We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. At no extra cost to you, I only recommend products I have experience with. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
There are some beautiful big cities in Florida packed with family fun ideas. Sometimes it can be fun to head off the beaten path a bit and explore some of the other great cities in Florida. Lakeland is a city that is nearly halfway between Orlando and Tampa. This is a fun stop on your way to either place. Check out these 10 things to do in Lakeland Florida that are sure to be a hit!
10 Things to Do in Lakeland Florida
Go To a Drive-In Movie
Lakeland is home to a callback to years long gone with their Drive-in movie theater. For anywhere from $2-6, you can go to Silver Moon Drive-in and see a first-run movie. Even better, that price covers two movies! You can also bring in outside food and drinks. This means for a fairly low price the family can enjoy a night out at the movies. If you don’t want to bring food in, there is a reasonably priced concession stand at the drive-in. There are also restrooms so you don’t have to worry about that either.
You will want to get there a bit early as people line up early to get in and park in the space they want. There are two screens that play different movies each week. Make sure to check the lineup before going. Only want to watch one movie? You can leave early after finishing your movie.
Go see alligators and animals in the wild
Lakeland has many lakes where you can see a variety of wildlife including alligators and birds. However, there is a favorite place for many people in the Central Florida area to see alligators and enjoy a family hike. Take the family to Circle B Bar Reserve and enjoy a nice walk. If you want to see the largest population of alligators in the wild, head down alligator alley. Make sure to head out earlier in the day as you don’t want to be out there closer to sunset.
Don’t want to walk on a self-guided hike to see wildlife? Book a Saturday morning tram tour. This free tour will take the family out on a tram to see different areas of the reserve, learn more about the wildlife, and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors without having to hike.
Try Specialty Foods
Lakeland has some incredible food options for you. One of the most popular places to visit is Born & Bread Bakehouse. Born & Bread Bakehouse is open on Saturday mornings and always has a line wrapping around the building. If you want to enjoy their delicious baked goods make sure to check their Facebook page during the week to see what their Saturday morning menu will be.
Not in the mood to wait in line? Don’t worry about that! You can find a huge variety of delicious options throughout Lakeland. If you are in the mood for authentic Cuban food, check out Cuban Delights. If you are looking for down-home cooking, you definitely want to check out Fred’s Market with their buffet-style food. One other huge local favorite is Palace Pizza! Buy pizza by the slice or share a whole pie with the family. With many great places to eat, Lakeland is sure to leave you full and happy.
Watch Spring Training Baseball Games
Lakeland is home to the Detroit Tigers for Spring Training! You can sit down in this fun stadium and enjoy a game with the family. Prices range from $3 to $10 depending on the day you go. Even better, you can take advantage of dollar days when admission and all concessions are a dollar each! This is a great way to spend a night out in Lakeland with the family.
Have a Swan Scavenger Hunt
Throughout Lakeland, you will find a variety of swan statues like the one above. All of the swans are painted differently to represent the organization that funded it. These swans would be fun to try and spot as you enjoy other parts of Lakeland or as their own special scavenger hunt.
When you are done make sure to head to Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland to see some real swans. The white and black swans are a beautiful part of Lakeland’s history and a can’t miss sight!
Lakeland Downtown Farmer’s Curb Market
The Lakeland Downtown Farmer’s Curb Market is open Saturdays from September to May. At the Farmer’s Curb Market a variety of vendors bring their items to sell. Find fresh produce, hand made items, food booths, and so much more! This would be a great place to spend a morning with the family before heading out to explore the rest of the incredible things to do in Lakeland.
Visit Lakeland Parks and Playgrounds
Lakeland is full of some incredible parks and playgrounds. Parks such as Barnett Park and Common Ground park are playgrounds your kids are sure to love. Watch as they climb, run, and have a bit of an adventure on these free fun playgrounds. If you are looking for a bit of beauty at a more relaxed pace, visit Hollis Gardens. Hollis Gardens is a beautiful garden where you can walk through and enjoy the beautiful foliage or do some fantastic photos of your family.
Visit a Place Where Edward Scissorhands was Filmed
In Lakeland, there is a Publix shopping plaza that was a filming location for Edward Scissorhands. While there isn’t much more to do there than shop, it is a unique landmark to visit.
First Fridays in Downtown Lakeland
On the first Friday of every month, there is an event in downtown Lakeland that is a great deal of fun for all. Local vendors set up booths. There is live music, food, and so much more at these events! Each month has a different theme and there are some fantastic things to see and do. See the themes here.
Visit Explorations Children’s Museum
Explorations Children’s Museum is located in downtown Lakeland and offers a really fun indoor learning environment for children. With three floors of learning activities, this children’s museum is a fantastic place to let children run off some energy while having a lot of fun with learning new things.
Lakeland is home to a huge variety of hometown shops where you can buy treasures you might not find anywhere else. Whether you are shopping in downtown Lakeland or heading out into other areas of Lakeland you are sure to find some fantastic shops. Lakeland has comic shops, thrift shops, and so much more. Take a bit of time to go shopping before enjoying some of the other amazing experiences in Lakeland.
This article is thanks to Meagan. Meagan is a Central Florida blogger who loves to share real mom tips, honest travel advice, and recipes anyone can make. Find her content at Meagan Gets Real.
Join the newsletter
Subscribe to get our latest content by email.