We called upon staff with young children to put together a list of great places to take the kids in and around Lakeland, Winter Haven, Lake Wales and Haines City. Some are obvious (LEGOLAND Florida Resort) and some might surprise you. Adventures are what Central Florida vacations are all about, and our area is not short on family-friendly options.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
Dedicated to families with kids age 2 to 12, LEGOLAND Florida Resort is a 150-acre interactive theme park with more than 50 rides, shows and attractions. The park includes LEGOLAND Water Park, LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Beach Retreat.
Common Ground Park
This is a popular playground with an inclusive play experience for children of varying abilities and disabilities. Common Ground Park has non-traditional play areas so that all children are able to play together side-by-side.
Hammock Hollow at Bok Tower Gardens
Hammock Hollow at Bok Tower Gardens is a new garden built just for children, providing families the opportunity to experience nearly 3-acres of nature play, 365 days a year. Hammock Hollow features cooling water features, delightful interactive art and music discovery areas.
Explorations V Children’s Museum
Fun and learning are inseparable as families explore hands-on exhibits designed to awaken imaginations at Explorations V Children’s Museum. Whether your children star in a musical production, report breaking news, work in a construction zone or treat broken bones, Explorations V launches them into adventure.
Circle B Bar Reserve
Children will enjoy a visit to the Nature Discovery Center at Circle B Bar Reserve. Learn about this area’s ecosystems through hands-on activities and climb around the indoor play area. A trip to Circle B would not be complete without an alligator sighting, which can be safely done from the pier or shoreline.
Baseball at Tigertown
From late February through August, baseball is in full swing in Lakeland. Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium is home to the Detroit Tigers during Spring Training and home to Florida State League’s (single A) Lakeland Flying Tigers. You will find great deals on tickets and game specials like All You Can Eat Nights, firework shows, and $1 days.
Mulberry Phosphate Museum
Kids will marvel at an extensive collection of fossils, phosphate industry and historic railroad galleries, as well as the museum’s outdoor exhibit. Outside, visitors can climb through a Dragline bucket and try their luck at finding shark teeth and other prehistoric animal remains in a large pile of rock.
Hollis Garden/Barnett Park
Home to more than 10,000 flowers and ornamental shrubs, shade trees and a Grand Staircase, Hollis Garden is the perfect place to take family photos. Barnett Family Park is adjacent to Hollis Garden and includes play areas, climbing structures, and a splash water area with activities for kids as young as toddlers.
Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team Show
Members from the original Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team put on quite a show on the 3rd Saturday of each month. Team members are joined by skiers from younger generations to put on a world-class show that includes pyramids, swivel, barefoot skiing and jumping.
Lake Eva Park
This is a recreational park on the banks of Lake Eva in Haines City featuring a playground, picnic tables, swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, and walking trails.