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:

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.

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!

Single Day Outdoor Christmas Events

Please check directly with event organizers or local businesses for safety protocols, mask requirements, 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. Be informed, wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, have fun, and make good choices!

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

Salvation Army Kettle Kickoff and Tree Lighting

Free
Salvation Army Kettle Kick Off 2020
November 20 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Lakeside Village
1479 Town Center Dr
Lakeland, FL 33803 US
+ Google Map

Come join us as we flip the switch and turn on the Christmas Tree with The Salvation Army for their annual Kettle Kick-off, on November 20th from 6-7 pm. Enjoy music from the Tenoroc High School band, live choir music, special guest speaker, Grady Judd, and stilt walkers while we wait for Santa to r...

Bartow Holiday Friday Fest – Magic on Main

Free
November 20 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Bartow – Main Street / Downtown
165 E. Main Street
Bartow, FL 33830 US
+ Google Map

Magic on Main is Main Street Bartow's annual kickoff for the winter holiday season. Enjoy the launching of Main Street's Holiday Lights, shops open, food, vendors, cars, entertaining by BHS strolling musical ensembles.

Haven Holiday Market

FreeNovember 21 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Winter Haven – Central Park Downtown
41 5th St NW
Winter Haven, FL 33881 US
+ Google Map

The Annual Haven Holiday Market will feature more than 100 unique vendors with handcrafted products including arts, crafts, holiday gifts, vintage, green products, soaps, candles, fair trade goods, cottage food, fresh gourmet, raw local honey, local authors, pet vendors, a kids art & crafts area, FO...

Theatre Winter Haven Outdoor Concert Series

$18November 29 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Winter Haven – Chain O’ Lakes Complex
210 Cypress Gardens Blvd.
Winter Haven, FL 33880 US
+ Google Map

Theatre Winter Haven is hosting safe outdoor entertainment every week: Fridays at 7 PM, Sundays at 4 PM at the Chain O' Lakes Stadium. Bring your blankets or chairs. Each concert is $18 or buy three for $40!

Downtown Lakeland Holiday Walkabout

Free
Downtown Lakeland Christmas Events 2020
December 1 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Downtown Lakeland
100 N Kentucky Ave
Lakeland, FL 33801 United States
+ Google Map

Celebrate the holidays in Downtown Lakeland at the Holiday Walkabout. Stores and shops will be open late serving up yummy goodies (like cider and cookies) and special deals. Wagon Rides around Munn Park, Santa Photos in Munn Park, Santa's Workshop, Mrs. Claus's Market, Elves' Playground, Musical Per...

SUN ‘n FUN Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show

Free
Sun N Fun Holiday Flying Festival Car Show
December 4 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
SUN ‘n FUN Campus
4175 Medulla Rd
Lakeland, FL 33811 US
+ Google Map

It's a brand new experience at the SUN 'n FUN Expo Campus! Join us for family fun on the Lakeland Linder International Airport for the first annual SUN 'n FUN Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show. Includes a night air show and balloon glow, daytime balloon launch, RV camping, and much more.

Snowfest 2020 – A Walk in the Snow

Snowfest Lakeland 2020
December 4 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Lake Mirror Promenade
121 S Lake Ave
Lakeland, FL 33801 US
+ Google Map

There is SNOW in the forecast for downtown Lakeland! Snowfest will look a little different this year - the event will feature a stroll through the snow along with other holiday delights in the area of the amphitheater on the east side of Lake Mirror.

First Friday – Hometown Holiday

Free
Downtown Lakeland Christmas Events 2020
December 4 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Downtown Lakeland
100 N Kentucky Ave
Lakeland, FL 33801 United States
+ Google Map

Head to Downtown Lakeland for December’s First Friday - Hometown Holiday. Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, and enjoy free activities, games, and live music in Munn Park.

Family Movie Night – Elf (Registration Required)

Free
FPC Movie Night Elf 2020 (1)
December 4 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church on Lake Hollingsworth
175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive
Lakeland, FL 33801 US
+ Google Map

Join us for a FREE socially distanced Family Movie Night showing of Elf on Friday, December 4 on the FPC front lawn. Don’t forget your snacks from Buddy’s four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup! (Registration Required - limited to 300 registrants)

SUN ‘n FUN Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show

Free
Sun N Fun Holiday Flying Festival Car Show
December 5 @ 7:00 am - 5:00 pm
SUN ‘n FUN Campus
4175 Medulla Rd
Lakeland, FL 33811 US
+ Google Map

It's a brand new experience at the SUN 'n FUN Expo Campus! Join us for family fun on the Lakeland Linder International Airport for the first annual SUN 'n FUN Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show. Includes a night air show and balloon glow, daytime balloon launch, RV camping, and much more.

