As we like to say, why should the kids have all the fun in Orlando? The Happiest Place on Earth is for kids at heart, too. Whether you’re on an adults-only getaway or have grandparents to watch the kiddos back at the condo, there are several International Drive bars within just a mile or two—a quick ride-share (or a slightly longer stroll) away.
Themed Bars on International Drive
Florida’s heat getting to be a little much? Icebar Orlando—as the name suggests—offers an icy antidote. Bundle up in coats, gloves and hats (provided). Sit on seats made of ice. And sip a drink out of a glass made of ice. Sure, the concept is a little cheesy and overpriced (drinks are ~$15, plus there’s an entrance fee). But it’s the sort of experience that can be justified with a shrug and the phrase, “It’s vacation.
And here’s something you don’t see everyday: a post-apocalyptic themed bar and arcade with costume/cosplay nights on Saturdays. Vault 5421 features an arcade, retro video games, and an extensive collection of tabletop games to entertain you while you toast the end of the world over mead, beer, wine, sake or cocktails.
We like the bar owner’s description of this lively place on I-Drive: “Follow the sound of Latin music and the aroma of Cuban spices. As soon as you see vibrant patterns and colors reminiscent of Old Havana, you’ll know you’ve come to the right place.” Pop into Cuba Libre for Cuban food, dancing, and rum-based beverages.
Magic meets comedy and audience participation at this show within WonderWorks, a 35,000 sq. ft. entertainment complex with rides and interactive exhibits on I-Drive. Admission includes the show + unlimited pizza, salad, wine, beer and soda. It’s family-friendly, too, if you want to bring the kids along for the night out.
Get some liquid courage and get up on stage at O’shucks Pub, where every night is Karaoke Night starting at around 9PM. This is a true-blue local’s hangout, but they don’t snub their noses at tourists. As of August 2019, smoking is allowed inside of the pub—something to note if you have any sensitivities to cigarettes.
Craft Beer & Wine
If a good, cold, local craft beer is calling you, Half Barrel Beer Project is a great place to answer. They have dozens of beers on tap and in bottles, including their own brewpub creations. The name comes from the fact that they brew a half-barrel at a time, which allows them to experiment and rotate the taps more often.
With equal emphasis on its food menu, Yard House is a good option for when you want a little dinner (or a giant stack of onion rings) with your beers. Check out their Late Night Happy Hour with half-off appetizers and pizzas and $2 off draft beer and cocktails. They also get high marks for their consistent, friendly service.
Another food + drink option—this one with an English pub-style menu. (In their own words: “British hospitality with American flare.”) Options include the classics like fish & chips, bangers and mash, and bread pudding. Plus, of course, an extensive beer list to wash it all down with.
Wine-lovers: this restaurant and tasting room on I-Drive is a national chain that also has its own wine label. And they’ve got it all, from rosés to sauvignon-blanc to Malbec. Everyone is likely to find their favorite wine on the list. (They serve a full food menu, too.)