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Top 10 Things To Do in Lakeland + Polk County in September

Things to Do in September Lakeland Polk County

Fall is on its way which means an abundance of events on the calendar! We love helping you find things to do to celebrate the start of the fall season. September brings with it the return of the Lakeland Farmers Market, live music in Munn Park, an abundance of 5k races and kids fun runs, free museum day, and the opening of local corn mazes.

Our calendar is packed with daily events, so we created a monthly Top 10 list to help you find the most popular family-friendly events and activities in Lakeland and across Polk County to add to your own calendar. If you enjoy one of these events, be sure to let the venue know that you heard about it from Lakeland Mom.

Please check directly with event organizers or local businesses for mask requirements, safety protocols, advance registration, and any last-minute changes. All information on our website is for informational purposes only – we are not qualified to provide health or safety recommendations.

Explore a Farmers Market

The Downtown Lakeland Farmers Market returns September 4. The market is open every Saturday morning from September – July in Downtown Lakeland. At the Downtown Farmers Curb Market you’ll find local produce, local plants & flowers, locally made bread & pastries, herbs, loose organic tea, foods, honey, hot sauce, local artisans, local vendors, and much more! 

There is also a farmers market each week in Winter Haven, and markets throughout the month in Bartow, Lake Wales, and Plant City. We’ve got the dates and times in our full list of Farmers Markets in Polk County.

Downtown Lakeland Farmers Market
Lakeland Farmers Market

Go to an event in Downtown Lakeland

Head to Downtown Lakeland every weekend this month for family-friendly fun!

Click the name of any event for times and additional details.

Did you know you can also see all upcoming events in Downtown by using the Venue filter on our main calendar? Simply select Downtown Lakeland to see a list of upcoming events. We are thankful to have such a vibrant downtown! {This works for any venue OR organizer on our calendar}

Visit a Museum or Garden for Free

On Saturday, September 18, 2021 you can visit over 50 museums in Florida for FREE as part of Museum Day hosted by Smithsonian magazine. Options in Central Florida include the Polk Museum of Art (free every day), Tampa Bay History Center, Cracker Country, Ringling Museum and Circus Museum, and more. Registration is required – learn how to get a free Museum Day ticket.

If you don’t find anywhere on the list you’d like to visit, we also have a list of Museums in Polk County + Central Florida that are free to visit year-round or offer free days during the year.

Bok Tower Gardens is hosting their last Wawa Summer Fun Day with Free Admission on September 24 – just be sure to register for your free ticket.

Ringling Museum of Art Circus Museum
Ringling Circus Museum

(If theme parks are more your thing, Sea World and Busch Gardens are both offering 4 months free right now – buy a 2022 Fun Card and get the rest of 2021 free!)

Kick off fall at Harvest Holler Corn Maze + Farm

Harvest Holler Corn Maze opens for the season on Friday, September 17! They’ll be open through mid-November again this year. If you’ve never been to Harvest Holler, it is a fall “must do” for families. Check out the activities at Harvest Holler Corn Maze and see photos from our past visits.

(HINT – we’ve got a HUGE Fall & Halloween Guide that will be updated later this month!)

Harvest Holler Corn Maze Lakeland Polk County
Harvest Holler Corn Maze + Farm

Explore Colt Creek State Park

Colt Creek State Park is located in the Green Swamp north of Lakeland, and their event calendar is packed for September! You can learn about Geocaching, bats, snakes, fossils, fishing, canoeing, and more. Events are free with park admission which is only $4 per vehicle.

Check our calendar for upcoming events at Colt Creek – just be sure to call and register before you go.

Attend a special event

The events listed below are one day or one weekend only!

