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10 Places to Enjoy a Picnic in Lakeland

Picnic in Lakeland

Enjoying an outdoor picnic is an ideal family activity for all ages. Here are our picks for 10 perfect picnic spots in Lakeland. Some require you to pack your own blanket to sit on, and others have picnic tables available that are first come first served. (We still recommend a blanket or tablecloth for the tables).

Many of these places to picnic also include an activity you can enjoy nearby to enjoy before or after your meal such as a playground, nature trail, or other option for outdoor fun. With the exception of the state park, these are all free picnic locations, no admission required!

Bonnet Springs Park

There are so many places to picnic at Bonnet Springs Park! Spread your blankets out on the Great Lawn, find an open picnic table, sit under the shade of the huge oak trees… wherever your heart desires. Click here to learn more about Bonnet Springs Park.

Peterson Park

Located behind the YMCA off Cleveland Heights Boulevard, Peterson Park is one of my family’s favorite places to gather for a family picnic because it has a boardwalk AND a playground – something for all ages to enjoy. There are covered pavilions with picnic tables along the lake, and another pavilion near the boardwalk entrance. There is a grassy area near the playground, and if you fork to the left at the curve you’ll come to a huge grassy area near the screened rental pavilion. Don’t miss taking a stroll along the scenic shaded boardwalk, you might even spot an alligator!

Located at 3700 Cleveland Heights Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33803.

Circle B Bar Reserve

A picnic at Circle B can turn into a full day adventure! They have multiple covered picnic pavilions with tables where you can enjoy an outdoor lunch before you go exploring. If you’ve never been before, look for the maps near the Nature Center, or look for a friendly face – many people at Circle B are repeat visitors who can point you in the right direction. Our favorite path is to head towards Lake Hancock for the best chance at spotting an alligator. It is also an amazing park for bird watching.

HINT – You might get your fill of wildlife without ever leaving the picnic area. We’ve seen armadillos rooting around in the bushes and tortoises meandering around before!

Located at 4399 Winter Lake Rd, Lakeland, FL 33803.

Lake Morton

If you don’t mind being surrounded by birds while you eat, Lake Morton is a picturesque place for a picnic in Lakeland. There are a few picnic tables scattered around the lake, or you can take your own blanket and find a grassy area. Feed the ducks afterward {if you feed them beforehand they might follow you and decide your lunch is meant for them too!} You can also visit the Lakeland Library or Polk Museum of Art after your picnic lunch.

Parking is available along the curb around Lake Morton and at the Lakeland Library / Polk Museum of Art. Located at 100 Lake Morton Drive.

Munn Park

If you like to “people watch” while you picnic, head to Munn Park in Downtown Lakeland and snag a spot in the grass. Kids love to throw pennies into the water fountain at the north end of Munn Park. It is also an ideal spot if you are flying by the seat of your pants {like me 80% of the time!} – all you need is a blanket and then you have your choice of any of our amazing downtown restaurants to pick up a lunch to go!

Located at 210 E Main St, Lakeland, FL 3380.

Hollis Garden & Lake Mirror

Hollis Garden is a botanical display garden complete with patterned flower beds, public art, and ornamental fountains. Enjoy a stroll through over 10,000 flowers, ornamental shrubs, and native trees. Hollis Garden is located at Lake Mirror Park next to Barnett Family Playground and Splashpad and the Sunflower Playground.

While there are some grassy areas within Hollis Garden, for your picnic we recommend heading over to the tiered amphitheater are next door. Picnic tables are first come first serve under the Peggy Brown Building and near the playground.

Located at 702 E Orange St, Lakeland, FL 33801

Lake Parker Park

If you’re looking for a picnic spot with an amazing playground, head to Lake Parker where your kids can enjoy The Rotary Playground at Hernando’s Landing while you snag a picnic table under a covered pavilion nearby.

There is also a great shaded walking trail along the lake where you can take a stroll and enjoy nature.
Located at 910 Granada St, Lakeland, FL 33801
(There are two entrances to Lake Parker Park – be sure to use the entrance on Granada, NOT Lakeland Hills Blvd. to access the playground)

Lake Hollingsworth

There are plenty of wide open grass spaces around Lake Hollingsworth where you can enjoy a picnic with a view of the lake.

Public parking is located at 929 Lake Hollingsworth Dr, Lakeland, FL 33803.

Banana Lake Park

If there was a hidden gem on this list, Banana Lake Park would be it. This isn’t a big park but it’s tucked at the end of a small street off Clubhouse Road in South Lakeland. It has a large grassy field, a playground, and a boat launch for Banana Lake. An ideal spot for a picnic followed by a game of soccer or football.
Located at 5002 Tillery Rd, Lakeland, FL 33812 

Colt Creek State Park

This State Park located north of Lakeland off 471 is a beautiful park to explore, with amenities including bicycling, canoeing and kayaking, birding, fishing, hiking, camping, multi-use trails, and more. Admission is $4 per vehicle. There are picnic tables scattered through the park, as well as plenty of grass areas for a blanket picnic. Our favorite spot is around the lake.

Local Playgrounds

Many of our local playgrounds have picnic tables nearby. Check out our list of Playgrounds to find one near you for a picnic and play time.

Outdoor Activities Guide

Check out our full Outdoor Fun Guide for more outdoor things to do in Lakeland, Polk County, and Central Florida.