Central Florida’s premiere entertainment, sports and convention venue offers loads of indoor entertainment, and is within walking distance of downtown Lakeland’s unique shopping, dining and nightlife opportunities.
Arena, Theater, Exhibit Hall and Conference Center
The RP Funding Center is the only multipurpose facility in Central Florida with four distinct venues under one roof: the 10,000-seat George Jenkins Arena, 2,186-seat Youkey Theater, 28,000-square feet Exhibit Hall, and 34,000-square feet Conference Center.
Theatre lovers enjoying a Central Florida vacation will enjoy The RP Funding Center’s annual Broadway Series, featuring five nationally touring productions. Enjoy upbeat musicals, on the edge-of-your-seat dramas and timeless classics. Locals who subscribe to their Broadway Series Subscription Package receive entrance into all five shows, free parking, priority seating, special discounts and 10 percent off pre-show dining.
The RP Funding Center's annual Entertainment Series brings down the house with thrilling live concerts, ballets, standup comedy, dance performances and more.
Famous groups and performers who have and will take part in the entertainment series include The Tenors, Neil Sedaka, various Dancing with the Stars alumni, America’s Got Talent winner Jackie Evancho and Kathy Griffin.
Lakeland Pro Rodeo Classic
If you’re lucky enough to be in town for the Lakeland Pro Rodeo Classic, you must go. Professional cowboys and cowgirls compete for cash, shiny gold buckles, and most importantly, the title of champion – it’s a boot scootin’ good time.
Public Ice Skating
One of the coolest things to do at The RP Funding Center in November and December is ice skating. Dates are scheduled to coincide with Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, and sometimes summer vacation.
Annual favorites for Central Florida visitors include Collectorama, featuring collectibles including currency, knives, watches more; Buckler Arts & Craft Show, which occurs in the summer and fall; The Original Sewing & Quilt Expo in the winter; Snowbird Extravaganza, which features 50,000 sq. ft. of vendors and entertainment; the Log & Timber Home Show and Lakeland VW Classic, which is held outdoors and features multiple vendors and a parts swap. The RP Funding Center also hosts multiple knife and gun shows each year, and the occasional boating and hunting expo.
Hyatt Place at RP Funding Center
The recently renovated Hyatt Place Lakeland Center is located next to the RP Funding Center. It features Wi-Fi, and outdoor pool, gym, continental breakfast and a 24/7 Gallery Menu & Market.
The Terrace Hotel
For those looking for a full-service, luxury hotel in Central Florida, the Historic Terrace Hotel does not disappoint. This hotel is located in the heart of downtown and is steps from Lake Mirror. The Terrace Hotel’s Terrace Grille is a local dining favorite and is beloved for its historic beauty.
Most events feature pre-show dining from the Center Stage Café, as well as a concession and bar.
Staying in the downtown area during your Central Florida vacation has its perks. You'll be within walking distance of downtown Lakeland, so you can try out sure bets like Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille and Texas Cattle Company, or local favorites like The Purple Onion Deli-Grill, Lakeland Brewing Company, Silver Ring Café, and The Chop Shop.
Our favorite downtown Lakeland coffee shops include Black & Brew Coffee House & Bistro, Mitchell’s Coffee House and Divicious Deli and Coffee Shop.