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

Things to Do Near You in May Lakeland FL

Here at Lakeland Mom, we celebrate MOMS all year long, but May is the official month we celebrate mothers and the mother figures that impact our lives. It is also the month we recognize and thank teachers – another important group of adults who impact children’s lives.

Some of our favorite things to do in May include the Watermelon Festival at the Florida Children’s Museum, Mayfaire by-the-Lake, Mother’s Day, Teacher Appreciation, Blueberry Picking and Peach Picking season, Sunflower season, and a calendar filled with community events every weekend.

We’ve got a huge list of fun things to do in Lakeland with kids year-round, but this is our Top 10 list of things to do in May to help you make sure the “can’t miss” activities 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.

Watermelon Festival at the Florida Children’s Museum

On Saturday, May 4 from 10am – 5pm, join the Florida Children’s Museum inside the museum AND on the Great Lawn at Bonnet Springs Park for a day of fun at the Watermelon Festival.

Celebrate the rich tradition of watermelon farming in Central Florida, play for free at dozens of hands-on activities at Bonnet Springs Park’s Great Lawn, and cool off inside Florida Children’s Museum while you curate your own world. This event is a pay what you can day– meaning participation is free. Every dollar donated supports museum operation and programming.

Watermelon Festival Florida Childrens Museum May.2023

Kids Museum Day at the Florida Air Museum

On Saturday, May 11 from 10am – 4pm, the Florida Air Museum invites you to come and experience the exciting history of aviation at Kids Museum Day! Your FREE admission will give you access to explore the wonderful galleries and aircraft assets the Florida Air Museum has to offer. In addition to the tour, you can enjoy bounce houses, local exhibitors, and more!

Free Museum Day Florida Air Museum 2023

Browse the artwork at Mayfaire by-the-Lake

Mayfaire by-the-Lake is an annual outdoor art festival in Lakeland that has something for everyone! This is a family-friendly event with a children’s art tent, performances, amazing artwork, and more. Read our tips for taking kids to one of our favorite events in Lakeland happening May 11 – 12, 2024.

Celebrate Moms

Mother’s Day…  A day to celebrate all of the women who have done the amazing / terrifying / wonderful / exhausting / beautiful / challenging / blessed work of raising children! A day celebrated with gifts, cards, special activities, time off, a meal together, and more.

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12, 2024. See our list of ideas for Mother’s Day in Lakeland and Polk County. It includes a list of places offering brunch reservations, Mother’s Day events, as well as gift ideas, local discounts, and more.

Thank Your Teachers

Say THANK YOU during Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6 – 10) with a thank you note, a gift, or a small token of appreciation. We put together a great list of gifts teachers will love. Includes FREE ways to thank a teacher, plus a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to giving gifts and showing teachers how much you appreciate them!

Spend an Evening or Saturday morning in Downtown Lakeland

Downtown Lakeland is hoppin’ this month! Check out our list of upcoming family friendly events in Downtown Lakeland, including Tasty Tuesdays – a chance to try small bites from downtown restaurants and bars, Friday Night Live music series, plus every Saturday morning is the Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curb Market.

This month’s First Friday theme is Cinco de Mayo (and called Tres de Mayo since it is Friday, May 3)


Visit a Sunflower Field or Pick Wildflowers

Sunflowers and wildflowers bloom in Florida in both spring and fall. Local sunflower farms are open from April – June for you to cut your own sunflowers or wander through a sunflower maze. Many farms also have fields full of zinnias and other colorful wildflowers for photos and cutting your own flowers. {Note – some farms are 1+ hour from Lakeland so be sure to map it out before you go}

Pick Blueberries

Blueberry season in Florida started in April and NOW is the time to pick blueberries! Check out our list of U-Pick Blueberry Farms – there are multiple farms right here in Polk County so you can pick blueberries close to home.

Check out the Lake Eva Water Park

The Lake Eva Water Park in Haines City opens in early May each year! It has a splash pad, water slide, activity pool and water play area your kids will love, all for only $5 per person.

Toddlers and younger kids will enjoy the splash pad area and water spray park, while older kids will have fun on the large slide and in the zero-depth entry lagoon pool with a water dump bucket. There is also a regular large pool with an open swim area and swim lanes.

Spend time outdoors

May is a great month to spend time outdoors before summer arrives {when 10 minutes outside makes you feel like you’re going to melt!}

Our huge list of things to do outdoors in Lakeland + Polk County can help you find something fun to do with your family this Spring. It includes:

Get registered for Summer Camps

The beginning of May marks the 4 week countdown to the start of SUMMER! Whether you are looking for a full-day/all-week camp for your kids to attend, or an activity to get the kids out of the house for a few hours each day, Lakeland Mom’s Summer Camp Guide has you covered. Find camps for art, gymnastics, martial arts, sports, cooking, day camp, teens, preschoolers, and more on our list.

Celebrate the End of School + Kick Off SUMMER!

The end of the 2023 – 2024 school year is near and it is time to celebrate!  We’ve got a fun list of list of last day of school ideas to help you celebrate the end of school and kick off the start of summer 2024.

(The last day of public school in Polk County, Florida is Thursday, May 30, 2024 – Private and Charter schools have different calendars)

Coming Soon…

Keep an eye on our website and be sure you’re signed up for our weekly email “fun-letter” {form below} – we’ve got lots of new content to publish in May including our huge Summer Fun Guide.

Spring Activities Guide

Check out our full Spring Activities Guide for more things to do in Lakeland, Polk County, and Central Florida from January – May. BBQ Festivals, Valentine’s Day, 5k races, seasonal events, annual favorites, SUN ‘n FUN, Easter Egg Hunts, Mother’s Day, and more.