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Things To Do During Thanksgiving Break in Lakeland + Polk County

Thanksgiving Break Lakeland

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.

Whether you’re ready to explore new places in the Lakeland area or take your holiday guests to your favorite spots, we’ve got a list of ideas to save you time searching and help you plan family fun, plus kid-friendly volunteer opportunities. Our list of things to do with kids in Lakeland + Polk County is also a great resource year-round when you’re looking for local activities.

Thanksgiving Break for Polk County Schools is 1 week long – November 18 – 26, 2023. (See the 2023 – 2024 Polk Schools calendar). If you go to a private school or charter school, check your school calendar for holiday dates. We know McKeel is also off Friday, November 17.

If you’re heading somewhere on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday of Thanksgiving week, please be sure to call first – we aren’t able to verify the hours for each place on our list but have provided links so you can easily call before you go.

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

Thanksgiving Break Camps

🍂 If you’re looking for activities to keep your kids busy during Thanksgiving Break, or you need childcare while you’re working, we’ve got a list of Thanksgiving Break Camps and Workshops in Lakeland.

🍂 Order your Thanksgiving dinner in advance and enjoy more time with your family.

🍂 Find out which restaurants are open on Thanksgiving in Lakeland.

🍂  Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and have a Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 23

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

🍂 We hear from a lot of readers looking for opportunities to volunteer as a family, especially at the holidays and year round. Many of our local non-profits require advance registration to volunteer, but you can always pick an activity from our Random Acts of Kindness list, or buy toys for a local Toy Drive near you. You can also register to ring the bell for Salvation Army – this is a great volunteer opportunity the entire family can do together.

Thanksgiving Break Events

Find a local event to celebrate the holidays, or maybe visit a Farmers Market to pick up fresh bread and local produce for your Thanksgiving meal. Highlights this week include:

Click here to see our full Calendar of Events in Lakeland + Polk County.

🍂 Take a walk as a family around Lake Mirror

🍂 Go on a hike

🍂 Go on a bike ride

🍂  Find a new local playground to explore

🍂 Explore Bonnet Springs Park and have a picnic

🍂 Play at the Florida Children’s Museum

🍂  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

🍂  Find an outdoor activity

🍂  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 a family mini golf competition at Family Fun Center

🍂 Use our Indoor Fun Guide, Outdoor Fun Guide, Free Fun Guide, or Ultimate List of Things to do with Kids to find more family fun.

Kick off the Christmas Season

🎄 Pick out your live Christmas tree – most lots open during Thanksgiving week

🎄 Start your holiday shopping at Lakeside Village on Saturday, November 25 and make reservations for Photos with Santa

🎄 Support our local businesses during Shop Small Saturday on November 25

🎄 Check out these Holiday Day Trip ideas with attractions and free activities in the Tampa and Orlando area (many attractions are already open or start Thanksgiving week)

🎄 Head out for a drive to see Lakeland’s Best Christmas Lights, some are turned on starting on Thanksgiving (Some locations still TBD for 2023)

🎄 Buy your tickets for The Nutcracker and 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

More to Explore:

Check out our November + Thanksgiving Guide for things to do in November, restaurants open on Thanksgiving, places to order Thanksgiving turkey, sides, and pies, places to Donate and Volunteer this holiday season.

Get a head start on the holidays with our Christmas + Holiday Guide featuring Lakeland’s best Christmas light displays, Santa Photos, local Christmas Events, places to find a Christmas tree, Christmas Parades, and so much more!