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An older adult’s guide to Lakeland

Whether you’ve made Lakeland your home base for years or you’re just learning the ropes, our city offers adventures + opportunities for adults of all ages.

A vintage postcard with an illustration of Downtown Lakeland and Lake Mirror from an aerial view

Lakeland was designed an Age-Friendly City by the AARP in 2017.

Table of Contents

The median age in Lakeland is sitting right at 40, but we have a huge amount of folks over 50 — can you say perfect place to retire? Check out these adventures and opportunities for older adults.

Older adults sit in a classroom at desks looking at tablets.

It’s never too late to learn something new.

Image via Pexels

Education and enrichment

Calling all lifelong learners — Lakeland is filled with opportunities to increase your knowledge and add to your skillset.

  • The Rath Senior ConNEXTions Center | 934 South Blvd., Lakeland | Days and times vary | $60/course | Take classes in conversational Italian, computer education, Broadway history, and other topics.
  • Polk Education Pathways | Four locations | Days and times vary | $30 per semester | This program offers assistance in improving English, certification in trade, General Educational Development (GED), and more through technical colleges + adult schools.
  • Toastmasters International | Find a location near you | Days and times vary | Prices vary | This program teaches skills in public speaking and leadership, making you a more confident speaker and leader.
  • Road Scholar Program | Locations statewide | Days and times vary | ~$1,000 per program | This program offers hands-on adventure trips for seniors, teaching wildlife, film, music, history + more. Some programs are also open to children, so grandchildren can join the fun.
  • Online classes and workshops | Virtual | Days and times vary | Free | AARP provides members with a list of free online courses and tools for older adults to learn from home. Resources include TEDTalks, YouTube Edu, language courses, and more.
Sunrise at Gandy Pool in Lakeland, FL

Visit Gandy Pool for early morning Aqua Spin classes.

Photo by @riptide.masters.fl

Water-based exercise

Don your swimsuit and head to Gandy Pool (404 Imperial Blvd., Lakeland) for one of these water-based activities for older adults.

  • Aqua Spin | Monday-Saturday, times vary | $5 | Get a workout on the partially-submerged Hydrorider spin bikes.
  • Splashersize | Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | $2.50 | Grab some water weights and participate in this low-impact water aerobic workout.
  • Deep Water Aerobics | Wednesday, 10-10:45 a.m. | $5 | Head to the lap lanes and grab some pool hand buoys and noodles for this class.
  • Adult Beginner Swim Lessons | Select Saturdays from June-September, 9-9:45 a.m. | $50/four-week session | Learn beginner swim strokes and safety in a four-week course.

The Lakeland Family YCMA is set to undergo a $21 million renovation.

Photo via Lakeland Family YMCA

Sports teams and workout classes

Whether you’re hoping to hit a home run, learn new dance steps, or take up line dancing, check out these classes and teams.

  • Low Impact Exercise | Coleman-Bush Building, 1104 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Lakeland | Monday, 5:30-6:30 p.m. | Free | Increase circulation and improve cardiovascular function at this low-intensity workout.
  • Lakeland Senior Softball League | Southwest Complex, 1444 W. Highland St., Lakeland | Monday + Wednesday, 9 a.m. | $30/year | Play year-round softball with the league season running Jan.-March.
  • Senior Fitness | Kelly Recreation Complex, 404 Imperial Blvd., Lakeland | Tuesday + Thursday, 9-10 a.m. | $5/class | Build strength, cardio endurance, and flexibility at this low-impact fitness class.
  • Move to Improve | Kelly Recreation Complex, 404 Imperial Blvd., Lakeland | Tuesday, 10-11 a.m. | $5/class | Manage symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders at this class geared towards strength, balance, multitasking, and producing vocal volume.
  • Silver Sneakers | Find a location near you | Free to adults 65+ through select Medicare plans | Enjoy over 70 types of classes (ranging from yoga to circuit + cardio training) at local parks, recreation centers, and clubs.
  • Super Senior Dance Classes | Magnolia Building, 702 E. Orange St., Lakeland | Thursday, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. | $3 | Learn ballroom, Latin, swing, and party dances — check out the group’s Facebook page.
  • Lakeland Family YMCA | 3620 Cleveland Heights Blvd., Lakeland | Days and times vary | Membership prices | Classes include Zumba, Silver Sneakers Circuit + Classic, Power Yoga, Bodypump, Spinning, and more.

