Tag Archives: Auburndale

LRC Named Polk’s 2017 Best Learning Center

The Learning Resource Center has been named Polk County’s Best Learning Center of 2017.
 
LRC learned of this distinction at The Ledger’s awards ceremony on the evening of September 21 at the R.P. Funding Center. The top three winners of each category were first revealed leading up to the announcement of overall winners.
 
The Ledger created The Best of the Best awards in 2016. Adding new categories including the Learning Center/Tutor category, the 2017 contest gave the public the opportunity to vote for their favorites in 149 categories during two installments. In the first round, individuals were able to submit their nomination daily in any or all of the 149 categories, which ranged from education and dining to shopping and services (among others). The second round began in mid July and allowed voters the chance to select one of the top five nominations in each category daily over two weeks. More than 450,000 votes were cast throughout the competition. Succeeding the two rounds, The Ledger revealed the best local business winners during a banquet in late September. The winners were also published in the newspaper following the ceremony.
 

 
About LRC
The Learning Resource Center of Polk County, Inc. is a nonprofit, United Way educational provider. LRC has a proud 42-year history of offering high-quality academic programs to help students maximize their learning potential. For more information, please visit LRC online at LRCPolk.com or call 863.688.9477.

2017 Back-to-School Bashes, Events and Donation Drives

It’s almost school time again!
Find 2017 back-to-school bashes, health fairs and donation drives in Polk County below.
 
Back to School Freepik
Graphic: Freepik
 

Upcoming Dates

Student orientation: Tuesday, August 8
First day of school for students: Thursday, August 10
 
Tax-free holiday: August 4-6
 

Bashes

Back 2 School Bash
When: Saturday, July 22, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Oakland Gymnasium, 915 Ave. E, Haines City
What: Stop by this back-to-school event featuring speakers and a guest appearance by Smart Mouth’s Jason Alexander as well as free haircuts, backpacks and food.
Contact: Unity in the Community Central Florida, Dr. Charles Anderson, 863-438-2758, canderson@trinityicc.com
 
Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, July 29, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Where: Wilfred Smith Resource Center, 135 Avenue Y N.E., Winter Haven
What: Join Polk County Parks & Recreation for this free family event featuring free school supplies for children entering kindergarten through the fifth grade (first come, first served). Families will also enjoy music, educational exhibitors and children activities.
Contact: 863-298-7898, borisrodriguez@polk-county.net
 
Life Church Backpack Outreach
When: Saturday, July 29, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
Where: 581 Berkley Rd. Auburndale, FL 33823
What: Auburndale’s Life Church will hold a giving for over 700 free school backpacks filled with school supplies for needy families.
Contact: Dawn Simmons, 863-967-5433
 
Summer Palooza
When: Saturday, July 29, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Simpson Park, 1725 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Lakeland
What: To introduce New Beginnings High School to the Lakeland community, the school is hosting Summer Palooza so that families and children will have the necessary resources to go back to school. New Beginnings’ Summer Palooza will provide necessities along with educational guest speakers, a warm meal, and entertainment throughout the morning.
Contact: Alicia Brown, 863-298-5666
 
Back to School First Friday
When: Friday, August 4, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Downtown Lakeland
What: Join the Downtown Lakeland Partnership, MidFlorida & Southeastern University as well as community vendors in celebrating the start of a new school year with school-themed activities. First Friday features free family-friendly entertainment, activities, live music, art receptions, a car show, and the opportunity to check out a great, locally-owned restaurant or retail establishment on the first Friday of each month.
Contact: info@downtownlakelandfl.com
 
Back to School Bash- Clothing Kids in Our Community
When: Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Where: Auburndale Community Gym, 405 Bennett Street, Auburndale
What: Stop by for free basic back-to-school haircuts, a one-week food supply giveaway, a dunk tank, games, bounce houses and more!
 
Back to School Block Party
When: Saturday, August 5, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Spence Park, NE 1st St., Mulberry
What: This event is sponsored by Mulberry’s local churches and hosted by the City of Mulberry. Enjoy free food, a basketball tournament, a corn hole tournament, live music, inflatables and more. Backpacks will be distributed at 4pm for those who have pre-registered at the Mulberry Community Center. Stick around for the night swim happening at the Mulberry Community Pool directly after.
Contact: 863-393-8166
 
IMB Back to School – Color Your Life
When: Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Iglesia Manatialde Benndicion, 704 McLeod Ave., Haines City
What: This event will feature face painting, crafts, games, music, a girls beauty workshop, snacks, free backpacks (first come, first serve and must be present), special guest Marilita and more.
Contact: 863-422-3106
 
Lake Alfred Library Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 5, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Lake Alfred Public Library, 245 Seminole Drive, Lake Alfred
What: Get ready for school with the Lake Alfred Library. Win some school supplies, have dinner and get raffle tickets.
Contact: 863-291-5378
 
New Horizon’s Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: New Horizons Church Baptist Church, 11930 US Hwy 98 N, Lakeland
What: Stop by to meet local law enforcement, the Fire Marshal, FHP, etc. as well as to enjoy music, bounce houses, food, games and receive free school supplies.
Contact: 863-858-5865
 
Rock the Block Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: RP Funding Center: George Jenkins Arena, 701 Lime Street, Lakeland
What: Bring the entire family to this free community event featuring giveaways, free backpacks, free haircuts, a health fair, hot dogs, cotton candy, bounce houses and more.
Contact: Harvest Assembly of God: 863-682-7000. The Lakeland Center: 863-834-8100
 
City of Winter Haven’s Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 12, 12-3 p.m.
Where: Winter Haven Recreation and Culture Center Pool, 801 Ave. T NE, Winter Haven
What: School is in session, and we are making a big splash about it. Join the City of Winter Haven for a free family event for school-age children (6-17) for a day of games, food, music and bounce houses at the Winter Haven Recreation and Culture Center Pool.
Contact: 863-291-5656, specialevents@mywinterhaven.com
 
Free Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 19, 12-3 p.m.
Where: Eagle Ridge Mall, 451 Eagle Ridge Dr., Lake Wales
What: Join the Eagle Ridge Mall for free family fun and great giveaways, including school supplies and gift cards.
Contact: 863-676-2300
 

Health Fairs

Back To School Health Fair
When: Saturday, July 29, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, 40100 US Highway 27, Davenport
What: Good health is the best back-to-school supply your child can have. Don’t miss this free Back-to-School Health Fair combining health and safety education with fun for the whole family including:
– Safety presentations by police and EMS
– Health presentations by local pediatricians and physicians
– Back-to-school screenings and discounts
– Fun Zone with free crafts, face painting and activities
– Free school supplies
– Teddy Bear Clinic
– Drawings for tickets to special events, while supplies last
Contact: 866-997-DOCS
 

Donation Drives

 
Back to School Clothing Drive
When: Saturday, August 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Top Buttons Upscale Boutique, 236 N. Kentucky Ave., Lakeland
What:All donated clothes will benefit the girls we serve in our Wearing Confidence Program. Clothes can be dropped off either at the Top Buttons Boutique or Viva Vitality.
Some items we would suggest for girls ages 11-18 are:

  • Solid color crew neck shirts
  • White/navy/red polo shirts
  • Khaki/navy pants, skirts, and shorts
  • Denim pants and shorts
  • Belts
  • Solid color zip-up hoodies
  • New white socks
  • Sneakers or close-toed shoes

Contact: 863-450-4060
 
Stuff the Bus
Stuff the Bus is Central Florida’s largest back-to-school campaign. In addition to the traditional school supplies that are needed such as pens, pencils, wide rule paper, folders with prongs, crayons, markers, backpacks, glue and erasers, you may also donate copy paper, facial tissue, index cards, highlighters, hand sanitizer, zip lock bags, and pencil boxes.
 
Lakeland: Through Sunday, July 30 at Victory Church (1401 Griffin Rd.)
Lakeland: LkldTV Through end of July their office
Lakeland: Through August 2 at the Wednesday, Lakeland Chamber (35 Lake Morton Drive)
Lakeland: August 2, 7-8:30 a.m., Hall Communications (404 West Lime Street)
Bartow: Through Friday, August 18 at the Bartow Chamber
 
 

Polk 2017-2018 Schools Dates to Remember

POLK COUNTY 2017-2018 SCHOOL CALENDAR

Curious about Polk County Public School dates such as the first and last days, student holidays and early release days? Interested in finding out assessment dates for the 2017-2018 school year? Scroll down to find a list of significant calendar dates affecting your PCSB student.
freepik back to school calendar
Graphic by Freepik
 

2017

August 10 First day of school
September 4 School Holiday- Labor Day
September 13 EARLY RELEASE DAY
September 18 Student Holiday
October 16 Student Holiday
November 10 School Holiday – Veterans’ Day
November 20-24 School Holiday – Thanksgiving Break
December 22-January 3 School Holiday – Winter Break

 

2018

January 4 First day back after Winter Break
January 15 School Holiday – MLK, Jr. Day
February 19 School Holiday – Presidents’ Day
March 26-30 School Holiday – Spring Break
May 24 Last day of school

 
Please note that Oct. 11, 2017, Nov. 15, 2017, Jan. 24, 2018, Feb. 7, 2018, March 14, 2018 and May 16, 2018 were originally Early Release Days. Due to Hurricane Irma, these days are now regular full days.
 
For more information on the school calendar, upcoming events or Polk school information, please visit the Polk County Public Schools website where we obtained this information.
 
 

2017-2018 Assessment Schedule

 

Date Assessment
September 18-October 6 FSA EOC Algebra 1; Geometry
September 18-October 20 NGSSS EOC Biology 1; Civics; U.S. History
November 27-December 15 FSA EOC Algebra 1; Geometry NGSSS EOC Biology 1; Civics; U.S. History
March 1-9 FSA ELA Writing
April 9-May 11 FSA ELA Reading
April 16-May 11 FSA Math
April 16-May 11 FSA EOC Algebra 1; Geometry NGSSS EOC Biology 1; Civics; U.S. History
April 30-May 4 NGSSS Science (5th & 8th)
July 17-21 FSA EOC Algebra 1; Geometry NGSSS EOC Biology 1; Civics; U.S. History

Click for more Polk County testing information.
 

If you feel that your child needs help preparing for these assessments, please do not hesitate to contact us to set up One-to-One Tutoring.

 

LRC Students Received 3,587 Hours of Tutoring in April and May 2017

In the month of April, Learning Resource Center students received 1,702 hours of tutoring, with a Year-To-Date Total of 10,617 hours (the YTD totals start over every July). New and ongoing students tutored during the month of April equaled 407 students.
 
April Tutoring Hours LRC Polk County

 
In May, Learning Resource Center students received 1,885 hours of tutoring, with a Year-To-Date Total of 12,502 hours (the YTD totals start over every July). New and ongoing students tutored during the month of May equaled 449 students.
 
May Tutoring Hours LRC Polk County
 
 
Thanks to all of our tutors and students for your time, efforts, and hard work. It’s paying off!
 
If you’re interested in participating in One-to-One Tutoring, please visit LRCPolk.com/programs/one-to-one-tutoring.
 
 
Related Posts:
February/March 2017 Tutoring Report
January 2017 Tutoring Report
October 2016 Tutoring Report
August/September 2016 Tutoring Report
August/September 2016 Tutoring Report
July 2016 Tutoring Report
June 2016 Tutoring Report
April 2016 Tutoring Report
March 2016 Tutoring Report
 

2016 Holiday Events in Polk County

Are you looking for holiday events in Polk County? We’ve compiled a list of fun, family-friendly, events taking place this December just for you!
 
Check back frequently. We’ll be adding to the list as we find events.
 
freepik happy holidaysFreepik.com
 

Ongoing/Recurring Events

Festival of Wreaths
Date: Friday, November 18-Saturday, December 10
Location: Polk County History Center, Bartow
Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Details: Take in the sights and sounds of the season and enjoy the Sixth Annual Festival of Wreaths. The striking wreaths that fill the halls of the History Center are decorated and donated by local businesses, individuals and organizations. The wreaths will be on display through Dec. 10. On opening night, the History Center will be open from 6-8 p.m. as part of Main Street Bartow’s Magic on Main Street activities.
 
