The week of the Super Bowl can often leave small children feeling a bit forgotten. Too young for football parties, and most definitely not ready for the all-day hype, youngsters around Orlando have plenty of alternatives. The problem is, not many parents want to miss the Big Game. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Do something just for the kids on Saturday (or a few days leading up to Sunday) in exchange for your football day.

Orlando Science Center

If you have preschoolers, Dora the Explorer exhibit opened last Saturday at the Orlando Science Center and continues through May 25. This exhibit is on level 2 of the OSC and offers young children a chance to explore with their favorite television characters – Dora and Diego. While parents may have a party on their mind, your child can help Dora with a fiesta. Your child will learn problem-solving skills, develop math and language abilities, and gain a greater appreciation and awareness of Latin American culture. In order to be ready for the fiesta, your child will get to drive Tico’s car, build the walls of Rainbow Bridge, play drums and pretend to cook.

Orlando Science Center

“Dora & Diego — Let’s Explore” is included with regular admission. Attraction tickets to the Orlando Science Center are $19 ($13 for ages 3-11). They include access to all of the museum’s exhibits, giant-screen and 3-D educational films, one Hollywood feature-length film, and other programming. For more information, call 407-514-2000 or go to

A Celebration of Harry Potter

If your children are a little older, plan to attend A Celebration of Harry Potter, which takes place this weekend, Jan. 30 through Feb. 1. There will be all kinds of muggles at Universal Orlando Resort. The Wizarding event includes dueling demonstrations, behind-the-scenes discussions, question/answer sessions and autograph sessions with special guests. Characters that will be in attendace include Michael Gambon (Dumbledore), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), James and Oliver Phelps (the Weasley twins) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood).

ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Remember that Florida residents can get discounts on theme park tickets, as well as hotels on the property and nearby if they only ask and have the appropriate identification. Unfortunately the Exclusive Event Package is already sold out.

Still Need to Burn Some Energy?

Many other special events are going on this weekend. On Saturday at Mead Gardens, the Lady Track Shack 5k will be held at 7:30 a.m. This is a great event for the females in your family. A great benefit too with proceeds going to Florida Hospital.

If you enjoy fundraising events, just up the road from Mead Gardens & the OSC in Maitland is the Maitland Women’s Club. Here you can enjoy an Antiques & Collectible Show on Saturday from 8am to 3pm. Parking and admission is free.

While 171 million people are watching the Super Bowl on TV on Sunday, hopefully your children will be content to sit and watch with you after exhausting themselves with these other fun things to do in Orlando. Even if your team doesn’t win, you’ll still look like a winner to your family. Do something fun this weekend – other than enjoying the big game.