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Public parks and playgrounds in Lakeland, FL

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

A photo of a fire station-themed playground with a toddler going down a slide and his mother assisting him.

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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