Snowy Wonderland
Date: Friday, November 25-Saturday, December 24
Location: Lakeside Village, Lakeland
Time: 5-9 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays
Details: Catch real snowflakes whirling around the Lakeside Village Christmas tree for 5 minutes on the hour from 5pm-9pm.
 
Christmas Carillon Concerts
Date: Friday, November 25-Sunday, January 8
Location: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 1-3 p.m. Thursday through Sunday
Details: Immerse yourself in the sounds of the season as Carillonneur Geert D’hollander performs Christmas music from around the world during 30-minute live concerts every Thursday through Sunday on the 60-bell Singing Tower carillon. Celebrate Christmas Day with Bok Tower Gardens as sounds of the carillon ring out during a live performance. Included with general Gardens admission
 
Winter Walking Tours
Date: Friday, November 25-Sunday, January 8
Location: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 2:00 p.m. Sundays
Details: Volunteers lead visitors on an hour-long winter walking tour, sharing information about the flora and fauna and guiding visitors through the Gardens from the Visitor Center to the Singing Tower. Included with general Gardens admission.
 
Elves Shelves Gift Shop
Date: Saturday, November 26-Sunday, December 11
Location: Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 1:00 p.m.-5:00 pm Sunday
Details: This special secret shop is for children only! Gifts will be reasonably priced for children to purchase holiday items for family and friends. Elves Shelves fun includes a wrapping station. Admission is free. Prices vary per item.
 
Gingerbread Houses with Mrs. Claus
Date: Sunday, November 27-Sunday, December 11
Location: Pinewood Estate at Bok Tower Gardens
Time: 2-4 p.m.
Details: Join Bok Tower at their first annual gingerbread house event to decorate your own gingerbread house and take a tour of the Pinewood house. Each participant will receive their own gingerbread house to decorate and storybook to take home, which will be read by Mrs. Claus herself. $40 per child includes Gardens and Holiday Home Tour admission, gingerbread house and storybook, and one chaperone.
 
1940s HoliDAYS
Date: Tuesdays: November 29, December 6, 13, 20, 27
Location: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Details: Be sure to see the vintage Model A’s outside Pinewood Estate, meet historical characters from the 1940s, and catch a few surprise personalities from the past. Tuesdays throughout December. Included with general Gardens admission.
 
Almost, Maine
Date: Thursday, December 1- Sunday, December 18
Location: Theatre Winter Haven
Time: 7:30 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. depending on date
Details: On a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend—almost—in this delightful midwinter night’s dream. Tickets are $21 for adults and $17 for students.
 
Lights of Lakeland
Date: Friday-Sunday: December 2-4; December 9-11
Location: Highland Park Church, Lakeland
Time: 6:30 p.m.- 9 p.m.
Details: This free walk-thru Christmas experience is one the whole family can enjoy! Experience an evening of excitement filled with your favorite holiday sights, smells, sounds and over 500,000 lights.
 
Florida Flywheelers Christmas in the Village
Date: Friday & Saturday: December 9-10; December 16-17
Location: 7000 Avon Park Cutoff Road, Fort Meade, FL 33841
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: The best kept Christmas secret around…the Florida Flywheelers bring a holiday village of sparkling lights, refreshments, & Santa & Mrs. Claus to their tractor site located between Avon Park and Fort Meade. Families can journey through the village on a tram pulled by a tractor while enjoying fun Christmas displays. There are also stops for free hotdogs, cookies, hot chocolate, eggnog and cider along the way. Admission is a monetary or toy donation.
 
Holiday Workshop
Date: Monday, December 19-Friday, December 23
Location: Explorations V Children’s Museum (109 N Kentucky Ave, Lakeland)
Time: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. & 1-5 p.m.
Details: Decorations and holiday fun for kids of all ages. From 9 a.m.-1 p.m. will be Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen featuring cookies, candy, and more. From 1-5 p.m. will be Santa’s Workshops featuring gifts for family & friends. The cost is $25 for a half day or $40 for a full day.
 
Winter Wonderland Workshops
Date: Monday, December 26-Friday, December 30
Location: Explorations V Children’s Museum (109 N Kentucky Ave, Lakeland)
Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Details: Decorations and holiday fun for kids of all ages including frozen art, science and games. The cost is $25 for a half day or $40 for a full day.
 
Christmas Bricktacular
Date: Saturday, December 17-Sunday, December 18; Saturday, December 24-Friday, December 30
Location: LEGOLAND Florida, Winter Haven
Time: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (December 25-30)
Details: Bring in the holiday season with a 30-foot tall LEGO Christmas tree made of 270,000 LEGO bricks, life-size LEGO Santa, reindeer and sleigh, festive decorations, LEGO build activity, a LEGO Santa Scavenger Hunt, holiday entertainment and nightly fireworks. LEGO Santa and LEGO Toy Soldier make daily appearances in the Park providing a perfect family photo opportunity.
 
Week Before Christmas Movies at the Polk Theatre
Date: Sunday, December 18-Friday, December 23, 2016
Location: Polk Theatre (121 South Florida Ave., Lakeland)
Time: Times vary by date. See below.
Details: All movies are $5.00.
Dec. 18: It’s a Wonderful Life, 5:30-7:45 p.m. (PG)
Dec. 19: White Christmas, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (PG)
Dec. 20: Elf, 6:30-8 p.m. (PG)
Dec. 21: Die Hard, 6:30-8:45 p.m. (R)
Dec. 22: A Christmas Story, 6:30-8 p.m. (PG)
Dec. 23: Christmas Vacation, 6:30-8 p.m. (PG-13)
 
Winter Ice Skating
Date: Tuesday, December 20-Sunday, January 1
Location: The Lakeland Center (George Jenkins Arena)
Time: Times vary by date.
Details: Public ice skating returns to The Lakeland Center this winter with morning, afternoon, evening, and late evening sessions on various days. Click the title link to see times and dates.
 

Library Events

Cult Movie Classics: Krampus
Date: Tuesday, December 6
Location: Lakeland Public Library (100 Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland)
Time: 7 p.m.
Details: Join the Lakeland Public Library for a free movie and snacks. December’s showing is Krampus. Most of our movies are intended for adults, however children and teens are allowed if accompanied by an adult.
 
Holidazed Craft Night
Date: Thursday, December 8
Location: Lakeland Public Library
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Details: Join the Lakeland Public Library to decorate festive coffee mugs. All supplies are provided for this free event but registration is required.
 
Santa’s Workshop
Date: Saturday, December 10
Location: Lakeland Public Library
Time: 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Details: Stop by the library for Christmas-themed fun.
 
Holiday Concert with Sandy’s Music Girls & Friends
Date: Tuesday, December 20
Location: Lake Wales Public Library (290 Cypress Garden Lane)
Time: 2-3 p.m.
Details: Enjoy beautiful holiday music performed by talented young musicians.
 
Holiday Movies in the Library
Date: Thursday, December 22
Location: Lake Wales Public Library (290 Cypress Garden Lane)
Time: 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Details: Enjoy festive movies at the Lake Wales Public Library.
 

Community Events

Lights in the Park
Date: Thursday, December 1
Location: Downtown Auburndale
Time: 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Join the City of Auburndale for entertainment, refreshments and tree-lighting with a surprise visit from Santa Claus. The Historic Baynard House will be open for holiday tours.
 
First Friday – Holiday Hometown
Date: Friday, December 2
Location: Downtown Lakeland
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: Free holiday-themed family-friendly entertainment, activities, live music, art reception, car show, and more.
 
An Enchanted Christmas
Date: Saturday, December 3
Location: Gardner Park, Lake Alfred
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Details: Join Lake Alfred at their Christmas parade and tree lighting. The parade route remains the same from last year. The parade will start at Central Park at the corner of Cummings and Glencruiten and will head west on Cummings to 17/92 and end at Gardner Park. Hot chocolate and cookies will be provided at Gardner Park for the Christmas tree lighting.
 
Breakfast with Santa – Auburndale
Date: Saturday, December 3
Location: Auburndale Civic Center
Time: 9-11 a.m.
Details: Auburndale Parks and Recreation presents the annual breakfast with Santa event. Admission is $8. Tickets are available at the Auburndale Parks and Recreation department.
 
Carols in the Park
Date: Saturday, December 3-Sunday, December 4
Location: Central Park, Winter Haven
Time: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Details: This is the 28th Annual Carols in the Park Holiday Market. The event includes handmade craft vendors, Polk County Schools participating by performing holiday programs, free photos with Santa, free kids crafts and carriage rides!
 
Glitter, Glisten & Snow
Date: Saturday, December 3
Location: Lake Eva Park, Haines City
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Details: Join the City of Haines City for a fun-filled event for all ages featuring thousands of lights, snow slides, children’s entertainment, arts & crafts vendors, food vendors and a chance to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Admission is free.
 
Jingle Bark Pet Festival
Date: Saturday, December 3
Location: Regional Park (50901 U.S. 27, Davenport)
Time: 12-4 p.m.
Details: This free event is for leashed pets and their owners. It will feature pet supplies, food vendors, pet photos with Santa, pet contests and mobile grooming.
 
SnowFest
Date: Saturday, December 3
Location: Downtown Lakeland
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Details: Join Lakeland Parks & Recreation for its Annual Snowfest featuring the traditional Snow Mountain, arts and crafts vendors, a rock climbing wall, live entertainment and more.
 
Christmas Open House
Date: Friday, December 9
Location: Florida Baptist Children’s Home (1015 Sikes Blvd., Lakeland)
Time: 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Join FBCH for a Christmas open house for holiday treats, cottage tours and fun-filled family entertainment.
 
Holiday Party
Date: Friday, December 9
Location: Wilfred Smith Resource Center (135 Avenue Y N.E., Winter Haven)
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: This free Polk County Parks and Recreation holiday event is for the whole family and will feature sweet treats, arts and crafts, a coloring contest and a family movie, which will begin at 7 p.m.
 
Jingle Bell Rock Party
Date: Friday, December 9
Location: Wabash Community Center (1230 Southern Ave., Lakeland)
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: This free Polk County Parks and Recreation holiday event is for the whole family and will feature sweet treats, arts & crafts, games, a coloring contest and a family movie. The movie will begin at 7 p.m.
 
Season’s Screenings- Home Alone
Date: Friday, December 9
Location: Lake Eva Park, Haines City
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Details: Bring your chairs and blankets for Haines City’s Christmas-themed movie series in the park. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase. The movie will be Home Alone.
 
Breakfast with Santa – Haines City
Date: Saturday, December 10
Location: Beef O Brady’s (902 Old Polk City Road, Haines City)
Time: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Details: Join Haines City Parks and Recreation where Santa and Mrs. Claus will great the children and pose for pictures. Admission is included with the purchase of a meal. Bring your cameras.
 
Breakfast with Santa at the Y
Date: Saturday, December 10
Location: YMCA of West Central Florida (2125 Sleepy Hill Road, Lakeland)
Time: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Details: Join the YMCA in partnership with Discover Family Church for this annual free holiday featuring free breakfast, crafts, fun, games and Santa.
 
Christmas Notes
Date: Saturday, December 10
Location: Homeland Heritage Park (249 Church Avenue, Homeland)
Time: 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Join Polk County Parks and Recreation for live music, photos with Santa, refreshments, a holiday kid zone, outdoor movie, and more. Admission is free.
 
Holiday Craft Fair & Toy Drive
Date: Saturday, December 10
Location: Lakeland Knights of Columbus, 2014 Lakeland Hills Blvd.
Time: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Details: This event will feature close to 50 crafters and vendors, a bounce house, raffles and food vendors. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to local autism and epilepsy charities. There will also be a box available for unwrapped toy donations.
 
Winterfest
Date: Saturday, December 12
Location: Wilson Park in Downtown Davenport
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: Winterfest festivities will include a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, an electric night parade, cookie-decorating, vendors and snow. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. Other activities will begin at 7 p.m.
 
Holiday Tree Lighting Party
Date: Friday, December 16
Location: Eloise Resource Center (710 Snively Avenue, Eloise)
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: This free Polk County Parks and Recreation family event will feature sweet treats, arts and crafts, a coloring contest, and a family movie.
 
Jolly Holidays
Date: Friday, December 16
Location: Bartow Civic Center (2250 S. Florida Ave., Bartow)
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: Bartow Parks & Recreation presents the 7th Annual Jolly Holidays with activities that will include one free picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus (additional pictures can be purchased for $5), decorating cookies and ornaments, coloring, music and activities, family gingerbread house making, and a chance to win a 6 foot stocking filled with toys (must be present to win)!
 
