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The Ultimate Guide to Things to Do With Kids in Lakeland + Polk County

Things to Do with Kids in Lakeland Florida

Are you looking for things to do with kids in Lakeland, Florida? We can help you find family fun! Below you’ll find a HUGE list of family friendly places to go and things to do in Polk County. Indoor places to play, outdoor adventures, free things to do, seasonal activities, and more.

If you’re looking for things to do in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Plant City, Polk County, or Central Florida, you’ll find it all right here.


Outdoor things to do in Lakeland and Polk County – Whether you prefer hiking, water sports, biking, mini-golf, animal adventures, playgrounds, or just somewhere to get outside, this list has outdoor activities for all ages. With year-round sunshine and plenty of warm days, we have an abundance of things to do outdoors in Florida.


Indoor Fun Guide – Indoor family fun and indoor playgrounds are in high-demand year-round in Florida. When the temperatures are high, we love being in the air conditioning for indoor activities! Use our Indoor Fun Guide for a full list of things to do indoors in Lakeland + Polk County.


Free Things to Do in Lakeland + Polk County – Making memories and finding family fun doesn’t have to be expensive. Lakeland and Polk County are full of FREE events and family activities.


We’ve put together a list of fun activities you can do at home, and most require little or no preparation.


Playgrounds in Polk County – Get outside and enjoy all of our great playgrounds in Lakeland and Polk County. Let the kids run and play and burn off some of that never-ending energy. In the Florida heat, especially during the summer, we prefer to visit Lakeland’s Shaded Playgrounds.

Parks + Open Fields in Lakeland – Find a place to throw a frisbee, kick the soccer ball, or play a game of catch.

Picnic Spots – Looking for a place to have a picnic? Pick one from our list of 10 Places to Enjoy a Picnic in Lakeland.


The Winter Haven Splash Pad and Lakeland Splash Pad are open year round. Get more information as well as a list of other places to play in the water in the Tampa area, in our Splash Pad Guide.

Public pools in Lakeland, Winter Haven, and Lake Eva in Haines City are open for recreational swimming. Some pools are only open seasonally, but others are open year round! Get the details in our Swimming Pools Guide.

The Lake Eva Water Park has something for all ages! Toddlers and younger kids will enjoy the splash pad and water spray park, while older kids will have fun on the large slide and in the zero-depth entry lagoon pool with a water dump bucket. There is also a regular pool with an open swim area and swim lanes.

Lake Eva Water Park Pool Haines City FL
Lake Eva Water Park


Peppa Pig Theme Park and the LEGOLAND Florida Resort and Water Park are located right here in Polk County.

Take a short drive to the east or west and you’ll find Busch Gardens in Tampa, and SeaWorld, Disney, and Universal Studios in Orlando. TIP – If you have kids 5 and under, sign up for the Busch Gardens Preschool Pass or the SeaWorld Preschool Pass. Other ticket deals include an extra 3-4 months on a Fun Card if you purchase it in the fall.


Floating down a river or exploring the coast of Florida in a kayak is the perfect way to spend a day when the weather is beautiful. With plenty of lakes, rivers, coastlines, and springs only 1-2 hours from Lakeland, we found 15 places to rent a kayak or book a tour, including 3 right here in the Lakeland area.

Canoe Kayak Central Florida


Spend the day at one of Florida’s springs for a real Florida adventure. Most springs are 72 degrees year-round, providing a refreshing day of swimming, tubing, and outdoor fun. There are 12 freshwater springs in Central Florida where you can go Swimming or Tubing.

Florida Springs Tubing Swimming


Go on a Mural Scavenger Hunt – we’ve got a list and map of 19+ amazing murals in Lakeland. Whether you are looking for a selfie wall, an Instagram background, or just enjoy seeing these works of public art, the entire family will have fun trying to pick your favorite mural in Lakeland.

Murals in Lakeland, FL


Prefer to watch others perform on the water? Check out a local water ski show for free weekend entertainment.


If you’ve got a bike trailer or a way to transport bikes, we’ve got a list of the best bike trails for families and kids. Our list includes places to learn to ride a bike, paved bike paths, mountain bike trails, AND a list of bike shops in case you’re looking for a new bike or need a repair.


