50 things to do in Lakeland
50 things to do in Lakeland

1. Walk/Run/Bike/Blade Lake Hollingsworth. This option is free, it gets you outdoors, and there are always people around. Plus, you can get your Florida tan on. What’s better than that?

  1. Catch a double header at Silver Moon Drive-in. A totally different kind of movie viewing experience, this drive-in theater is perfect for a #ThrowbackThursday date night. Bring pillows, blankets, and snacks and cuddle up for the main feature. Or get more creative. We’ve heard people have brought pools in the back of their trucks and had a pool party!

Silver Moon Drive-In by Kanga Marketing from YLakeland on Vimeo.

  1. Host a bar crawl with your friends! Spend the night bar hopping through downtown Lakeland. You can start at Fresco’s Bakery and Bistro, then head on over to Chop Shop for some delicious craft beer. Maybe you will stop by Molly’s or Linksters, and you can end your night out at the Socialite!

  2. Take a workout class. So often we get stuck in the ho-hum usual routine It’s time to change it up! Take a yoga class at Satya Life Yoga or take a dance class at Just Dance Studios. Or maybe you’re up for more of a challenge? Check out the Crossfit gym off Edgewood or Lake Mirror.

  3. Grab your ball cap and glove and attend a Flying Tigers Minor League Baseball game or a Detroit Tigers Spring Training game at Joker Merchant Stadium. Even if you’re not rooting for your home team, no one can deny the energy of a baseball game. Have some peanuts and cracker jacks for us.

  4. Go kayaking in Lake Tenoroc. Out of the thousands of lakes in the so aptly named city of Lakeland, there are plenty of things to do on the water, and kayaking is great for the body and for the soul. You might have to bring your own boat, though.

  5. Fire a gun at Shoot Straight. If you’ve ever wanted to take lessons or if you’re a pro, heading to the shooting range will be a perfect way to change up your daily schedule. Of course, adhere to all safety policies and make sure to bring your earmuffs!

  6. Play a Game of Putt Putt or Laser Tag at the Family Fun Center. Of course, there’s so much more to do here than just mini-golf. You can play in the arcade, dip and dive through mazes, and so much more. Family Fun Center is a great place for date night, girls/boys night out, or whatever your event.

  7. Watch a movie at the Cobb Lakeside Theaters, but rather than just going to your average viewing, spend the extra cash and try to get seats in the D-Box. This 3-D motion seating makes you feel like you arere right in the action of the film. Talk about a one-of-a-kind movie viewing experience!

  8. Start up a new hobby: check out Scrappin’ Shack and start scrapbooking. We all love taking pictures and documenting them online for everyone to see, but so often we forget to go back to the basics. Scrapbooking is a great hobby to take up. You can make great gifts for friends, family, and more.

  9. Hot summer day in Florida? Grab a cold one at Gelati Joe’s. With options to please all, you can choose traditional soft serve or Italian ice, or both! We recommend the Snow-yo.

  10. Have a new dining experience  check out any number of restaurants located in downtown Lakeland. We recommend these places:

  • The Purple Onion: just about everything on their menu, and it’s all good
  • Chop Shop: amazing burgers
  • Palace Pizza: big slices, cheap pizza. A college student’s saving grace.

Chop Shop by Norberto Pena from YLakeland on Vimeo.

14. Keep up to date with the Lakeland Center. Concerts, speakers, and plays are constantly going on. You can order most tickets online or pick them up at the Lakeland Center box office.

  1. Celebrate your birthday with a super sweet deal. Hit up Texas Cattle Company to receive a free steak (with proof of a valid license). Happy Birthday to You!

  2. Go to a free concert at Southeastern University. Check out their website and calendar for the latest events.

  3. Have a drink on the back sitting area overlooking Lake Mirror at the Terrace Hotel. This gorgeous hotel has the perfect venue for a romantic date night location. Call ahead to make reservations, or just be spontaneous and show up!