Mingle and Jingle
Date: Friday, December 16
Location: Simple Vintage with Scout and Tag
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Details: Come out for a night of door prizes, shopping, crafts, gifts, cookie decorating, music, drinks and more! Spend time at Simple Vintage & Scout and Tag’s Christmas “gift tag” making station. Kids can enjoy decorating free sugar cookies. The first 25 people will receive a free swan ornament. There will be more giveaways for purchase as well as acoustical music performed by Tanner Ledford and Diego Salinas.
 
Season’s Screenings-Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Date: Friday, December 16
Location: Lake Eva Park, Haines City
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Details: Bring your chairs and blankets for Haines City’s Christmas-themed movie series in the park, featuring Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase.
 
Snow Central
Date: Friday, December 16
Location: Chain of Lakes Stadium, Winter Haven
Time: 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: Bring the family to frolic in Winter Haven’s own winter wonderland featuring 70 tons of snow making up the snow slide and snow pile for children and adults to enjoy. There will also be games, food and appearances by Santa. The cost is $2 for adults and $1 for kids.
 
Santa’s Run for Our Kids
Date: Saturday, December 17
Location: Central Park, Winter Haven (near the Chamber)
Time: 7:30 a.m.
Details: Sponsored by the Winter Haven Optimist Club, this 5K run/walk, 10k run, 1/2 mi. kids’ run will begin at Central Park and progress around Lake Howard, Lake Cannon and Lake Mirror. The 10K will begin at 7:30 a.m. The 5K run/walk will begin at 8 a.m., and the kids’ run will begin at 9 a.m.
 
DCTE Merry Magical Holiday Ball 2016
Date: Sunday, December 18
Location: Lake Ariana Clubhouse, 321 Ramsgate Road, Auburndale
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: Spend an enchanted night with all of your favorite characters making magical memories at the character meet and greet, royal portrait keepsakes, delicacies, interactive holiday story time, crafts, giveaways, carols, Santa, and singing and dancing. The cost is $25-$35.
 
Holly Jolly Jingle Bell Jog
Date: Saturday, December 19
Location: Cleveland Heights Golf Course
Time: 6:30 a.m.
Details: Get your holidays off to a running start with the City of Lakeland’s 5K and grand opening of Three Parks Trail. The entry is $30 for the chip-timed race and will include a t-shirt if registered by Dec. 1. Enjoy post-race refreshments and photo opportunities with Santa.
 
Christmas Around the World
Date: Tuesday, December 20
Location: WonderHere (111 South Florida Avenue,Lakeland)
Time: 5-8 p.m.
Details: Join WonderHere for this free holiday event. Drop in anytime between 5-8 p.m.
 
Season’s Screenings-The Polar Express
Date: Thursday, December 22
Location: Lake Eva Park, Haines City
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Details: Bring your chairs and blankets for Haines City’s Christmas-themed movie series in the park, featuring The Polar Express. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase.
 

Theatre & Performing Arts Events

A Christmas Gala Concert of Holiday Favorites
Date: Saturday, December 3
Location: Polk State Winter Haven Fine Arts Theatre
Time: 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Details: This Polk State College winter concert is features all of your holiday favorites. The cost is free for Polk State College students, Polk County high school students, Polk State faculty and staff.
 
Christmas at the Ramon
Date: Saturday, December 3
Location: Ramon Theater, Frostproof
Time: 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Details: This celebration of the Christmas Season featuring choirs and individual performers, coming together for a family-friendly gathering, with songs and community caroling. Donations of non-perishable items will be collected to benefit the Frostproof Care Center.
 
The Ultimate Nightmare Before Christmas
Date: Saturday, December 3
Location: Polk Theatre(121 S Florida Ave, Lakeland)
Time: 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Details: A stark departure from traditional holiday dance performances, the Ultimate Dance Center presents this homage to Tim Burton’s stop-motion animation film through jazz, hip hop, ballet and contemporary dance.
 
The Glory of Christmas
Date: Monday, December 5
Location: First Presbyterian Church, Lakeland
Time: 6-7 p.m..
Details: The Sanctuary swells with the magnificent music of the Christmas season when the FPC choirs join together with guest artists to present the annual Glory of Christmas.
 
A Royal Christmas
Date: Thursday, December 8
Location: Polk State Lake Wales Arts Center
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Details: Polk State College presents Warner University’s “A Royal Christmas”. There is no cost of admission to this performance.
 
Elf Jr. The Musical
Date: Friday, December 9-Sunday, December 11
Location: Lakeland Community Theatre (121 S. Lake Ave., Lakeland)
Time: See times below.
Details: Based on the beloved holiday film, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. Rated G. The cost is $15 for adults and $12 for children 12 and under.
Show times: Friday at 6:30 p.m., Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
 
A Gift for the Holidays: The Christmas Gala
Date: Saturday, December 10
Location: Florida Southern College’s Branscomb Auditorium
Time: 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Details: As the holidays approach, music faculty, staff, and students eagerly shift their attention to the preparation of FSC’s gift to the community, the Christmas Gala featuring beloved traditions as Adolphe Adam’s O Holy Night and the stirring audience-interactive Christmas Carol Sing-Along, this year’s production, A Gift for the Holidays, will reveal gifts of beautiful sacred and secular seasonal repertoire performed by a dazzling array of music ensembles, soloists, and surprise guests. The cost is $4-8.
 
Symphony Guild: ISO Christmas Concert
Date: Saturday, December 10
Location: Polk State Winter Haven Fine Arts Theatre
Time: 3-4 p.m.
Details: The Symphony Guild of Winter Haven welcomes the Imperial Symphony Orchestra for a celebration of the season at Polk State College Fine Arts Theatre in Winter Haven. Tickets are available by calling (863) 294-7213 or (863) 206-7167.
 
The Crystal Nutcracker
Date: Sunday, December 11
Location: Polk Theatre, Lakeland
Time: 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Details: Clarice and her Nutcracker Prince embark upon an exciting and courageous adventure as they battle the mouse queen, travel through the snow forest, on their way to the Crystal Palace. Performed in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Swing, Jazz, African, and, Hip Hop by Crystal’s World of Dance, this dance spectacular is not the typical holiday nutcracker. The cost is $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and kids 12 and under.
 
Over 55 Show Band Concert: “’Tis the Season”
Date: Sunday, December 11
Location: Polk State Winter Haven Fine Arts Theatre
Time: 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Details: The Over 55 Show Band will perform at the Winter Haven Fine Arts Theatre. The cost for the concert is $10.
 
Masterworks #2: A Victorian Holiday
Date: Tuesday, December 13
Location: The Lakeland Center
Time: 7:30-9 p.m.
Details: A perennial favorite, this season the ISO presents the sounds of the season including the classic Victorian-era tale “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” with vocalists from Harrison School for the Arts. Tickets range from $15-$35.
 
The Magic of Christmas
Date: Saturday, December 17
Location: Polk Theatre, Lakeland
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Details: Justino and Daniela Zoppe bring a little magic in their all new stage show for all ages featuring Cirque Acrobatics, comedy, dangerous stunts, mind-blowing illusions that’ll leave you with an inspiring lesson about family, love and the magic of Christmas. The cost is $18 for adults, and $12 for children 12 and under.
 
Florida Dance Theatre Presents: TCHAIKOVSKY’S The Nutcracker
Date: Saturday, December 17; Sunday, December 18
Location: Florida Southern College’s Branscomb Auditorium
Time: 7:30-9 p.m.(Saturday); 2:30-4 p.m. (Sunday)
Details: Lakeland’s own professional dance company, the Florida Dance Theatre, brings its celebrated annual production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker to the stage of Branscomb Auditorium. Performed with charm and perfection by the dynamic dancers of FSC’s company-in-residence, this breathtaking production features colorful scenery, dazzling costumes, and entrancing choreography. As a special treat, community children join the professional dancers, creating a family-friendly, feel-good performance event. The cost ranges from $9-$18.
 
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Date: Tuesday, December 27
Location: The Lakeland Center
Time: 7 p.m.
Details: The ultimate holiday tradition for the youngest to the seniors in every family, seeing Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker creates holiday memories that last a lifetime. The renowned, award-winning principal dancers and corps de ballet thrill audiences with their expertise, dramatic expression and stunning leaps, drops and turns. The cost is $28 and up.
 
New Year’s Eve at the Ramon
Date: Saturday, December 31
Location: Ramon Theater, Frostproof
Time: 6-10 p.m.
Details: Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Ramon Theater to enjoy intrigue, deception and delicious food. Prepare your sleuthing skills for the clues given by the Ramon Players.
 

Attraction Events

Kenny G: The Miracles and Holiday Hits Tour 2016
Date: Saturday, December 3
Location: The Lakeland Center
Time: 8 p.m.
Details: Join The Lakeland Center for an evening of holiday hits from Grammy® Award-winning saxophonist Kenny G. The cost is $29.50-$69.50.
 
Santa’s Workshop with Family Fundamentals
Date: Saturday, December 3
Location: Family Fundamentals, Lakeland (1021 Lakeland Hills Blvd.)
Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Details: Enjoy a traditional Christmas experience with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The event will include photos with Santa and hands-on holiday activities for ages 2-6. Santa himself will be handing out children’s books to all of the boys and girls.
 
Sunset & Symphony Holiday Concert
Date: Saturday, December 3
Location: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 6 p.m.
Details: Enjoy the sounds of the season with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the Singing Tower carillon as they perform together during one of Central Florida’s favorite outdoor concerts. Families and friends are encouraged to prepare themed picnics and experience a magical evening as the sun sets atop Iron Mountain. $20 adults / $8 children (5-12) / $18 members in advance. Event day costs: $25 adults, $10 children, $25 members.
 
Christmas with the Nelsons: A Tribute to Ricky Nelson
Date: Sunday, December 4
Location: The Lakeland Center
Time: 6 p.m.
Details: CHRISTMAS WITH THE NELSONS tells the story of three family Christmases in the lives of America’s Favorite Family, The Nelsons. This heartwarming multimedia, live concert experience stars the third generation of #1 Nelson Family hit-makers and features a genuine blend of Everly Brothers-style harmonies and Smothers Brothers-style comedy. Center Stage Buffet is available for this performance. The cost is $30-$45.
 
Fingerprint Snowman Plate
Date: Friday, December 9
Location: PicassoZ Art Café (4632 Cleveland Heights Blvd., Lakeland)
Time: 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Details: You can walk in anytime with your family or just to work on this by yourself, and Melanie can complete the artwork if you prefer. This is more of a casual workshop, not a class. She has 6 spots available, prepay & reserve today. $25 for dinner plate, upgrade to a platter optional. If you choose to upgrade, the $25 registration will apply toward the platter.
 
Bartow Ford Winter Wonderland
Date: Saturday, December 10
Location: Bartow Ford
Time: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Details: Bartow Ford and 97 Country have teamed together to create a free Winter Wonderland event featuring 64 tons of real snow, snow slides, characters, two Polar Express trains, face painting, photo opportunities and more.
 
Holiday Home Workshop
Date: Saturday, December 10
Location: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. or 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Details: Spend the morning or afternoon with Project Blooming founder, Linda Worle creating a beautiful succulent wreath. It’s easy to mix succulents in an array of types and colors that will last year-round. Workshop includes instruction, basic framework materials, and plants. $70, all materials included.
 
Christmas Coloring
Date: Friday, December 16
Location: Art Centric Studio (1035 South Florida Avenue, Suite #180, Lakeland)
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Details: This free event for all ages is a great way to relax! Vintage Christmas cards, Christmas trees, and ugly Christmas sweaters are just a few of the coloring sheets that will be provided. You are welcome and encouraged to bring your own coloring books and colored pencils, but if you lack the supplies, they’ve got you covered.
 
Holiday Pop-Up Shop
Date: Friday, December 17
Location: Concord Coffee & A Kind Place (1035 South Florida Ave., Lakeland)
Time: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Details: Concord Coffee and A Kind Place present the Holiday Pop-up Shop. Come out to the Dixieland Mall for photos with Santa, kid’s activities, a gift wrapping station, hot chocolate, music, and more.
 
