Staying local for Spring Break? We guarantee you’ll find plenty of kid friendly fun on our list of over 100 events & activities in Lakeland, Polk County & even a few day trip ideas! Most events and activities listed below are FREE –  those that have a cost are under $10/person OR would depend on items purchased.

Events During Spring Break

March 20, 2020

9:30 am CANCELED – Family Fundamentals Class (Ages 3-5) @ Family Fundamentals – Success By 6 Resource Center - Free
10:30 am CANCELED – Little Bookworms Storytime (Ages 2-5) @ eLibrary South Lakeland - Free
10:30 am CANCELED – Classes at Explorations V Children’s Museum @ Explorations V Children’s Museum
1:05 pm CANCELED – Detroit Tigers Spring Training Game @ Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium
3:00 pm CANCELED – Ultimate Improv (Ages 10 – 17) @ Lakeland Public Library - Free
5:30 pm CANCELED – Bartow Friday Fest & St. Patrick’s Day Un-Parade @ Bartow – Main Street / Downtown - Free

March 21, 2020

8:00 am CANCELED – Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curb Market @ Downtown Lakeland - Free
9:30 am POSTPONED – Kid Con at Explorations V Children’s Museum @ Explorations V Children’s Museum
10:00 am CANCELED – Paws to Read @ Lakeland Public Library - Free
10:00 am POSTPONED – Central Park Art Festival in Winter Haven @ Winter Haven – Central Park Downtown - Free
11:00 am CANCELED – Scats and Tracks at Colt Creek State Park @ Colt Creek State Park – Lakeland
5:00 pm CANCELED – Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team Show @ Winter Haven – MLK Park on Lake Silver - Free
5:00 pm Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team Show @ Winter Haven – MLK Park on Lake Silver - Free

March 22, 2020

10:00 am POSTPONED – Central Park Art Festival in Winter Haven @ Winter Haven – Central Park Downtown - Free
3:05 pm CANCELED – Florida Tropics Soccer Game @ RP Funding Center - $7

March 23, 2020

10:30 am CANCELED – Classes at Explorations V Children’s Museum @ Explorations V Children’s Museum
11:30 am POSTPONED – Music Munndays @ Downtown Lakeland - Free

March 24, 2020

10:00 am CANCELED – Preschool Storytime (ages 4-5) @ Lakeland Public Library - Free
10:00 am CANCELED – Preschool Storytime (ages 4-5) @ Lakeland Public Library - Free
10:30 am CANCELED – Classes at Explorations V Children’s Museum @ Explorations V Children’s Museum
12:35 pm CANCELED – Detroit Tigers Spring Training Game @ Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium
3:00 pm CANCELED – Teen Scene at the Library @ Lakeland Public Library - Free
7:00 pm CANCELED – Lakeland Magic Game – Two for Tuesday @ RP Funding Center - $2

March 25, 2020

10:00 am CANCELED – Toddler Time (Library Storytime Ages 2-3) @ Lakeland Public Library - Free
10:30 am CANCELED – Storytime at the Jackson Branch Library (ages 2-5) @ Larry R. Jackson Branch Library – Lakeland - Free
10:30 am CANCELED – Classes at Explorations V Children’s Museum @ Explorations V Children’s Museum
3:30 pm CANCELED – Wonder Wednesdays (ages 6 – 12) @ Lakeland Public Library - Free

March 26, 2020

10:30 am CANCELED – Classes at Explorations V Children’s Museum @ Explorations V Children’s Museum
11:00 am CANCELED – Mother Goose Baby Time (6-18 months) @ Lakeland Public Library - Free

March 27, 2020

7:00 pm CANCELED – Bartow Main Street Movie on the Lawn – Hop @ Bartow – Main Street / Downtown - Free

March 28, 2020

8:00 am CANCELED – Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curb Market @ Downtown Lakeland - Free
8:00 am CANCELED – Panther Point Trail Run 10k @ Winter Haven – Marshall Hampton Reserve

