Central Florida not only has fabulous year round sunshine, but is also full of great of activities for those taking the whole troupe! Whether its a family fishing outing on one of our many lakes, a classic Florida airboat ride, a day out at the theme park, picking citrus in a grove, or wandering through some beautiful gardens, Polk County, situated between Orlando and Tampa has something everyone can enjoy together.
Check out our 20 favorite multigenerational things to do in Central Florida below. And if you’re looking for a vacation rental be sure to check out our list here, or our favorite selection of campgrounds and RV resorts!
20 Multigenerational Things to in Central Florida
Take a Boat Cruise on the Chain of Lakes
Book at scenic tour of Winter Haven’s Chain of Lakes with The Living Water Boat Cruises. Watch LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s water ski show from a boat, or take a sunset cruise and enjoy a lakeside dinner at Harborside. Or cruise the lake, by hiring a couple of CraigCats from Winter Haven Watersports.
Visit the Gardens
Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales is simply one of the best locations for everyone in the family. Featuring a majestic bell tower, carillon concerts and El Retiro Mansion, daily concerts, nature walks and special events. The Gardens’ Outdoor Kitchen and Children’s Garden are just two of the many reasons to visit this historic attraction. Plan to enjoy lunch at the Café and stop in the gift shop. Bok Tower Gardens is a National Historic Landmark.
Also, be sure to stop by the beautiful lakefront Hollis Garden in Downtown Lakeland. Hollis Garden is home to over 10,000 flowers and ornamental shrubs, shade trees, and a playground right on the shores of Lake Mirror.
Check out the Rodeo
Visit Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo, the largest dude ranch this side of the Mississippi, for the famous Saturday Night Rodeo. This real-life rodeo features trick riding, bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, and rodeo clown antics. A patriotic, flag-waving tribute to our armed forces includes classic country songs like Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” and Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue.” Towards the end of the rodeo, your kids will get the opportunity to participate in a real “calf scramble.” And don’t forget the fixins’!
Take an Airboat Ride
Airboat rides are an excellent way to stay cool while experiencing some of the wonderful nature that Polk County has to offer. Get acquainted with old Florida on one of the many airboat tours on offer.
Go on Safari
A safari is certainly something all ages will enjoy. Safari Wilderness in Lakeland, voted one of the 10 best safaris in the United States, has an expansive 260 acre wilderness, with over 800 specifies of animals from Africa and Asia, including cheetah, zebra, lemurs, waterbucks and lots more. Jump in the safari truck and enjoy this unique experience.
Go to a Free Water Ski Show
Winter Haven is the water ski capital of the world, and on the third Saturday of each month the Cypress Gardens Ski team puts on a free show at Lake Silver. Members of the original Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team continue to WOW central Florida audiences, and work to pass on their water skiing skills to the next generation.
Take the little ones to LEGOLAND
Simply the best park in the world for the younger kids, LEGOLAND Florida Resort is a 150-acre theme park with over 50 rides. LEGOLAND is also home to the beautiful and historic Cypress Gardens. And if you have pre-schoolers among you, be sure to check out the new Peppa Pig Theme Park, a charming easy-going park, and located just steps away from LEGOLAND.
Experience a Balloon Ride
Have the adventure of a lifetime during a sunrise hot air balloon flight over Central Florida. If you’d like to book a flight check out Bob’s Balloons or Balloons & Beyond. And if you’re around in May be sure to visit the Up, Up, and Away hot air balloon festival!
Go Freshwater Fishing
Sometimes there’s no better way to bond with grandpa than on an afternoon or early morning fishing. Our abundant sunshine, pleasant temperatures and over 550 lakes make Polk County a year-round prime fishing destination. It’s the perfect place for hardcore anglers, outdoor enthusiasts, and those looking to land a 10+ pound trophy bass. Click here for all the information you need to know about freshwater fishing in Central Florida.
Attend an Airshow at Sun ‘n Fun
Central Florida is home to one of the world’s greatest air shows. Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo, held each year in Lakeland attracts enthusiasts from all over the world to see America’s best demo teams in action including the Thunderbirds, Warbirds and many more. A great day out for all.
Spot the Wildlife at Circle B Bar Reserve
Get acquainted with natural Florida and this majestic wildlife preserve. Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland is a prime destination for hiking, bird watching, and cycling. Visit the onsite Discovery Center, have a picnic or safely spot an alligator from Lakeland preserve’s pier or shoreline.
Take a U-Pick Tour
While Central Florida is certainly famous for its citrus, you may not have known that our farmers grow blueberries and peaches too. U-Pick season usually runs from mid to late-March and ends in May. Check our blog post about U-Pick season. To pick fresh oranges, a great place to go to is Ridge Island Groves in Haines City, open October to June.
Have a Day at a Resort Pool
At Balmoral Resort Florida in Haines City you can pick up a day pass for its lakefront resort pool and water park. The clubhouse area features the Balmoral Bar & Grill, where you can grab some American fare while chilling out pool-side. The clubhouse and water park area is just big enough to keep the kids occupied but small enough so you can keep an eye on them. Cabanas are also available to book. Live entertainment and games are frequently laid on at the weekend.
With more then 40 public access golf courses and 610 holes of golf, Polk County boasts one of the top collections of golf courses in the US. The area is also home to the highly acclaimed Streamsong Resort, known for its rugged Scottish/Irish style courses, and its fabulous restaurants.
Take a Citrus Tour
Learn more about Florida’s citrus culture by visiting an operating farm like Ridge Island Groves in Haines City or the Florida’s Natural Visitor Center in Lake Wales. You’ll also be sampling some of the best orange juice and citrus products in the world!
See a Drive-in Movie
Now all generations can experience a classic drive-in-theatre! Silver Moon Drive-In, offers two screens with a double feature viewing seven nights a week.
Let the kids run around while you kick back at Grove Roots
Sometimes you just want to kick back on a sunny afternoon. Grove Roots Brewing Company in Winter Haven is a microbrewery creating inventive, artisan beers, and the beer garden out front is the perfect place to sit and chill while the kids have fun playing around. You’ll often find a food truck just next to the garden where you can pick up burgers and hotdogs.
Learn all about Central Florida at the Museum
Polk County has a wonderful selection of museums. Learn all about stories of pioneers and the development of the state at the Polk History Center in Bartow, or at Mulberry Phosphate Museum. See Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, which you can pair with a visit to the Polk Museum of Art just steps away. Lake Wales History Center runs a monthly history bus tour which you can pair with your visit to Bok Tower Gardens.
See Baseball like Your Grandpa Remembers it during Spring Training
Lakeland is the home of Detroit Tigers Spring Training. Not only will you see the greatest Major League Baseball players in action, but you’ll also experience Spring Training in a venue voted the best in the Grapefruit League. Spring Training allows you to get up close to the players and experience baseball the way it used to be. Another great day out in Central Florida for the whole family.
Visit Downtown Lakeland
Lakeland is Polk County’s biggest city and home to some of the attractions mentioned above. As the name suggests the city is centered around a number of lakes, including Lake Morton where you can take a nice walk, feed the swans and stop off at Hollis Garden. Visit some great cafes such as Pressed Books and Coffee and Black & Brew, and restaurants to suit all tastes including the famous Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille, Red Door Lakeland and Nineteen61 to name a few. You must also check out Born & Bread Bakehouse and have an experience like no other!
You may also be interested in Alternative Places to Stay in Central Florida.