  4. Take a break at Common Ground Park. There are parks all over Lakeland, but Common Ground is by far the most unique. With tons of options to swing, run, twirl, and relax, this park is a great place to unwind after class or take a study break.

Common Ground Park by Ava Williamson Brianna Neumann, Carina Davis & Peyton Dickey from YLakeland on Vimeo.

  1. Hit up the local bike trails on a nice sunny afternoon. Of course, bring your own bike (some schools and shops offer rentals!), but spend the day exploring the roads less traveled throughout the natural area of Lakeland.

  2. Go check out the Red Door, an indoor/outdoor bar that has live music throughout the week. Lights line the patio area making every night a starry one, and the fire pit is always cranking on cool nights in the spring.

  3. Go on an adventure. Head out to Off the Wall Adventures for paintballing, scuba diving, and more. The list of things to do goes on and on. Pick up a new hobby or practice an old skill.

  4. Go bowling at AMF Lanes. Bring your socks and your best game. Whoever has the best score two-out-of-three buys the next round.

  5. Go thrift store shopping through downtown. Lakeland is full of thrift and consignment shops, and there’s more popping up every day! Here’s a link to our posts on local thrift shops in Lakeland.

  6. Volunteer at one of the many non-profits around the area. It’s a great way to give back and get involved in the community. Places to check out include Lighthouse Ministries and Campfire USA.

  7. If you’re 21, go wine bar hopping. Check out our post here for our favorite  wine bars in Lakeland.

  8. Take a bike tour of Lakeland with BeFly Bike Tours. With tours built around YOU, each tour is unique to the riders. Pick out a trip like a museum tours, or the I Love You tour for the more romantic.

BeFly Bike Tours from YLakeland on Vimeo.

  1. Grab a sweet treat at Got Candy or Buttercup Cakes. Who couldn’t use a little more sugar in their life? Got Candy specializes in fine chocolates, and they are delicious! Buttercup Cakes is all about cupcakes, cake pops, and more. Try their macaroons for something truly irresistible.

  2. Love to run? Join a 5k. There’s one happening almost every weekend. To find 5ks in and around the area, check out RoadRaceRunner.com

  3. If you enjoy craft beer, stop by one of the many craft beer bars in Lakeland. Locations include the Chop Shop, & Brass Tap. See what new brews they have to offer.

  4. Or if you’d rather take it home, check out the BP off Cleveland Heights. They have a HUGE selection of import and craft beers!

  5. Stop in for coffee at Black n Brew, or if coffee is not your thing, relax and enjoy the music, or view the artwork, or munch on one of their delicious breakfast or lunch options. Yummy!

  6. Have a hot date at Harry’s. With an exquisite menu full of savory options and a selection of signature drinks and martinis, you have all the happenings for a great night out.

  7. Watch a Lakeland Raiders indoor football game at the Lakeland Center. Find their season calendar here.

  8. Grab some friends and go dance the night away at The Socialite. With their mix of great music, drinks, and food until midnight, you’ll have a blast grooving till 2 a.m.

  9. Take a class at Paint Along Studios. Brush up on your art skills and take away a one of a kind painting all in one! Classes range in skill and difficulty. Check out their calendar to pick out the class that’s perfect for you.

Paint Along Studios by Myles Shank from YLakeland on Vimeo.

  1. Go to a show or movie at the Polk Theatre. There’s always something happening at this historic theater. Check out their event calendar here.

  2. Tour the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world at Florida Southern College. Architecture buffs, beware. The same guy notorious for the design of the Guggenheim museum in New York designed several buildings on this college campus. Tour times are available here.

Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture by Aaron Marsh from YLakeland on Vimeo.

  1. Take a picnic to the Lake Mirror Promenade. This gorgeous view of the lake and the downtown area provides a great location for picnics, lounging, and Pics on the Promenade, a sponsored event in DT Lakeland that shows movies for free on a large blowup screen. More details can be found here.

Pics on the Promenade by Virginia Celoria & Laura Ward from YLakeland on Vimeo.

