50 Things to Experience in Lakeland
1. Walk/Run/Bike/Blade Lake Hollingsworth.
Feed the swans and ducks at Lake Morton. Take photos, have a picnic or catch a movie at the Lake Mirror Promenade. Go fishing, kayaking and watch for wildlife at Lake Tenoric. All of these unique to Lakeland options are free, get you outdoors, and are easy to do alone or with friends.
2. 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!
3. Host a bar crawl with your friends!
Spend the night bar hopping through downtown Lakeland. Hit up Fresco’s Bakery and Bistro for dinner and a full bar. Next, head on over to Chop Shop for some craft beer then stop by Molly’s or Linksters! The Terrace is a great place to go to sip on wine, enjoy a chat with an old friend and enjoy the view of Lake Mirror.
4. 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. Learn some self-defense moves or sweat it out at kickboxing at Lakeland Wing Chun in downtown. Have you tried Barre yet? Check out The Balance Culture in Dixieland (ladies only) for Barre classes, pilates, yoga, and more!
5. Attend a Flying Tigers Minor League Baseball game
Or a Detroit Tigers Spring Training game at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium when they are here in Lakeland for Spring Training. 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.
6. Support local entrepreneurs and businesses
Like Born & Bread Bakehouse, Scotty’s Produce and SunSpot Creations at the Farmer’s Market every Saturday and the Dixieland Twilight Market every Wednesday evening.
7. Check out the scene at The Poor Porker.
Grab coffee and a beignet from The Poor Porker (a Lakeland legend) or a beer or glass of wine from the bar. They have tons of live music and special events. It’s the perfect local hangout.
8. 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.
9. Go shopping for a few new unique wardrobe pieces at Hattie’s Branches.
Hattie’s is unique to Lakeland and is always posting its newest pieces on social media, so check Instagram and Facebook to find out if they’re your style.
10. 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. Or, if you’re in the mood for something a bit more indulgent, look for A Cow Named Moo selling their delectable homemade ice cream sandwiches around town.
11. Grab lunch downtown at one of our local restaurants:
The Purple Onion: just about everything on their menu, and it’s all good
Scream’n Tuna Sushi: Sushi, soup, and so much more!
Palace Pizza: big slices, cheap pizza. A college student’s saving grace.
Taco Bus: burritos, tacos, nachos. All the classics for a low price.
Chop Shop: amazing burgers.
12. Keep up to date with RP Funding Center.
Concerts, speakers, and plays are constantly going on. You can order most tickets online or pick them up at the RP Funding Center box office.
13. Check out some of the finest dining Lakeland has to offer.
Try Nineteen 61 for gourmet Latin- inspired dishes, Scarpa’s for homemade upscale Italian, Red Door for Southern gourmet classics, Patio 850 for fine wines and amazing flatbreads, and New Moon Sushi for some of the best sushi you’ll ever experience.
14. Watch a football game at Southeastern University’s stadium.
Check out their website and calendar for the next big game.
15. Visit one of Lakeland’s unique parks like Common Ground Park, Colt Creek or Three Trails Park.
The dock at Peterson Park is a great place to spot wildlife and there’s always free wifi at Munn Park downtown.
16. Go on an adventure.
Head out to Off the Wall Adventures for paintball, scuba diving, and more. The list of things to do goes on and on. Pick up a new hobby or practice an old skill.
17. 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.
18. Go thrift store shopping through downtown.
Lakeland is full of thrift and consignment shops, and there’s more popping up every day! And don’t forget to check out Top Buttons in Downtown for high-end fashion at low prices.
19. 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, Campfire USA and SPCA Florida. We also recommend looking into becoming a Lakeland Regional Health volunteer.
20. Take in the art.
Visit Platform Art to check out the latest local exhibitions and unique displays. Kids and adults alike can take a class at Art Centric in Dixieland to hone their skills. And for the adults, it’s BYOB. 🙂
21. Grab a sweet treat at Rocket Fizz.
Who couldn’t use a little more sugar in their life? The Desserterie specializes in everything candy and classic sodas, and they are delicious! Buttercup Cakes is all about cupcakes, cake pops, and more. Try their macaroons for something truly irresistible. Feeling healthy rather than indulgent? Stop by The Juice Box Cafe to experience fresh juices, smoothies, and healthy meal options!