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Seasonal Activities

  • For an experience unique to Florida, visit the TECO Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach, just South of Brandon/Tampa. Only open through April 15.
  • Feel like making a day of it? There are 14 other Major League teams that have Spring Training in Florida, all less than 3 hours from Lakeland, with some just 45 minutes away. You can head towards the east coast and catch the Braves at Disney/Lake Buena Vista, the Astros in Kissimmee, the Nationals in Viera, the Mets in Port St. Lucie, and in Jupiter you’ll find both the Cardinals and the Marlins. Head west to see the Yankees in Tampa, the Blue Jays in Dunedin, the Phillies in Clearwater, the Pirates in Bradenton, the Orioles in Sarasota, the Rays in Port Charlotte, and in Fort Myers you’ll find the Twins and Red Sox.

The Great Outdoors

Water Fun

  • Put on your flippy floppys to visit Gandy Pool and go swimming! The pool has open swim M-F from 8AM – 5PM; Sat 10AM – 5PM. Cost is $4/person.
  • Head to Winter Haven to play at the Splash Pad at Trailhead Park – open 10am – 7pm daily
  • “Rowdy” Gaines Olympic Pool in Winter Haven is heated and open Mon-Fri from 12pm – 2pm for Open Swim (closed Sat & Sun until Spring)
Spring Break Lakeland

Indoor Play

  • Head to Family Fun Center Miniature Golf, Lazer Tag, Funtasia soft play, Redemption Games, Arcade Games, Vault Assault Lazer Maze, and much more! Fun for all ages. Don’t miss their Lazer Tag arena!
  • Play the day away at Explorations V Children’s Museum or sign up for Spring Break Camp. Kids ages 5-12 can sign up for a 1/2 day or full day of hands on activities, and anywhere from 1-5 days during Spring Break.
  • Let your kids enjoy the indoor play area at Chick-fil-A or McDonalds at lunchtime.
  • Visit a local pet store and explore all the different kinds of animals you can have as a pet. Just don’t blame us if you end up taking one home!
  • Bowling is always a hit with my kids, AMF Lanes and Orange Bowl Lanes in Lakeland, and Cypress Lanes in Winter Haven are in our Fun Around Lakeland Directory

Sweet Treats & Good Eats

Spring Break Lakeland

Fun Around Polk

Day Trips in Central Florida

Looking for a full day of fun? We are lucky enough to live in the middle of one of the top vacation destinations in the country, and you can experience all the same spring break fun as the millions of people traveling to Florida this week, and yet sleep in your own bed! We’ve put together just a few places worthy of a day trip. ***MANY OF THESE COST MORE THAN OUR $10 LIMIT MENTIONED ABOVE***

  • Go to the beach
  • Head to Busch Gardens or Sea World – Kids ages 5 & younger get into both parks for FREE in 2019. There is also a Groupon Deal active right now, admission to 2 parks for $105.99 per person. (Great deal if you aren’t looking for an annual pass)
  • Head to I-Drive 360 for the Orlando Eye giant observation wheel,  Madam Tussaud’s and SEALIFE Aquarium.
  • Have an animal lover in the family? In Tampa you’ll find Big Cat Rescue, Lowry Park Zoo, Old Mickey’s Farm, Giraffe Ranch, and more. Head towards Orlando to check out the Central Florida Zoo, or Gatorland.
  • Feel the need for speed at I-Drive NASCAR Indoor Kart Racing
  • Prefer animals of the underwater variety? We’re surrounded by incredible aquariums – The Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and Mote Marine in Sarasota.
  • Parents of little pirates rejoice – you can set sail on Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise out of Clearwater Beach
  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has thousands of interactive space exhibits and a full-sized shuttle on display, Space Shuttle Atlantis

Staycation Deals

If you’re staying local but looking for a deal on Tampa & Orlando Attractions, check out these discount passes.

