Thank You to Our Local Sponsors

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.

Play at the new Florida Children’s Museum

The Florida Children’s Museum Grand Opening is Friday, November 4! {TIP – sign up for an annual membership and get early admission Oct 30 – Nov 3}

New exhibits and programs will serve an expanded age range of children from birth to 12 years-old. Visit the link below for details on new exhibits, memberships, location and more.

Explore Bonnet Springs Park

Bonnet Springs Park opened in October and it is AMAZING!! This 168 acre park has botanic gardens, a huge grass family lawn, lagoon boardwalk, canopy walk through the trees, a butterfly house, and more.

Park buildings include the Welcome Center, Florida Children’s Museum (formerly Explorations V Children’s Museum), The Depot, an Event Center for wedding receptions and events, a Greenhouse, and a Nature Center on the lagoon next to Lake Bonnet.

And how about those playgrounds?? There are multiple including the family playground; a train themed playground in the Heritage Gardens; and a huge nature playground with swings, a wooden climbing structure, water feature, sand play area, and more, plus it is fully fenced in! Mable the Owl is also a climbing structure, and there are slides and other play areas throughout the park.

Train Playground at Bonnet Springs Park

If you’ve been, you probably love it already, and if you haven’t been, trust us and put it on your November calendar. Learn more and see additional photos at the link below.

Sign up for a free class at the Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center

The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center (formerly Family Fundamentals) moved to a new location in the fall of 2022. It is now located at Bonnet Springs Park in the same building as the Florida Children’s Museum, and classes resume November 7, 2022.

The Children’s Resource Center offers weekly child development classes for children from infants through age 5 where parents and children will learn and socialize as they participate in fun, stimulating, developmental activities. These classes are FREE and a great opportunity to meet other moms and caregivers, plus you can explore Bonnet Springs Park or visit the Florida Children’s Museum all in one day!

Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center

Visit a Corn Maze or Fall Festival

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 is open for the season through November 14 this year.

Corn Mazes Lakeland Central Florida

Kick off the Lakeland Magic’s 2022 – 2023 Season

The Lakeland Magic kick off the 2022–23 basketball season with back-to-back games on Friday, November 11th and Saturday, November 12th. Our hometown NBA G League team is taking things to the next level again this season with an incredible schedule of theme nights and promotional giveaways from November through March.

November games include:
🏀 Friday, November 11 @ 7pm – Opening Night – Giveaway: Lakeland Magic Shirt
🏀 Saturday, November 12 @ 7pm – Military Appreciation Night – Giveaway: Top Gun T-Shirt
🏀 Friday, November 25 @ 7pm – Thanksgiving Break Game – Giveaway: Magic Foam Finger
🏀 Saturday November 26 @ 7pm – World Cup Night – Giveaway: Lakeland Magic Scarf

Learn more about the giveaways and get your tickets at

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 4 – 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 Saturday, November 5 – this is a FREE festival in Munn Park 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 – read our recent post to learn more about what you’ll find a the market.

The Lakeland Food Truck Rally is Thursday, November 10.

Live Green Lakeland Eco-Fest is Saturday, November 12.

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 5), Honey Bee Craft Fair in Downtown Bartow (Nov 12), the Haven Holiday Market (Nov 19), and Artsgiving and the Small Business Saturday Night Market (Nov 26). We also have a full list of upcoming Christmas craft shows.

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.

Thanksgiving Catering in Lakeland Florida

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 23, 2022. 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 2022.

Find a Thanksgiving Break Camp for your Kids

Polk County schools will be out for 5 days over Thanksgiving week. 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 18
  • Light up Downtown Bartow at Magic on Main on Friday, November 18
  • Elf the Musical at Theatre Winter Haven begins November 23
  • 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 2022. 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 2022 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!