Thanksgiving break is a great opportunity to slow down, sleep in a bit later, and plan activities with your family that you might not find time for during the school week hustle and bustle.

We’ve got a list of ideas and activities including kid-friendly volunteer opportunities.

Click on the name of any event below to see times, locations, and additional details.

🍂  Join the Salvation Army and Lakeside Village for the Red Kettle Kickoff on Friday, November 22

🍂 Get into the holiday spirit at Bartow’s Movies on the Lawn with The Santa Clause 2 on Friday, November 22

🍂 Meet the Winter Sisters (who bear a strong resemblance to Anna and Elsa) at Lakeside Village on Saturday, November 23

🍂  Sign up for Thanksgiving Mini Camps at Explorations V Children’s Museum – a drop off camp for ages K-4th grade. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9am – 1pm, 1pm – 5pm, or 9am – 5pm.

🍂 Check out our Thanksgiving Break Camp Guide for a list of camps during the week – anywhere from 1/2 day on just 1 day, to full day for every day but Thanksgiving.

🍂  Lend a helping hand during Kidsgiving at Explorations V Children’s Museum. Self guided volunteer activities are planned for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday – November 25 – 29. Everyone is welcome, membership not required. Activities include packaging swan food, community clean up, and thank you cards for first responders.

🍂  Head to Family Fundamentals in Downtown Lakeland for Lids For Kids on Tuesday, November 26 and get a FREE Bike Helmet!

🍂 See a holiday show at the RP Funding Center including Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker on Friday, November 22, or Elf on the Shelf Christmas Musical on Monday, November 25.

🍂 Stop by the RP Funding Center anytime between 9am – 5pm or during events to see the City of Lakeland Christmas Tree Contest, with 12 beautifully decorated trees. Vote for your favorite to raise money for the United Way. Runs November 20 – December 31.

🍂  Volunteer with VISTE on Wednesday, November 27 and help deliver over 1800 Thanksgiving meals to the seniors in our community

🍂  Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and have a Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 28 

🍂  Run for the Pies (5K) on Thursday, November 28

🍂  Check out Wonderland of Lights when it opens on Thursday, November 28 or any night through January 5

🍂  Start your holiday shopping at Lakeside Village on Friday, November 29 and enjoy strolling carolers and snow at the Christmas Tree

🍂  Sign up for a FREE Kids Workshop at Home Depot on Saturday, November 30

🍂  Visit with Santa when he arrives at Lakeside Village on Saturday, November 30

🍂  Support our local businesses during Shop Small Saturday on November 30

🍂  Sing Along to The Greatest Showman at the Polk Theatre on Saturday, November 30

🍂  Skip cooking and take the kids out for dinner somewhere that Kids Eat Free!

🍂  Head to the Movies to see a new release – we can’t wait to see Frozen 2!

🍂  Check out our Lakeland Gives Back series and learn more about local non-profits and holiday donation needs (being updated soon for 2019)

🍂  Find a new local playground to explore

🍂  Spend a day at Bok Tower Gardens and check out the Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden and play area

🍂  Plan a Family Game Nightwe’ve got a list of our top 10 favorite board games

🍂  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}. 

🍂  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.

🍂   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.

🍂  Have a family mini golf competition at Family Fun Center

🍂  Head out for a drive to see Lakeland’s Best Christmas Lights, many are turned on starting on Thanksgiving (Some locations still TBD for 2019)

🍂  Buy your tickets for Holiday Pops with the Imperial Symphony Orchestra on December 10 or other Christmas Concerts and Live Performances during December

🍂  Find out when your favorite Christmas Movies and TV Specials will be on TV and set that DVR

🍂  Get ALL of your favorite Christmas Events on your calendar with our handy Christmas Event List

🍂 Start planning for CHRISTMAS! Use our huge Christmas Guide to get info on:

🎄  Holiday Day Trips in Central Florida
🎄  Santa Photos and Breakfast with Santa
🎄  Lakeland Christmas Parade & Holiday Parades Across Polk County
🎄  Christmas Concerts, Holiday Shows & Live Performances
🎄  Local Holiday Movie Showings and Christmas Movies & TV Specials
🎄  Christmas Giving Opportunities & Toy Donation Needs
🎄 Holiday Markets and Christmas Craft Fairs in Polk County
🎄 Experience Gift Ideas (that don’t take up space!)
🎄 Ice Skating in Lakeland, Tampa, & Orlando

April Mucci Lakeland Mom
April Mucci Lakeland Mom

About the Author: April Mucci

April is the owner of LakelandMom.com. 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!