Public parks and playgrounds in Lakeland, FL

Explore the outdoors at one of Lakeland’s premier parks and playgrounds.

Common Ground Playground in Lakeland, FL

Fire station themed playset at Common Ground Park

Photo courtesy of @repservicesfl

Table of Contents

For our next trick, we’ll make your desire to stay inside disappear. Before we work some magic on your public park proficiency, let’s start with a pop quiz: do you know how many public parks Lakeland has to offer?

If you guessed 70+, you’re right (and we’re impressed).

And, while we can’t cover all 70, we can hit the highlights — From public pools to dog parks, we’re here to help you find your next outdoor adventure.


  • Common Ground Playground, 1000 E. Edgewood Dr. | The first “inclusive play” experience in Polk County, this playground is accessible for kids of all ability levels.
  • Ruthven Family Playground, 400 Bonnet Springs Blvd. | This nature-oriented, two-acre playground allows children to explore and play in a natural setting.
  • Harrell Family Charities Front Yard at Florida Children’s Museum, 600 Bonnet Springs Blvd. | Kids can enjoy 7,000 square feet of outdoor play, including a 100-ft-long Blinky the Alligator play structure featuring swings, a slide, and places to explore.
  • Handley Park, 1419 Phyllis St. | Bring the family to enjoy the new playground equipment, installed in Nov. 2020.
  • Fletcher Park, 800 US 98 South, | Multiple playgrounds, a soccer field + a skatepark ensure there’s something for everyone at this Lake Bonny area park.
Woman walking a trail through trees.

Peterson Park walking trail | Photo courtesy of @matthewcummiskey

Walking trails

  • Bonnet Springs Park, 400 Bonnet Springs Blvd. | Walk through the treetops on the Crenshaw Canopy Walk or hit the ground running on the two-mile circulator for views of the entire 168-acre park.
  • Naylor Park, 75 Lake Hunter Dr. | Get scenic views of Lake Hunter, or walk less than a mile to Cob & Pen and Concord Coffee.
  • Cleveland Heights Golf Course, 2900 Buckingham Ave. | Walk around the course from dawn until dusk — don’t forget to look up for stray golf balls.
  • Peterson Park, 3700 Cleveland Heights Blvd. | Enjoy an elevated walking path with views of Lake John.

Public pools

  • Gandy Pool, 404 Imperial Blvd. | Check their website for days of operation, features + events.
  • Simpson Park Pool, 1726 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. | Opening on May 30, check their website for days of operation, features + events.
2 puppies on a park bench

Pups taking a break at Douglas M. Cook Park | Photo courtesy of @sushiinthesunshinestate

Dog Parks

  • Dog Leg Woods, 3326 Cleveland Heights Blvd. | Located in central Lakeland, just off Cleveland Heights Golf Course.
  • Douglas M. Cook Park, 955 Wedgewood Estates Blvd. | Dog park in north Lakeland.
  • Lake Crago Dog Park, 525 Lake Crago Dr. | Located at the Lake Crago Outdoor Recreation Complex in north Lakeland.
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