys Sea World more. Aside from this, I don’t find that there is much to do in Orlando for the under 3 crowd. We spend our free time going to parks and playgrounds or going to the amusement parks. I’d love to hear about it if you find something to do that Anya really enjoys.

shauna on

We have been to Orlando several times and last time we went we stayed at the Ritz Carlton Orlando and it was beatiful. Everyone was so attentive and we found rooms for like $250.00 nightly, which is really reasonable for Orlando. I was Pregnant with my second and my first was only 14 months, and they loved her!Have fun!!

Jillian Beers on

I have always taken my children to OSC(the Orlando Science Center)My youngest was about one when we started going. They have a kids town where they have different activities set up such as bubbles, water play, puppets.Both of my sons love the space shuttle that they can pretend to fly and the orange groves where they can pick plastic oranges from a big tree and move them to boxes on a conveyer belt. Here is their website and you can check it out for yourself. I also have a five year old, so he got a lot out of the exhibits as well. I hope you have a great time in our neck of the woods!


landroverdisco on

I live in Naples, FL and we frequent Orlando quite a bit. We enjoy staying at Grande Lakes. It is a joint resort property w/ JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton. We have stayed at both with our children and find it to be kid friendly but with adult sophistication. The grounds are great for for both adults and kids alike (family bike paths, lawn chess, tether ball,playground,lazy pool and kids pool). The breakfast buffet at both properties is scrumptious. If you book far enough in advance you can use Marriott Rewards points too (for both properties).

Katherine on

I live in Orlando and have a daughter who is 3 and a son who is 11 months. We love to go to Gatorland, downtown Disney (shops like lego land were kids can play & doesn’t cost any money at all)and sea world . The Orange Convention center is on International drive and there are a bunch of hotels on International drive ranging from all price ranges. I hope this helps.


Michelle LaVallee on

1st, I really enjoy your blog. I live in Orlando, so my suggestions are to stay within walking distance of the convention center as parking is a hassle and you will walk a good bit from parking anyway. A couple hotels within walking distance are the Rosen Plaza, Peabody hotel, Omni Rosen. As for activities “The Point” is across from the convention center (dinning and shopping) it’s a nice place to let your daughter walk around. Seaworld is a must, located about 5 minutes from convention center. I hope you enjoy your stay.

Brandee on

I’m super familiar with Orlando area hotels and attractions. If you give me an idea of what you’re looking for in a hotel, and price range, I’ll give you some great suggestions. The Convention Center is on I-Drive, which is about 15 minutes from Disney and 5 from Universal Studios. Is there something specific you do want to do, since you won’t be visiting the house of mouse?

Kristin on

Hey, Danielle, have a great trip tp Orlando! We’ve been there with my daughter twice, and once when she was in utero. There are 2 restaurants close to the Convention Center that we like a lot, and they are fairly noisy so taking kids is no problem! Bahama Breeze (yes, I know, a chain) was very good – we stood right next to Tyra Banks at the parking valet stand! So if it is good enough for Tyra…..
Second one is Cafe Tu Tu Tango. This is a tapas restaurant (another chain), and the motif is “artists studio” so there is lots to look at for a little person.

If you have time, you might want to consider Sea World. It is a beautiful park, lushly landscaped and very well done exhibits. My husband thought it was much better than WDW! If Anya likes to look at sea creatures, it is a fun place to go. There is also an extensive kids area, very cute and lots to do. And the show Pets Ahoy is hysterical – my daughter (4 yrs old) laughed and laughed. When we were there in Nov. they had a deal – pay for a ticket, then you could come back as many times as you wanted for one week. So that made it easier to see the whole park with a little person who still needs a nap. We went back one more day to see what we missed the 1st day.
have fun!

Rosemary on

I agree with the comment above. The Rosen Centre is your best bet it’s adjacent to OCC and it’s beautiful. I will be staying there again in a few weeks for a convention.
Usually they have convention rates – check the hotel page for your convention or call guest services for more package deals.