1. Walk/Run/Bike/Blade Lake Hollingsworth. Feed the swans and ducks at Lake Morton. Take photos, have a picnic or catch a movie at the Lake Mirror Promenade. Go fishing, kayaking and watch for wildlife at Lake Tenoric. All of these unique to Lakeland options are free, get you outdoors, and are easy to do alone or with friends.
2. Catch a double header at Silver Moon Drive-in. A totally different kind of movie viewing experience, this drive-in theater is perfect for a #ThrowbackThursday date night. Bring pillows, blankets, and snacks and cuddle up for the main feature. Or get more creative. We’ve heard people have brought pools in the back of their trucks and had a pool party!
3. Host a bar crawl with your friends! Spend the night bar hopping through downtown Lakeland. You can start at Lakeland Brewing Company for some incredible brews and snacks. Then, hit up Fresco’s Bakery and Bistro for dinner and a full bar. Next, head on over to Chop Shop for some delicious craft beer. Maybe you will stop by Molly’s or Linksters! The Terrace is a great place to go to sip on wine, enjoy a chat with an old friend and enjoy the view of Lake Mirror.
4. Take a workout class. So often we get stuck in the ho-hum usual routine. It’s time to change it up! Take a yoga class at Satya Life Yoga or take a dance class at Just Dance Studios. Or maybe you’re up for more of a challenge? Check out the Crossfit gym off Edgewood or Lake Mirror. Learn some self-defense moves or sweat it out at kickboxing at Lakeland Wing Chun in downtown. Have you tried Barre yet? Check out The Balance Culture in Dixieland (ladies only) for Barre classes, pilates, yoga, and more!
5. Grab your ball cap and glove and attend a Flying Tigers Minor League Baseball game or a Detroit Tigers Spring Training game at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Even if you’re not rooting for your home team, no one can deny the energy of a baseball game. Have some peanuts and cracker jacks for us.
6. Support local entrepreneurs and businesses like Born & Bread Bakehouse, Scotty’s Produce and SunSpot Creations at the Farmer’s Market every Saturday and the Dixieland Twilight Market every Wednesday evening.
7. Check out the scene at 801 E. Main. Grab coffee and a beignet from The Poor Porker (a Lakeland legend) and shop around in the Bearcat & Big 6 trading post. You can grab a beer or class of wine from the bar. 801 E. Main also has tons of live music and special events. It’s the perfect local hangout.
8. Play a Game of Putt Putt or Laser Tag at the Family Fun Center. Of course, there’s so much more to do here than just mini-golf. You can play in the arcade, dip and dive through mazes, and so much more. Family Fun Center is a great place for date night, girls/boys night out, or whatever your event.
9. Go shopping for a few new unique wardrobe pieces at Hattie’s Branches. Hattie’s is unique to Lakeland and is always posting its newest pieces on social media, so check Instagram and Facebook to find out if they’re your style.
10. Hot summer day in Florida? Grab a cold one at Gelati Joe’s. With options to please all, you can choose traditional soft serve or Italian ice, or both! We recommend the Snow-yo. Or, if you’re in the mood for something a bit more indulgent, look for A Cow Named Moo selling their delectable homemade ice cream sandwiches around town.
11. Grab lunch downtown at one of our local restaurants:
*Taco Bus: burritos, tacos, nachos. All the classics for a low price.
12. Keep up to date with The Lakeland Center. Concerts, speakers, and plays are constantly going on. You can order most tickets online or pick them up at the Lakeland Center box office.
13. Check out some of the finest dining Lakeland has to offer. Try Nineteen 61 for gourmet Latin- inspired dishes, Scarpa’s for homemade upscale Italian, Red Door for Southern gourmet classics, Patio 850 for fine wines and amazing flatbreads, and New Moon Sushi for some of the best sushi you’ll ever experience.
14. Sports fan? Watch a football game at Southeastern University‘s stadium. Check out their website and calendar for the next big game.
15. Take a break at one of Lakeland’s unique parks like Common Ground Park, Colt Creek or Holloway Park.The dock at Peterson Park is a great place to spot wildlife and there’s always free wifi at Munn Park downtown.
16. Go on an adventure. Head out to Off the Wall Adventures for paintballing, scuba diving, and more. The list of things to do goes on and on. Pick up a new hobby or practice an old skill.
17. Go bowling at AMF Lanes. Bring your socks and your best game. Whoever has the best score two-out-of-three buys the next round.
18. Go thrift store shopping through downtown. Lakeland is full of thrift and consignment shops, and there’s more popping up every day! Here’s a link to our posts on local thrift shops in Lakeland. And don’t forget to check out Top Buttons in Downtown for high-end fashion at low prices.
19. Volunteer at one of the many non-profits around the area. It’s a great way to give back and get involved in the community. Places to check out include Lighthouse Ministries, Campfire USA and SPCA Florida.
20. Take a bike tour of Lakeland. If you’re more into biking on your own bring your own bike or rent one from Lakeland’s bike share program. The city has partnered with Zagster to bring 7 rental stations across the city for only 3 bucks an hour. Bike around Lake Hollingsworth, down Carter Road, or 3 Parks Trail.
