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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 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 near you 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 Christmas events near you 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. We’ve got a huge list {AND MAP} to help you find the best free Christmas lights near you. Don’t forget your pajamas and hot cocoa!

🎄 Drive through the Ariana Village Christmas Lights – open December 15 – 23, 2023

Christmas Light Displays Houses with Lights Lakeland Florida

🎄 Stroll through Downtown Lakeland to enjoy the holiday decorations and Christmas lights in Munn Park. Go during a special holiday event or the food trucks rally 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

🎄 Go to Light Up BSP at Bonnet Springs Park – Christmas Lights + Nightly Activities Dec 15-31

🎄 Check out a free outdoor event or drive-through holiday lights display

Santa Photos Lakeland Florida (2)

🎄 Use our list of the best places for pictures with Santa to find a place for free Santa visits and photos with Santa {and maybe Mrs. Claus!}

🎄 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 an outdoor movie under the stars at Festive Flix on the Promenade in Lakeland. Or check out our full list up upcoming Christmas movie showings.

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 volunteer with another local organization this holiday season.

🎄 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 and Snow 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) plus live entertainment, including the ‘Tis the Season Holiday Concert.

🎄 Play in the park and enjoy an outdoor movie at the Winter Haven Winter Wonderland

🎄 Enjoy live holiday music at a Christmas music performance – often held for free at local churches.

🎄 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.

🎄 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.

Outdoor Christmas Events Drive Thru Lights (2)

🎄 Walk through the snow at Snowfest in Lakeland on December 9. {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 12.

🎄 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.

🎄 Check out a holiday movie at the Drive-In! Silvermoon Drive-In is only $8/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}

🎄 Go Ice Skating

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 Polk County – plus separate articles to find Christmas events near you in each city.