20 Things To Do In Lakeland
From cultural attractions to stunning landscapes, Lakeland is an often-underrated destination sitting between Orlando and Tampa. Boasting an abundance of green spaces that are ideal for a day out in nature, the tranquil oasis also features landmarks that appeal to history buffs, kid-friendly museums for families, and antique shops for those who enjoy retail therapy.
Both casual visitors and tourists will find that there is a wide range of things to do in Lakeland Florida. In this detailed guide, we will help you discover what to do in Lakeland FL.
Things to Do in Lakeland FL Today
1. Circle B Bar Reserve
Spreading across 5.13 square kilometers, Circle B Bar Reserve is a beautiful slice of nature to get lost in. The ranch carries a large number of wildlife, including bald eagles, bobcats, and alligators.
If learning about Florida’s wildlife is on your list of Lakeland FL things-to-do list, you can spend a couple of hours in the education center. Carrying interactive displays, the education center will ensure that all your questions about wildlife are answered.
2. Lake Mirror
Living up to its name, the glassy surface in Lake mirror reflects the city’s buildings creating one of the best views. Taking a Lakeland limo service to the lake offers tourists an opportunity to soak up a bit of local life as well as a chunk of the city’s history. Strolling alongside Lake Mirror with a group of friends is one of the most outdoorsy and fun things to do in Lakeland.
The Loggia available on the eastern part of the lake was constructed back in the 1920s. Today, the Loggia’s neo-classical aesthetics make tourists feel like they are walking around somewhere in Europe.
3. Polk Museum of Art
Named after Polk County, Polk Museum is set in one of the most architecturally interesting buildings and is flanked by palm trees. Opening its doors back in 1966, the museum carries a wide variety of art pieces, from the Pre-Columbian art, all the way to African, Asian, and European pieces.
Though the museum hosts a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, it has a permanent collection of more than 2500 pieces. Featuring free admission, exploring the museum is a favorite thing to do for visitors from Palm Bay and other parts of the world.
4. Lower Green Swamp Preserve
A former portion of a farmland and cattle ranch, Lower Green Swamp has been converted into a nature preserve, with its land being restored to what it would have looked like before being used for agriculture.
Taking a Florida limo service to the ranch will give you access to a wide range of well-marked trails. Most of the trails lead over bridges and across picturesque streams, allowing you to explore a tranquil natural setting. If hiking is not your thing, the preserve is a chilled spot to take a breather and relax as you watch the wildlife go by.
5. Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center
Living between 1867 and 1959, Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect with a huge contribution to a large number of cityscapes in the US. Interestingly, Florida’s Southern College – which sits in Lakeland – boasts the biggest collection of Wright’s architectural world.
With a total of 13 buildings constructed between 1938 and 1959, the visitor center is suited for architectural lovers. Visitors get the chance to explore wright’s buildings and also learn more about his life’s work.
6. The Polk County History Center
One of the more popular things to do for Hialeah residents and visitors from other parts of Florida, a visit to the Polk County History Center allows visitors to soak up Lakeland’s culture and art. Opened back in 1908, the art center also carries a significant amount of Florida’s history.
Inside the impressive building, visitors get to learn about the people, places, and events that have changed Lakeland over the years. The building itself is also an interesting sight, carrying historic courtrooms, the original judge’s benches, and attractive high, ceilings.
7. Wildwood Antique Mall
If antique hunting is on your list of stuff to do in Lakeland, visiting the Wildwood Antique Mall should fulfill all your needs. With more than 250 dealers and over 50 shops, the mall has everything from furniture to kooky collectibles.
The antique mall acts as a museum, carrying historical items. The friendly staff is always willing to help their visitors find something interesting, making it impossible to walk out empty-handed.
8. Florida Air Museum
Featuring interesting displays of aviation history, a visit to the Florida Air Museum is one of the top-rated Lakeland Florida things to do. The museum features warplanes, antique flying machines, planes featuring one of a kind designs, and much more.
Visitors can clap their eyes on a Boeing-Stearman Model 75, an Aerosport Woody Pusher constructed in the 1930s. In addition to this, you will get to enjoy the view of the Mignet Pou-du-Ciel or what is known as the “Flying Flea”.
9. Ariana Beach Clubhouse
Sitting by the water – Lake Ariana, to be exact – Ariana Beach House is the place where the locals go to grill, hang out with families and friends, and enjoy the lake’s beauty. Arriving in style with a group of friends on a Lakeland party bus should allow you to get a taste of this.
In the summer, the destination is busy with people launching boats, paddling, and having family get-togethers. In the cold months, the clubhouse is a chill place to go fishing, feed some birds, and watch the sun as it’s over the lake.
10. Munn Park
One of the best things to do near Lakeland FL at night, a visit to Munn Park allows you to watch the stars, stroll, and take a breath. The park hosts a wide variety of free seasonal events, turning this part of the city into one of the most interesting regions.
On First Fridays, visitors get to enjoy free music events, complete with live music and professional DJs. To ensure everyone is satisfied, the park hosts Food Truck Rallies regularly.
11. Silver Moon Drive-In Theater
A popular nightlife activity for Palm Bay visitors, the Silver Moon Drive-In Theater allows you to stay in your car and enjoy a nice movie. Opened back in 1948, the testament about the US’s obsession with movies and cars serves snacks and plays the most recent movies.
