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 free holiday events – Christmas parades, walk-through light displays, holiday concerts, drive-thru events, live nativities, and more – 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.

Christmas events with free admission begin in mid-November so be sure to check the list and get these dates on your calendar. Stop searching and let us help you find the best free Christmas events near you!

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!

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

🎄 Go to the Lakeland Christmas Parade

🎄 Watch a Christmas Parade in Mulberry, Bartow, Auburndale, Winter Haven, Fort Meade, Frostproof, Davenport, or Haines City

🎄 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 holiday lights display

🎄 Use our list of the best places for Photos with Santa to find a place for free Santa visits and pictures with Santa

🎄 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.

🎄 Watch Elf under the stars at Festive Flix on the Promenade in Lakeland

🎄 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 light shows and Christmas Light Displays that are completely free including the Tampa Riverwalk and the area around the St. Pete Pier.

🎄 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.

🎄 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) plus live entertainment.

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

🎄 Celebrate the start of Hanukkah at a Menorah Lighting in Lakeland or Winter Haven

🎄 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 or check our list of places to find free books.

🎄 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 – often held for free at local churches.

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

🎄 Check out the decorated Christmas trees at the RP Funding Center on display during November and December

🎄 Attend a holiday tree lighting in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Mulberry, or Davenport

🎄 Sign up for a FREE phone call from Santa Claus on December 7. {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 3 and 4. Admission is $12-15/person, children 12 and under are free.

🎄 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 $7/person (10+) and $3 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

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

Editor’s note – While we have done our best to confirm the accuracy of this list, events are included/excluded from this list based on a single checkbox on each event… we are human and occasionally make mistakes when inputting calendar details. Please check event details carefully, an outside link is provided for every single event where you can confirm pricing and other event details.

We also have a full Calendar of Christmas Events in Lakeland.

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.