The Holidays are a great time to plan a special day out, make family memories, or take your kids to do something new as a Christmas gift. Although there is PLENTY to do here in Lakeland & Polk County during the holidays, we’ve compiled a list of holiday events and Christmas activities in Central Florida, perfect for day trips or a night out in Plant City, Tampa, or Orlando.
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 events are only available on select nights, even at places that are open daily.
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.
POLK COUNTY CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES
Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens is an annual celebration for all ages and one of the best times of year to visit. The ever-popular Holiday Home Tour at Pinewood Estate is the highlight of Bok Tower Gardens’ season of holiday-themed events, but the Christmas fun doesn’t stop there. Visitors will enjoy poinsettia, bromeliad and amaryllis displays, live music on the 205-foot Singing Tower carillon, winter walking tours, Holidays at Hammock Hollow: Meet Mrs. Claus, and a variety of educational programs.
Hear Christmas music from around the world every Thursday through Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on the 60-bell Singing Tower carillon. Included with general admission. There is also a Sunset & Symphony Holiday Concert with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra on Dec. 7. Concert tickets are separate from general admission, visit the Bok Tower website to purchase.
November 29, 2019 through January 5, 2020
Bok Tower Gardens – 1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales, FL 33853
LEGOLAND’s annual holiday celebration returns to deck the halls on November 29-30, December 1, 7-8, 14-15, 20-31. Enjoy a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree made of thousands of LEGO® and DUPLO® bricks, festive decorations, Holly Jolly Jubilee live, a life-size LEGO Santa, reindeer and sleigh, holiday-themed scavenger hunts with prizes, and opportunities to build with LEGO alongside our Master Model Builders. Meet LEGO Santa and LEGO Toy Soldier during daily park appearances and end the evening with a not-so-silent-night fireworks spectacular set to classic Christmas melodies.
From December 26-31, enjoy the holiday décor and more! Kids’ New Year’s Party features an amazing nightly fireworks show, dance parties, special building activities and more. On December 31, enjoy a brick drop at a kid-friendly hour!
November 29-30, December 1, 7-8, 14-15, 20-31 (2019)
Included in LEGOLAND Admission
LEGOLAND Florida Resort – 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884
PLANT CITY / TAMPA AREA CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES
Wonderland of Lights & Santa’s Village at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds
Tampa’s Wonderland of Lights & Santa’s Village is the premier Tampa-area holiday theme park, located at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds in Brandon, Florida. Take a drive through our mile of dazzling lights and Holiday displays that will make lasting memories for the whole family. The Christmas season springs to life with dazzling displays of electric cheer.
Come and enjoy Santa’s Village and stay awhile! Visit with Santa, enjoy the Circus/Comedy/Magic Show each night (see show schedule), Visit with the Animals of Bethlehem and the Camels, and enjoy the smells and yummy treats of fair type food and much more!
Meet Santa, ride ponies & camels, ride the North Pole Express Train, games, holiday food & treats, and more. Open Thanksgiving night (November 28, 2019) through January 4, 2020. Located in Dover, less than 30 minutes from Lakeland.
November 28, 2019 – January 4, 2020. Open nightly from 6 – 9pm or 6 – 10pm. (Closed Tuesday & Wednesday Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17)
Prices start at only $25/vehicle with up to 8 passengers! Season passes with unliminted admission are available for up to 8 visitors for only $65.
Mini Bus (9-25 passengers) is 40, and a Bus (26+ passengers) is $75. Train ride, animal rides, & some activities extra. Click here to purchase tickets.
Hillsborough County Fairgrounds – 215 Sydney Washer Rd, Dover, FL 33527 (MAP IT)
Only 30 minutes from Lakeland!
Holidays on the Farm at Keel Farms
Join Keel Farms at Keel & Curley Winery for lots of holiday fun on the farm on select Saturdays in November and December! Santa, U-pick, vendors, a bounce house, life-size snow globe and more! Admission is just $5 per person. Ages 5 and under will receive FREE admission. Admission includes a hayride and kids activities. Get your tickets at http://bit.ly/2KoST22.
Holidays on the Farm will be held on Saturdays from 10am – 4pm. November 23, 30, December 7, 14, 21.
$5 per person, ages 5 and under are free.