While the location does not feature surround speakers, visitors can tune their radios to a channel to enjoy the sound of the movie they are currently watching.
12. Historic Polk Theater
Constructed back in 1928, Polk Theater features approximately 1,400 seats and is one of the best things to do in Lakeland with a group of friends. Sitting in Downtown Lakeland, the old Vaudeville theater features an iconic marquee sign outside ideal for Instagram, but it is the inside that you will want to experience.
The theater was designed to mimic a Mediterranean village, making it a romantic destination for a night out on town. Its ceiling resembles a night sky, with its faux balconies, intricate cornices, mezzanine floor, and tiled staircase adding to the intrigue.
13. Lake Morton
One of the most picturesque lakes in Lakeland, Lake Morton also happens to be home to a large swan population. In addition to being pretty, the lake has more birdlife than just the swans.
If you are looking for romantic things to do in Lakeland Florida with your partner, finding a spot under Lover’s Oak on the shores of the Lake might be one of the best things. Sitting on a bench here should allow you to gaze at the lake, feed the birds, and also gaze at the swans.
14. Hollis Gardens
Allowing visitors to unwind in nature, Hollis Gardens is a well-manicured botanic garden carrying more than 10,000 flowers. Featuring free admission, the garden is ideal for tourists operating under a budget.
In addition to the flowers, the garden has stunning fountains and neo-classical architecture, with the entire place being dotted with statues and crisscrossed by attractive pathways. The destination allows visitors to walk through Rose Gardens, listen to music, explore the butterfly train, and descend the Grand Staircase, complete with impressive views of the lake.
15. Punk Rock Flea Market at Swan Brewing
By itself, visiting Swan Brewing – which makes tasty beer – is one of the coolest things to do in Lakeland FL today. However, the purveyors of beer also put one of the coolest flea markets you can find anywhere in Lakeland.
The market carries original artwork, pibs, music in CD, vinyl, and cassette form, merchandise, and clothing. Whenever you feel like you are thirsty, you can always grab a drink from the Swan Brewing company.
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16. Explorations V Children’s Museum
If you bring your kids while exploring Lakeland, a visit to the Explorations V museum should offer them an ideal opportunity to learn about the world around them.
Ideal for children of up to 12 years, the museum features News Stations where the kids can pretend to be broadcasting, an Explore Store where they can try a hand at running a business, and a Sound Studio where the kids can play with Audio.
17. Lake Parker
Famous for being one of the most-loved lakes in Lakeland, Lake Parker visitors enjoy fishing and boating on the calm, glassy waters. The lake is teeming with aquatic life, including fish like crappie, bluegill, and bass.
If you do not want to take the waters, there are some picturesque trails in the lake’s vicinity. One of the trails skirts around the lakeside before leading the hikers to the nearby Lake John, which is why it carries the name Lake-to-Lake Trail.
18. Lakeland Center
Established in 1974, Lakeland Center is a massive theater and arena that is perfect for sports lovers. The arena hosts sporting events like soccer, hockey, American football, and much more.
Visitors can also catch wrestling matches here even though these aren’t hosted as much as the sporting events. For music lovers, a range of concerts is held in the arena annually.
19. Joker Marchant Stadium
Designed to accommodate 8,500 people, Joker Marchant Stadium is a premier baseball stadium established back in 1966. The stadium acts as the training ground for Detroit Tigers and is one of the best places to catch a game of all-American baseball.
Renovated in 2003, the stadium carries a new shine, and visitors and locals flock to the place to take in games between visiting and local teams.
20. Lake Hollingsworth
Conveniently sitting in the center of Lakeland, Lake Hollingsworth spans an impressive 350 acres. Skirting around this lake is a path that can be used for cycling or hiking and leads to other lakes in the area including Lake Parker and Lake John.
Popular activities around the lake include bird watching, with the surrounding park carrying a large number of interesting bird species, including spoonbills, plovers, and pelicans. For people who prefer being in the water, both boating and fishing are allowed, although you will need a fishing permit.
Q: What is There to Do in Lakeland for Free?
A: Featuring free admission, the following Lakeland FL attractions are ideal for everyone:
- Barnet family park
- Hollis Gardens
- Munn park
- Polk Museum of Art
- Circle B Bar Reserve
Q: What is There to Do in Lakeland Today?
A: When visiting Lakeland, you can take advantage of the following activities today:
- Go nature spotting at the Lower Green Swamp Preserve
- Explore the amazing Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center
- Learn local history at Polk County History Center
- Shop at the Wildwood Antique mall
Q: What is There to Do in Lakeland At Night?
A: When exploring Lakeland at night, you can:
- Catch a movie at the Silver Moon Drive-In Theater
- Enjoy drinks at the Keel & Curley Winery
- Visit the Sir Henry Haunted Trail
- Enjoy a show at the historic Polk Theater
Limo Find Overview
While Lakeland may not be the #1 destination in Florida, it is famous for a couple of things – the great outdoors, numerous lakes, and the swans. Coupled with the nicely renovated historic Downtown, Lakeland is a nice, compact destination worth exploring. To help you find numerous points of interest without wasting much of your time on research, this guide carries a list of top-rated things to do in Lakeland.