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Things To Do During Christmas Break in Lakeland + Polk County

Things to do during Christmas Break in Lakeland Florida

The kids are out of school for 2+ weeks and we’re here with a list of ideas to squeeze in some family fun around Lakeland and Polk County. Need to keep them entertained and out of the house while you are cooking and wrapping gifts before Christmas? We’ve got you covered! Whether you’re ready to explore new places in the Lakeland area or take your holiday guests to your favorite spots, we’ve got a list of ideas to save you time searching and help you plan family fun.

Christmas Break for Polk County Schools lasts for 2 weeks. Winter Break is from December 19, 2020 – January 4, 2021. (Teachers return Jan 4, students return Jan 5 – see the calendar).

If you’re heading somewhere on Christmas Eve or Day, or New Year’s Eve or Day, please be sure to call first – we aren’t able to verify the hours for each place on our list but have provided links so you can easily call before you go.

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. We have researched these deals to be sure they are a savings to you. Thank you for supporting Lakeland Mom! 

Please check directly with event organizers or local businesses for mask requirements, safety protocols, advance registration, and any last-minute changes. All information on our website is for informational purposes only – we are not qualified to provide health or safety recommendations.

Winter Break Camps

If you’re looking for camps for Winter Break, activities to keep your kids busy, or you need childcare while you’re working, we’ve got a list of Winter Break Camps and Workshops in Lakeland including Explorations V, Camp Fire, Timbernook, Nova Athletics Camps, What’s Cooking Lakeland, and more.

Christmas Break Single Day Events

Only upcoming events show below. These events feed from our master calendar and are single day special events. Visit our calendar page for ALL upcoming activities.

Holiday Themed Fun

Sometimes it is easier to fit in holiday fun after Christmas. Many of these attractions are open past December 25!

🎄 Go on a drive to see Christmas lights! Many of these displays will be running through New Year’s.

🎄 Head to Silvermoon Drive-In or the Polk Theatre for Christmas Movies.

🎄 Go Ice Skating – The RP Funding Center is NOT hosting holiday ice skating this year, but we’ve got a list of ice skating rinks within an hour’s drive from Lakeland, plus we now have a year-round ice skating rink with public skate times – Lakeland Ice Arena!

🎄 Perform Random Acts of Kindness around town – we’ve got a list of 25 things you can do to spread joy!

🎄 Find free Christmas activities including walk-through light displays and ideas for things to do at home.

🎄 Track Santa on Christmas Eve

🎄 Play online Christmas themed games on NORAD and Google’s Santa Trackers

🎄 Find Kid-Friendly New Year’s Eve Celebrations

Holiday Day Trips

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

  • The Christmas Trail in Plant City
  • 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
  • Light Displays at the Tampa Riverwalk and St. Pete Waterfront (FREE)
  • Drive-Thru Lights and Walk Through Lights in Tampa + Clearwater (FREE)

Head to Orlando for some impressive Christmas light displays and attractions. Get details on Christmas Lights and Holiday activities in the Orlando area including:

  • Night of a Million Lights at giving Kids the World Village (NEW in 2020)
  • Christmas at Gaylord Palms – I Love Christmas Movies (NEW in 2020) and Cirque Dreams Unwrapped
  • Now Snowing at Celebration, Florida (FREE)
  • The Lights on Jeater Bend in Celebration (FREE)
  • Dazzling Nights at Harry P. Leu Gardens
  • Holidays at Disney Springs + Christmas Tree Trail (FREE)
  • Holidays at Universal Studios
  • Sea World’s Christmas Celebration

Outdoor Fun

Use our master list of outdoor activities to find things to do with your family! Use the link above for a full list, here are some of the highlights:

  • Explore the outdoors with out list of outdoor hiking trails in Polk County including local favorites spots like Circle B, Holloway Park, Colt Creek State Park, and Lakeland Highlands Scrub.
  • Go on a bike ride (helpful if new bikes arrive on Christmas!) or take a walk on a paved path
  • Stroll through Hollis Garden and learn about the variety of flowers and plants there. Opens at 10am, closed Mondays.
  • Let your kids get their energy out at a local playground! The Rotary Playground at Hernando’s Landing on Lake Parker has a huge pirate ship as the main play structure! Other themed playgrounds include Common Ground (Fire Truck / Fire Station) and Woodlake Park (Train). See our master list of playgrounds in the Lakeland area for more details.
  • Play a game of football, soccer or throw a Frisbee in an open field – we’ve got a list of places where you can play outdoors.
  • Visit Bok Tower – one of the most beautiful places in Polk County. Kids can explore Hammock Hollow Children’s Gardenthen take a stroll to see the variety of flowers and vegetation and be sure to get a photo in front of the Singing Tower.
  • Looking for a place to have a picnic? The weather is beautiful this time of year, we can help with a list of 10 Places to Enjoy a Picnic in Lakeland.
  • Go on a Drive-Thru Safari at Safari Wilderness in Lakeland.
  • Play mini golf! Family Fun Center in Lakeland has an 18 hole outdoor miniature golf course with a lake and waterfall. Golfers of ALL ages will enjoy competing on each of the par 2 holes along the way.
  • Go on a Mural Scavenger Hunt – we’ve got a list and map of 19+ amazing murals in Lakeland. Whether you are looking for a selfie wall, an Instagram background, or just enjoy seeing these works of public art, the entire family will have fun trying to pick your favorite mural in Lakeland. 
  • Drive east or west and spend the day at the beach! {#ChristmasinFlorida}
  • 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.
  • Stroll through Hollis Garden and learn about the variety of flowers and plants there. Opens at 10am, closed Mondays.
  • 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.
  • Try out geocaching an outdoor treasure hunt where you use GPS coordinates to find hidden containers
  • Find a Little Free Library around town where you can take a book and/or leave a book – for FREE! Clean out your bookshelves and leave a few at each location, and hopefully you’ll find something to take with you. Use the map at littlefreelibrary.org to find one near you.

Helpful Links:

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.