October is one of our readers’ favorite months (ours too!) and we love helping you find family friendly events and activities to celebrate the fall season. Our calendar gets JAM PACKED in October with so many things to do in Lakeland – fall festivals, Trunk or Treats, and other Halloween themed events, so this is our Top 10 list to help you make sure the “can’t miss” events are on your calendar, including the ones that have nothing to do with pumpkins. If you enjoy one of these events, be sure to let the venue know that you heard about it from Lakeland Mom.
Don’t miss our Fall & Halloween Guide for a full list of Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Patches, Hayrides, Halloween costume stores, Trick-or-Treating safety tips, Haunted Houses and Zombies, Halloween Movies and TV Specials, Fall Festivals, Trunk or Treats, Halloween eents in Lakeland, and so much more!
Bartow Chalk Walk
Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6
10am – 5pm daily | FREE
If you’ve never been to a Chalk Art event, trust us when we tell you the Bartow Chalk Walk is going to be amazing! 30 artists will make the sidewalks in Ft. Blount Park come alive with color, energy, vibrancy and a unique art form in this street painting festivals. This will be the 2nd year Bartow has hosted Polk County’s only professional Chalk Art event.
In addition to browsing the sidewalk art, this event will have music, food trucks, craft arts for the kiddos, trendy vendors and much more. The artwork will be a work in progress throughout the weekend with awards presented Sunday at 3:00pm.
Aerospace Center for Excellence presents Wings ‘n Things & Girls in Aviation Day
Saturday October 5, 2019
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
FREE ADMISSION / Parking $5
This annual event is a “must-do” for families of all ages. Experience the wonders of aerospace through a full day of free hands-on activities that range from a scavenger hunt with prizes to solar observations in a planetarium to constructing and launching rockets! Your child even has the opportunity for their “First Flight” in a general aviation aircraft and even log time!
Mentorship Mini-sessions with women in Aerospace Careers are also available. Visit the website to sign up. Learn more at https://www.flysnf.org/wnt/
You and your family can run/walk alongside the Lakeland Magic mascot – Swish – in the Lakeland Magic 5K on Saturday, October 5 @ 7:30am. You’ll cross the finish line on the Lakeland Magic court! Click here to register.
Volunteer with the Lakeland Magic in their Day of Service on Saturday, October 26. The Lakeland Magic have teamed up with numerous organizations across Polk County to give back through a series of community service projects that focus on their five pillars of community outreach – Homelessness, Hunger, Education/Literacy, Health & Fitness, and Youth Basketball. Click here to sign up or learn more. Questions? Contact the Lakeland Magic at email@example.com or (863) 825-3258.
Leadercast Women Central Florida
October 18 @ 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
I (April) attended Leadercast Women for the first time in 2018 and it was one of my favorite leadership events I’ve ever attended. I was hesitant to give up a full day in the office, but I am so thankful I did. Seven different nationally renowned speakers shared anecdotes, life lessons, and encouragement, and each of them had a unique message that I could apply to my own leadership style, work ethic, and personal life. The speakers were broadcast from a main host site in Atlanta and we watched from our comfy seats in an auditorium at the Polk State Center for Public Safety.
I laughed, I listened, I reflected, and I connected with other women. It was a great one-day leadership event and I would love for you to come join me at Leadercast Women 2019! Leadercast Women attendees will walk away with the courage to make a difference in their lives, the boldness to take control of their careers and the confidence to lead themselves and others to better futures. Learn more and register at bartowchamber.com/leadercast-women/.
(Leadercast Women features an all-female cast, but it’s not a women’s event. Both men and women are invited to hear from the leaders who will share from the stage.)
Imperial Symphony Orchestra – Spooky Symphony
October 29 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Music tells a story, and some stories are spooky! With loud noises and creepy sounds, hear some of the most beautiful scary music ever written as the ISO presents “Spooky Symphony.” This event is family friendly and a great way to celebrate Halloween together. Children and students with ID are FREE!
Local Corn Mazes, Farms, & weekend Fall Festivals are in full swing in October.
Harvest Holler Corn Maze is already open for the season, now through November 10 this year. If you’ve never been to Harvest Holler, it is a fall “must do.” Click here to read more and see photos from our visit last year.
You can find a full list of corn mazes & farms along with their opening dates and hours on our website – click here to take a look.
Tis the season for Trunk or Treats and Halloween events! With over 70 events in the “Fall & Halloween” category on our calendar, you should be able to find the perfect event(s) for your family – whether you’re looking for something on a specific date (select a date) or a specific location (filter by venue), our calendar makes it easy to find family fun. Take a few minutes to browse the list, but here are a few local favorites:
- Aqua Boo Fall Festival
- Gandy Pool Lakeland | October 11 @ 7:00 pm
- Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Florida
- Every Saturday & Sunday in October
- Pumpkinfest (for kids) & Oktoberfest (for adults)
- Downtown Winter Haven | October 18 @ 5:30 pm
- Polk County Sheriff’s Office Haunted Jail Tour
- Polk County Jail | October 18, 19, 25, 26 @ 6:00 – 10:30pm
- Joggin’ for the Noggin! 5K & 1-Mile Walkin’ While Talkin’
- Polk State College Lakeland | October 18 @ 6:30 pm
- Rootstock Plant & Garden Festival
- Bok Tower Gardens | October 19 @ 8am – 5pm (Admission is free, parking $10 per car, members park free)
- Haunted Halloween Hayride & Happenings – Polk County
- Loyce E. Harpe Park | October 19 @ 5:00 pm
- Bartow Halloween Parade & Carnival
- Downtown Bartow & Mosaic Park | October 24 @ 4:00 pm
- Boo Bash at Explorations V
- Explorations V Children’s Museum | October 26 @ 10am – 5pm (included with admission)
- Truck Or Treat with Lakeland Police & Fire Department
- Lake Mirror at the Lakeland Fire Department | October 28 @ 5pm-8pm
- Sensory Inclusive Boo Bash at Explorations V
- Explorations V Children’s Museum | October 31 @ 2pm – 5pm (included with admission)
After School Art at the Polk Museum of Art runs from September 30 – November 4. This is a program designed for children (ages 5 & up) and their parent to learn together. Lessons vary in medium and are designed to be adapted for use at home. Each class is an independent lesson. Registration is not required. Mondays, 4:30pm – 5:30pm (doors open at 4:20pm). FREE for Members, $5 Non-Members per child per visit.
The Lakeland Cardboard Boat Challenge & Lakes Festival is on October 5 @ 8:30 am – 12:00 pm. Fun for everyone! The challenge is to build a boat out of cardboard and duct tape, and then put 2 people inside to race around a course on Lake Hollingsworth, and be the first to make it across the finish line without sinking. Register a team to build a cardboard boat (either pre-build or build on-site) OR simply come out to watch the festivities and explore the activities. FREE to attend, Pre-Registration required to participate in the race.
The MIDFLORIDA Auto Show & Lake Mirror Concours is on October 19 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at Lake Mirror. Previously named Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival, this FREE event attracts over 40,000 spectators and draws top car collectors from all over the southeast. You’ll find a display of more than 600 show vehicles surrounding the restored, 1920’s art deco-inspired Lake Mirror Promenade in Downtown Lakeland. The show is considered one of the “must attend” collector car shows in the southeastern United States.
MY BIRTHDAY! Yep, this is the #1 reason I love October (the 9th to be exact). This is a big one too… let’s just say there is a zero involved and leave it at that. 😉
Our Birthday Party Guide and our list of Local Birthday Freebies in Lakeland & Polk County will get an update and refresh in October in honor of my big day and to help all of you moms looking to make your own birthday party plans with your family.