Although backyard play is ideal for days at home, we also know sometimes you might be looking for a little more space!
Whether you just need a place for the kids to be able to run free, or you want to have space to throw a football or frisbee, we’ve rounded up a list of open fields in the Lakeland area that are open to the public and available for play. These are places you can take a soccer ball, bubbles, baseball glove and ball, or other outdoor play items and have fun outside. Many of these spaces are also large enough to fly a kite on a windy day.
Some of the open parks listed below also have athletic fields, be sure to follow all posted signs before entering those fields, some may not be open for free play. Every location we mention has a wide-open grassy field – which is where we suggest you play and run around.
Click on the name of any park to get directions and additional details about bathrooms, fenced-in spaces, and more.
Common Ground Playground
There is a large open field next to Common Ground park on Edgewood Drive. To access the field, turn next to the tennis courts and park on the “back” side of the playground. (There is also a Born Learning Trail in this area)
The Rotary Playground in Hernando's Landing at Lake Parker Park
Lake Parker Park has LOTS of open green space where you can run around, not to mention an AMAZING playground. There are also walking trails and plenty of shaded pavilions where you can sit and take a break.
Banana Lake Park
Banana Lake Park has a huge grassy space next to the playground. Plenty big even if multiple groups are there. Note that it is next to a lake and mosquitos are bad if you go near dusk. Located off Clubhouse Road in South Lakeland.
Dobbins Park & Playground
Dobbins Park has a fantastic playground AND a large open space next to it. The only concern here is that the park has a road on 2 sides, so it isn’t a great place to play if you have a fast toddler who might not always listen to instructions. Located in Dixieland.
Holloway Park has a huge grassy space near the start of the cross country course. Entrances are located on Bartow Hwy. and Lakeland Highlands Road, the closest parking area to the grassy field is right around the middle of the access road.
Loyce Harpe Park or Carter Road Park
Loyce Harpe Park on Carter Road in South Lakeland has LOTS of open spaces. They have athletic fields as well as plenty of grassy field space, including one next to the Playground. There is also a dog park if you’d like to take your dog to run and play.
Peterson Park has an open field near the screened in pavilion. Follow the road back until it veers left, when you get to the pavilion you’re at the right spot. Be sure to take a stroll along the shaded boardwalk while you’re there. Located off Cleveland Heights Blvd.
Horney Park is tucked away in a neighborhood near Southgate Publix. It is a fenced in park with a playground and huge grass field perfect for kids to run and get out some energy.
Barnett Family Park / Sunflower Playground / Barnett Splash Pad
The area around Barnett Park in Downtown Lakeland has green space on both sides where you can run or throw a ball. We also like to stroll along Lake Mirror and through Hollis Garden.
Hunt Fountain Park
Hunt Fountain Park is a huge park with athletic fields and multi-purpose fields off Duff Road in North Lakeland.
Douglas M. Cook Park
Douglas M. Cook Park off Wedgewood Estates Blvd. in North Lakeland has huge open grassy fields as well as a playground.
Simpson Park Community Center Playground
Simpson Park has a playground, swimming pool, basketball courts, athletic fields, and more. Located off Hwy 98 and Bella Vista Street.
Map of Open Fields and Parks in Lakeland
Use our map to find a park near you.
Outdoor Activities Guide
Check out our full Outdoor Fun Guide for more outdoor things to do in Lakeland, Polk County, and Central Florida.