  1. Check out the Boardwalk at Peterson Park. Take a leisurely stroll along the board walk looking for wildlife. Bring your camera and take pictures of the flora and fauna.

  2. Feed the ducks at Lake Morton. It’s cheap and close by, and their birds are so thankful for a few extra crumbs. You might even make a new feathered friend.

  3. Go to the Polk Museum of Art. The artwork is always changing and there are new artists in and out every month. With so many shows happening, you’ll never end up looking at the same piece twice.

  4. Use the free WiFi in Munn Park. Park it under one of the big oak trees and catch up on your term paper. Who likes doing homework in the library all the time?

  5. Take a tour of Hollis Gardens and smell all the pretty flowers. It’s a great place to roam around and take a chill pill.

  6. Go to the Florida Air Museum and learn something new. Climb in a jet plane, or look at how air travel has changed since the Wright Brothers first got off the ground.

  7. Take sewing lessons at the Fabric Warehouse. Everyone needs to know a little something about stitching just in case your favorite shirt for interviewing loses a button. And no fear, we have you covered.

  8. Go skating at Skate World. Throw it back 80’s style and break out the cruisers. You can rent out the venue for events, or you can go and join the fun with everyone else.

  9. Stop and shop at the Black Swan Bazaar. Unique antiques and other knick-knacks flood the space, with a little something for everyone.

  10. Check out local artists at Mitchells Coffee House. While you’re checking out the artwork, grab a cup of joe, or try one of their tantalizing bacon maple cupcakes! There’s always some new treat in their sweet display.

Mitchell’s Coffee House by Mike Burns from YLakeland on Vimeo.

  1. Grab breakfast at one of our famous breakfast joints in town. Check out Cozy Oaks, Britt’s, Fat Jacks or Reesecliffs to start. See who has the best pancakes.

  2. Take a self-guided walking tour of Downtown Lakeland. With so many things to do, see, and eat, you might find something on this list we haven’t even thought of! Let us know and we’ll add it onto the list.

Lakeland by Brad Sundgren & Jason Cochran from YLakeland on Vimeo.

  1. Learn how to shoot a bow and arrow at Southern Archery. Classes start at $15 and an hour on the range is even cheaper. Learn a new hobby or skill.

  2. Catch a concert at Among Friends Music. These acoustic house concerts happen ever so often out of the home of Becky Abel. Just keep up to date with the calendar on their website featured here.

  3. Go watch some live music just about anywhere in Lakeland any night of the week. Don’t know where to start? Check out our live music calendar to get some ideas on where to go and who to see.

  4. Learn some self-defense moves or sweat it out at kickboxing at Lakeland Wing Chun in downtown. Stifu Justin and his instructors will help you get your sweat on without even know you’re working out, plus you get to learn some pretty sick moves. Anyone down to box?

  5. Watch the yearly swan roundup happen on Lake Morton. Volunteers wrangle the swans once a year to give them necessary vaccines and check them for any medical attention they may need.

Swan Roundup by Calvin Knight from YLakeland on Vimeo.

  1. Go to a concert featuring the Imperial Symphony Orchestra. Featuring musicians young and old, the orchestra puts on seasonal concerts year round. Check out their website for details here.

Imperial Symphony Orchestra by Norberto Pena from YLakeland on Vimeo.

  1. Sit down with a cup of artisan coffee from Portico Coffee house, located on Southeastern University’s campus. Open extended hours for a very busy student body, it is also open to the public.
  1. Enjoy a day at the Hispanic Festival throughout downtown Lakeland. Food, music, and dancing are on the list of things to check off, of course with Latin flair.
  1. Love classic cars? So does the Lake Mirror Car show. The event happens during the year, so keep plugged in on when it’s coming next through out Event Calendar.
  1. Get spooky at the Campfire Haunted House during the Halloween season. The haunted house is put on by Campfire USA as an annual fundraiser and has many fans and volunteers from the community.
  1. Get some serious air by bringing your skateboard to Lake Bonny Skate Park. Jump, slide, and shred through their unique course and maybe get a good workout in too

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