Here in Lakeland we are blessed with some amazing parks and playgrounds for families to enjoy for FREE. In the heat of summer (and early fall… and usually spring too…) we know that a shaded playground is the KEY to making a trip to the park last more than 15 minutes.

Lakeland Mom went on a hunt to find the best playgrounds in Lakeland with shade to inspire you with new parks to explore! None of the playgrounds are completely covered, but if they had benches for mom and dad in the shade, a large portion of the playground equipment in the shade, or big trees to provide shade at some point during the day, they MADE OUR LIST!

We also know that fenced in playgrounds are important for many families, and someone ALWAYS needs to go the bathroom within 5 minutes of arriving, so look for notes on restrooms, fences, and pavilion rentals below. Be sure to wear closed toe shoes since all of these playgrounds are mulch, and don’t forget to bring water.

Click any photo to enlarge.

The Rotary Playground in Hernando’s Landing at Lake Parker Park
910 E Granada Street, Lakeland, FL 33801 (MAP IT)

Lakeland’s newest playground is one of our favorites! The Rotary Playground has a pirate ship, treehouse, ziplines, parent/baby swings, and so much more to explore.

Restrooms – Yes, look for white buildings off to either side of the playground
Fenced in – No, and one side of playground is open to Lake Parker
Pavilions – Yes, eight pavilions available, first come first serve
*There is a bell at the playground that kids can ring, some special needs parents have told us their kids struggled with the constant loud ringing of the bell*

Christina Park
625 W. CR 540-A, Lakeland, FL 33813 (MAP IT)

Climbing structures, a rope pyramid, and lots of shade make this a reader favorite playground in south Lakeland. My favorite part is a swinging bench where this mom can sit and watch.

Restrooms – Yes, look for the screened pavilion towards the entrance
Fenced in – Not fenced in but playground is far away from the main road
Pavilions – Multiple open pavilions available, first come first serve. Screened Pavilion available to rent through Polk County Parks & Recreation.

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Fletcher Park at Lake Bonny
800 US 98, Lakeland, FL 33801 – across from Lakeland High School (MAP IT)

This playground got a complete makeover in 2016. Structures for kids of all ages, plus a parent/baby swing, 4 person see-saw, and lots of rope climbing areas. Park also includes sports fields and skate park.

Restrooms – Yes
Fenced in – Only partially, fence along parking lot and lake. Other two sides bordered by baseball fields.
Pavilions – None nearby, a few picnic tables

Dobbins Park
514 Ariana St, Lakeland, FL 33803 (MAP IT)

This playground includes my new favorite – a zipline! There are climbing structure for all ages, multiple swings, and a HUGE field next to the playground.

Restrooms – Yes
Fenced in – Partial, fence on two sides near the road, open on two sides to the field
Pavilions – Yes, first come first serve

Horney Park
205 E Poinsetta, Lakeland, FL 33803 (MAP IT)

This neighborhood playground is almost completely shaded AND fenced in! Two structures with slides, plus swings, along with a large grassy area next to the playground. No bathrooms on site, and no designated parking lot – simply find a spot along the road.

Restrooms – No
Fenced in – Yes but there is not a gate at the entrance
Pavilions – No

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Loyce Harpe Park
500 W. Carter Road, Mulberry, FL 33860 (MAP IT)

A playground with the shade built in! Two large canopies cover two of the three structures at this playground. Little ones will enjoy driving the car and riding on the whale, while big kids can climb away on three different play areas. Take a left where the road splits, it is hidden off to the right before you reach the baseball fields.

Restrooms – Yes, across the bridge at the back of the playground (look for the screened pavilion)
Fenced in – Yes but the gate is not child proof
Pavilions – Yes, one screened pavilion available for rent through Polk County Parks & Recreation

While this playground isn’t in Lakeland, it was mentioned by multiple Lakeland Mom readers as a local favorite and worth the drive!

Auburndale Downtown City Park
N Bartow Ave, Auburndale, FL 33823 (MAP IT)

Features playground equipment for children of all ages. Swing sets, bench swings, tower, train, Tot area and more. Walk across the street to grab lunch or ice cream in Downtown Auburndale.

Restrooms – Yes
Fenced in – No
Pavilions – Yes, first come first serve

Prefer a playground in the air conditioning? Check out Funtasia at Family Fun Center!

Check out a full list of playgrounds in our Directory.
Have a favorite local playground? Leave us a comment below!

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, and working on Lakeland Mom!