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.

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 through October 9. A link is provided at the bottom of every event on our calendar and in all articles.

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

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. If you’ve never been to Harvest Holler, it is a fall “must do.”

Corn Mazes Lakeland Central Florida

Kick off the Lakeland Magic’s 2021 – 2022 Season

The Lakeland Magic kick off the 2021–22 basketball season with back-to-back games on Friday, November 5th and Saturday, November 6th as the reigning G League Basketball Champs! That’s right – in March 2021, our Lakeland Magic won it all. They played the 2020-21 season in “the bubble” at Disney, so we didn’t get to watch them win the championship in person, but you CAN celebrate with the team when they kick off the upcoming season right here in Lakeland at the RP Funding Center.

New this year – there will be 1,000+ promotional items given out at EVERY.SINGLE.GAME. These free giveaways include t-shirts, championship banners, replica championship rings, bobbleheads, ornaments, light up sabers, cups and koozies, calendars, and more.

November games include:
🏀 Friday, November 5 @ 7pm – Opening Night – Giveaway: Championship Shirt
🏀 Saturday, November 6 @ 7pm – Championship Celebration – Giveaway: Replica Championship Banner
🏀 Tuesday, November 9 @ 7pm – Health Care Heroes Night – Giveaway: Jonathan Isaac Bobblehead
🏀 Thursday, November 11 @ 7pm – Hispanic Heritage Night – Giveaway: Heritage Tshirt

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 5 – Enjoy a Buffalo Soldier Parade and Meet and greet with Buffalo soldiers and their horses and motorcycles. Due to the weather, First Friday November 2021 has been canceled.

Art Crawl is Saturday, November 6 – 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 11.

Did you know you can filter our calendar to see all events in a certain venue or location? Click here to see all upcoming events in Downtown Lakeland.

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. {Many events are the weekend prior – November 6}

Support a local cause

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 24, 2021. 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 2021.

Ladies – this one is just for you! The PACE Center for Girls Posh Purse Party annual fundraiser is a designer purse raffle and auction. This year the event is all online from November 9 – 11, meaning you can bid on gorgeous purses from the comfort of your own couch. Plus the first 200 people to register get a Disney purse.

Looking for a fun date night? Margarita Ball is an annual Lakeland tradition that helps raise funds for gifts for kids. Your ticket includes Complimentary Margaritas, Beer, and Hors d’oeuvres. Must be 21+ to attend. Saturday, November 20.

Love horses? Join A Heart for H.E.R.O.s (Horses Empowering Riders and Others), Inc. for their Giddy-Up & Ride-A-Thon Fundraiser which provides scholarships for Therapeutic Riding lessons to students with special abilities. Shop 20+ local vendors and grab a bite to eat while you support the students and horses riding their laps! Admission is free, there is food available for purchase from vendors and sponsors. Pony rides and unicorn photo shoots are available for purchase. Saturday, November 13.

Watch the {cardboard} boat races

The Lakeland Cardboard Boat Challenge is fun for everyone! Register a team to build a cardboard boat (either pre-build or build on-site) OR simply come out to watch the festivities and explore the activities on Saturday, November 6. Boats are made from cardboard and duct tape and then must survive the short race in Lake Hollingsworth without sinking.

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 Honey Bee Craft Fair in Downtown Bartow (Nov 13), the Auburndale Fall Fest (Nov 13), and the Haven Holiday Market (Nov 20). 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

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

Donate Christmas Toys

The local need is great in 2021. 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.

Toys for Tots Family Fest is on November 6. 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 2021 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!

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!