The Fancy Flea Old Fashioned Christmas Market

FreeDecember 5 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Bartow – Main Street / Downtown
165 E. Main Street
Bartow, FL 33830 US
+ Google Map

Join us for a pop-up show in Downtown Bartow to celebrate the start of the holiday season! Admission is free and free parking! Vintage holiday shopping, great decor, furniture, live music, great food and more! Shake those jingle bells and head over for another amazing Fancy Flea extravaganza!

Christmas Boat Parade in Winter Haven

Free
Winter Haven Boat Parade
December 5 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Winter Haven Chain of Lakes

Christmas Boat Parade in Winter Haven - Dec 5, 2020

Frostproof Christmas Parade

Free
Frostproof Christmas Parade 2020
December 5 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Frostproof, Florida
Frostproof, FL United States + Google Map

Catch the annual Christmas Parade in Frostproof on Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 6pm! Holly Jolly Christmas Party at Henderson Field immediately following the parade.

Fort Meade Christmas Parade

Free
December 5 @ 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Fort Meade – Monument Park
SE 2nd Street
Fort Meade, FL 33841 United States
+ Google Map

The 2020 Fort Meade Christmas Parade theme is Joy to the World. Parade begins at Monument Park in Fort Meade. Family-friendly activities following the parade.

Snowfest 2020 – A Walk in the Snow

Snowfest Lakeland 2020
December 5 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Lake Mirror Promenade
121 S Lake Ave
Lakeland, FL 33801 US
+ Google Map

There is SNOW in the forecast for downtown Lakeland! Snowfest will look a little different this year - the event will feature a stroll through the snow along with other holiday delights in the area of the amphitheater on the east side of Lake Mirror.

Mulberry Christmas Tree Lighting

FreeDecember 5 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Mulberry Civic Center
901 NE 5th St.
Mulberry, FL 33860 US
+ Google Map

Join the City of Mulberry as we kick off the holiday season with our annual Christmas Tree Lighting.

Theatre Winter Haven Outdoor Concert Series

$18December 6 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Winter Haven – Chain O’ Lakes Complex
210 Cypress Gardens Blvd.
Winter Haven, FL 33880 US
+ Google Map

Theatre Winter Haven is hosting safe outdoor entertainment every week: Fridays at 7 PM, Sundays at 4 PM at the Chain O' Lakes Stadium. Bring your blankets or chairs. Each concert is $18 or buy three for $40!

Downtown Lakeland Festive Fridays – Stores & Restaurants open late

Free
Downtown Lakeland Christmas Events 2020
December 11 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Downtown Lakeland
100 N Kentucky Ave
Lakeland, FL 33801 United States
+ Google Map

Get your holiday shopping done in Downtown Lakeland on Friday nights in December. Stores and restaurants will be open late on December 11 and December 18.

Holly Jolly Jingle Bell Jog 5k

Jingle Bell Jog 5k Lakeland
December 12 @ 7:30 am - 9:30 am
Cleveland Heights Golf Club
2900 Buckingham Ave
Lakeland, FL 33803 US
+ Google Map

Join the City of Lakeland for the Annual Holly Jolly Jingle Bell Jog 5k. Eeryone has the opportunity to come out to the Cleveland Heights Golf Course and jingle all the way! Proceeds from the event go to the perpetual care fund for the 3 Parks Trail. Virtual race option also available.

Christmas in the Country at Cracker Country

$8 – $10
Cracker Country
December 12 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Cracker Country
4800 Hwy 301 N
Tampa, FL 33610 United States
+ Google Map

Bring the family for a great day experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of an old fashioned country Christmas. Learn how the holiday traditions of the 19th century differ from those of the 21st through hands-on historical interpretations, carols, traditional decorations and more!

Winterfest and Christmas Parade in Davenport

Free
Davenport Winterfest 2020
December 12 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Davenport – Wilson Park
County Rd 547 W Orange St
Davenport, FL 33837 US
+ Google Map

Festivities will include a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, night time parade, cookie decorating, Festival of Trees, games and vendors. WinterFest 4 pm till 9 pm at Wilson Park. Parade starts at 6:00 pm at Lewis Mathews Sport Complex.