2021fri10sep6:00 pm7:30 pmDisney's Frozen Jr. at Theatre Winter Haven6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Winter Haven - Chain O' Lakes Complex Event Organized By: Theatre Winter Haven Price:$10 - 15


Frozen Jr. Performances are Fri, Sep 10th, 2021 at 6pm, Sat, Sep 11th, 2021 at 2:30 pm and 6pm, and Sun, Sep 12th, 2021 at 2:30 pm. School + Homeschool Groups are welcome for daytime shows on Sept 9-10. Two additional shows have been added on Friday, September 17 and Saturday, September 18 at 6pm!

2021sat18sep10:00 am3:00 pm7 Rivers Water Festival - Winter Haven10:00 am - 3:00 pm Winter Haven - Central Park Downtown Event Organized By: Polk County Parks and Recreation Price:Free

2021sat25sep10:00 am3:00 pmFeaturedGirls in Aviation Day10:00 am - 3:00 pm Lakeland Linder Regional Airport Event Organized By: Women in Aviation - Lakeland Chapter Price:Free

2021thu30sep5:30 pm8:30 pmLadies Night Downtown Winter Haven5:30 pm - 8:30 pm Winter Haven - Central Park Downtown Event Organized By: Main Street Winter Haven Price:$10

Run {or walk} a 5k Race as a family

With year-round sunshine here in Central Florida, you can find an abundance of 5k races, 10k races, and Fun Runs throughout the year! Check our list of upcoming family-friendly races and kids fun runs in Lakeland, Winter Haven & across Polk County – virtual races are available as well.

Our friends at the Breast Cancer Foundation of Central Florida are hosting POWer in Pink this month – an in-person 5k on September 18, 2021 and the second annual virtual 26.2 month-long marathon challenge during the month of September.

Power in Pink BCFCF 5k 2021

Make a new friend

September is a great month to start something new and look for places to meet other moms! We’ve got a list of 10 Great Ways to Meet Mom Friends in the Lakeland area including mom groups, kids activities, storytimes, Church groups, fitness classes, service clubs, and more. You can also join the Lakeland Moms Group on Facebook as another way to connect with local moms. 

Enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte {or not!}

Fall is in the air coming soon… we hope? Either way, we’re starting to see pumpkins, scarecrows, and fall leaves around town… and with them comes the return of all things pumpkin spice. If you’re a fan, use our Lakeland Coffee Shop Guide find a local coffee shop where you can enjoy pumpkin and fall flavored goodness. (Caramel is more my thing… which you can find at these coffee shops too!)

Lakeland Coffee Shops

Get to know our new Superintendent of Polk County Schools

Superintendent Frederick Heid will conduct an outreach tour in September featuring several Community Conversation forums. Each forum will begin at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend these forums and interact with Polk County’s new superintendent. 

Superintendent’s Community Conversations
Sept. 14: Bartow Civic Center — 2250 S. Floral Ave., Bartow
Sept. 15: Auburndale Civic Center — 115 W Park St., Auburndale
Sept. 16: AdventHealth Fieldhouse — 210 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven
Sept. 20: Presbyterian Church in the Highlands — 1010 Lake Miriam Drive, Lakeland
Sept. 21: Lake Eva Event Center — 799 Johns Ave., Haines City
Sept. 23: Dream Center of Lakeland — 635 W. 5th St., Lakeland
Sept. 27: Virtual Forum — (broadcast live on Facebook (facebook.com/polkcountypublicschools)
**Check the PCPS News website or Facebook page for any schedule changes**

Play Indoors

While we wait for cooler weather to arrive, we still love our air-conditioned spaces! We’ve got lots of indoor things to do in Lakeland + Polk County including laser tag, arcade games, roller skating, ice skating, bowling, indoor trampoline parks, museums and more. Perfect for a rainy day, a hot day, or just any day you’re looking for something to do as a family. 

Go on an Outdoor Adventure

Hiking, water sports, biking, mini-golf, animal adventures, playgrounds – we’ve got it all right here close to home. If you want to spend more time outside in September, we can help you find things to do outdoors in Lakeland and Polk County.

Happy September!

You can find a full list of upcoming events on our Calendar and check out our Guides to learn more about resources in Lakeland + Polk County.