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

Things to do in November Lakeland + Polk County

There is no slowing down in November! We love helping you find family-friendly events and activities to celebrate the fall season, enjoy the cooler weather, and prepare for the upcoming Christmas and winter holidays.

Our calendar continues to be JAM PACKED through November {and into December} 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 or activities, be sure to let the venue know that you heard about it from Lakeland Mom.

Although the focus this month is Thanksgiving, there are plenty of other things to do in November with your family.

Fall Festivals in November

Did your October go by in a blur?? Mine sure did! Don’t worry if you feel like you missed out on fall festivities – the fun continues into November! Check out these fall festivals:

Visit a Corn Maze or Farm

Halloween might be over but the fall fun is NOT DONE YET! Many corn mazes in Central Florida are open through mid-November or even the end of the month.

Harvest Holler Corn Maze in Polk City is open for the season through November 14 this year, Fox Squirrel Corn Maze in Plant City is open through November 5, and many other farms in Central Florida are still open for fall fun.

Head to Downtown Lakeland for a community event

Check out our list of upcoming family friendly events in Downtown Lakeland including these favorites:

First Friday is November 3 – enjoy a live band and dancing in Munn Park with this month’s theme – USO Dancing Under the Stars: A Salute to Our Armed Forces.

Art Crawl is Sunday , November 5 – this is a FREE festival at Swan Brewing featuring local artists selling artwork and competing for prizes alongside live music, performances, art demonstrations and featured organizations and sponsors that proactively support the arts.

The Downtown Farmers Curb Market is every Saturday morning from 8am – 2pm

The Lakeland Food Truck Rally is Thursday, November 9

Live Green Lakeland Eco-Fest is Saturday, November 11

Tasty Tuesday is November 21 {perfect for getting dinner out before your Thanksgiving meal!}

Spend Time Outdoors

November is a great time to spend time outdoors – the weather is slightly cooler and you aren’t quite stressed out yet with ALL.THINGS.CHRISTMAS. Check out these outdoor events in November:

  • The Hillsborough County Fair runs from November 2 – 12, 2023
  • Have you ever been to a 39 Mile Long Yard Sale?? If not, you can check one out on Saturday, November 4, 2023 from Frostproof to Haines City
  • Chalk artists will be creating sidewalk and street masterpieces at the Bartow Chalk Walk on November 11-12, 2023 (go Saturday to see them starting and check out the Honey Bee Festival, go back Sunday to see the finished chalk artwork)
  • Are you a nature lover, wildlife enthusiast, or conservation champions? Or want to become one? Check out the Raptor Center of Tampa Bay’s Wonders of Wildlife Festival on Saturday, November 11, 2023 in Plant City.
  • Enjoy Tunes by the Lake at Colt Creek State Park on Saturday, November 11, 2023
  • There is always something happening at Bonnet Springs Park – check the calendar for upcoming events

Honor a Veteran on Veterans Day

Veterans Day is November 11 and there are local events scheduled on and around November 11th to celebrate our active duty and retired U.S. Service Members, including the Lakeland Veterans Day Ceremony on Saturday. Check our Veterans Day Post to see the list of Veterans Day events in Lakeland and Polk County.

Browse a Craft Fair or Holiday Market

Looking for that one-of-a-kind holiday gift? Love browsing craft fairs and seeing handmade Christmas decorations?

During November and December, Lakeland, Winter Haven, and Polk County have an abundance of holiday markets and craft fairs where you can find those unique Christmas gifts your friends and family will love. Plus you can get your Christmas shopping done while you shop local and support makers from Lakeland and Central Florida.

Special events with crafts and vendors in November include the Auburndale Fall Fest (Nov 4), Honey Bee Craft Fair in Downtown Bartow (Nov 11), the Haven Holiday Market (Nov 18). We also have a full list of upcoming Christmas craft shows that will be updated throughout November as event are announced, plus vendors at the local weekly farmers markets will also have holiday gifts.

Plan ahead for Thanksgiving

Don’t let Thanksgiving stress you out! Thanksgiving is about connecting with the people you love and being thankful for your blessings – NOT spending all day in the kitchen {unless you love cooking, and in that case, cook away!}

Pre-order a turkey, ham, sides, or pies from one of the amazing restaurants or caterers in our Thanksgiving Meals To Go list. Or book your reservations for Thanksgiving Dinner at one of the restaurants open on Thanksgiving.

The VISTE Thanksgiving Meal Delivery is a great opportunity to volunteer with your family! Volunteers are needed to deliver 1,800 meals to our local seniors on Wednesday, November 22, 2023. Many of these clients may otherwise spend the holiday alone, or would not prepare a meal for themselves. This is a great opportunity to give back during the holiday season. Children are welcome to volunteer with you! Be sure to register if you are interested in helping deliver meals in 2023.

Find a Thanksgiving Break Camp for your Kids

Polk County schools will be out for a full week over Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for kids camps for Thanksgiving Break, activities to keep your kids busy, or if you need childcare while you’re working that week, our Thanksgiving Break Camp Guide can help you find camps in Lakeland and across Polk County. Many of them are half days or allow single-day registration which is perfect if you’re trying to get in some cooking or cleaning before Thanksgiving company arrives!

Kick off the Christmas Season with these November events

  • Enjoy the holiday decorations at Lakeside Village at the Salvation Army Kettle Kick-Off and Tree Lighting on Friday, November 10
  • Light up Downtown Bartow at Magic on Main on Friday, November 17
  • Take a day trip (or night trip) towards Tampa or Orlando for one of the many Christmas activities in Central Florida. Many of these attractions open in mid-November including theme park special events at Disney, Sea World, Busch Gardens, LEGOLAND, plus Ice at Gaylord Palms, Night of a Million Lights, and other favorites.

Donate Christmas Toys

The local need is great in 2023. Learn which organizations are collecting toys for families in need and find out how you can donate to Rudolph Round-Up, Cops for Kids, Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army, and many other groups helping children in our community have a special Christmas. Most organizations need donations in November and early December so they can plan accordingly.

You can also sign up to ring the bell for Salvation Army – it is a great way for families to volunteer together.

Plan your Holiday + Christmas Calendar

Beginning in early November you’ll start to see ALL THINGS CHRISTMAS on our website! Here are helpful links to help you plan a memorable holiday season with your family. {These posts will be updated for 2023 throughout the month of November as information becomes available – be sure to check the publish date for accuracy}

Happy November!

We’ve got SO.MUCH.INFO coming out in the next few weeks on our website – be sure you’re signed up for our weekly fun-letter to get all of our Thanksgiving and Christmas info delivered straight to your inbox so you don’t miss anything.

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!