Christmas Notes with Polk County Parks and Recreation

Free
Christmas Notes Polk County
December 12 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Homeland Heritage Park
249 Church Ave
Homeland, FL 33847 US
+ Google Map

Kick off the Holiday season at Polk County Parks & Recreation's Christmas Notes event. This free family event will feature photos with Santa, arts & crafts, a caroling hayride, and more!

Mulberry Christmas Parade

Free
Mulberry Christmas Parade 2020
December 12 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Mulberry – Spence Park
1100 1st St NE
Mulberry, FL 33860 US
+ Google Map

The Mulberry Christmas Parade is a favorite annual event. The Mulberry Christmas Village is happening at Spence Field immediately following the parade.

Come To The Stable – A Living Nativity Stroll

Free
Living Nativity Winter Haven 2020
December 12 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Winter Haven – First Presbyterian Church
637 6th St NW
Winter Haven, FL 33881 United States
+ Google Map

Come To The Stable - A Living Nativity Stroll in Winter HAven. Come listen to live music, walk the church grounds, enjoy a snack and see the Christmas Story come alive every 15 minutes! The first show is at 6:15pm, featuring children and live animals. 

Mulberry’s Christmas Village

Free
Mulberry Christmas Village
December 12 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Mulberry – Spence Park
1100 1st St NE
Mulberry, FL 33860 US
+ Google Map

Immediately following this year's Christmas Parade hop on over to Spence Field for a night of Christmas Cheer! Live music, a bonfire, train, pony, and horse and carriage rides, Santa's workshop vendors, PLUS a visit from the big man himself- SANTA! 

Lakeland Concert Band Outdoor Christmas Concert (FREE)

FreeDecember 13 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Lake Mirror Promenade
121 S Lake Ave
Lakeland, FL 33801 US
+ Google Map

FREE Outdoor Christmas Concert! The Lakeland Concert Band entertains and inspires Lakeland area residents young and old with concerts from November through April. The concert is free and no tickets are needed. Bring blankets or chairs.

Menorah Lighting and Chanukah Festival in Lakeland

Free
Menorah Lighting Lakeland Winter Haven
December 13 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Kryger Park Lakeland
108 S Massachusetts Ave
Lakeland, FL 33801
+ Google Map

Please join us for the annual Menorah lighting and Chanukah festival at Kryger Park in downtown Lakeland! Members of the community at large – young and old – and representatives of the city and county government will enjoy traditional Chanukah food, carnival games and prizes, magic, balloons, mu...

Menorah Lighting – Winter Haven

Free
Menorah Lighting Lakeland Winter Haven
December 14 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Winter Haven – Virginia Miller Park
325 Avenue A NW
Winter Haven, FL 33881 US
+ Google Map

Please join us for the annual Menorah Lighting and Chanukah celebration in downtown Winter Haven, at Virginia Miller Park. Members of the Jewish community, the community at large, and the local government will enjoy Chanukah donuts, music, and of course lighting the giant Menorah.

Menorah Lighting at Lake Ashton

FreeDecember 15 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Lake Ashton
4141 Ashton Club Drive
Lake Wales, FL 33859 United States
+ Google Map

Please join us for the Menorah lighting and Chanukah celebration in Lake Ashton, at the Clubhouse in the west parking lot area.

Bartow Community Holiday Concert with the BHS Band

Free
Bartow High Band Concert Christmas 2020
December 15 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Bartow – Mosaic Park
2250 S Floral Ave
Bartow, FL 33830 US
+ Google Map

Join the Bartow High School Wind Symphony and Chorus for an outdoor Holiday Concert at the Mosaic Park Band Shell. Bring your own seating (blankets and chairs) and a mask. There will be plenty of room for social distancing. Pre-concert and seating begins at 6pm, performance begins at 7pm.

Downtown Lakeland Festive Fridays – Stores & Restaurants open late

Free
Downtown Lakeland Christmas Events 2020
December 18 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Downtown Lakeland
100 N Kentucky Ave
Lakeland, FL 33801 United States
+ Google Map

Get your holiday shopping done in Downtown Lakeland on Friday nights in December. Stores and restaurants will be open late on December 11 and December 18.

Mistletoe Market in Bartow

Free
Mistletoe Market 2020 Bartow
December 19 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Bartow – Main Street / Downtown
165 E. Main Street
Bartow, FL 33830 US
+ Google Map

Holiday Gifts, Crafts, Jewelry, Candles, Music, Food, Santa and more

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