Thank You to Our Local Sponsors

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! Twinkling Christmas lights, hot cocoa, and Christmas music in the air all make it a special time to be outside enjoying holiday festivities.

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

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

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 lights near you.

Ariana Village Christmas Lights

Get ready to embark on a festive journey through the Ariana Village Christmas Lights display in Lakeland, Florida. Each year for 1-2 weeks in December, Ariana Village opens its gates and invites visitors to experience the joy and wonder of the holiday season. This spectacular drive thru Christmas light event allows you to enjoy inflatables, light displays, music, and magic from the comfort of your vehicle as you follow a planned route through the community.

  • FREE {donations welcome}
  • December 15 – 23, 2023 nightly from 6-9pm
  • 1625 Ariana St, Lakeland, FL 33803
  • Article with Photos

The Light of Christmas – Light Show 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 {formerly Glorious Night} is a spectacular synchronized light display featuring over 75,000 programmed lights, great music, and a message of hope. Come and experience The Light of Christmas, be sure to tune your radio to the music. Watch from your car or bring a blanket or chairs and sit outside to enjoy the show. This Christmas light show restarts every 40 minutes from 6-10pm but it is designed so that you can enjoy the show no matter when you arrive.

  • FREE
  • Nov. 26, 2023 – Jan. 1, 2024 nightly from 6-10pm
  • First Baptist Church of Plant City – 3309 James L Redman Pkwy, Plant City, FL 33566
  • Website (see a short preview from 2022 below)

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 First Friday, the Food Truck Rally, or The Holiday Night Market. See a list of upcoming events in Downtown Lakeland.

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

Light Up BSP at Bonnet Springs Park

Get ready for a fantastic, FREE event packed with family-friendly activities spread across two weeks in December!
Celebrate the season at Bonnet Springs Park. In addition to the Canopy of Lights walk, each night will feature unique holiday themes and engaging activities including live music, strolling performers, facepainting, pictures with Santa & Mrs. Clause, trackless train rides, craft activities, line dancing, orchestra performances, a snow machine, star gazing, and so much more! Activities vary by night – see our article for more photos of the Christmas Lights at Bonnet Springs Park: Light Up BSP.

December 15-31 | nightly from 6:30 – 8:30PM

Starlight Nights Downtown Winter Haven

Main Street Winter Haven & The City of Winter Haven are thrilled to continue Downtown’s Winter Haven’s Holiday tradition – Starlight Nights!

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 as you walk around. Downtown businesses will also participate in a window decorating contest adding to the magic of the Holidays.

Starlight Nights Winter Haven Florida Christmas Lights (1)

Lights of Lakeland

Lights of Lakeland has permanently ended. Lights of Lakeland was the free, huge walk-through church Christmas Lights event located on Lakeland Highlands Road at Highland Park Church.

Outdoor Things to Do in Polk County this Christmas

Holidays in the Highlands – 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. Celebrate the glorious holiday season atop Iron Mountain, one of the highest points in Florida! Connect to nature and your family with a relaxing stroll through beautiful poinsettias, begonias, evergreens, and other seasonal greenery displays.

  • Some activities included in Regular Admission for Bok Tower. Some concerts and 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 2023. 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
  • Weekends from late November through December
  • 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:

  • Festival of Lights + Santa’s Village at the Hillsborough Fairgrounds
  • 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 H2O benefitting Kids the World Village
  • 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 Christmas Events

We do not have a list of events that are exclusively outdoors, but we do have a fantastic list of Christmas events in Lakeland and Polk County that you can use to find outdoor Christmas events near you.

Christmas Events + Holiday Activities

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Christmas Events + Holiday Activities to find more things to do including Neighborhood Christmas Light Displays, FREE Christmas Events, Santa Photos, Christmas Parades, and more.