Carillon & Chorale Concert plus Holiday Home Tour Open Late
Date: Sunday, December 18
Location: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Details: Enjoy an hour-long carillon concert with a live choir under the evening stars. Before or after the concert, visit Pinewood Estate for a special nighttime tour complete with hot chocolate and cookies. It’s a unique opportunity to visit the Gardens after normal operating hours. Enjoy a light dinner at the Blue Palmetto Café before the concert for an additional fee. Last entry to Pinewood Estate is at 9:30 p.m. Concert Only: $10 adult, $5 for child (5-12), free for members. Concert & Home Tour: $18 adult, $11 for child (5-12), $7 for members.
 
Publix Aprons Holiday Cookies
Date: Wednesday, December 21
Location: Publix Aprons Cooking School, (4730 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland)
Time: 6 p.m.
Details: ‘Tis the season for baking holiday cookies. Join Publix Aprons as they teach you how to make new recipes that you and your family will fall in love with. Menu: Chai Tea Eggnog Cookies; Maple Walnut Spiced Cookies; Peppermint Pin Wheel Cookies, Chocolate Chip Blondies; Coconut Cranberry Chews. The cost is $40. To reserve a seat for this class, call the Lakeland Cooking School at (863) 647-4127.

 
Kids’ New Year’s Eve
Date: Saturday, December 31
Location: LEGOLAND Florida, Winter Haven
Time: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Celebrate New Year’s Eve at LEGOLAND Florida where the giant LEGO brick drops at a very kid-friendly midnight KST (Kid Standard Time) – otherwise known as 7 p.m. EST. Other event elements include fireworks and a dance party DJ.
 

Misc. Events

Lights of Love
Date: Tuesday, December 6
Location: Lakeland Hospice House (3450 Lakeland Hills Boulevard, Lakeland)
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Details: Lights of Love is a commemorative tree-lighting ceremony that benefits Good Shepherd Hospice. This annual gathering is an opportunity for Good Shepherd Hospice families and community members to gather to celebrate and remember their loved ones in a special, unique way. Candles are lit by all attendees, musical entertainment is provided by community members, holiday songs are shared and words of comfort are delivered by Good Shepherd Hospice staff and area spiritual leaders.
 
Emerge Elves & Santas For Seniors
Date: Wednesday, December 7
Location: VISTE (1232 E Magnolia St)
Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Details: EMERGE Lakeland is partnering with Volunteers in Service to the Elderly (VISTE) to provide Holiday Care Packages to 50 limited income, homebound seniors in the community. Join other “EMERGE elves” for a 20-minute facility tour and packaging of 50 personal cares boxes. Approximately 20 – 25 volunteers are needed.
 
Rudolph Round-Up Holiday Toy Drive
Date: December
Location: Heartland for Children, Lakeland
Time: N/A
Details: Heartland for Children’s 12th Annual Rudolph Round-Up Holiday Toy Drive helps to make incredible holiday memories for 1,400 local children who have experienced abuse and/or neglect. Become a Rudolph champion by sponsoring a child, sponsoring a toy drive, making a monetary contribution, donating a toy and/or spreading the word.
 
 
Related Posts:
2015 Holiday Events
 
 

2016 Fall Festivals & Halloween Events in Polk County

Look no further for fall fun! Search our list of Polk County’s 2016 Halloween happenings and autumn festivities taking place now through early November.
fall pumpkins pixabay LRCPixabay.com

Recurring & Multi-Date Events:

If you’re looking for 2017 events, please click here.

Through Sunday, October 9

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940
Where: Florida Southern College, Loca Lee Buckner Theatre
Time: Sept. 29- Oct. 2 & Oct. 6-9, 7:30 p.m. (Sundays at 2:30 p.m.)
Details: Written by John Bishop and directed by Mary T. Albright, this raucous comedy is drawn from prominent murder mystery films of the 1940s. The plot centers on the creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop in which three chorus girls were murdered by the mysterious “Stage Door Slasher.” Called to assemble at the estate of a potential wealthy backer for their new show, they encounter a mansion replete with sliding panels, secret passageways, and a mysterious maid, all of which figure prominently in the ensuing mayhem when the infamous “slasher” reappears and strikes again.
 

Thursday, October 6-Saturday, October 8

Cracker Storytelling Festival
Where: Homeland Heritage Park, 249 Church Avenue, Bartow
Time: 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Details: This annual literacy and multicultural event will feature thrilling stories from ten talented storytellers from around the state of Florida.
 

Friday, October 14-Sunday, October 16

Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival
Where: Lake Mirror Promenade, Lakeland
Time: See details below
Details: The annual event in Downtown Lakeland attracts over 40,000 spectators and draws top car collectors from across the southeast featuring a display of more than 650 show vehicles. Friday 6 p.m.- Hot Rod Rendezvous and outdoor concert; Saturday, 10 a.m.- Car show & free community events; Sunday, 8 a.m.- Road Tour (pre-registration required).
 

Saturday, October 15-Sunday, October 16

Rootstock Plant & Garden Festival
Where: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Details: Bok Tower Gardens’ signature fall plant sale debuts ROOTSTOCK featuring dozens of plant vendors, local musical artists, healthy cuisine and a spectacular display of seasonal foliage. This festival marks the start of Florida’s gardening season, and admission is free both days.
 

Saturday, October 22-Sunday, October 23

Florida Dance Theatre Presents Dracula
Where: Branscomb Auditorium, Florida Southern College
Time: 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, 2:30 p.m. on Sunday
Details: Join Florida Dance Theatre as they unearth a deadly foe at their first full-length ballet of the season, “Dracula”. This sensational selection has just the right amount of spooky, scary, and fun to make it entertaining for all. The ​cost is: $35 for premiere seats, $20 for general adult and $15 for child admission.
 

Friday, October 28-Saturday, October 29

Polk County Sheriff’s Haunted Jail Tour
Where: PCSO jail, 455 N. Broadway Avenue, Bartow
Time: 6-11 p.m.
Details: The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is hosting their annual Haunted Jail Tour to benefit the United Way of Central Florida. PCSO volunteers will present the Zombie Apocalypse. Saturday will be family night, with treats and games for kids. The tour will be $5, with proceeds going to United Way. Visitors will be taken through areas that include the morgue, infirmary, incinerator and jail.
 
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Where: Polk Theatre, Lakeland
Time: Part begins at 9pm; Movie at midnight
Details: Let’s do the TIME WARP again…The Polk Theatre continues its tradition of showing the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW and will feature the Original Lipstick Players as the Shadow Cast under the direction of Ferdinand DeJesus. Tickets are on sale online and in the office (9-5). $15 Prop bags will be available at the Door $5.
 

Saturday, October 29-Sunday, October 30

Pioneer Days Festival
Where: Lake Wailes, Lake Wales
Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Sunday
Details: There will be live entertainment on stage both days. Living history re-enactments, artisan and tradesmen demonstrations, pony rides, children’s activities, a Historic Architecture Carriage Tour, and an Antique Car Parade will showcase the weekend’s festivities.
 

Through Saturday, October 29

Zombie Farm Paintball Hayride
Where: Smith Family Ranch, 13444 Moore Road, Lakeland
Time: Begings Sept. 30, 7-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
Details: Zombie Farm Paintball is a 20 minute hayride, in the dark, that takes you through Zombie Farm’s infectious zones. There have been reports of the living dead lurking in the night, especially around swampy areas. The ranch will supply you with a paintball gun for your protection against these creatures. Admission includes live zombies to shoot at, use of a paintball gun, 200 rounds of ammo and a narrated hayride. The cost is $30 per person.
 

Through Sunday, October 30

CornFusion Crop Maze & Fall Festival
Where: Smith Family Ranch, 13444 Moore Road, Lakeland
Time: Begins Oct. 1, 3-6 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, 12-6 p.m. Sundays
Details: Join the Smith Family Ranch for a fun-filled day at CornFusion Crop Maze & Fall Festival. where you will find about 20 acres of fun for all ages including a pumpkin patch, 8-acre Egyptian Wheat maze, corn box, corn cannon, country store, cow train, miniature mazes, pony rides, and farm animals.
 
Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein
Where: Lakeland Community Theatre, 121 S Lake Ave, Lakeland
Time: Begins Oct. 14, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays; 7:30-10 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays; 2-4:30 p.m. Sundays
Details: The electrifying adaptation of the monstrously funny film will leave you in stitches. From the creators of the record-breaking Broadway sensation The Producers comes this monster new musical comedy. The cost is $22 for adults, $20 for seniors (55 & up) and $15 for children (17 & under).
 
Pumpkin Safari
Where: Safari Wilderness Ranch, 10850 Moore Road, Lakeland
Time: Begins Oct. 8, 1-6 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays
Details: These special fall safaris include 45-minute customized vehicle tours, led by an experienced tour guides; guided walking tours of the small mammal house; visits to a free-flight aviary and petting zoo barn; one pumpkin for each visitor, which can be carved at the ranch and given to the animals for enrichment or taken home to decorate; and stops at craft and enrichment stations.The cost is $75 or see Groupon for up to 52 percent off.
 

Through Monday, October 31

Brick-or-Treat
Where: LEGOLAND Florida, Winter Haven
Time: Begins Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturdays & Sundays & Halloween Monday
Details: Presented by Shutterfly, this event returns with more spooky, kooky Halloween fun for kids. Expanded in 2016, the friendly-not-frightening event features trick-or-treating along the Brick or Treat Trail, larger-than-life LEGO® models, LEGO build activities, the world’s largest LEGO jack-o-lantern, a scavenger hunt with prizes, and an exclusive, Halloween-themed fireworks show in Pirates’ Cove. Brick-or-Treat takes place on weekends in October.
 

Friday, November 4-Sunday, November 6

St. Joseph’s Annual Fall Carnival
Where: St. Joseph, 210 West Lemon Street, Lakeland
Time: Friday, 5-11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Details: Check out St. Joseph’s annual fall carnival for fun! The cost of a day pass is $15 pre-sale or $20 at the gate. The weekend pass is $30 pre-sale or $40 after Nov. 1.
 

Through Saturday, November 5

The Shallow Grave
Where: 701 42nd St NW, Winter Haven
Time: Begins Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m., Fridays & Saturdays
Details: The Shallow Grave is a highly detailed spine tingling scare-fest that brings the Central Florida area something they have been missing. An intimate in your face, fear filled environment with custom themes and movie quality sets to put you in the midst of terror unlike anything you have experienced before. The cost is $27-$43.
 

Through Sunday, November 13

Harvest Holler Corn Maze
Where: 950 Tavares Road, Polk City 33868
Time: Begins Sept. 23, 4-8 p.m. Fridays; 12-8 p.m. Saturdays; 12-5 p.m. Sundays
Details: Admission includes an interactive corn maze, hayride, hay fort, corn cribs, tire swings, cow train, corn hole and pumpkin patch. The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $8 youth (4-12 years). Kids 3 and under are free.
 
fall pumpkins Pixabay LRC Pixabay.com
 

Single Date-Events:

Thursday, October 6

Pep Homecoming Parade & Festival
Where: MILK Park on Lake Silver, Winter Haven
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: Join the Public Education Partnership of Winter Haven, area schools and local organizations at the PEP Homecoming Parade & Festival. In addition to the parade and festival, there will be a performance by the Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team and a firework display.
Rescheduled to Monday, October 10 due to Hurricane Matthew.
 

Friday, October 7

Downtown Lakeland’s First Friday
Where: Munn Park in Downtown Lakeland
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: This monthly event offers guests an evening of free family-friendly entertainment, activities, live music, art receptions, a car show, and the opportunity to visit a great, locally-owned restaurant or retail establishment. Each month, First Friday has a different theme, and special activities are provided to complement the theme. October’s theme will be “Friday Night Live, a celebration of the arts”.
 
Dinner & A Movie: Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho
Where: Polk Theatre, Lakeland
Time: 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Details: Join the Polk Theatre for a special Halloween installment of the Dinner & A Movie series as they present the Hitchcock classic Psycho accompanied with devilishly fine food. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. with the movie starting at 7.30 p.m. Guests are able to attend just the movie for $5.
 
Halloween Boo-gie Night Party
Where: Medulla Resource Center, 1049 Parker Road, Lakeland
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: Dance the night away at Polk County Parks & Recreation’s Halloween dance party. This free family event will feature a DJ, face-painting, a trick or treat village, coloring contests and a costume contest.
 

