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Holiday Day Trips + Christmas Activities in Central Florida

Holiday Day Trips Tampa Orlando Christmas Activities

The holiday season is a great time to plan a special day out, make family memories, or take your kids to do something new as a Christmas gift. If you’re spending Christmas in Florida, we can help you find family fun and all of the best Christmas things to do near you!

Although there are PLENTY of things to do in Lakeland & Polk County during the Christmas holidays, we’ve compiled a list of things to do for Christmas in Central Florida, perfect for a day trip or a night out in Plant City, Tampa, or Orlando. Since we live where other people vacation {it’s pretty amazing right?!?} we get to enjoy Central Florida’s Christmas attractions and theme parks and then sleep in our own bed. These Christmas events in Florida include holiday-themed twinkling lights, live music, light shows, places to meet Santa Claus, special events, interactive activities, and more.

We’ve also included two special attractions right here in Polk County – Bok Tower and LEGOLAND Florida.

Please use our links to do your own research before making plans, some of the special holiday events are only available on select nights, even at places that are open daily.

Don’t miss our Ultimate Guide to Christmas Events + Holiday Activities for a full list of things to do this holiday season in Lakeland and Polk County including Christmas Light Displays, Santa Photos, Christmas Tree Lots, Christmas Parades, Holidays Concerts, Live Performances, Holiday Markets, Ice Skating, Toy Donation Needs, and more.

A few of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means we will receive a small commission when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Thank you for supporting Lakeland Mom! We only recommend products that we use and love ourselves and deals we know will save you money.


Holidays in the Highlands – Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens

Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens is an annual celebration for all ages and one of the best times of year to visit. Celebrate the glorious holiday season atop Iron Mountain, one of the highest points in Florida! Connect to nature and your family with a relaxing stroll through beautiful poinsettias, begonias, evergreens, and other seasonal greenery displays.

  • Some activities included in Regular Admission for Bok Tower. Some concerts and special events require a reservation and separate tickets, details on the website.
  • Bok Tower Gardens – 1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales, FL 33853
  • Bok Tower Gardens Website

Happy Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida

LEGOLAND’s annual holiday celebration returns to deck the halls in 2023. Enjoy special holiday shows, a giant LEGO Christmas tree, festive decorations, Holly Jolly Jubilee live, a life-size LEGO Santa, holiday-themed scavenger hunts with prizes, holiday character photos, and more.

  • Included in LEGOLAND Admission
  • Weekends from late November through December
  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort – 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884
  • LEGOLAND Website


Take a day {or night} trip to the Tampa, Clearwater, or St. Pete to see free Christmas light shows, enjoy holiday activities, and get into the holiday spirit. Get details on Christmas Lights and Holiday activities in the Tampa Bay area including:

  • Festival of Lights at the Hillsborough Fairgrounds
  • Christmas Lane at the Florida Strawberry Festival
  • Nights of Shimmering Lights in Dover
  • Christmas Town at Busch Gardens
  • Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa at Lowry Park
  • Saturdays with Santa at the Florida Aquarium
  • FREE Light Displays at the Tampa Riverwalk and St. Pete Waterfront
  • Drive-Thru Lights and Walk Through Lights in Tampa

Head to Orlando for some impressive Christmas light displays and attractions. We have a separate list of Christmas Lights and Holiday activities in the Orlando area including:

  • Night of a Million Lights at Island H2O (benefits Give Kids the World Village)
  • Christmas at Gaylord Palms
  • Now Snowing Winter Wonderland at Celebration Town Center
  • The Lights on Jeater Bend in Celebration
  • Dazzling Nights at Harry P. Leu Gardens
  • Holidays at Disney Springs + Christmas Tree Trail
  • Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort
  • Sea World’s Christmas Celebration
  • Christmas at Walt Disney World Resort and Magic Kingdom

We hope these ideas help you find Christmas things to do in Florida!

Christmas Events + Holiday Activities

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Christmas Events + Holiday Activities to find more things to do including Neighborhood Christmas Light Displays, FREE Christmas Events, Santa Photos, Christmas Parades, and more.