Keel & Curley Winery at Keel Farms – 5210 Thonotosassa Rd, Plant City, Florida 33565
Nights of Shimmering Lights in Dover
Sunkissed Acres Farm in Dover has a winter event featuring a ¼-mile walking trail through the shimmering lights dancing to music. Walk at your own pace and stop as often as you like. Enjoy Winterland full of blue and white lights, penguins, bears, old man winter and other favorite scenes. Don’t miss the Nativity scene and Star of David in our religious area. Who can miss Santa and the reindeer in the Christmas area? Rest on one of the many benches conveniently placed along the trail or take selfies at one of our photo stops. Get in the holiday mood with seasonal music and themed areas. Be sure to wear good footwear as the trail can be uneven in spots, it is not currently suitable for strollers or wheelchairs.
Saturday Nov. 30 – Sunday Dec. 22, 2019
Special Openings December 23-25th
Open Thursday to Sunday weekly. Closed Monday to Wednesday
Times: 6 – 9 pm on Thursday & Sunday | 6 – 10 pm on Friday & Saturday
$6 per person, ages 3 and under are free
GROUPON DEAL – Admission for 2 people ($10), 3 people ($14), or 4 people ($18) with one hot beverage per person.
Sun Kissed Acres Farm – 2302 N. Dover Road, Dover, FL 33527
Christmas Lane at the Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds in Plant City
Christmas Lane is an extraordinary light display that originated in the 1980s for the Dover, Florida community. This light display has grown exponentially over the last 35 years. In 2015, Christmas Lane relocated to the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds in Plant City, FL. Various Christmas themed displays, photos with Santa, live entertainment, food, and rides (additional cost for food & rides). Parking is free and can be accessed from Lemon and Oak streets. Live nativity every Thursday, Friday & Saturday night at 7:00 & 8:00pm.
November 29 – December 24, 2019 / Thursdays – Sundays from 6-10pm
$5 for adults; $3 for children ages 4 to 12; free for children under 3 (Rides & food extra)
Each Thursday, all teachers with school ID will receive free entry. Each Friday, all veterans, active/retired military, police officers, EMTs and paramedics will receive free entry with ID.
Florida Strawberry Festival grounds – 2508 W Oak Ave, Plant City, FL 33563 (MAP IT)
The Christmas Trail in Plant City
The Christmas Trail is an outdoor Christmas attraction located in Plant City, Florida. Featuring over a 1/4 mile walking trail filled with Christmas themed scenes and several thousand lights throughout. Photo ops, a 25ft tall Christmas tree, and even snow highlight a few of the magical aspects of The Christmas Trail. You might even catch a glimpse of Santa walking through the trail! Along with the trail guests can purchase an assortment of concessions including marshmallows for roasting and hot chocolate. Santa is also at the Trail nightly for pictures and Jack Frost creates magical snowfalls through the night. We also have vendors and free face painting. Guests can walk the trail at their leisure but can expect it to last around 15 minutes. The Christmas Trail is a Free Event but donations are appreciated. There are a limited number tickets available each night and they advise arriving early. Concessions and other items will be for sale along with vendors selling merchandise.
2019 Dates & Times TBD
FREE Event but donations are appreciated. $5 parkiner per car. Ticket reservation strongly recommended (check website)
2837 South Frontage Road Plant City, FL 33566 (MAP IT)
Unwrap a beautiful family tradition at Christmas Town, where Busch Gardens Tampa transforms into a holiday wonderland of Christmastime entertainment and attractions, holiday shopping, festive treats and more than a million twinkling lights.
Every night from November 16, 2019 to January 6, 2020
Christmas Town is included with any Busch Gardens pass membership, Fun Card or daily admission.
Busch Gardens Tampa – 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612
Enjoy a lively array of dancing lights, dazzling décor, and snow too! Symphony in Lights is an amazing holiday light show, choreographed to music featuring the Trans-Siberian Orchestra! A holiday tradition you won’t want to miss.
Shows and snow nightly on the hour 6-9pm from November 16 through December 31, 2019.
Admission is FREE. Synthetic Ice Skating & Santa Photos available at an additional cost.