Saturday, October 8

Polk County Master Gardeners Fall Plant Sale
Where: Lakeland Nursery, 4620 US Hwy 98 S, Lakeland
Time: 9 a.m.- 1p.m.
Details: Florida-friendly plants will be available for purchase including butterfly and hummingbird plants, Florida natives, ornamentals for sun and shade, Florida Sun Peach Trees, blueberry bushes and bromeliads. Master gardeners will be on hand to answer questions.
 

Friday, October 14

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Party
Where: Wilfred Smith Resource Center, Winter Haven
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Details: Polk County Parks and Recreation presents this free Halloween party featuring music, light refreshments, arts & crafts, coloring contests and costume contests.
 
Kids Pumpkinfest
Where: Winter Haven Public Library,
Time: 5:30-9 p.m.
Details: Drop off your children while you attend Oktoberfest! Kids will enjoy games, decorating pumpkins, and pizza. $10 per child, kindergarten – 5th grade
 
Main Street Winter Haven Oktoberfest
Where: Central Park, Winter Haven
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: Join Main Street Winter Haven for the 10th Annual Oktoberfest featuring beer, brats and live music. A Tasting Ticket includes: bratwurst or BBQ dinner and tasting of over 20 beers for $25.
 

Saturday, October 15

FallFest 2016
Where: Polk State College, 999 Avenue H NE, Winter Haven
Time: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Details: Thousands trek to the campus each third Saturday in October to enjoy the event that features a craft show, the Kids Zone, music, police and EMS demonstrations, the Pumpkin Patch, food, the Haunted House and…more.
 
Lakeland Zombiefest
Where: Sun ‘n Fun Fly In Inc., 4175 Medulla Rd, Lakeland
Time: 2 p.m.-12 a.m.
Details: Terminal V will include local bands and entertainers along with how-to and discussion panels. There will be scheduled costume contests and cosplayers. Zombiefest always has an eclectic variety of vendors serving food and sharing their merchandise. The cost is $5. Kids 10 & under are free. The cost of parking is $5.
 

Friday, October 21

Dracula’s Masquerade Ball
Where: Lake Mirror Promenade, 111 Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland
Time: 7:30-11:30 p.m.
Details: Join Florida Dance Theatre for Dracula’s Masquerade Ball on Friday, October 21, 2016. This is one event you sure don’t want to miss. Come enjoy an evening of fine food, music and dancing and revel in the ambiance of the Loggia as it is transformed into Dracula’s Masquerade Ball.
 

Saturday, October 22

32nd Annual “Munn Park Extravaganza
Where: Munn Park, Lakeland
Time: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Details: The 32nd Annual “Munn Park Extravaganza”, presented by the Garden Club of Lakeland Inc. will offer over 40 vendors featuring a variety of plants, flowers, trees, and garden-related art for sale. A new plant introduction will be presented by Bill Koen from the City of Lakeland Parks and Recreation.
 
Haunted Halloween Hayride & Happenings
Where: Loyce E. Harpe Park, 500 W. Carter Road, Mulberry
Time: 5 – 10 p.m.
Details: Polk County Parks & Recreation’s 20th Annual Haunted Halloween Hayride & Happenings event offers a fun and safe alternative to traditional “trick or treating” while offering attractions such as a hayride to a haunted walking trail, carnival games, live entertainment, a trick or treat village, costume contest and pie -eating contest.
 
Kids’ Night Out
Where: WonderHere, 111 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: Let your children (ages 4-12) enjoy some fun while YOU enjoy a much deserved night out…or in! $20 per child, dinner included.
 

Sunday, October 23

Hocus Pocus
Where: Polk Theatre, 121 Florida Avenue S, Lakeland
Time: 2-3:45 p.m.
Details: Join the Polk Theatre for a showing of the 1993 Halloween film, Hocus Pocus. Rated PG. The cost is $5.
 
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Where: Polk Theatre, 121 Florida Avenue S, Lakeland
Time: 5-6:45 p.m.
Details: Join the Polk Theatre for a showing of Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. This 1984 film is rated R. The cost is $5.
 

Tuesday, October 25

Halloween Harvest – “Ghost Busters”
Where: Auburndale Downtown City Park
Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Details: The Auburndale Chamber of Commerce presents this annual event featuring Trick-or-Treating, a costume contest, entertainment, flash mob dancing, food vendors, crafts and more. There will also be a Spook-tacular Haunted House with the Auburndale Fire Department (assisted by The Shallow Grave).
 

Thursday, October 27

74th Annual Crickette Club Parade & Carnival
Where: Downtown Bartow & Mosaic Park, Bartow
Time: 4-8 p.m.
Details: Bartow’s favorite family tradition is better than ever featuring rides for tots and teens, expanded food selections including food trucks, new games, costume contest for store-bought and homemade, Crickette Club’s famous cake walk, drawing for $500, $300, and $100 Visa cards, Bingo and more. All proceeds benefit the Bartow area Girl Scouts and the Bartow Community. Parade is free with the Carnival to follow at Mosaic Park.
 
Safe Haven Halloween
Where: Freedom Park, Polk City
Time: 5:30-8 p.m.
Details: Join in the annual spooky fun for the entire family featuring free popcorn and candy, delicious food, a cupcake walk for tiny tots, carnival games and prizes, tug-o-war, three legged races, potato-sack races, and costume contests.
 

Friday, October 28

Boo! Bash
Where: Explorations V, Lakeland
Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Details: Celebrate safely during a fun-filled morning of Halloween games, food and activities for the youngest crowd. Join in by wearing kid-friendly costumes. Included with admission/membership.
 
Halloween Spooktacular
Where: Wabash Community Center, 1230 Southern Ave., Lakeland
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Details: This Polk County Parks & Rec event is free and will feature costume and coloring contests, trick or treating, and more.
 
Spooktoberfest
Where: Eloise Resource Center, 710 Snively Ave., Eloise
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Details: This Polk County Parks & Rec event is free and will feature costume and coloring contests, trick or treating, and more.
 

Saturday, October 29

Annual Dundee Fall Fest
Where: Dundee Community Center, 603 Lake Marie Blvd, Dundee
Time: 6 p.m.
Details: Bring the family out for games, hayrides, food and candy.
 
Ghouls’ Night Out
Where: Downtown Winter Haven
Time: 10 a.m.- 2p.m.
Details: The City of Winter Haven will be hosting Ghouls’ Night out which includes candy from area businesses, a hayride, food vendors, a DJ, and lots of fun activities for people of all ages.
 
Halloween Water Ski Show
Where: Lake Silver, Winter Haven
Time: 8 p.m.
Details: Enjoy this special ‘Spooktacular’ Ski Show on Lake Silver by the Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team. There will be a costume contest before the show at 7 p.m. for ages 0-16. Free.
 
Lakeland Library’s Annual Food Drive
Where: Lakeland Public Library front lawn, 100 Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland
Time: 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Details: Bring in your non-perishable items and the participate in fall festivities that include games, face-painting and snacks at this family-friendly event. The event is free and open to the public, but please remember your food donation.
 
The Mulberry Library’s 2nd Annual Harvest Festival
Where: Spence Field, 1100 NE 1st Street, Mulberry
Time: 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Enjoy a night of fun featuring vendors, pony rides, hay rides, candy, trunk-or-treat, games, a hay bale maze and a live Bluegrass band!
 

Sunday, October 30

Fall Festival
Where: Lake Eva Park, Haines City
Time: 1 p.m.- 4 p.m.
Details: NorthRidge Church present this annual fall festival featuring your same favorite free elements and a few extras such as inflatables, food, games, train rides, Ident-A-Kid, Fire Department exhibits, by the Polk County Sherriff’s Office SWAT and Rescue teams, and candy.
 
Halloween Movie
Where: Polk Theatre, 121 Florida Avenue S, Lakeland
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
Details: Join the Polk Theatre for a showing of the 1978 Halloween movie classic, Halloween featuring Jamie Lee Curtis. Rated R. The cost is $5.
 
The Exorcist Movie
Where: Polk Theatre, 121 Florida Avenue S, Lakeland
Time: 8-10:15 p.m.
Details: Join the Polk Theatre for a showing of the 1973 Halloween movie film, The Exorcist. Rated R. The cost is $5.
 

Monday, October 31

Safe Place to Trick or Treat
Where: Lewis Matthews Complex/Gene Carroll Field, Davenport
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Details: Enjoy free hot dogs and drinks, cotton candy, popcorn, a haunted house, maze, costume contest and activities.
 
Just Cares, Inc. 5th Annual Fall Festival
Where: 124 S Kentucky Ave, Lakeland
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: Join this safe environment for families that is an alternative to Halloween featuring a petting zoo, games & activities, bounce house, performances, music, candy and more.
 

Saturday, November 5

Auburndale’s Autumn Arts & Crafts Bazaar
Where: Auburndale Downtown City Park
Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Details: The City of Auburndale presents their annual arts and crafts show. Stop by to find arts and craft vendors with items in painting, needlepoint, ceramics, photography, stained glass, wearable art, jewelry, wood-crafting and more.
 
Belk Charity Day Sale
Where: Belk at Lakeside Village
Time: 6-10 a.m.
Details: Purchase your $5 Charity Sale ticket to support the Learning Resource Center or other local organizations and schools. Get $5 off your first purchase with our thanks for supporting our southern communities. Save on rarely discounted brands! Free gift card to the first 100 customers. The pre-sale dates are Oct. 25 – Nov. 4.
 
Gobble, Gobble, Death & Trouble
Where: Ramon Theater, 15 E Wall St, Frostproof
Time: 6 p.m.
Details: Enjoy a dinner at the theater while trying to solve this fall-themed murder mystery. Tickets cost $40.
 
Kathleen Area Historical Society’s Fall Festival
Where: Heritage Park, Kathleen, 8950 N Campbell Rd. Lakeland
Time: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Details: Enjoy this Kathleen tradition where you’ll find cane grinding/syrup making, a pioneer life exhibit, rummage sale, children’s activities, live music, food and more. Vendors and other nonprofit organizations will be in attendance. Admission is free.
 
 
Related Posts:
2015 Fall Festival & Events

 
 

2016 Back-to-School Bashes, Events and Donation Drives

It’s back-to-school time! Scroll down to find details on the first day of school and the 2016 sales tax holiday as well as local events, health fairs and donation drives.

back to school freepik
Graphic: Freepik.com

Student orientation: Thursday, August 11
First day of school for students: Monday, August 15
 
Tax-free holiday: August 5-7
 

Bashes

Back to School Bash
When: Sunday, July 30, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Where: Wilfred Smith Resource Center, 135 Avenue Y N.E., Winter Haven
What: Polk County Parks & Recreation’s Back to School Bash is a free family event. Families will get to enjoy free school supplies for children kindergarten through the fifth grade (first come, first served). Families will also enjoy music, educational exhibitors, and children activities. This event will help children start the school year off on the right foot.
Contact: 863-298-7898
 
Back to School 2016 Community Bash
When: Saturday, July 30, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Winter Haven Recreational and Cultural Center, 801 Ave. T NE, Winter Haven
What: The “Circle of Love Project” (comprised of local churches, businesses and the City) will provide back to school supplies for Winter Haven area children. Supplies and book bags geared towards grades K – 8, will be distributed to children in need with educational, financial and health vendors on site. Everything will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. An adult and child(ren) must be present to attain a ticket for the free book bag and school supplies. There will also be bounce houses, free food, music and swimming from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. for ages 5 – 17.
Contact: Tory Dewdney, 863-291-5675.
 