Brush up on your painting skills and learn new techniques.

Photo by @polkmuseumofart


Engaging in the arts is a classic activity — Lakeland has multiple opportunities for citizens of all ages to brush up on their crafting, music, and general art skills.

  • Polk Museum of Art | 800 E. Palmetto St., Lakeland | Take a six-week adult class in topics like photography, oil painting, sculpting + more. They also offer workshops, coffee with artists, and panel lectures.
  • Take & Make: Adult Craft Kits To Go | Lakeland Public Library, 100 Lake Morton Dr., Lakeland | Monthly, days and times vary | Free | Pick up a craft kit to complete in the comfort of your own home.
  • Made @ the Library | Lakeland Public Library, 100 Lake Morton Dr., Lakeland | Monthly, days and times vary | Free | Register for this in-person crafting program — supplies are included and seats are limited.
  • Piano/Keyboard Class | Coleman-Bush Building, 1104 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Lakeland | Wednesday, 5:30-7 p.m. | $30/month | Learn piano theory and skills ranging from classical to modern music.
  • Knit One, Crochet Too! | Larry R. Jackson Branch Library, 1700 N. Florida Ave., Lakeland | Monday, 6:30-8 p.m. | Free | Bring your current knit or crochet project to work on it alongside other crafters.

Learn the secrets of the loggia by taking a free lake tour.

Photo by @thelaltoday


You may remember many of Lakeland’s pivotal historic moments, but there’s always more to learn. Check out these opportunities to connect with other older adults over tours or groups designated to history.

  • Annual Historic Home & Garden Tour | Frank Lloyd Wright Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center, Florida Southern College | 750 Frank Lloyd Wright Way | Annually in spring | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | $17 | Take this self-guided walking tour to view homes and gardens in Lake Morton historic district — an FSC shuttle bus is available.
  • Lakeland Stamp Club | Locations vary | Days + times vary | Free | Meet other adults interested in philatelic items — pro tip: Verify meeting details with event contacts prior to attending a meeting.
  • Lake Mirror Historic Tour | Lake Mirror Complex, 121 S. Lake Ave., Lakeland | Monthly on the fourth Tuesday, October-March, times vary | Free | Join Lakeland guide Stacy Smith on this walking tour of historic Lake Mirror — register early, spaces are limited.
  • Architectural Tours at Polk County History Center | Polk County History Center, 100 E. Main St., Bartow | Monthly on the third Saturday | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | Free | Join this tour of the History Center to discover its neoclassical architectural elements, ongoing restoration, and historic preservation resources.


Looking for additional support or community? Check out these groups to meet other older adults, make friends, and learn more about Polk’s resources.

  • Better Living for Seniors Polk County | Locations vary | Days and times vary | Prices vary | Network with senior services providers and hear from guest speakers hosted by this organization.
  • Faith in Action North Lakeland, Inc. | Coleman-Bush Building, 1104 Martin L. King Jr. Ave., Lakeland | Monthly on the fourth Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. | Join this forum for older adults to voice and discuss community concerns.
  • Duplicate Bridge | Peggy Brown Center, 215 S. Lake Ave., Lakeland | Days and times vary | $5+ | Learn to play Bridge or join experienced players learning duplicate skills.
  • Lakeland Activity Center for Seniors | St. Joseph Multi-Ministry Service Center, 210 W. Lemon St., Lakeland | Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Free | Visit this center for chair exercise, line dancing, fellowship dining, and more.

Is there an activity you love that we missed? Tell us what we need to add to our list.

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