One of my favorite things to do in November and December is to visit Downtown Lakeland with my family. We have dinner out at a downtown restaurant, browse through the stores and shop local, and stroll the streets with our fellow Lakelanders as we get into the holiday spirit.

Downtown Lakeland’s November/December event line-up is changing this year, and there are more opportunities than ever to visit Downtown in the evenings to shop, stroll, eat, and enjoy the festivities. 

Wondering what’s changing??

In previous years, a Christmas-oriented Holiday Walkabout was held in late November or early December. NEW this yearthe Holiday Walkabouts are being moved to mid-December and a new Holiday Open House will be held on on Thursday, November 15, 2018 from 5:00pm to 8:30pm. It will be a kick off to the holiday season in general and holiday shopping – rather than a specifically Christmas-oriented event. So, don’t expect Santa or Christmas lights in the park on November 15!

Instead, you can start your holiday shopping on November 15, and then come back for the Holiday Walkabouts on Friday, December 14 and Friday, December 21.

With so many opportunities to enjoy Downtown Lakeland this Holiday Season, we’ve got the details on ALL the events happening in November & December including merchant discounts, Santa Photos, carriage rides, Munn Park lights, Snowfest, and much more.

Holiday Open House
Thursday, November 15

The first annual Holiday Open House in Downtown Lakeland will be on Thursday, November 15, 2018 from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Visitors can enjoy live music, face painting, and carriage rides, as well as merchant goodies, giveaways, and deals (see below for details). Text DTHOUSE to 51660 by November 14th for a chance to win a $25 gift card to your favorite Downtown business!

Live Music – Billy Needs a Beard, a local band, will be playing on the corner of N. Kentucky Ave. and Bay Street. Learn more about them on their website.

Face Painting – Talented face painter Heather Payne will be set up on the southwest corner of N. Kentucky Ave. and Pine St. offering pretty painted designs at a reasonable price.

Carriage Rides – BFR Carriage Rides will have a rustic hay wagon drawn by two beautiful Clydesdales loading on the corner of Pine St. and N. Tennessee Ave. Rides are $1 per person.

Merchant Specials – Many Downtown businesses will be open late offering discounts, deals, and refreshments. Click here to see a list of participating merchants and deals.

This NEW event is a kick off to holiday shopping and the holiday season in general so don’t expect Santa or Christmas lights in the park on November 15! The holiday lights in Munn Park will be up for ALL of the other events in Downtown Lakeland in December.

Learn More

First Friday Hometown Holiday
Friday, December 7

December’s First Friday event will kick off the Christmas season in Downtown Lakeland! It takes place on December 7, 2018 from 6pm to 9pm in Downtown Lakeland. The theme is Hometown Holiday, sponsored by Burnetti, P.A.

Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, and enjoy free activities, games, and live music in Munn Park.

Downtown shops and restaurants will be open late. Don’t miss the Makers Market on North Kentucky Avenue and the Classy Car Show on Tennessee Avenue.

First Friday is a family-friendly event held monthly on the 1st Friday in the streets of Downtown Lakeland between Lemon Street and Oak Street along Kentucky and Tennessee Avenues.

Learn More

Holiday Walkabouts
Friday, December 14 & Friday, December 21

Downtown Lakeland Holiday Walkabouts 2018

Friday, December 14, 2018 and Friday, December 21, 2018 will be the “Holiday Walkabouts” from 6pm to 9pm.

Stores and shops will be open late serving up yummy goodies (like cider and cookies) and special deals, and there will be live music on the street corners. There will be the traditional holiday lights decorating Munn Park and costumed characters patrolling around for spontaneous selfies.

On December 14, visitors can take pictures with Santa at Just Dance Academy on 124 S. Kentucky Ave. and participate in a Gingerbread Contest at My Office & More on 122 E. Main St. for a chance to win prizes.

On December 21, visitors can take pictures with Santa at Focus Realty on 218 E. Pine Street. Walk ins welcome, and no registration required. Photos are $3. Visitors can also participate in a “Whoville Hair” and “Ugly Sweater Selfie” contest.

Learn More

Additional December Events in Downtown Lakeland

Lakeland Christmas Parade 2

On Thursday, December 6th the 2018 Annual Lakeland Christmas Parade, sponsored by The Junior League of Greater Lakeland FL, will kick off at 7:00 pm with a fantastic fireworks display over Lake Mirror. Over 100 organizations will be participating in this year’s event!

Click here to see a parade route map and learn more.

There is SNOW in the forecast for Downtown Lakeland on December 8th!

Join the City of Lakeland for the 38th Annual Snowfest on December 8th in Munn Park on from 10 am – 2 pm. There will be an artisan craft fair, inflatables, Snow Mountains, and Santa. Click here for prices and more details.

Year-Round Events in Downtown Lakeland

Downtown Lakeland also hosts a variety of events throughout the year including the weekly Saturday Farmers Curb Market, monthly First Fridays, monthly Food Truck Rallies,  Girls Night Out, Date Nights, and much more. Visit to learn more about year-round events, restaurants, and merchants in Downtown Lakeland.

Lakeland Christmas Events Activities for Kids

Looking for Christmas Light Displays, Special Events, Concerts & Live Performances, Parades, Santa Sightings, Holiday Movies & more?  For the ultimate list of Christmas activities in Lakeland check out Lakeland’s BEST Holiday & Christmas Event Guide.

April Mucci Lakeland Mom
April Mucci Lakeland Mom

About the Author: April Mucci

April is the owner of She has lived in Lakeland since age 2 and is passionate about our community and connecting people with local resources. She is a mom to 2 boys and a mini goldendoodle, wife to Matt. You can often find April at the baseball field where she cheers on her baseball loving 10 year old, or home building Legos with her 8 year old. She loves reading, saltwater fishing, and working on Lakeland Mom!