Life Church Backpack Outreach
When: Saturday, July 30, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
Where: 581 Berkley Rd. Auburndale, FL 33823
What: Auburndale’s Life Church will hold a giving for over 700 free school backpacks filled with school supplies for needy families.
Contact: Dawn Simmons, 863-967-5433
 
First Friday Downtown Lakeland
When: Friday, August 5, 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Where: Downtown Lakeland
What: Free, family-friendly entertainment, activities, live music, art receptions, a car show, and the chance to check out a great, locally-owned restaurant or retail establishment. Augusts’ event theme is Back-to-School sponsored in part by MIDFLORIDA Credit Union.
Contact:863-510-9723
 
Summer Palooza
When: Saturday, August 6, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Simpson Park, 1725 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Lakeland
What: To introduce New Beginnings High School to the Lakeland community, the school is hosting Summer Palooza so that families and children will have the necessary resources to go back to school. New Beginnings’ Summer Palooza will provide necessities along with educational guest speakers, a warm meal, and entertainment throughout the day.
Contact:
 
Back to School: Movie at the Pool
When: Saturday, August 13, 8:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Where: 1100 NE 1st St, Mulberry, FL 33860
What: Enjoy a showing of “Finding Nemo” while swimming in Mulberry’s own Community Pool. Admission is free, however guests must be residents of the City of Mulberry. Children under the age of 15 years must have a valid Pool ID.
Contact:City of Mulberry, 863-425-1125
 
Fifth Annual Community Back to School Family Fun Day
When: Saturday, August 13, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Where: Westwood Park, 1151 36th Street NW, Winter Haven
What: This free event is aimed at preparing family in the community for the new school year by providing free health screenings, health information, child safety information and more. There will be a backpack giveaway with school supplies for school-age children. There will be also be fun activities and entertainment for kids including games and a petting zoo.
Contact: 863-875-7933 or info@heart2heartcommunity.org
 
Rock the Block Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 20, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: The Lakeland Center: George Jenkins Arena
What: Bring the entire family to this free community event featuring giveaways, free backpacks, free haircuts, a health fair, hot dogs, cotton candy, bounce houses and more.
Contact: Harvest Assembly of God: 863-682-7000. The Lakeland Center: 863-834-8100
 

Just outside of Polk:

 
Whole Foods Market Florida Back to School Lunch Giveaway!
When: Sunday, August 7 & August 14, 12 p.m.
Where: Whole Foods Market
What: Whole Foods Market Back to School Lunch Giveaway- Get a complimentary lunch without any artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives for your child (12 and under) for the first day of school.
Sunday, August 7: Tampa; Sunday, August 14: Orlando
Contact: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list
 

Health Fairs

Back to School Health Fair
When: July 29-August 6 (see dates & sites below)
Where: Central Florida Health Care: Throughout Polk County
What: A Central Florida Health Care back to school health clinic featuring CFHC school supplies and backpacks also.
Contact: 863-425-6200

Dates, Times & Sites:

  • Friday, July 29, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. in Avon Park, 950 CR-17A W
  • Saturday, July 30, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. in Lakeland, 1129 N Missouri Ave
  • Saturday, August 6, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. in Winter Haven, 201 Magnolia Ave. SW
  • Saturday, August 6, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. in Dundee, 1023 Dundee Rd

 
Back To School Health Fair
When: Saturday, August 6, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, 40100 US Highway 27, Davenport
What: Good health is the best back-to-school supply your child can have. So don’t miss our free Back-to-School Health Fair that combines health and safety education with fun for the whole family!

  • Safety presentations by police and EMS
  • Health presentations by local pediatricians and physicians
  • Back-to-school screenings and discounts
  • Fun Zone with free crafts, face painting and activities
  • Free school supplies
  • Teddy Bear Clinic
  • Drawings for tickets to special events, while supplies last

Contact: 866-997-DOCS
 
Back- to-School Shots
Department of Health in Polk clinics

  • Auburndale, 1805 Hobbs Road, 863-965-5400
  • Haines City, 1700 Baker Ave. E., 863-421-3204
  • Lake Wales, 835 W. Central Ave., 863-678-4144
  • Lakeland, 3241 Lakeland Hills Blvd., 863-413-2620

– The Bartow clinic does not provide childhood immunizations.
– Appointments are recommended, although walk-ins are accepted.
– All but the Auburndale clinic are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. At Auburndale, the immunization clinic hours vary by day.
 

Donation Drives

Gator Encounters & Donation Drive
When: Friday, July 29, 10 a.m. & 12 p.m.
Where: Mulberry Phosphate Museum
What: Mulberry Phosphate Museum will host two family-friendly close encounters with Florida’s wildlife and Tim Williams as a way to gain school supply donations. Reserve your place at mulberryphosphatemuseum.org. For admission, please bring two school supply items to donate.
Contact: 863-425-2823
 
Stuff the Bus
Stuff the Bus is Central Florida’s largest back-to-school campaign. In addition to the traditional school supplies that are needed such as pens, pencils, wide rule paper, folders with prongs, crayons, markers, backpacks, glue and erasers, you may also donate copy paper, facial tissue, index cards, highlighters, hand sanitizer, zip lock bags, and pencil boxes.
 
Bartow: Through Friday, August 19
Lakeland:Saturday, August 6, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. at Walmart (US Hwy 98 N)
Lakeland: Wednesday, August 10 at Hall Communications
Winter Haven: Saturday, August 8, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Walmart (7450 Cypress Gardens Blvd.)
 
 

Celebrate the Season with a Full Month of Holiday Events

Are you looking for 2015 holiday events in Polk County this December? We’ve compiled a list of fun, holiday events throughout the county that the entire family can enjoy. Have your calendar ready to mark the events your interested in, and scroll through the list of events categorized by ongoing, library, city and county, college, local theater, and attraction events below.
 

If you’re looking for 2016 events, please click here.


Happy Holidays!
 

Ongoing Events:

Festival of Wreaths
Date: Friday, November 20-Saturday, December 12
Location: Polk County History Center, Bartow
Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Details: Decorated wreaths will be displayed in the History Center from Nov. 20 through Dec. 12 at this fifth annual event. This event promises to be fun and festive for both decorators and bidders alike. Wreaths with exceptional decorating themes will be recognized with the Santa’s Choice designation during the display period. For more information, contact the History Center at 863-534-4386.
 
Winter Walking Tours
Date: Friday, November 27-Sunday, January 3
Location: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 2:00 p.m. Sunday
Details: Volunteers lead visitors on an hour-long winter walking tour, sharing information about the flora and fauna and guiding visitors through the Gardens from the Visitor Center to the Singing Tower. Included with general Gardens admission.
 
Elves Shelves Gift Shop
Date: Saturday, November 28-Sunday, December 6
Location: Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 1:00 p.m.-5:00 pm Sunday
Details: This special secret shop is for children only! Gifts will be reasonably priced for children to purchase holiday items for family and friends. Elves Shelves fun includes a wrapping station. Admission is free. Prices vary per item.
 
1930’s HoliDAYS
Date: The following Tuesdays: December 1, December 8, December 15, December 22
Location: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Details: Be sure to see the vintage Model A’s outside Pinewood Estate, meet historical characters from the 1930s, and catch a few surprise personalities from the past. Tuesdays throughout December. Included with general Gardens admission.
 
BeFly Bike Tours – Christmas Lights Tours
Date: Fridays & Saturdays: December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19
Location: Beginning at Concord Coffee, Lakeland
Time: 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.
Details: Light lovers can enjoy a magical experience with opportunities to “ooh” & “ahh” over gorgeous holiday displays, much good cheer, and creatively-decorated bikes (and cyclists). Tours cost $30 per person and are limited to 7 adults per group. Bring-your-own-bike is open to all. Reservations required.
 
Lights of Lakeland
Date: December 4-6; December 11-13
Location: Highland Park Church, Lakeland
Time: 6:30 p.m.- 9 p.m.
Details: Lights of Lakeland 2015 is the TENTH ANNUAL, free walk-thru Christmas experience that the whole family can enjoy! Experience an evening of excitement and wonder filled with your favorite holiday sights, smells and sounds. With over 500,000 lights on display, your family will be able to enjoy: The Grinch, Santa’s Workshop, a reindeer barn, pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus, food trucks, the Sweet Shoppe, a Bethlehem experience with live animals, the General Store for children to Christmas shop on their own and photos with cartoon characters.
 
Christmas Bricktacular
Date: Saturdays and Sundays: December 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27;
Monday, December 28-Wednesday, December 30
Location: LEGOLAND Florida, Winter Haven
Time: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (December 20; 26-30)
Details: Bring in the holiday season with a 30-foot tall LEGO Christmas tree made of 270,000 LEGO bricks, life-size LEGO Santa, reindeer and sleigh, festive decorations, LEGO build activity, a LEGO Santa Scavenger Hunt, holiday entertainment and nightly fireworks. LEGO Santa and LEGO Toy Soldier make daily appearances in the Park providing a perfect family photo opportunity.
 
Florida Flywheelers Christmas in the Village
Date: Friday & Saturday: December 11-12; December 18-19
Location: 7000 Avon Park Cutoff Road Fort Meade, FL 33841
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: The best kept Christmas secret around…the Florida Flywheelers bring a holiday village of sparkling lights, refreshments, & Santa & Mrs. Claus to their tractor site located between Avon Park and Fort Meade. Families can journey through the village on a tram pulled by a tractor while enjoying fun Christmas displays. There are also stops for free hotdogs, cookies, hot chocolate, eggnog and cider along the way. Admission is a monetary or toy donation.
 
Holiday Workshops
Date: Saturday, December 12; Saturday, Dec. 19; Monday-Wednesday, Dec. 21-23
Location: Explorations V Children’s Museum, Lakeland
Time: 10 a.m.-12 p.m. or 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Details: Decorations and holiday fun for kids of all ages. On December 21-23, children can choose to attend Santa’s Workshop at 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and/or Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen at 1 p.m.-3p.m.
 
Season’s Screenings
Date: Saturday, December 12; Saturday December 19; Tuesday, December 22
Location: Lake Eva Park, Haines City
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Details: Bring your chairs and blankets for Haines City’s Christmas-themed movie series in the park. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase.
December 12- A Christmas Carol; December 19- Elf; December 22- The Polar Express
 
Winter Ice Skating
Date: Sunday, December 20-Sunday, January 3
Location: The Lakeland Center (George Jenkins Arena)
Time: Times vary by date.
Details: Public ice skating returns to The Lakeland Center this winter with morning, afternoon, evening, and late evening sessions on various days. Click the title link to see times and dates.
 

Library Events:

Milk And Cookies With Santa
Date: Saturday, December 5
Location: Bartow Public Library (Pamplin Art Gallery on second floor)
Time: Times vary by date.
Details: Stop by the Bartow Public Library on Saturday, December 5 to meet with Santa Claus and share some milk and cookies to celebrate the holidays.
 
Polar Express Pajama Party
Date: Tuesday, December 8
Location: Lake Wales Public Library
Time: 4 p.m.
Details: Wear your pajamas, and come join us for the movie, crafts, and hot chocolate.
 
Holiday Fun
Date: Saturday, December 19
Location: Lakeland Public Library & Larry Jackson Branch, Lakeland
Time: 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (Main Library); 1 p.m.-4 p.m. (Larry Jackson)
Details: Family fun with a special story-time and crafts.
 
Elf Party
Date: Tuesday, December 22
Location: Mulberry Public Library
Time: 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Details: Join the library for the Elf movie and Elf-themed snacks and fun.
 
Christmas Movie Extravaganza
Date: Tuesday, December 22; Wednesday, December 23; Saturday, December 26
Location: Winter Haven Public Library
Time: 2 p.m.
Details: Watch Christmas movies at the library during the week of Christmas. The lineup of movies includes Arthur Christmas (Tuesday), Polar Express (Wednesday) and Home Alone (Saturday).
 

City & County Events:

Holiday Tree Lighting Party
Date: Thursday, December 3
Location: Downtown Auburndale
Time: 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Join the City of Auburndale in kicking off the holiday season with refreshments, entertainment, tree lighting, Christmas lights and more.
 
First Friday – Holiday Hometown
Date: Friday, December 4
Location: Downtown Lakeland
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: Free holiday-themed family-friendly entertainment, activities, live music, art reception, car show, and more.
 
Holiday Tree Lighting Party
Date: Friday, December 4
Location: Eloise Resource Center (710 Snively Avenue, Eloise)
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: This free Polk County Parks and Recreation holiday family event will feature sweet treats, arts and crafts, coloring contest, and a family movie.
 
Jingle Bell Rock Party
Date: Friday, December 4
Location: Wabash Community Center (1230 Southern Ave., Lakeland)
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: This free Polk County Parks and Recreation community holiday event is for the whole family. This event will feature sweet treats, a hot chocolate bar, games, arts and crafts, and a family movie.
 
