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Top 10 Things to Do in Lakeland + Polk County in January

January feels like a great month to try something new! The Christmas holidays are over and we are getting back into the swing of things and back into a routine at my house.

We are excited to help you find family friendly events and activities to add to your calendar in 2020. Starting in January and ramping up through February, March & April, our calendar is filled with all the fun things to do in Lakeland, so this is our Top 10 list to help you make sure the “can’t miss” events are on your calendar. If you enjoy one of these events, be sure to let the venue know that you heard about it from Lakeland Mom.

The Florida Tropics play on their home field 3 times in January including STAR WARS NIGHT

Upcoming Games: Sunday, January 12 @ 3:05pm
Sunday, January 19 @ 3:05pm
Saturday, January 25 @ 5:05pm – STAR WARS NIGHT (Details Coming Soon)

Whether you love soccer, enjoy family-friendly events, or just like to have a FUN time with your kids, Lakeland soccer games with the Florida Tropics games have something for everyone!

At the Florida Tropics Games you’ll find:

  • ~2 hours of action-packed soccer
  • A kids zone with bounce houses provided by Rockin’ Bouncies
  • Pre-game entertainment and in-game activities
  • Post-game Player Meet & Greet with autographs and photos
  • Inexpensive tickets at only $7 – $20 per person
  • Indoor arena so you never have to worry about the weather

Click here for Florida Tropics tickets.

The Lakeland Magic have a full schedule this month with 5 themed games!

Orlando Magic Night – Friday, January 10 – Special guest appearances and in game entertainment from our Orlando Magic family. Purchase your $10 ticket and receive an exclusive Orlando Magic/Lakeland Magic branded item and one complimentary Pepsi product.

Honoring Our Heroes – Saturday, January 11 – The Lakeland Magic and Bartow ford are teaming up to celebrate the brave men and women who have served our country, for Honoring our Heroes Night. All veterans, active military, and their families receive free admission.

Two for Tuesday – Tuesday, January 14 – Two for Tuesday games are the best deal in town! Get two-dollar tickets, beer, soda, and hot dogs.

School Days Game – Thursday, January 16 at 11am – A rare 11am game! Students from across Polk County will attend this game with a STEM education focus and an opportunity for students to be involved in all activations. Homeschool families and the general public are also welcome to attend. 

Youth Basketball Night – Saturday, January 18 – During halftime,  local youth basketball teams will face off, providing two games for the price of one plus entertainment highlighting youth basketball across Polk County.

Lakeland Opera presents La Boheme

January 18 @ 7:00 pm

This is the Imperial Symphony Orchestra’s annual opera production. The ISO welcomes opera professionals to Lakeland for a two-week rehearsal and performance schedule, including special workshops for students. Giacomo Puccini’s timeless story of love and loss, La Boheme presents young near-destitute artists in 1830’s Paris. Marcello, Rodolfo, Colline, Schaunard and of course, the lovely Mimi transport the audience into their Latin Quarter garret where they share the joys of love, the loneliness of life and the tragedy of death. Sung in Italian with English Surtitles

Visit for additional details and tickets.

U-Pick Strawberries

How great is it that we live right next door to the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World – Plant City! That means we have an abundance of U-Pick Strawberry farms within an hour’s drive. Strawberry picking is a GREAT family activity to do with kids. The berries grow in raised beds on the ground (unless they are hydroponic) so they are easy for kids to reach.

About 1/3 of the farms on our U Pick Strawberry List are open for the season. Others will not open until commercial picking ends, typically in late February or early March. Click here to see our list of U-Pick Strawberry Farms in Lakeland, Plant City, & Across Central Florida.

FREE Preschool Passes to Theme Parks

January is a great time to sign up for the Free Preschool Passes offered by Busch Gardens in Tampa, SeaWorld in Orlando, and LEGOLAND right here in Polk County. Click the links below to get more details on these offers for ages 5 & under.

Busch Gardens & Adventure Island Preschool Pass

SeaWorld & Aquatica Preschool Pass

LEGOLAND® Florida Resort Preschooler Pass

(These posts also include details on ticket prices for the rest of your family and links straight to the Florida Resident deals)

Celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

During the weekend of January 17 – 20, we celebrate the dream of Martin Luther King Jr.  Click the links below for details on local MLK events.

Kick off the weekend at Jazz in the Park on Friday, January 17 at Simpson Park Community Center.