Explore a new trail or visit your favorite shaded hiking spot. We’ve got a list of outdoor hiking trails in Polk County including local favorites spots like Circle B, Holloway Park, Colt Creek State Park, and Lakeland Highlands Scrub.

Are you looking for a place to walk in Lakeland with a stroller or somewhere you can walk on a paved trail? If you prefer to stay on even ground, these paved walking paths and scenic trails are a great place to get some exercise, go for a run, rollerblade, or just take a leisurely stroll to enjoy being outdoors.


Botanical Gardens – Visiting a local garden is a great way to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature, plus it is something all ages can do together.

Bok Tower is one of the most beautiful places in Polk County. Kids can explore in Hammock Hollow Children’s Gardenthen take a stroll to see the variety of flowers and vegitation, and be sure to get a photo in front of the Singing Tower.


Central Florida has an abundance of attractions where you can get up close and personal with wild animals. Find a zoo near you, drive thru safaris, private tours, exotic animal feedings, and more.

Safari Wilderness is a drive-through safari right here in Lakeland!


Check out these petting zoos and animal farms where you can see cows, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, horses, and more. Or maybe try goat yoga!


Visit an aquarium in Central Florida to get up close and personal with sea creatures and learn about marine life native to Florida. Sharks, rays, dolphins, fish, lobsters, jellyfish, and more.


Find free books at the public library, Little Free Libraries, and other places around town and online.


Free Museums – There are multiple free museums in Polk County, as well as ways to free tickets for museums and science centers for free if you are a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch card holder or EBT/SNAP card holder. Some museums also have free admission days during the month.


We are lucky to have multiple minor league teams in Lakeland. Whether you have a favorite sport or just want to cheer on the hometown team, these professional sports teams’ games are fun for the whole family.

Lakeland Ice Arena is the home arena for the ice hockey team at Florida Southern College. Spectators are welcome.

We also have Detroit Tigers Spring Training and the Lakeland Flying Tigers who play baseball outdoors at Joker Marchant Stadium.


Our Kids Classes + Lessons Guide can help you find classes, clubs and extracurricular activities you can sign your kids up for after school and on weekends.

Looking for Swim Lessons in the Lakeland area? We’ve got a list of those too.


From baseball to wrestling, along with basketball, cheerleading, football, gymnastics, soccer, and everything else in between, we’ve put together a list of all the organizations offering kids sports programs in Lakeland.


One of our favorite family friendly things to do in Lakeland is visit a U-Pick farm! Find out where you can pick your own Strawberries (January – March), visit a U-Pick Blueberry Farm (March – May), or get fresh-picked Florida Peaches (April – May) right off the trees.


Find fresh produce and local goods at one of the weekly Farmers Markets in Polk County. Not just limited to food, many of them also have handmade items and other unique booths to browse. Learn more about the Lakeland Farmer’s Market in Downtown Lakeland or one of the other markets in Bartow, Winter Haven, and Lake Wales.


Use our Kids Eat Free Guide to find out where you can get a free kids meal any night of the week.

You can also find the best local fish fry, or check out a local BBQ Festival.


Find a local Bingo Night – kid friendly games can be found at local restaurants where it is free to play and families can win gift cards as prizes.

Use your knoggin at Trivia Night – the perfect blend of entertainment and fun competition. Trivia at local restaurants is free to play and a great activity with teens or kids old enough to participate. We can help with a list of trivia nights in Lakeland and Polk County.


I scream, U scream, we all scream for ice cream! Cookies! Frozen yogurt! Gelato! Shaved Ice! Cupcakes! Find sweet treats and ice cream in Lakeland and across Polk County.

Whether your favorite flavor is glazed, frosted, jelly filled, old fashioned, or chocolate, we can help you find the best donuts in Lakeland and Polk County.


What is it about tea parties that makes them so timeless and so much fun, regardless of age? We put together a list of tea rooms in Polk County and Central Florida where you can dress up and enjoy tea, lunch, and desserts.


An indoor playground will give your kids space to run, climb, slide, and burn off some of that endless energy!

Family Fun Center Funtasia Indoor Playground Lakeland FL
Funtasia Indoor Playground – Lakeland, FL


Bounce the day away at a Ninja-Warrior style kids indoor trampoline park in Lakeland.