Go Orlando Card

Get Unlimited admission to Central Florida attractions for one low price with the Go Orlando Card. Save up to 55% off vs. purchasing tickets individually. Pay nothing at the gate. Use your pass to get into as many included attractions as you want for 2 OR 3 calendar days over a two-week period. (Does not have to be 2 or 3 days in a row!!) Attractions on the list stretch from Clearwater to Cocoa Beach.

Attractions include – LEGOLAND Florida, Kennedy Space Center, ZooTampa, WonderWorks, SEALIFE Aquarium Orlando, Madam Tussaud’s, Titanic The Exhibition, Florida Aquarium, Boggy Creek Airboat Tours, and more.

Visit 3 or 5 top Orlando attractions with the Orlando Explorer Pass and save up to 35% off admission versus purchasing individual attraction tickets at the gate.  Your pass is valid for 30 days from your first attraction visit. Choose from over 15 options including:

  • ICON Orlando
  • SEA LIFE Aquarium Orlando
  • Madame Tussauds Orlando
  • Gatorland: The Alligator Capital of the World
  • Boggy Creek Airboat Tour
  • WonderWorks All-Access Pass
  • Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando
  • Fun Spot America Theme Park – 4 Ride Sampler
  • Congo River Adventure Golf
  • And more!

Choose 3 Attractions – $53 for kids / $62 for adults
Choose 5 Attractions – $85 for kids / $94 for adults

At Home

Play Like a Kid Again

  • Play indoor hide & seek. Play at night and turn off the lights and use flashlights.
  • Build with LegosLast summer we spent a day (or two) building every single Lego set we own. (I am a Lego lover at heart and am perfectly happy to sit and build them on my own, kids or no kids)
  • Create a timed obstacle course out of cushions and furniture
  • Have a No TV / No Electronics day
  • Have a dance partyGet wild and turn off the lights and add glowsticks, glow jewelry, or flashing/light-up toys to the mix.
  • Learn a new dance via YouTube
  • Build a fort – Grab some old blankets and sheets and spend the afternoon creating a super cool hideout, or check out the tents and forts on Amazon that you can leave up for days
  • Teach your kids a new card game like Rummy, Solitaire, or Spoons
  • Work on a puzzle. Find a spot to leave it out and make it a weeks long project.
  • Have a puzzle race – pick 100 piece or less puzzles and see who can finish each one first (Dollar Tree is a great place for these)
  • Play rock paper scissors
  • Play Simon Says or Red Light, Green Light
  • Play Charades
  • Have a “King/Queen for the Day” and let that child choose what to do. Really get into it with a crown they can wear.
  • Let the kids do your hair (yes, I’m talking to you moms!)
  • Have a family slumber party complete with sleeping bags for mom and dad (or snag the couch)
  • Let the kids play in the bathtub. Optional bath accessories include bath bombs with a toy inside, bath color tabs, bubbles, bath crayons, bath finger paint, shaving cream, glowsticks, or the animal sponge capsules you can get at Dollar Tree.

Quiet Time – Books & Movies

  • Sign up for a Summer Reading Program through the local library or check out one of the online programs that allow kids to earn prizes and rewards!
  • Set aside some quiet time to read each day (mom included!)
  • Looking for new books to explore? Read our review of Epic! – an ebook subscription for kids with over 10,000 books to choose from. Kids can read anytime, anywhere on a laptop, tablet or mobile device.
  • Have kids listen to books read aloud – our Summer Reading List has lots of online resources
  • Read aloud to your kids
  • Take a NAP!
  • Stay in pajamas ALL DAY
  • Clean out closets and old toys and donate them
  • Movie Night – My boys LOVE to have movie night.  We get all the sleeping bags, blankets, & pillows in the whole house and get comfy on the floor, then pop popcorn (and add M&M’s), make chocolate milk or hot chocolate, and settle in to watch their movie of choice
  • Show the kids one of your childhood favorites. My kids already love Back to the Future, Goonies, Sandlot, and Big. (Note that PG ratings in the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s were a little more lenient – if you haven’t seen the movie as a parent, visit Common Sense Media for details on anything that might be inappropriate.)
  • Rent a movie from Redbox.

