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25 FREE Christmas Events and Activities in Lakeland + Polk County

Free Christmas Activities Lakeland Florida

The holidays are a magical time of the year in Lakeland and Central Florida! It is pleasant to be outdoors, our downtown areas are lit up with Christmas lights, and it just feels festive. While we’ve got plenty of options if you’re looking to splurge on a unique holiday activity, many of the best things to do in Lakeland around Christmas time are absolutely FREE!

From holiday events to free things you can do at home, get into the holiday spirit with these free Christmas activities in Lakeland, Polk County and Central Florida.

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.

Free Christmas Activities

{Click any teal link for more details}

🎄 See a full list of free events at the bottom of this post – all happening for 1-2 days only.

🎄 Go for a drive to see Christmas Lights and find the best holiday light displays. Don’t forget your pajamas and hot cocoa!

Christmas Light Displays Houses with Lights Lakeland Florida

🎄 Stroll through Downtown Lakeland to enjoy the Christmas lights in Munn Park. Go during a special holiday event for a festive night out! (see events in Downtown Lakeland)

🎄 Visit Downtown Winter Haven to see the brand new Starlight Nights display with a huge Christmas tree and 4 light tunnels!

🎄 Check out a free outdoor event or drive-through light display where you can social distance this holiday season.

🎄 Use our list of Photos with Santa to find a place to snap free photos.

🎄 Bake cookies and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa at home.

🎄 Drink your cocoa and eat cookies while you enjoy a Christmas Movie at home or a TV Special.

Christmas Movies Lakeland TV Specials

🎄 Make handmade Christmas Cards for seniors (see addresses in our Random Acts of Kindness list)

🎄 Volunteer to ring the bell for Salvation Army or another local organization.

🎄 Perform random acts of kindness around town and spread holiday cheer.

🎄 Drive to First Baptist Church of Plant City to see their free 30 minute Light of Christmas show.

🎄 Take a drive to Tampa, Clearwater or St. Pete to see the Christmas Light Displays that are completely free.

🎄 Head towards Orlando for Christmas fun. Free Christmas things to do in Orlando include a visit to Disney Springs to see the Christmas Tree Trail, Snow in Celebration, and the lights on Jeater Bend in Celebration.

Holiday Day Trips Tampa Orlando Christmas Activities

🎄 Check out the huge Christmas Tree at Lakeside Village and enjoy the “snow” on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in December (5 minutes of snow at the top of the hour from 5-9 pm).

🎄 Stroll through a Holiday Market or craft fair (free unless you buy something!)

🎄 Attend a Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or other worship service during December, or tune via Facebook or YouTube for online services.

🎄 Read Christmas Books. Visit a local library to check out a few holiday favorites.

🎄 Get crafty and make homemade decorations or Christmas ornaments {we’re not crafty so you’ll have to check Pinterest or the internet for ideas!}

🎄 Print out free Christmas Activity sheets online – coloring pages, word search, etc. Turn it into a game night where everyone tries to finish a word search or puzzle first, or have a coloring contest.

🎄 Have a family game night. Sometimes the best part of the Christmas season is simply time spent as a family.

🎄 Enjoy live music at a Christmas music performance. Options include free outdoor holiday concerts as well as local favorites that have gone virtual this year.

Outdoor Christmas Events Drive Thru Lights (2)

🎄 Walk through the snow at Snowfest in Lakeland on December 4 or 5. {This is a free event but suggested admission is a canned food item}.

🎄 Check out the decorated Christmas trees at the RP Funding Center or enjoy a free Holiday Storytime every Monday at 10am.

🎄 Sign up for a FREE phone call from Santa on December 8. {You must sign up by December 4}

🎄 Spend time outdoors – go on a hike, bike ride, or walk a paved path.

Cheap Christmas Activities

Although these activities aren’t free, they are less than $10/person.

🎄 Enjoy a full day of planes, hot air balloons, and automobiles at the SUN ‘n FUN Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show on December 4 and 5. Santa will fly in on Saturday at noon. Admission is free, parking is $20 per day or $35 for both days.

🎄 Check out a holiday movie at the Drive-In! Silvermoon is having Holiday Movie Marathons for only $20 per vehicle, and admission to regular movie nights is only $6/person (10+) and $2 for kids (4-9).

🎄 Decorate a gingerbread house. {While this isn’t technically free, we’ve seen options as low as $5-10 per house at 5Below, Walmart, and Target}

Free Christmas Events in Lakeland + Polk County

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.

All of the community events listed below are FREE to attend! Click on View Details to get more information on any event.

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Free Christmas Events Canceled for 2020

A few of our favorite FREE holiday events in Lakeland draw large crowds and simply can’t happen safely during COVID. These events have been canceled for 2020. Look for your favorite free events to return in 2021:

  • Lights of Lakeland at Highland Park Church
  • Journey to Bethlehem Drive Through Nativity at First Presbyterian Church
  • Lakeland Christmas Parade
  • Havendale Christmas Parade