Tag Archives: events

2017 Fall & Halloween Festivities in Polk County

Look no further for fall fun! Search our list of Polk County’s 2017 Halloween happenings and autumn festivities now through early November.
 
Fall Festivities in Polk
Freepik.com
 
*Please contact event organizations, not LRC, for more information on events.
 

Recurring & Multi-Date Events:

 

Friday, September 22-Sunday, November 12

Harvest Holler Corn Maze
Location: 950 Tavares Road, Polk City 33868
Time: Begins Sept. 22, 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.
 

Friday, September 29-Saturday, November 4

The Shallow Grave
Location: 701 42nd St NW, Winter Haven
Time: Begins Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.-10:30 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.
 

Saturday, October 7-Sunday, October 29

Pumpkin Safari
Location: Safari Wilderness Ranch, 10850 Moore Road, Lakeland
Time: Begins Oct. 7, 1-5 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. Cost: $39 for one, $75 for 2, $145 for four
 

Sunday, October 8-Sunday, October 15

Polk Theatre’s Fall Movie Classics
Location: Polk Theatre, 121 Florida Ave S, Lakeland
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Details: Oct. 8 Jaws; Oct. 15 An American Werewolf in London. See events below for information on Hocus Pocus, Rocky Horror Picture Show & The Shining (Dinner & a Movie).
 

Thursday, October 12-Sunday, October 15

Lakeland Family Fair
Location: Victory Church, 1401 Griffin Rd, Lakeland
Time: Times vary (see below)
Details: Over 40 attractions including: 20+ rides, games and super food courts. Cost: $20 for unlimited rides, individual ride tickets also available.
Oct 12 (Thurs) – 5-10pm; Oct 13 (Fri) – 5-11pm; Oct 14 (Sat)- 2-11pm; Oct 15 (Sun)- 12- 9pm
 

Saturday, October 14-Tuesday, October 31

Brick-or-Treat
Location: LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Winter Haven
Time: Begins Oct. 14, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturdays & Sundays & Halloween Tuesday
Details: The Halloween party #BuiltForKids returns to LEGOLAND® Florida Resort on weekends in October, featuring a LEGO® lineup of spooky, kooky, brick-tacular activities and extended park hours. Brick or Treat Presented by Shutterfly is included with park admission – no extra ticket required!
 

Friday, October 20-Sunday, October 22

Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival
Location: Lake Mirror Promenade, Lakeland
Time: Vary over the weekend
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. Find the schedule at lakelandautoshow.com/schedule.
 

Friday, October 20-Saturday, October 28

Polk County Sheriff’s Haunted Jail Tour
Location: 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. For the little ones who are too young, there will be a separate room with treats and games. Food and drink will be on sale. The tour costs $6, with proceeds going to United Way. Visitors will be taken through areas that include the morgue, infirmary, incinerator and jail.
 

Friday, October 20-Sunday, October 29

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Location: Lakeland Community Theatre, 121 S Lake Ave, Lakeland
Time: Begins Oct. 20, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays; 7:30-10 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays; 2-4:30 p.m. Sundays
Details: The brilliant tale of obsession and revenge, Sweeney Todd combines melodrama, murder – and “the worst pies in London” –with a sumptuous score by the incomparable Stephen Sondheim. Rated Mature. The cost is $22 for adults, $20 for seniors (55 & up) and $15 for children (17 & under).
 

Friday, October 20-Tuesday, October 31

Buckingham Terror Haunted House
Location: 2600 Buckingham Ave., Lakeland
Time: October 20-21, 27-28, 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m.; October 22-26, 29-31, 7:30 p.m.- 9 p.m.
Details: Buckingham Terror is a Haunted House that gives teens an avenue to express their creativity through the planning, building and implementation of a full working haunted house. Cost: $8 for 13 & up; $5 for 12 & under. Not intended for children under 10 or the faint of heart.
 

Begins Friday, October 20

Zombie Farm Paintball Hayride
Location: Smith Family Ranch, 13444 Moore Road, Lakeland
Time: Beginning Oct. 20, 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.
 

Begins Saturday, October 21

CornFusion Crop Maze & Fall Festival
Location: Smith Family Ranch, 13444 Moore Road, Lakeland
Time: Begins Oct. 21, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays
Details: Join the Smith Family Ranch for a fun-filled day at CornFusion Fall Festival where you will find 20 acres of fun for all ages including a pumpkin patch, corn box, corn cannon, country store, cow train, miniature mazes, pony rides, and farm animals. Cost: $10 for adults, $9 for 4-15 yrs, Free for 3 & under and military, law enforcement, firefighters, EMS
 

Friday, October 27-Saturday, October 28

Rocky Horror Picture Show
Location: 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 27-Sunday, October 29

Pioneer Days Festival
Location: 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.
 

Friday, November 3-Sunday, November 5

St. Joseph’s Annual Fall Carnival
Location: 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.
 
Fall Events in Polk
Freepik.com
 

Single Date-Events:

Friday, October 6

Downtown Lakeland’s First Friday
Location: 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 “Celebrating Us, #LoveLakeland”.
 
Halloween Boo-gie Night Party
Location: 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 7

Horror Fest
Location: Munn Park, Lakeland
Time: 4-9 p.m.
Details: Join us for the 3rd Annual Horror Fest in Downtown Lakeland for free family activities, vendors and the main stage event, sure to entertain all ages.
 

Thursday, October 12

Zombie Food Truck Rally
Location: Munn Park, Lakeland
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: Crawl on over to the October Downtown Lakeland Food Truck Rally and ZOMBIE bar crawl! Attendees are welcome to dressed in their best zombie garb to win prizes, and the bar crawl will begin at the conclusion of the food truck rally from 9pm-11pm.
 