22. 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. To start training, check out all the Pub Runs hosted by FITniche, the Black and Brew fun run + the Lakeland Runners Club. The public is always welcome to join!
23. Visit a craft beer bar
You can start with Cob & Pen, or Brass Tap, then head on over to a Lakeland brewery. Lakeland is home to two local breweries: Swan Brewing + Brew Hub. Or if you’d rather take it home, check out Lakeland’s Beer Revolution. They have a HUGE selection of import and craft beers!
24. Visit a coffee shop.
Stop in one of Lakeland’s many, unique and local coffee shops including Black and Brew, Mitchell’s Coffee House, Portico Coffeehouse + Concord Coffee.
25. Shop around for antiques.
Check out downtown’s only three shops in one location on Kentucky Avenue: Simple Vintage with Scout & Tag featuring the natural products brand, Rafa Natural. Be sure to also stop by 360 Unlimited and Vintage Warehouse.
26. Paint with tea.
Paint a piece of pottery and sip the most delicious tea in Lakeland at Picassoz Art Cafe and Tea Largo. Check out their event calendar to find daily deals on both.
27. See a show at Polk Theatre.
There’s always something happening at this historic theater. Check out their event calendar here.
28. Tour Florida Southern College
FSC is 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.
29. Visit Circle B Bar Reserve.
Experience Florida nature at its finest. You’ll see gators, ospreys, eagles, otters, and maybe even a snake or two. There are also miles of walking and biking trails and lots of outdoor picnic areas!
30. 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.
31. Take a tour of Hollis Garden
Smell all the pretty flowers. It’s a great place to roam around and take a chill pill.
32. Go to the Florida Air Museum.
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.
33. Bounce around at 2infinity or Urban Air.
This is where you come to get some out of this world fun and jumping. Don’t forget to like 2infinity on Facebook for $1 off your session!
34. Grab breakfast at one of our famous breakfast joints in town.
Check out Cozy Oaks, Britt’s, Fat Jacks or Reececliff to start. In the mood for a donut? Hole in One has some of the best in town. Maybe a New York style bagel is more your thing- stop by Uncle Nick’s for authentic NY bagels and subs.
35. Shoot a bow and arrow.
You can learn how or keep up your skills at Dossey Creek Archery. Classes start at $15!
36. Go watch some live music or a live show.
Just about anywhere in Lakeland any night of the week. Don’t know where to start? Check out LKLD Live to get some ideas on where to go and who to see, like the classic Swan City Improv group. Some popular spots include Among Friends Music, Fresco’s, and Red Door.
37. 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.
38. Enjoy all of our annual events.
Lakeland has so much to offer like the Hispanic Festival in October, the Christmas Parade every December, Sun N Fun every April, Mayfaire every May, Red White & Kaboom every July, and Zombiefest and Pig Fest each January. There’s always fun, food and games at all of the events.
39. See a classic car show
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 into town next.
40. Visit 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. If you’re looking for something less spooky to bring in the Fall season, check out the annual pumpkin patch on Lake Morton.
41. Go to a skatepark.
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.
42. Shop at the Downtown First Friday.
There’s always tons of vendors, great food + music to enjoy.
43. Start a business or take an entrepreneurial course at Catapult.
44. Treat yourself to a shopping spree at Lakeside Village.
Check out stores such as Francesca’s, Victoria’s Secret, Books A Million, Kohls, and many more! And don’t forget about the many restaurants there like Glory Days, Olive Garden, Chilis, Longhorn, and lots of others. There’s even a movie theater where you can see the latest blockbusters.
45. Pick fresh blueberries and peaches at Oponay Farms.
The farm also offers tours where you can see Florida native birds and gators.
46. Try a new Food Truck on the second Thursday of every month at Munn Park.
No matter what you’re craving your tastebuds are sure to be satisfied.
47. Get pampered at one of our locally owned spas.
48. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Crumb & Get It.
Where you can have customized cookies baked while you wait. They also feature coffee from Patriot Coffee Roasters, as well as delicious cupcakes.
49. Check out some of Lakeland’s unique eateries.
Cafe Zuppina (Turkish) and Cafi Roti (Indian) will not disappoint!
50. Check out our local magazine.
The Lakelander is another great way to learn more about our favorite people and places in Lakeland.