Summer is the perfect time to explore new places in Lakeland AND hit up some of your favorite spots! There are a variety of inexpensive and FREE summer activities for kids and families in Lakeland and Polk County and we’ve tracked down the details for you. Whether you’re searching for indoor fun to get out of the heat {and out of the house} or want to explore the great outdoors, you’re sure to find activities on our list for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Looking for ideas for fun at home? Check out our 75+ Ideas for Summer Fun at Home!

A few of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means we will receive a small commission when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Thank you for supporting Lakeland Mom! 

Fun for the Whole Family

    • Have a family mini golf competition at Family Fun Center
    • Load up the car and head to a Drive-in Movie
    • Plan a trip to the Movies for a Summer Release:
      • Aladdin (May  24)
      • Secret Life of Pets 2 (June 7)
      • Toy Story 4 (June 21)
      • Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 2)
      • Dora and the Lost City of Gold (July 9)
      • The Lion King (July 19)
      • Angry Birds Movie 2 (August 16)
    • Bowling is always a hit with my kids – we’ve got AMF Lanes and Orange Bowl Lanes in Lakeland, and Cypress Lanes in Winter Haven {check Groupon for current bowling deals}. You can also sign up for Kids Bowl Free – just be sure to check the hours you can use the coupons.
    • See if your family has what it takes to solve the challenges and escape at Lakeland Escape Room.
    • Work together to find clues, solve puzzles, and pick locks to escape at Escapology Lakeland. Summer Special – June 1st – July 31st : Kids 16 & under receive 50% off with the purchase of 2 adults. Must call (863)698-7329 to book! *Offer isn’t valid with any other promotions, discounts, or group events pricing.*
    • Visit a local pet store and explore all the different kinds of animals you can have as a pet. Just don’t blame us if you end up taking one home!
    • Have everyone find their favorite artwork at the Polk Museum of Art– FREE every day! (Closed on Monday) Check out this list of questions to ask kids about artwork.
    • Visit the Florida Air Museum at the Lakeland Airport
    • Go Camping
    • Volunteer— Take some time to give of yourself this Summer, and volunteer at a local food pantry, children’s home, or church ministry. Every little bit can make a difference!
  • Take a Sunset Safari at Safari Wilderness Ranch. Be sure to snag a Groupon and save 40%!  {This is the most expensive thing on our list, however it is a really unique experience and worthy of a special occasion or staycation activity}
fun with kids in lakeland

Spectator Sports

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Just For Kids

Indoor Fun 

summer movies in lakeland winter haven

Water Fun

public pools in Lakeland

Get Creative

  • Sign up for a paint-along class at Art Centric Studio
  • Visit Picassoz Art Cafe to paint a piece of pottery or Breakables Mosaic Studio to create a mosaic or candle, and grab a drink or a treat at Tea Largo while you’re there.
  • Paint Lakeland Rocks and then hide them around town! You can also go rock hunting. Read the FB page for details.
  • Michael’s Arts and Crafts offers classes for adults and kids featuring all sorts of different projects. Some are FREE, some cost a minimal fee.
lakeland things to do with kids

Sweet Treats & Good Eats

  • Find the Best Ice Cream, Cookies, Yogurt & Cupcakes in Lakeland – we’ve got a list to get you started!
  • Go out to eat as a family – check out our list of places where KIDS EAT FREE!
  • Head to Hole in One Donuts, Dunkin Donuts, or Krispy Kreme for a sugar filled summer breakfast treat!
  • Visit the Downtown Farmers Curb Market for fresh produce and other local goods every Saturday from 8am-2pm (closed August)
  • Pick up fresh local produce at a local Farmers Market – there are 5 across Polk County
  • Go on a picnic. One of our favorite locations is Peterson Park and then we walk the nature trails and boardwalks afterwards.
best ice cream in lakeland

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Outdoor Fun

  • Feed the ducks at Lake Morton
  • Go on a bike ride (City of Lakeland has a great bike trail map)
  • Look for alligators, eagles, and other amazing wildlife at Circle B Bar Reserve– named one of the “Top 51 Places in the US to See Wildlife” by USA Today! Entry is FREE.
  • Check out the new Se7en Wetlands Park
  • Hike, bike, picnic, canoe, kayak, or fish at Colt Creek State Park in the heart of the Green Swamp Wilderness area north of Lakeland.
  • Visit Lake Crago Dog Park or Dog Leg Woods Dog Park on Cleveland Heights (fun to watch even if you don’t have a dog)
  • Stroll through Hollis Garden and learn about the variety of flowers and plants there. Opens at 10am, closed Mondays.
  • Let your kids get out their energy at a local playground like Common Ground or Barnett & Sunflower Playground
  • Check out a new playground– we bet you can find a new one to explore from the 15 listed in our directory. Prefer somewhere that is shaded? We have a list of The Best Shaded Playgrounds Around Lakeland.
  • Walk around Lake Hollingsworth (only if your kiddos can handle the 3 miles!)
  • Dig for sharks teeth and fossils at the Mulberry Phosphate MuseumMake sure you bring a small shovel or other item to dig through the rock pile, and something to sit on – you won’t want to kneel.
  • Take a self-guided walk around the Florida Southern College campus and learn about Frank Lloyd Wright’s unique architecture style. (Paid tours are available as well)
  • Try out geocaching an outdoor treasure hunt where you use GPS coordinates to find hidden containers
  • Find a Little Free Library around town where you can take a book and/or leave a book – for FREE! Clean out your bookshelves and leave a few at each location, and hopefully you’ll find something to take with you. Use the map at to find one near you.

Explore Polk County

LEGOLAND Florida Lakeland Winter Haven Things to Do

Summertime Events

Only upcoming events show below. These events feed from our master calendar and are single day special events. Visit our calendar page for ALL upcoming events and summer activities.

There are no upcoming events at this time.
4th of july fireworks in lakeland winter haven haines city polk county

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Be sure to check out our 75+ Ideas for Summer Fun at Home!

What are your favorite summer activities and places to visit in Lakeland & Polk County?
Leave us a comment below and we’ll add it to our list!

Lakeland Summer Activities for Kids

Be sure to check out our Summer Fun Guide for Summer Camps, FREE Movies, FREE Bowling, FREE Library Events & Activities, Swim Lessons, 4th of July Events, Reading programs, Online Camps, and much more!

April Mucci Lakeland Mom
April Mucci Lakeland Mom

About the Author: April Mucci

April is the owner of She has lived in Lakeland since age 2 and is passionate about our community and connecting families with local resources. She is a mom to 2 boys and a mini goldendoodle, wife to Matt. You can often find April at the baseball field where she cheers on her baseball loving 11 year old, or home building Legos with her 9 year old. She loves reading, saltwater fishing, and working on Lakeland Mom!