Seasonal festivals and year-round attractions are plentiful in the Lakeland area. Residents and visitors alike enjoy events that meet the needs of a diverse array of interests. Visit the Community Calendar at LakelandChamber.com/events for up to date information on events and happenings in the area.
Lodging, Travel & Tourism
Bok Tower Gardens
Bok Tower Gardens, a National Historic Landmark and one of America's finest gardens located in Lake Wales, offers the beauty and serenity of a 250 acre Olmsted-designed landscape garden located on one of peninsular Florida’s highest points. Music from the 60-bell Singing Tower carillon fills the garden daily. The Pinewood Estate showcases one of the finest examples of Mediterranean-style architecture in Florida. Christmas at Pinewood is an annual holiday home tour showcasing the mansion in resplendent décor. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and other performers play to large crowds at the annual outdoor picnic concerts. A nature preserve and walking trails, as well as a visitor center, café, gift shop and free parking are available. Located 10 miles from Legoland Florida.
Fantasy of Flight
Fantasy of Flight is an aviation-themed attraction showcasing vintage aircraft from the world’s largest private collection. General admission includes themed immersion experiences, simulators, interactive exhibits, a tram tour of aircraft maintenance areas, restoration and backlot tours and a daily aerial demonstration, a unique opportunity to see rare aircraft in flight (weather permitting).
Experiences at Fantasy of Flight include the Fun with Flight Center , Wing WalkAir Ropes Course & Zip Line, The Tuskegee Airmen – They Dared to Fly exhibit, and the multimedia tribute to the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) – A Passionate Pursuit.
Hot air balloon rides and biplane rides are available for an additional charge. Watch planes take off and get a taste of flying at the Art Deco-styled Compass Rose Diner from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily, or visit Fantasy of Flight’s Gift Shop for specialty product offerings for your favorite aviation enthusiast. Both are open to the public, with no admission fee required. Parking is free.
Fantasy of Flight is located at exit 44 off I-4, halfway between Tampa and Orlando, at 1400 Broadway Blvd. S.E. in Polk City, Fla.
For more information about Fantasy of Flight, call (863) 984-3500 or visit www.fantasyofflight.com.
Length of Visit: Allow a minimum of 4 hours.
They’ve been used to create everything from sea serpents to the most famous buildings in the world. With nearly 50 million LEGO® bricks assembled in Central Florida, they produce the most stunning creation yet – LEGOLAND® Florida. Inspired by the famous LEGO brick, the new 150-acre theme park caters to kids ages 2-12 with more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, and a breathtaking botanical garden. A full day of high-energy, memory-making fun awaits families at LEGOLAND Florida, the ideal family vacation getaway with plenty of heart-pounding rides and exhilarating attractions in quite possibly the world’s most charming theme park setting. Just 45 minutes west of Orlando and a 45-minute drive east from Tampa, LEGOLAND Florida rests along the shores of Lake Eloise in the city of Winter Haven.
Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture at Florida Southern College
Florida Southern College is home to the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world. In addition to a fabulous walking tour, the College is currently building FLW's Usonian House with support from the City of Lakeland. This original FLW plan will house the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor's Center. To follow the progress of the Usonian House, visit BuildingTheUsonianHouse.com, a Web site maintained by The Maguires of Lakeland.
January: Lakeland Pig Festival
Every January, more than 30,000 people enjoy Lakeland’s Annual Pig Festival. Attendees enjoy sampling food from 300 BBQ teams competing in various categories and for a chance to qualify for the America Royal Invitational, the largest barbeque contest in the world. Tiger Town, the spring training facility for the Detroit Tigers, serves as the perfect venue for an afternoon of fun for the whole family.
March: Major League Baseball Spring Training - Detroit Tigers
Celebrating their 77th year of Spring Training in Lakeland, the Detroit Tigers play and train in our state-of-the-art baseball complex, Joker Marchant Stadium.
April: Child of the Sun Jazz Festival and Urban Triathlon
Back by popular demand and supported by the Lakeland Rotary, Florida Southern College continues to support the Child of the Sun jazz festival names for Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous architecture.
April: Sun ‘n Fun Fly In
Each April, tens of thousands of aviation enthusiasts travel to one of the world’s largest aviation events, the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In. Held at the Sun ‘n Fun Complex at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, this popular week-long event features more than 4,000 airplanes, daily air shows and a Friday night air show complete with fireworks.
May: MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by the Lake
Begun in 1974 as a crafts fair on the lawn of the Lakeland Public Library, Polk Museum of Art’s MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake has grown into one of Florida's premier outdoor art festivals. Every Mother’s Day weekend, more than 180 artists display their creative wares around the shores of beautiful Lake Morton in Downtown Lakeland. Enjoy great food, live entertainment, and free art activities at the Children’s Art Tent. Come see why MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake has such a great reputation!
May: Pops by the Lake
The imperial Symphony Orchestra celebrates summer with a special pops concert by Lake Mirror.
July: Red, White & Kaboom Independence Celebration
Each July, Lakeland residents and visitors gather around Lake Mirror Downtown for an Independence Day celebration including food, live music & fireworks! IN addition to blankets & chairs, spectators bring canned goods to the event to replenish local food pantries.
September – June: Florida Southern College Festival of Fine Arts
The Festival of Fine Arts at Florida Southern College is an annual series of visual art exhibitions and live performances in theater, music and dance. Now in its 52nd year, the 2011-12 Season showcases artists from around the world and runs through June 4 with nearly 30 exciting events. The Festival also welcomes back the free to the public Child of the Sun Jazz Festival in April.
October: Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival
The display of more than 500 vehicles on and surrounding the restored 1920’s, art deco-inspired Lake Mirror promenade Downtown is one of the premier regional automobile shows in the southeastern United States. In addition to attracting more than 35,000 spectators, the Lake Mirror Classic annually draws top collector cars from the southeast and serves as a support event to the prestigious Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
Bok Tower Gardens transforms into an Oktoberfest atmosphere for this annual celebration of great food and beautiful plants.
December: Holiday Walk-About
This annual event in Downtown Lakeland celebrates the holidays with shopping, dining, music, horse-drawn wagon rides and more! Holiday music from many area schools and churches create a festive atmosphere. Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a kiddie train ride, pony rides and lots of holiday shopping complete the picture. Be sure to celebrate Downtown on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year!