Things To Do With Kids in Lakeland

Young nature enthusiasts on the prowl for adventure, history lovers hoping to learn all they can, and art buffs on the hunt for their next inspiration will love a trip to Lakeland, Florida. The largest city in Polk County, Lakeland sits halfway between Tampa and Orlando, and visitors can enjoy the area’s historic sites and engaging museums before venturing to one of its natural landmarks. Then, day-trip to a nationally recognized attraction nearby. Keep reading to discover why this Florida city is perfect for kids and families of all ages.

This Florida city is host to a variety of kid-friendly things to do. For top-rated fun, take the family to a museum or choose adventure on the paintball field. For more fun things to do with the kids, try the following:

  • See how airplanes have evolved at the Aerospace Discovery exhibit inside the Florida Air Museum
  • Spend a whole day paintballing with all-day admission to Paintball Tickets
  • Experience the safari at sunset at Safari Wilderness in Costine Meadows
  • Cool off and catch thrills at Rapids Water Park
  • Day trip to SeaWorld and experience the animal kingdom in a whole new way

Lakeland is one of those rare places where parents often have as much fun as the kids. Visitors of all ages will enjoy its many swimming holes and outdoor landscapes. Here are family tested and approved activities near Lakeland:

  • Visit Bok Tower Gardens, a National Historic Landmark, and take a self-guided tour through Pinewood Estate
  • Relax by the pool while the kids fly down the waterslide at Rapids Water Park
  • Drink butterbeer in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Orlando
  • Meditate by the pools at Sunken Gardens and learn about local wildlife
  • Take a family horseback riding class together at Kickin Spurs Rodeos
  • For affordable fun in Lakeland, try gazing on a famous painting at a museum or get down with the locals during a First Friday event. Here are great options to consider for your trip:

    • At the Polk Museum of Art, find your favorite Andy Warhol masterpiece amongst other great artists of the era
    • Relax on the banks of Lake Parker, a popular family spot during the summer
    • Head downtown every first friday of the month to see local gallery creations on display
    • Wander the promenade before diving into the cool blue waters at Lake Mirror
    • Head to Winter Haven to play at the Splash Pad at Trailhead Park

    When you want to show the kids a day that’s all about their interests, bring them to a sports game or challenge them to laser tag. Here are kid-centric things to do near Lakeland:

    • At the Family Fun Center, play a game of mini-golf or laser tag
    • Load up the car and see the kids’ favorite movie at Silver Moon Drive-In
    • Bring young soccer fanatics to see the Lakeland Tropics play their rivals on the field
    • Go on a grove tour at Ridge Island Groves
    • Enjoy pony rides, an archery range, rock climbing, and more at River Ranch

    Grab the aunties, the uncles, the grandparents, and the friends because Lakeland has mastered the art of group activities. Bring everyone on a bike tour or skate to classic jams. Try the following group outing ideas in Lakeland:

    • Take a guided group tour of the city by bike with BeFly Bikes
    • Bring the group to Skate World Lakeland and zip around the arena to your favorite music
    • Visit the Downtown Farmers Curb Market for fresh produce every Saturday from 8-2
    • Explore wetland history, hike the trails, and view an array of wildlife at Se7en Wetlands Park
    • Embark on an outdoor treasure hunt when you go geocaching in the city

    When you’re looking for an outing that will serve up fun and teachable moments, bring the kids to an interactive museum or choose to explore a wildlife preserve. Try these fun learning experiences for kids in Lakeland:

    • At the Aerospace Discovery Center, check out the SUN n’ FUN Fly-in exhibit
    • Sign the kids up for Young Explorers Safari at Safari Wilderness Ranch, where they’ll learn about wildlife and ecology
    • Come face to face with more than 200 dinosaurs in a natural Florida Setting at Dinosaur World
    • Visit the iconic LegoLand Florida, where kids explore interactive creations and rides galore
    • Explore 47 rolling acres of giraffe habitat at Giraffe Ranch

    Unleash the performer within or encourage your young aspiring artist with a local art class. Here are the best creative and performing arts classes for kids in Lakeland:

    • Visit the Mulberry Cultural Center every Tuesday throughout the summer to participate in a free art project
    • Sign up for a painting course at Art Centric Studio
    • Create a mosaic or candle at Picassoz Art Cafe, then grab a treat at Tea Largo
    • Join the community at a Michael’s Arts and Crafts project day and create something magnificent
    • Unleash the actor within with youth acting classes at Lakeland Community Theatre

    On rainy days in Lakeland, head to the movies or explore the Children’s museum to keep young minds occupied. Here are top-rated indoor activities for kids:

    • Catch a film screening at the iconic Polk Theater, one of the last remaining theaters from before WWII
    • Head to AMF Bowling Lanes and try your best for that winning strike
    • Solve the puzzle and escape at Escape Rooms Lakeland
    • Explore three floors of adventure inside Explorations V Children’s Museum
    • Splash around even on rainy days at the indoor pool at Haines City Aquatics Center