Breakfast with Santa – Auburndale
Date: Saturday, December 5
Location: Auburndale Civic Center
Time: 7 a.m.-11 a.m.
Details: Auburndale Parks and Recreation presents the annual breakfast with Santa event. Admission is $8.
 
Breakfast with Santa – Bartow
Date: Saturday, December 5
Location: Carleton Hall of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Bartow (500 West Stuart St.)
Time: 7 a.m.-11 a.m.
Details: The annual Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be presented by the Zonta Club of Bartow and the Women’s Care Center. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to greet children. Free craft activities for children included with the pancake breakfast. Tickets are $7 and will be available at the door.
 
Glitter, Glisten & Snow
Date: Saturday, December 5
Location: Lake Eva Park, Haines City
Time: 6 p.m.
Details: This fun-filled event appeals to all ages and features lights, activities, Santa, reindeer, snow slides, and entertainment including Sisaundra Lewis from season six of NBC’s The Voice.
 
Carols in the Park
Date: Saturday, December 5; Saturday, December 6
Location: Central Park, Winter Haven
Time: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Details: Find free photos with Santa (2-4 p.m.). a candy cane corner, kids crafts, train rides, games, holiday music, Elves Cafe, handmade items, and more at this 27 year Winter Haven holiday tradition.
 
Holiday Party
Date: Friday, December 11
Location: Wilfred Smith Resource Center (135 Avenue Y N.E., Winter Haven)
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: This free Polk County Parks and Recreation holiday event for the whole family. Families will enjoy sweet treats, arts and crafts, coloring contest, and a family movie.
 
Breakfast with Santa – Haines City
Date: Saturday, December 12
Location: Egg City, Haines City (35510 US Hwy 27)
Time: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Details: Join Haines City Parks and Recreation at Egg City where Santa and Mrs. Claus will great the children and pose for pictures. Admission is included with the purchase of a meal. Bring your cameras.
 
Breakfast with Santa at the Y
Date: Saturday, December 12
Location: Fontaine Gills Family YMCA, Lakeland (2125 Sleepy Hill Road)
Time: 9 a.m.
Details: Join the YMCA of West Central Florida for the annual FREE holiday event at the Fontaine Gills Family YMCA featuring professional pictures with Santa, bounce houses for toddlers and school-age children, cookie decorating, crafts and more.
 
Christmas Notes
Date: Saturday, December 12
Location: Homeland Heritage Park (249 Church Avenue, Homeland)
Time: 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Join Polk County Parks and Recreation for live music, photos with Santa, refreshments, a holiday kid zone, outdoor movie, and more. Admission is free.
 
Winterfest
Date: Saturday, December 12
Location: Downtown Davenport (Lake Play & Bay Street)
Time: 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Winterfest festivities will include a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, electric night time parade, cookie decorating, lighting of Lake Play Park, and a cruise-in with classic cars, vendors and SNOW.
Classic Car Cruise In – 4-8 p.m.
Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus – 4:30 p.m.
Lighting of Lake Play Park – 6 p.m.
Nighttime Electric Parade – 7 p.m.
 
Holiday Extravaganza
Date: Thursday, December 17
Location: Winter Haven Recreational & Cultural Center
Time: 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Join us for a fun-filled night that the entire family can enjoy. The event which is open to all ages will feature holiday crafts, gingerbread house making contest, musical chairs and more! Refreshments will be served.
 
Snow Central
Date: Thursday, December 17
Location: Central Park, Winter Haven
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: Bring the family downtown to frolic in Winter Haven’s very own winter wonderland. There will be 70 tons of snow making up the snow slide and snow pile for children and adults to enjoy. After the kids are done visiting Santa and Mrs. Claus, they can take a train ride, jump in the bounce house, and enjoy all the other activities that will be available.
 
Dixieland Christmas
Date: Saturday, December 19
Location: Dixieland, Lakeland
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: Don’t miss the opportunity for free photos with Santa at Access Church (6-8), live music and holiday drinks at Concord Coffee (6-9), adult coloring at Art Centric Studio (7-9), a special Christmas raffle at A Kind Place (6-8:30), and special deals and desserts at Fat Maggie’s, all located in Dixieland (6-8:30).
 

College Events:

Symphony Guild: ISO Christmas Concert
Date: Thursday, December 3
Location: Polk State Winter Haven Fine Arts Theatre
Time: 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: Contact Polk State College for details on this event.
 
SEU Christmas Concert
Date: Friday, December 4; Saturday, December 5
Location: Southeastern University, Bush Chapel
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Details: To celebrate the birth of the Savior, the ensembles and faculty from the Department of Music come together for two evenings of worship on a grand scale. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students. You may purchase tickets at the door or online.
 
Over 55 Show Band Concert: “It’s Christmas! – And All That Jazz!”
Date: Sunday, December 6
Location: Polk State Winter Haven Fine Arts Theatre
Time: 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Details: The Over 55 Show Band will perform at the Winter Haven Fine Arts Theatre. The cost for the concert is $10.
 
Home for the Holidays: The Christmas Gala
Date: Saturday, December 12
Location: Florida Southern College’s Branscomb Auditorium
Time: 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Details: The FSC Music Department’s Christmas Gala has become an essential holiday music tradition for the college and greater community. This year’s edition, Home for the Holidays, offers a wonder-filled array of musical favorites performed by music department students and faculty, joined by special invited guests from FSC’s musical theatre program and the Florida Dance Theatre.
 
Polk State College Winter Christmas Gala
Date: Saturday, December 12 & Sunday, December 13
Location: Polk State Winter Haven Fine Arts Theatre
Time: 7 p.m. (Saturday); 2:30 p.m. (Sunday)
Details: Polk State Music will present its annual holiday concerts, and just as audiences have come to expect, the repertoire will feature a mix of traditional favorites and a few surprises, too. Admission for the general public is $7.
 
Florida Dance Theatre Presents: TCHAIKOVSKY’S The Nutcracker
Date: Saturday, December 19; Sunday, December 20
Location: Florida Southern College’s Branscomb Auditorium
Time: 7:30 p.m.(Saturday); 2:30 p.m. (Sunday)
Details: Lakeland’s own professional dance company, the Florida Dance Theatre, brings its celebrated annual production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker to the stage of Branscomb Auditorium. Performed with charm and perfection by the dynamic dancers of FSC’s company-in-residence, this breathtaking production features colorful scenery, dazzling costumes, and entrancing choreography. As a special treat, community children join the professional dancers, creating a family-friendly, feel-good performance event.
 

Local Theater Events:

Christmas at the Ramon
Date: Saturday, December 5
Location: Ramon Theater, Frostproof
Time: 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Details: This celebration of the Christmas Season featuring choirs and individual performers, coming together for a family-friendly gathering, with songs and community caroling. Donations of non-perishable items will be collected to benefit the Frostproof Care Center.
 
The Christmas Orange Luncheon
Date: Saturday, December 5
Location: Ramon Theater, Frostproof
Time: 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Details: This festive holiday celebration event is guaranteed to bring back back memories of the days when a Florida orange (perhaps from Frostproof) in your stocking was a special treat. Enjoy a light lunch and live “old fashioned” entertainment, an original historical holiday skit with Frostproof at its heart. Tickets: $20
 
A Canadian Brass Holiday
Date: Tuesday, December 8
Location: The Lakeland Center
Time: 7:30 p.m.-9:15 p.m.
Details: The Imperial Symphony Orchestra welcomes the world-renown Canadian Brass to the stage to celebrate the sounds of the season with this Masterworks concert.
 
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Date: Friday, December 11; Saturday, December 12; Sunday, December 13
Location: Lakeland Community Theatre (Lake Mirror Theatre)
Time: Times vary by date.
Details: This is a Theater for Youth production based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson. Cost: $15 Adults; $12 Children (12 & Under)
December 11: 7:30 p.m.; December 12: 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; December 13: 2:00 p.m.
 
The Crystal Nutcracker
Date: Saturday, December 12
Location: Polk Theatre, Lakeland
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: The scenes are filled with creative costumes, exciting dance movement, a variety of rhythm and sounds including Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite, and African drumming. Performed in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Swing, Jazz, African, and, Hip Hop this dance spectacular is not the typical holiday nutcracker. General Admission: Adult $20; Children 12 and under $15
 
HUMBUG! The Musical
Date: Sunday, December 13
Location: Polk Theatre, Lakeland
Time: 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Details: HUMBUG! features a lively original score by Harnick & Legrand, high production values, evocative lighting, and video projections that bring the audience right into Dickens’s classic tale of redemption and eternal hope.This world premiere re-tells the beloved Christmas story with a tunefulness that highlights its humor, humanity, and heart-warming sentiment.
General Admission: Adult $15; Ages 5-12 $10; 4 and under free
 
Johnny Dee & The Starlights Christmas Sock Hop
Date: Tuesday, December 15; Wednesday, December 16
Location: Theatre Winter Haven
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Details: Rock out while this incredible band takes you back to the 50’s, Christmas style featuring the music of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, The Ronettes and much more. Advance tickets: $27; Subscribers: $24
 
Dinner and a Movie: Christmas Vacation
Date: Saturday, December 19
Location: Polk Theatre, Lakeland
Time: Dinner: 6:30 p.m.; Movie: 7:30 p.m.
Details: HUMBUG! features a lively original score by Harnick & Legrand, high production values, evocative lighting, and video projections that bring the audience right into Dickens’s classic tale of redemption and eternal hope.This world premiere re-tells the beloved Christmas story with a tunefulness that highlights its humor, humanity, and heart-warming sentiment.
Tickets are $20 for dinner and the movie. Movie-only tickets will be available for $5 at the door the night of the showing. General Admission: Adult $15; Ages 5-12 $10; 4 and under free
 
Thelma Kells Christmas Organ Concert
Date: Sunday, December 20
Location: Polk Theatre, Lakeland
Time: 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
Details: The 1st Annual Thelma Kells Christmas Organ Concert with Guest Artists.
 
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Date: Wednesday, December 30
Location: The Lakeland Center
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Details: The ultimate holiday tradition for the youngest to the seniors in every family, seeing Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker creates holiday memories that last a lifetime. The renowned, award-winning principal dancers and corps de ballet thrill audiences with their expertise, dramatic expression and stunning leaps, drops and turns.
 

Attraction Events:

Children’s Holiday Workshop during Downtown Holiday Walkabout
Date: Friday, December 4
Location: Explorations V Children’s Museum, Lakeland
Time: 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Decorations and holiday fun for kids of all ages while parents work on their shopping list during the Downtown Holiday Walkabout.
$12/members; $15/non-members; Pre-registration/pre-payment required
 
Bartow Ford Winter Wonderland
Date: Saturday, December 5
Location: Bartow Ford
Time: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Details: Bartow Ford and 97 Country have teamed together to create a FREE Winter Wonderland event featuring a 30 foot snow slide and snow play area, free photos with Santa, the Polar Express train, musical guests Elsa, Anna and Olaf, a bounce house, face painting, food from Uncle Mike’s Barbeque for purchase, and more.
 
Santa’s Workshop with Family Fundamentals
Date: Saturday, December 5
Location: Family Fundamentals, Lakeland (1021 Lakeland Hills Blvd.)
Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Details: Enjoy a traditional Christmas experience with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The event will include photos with Santa, hands-on holiday activities, and holiday storytime. Santa will also hand out books to the children.
 
Sunset & Symphony Holiday Concert
Date: Saturday, December 5
Location: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 6 p.m.
Details: Enjoy the sounds of the season with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the Singing Tower carillon as they perform together during one of Central Florida’s favorite outdoor concerts. Families and friends are encouraged to prepare themed picnics and experience a magical evening as the sun sets atop Iron Mountain. $20 adults / $8 children (5-12) / $18 members
 
Caroling with Kerry A Tune
Date: Monday, December 7
Location: Explorations V Children’s Museum, Lakeland
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Details: Stir up the holiday spirit! Families are invited to a music lesson snippet with Kerry, followed by caroling together.
 
Holiday Home Workshop
Date: Saturday, December 12
Location: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Details: Local artist Catherine Price leads a workshop designing beautiful holiday décor using palm fronds to create “boondoggles.” $15/person. Supplies included. Reservations are required.
 
