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Outdoor Holiday Activities + Walk Through Christmas Lights in Lakeland and Central Florida

Outdoor Christmas Events Drive Thru Lights (2)

The holidays are a magical time of year in Lakeland and Central Florida! Our goal is to make sure everyone can enjoy Christmas festivities despite COVID-19. We are here to help your family find ways to celebrate the season while practicing social distancing.

The great news is that many local organizations are getting creative and transitioning to outdoor activities and walk through events. Whether you have someone in your family who is medically vulnerable, or you aren’t comfortable spending time in indoor public spaces just yet, your family can still enjoy these outdoor Christmas events.

Check out all of the things you can do outdoors in Lakeland, Tampa, Orlando and Central Florida during the Christmas season including:

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Some of these outdoor things to do are FREE, others require paid admission.

Please note that other than taking place outdoors, we do not know what additional safety precautions or social distancing requirements will be in place at these outdoor events, some may be crowded. Check directly with event organizers with questions.

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.

Drive Through Christmas Light Displays

We have a separate article just about Christmas lights! Check out our list of amazing neighborhood Christmas light displays.

The Light of Christmas at First Baptist Church of Plant City

Join First Baptist Church of Plant City this Christmas season for something new and unique. The Light of Christmas is a 30-minute drive-in light show featuring Christmas songs old and new, a story of hope, and thousands of programmed Christmas lights! Come and experience The Light of Christmas. {Show restarts every 40 minutes from 6-10pm but it is designed so that no matter when you arrive you can enjoy the show}.

  • Friday, December 4, 2020 – Saturday, January 2, 2021 | Nightly, 6 PM – 10 PM
    FREE
    First Baptist Church of Plant City – 3309 James L Redman Pkwy, Plant City, FL 33566
  • Website (see a short preview on Facebook)

Walk Through Christmas Light Displays

Christmas Lights in Downtown Lakeland and Munn Park

Every year the City of Lakeland makes Downtown Lakeland magical with the addition of light displays all over Munn Park. Lights come on at dusk every night, so pick a night to eat at a great local eatery downtown, and take a stroll through the park! Or visit during one of December’s special events, such as the Holiday Walkabout on Tuesday December 1, 2020, First Friday on December 4, or a Festive Friday.

You can also find light displays around Lake Morton and Lake Mirror in the downtown area.

Starlight Nights Winter Haven Florida Christmas Lights (1)

Starlight Nights Downtown Winter Haven

Main Street Winter Haven & The City of Winter Haven are thrilled to announce Downtown’s Winter Haven’s newest Holiday tradition – Starlight Nights – kicking off in 2020!

For six weeks, Downtown Winter Haven will be dazzling with lights as we ring in the season of Holiday cheer and togetherness. Dine, shop, and enjoy a beautiful evening stroll with fun photo opportunities and surprises around every corner. You’ll be able to explore the magic of the lights at your own comfort level, whether you’d rather drive-through or walk around. Downtown businesses will also participate in a window decorating contest adding to the magic of the Holidays.

Lights of Lakeland

Lights of Lakeland will not be open in 2020. These are the Lakeland church Christmas Lights located on Lakeland Highlands Road.
You’ll find an impressive display of OVER 500,000 LIGHTS at Lights of Lakeland! Located just south of the Polk Parkway on Lakeland Highlands Road, Lights of Lakeland is Highland Park Church’s ANNUAL, FREE walk-thru Christmas experience the whole family can enjoy!

Outdoor Things to Do in Polk County this Christmas

Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens

Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens is an annual celebration for all ages and one of the best times of year to visit. Enjoy fresh air, wide-open spaces, and a spectacular holiday foliage display. Poinsettia, bromeliad and amaryllis displays, live music on the 205-foot Singing Tower carillon including the Peace on Earth Carillon Concert on Saturdays at 3pm, and other special events.

Don’t miss the Critter Christmas Guide scavenger hunt with Tucker and Tilly, the Pinewood Estate squirrels. Pick up your Critter Christmas Guide and find each of these forest friends. Complete the hunt and present your guide for a treat at The Shop at Bok.

For the health and safety of all, Pinewood Estate is closed until further notice and the Holiday Home Tour will not be offered in 2020.

  • November 27, 2020 through January 3, 2021 – Open daily from 8am – 6pm
  • Most activities included in Regular Admission for Bok Tower – Adult admission is $15, Children (ages 5-12) $5, children under 5 are free, Dogs are $5. Some special events require a reservation and separate tickets, details on the website.
  • Bok Tower Gardens – 1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales, FL 33853
  • Bok Tower Gardens Website

Happy Holidays at LEGOLAND Florida

LEGOLAND’s annual holiday celebration returns to deck the halls in 2020. Enjoy special holiday shows, a giant LEGO Christmas tree, festive decorations, Holly Jolly Jubilee live, a life-size LEGO Santa, holiday-themed scavenger hunts with prizes, holiday character photos, and more.

  • Included in LEGOLAND Admission
  • November 27-29, December 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 & 24-31, 2020
  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort – 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884
  • LEGOLAND Website

Outdoor Christmas Activities in Tampa Bay

Head to Tampa for a day of outdoor Christmas fun! Get details on Christmas Lights and outdoor holiday activities in the Tampa Bay area that are outdoors including:

  • The Christmas Trail in Plant City
  • Nights of Shimmering Lights in Dover
  • Christmas Town at Busch Gardens
  • Christmas in the Wild at ZooTampa at Lowry Park
  • FREE Light Displays at the Tampa Riverwalk and St. Pete Waterfront
  • Drive-Thru Lights and Walk Through Lights in Clearwater

Outdoor Christmas Activities in Orlando

Orlando has lots of options for outdoor Christmas fun. Get details on Christmas Lights and outdoor holiday activities in the Orlando area including:

  • Night of a Million Lights at giving Kids the World Village (NEW in 2020)
  • Now Snowing at Celebration, Florida
  • The Lights on Jeater Bend in Celebration
  • Dazzling Nights at Harry P. Leu Gardens
  • Holidays at Disney Springs + Christmas Tree Trail
  • Holidays at Universal Studios
  • Sea World’s Christmas Celebration

Single Day Outdoor Christmas Events

Please check directly with event organizers or local businesses for mask requirements, safety protocols, advance registration, and any last-minute changes. All information on our website is for informational purposes only – we are not qualified to provide health or safety recommendations.

Featured Events

SUN n FUN Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show Santa

SUN ‘n FUN Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show
Kick off the holiday season with outdoor family fun at a BRAND NEW event – the SUN ‘n FUN Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show. SANTA even has special clearance to fly-in on Saturday!
December 4 & 5, 2020

FDT Nutcracker 2020

Florida Dance Theatre Nutcracker Spectacular
The Nutcracker Spectacular is a day of outdoor holiday magic that includes a special one-hour matinee performance of The Nutcracker, Character Meet & Greets, food trucks and access to some of Lakeland’s amazing vendors during the holiday season.
General admission is $15 per person. Children under 5 free!
Saturday, December 12 @ 1pm and 4pm

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