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

Hot Air Balloon Festival Lakeland

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 Up Up and Away Florida – a Hot Air Balloon Festival, Mayfaire by-the-Lake, Mother’s Day, Teacher Appreciation, CityFest in Auburndale, Blueberry Picking and Peach Picking season, Sunflower season, and a calendar filled with community events every weekend.

Many attraction closures and event postponements have been announced beginning September 27 due to Hurricane Ian. We are editing our calendar and articles if we receive notice of event changes, but please be sure to check directly with organizers to confirm any events or activities from September 27 - October 2. A link is provided at the bottom of every event on our calendar and in all articles.

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.

Up Up and Away Florida – Hot Air Balloon Festival

Make plans to attend one of the most unique events in Lakeland – Up Up and Away Florida – a hot air balloon festival at the SUN ‘n FUN campus from May 6 – 8, 2022. Colorful balloon glows, hot air balloon launches, tethered balloon rides, live music, food and beverage options, helicopter rides, kids zone, and more. This is a great activity for Mother’s Day Weekend!

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 7 – 8, 2022.

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 8, 2022. 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 2 – 6) 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 the new Friday Night Live music series, plus every Saturday morning is the Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curb Market.

Upcoming-Events-in-Downtown-Lakeland

More Events in May

Buena Market and Downtown Lakeland are teaming up to bring you the Buena Block Party on Saturday, May 7.

Watch the cardboard boat races (or build one of your own and participate) in the Lakeland Carboard Boat Challenge & Lakes Festival on Saturday, May 14.

Relax and enjoy Tunes by the Lake at Colt Creek State Park on Saturday, May 14.

Auburndale’s very first CityFest will be held on Saturday, May 21, from 1 PM – 10 PM, at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex. It will be a great day in Auburndale, filled with music and fun! There are 3 bands, a kids zone, food trucks, and family-friendly fun.

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.

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 2021 – 2022 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 2022.

(The last day of public school in Polk County, Florida is Friday, May 27, 2022 – 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.