Carillon & Chorale Concert plus Holiday Home Tour Open Late
Date: Sunday, December 20
Location: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Details: Enjoy an hour-long carillon concert with a live choir under the evening stars. Before or after the concert, visit Pinewood Estate for a special nighttime tour complete with hot chocolate and cookies. It’s a unique opportunity to visit the Gardens after normal operating hours. Enjoy a light dinner at the Blue Palmetto Café before the concert for an additional fee. Last entry to Pinewood Estate is at 9:30 p.m. Concert Only: $5/person; free for members. Concert & Home Tour: $13/person; $7 for members.
 
Christmas Day at Bok Tower Gardens
Date: Friday, December 25
Location: Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales
Time: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (Last admission at 5 p.m.)
Details: Bok Tower will distribute 1,000 time-specific tickets for the Holiday Home Tour on a first-come, first-served basis on Christmas day. Enjoy the café, gift shop, Holiday Home Tour, gardens and carillonneur Geert D’hollander. Regular Gardens admission rates still apply.
 
Kids’ New Year’s Eve
Date: Thursday, December 31
Location: LEGOLAND Florida, Winter Haven
Time: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Details: Celebrate New Year’s Eve at LEGOLAND Florida where the giant LEGO brick drops at a very kid-friendly midnight KST (Kid Standard Time) – otherwise known as 7 p.m. EST. Other event elements include fireworks and a dance party DJ.
 

Fall Festivals and Halloween Events This Weekend and Beyond in Polk County 2015

Are you looking for all the fall fun this weekend through early November? You’ve come to the right place! Take a look at Polk County’s Halloween happenings and autumn festivities below.
 

Click here for Fall 2017 events.


 

Multiple-Date Events:

Friday, October 23-Saturday, October 24

2015 Polk County Sheriff’s Office Haunted Jail Tour
Where: Lawrence Crow Jr. Center, Bartow
Time: 6:00-11:00 p.m.
Details: This is a family-friendly event, and your chance to visit the “old jail” that’s haunted. Food and drink will be available for purchase. You’ll also find bounce houses, trick-or-treat locations, and fun for the whole family. Proceeds benefit the United Way of Central Florida. The cost is a $5 donation or $7 “kid’s package”.
 

Saturday, October 24-Sunday, October 25

Pioneer Days Festival
Where: Lake Wailes, Lake Wales
Time: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Saturday; 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Sunday
Details: There will be live entertainment on stage both days. Living history re-enactments, artisan and tradesmen demonstrations, pony rides, children’s activities, a Historic Architecture Carriage Tour, and an Antique Car Parade will showcase the weekend’s festivities.
 

Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31

Rocky Horror Picture Show
Where: Polk Theatre, Lakeland
Time: 12:00 a.m.
Details: Let’s do the TIME WARP again…
The Polk Theatre celebrates the 40th Anniversary of ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. A portion of the proceeds from this event will go toward a dance scholarship for Florida Dance Theatre students. The cost is $15. Prop Bags will be available at the door for the same $5 price as previous years, and contain lots of fun stuff for audience participation during the movie. Doors open each night at 9:00 p.m. for music and pre-show activities. The movie starts at midnight. Costumes are encouraged, so come dressed as your favorite character!
 

Friday, October 30-Sunday, November 1

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Where: Theatre Winter Haven
Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday & Sunday
Details: This suspenseful musical is filled with a variety of songs that fit the bill: “A Superstitious Yankee Folk,” “Ghost in the Graveyard” and of course, “The Headless Horseman.”
 

Friday, October 30-Sunday, November 15

Little Shop of Horrors
Where: Lakeland Community Theatre
Time: 7:30 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays; 2:00 p.m Sundays
Details: This PG-13 Lakeland Community Theatre production features the story of the meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn who stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” – after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R & B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it, BLOOD. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out of this world origins and intent towards global domination!
 

Through Friday, October 30

Zombie Farm Paintball Hayride
Where: Smith Family Ranch, Lakeland
Time: 7:00-10:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
Details: Zombie Farm Paintball is a 20 minute hayride, in the dark, that takes you through Zombie Farm’s infectious zones. There have been reports of the living dead lurking in the night, especially around swampy areas. The ranch will supply you with a paintball gun for your protection against these creatures. Admission includes live zombies to shoot at, use of a paintball gun, 200 rounds of ammo and a narrated hayride. The cost is $30 per person. www.smithranchlakeland.com/zombie-farm.html
 

Through Saturday, October 31

Brick-or-Treat
Where: LEGOLAND Florida, Winter Haven
Time: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays & Sunday
Details: Ghouls, ghosts and goblins descend on Miniland USA transforming it into a haunted adventure with a scavenger hunt in search for these scary creatures that have invaded our famous cities. This spooky event takes place weekends in October, and features trick-or-treating along the brick or treat trail, super brick build activities, the largest LEGO Jack-O-Lantern in the world, Halloween entertainment and an all-kids costume contest with brick-tastic prizes! florida.legoland.com/planning-your-visit/special-events/brick-or-treat-event/
 

Through Saturday, October 31

The Shallow Grave
Where: Winter Haven
Time: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday
Details: The Shallow Grave is a highly detailed spine tingling scarefest that brings the Central Florida area something they have been missing. An intimate in your face, fear filled environment with custom themes and movie quality sets to put you in the midst of terror unlike anything you have experienced before. The cost is $15-$40. www.theshallowgrave.com
 

Through Sunday, November 1

CornFusion Crop Maze & Fall Festival
Where: Smith Family Ranch, Lakeland
Time: 3:00-6:00 p.m. Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Saturdays, 12:00-6:00 p.m. Sundays
Details: Join the Smith Family Ranch for a fun-filled day at CornFusion Crop Maze & Fall Festival. where you will find about 20 acres of fun for all ages including a pumpkin patch, 8-acre Egyptian Wheat maze, corn box, corn cannon, country store, cow train, miniature mazes, pony rides, and farm animals. www.smithranchlakeland.com/cornfusion-crop-maze-and-fall-festival.html
 

Through Sunday, November 15

Harvest Holler Corn Maze
Where: 950 Tavares Road, Polk City 33868
Time: 4:00-8:00 p.m. Fridays; 12:00-8:00 p.m. Saturdays; 12:00-5:00 p.m. Sundays
Details: Admission includes an interactive corn maze, hayride, hay fort, corn cribs, tire swings, cow train, corn hole and pumpkin patch. The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $8 youth (4-12 years). Kids 3 and under are free. www.harvestholler.com/
 

Single Date-Events:

Saturday, October 24

Ghouls’ Night Out
Where: Downtown Winter Haven
Time: 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Details: The City of Winter Haven will be hosting Ghouls’ Night out which includes candy from area businesses, a hayride, food vendors, a DJ, and lots of fun activities for people of all ages.
 
Halloween Water Ski Show
Where: Lake Silver, Winter Haven
Time: 8:15 p.m.
Details: Free Halloween-themed Cypress Gardens Water Ski Show immediately following Ghouls’ Night Out. Hot Food Concessions available from 5:30 p.m.
 

Sunday, October 25

 
Fall Festival
Where: Lake Eva Park, Haines City
Time: 3:00-6:00 p.m.
Details: You will still see your same favorite free elements and a few extras: inflatables, food, more games, train ride, Ident-A-Kid, Fire Department exhibits, demonstrations by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office SWAT and Rescue teams, and plenty of candy.
 

Thursday, October 29

 

73rd Annual Crickette Club Parade & Carnival
Where: Downtown Bartow & Mosaic Park, Bartow
Time: 4:00-8:00 p.m.
Details: Bartow’s favorite family tradition is now better than ever featuring new rides for tots and teens, expanded food selections including food trucks, new games, costume contest for store-bought and homemade, crickette club’s famous cake walk, drawing for $500, $300, and $100 Visa cards, Bingo and more. All proceeds benefit the Bartow area Girl Scouts and the Bartow Community. Parade is free with the Carnival to follow at Mosaic Park.
 
Safe Haven Halloween
Where: Freedom Park, Polk City
Time: 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Details: Spooky fun for the entire family featuring food, games, prizes and two Halloween classic cartoons for “Movie Night in the Park”.
 
Halloween Harvest
Where: Downtown Auburndale
Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Details: Find entertainment, food, crafts, monster trucks, trick-or-treating and a costume contest at Halloween Harvest. The costume contest will begin at 6:00 p.m.
 

Friday, October 30

 
Boo! Bash
Where: Explorations V, Lakeland
Time: 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Details: Pre-school costume party with pumpkins, parade and carnival games perfectly sized for little hands and feet.
 
Fall Fest
Where: 601 Lemon Street, Auburndale
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Details: Find trunk-or-treating in a safe area to collect candy, games, booths, prizes, face painting, music, food, a bounce house, dunk tank, photo booth and cake walk.
 
Halloween Trick-or-Treat Party
Where: Wilfred Smith Resource Center, Winter Haven
Time: 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Details: Polk County Parks and Recreation presents this free Halloween party featuring music, light refreshments, arts & crafts, coloring contests and costume contests.
 

Saturday, October 31

Safe Place to Trick or Treat
Where: Lewis Matthews Complex/Gene Carroll Field, Davenport
Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Details: Enjoy free hot dogs and drinks, cotton candy, popcorn, a haunted house, maze, costume contest and activities.
 
Annual Dundee Fall Fest
Where: Dundee Community Center
Time: 6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Details: Bring the family out for games, hayrides, food and candy.
 

Saturday, November 7

 

Kathleen Area Historical Society’s Fall Festival
Where: Heritage Park, Kathleen
Time: 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Details: Enjoy this longtime Kathleen area tradition. They may not do it the old-fashioned way with a horse or mule, but they still have a lot of fun preserving and promoting the pioneer skill of freshly manufacturing sugar cane syrup, which will be available for purchase. Entertainment will include Brian Bracey on trumpet (patriotic music in a Veteran’s salute), Dave Anderson (gospel and traditional), Green Swamp Cloggers, Union Academy Bluegrass Band, and The Sweet Teas. Other activities to be offered include:
Cane Grinding/Syrup Making; Pioneer Life Exhibit; Rummage Sale; Children’s Activities; Breakfast & Lunch; Cake Walk & Baked Goods Sale; Vendors and other non profit organizations will also be in attendance. FREE Parking & FREE Admission.
 
 

LRC Offers a Summer Kaleidoscope of Learning

A look at LRC’s 2015 Summer

 
Every June brings an incredible array of educational adventures to the always-open doors of LRC. Some are long-time traditional classes, and others are brand-new opportunities to meet the academic needs of the community. Summer 2015, too, is appropriately unique in its offerings.
 
Here is an overview:
 

Nine Camp READY!’s

Campers aged 5-6 years old participate in LRC’s award-winning month-long activity-based program designed to increase their success in Kindergarten. Sites for 2015 are Frostproof, Lake Wales, Winter Haven, Haines City, Poinciana, Bartow, Ft. Meade, North Lakeland, and South Lakeland.
 

Super Summer Success  

Elementary school students perfected their reading and math skills in engaging projects and participatory activities. The classes were hosted at Highland City Elementary School for four weeks.  Parents were invited to celebrate completed projects and learning gains.
 

Study Habits for Highly Successful Students

Middle School and High School students identified and practiced strategies to improve organization and time management skills, test-taking techniques, critical thinking, listening and focusing tips, and effective communication in a week-long class at LRC Offices.
 

ACT, SAT, GRE, and TOEFL Test Prep

LRC is offering test preparation to students with myriad needs this summer. Students hoping to secure a Bright Futures Scholarships or college acceptance are enrolled in classes at the LRC Center. Students studying with the Galindo Tennis Academy are working with English vocabulary and grammar in classes held on Florida Southern College campus.
 

Community-based Education

Two new initiatives through Heartland for Children take LRC teachers to Auburndale and Sebring. IRACE, an initiative to involve underserved youth, has partnered with LRC to offer intensive math tutoring, study skills, and Florida Virtual School coaching.  Hansen House, a residential program in Highlands County, is the scene for one-to-one tutoring.

 

Related Posts:

Gear Up For a Summer of Success
Camp READY! Prepares Kindergartners for Achievement
Catch the Summer Spirit with Super Summer Success
Eight Fun Facts about Camp READY!
Master the ACT or SAT with LRC Test Prep
Camp READY! 2015 is “On Go”
Begin Your Journey to Success with College Success Planning
Acquire the Study Habits of Successful Students with LRC