Trampoline parks Lakeland Florida


If you want active indoor fun, check out a local roller skating rink or indoor ice skating rink.


Whether you prefer retro arcade games, pinball machines, ticket redemption, or love playing games just for fun, Family Fun Center and other r family entertainment center’s and arcades in Lakeland and Winter Haven provide fun for the whole family.

Family Fun Center Lakeland
Family Fun Center – Lakeland, FL


Looking for a kids indoor play option that combines fun with learning? These hands-on museums, libraries, and discovery centers will give your kids something to do indoors AND stimulate the brain.

The Florida Children’s Museum opened in October 2022 at Bonnet Springs Park!

Florida Childrens Museum Publix Play Grocery Store


Looking for something the whole family can do? Kids, teenagers, and adults will enjoy a heart-thumping game of lazer tag as you run, dart, and try to find the best hiding place while you defend your team’s base in a laser tag arena.

Laser Tag Lakeland Florida
Laser Tag at Family Fun Center in Lakeland, FL


If your family loves a challenge, head to one of Lakeland’s indoor escape roomsLakeland Escape Room or Escapology Lakeland. You’ll have 1 hour to solve the clues and escape. This is one of my family’s favorite activities, especially if we go with another family. The more thinking power the merrier!


Whether you play Little League Baseball or Softball OR are just looking for indoor family fun, check out Lakeland’s indoor batting cages.


Test your aim with a trip to the indoor archery range.


We have a variety of movie theater experiences here in Lakeland and Polk County including IMAX, 3-D, D-Box motion seats, comfy reclining chairs, food and drinks during your movie, and more.

If you really want a unique movie going experience, check out Silver Moon Drive-In for an outdoor family movie.


Bowling is a favorite in my house! Bowl a few games at these local bowling alleys – AMF Lakeland, Orange Bowl Lanes, Cypress Lanes in Winter Haven, Fast Frame Bowl in Lake Wales, or Family Bowl in Plant City.


Paint your own pottery, assemble a mosaic, or make jewelry. These arts and crafts studios allow you to create your own masterpiece.


Take your children to a musical or theater production geared toward kids and watch their imaginations soar. Live music is also a family-friendly activity for all ages.

Check out the theaters and performing arts venues to find an upcoming performance that you and your family are sure to enjoy. Local venues and performance groups include the Imperial Symphony Orchestra, Lakeland Community Theatre, Theatre Winter Haven, RP Funding Center, The Polk Theatre, and more.

{In addition to checking these venues’ websites, we also list many local performances on our Calendar – use the Music, Theater + Live Performances filter}.


Check out a unique indoor “eatertainment” venue – you can play and eat, all at the same venue. Ax throwing, golf simulators, and more.


Event Calendar – Check our Family-Friendly Event Calendar for a full list of upcoming events in Lakeland and Polk County.

Event Articles – Read more about Lakeland’s favorite Family Friendly Events.


Spring Activities Guide – Since we don’t really have a true winter, “Spring” in Florida runs from January – May. Our list of things to do in Spring includes Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and a calendar full of spring events.

Summer Fun Guide – Once the kids out of school for summer break, we can help you find things to do to keep them entertained. Summer Camps, reading programs, free bowling and skating, free summer movies. and more.

Summer Camp Guide – Use our HUGE list of 100+ Summer Camps to find the best places for kids to spend their summer having fun. Sort by city, camp theme, age group, and more.

Fall + Halloween Activities – Beginning in mid-September, the pumpkins arrive at the pumpkin patch, the corn mazes open, and the kids get excited just thinking about Halloween candy. We can help you find things to do to celebrate Fall and Halloween.

November + Thanksgiving – The month of November gets its own feature on our website. It includes restaurants open on Thanksgiving, things to do in November, volunteer opportunities, and things that open early like Christmas markets.

Christmas + Holiday Guide We’ve got the ultimate guide to family-friendly holiday fun in Lakeland, Polk County, and Central Florida. Our communities are bursting with holiday cheer this time of year, and we can help you and your family make memories as you experience the sights and sounds of the Christmas and holiday season.

Guide to Lakeland + Polk County

Check out our Guide to Lakeland + Polk County for more parenting resources and local information including Things to Do with Kids, Education, Childcare, Healthcare, Classes + Lessons, Youth Sports, Birthdays, and more.