Shops at Wiregrass – 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel, FL 33543
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… as ZooTampa at Lowry Park transforms into a world of holiday cheer for Christmas in the Wild! The event celebrates its fourth year as one of Tampa Bay’s most beloved holiday traditions. From the stunning sights of thousands of twinkling lights, delectable seasonal holiday treats and refreshments, to the wonder and enchantment of wildlife at night – Christmas in the Wild will offer guests of all ages a whimsical holiday experience. Included in daily admission or annual membership. After 4pm Admission also available at a discount.
November 29, 30 | December 6-7, 13-15, 20-23, 2019. Starting at 4 p.m.
Included in daily admission or annual membership. After 4pm Admission available for Christmas in the Wild nights.
ZooTampa at Lowry Park – 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, FL 33604
Bring your family and friends to celebrate the holidays at The Florida Aquarium. Santa will be at the Aquarium for photos* starting the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Santa’s elves will also be diving in the Aquarium’s Coral Reef habitat during its regularly scheduled dive presentation times. *Pictures are available for purchase.
Saturdays – Nov. 30 and Dec. 7, 14, and 21, 2019 from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Included in Aquarium admission
The Florida Aquarium – 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
Continue the holiday celebration at the Aquarium and have a flurry of fun in our outdoor kids’ play area with real snow! After you’re done, head inside for an Aquarium experience including animal encounters, diving elves, holiday crafts and more! Access to our snow play area is included with general admission.
December 26 – 30, 2019 from 12pm-5pm daily
Included in Aquarium admission
The Florida Aquarium – 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
For the first time ever, Tropicana Field will transform into the World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze and Market featuring larger-than-life light sculptures that take guests on a journey to find Santa’s missing reindeer. On your adventure, glide along the light-adorned ice skating trail, mosey through a Christmas Market of over 40 local artisan vendors, listen as carolers sing your favorite holiday tunes, and more.
November 22 – December 29, 2019
General Admission Tickets (Prices vary by date)
Adults – $19.99 – $32.99
Youth (ages 14 – 17) – $16.99 – $25.99
Child (ages 4 – 13) – $14.99 – $23.99
Senior (65+) – $16.99 – $25.99
Family 4-Pack – 2 Adults & 2 Kids under 18 – Save 20% off (prices vary by date)
VIP Access and Season Tickets are also available.
Tropicana Field – 1 Tropicana Dr., St. Petersburg, FL 33705
ORLANDO AREA CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES
ICE! at Gaylord Palms featuring The Polar Express – Walk-through holiday attraction, kept at a chilly 9 degrees. Journey through more than TWO MILLION pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures and two-story-tall ice slides. Delight in a celebration of cultures featuring holiday scenes, and travel to the North Pole to see Santa and his elves. Advance ticket purchase highly recommended.
Alpine Snow Tubing – Come visit our Alpine Village and zoom down an eight-lane tubing hill that’s fun for all ages and covered in REAL SNOW! Double riding tubes are available for parents with small children. Height minimum is 36″ to ride with an adult, 42″ to ride alone. (We did this last year and it was FUN!)
Cirque Dreams Unwrapped Stage Show – The entire family can enjoy this uniquely inspired 25-minute Christmas dream presented with the Broadway style and inventive theatrics for which Cirque Dreams is renowned. Located on the Emerald Bay Plaza Stage, St. Augustine Atrium. Show is free, reserved seating available to purchase.
Other Christmas activities include Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions, Photos with Santa, Gingerbread House Decorating, and more. (All for an additional cost)
Parking not included in Gaylord Palms Christmas events – it is $20 plus tax
Gaylord Palms Resort Orlando – 6000 W Osceola Pkwy, Kissimmee, FL 34746
November 25, 2019 – January 5, 2020
There are a variety of ticket prices for ICE. For ICE only, Adult $28.99 / Child (ages 4 – 11) $14.99 / Seniors(ages 55+) $26.99 / Children 3 & under FREE with adult admission
Snow Tubing (must be 36″ or taller) – $18.99
- ICE Child Admission – starting from $12
- ICE Adult Admission – starting from $22
- ICE & Snow Tubing Child Admission – starting from $28
- ICE & Snow Tubing Adult Admission – starting from $40
Now Snowing is a month-long Winter Wonderland Spectacular featuring strolling Charles Dickens Carolers, community performers, photos with Santa, horse drawn carriage rides, the Celebration Express train, ice skating, and nightly snowfall every hour.