On Saturday, January 18, enjoy the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Community Parades in Winter Haven at 10am and Lakeland at 11am.

Following the parade in Winter Haven, from 12-5pm there will be a MLK Awareness Day at the WHRCC. This event will include free activities for children, bounce houses, train rides and more! Food will also be provided to the public for FREE. Attendees can also look forward to a program featuring motivational speakers, singing, and dance groups.

Lakeland PigFest

January kicks off the BBQ Festival season in Polk County! In January and February there are 5 different local barbeque competitions, including Lakeland’s favorite – PIGFEST!

Lakeland Pigfest includes over 150 competition barbecue teams for a weekend of good eatin’, good friends, and good tunes to benefit Lakeland-area charities for the Annual Lakeland Pigfest. Located at the SUN n’ FUN Campus.

The public is welcome at Pigfest. Admission is just $5 and kids 12 years and younger can enter for free. Parking is free. The good eatin’ won’t cost you much and is well worth the value. Stop by a Pig Bucks booth (located near the entrance and various locations throughout) and exchange your cash for Pig Bucks, the official currency of the Lakeland Pigfest. By purchasing food from competition teams, you are supporting their efforts and local charities.

Click here for more details on Lakeland Pigfest 2020 and see a list of all of Polk County’s BBQ Events.

Junie B. Jones is not a Crook

Join Lakeland Community Theater for their latest Theater for Youth Production – Junie B. Jones is not a Crook.

Something terrible happened to Junie B. Jones at school today! Someone stole her new furry mittens! So when Junie B. finds a wonderful pen of many colors, she should be allowed to keep it, right? Because finders keepers, losers weepers. A hilarious and heartfelt tale based on the best-selling book series by Barbara Park. Rated G.

Fri, Jan 24th, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Sat, Jan 25th, 2020 at 10:30 am
Sat, Jan 25th, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Sun, Jan 26th, 2020 at 2:00 pm

Adults $15 | Child $12 (12 & Under)

Get tickets & see the full season for Lakeland Community Theater at

Plan your Spring Calendar

Here in Lakeland and across Polk County we have fantastic annual events that happen every spring! Get out your calendar and mark down the dates for these local favorites including art festivals, SUN ‘n FUN, Swan Derby, Mayfaire, & more. Click here to see the dates for Lakeland’s Favorite Spring Events.


If you’re looking to try something new in 2020, we’ve got a list of great articles to help you out.

♥ Step outside your comfort zone and meet new friends – 10 Great Ways to Meet Mom Friends in the Lakeland Area

♥ Visit the Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curb Market

♥ Go Back to School {yes, you mama!} – College Bound: Lakeland Style – Colleges & Technical Schools in Lakeland

♥ Find a new place for sweets – The Best Ice Cream, Cookies, Yogurt & Cupcakes in Lakeland & beyond

♥ Try a new restaurant and save some moolah – Lakeland area Kids Eat Free Guide

♥ Find a new favorite game – Our Top 10 Favorite Family Board Games

♥ Treat yourself to a solo “date” or time with girlfriends – Mom’s Night (or Day) Out – Lakeland Style

♥ Visit a local coffee shop – A Lakeland Coffee Tour

♥ Find a gym or fitness plan that works for you! Learn more about 9Round Lakeland {where I go} or use our Directory to see a list of local fitness centers.

♥ Find a new playground – The Best Shaded Playgrounds In and Around Lakeland

♥ Try a new activity with your toddler or preschooler {and probably meet some new friends while you’re at it!} – Preschooler & Toddler Activity Guide

♥ Donate items to be reused for other families in our community – Where to Donate Gently Used Toys, Clothing, Household Items, and more

Happy January!

Be sure you’re signed up for our weekly fun-letter to get all of our Spring & Easter info delivered straight to your inbox so you don’t miss anything {including our popular Summer Camp Guide coming out in March}.

You can always find a full list of events on our Calendar, use our Kids Eat Free Guide to save money, and check out our Guides to learn more about resources in the Lakeland area.

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Once a week we send out an email newsletter {aka – FUN-letter} that includes upcoming kids activities and family-friendly events, holiday activities, featured blog posts, and links to new content on the website. We know you are busy parents and promise to keep them short, sweet, useful, and only once a week. Since we can’t control what you see on Facebook or Instagram, our Newsletter is the BEST way to keep up with Lakeland Mom!