Disclaimer: Los Tweens was invited by Universal Orlando to experience the theme parks and CityWalk. However, all opinions expressed are our own.
Just outside of the Universal Orlando parks is an entire mini-city appropriately named “CityWalk.” It’s easy to focus on the two parks – Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure – when planning a trip with children. After all, that’s where all the rides are located. But, by skipping CityWalk you’re missing a piece of the fun Universal has to offer.
Universal Orlando’s CityWalk offers dining, shopping and extra fun that you won’t find in the parks. Extra fun doesn’t mean the bars and clubs (although you can find those at CityWalk). There are lots of options for family fun within CityWalk.
We recently visited on a press trip and my tweens couldn’t of been happier hanging out at CityWalk. Whether we were playing a round of mini-golf or shopping, I had two very happy children. Before you visit, here are a few tips you’ll want to consider.
Tips for Visiting CityWalk at Universal Orlando with Kids
- Plan on having dinner at a CityWalk restaurant. I’m a big believer in powering up on carbs after a long day at a theme park. In my humble opinion, there are no better carbs than amazing Italian food. We did just that at Universal Orlando CityWalk’s newest restaurant, Vivo Italian Kitchen. The restaurants upscale decor and menu options will make you forget you’re at a theme park. Pro Tip: Vivo makes their own bread and pasta and you have to try both! Also, load up on the appetizers. It will be worth it.
- Stop for ice cream. A sweet treat is a great way to bring a day at the parks to a close. CityWalk has a few options to choose from. Cold Stone Creamery is conveniently located just before you leave the premises and the perfect choice for a family of picky eaters who like to make their own flavors. If you’re looking to keep it a little lighter, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt can also be found in CityWalk. Another option for a sugar fix is Cinnabon – because who can resist that cinnamon-sugar smell? Also, for adults looking for a java fix there is a Starbucks next to the Cold Stone Creamery.
- Blue Man Group. Children ages 7 through 17 will love the interactive and fun Blue Man Group at Universal Orlando CityWalk. A mix of art, technology, science, music and all around fun, Blue Man Group will captivate the entire family. Tickets for Blue Man Group get you free admission to select City Walk venues.
- Play a round of mini-golf. CityWalk’s Hollywood Drive-In Golf is no ordinary mini-golf course. With lights, fun music, interactive and creative greens, tweens and teens are guaranteed to have a great time and you’ll be joining along with them. My seven year-old son was thrilled with this mini-golf course. It wasn’t because of the challenge (he is a golfer and the max was a par 3) but because of the fun way each hole was laid out.
- Grab the last minute souvenir. You spent the entire day taking in the parks and completely forgot to grab a souvenir. Or in my case: you spent the entire day at the parks and your daughter really, really, really wanted a Harry Potter notebook. The Universal Studio Store has items from all of the most popular Universal Orlando attractions without having to walk through the parks again. It’s a great one stop shop!
One final tip before visiting CityWalk at Universal Orlando: visit the web site to see everything CityWalk has to offer. With kids, you want to plan ahead!