From its beginning over three decades ago, the Trees have become one of Central Florida’s most loved and spectacular traditions. The Singing Christmas Trees is an exciting presentation of Christmas classics featuring a huge choir, full orchestra, dance, powerful drama and a beautiful display of 250,000 lights on our two 45-foot-tall Christmas Trees.
Before the Trees begin, join us for a stroll through our Bethlehem Village! Kids and adults will love meeting our live animals in the petting zoo. And characters from the Christmas story come to life during our Meet & Greets. See our live Nativity and get a picture made with the whole family. This is one experience you won’t want to miss! The Bethlehem Village starts one hour before show time.
Friday, Dec. 6 – 7:30pm
Saturday, Dec. 7 – 2:00pm
Sunday, Dec. 8 – 5:00pm
Thursday, Dec. 12 – 7:30pm
Friday, Dec. 13 – 7:30pm
Saturday, Dec. 14 – 2:00pm (ASL translation available)
Saturday, Dec. 14 – 6:00pm
Sunday, Dec. 15 – 5:00pm
Prices vary from $9.50 – $20.50 per ticket.
First Baptist Orlando – 3000 S John Young Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32805
Light Up UCF has become a holiday tradition, offering an 8,000 square foot outdoor ice skating rink, rides, and holiday attractions including a Ferris Wheel, Blizzard ride, the Arctic Glide Ice Slide and Santa’s Workshop, there are several free opportunities for families including the Holiday Film Festival shown on a giant two-story screen and the Holiday Light Show with thousands of lights choreographed to seasonal musical selections and falling snow!
November 22, 2019 through January 5, 2020. Hours vary daily, visit website for times and a list of special events.
The Holiday Film Festival, Parking, Light Show, and Light Up Lane are all FREE. Prices for ice skating, photos with Santa, and rides vary, visit website for prices.
CFE Arena – 12777 Gemini Blvd N, Orlando, FL 32816
Experience Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ as Hogsmeade™ and Diagon Alley™ are transformed with wondrous spirit. Treat yourself to Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s. And watch the live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s classic holiday tale starring The Grinch™ in the Grinchmas™ Who-liday Spectacular. Holiday events included with park admission. The Grinch™ & Friends Character Breakfast is also available on select dates at an additional cost. Park ticket required.
November 16, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort festivities are included with park admission. Groupon is currently running a deal on tickets. We don’t know if these are a discount or not since there are SO MANY OPTIONS, but definitely worth a look. (Purchase by February 12, 2020. Use by 5/22/2020)
Universal Orlando Resort – 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
Daily from November 23 – December 31, 2019
Sea World Orlando – 7007 Sea World Dr, Orlando, FL 32821
When Mickey celebrates the season, Magic Kingdom park lights up with excitement for guests of all ages. Cinderella Castle shimmers. Joyful music fills the air. Disney Characters don their most festive attire. Favorite attractions take on a holiday theme. And enchanting surprises lie around almost every turn!
Select nights in November & December
Separate ticket required. Prices range from $94/$99 (Child/Adult) to $120/$125 based on date.
Read our full review of this holiday event!
Catch the spirit of the season with an incredible mix of entertainment, shops, cuisine and family fun. You’ll find nightly activities such as a tree lighting ceremony, carolers and a holiday dance party. Santa will be available for photos. Don’t miss the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail – wander through an enchanted wonderland and marvel at a stunning collection of 25 custom-decorated trees. Each one has been designed to capture a popular Disney theme.
November 8, 2019 through January 5, 2020
Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) – 1652 Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32836
For the ultimate list of Christmas activities in Lakeland check out Lakeland’s BEST Holiday & Christmas Event Guide
🎄 Christmas Activities & Holiday Day Trips in Central Florida
🎄 Santa Photos and Breakfast with Santa
🎄 Lakeland Christmas Parade & Holiday Parades Across Polk County
🎄 Christmas Concerts, Holiday Shows & Live Performances
🎄 Single Day Christmas Events
🎄 Local Holiday Movie Showings and Christmas Movies & TV Specials
🎄 Neighborhood Christmas Lights and Holiday Displays in Lakeland
🎄 Christmas Giving Opportunities & Toy Donation Needs
🎄 Holiday Markets and Christmas Craft Fairs in Polk County
🎄 Experience Gift Ideas (that don’t take up space!)
🎄 Ice Skating in Lakeland, Tampa, & Orlando