Sports enthusiasts from around the world enjoy our area for organized amateur and professional sports events as well as opportunities to frequent world-class lakes, playgrounds and park facilities.
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Lakeland Parks and Recreation
Lakeland Parks and Recreation Department oversees a full complement of recreational activities and multi-purpose facilities. The recreation division plays host to the more traditional sports such as tennis, swimming, softball, basketball, and soccer programs as well as fun-filled leagues that introduces the excitement of dodge ball and kickball to the community.
The city maintains over 50 parks with an array of amenities including baseball fields, football fields, lakefront picnic areas, walking trails, an in-line skating rink, skate park, playgrounds, volleyball courts, and boat ramps. The award winning Hollis Garden located on historic Lake Mirror is a must see for everyone. This formal botanic garden, Barnett Family Park and Kryger Park are just a few of the showcase elements that contribute to the beautiful Lake Mirror Park. CommonGround is a newer park that has become very popular. This creative play experience was built for individuals of every age and all abilities and it is designed to be universally accessible. The park itself is in the shape of a butterfly and it features very unique playground equipment.
The city operates six multi-purpose recreational facilities including a full service 27-hole golf course, two pools, two top quality weight rooms, 34 lighted tennis courts, six three-wall racquetball courts, 32 covered shuffleboard courts, an artificial lawn-bowling green, bike trails, and recreational programming for citizens of all ages. The group also oversees the rental of meeting space that ranges from park side pavilions to historic settings such as the Magnolia Building on Lake Mirror. This wide array of rental facilities truly does have something for all size budgets. So whether you are looking for a new recreational program or wanting to rent a meeting space, the City of Lakeland Parks and Recreation Department will help you find the perfect fit.
Click here for a map of Lakeland's Lake-to-Lake Greenway & Bikeway network.
Golf, Tennis & Lawn Bowling Lakeland and the surrounding area play host to more than two dozen golf courses, offering a variety of challenging venues for both public and private play. Cleveland Heights Golf Course features 27 classically designed holes that offer a challenge to all skill levels. Cleveland Heights is a municipal facility with a private club feel.
Huntington Hills Golf & Country Club also offers public play. Championship golf can be found at private clubs such as Grasslands Golf & Country Club and Lone Palm Golf Club as well as semi-private clubs such as Grenelefe Golf and Tennis Resort, The Club at Eaglebrooke and ImperiaLakes Gold and Country Club.
Various PGA tournaments are held in our area, including the PGA Cadillac Open, the PGA Tour Qualifying Finals, and the Lakeland Futures Classic held at the Cleveland Heights Golf Course.
For tennis, a number of superb facilities complete with amenities and professional tennis instruction are located throughout the region, for both private and public play including the newly renovated Beerman Family Tennis Center located at Veterans Park off Edgewood Avenue.
Fishing With more than 600 freshwater lakes, rivers, and phosphate pits, Polk County has a world-renowned reputation for great freshwater fishing. Excellent saltwater fishing is available just a short drive away in the Gulf of Mexico. Required fishing licenses are easily attainable at most bait and tackle shops or through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Web site, www.myfwc.com. The Web site also contains useful information such as fishing tips, forecasts, regulations, and events. Many of the area’s park facilities feature boat ramps, providing direct access to the county’s beautiful assortment of lakes and rivers.
Lakeland is the Spring Training headquarters for the 2006 American League Champion Detroit Tigers and the regular season home of its minor league affiliate in the Class A Florida State League, the Lakeland Flying Tigers. The relationship between Lakeland and the Detroit Tigers is the longest lasting relationship between a major league baseball team and a current Spring Training host city. This spring will mark the Tigers’ 75th year training in Lakeland.
The Lakeland Flying Tigers find inspiration for their name and colors from the former Lakeland School of Aeronautics which trained more than 8,000 pilots between 1940 and 1945, some of whom flew with the Flying Tigers in China during World War II.
Joker Marchant Stadium (StadiumJourney.com Review), the Tigers’ home field, is a state-of-the-art facility that features six luxury suites, a second tier concourse level, new seating areas, and an outfield Berm, as well as individual seats with cup holders and improved seating for fans with disabilities.
Adjacent to the 12-acre tract on which the stadium is situated is Tiger Town, the Tigers minor league training site since 1953. A three-story dormitory provides housing for 190 players and coaches. It was dedicated in 1971 and named in honor of the late John Fetzer, former owner and president of the Detroit Tigers. The administration building, cafeteria and recreation center were constructed in 1993 to complete the Tiger Town facilities.
Tiger Town is owned and operated by the city of Lakeland and Lakeland’s Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for maintaining the facilities.
Nearby Tampa is home to NFL’s 2003 Super Bowl Champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the NHL’s 2004 Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and MLB’s 2008 American League East Division Champions, the Tampa Bay Rays. In Orlando, you’ll find the NBA’s 2009 Eastern Conference Champions, the Orlando Magic.