64 Things to Do This Summer with Kids in Lakeland & Polk County

Summer is the perfect time to explore new places in Lakeland AND hit up some of your favorite spots! There are a variety of inexpensive and FREE summer activities for kids and families in Lakeland and Polk County and we’ve tracked down the details for you. Whether you’re searching for indoor fun to get out of the heat {and out of the house} or want to explore the great outdoors, you’re sure to find activities on our list for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Looking for ideas for fun at home? Check out our 75+ Ideas for Summer Fun at Home!

(A few of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Your purchase helps support our website and allows us to provide you with all this great local information for free. Read our disclosure policy here.  We only recommend products and activities that we love ourselves.)

Fun for the Whole Family

  • Have a family mini golf competition at Family Fun Center
  • Load up the car and head to a Drive-in Movie
  • Plan a trip to the Movies for a Summer Release:
    • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie- June 2
    • Cars 3 – June 16
    • Despicable Me 3 – June 30
    • Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7 (Not Yet Rated – likely PG-13)
    • The Emoji Movie – July 28 (No, not a joke – they made an animated movie out of emojis…???)
    • The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature – August 11
  • Bowling is always a hit with my kids – we’ve got AMF Lanes and Orange Bowl Lanes in Lakeland, and Cypress Lanes in Winter Haven {check Groupon for current bowling deals}
  • Visit a local pet store and explore all the different kinds of animals you can have as a pet. Just don’t blame us if you end up taking one home!
  • Have everyone find their favorite artwork at the Polk Museum of Art– FREE every day! (Closed on Monday) Check out this list of questions to ask kids about artwork.
  • Visit the Florida Air Museum at the Lakeland Airport
  • Go 2Infinity and Beyond!
  • Go Camping
  • Volunteer— Take some time to give of yourself this Summer, and volunteer at a local food pantry, children’s home, or church ministry. Every little bit can make a difference!
  • Take a Sunset Safari at Safari Wilderness Ranch. Be sure to snag a Groupon and save 40%! Read more about our animal adventure at Safari Wilderness. {This is the most expensive thing on our list, however it is a really unique experience and worthy of a special occasion or staycation activity}
fun with kids in lakeland

Indoor Fun 

summer movies in lakeland winter haven

Water Fun

public pools in Lakeland

Get Creative

  • Sign up for a paint-along class at Art Centric Studio
  • Visit Picassoz Art Cafe to paint a piece of pottery or Breakables Mosaic Studio to create a mosaic or candle, and grab a drink or a treat at Tea Largo while you’re there.
  • Paint Lakeland Rocks and then hide them around town! You can also go rock hunting. Read the FB page for details.
  • Michael’s Arts and Crafts offers classes for adults and kids featuring all sorts of different projects. Some are FREE, some cost a minimal fee.
lakeland things to do with kids

Sweet Treats & Good Eats

  • Find the Best Ice Cream, Cookies, Yogurt & Cupcakes in Lakeland – we’ve got a list to get you started!
  • Go out to eat as a family – check out our list of places where KIDS EAT FREE!
  • Visit 801 E. Main for beignets – your kids will love sitting in the giant tepee for breakfast! Opens at 8am Thursday through Sunday.
  • Head to Hole in One Donuts, Dunkin Donuts, or Krispy Kreme for a sugar filled summer breakfast treat!
  • Visit the Downtown Farmers Curb Market for fresh produce and other local goods every Saturday from 8am-2pm (closed August)
  • Pick up fresh local produce at a local Farmers Market – there are 5 across Polk County
  • Go on a picnic. One of our favorite locations is Peterson Park and then we walk the nature trails and boardwalks afterwards.
best ice cream in lakeland

Outdoor Fun

  • Feed the ducks at Lake Morton
  • Go on a bike ride (City of Lakeland has a great bike trail map)
  • Look for alligators, eagles, and other amazing wildlife at Circle B Bar Reserve– named one of the “Top 51 Places in the US to See Wildlife” by USA Today! Entry is FREE.
  • Hike, bike, picnic, canoe, kayak, or fish at Colt Creek State Park in the heart of the Green Swamp Wilderness area north of Lakeland.
  • Visit Lake Crago Dog Park (fun to watch even if you don’t have a dog)
  • Stroll through Hollis Garden and learn about the variety of flowers and plants there. Opens at 10am, closed Mondays.
  • Let your kids get out their energy at a local playground like Common Ground or Barnett & Sunflower Playground
  • Check out a new playground– we bet you can find a new one to explore from the 15 listed in our directory.
  • Walk around Lake Hollingsworth (only if your kiddos can handle the 3 miles!)
  • Dig for sharks teeth and fossils at the Mulberry Phosphate MuseumMake sure you bring a small shovel or other item to dig through the rock pile, and something to sit on – you won’t want to kneel.
  • Take a self-guided walk around the Florida Southern College campus and learn about Frank Lloyd Wright’s unique architecture style. (Paid tours are available as well)
  • Try out geocaching an outdoor treasure hunt where you use GPS coordinates to find hidden containers

Explore Polk County

LEGOLAND Florida Lakeland Winter Haven Things to Do

Summertime Events

4th of july fireworks in lakeland winter haven haines city polk county

Be sure to check out our 75+ Ideas for Summer Fun at Home!


What are your favorite summer activities and places to visit in Lakeland & Polk County?
Leave us a comment below and we’ll add it to our list!

2017-06-27T20:15:20+00:00 June 14, 2017|Indoor Fun, Outdoor Fun, Summer Fun, Things to Do|

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  1. […] Don’t miss all of our Summer Fun posts, including 75 Things to Do at Home and 64 Things to do with Kids this Summer in Lakeland. […]

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