21. Grab a sweet treat at Got Candy. Who couldn’t use a little more sugar in their life? The Desserterie specializes in fine chocolates, and they are delicious! Buttercup Cakes is all about cupcakes, cake pops, and more. Try their macaroons for something truly irresistible. Feeling healthy rather than indulgent? Stop by The Juice Box Cafe to experience fresh juices, smoothies, and healthy meal options!
22. Love to run? Join a 5k. There’s one happening almost every weekend. To find 5ks in and around the area, check out RoadRaceRunner.com. To start training, check out all the Pub Runs hosted by FITniche, the Black and Brew fun run and the Lakeland Runners Club. The public is always welcome to join, for more information check out our YLakeland post.
23. If you enjoy craft beer, stop by one of the many craft beer bars in Lakeland. Locations include Lakeland Brewing Company & Brass Tap. See what new brews they have to offer. Lakeland is also home to two local breweries Cob & Pen and Brew Hub. Or if you’d rather take it home, check out Lakeland’s Beer Revolution. They have a HUGE selection of import and craft beers!
25. Shop around for antiques at downtown’s only three shops in one location on Kentucky Avenue: Simple Vintage with Scout & Tag featuring the natural products brand, Rafa Natural. Be sure to also stop by 360 Unlimited and Vintage Warehouse.
28. Tour the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world at Florida Southern College. Architecture buffs, beware. The same guy notorious for the design of the Guggenheim museum in New York designed several buildings on this college campus.
29. Drive out to Circle B Bar Reserve to experience Florida nature at its finest. You’ll see gators, ospreys, eagles, otters, and maybe even a snake or two. There are also miles of walking and biking trails and lots of outdoor picnic areas!
30. Go to the Polk Museum of Art. The artwork is always changing and there are new artists in and out every month. With so many shows happening, you’ll never end up looking at the same piece twice. Also, don’t forget to visit Platform Art to check out the latest local exhibitions and unique displays. Kids and adults alike can take a class at Art Centric in Dixieland to hone their skills. And for the adults, it’s BYOB. 🙂
31. Take a tour of Hollis Garden and smell all the pretty flowers. It’s a great place to roam around and take a chill pill.
32. Go to the Florida Air Museum and learn something new. Climb in a jet plane, or look at how air travel has changed since the Wright Brothers first got off the ground.
33. Head to 2infinity for some out of this world fun and jumping. Don’t forget to like them on Facebook for $1 off your session!
34. Grab breakfast at one of our famous breakfast joints in town. Check out Cozy Oaks, Britt’s, Fat Jacks or Reececliff to start. In the mood for a donut? Hole in One has some of the best in town. Maybe a New York style bagel is more your thing- stop by Uncle Nick’s for authentic NY bagels and subs.
35. Learn how to shoot a bow and arrow at Dossey Creek Archery. Classes start at $15! Learn a new hobby or skill.
36. Go watch some live music just about anywhere in Lakeland any night of the week. Don’t know where to start? Check out our live music calendar to get some ideas on where to go and who to see. Some popular spots include Among Friends Music, Fresco’s, and Red Door.
38. Enjoy all of the annual events Lakeland has to offer like the Hispanic Festival in October, the Christmas Parade every December, Sun N Fun every April, Mayfaire every May, Red White & Kaboom every July, and Zombiefest and Pig Fest each January. There’s always fun, food and games at all of the events.
39. Love classic cars? So does the Lake Mirror Car show. The event happens during the year, so keep plugged in on when it’s coming next through our Event Calendar.
40. Get spooky at the Campfire Haunted House during the Halloween season. The haunted house is put on by Campfire USA as an annual fundraiser and has many fans and volunteers from the community. If you’re looking for something less spooky to bring in the Fall season, check out the annual pumpkin patch on Lake Morton.
41. Get some serious air by bringing your skateboard to Lake Bonny Skate Park. Jump, slide, and shred through their unique course and maybe get a good workout in, too.
43. Start a business or take an entrepreneurial course at Catapult.
44. Treat yourself to a shopping spree at Lakeside Village. Check out stores such as Francesca’s, Victoria’s Secret, Books A Million, Kohls, and many more! And don’t forget about the many restaurants there like Glory Days, Olive Garden, Chilis, Longhorn, and lots of others. There’s even a movie theater where you can see the latest blockbusters.
45. Skip the grocery store and pick fresh blueberries and peaches at Oponay Farms. The farm also offers tours where you can see Florida native birds and gators.
46. Try a new Food Truck on the second Tuesday of every month at Munn Park. No matter what you’re craving your tastebuds are sure to be satisfied.
47.Get pampered at one of our locally owned spas. Get your hair done at Mirabella’s Signature Salon, sit back and enjoy a pedicure at Lee Spa Nails or get baby smooth skin with a facial at Skin and Tonic.
50. Check out our favorite local magazine, The Lakelander to learn more about our favorite people and places in Lakeland.