Go Outdoors

  • Play hide & seek
  • Go for a bike ride around the neighborhood
  • Have a picnic in the backyard, driveway, or in the garage (the garage is especially fun if it is raining)
  • Go for a walk around the neighborhood
  • Play I Spy
  • Camp out in the backyard (Amazon has a 4 person tent for under $50)
  • Make art with sidewalk chalk
  • Play sports – baseball, basketball, soccer, football. For old school fun play a game of trash can football.
  • Make your own frisbee golf course with targets found around the yard.
  • Plant an herb garden, flowers, or other type of plant
  • Scavenger hunt around the house or the neighborhood. Click here for our Google image search “neighborhood scavenger hunt” and find one that works for your neighborhood. Make it a competition by splitting into two teams and taking photos as you go! Meet back at home at a certain time and see what each team found.
  • Fly a kite on a windy day
  • Bubbles!
  • Play in the rain, splash in puddles, make mud pies (just not in a thunderstorm)
  • Have a super soaker squirt gun war in the yard
  • Set up a slip n slide
  • If you have a pool, create pool games – my kids love to do “themed” jumps and have me rank them. (Air guitar, fly like a bird, cannonball, hit a baseball, etc)
  • Wash the car
  • Have a water balloon fight. Check out these awesome self-sealing water balloons (can also be found at Target and WalMart). Yes, they are more expensive than a normal pack, but worth every penny to save my fingers from water balloon tying misery!

Get Crafty

  • Make cereal jewelry – perfect for a snack while reading or having movie night
  • Create sock puppets and put on a puppet show
  • Make paper airplanes – have a contest to see which one goes farthest
  • Color together – find online printable coloring sheets in your child’s favorite theme.
  • Get out the paint and paintbrushes. Pick up an inexpensive canvas at the store for a true masterpiece! Pull up a picture and try and recreate a famous paintingFinger paint. Paint on rocks or shells.
  • Create art projects using “found” objects, glue and a canvas. Add a unique twist by adding a coat of spray paint to the entire thing when you’re done.
  • Have kids write and illustrate their own book. If they can’t write yet, have them tell you a story to write down, and then hand it over to be illustrated.
  • Learn a new skill or do a science experiment (check out our Online Summer camp list for some great ideas to get you started)
  • Play dress up with old Halloween costumes or make your own
  • Have a fashion show where everyone puts on the craziest outfit they can find
  • Have the kids create their own skit and perform it for the adults
  • Make miniature boats – sail them in the bathtub, sink, or plastic bin
  • Find a large cardboard box and create a car, castle or other playspace
  • Make musical instruments out of household objects or recycled bottles
  • Make homemade play doh (I LOVE this stuff – it doesn’t dry out like the stuff you buy at the store, AND you can easily make a huge batch!) I don’t remember which recipe we used, but this one is no-cook, just mix dry ingredients and add hot water.

Food Fun

  • Bake Cookies
  • Freeze your own popsicles
  • Eat dinner outside on the porch, in the treehouse, or in the backyard
  • Make homemade lemonade or limeade
  • Make Jello or pudding
  • Whip up some homemade ice cream
  • Make indoor s’mores in the oven or get an indoor s’mores maker
  • Eat breakfast for dinner
  • Plant an herb garden to use for cooking
  • Pick up some icing and store bought cookies and have a cookie decorating contest
  • Play restaurant and let the kids make and serve lunch
  • Let the kids make a dinner plan and fix as much as they can do on their own
  • Eat ice cream or popsicles. Daily.
Lakeland Summer Activities for Kids

Be sure to check out our Spring Activity Guide for Spring Break Camps, Spring Break activities, tips for attending Sun ‘n Fun & Mayfaire, details on Lakeland’s favorite annual Spring events, and more.

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 families 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 11 year old, or home building Legos with her 9 year old. She loves reading, saltwater fishing, concerts and live performances, and working on Lakeland Mom!