Friday, October 13

Aqua Boo
Location: Gandy Pool, 404 Imperial Blvd., Lakeland
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Details: Join for a family fun evening at the pool featuring games, nachos and a kid-friendly movie. Normal pool entry of $4 or pass applies
Halloween Trick-or-Treat Party
Location: Wilfred Smith Resource Center, Winter Haven
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Details: Polk County Parks and Recreation presents this free Halloween party featuring music, light refreshments, arts & crafts, coloring contests and costume contests.
 
Main Street Winter Haven Oktoberfest
Location: Central Park, Winter Haven
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: Join Main Street Winter Haven for the 11th Annual Oktoberfest sponsored by Victor Smith Law Group, P.A. and featuring beer, brats and live music. A Tasting Ticket is $25.
 
Pumpkinfest
Location: Winter Haven City Library, 325 Avenue A NW
Time: 5:30-9 p.m.
Details: Main Street Winter Haven, Inc will be hosting Oktoberfest for adults, while the City of Winter Haven will be hosting Pumpkinfest for children in kindergarten – 5th grade. Drop off your child or children while you attend Oktoberfest; they will enjoy games, decorating pumpkins and dinner. Cost: $10/child
 

Wednesday, October 18

Pep Homecoming Parade & Festival
Location: 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.
 

Friday, October 20

Fall Festival of Fun
Location: Winter Haven Recreational & Cultural Center
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Details: Bring your family out to Winter Haven Recreational & Cultural Center for a night of games, candy, refreshments, prizes, and more. Ages 6 – 13. This event is free.
 
Joggin’ for the Noggin 5K
Location: Polk State College – Lakeland, 3425 Winter Lake Rd
Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Details: The 6th Annual Joggin’ for the Noggin! 5K to benefit Polk State College Foundation promises to be a fun and SCARY, Halloween themed race. Run, jog or walk this 3.1 race that includes gravel road, grass and a trek on the Fort Fraser Trail. The One Mile Walkin’ while Talkin’ is an option for those who want to support Polk students, but aren’t race enthusiasts. The run and walk will feature zombies on the trail to put pep in steps. This is a family-friendly event and will include a children’s fun run, adult and children’s costume contest, Zumba, face painting, music, and more.
 
The Story of An Undead World: A Rock Opera
Location: LKLD LIVE (STUDIO B, 202 N Mass Ave., Lakeland)
Time: 8-10 p.m.
Details: Born from the mind of Matthew Davis and Joshua McNair comes The Story of an Undead World. A musical with a heavy brutal experience that is like no other. Tickets available $5 advance.
 

Saturday, October 21

FallFest 2017
Location: 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, Haunted House and more.
 
Fall Craft Fair & Sale
Location: Presbyterian Church in the Highlands, Lakeland
Time: 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Details: The 30th Annual Fall Craft Sale at Presbyterian Church in the Highlands will host 50 artisans, a baked good sale with sweets of all kinds, jams, and refreshments, concessions, and Lakeland’s Finest Pumpkin Patch. Proceeds benefit local charities.
 
Florida Dance Theatre Presents Dracula
Location: Branscomb Auditorium, Florida Southern College
Time: 6 p.m.
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. Cost is: $75
 
Haunted Halloween Hayride & Happenings
Location: Loyce E. Harpe Park, 500 W. Carter Road, Mulberry
Time: 5 – 10 p.m.
Details: Polk County Parks & Recreation’s 21st 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. Advance tickets on sale Oct. 2 – Oct. 20 and include a hayride wristband.
 
Hocus Pocus at the Polk Theatre
Location: Polk Theatre, 121 Florida Avenue S, Lakeland
Time: 11:30 a.m.-1:05 p.m.
Details: Join the Polk Theatre for a showing of the 1993 Halloween film, Hocus Pocus. Rated PG. The cost is $5.
 
Rootstock Plant & Garden Festival
Location: 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. Cost: $10
 

Thursday, October 26

75th Annual Crickette Club Parade & Carnival
Location: 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
Location: Freedom Park, Polk City
Time: 5-8:30 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 27

Halloween Spooktacular
Location: 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.
 
Hold On, I know This! Halloween Edition
Location: Lkld Live (Studio B, 202N Massachusetts Ave, Lakeland)
Time: 7:30-9 p.m.
Details: Nick Allred & Benedict Heaps return to host a special Halloween themed installment of the funniest quiz show in town. Tickets $10 adv / $15 day of show
 
Spooktoberfest
Location: 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.
 
The Nightmare Before Christmas – Movie on the Lawn
Location: 100 E Main St, Bartow
Time: 6:45 p.m.
Details: Bring your blanket or chairs to Main Street Bartow for an outdoor showing of The Nightmare Before Christmas on the lawn. Restaurants open for carry out or bring a picnic dinner. Movie begins at dusk. The cost is free.
 

Saturday, October 28

20th Annual Lakeland Hispanic Festival
Location: Lake Mirror Promenade, Lakeland
Time: 12-8 p.m.
Details: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month during the 20th Annual Hispanic Festival of Lakeland featuring traditional and contemporary Latin American culture with live performances, authentic cuisine and children’s activities. Cost: adults $5.00, children 12 and under free
 
Evil Never Dies – Murder Mystery Dinner
Location: 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.
 
Ghouls Day Out
Location: MLK Jr. Park, Winter Haven
Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Details: The City of Winter Haven presents this free event including a kid’s game area, music, a Halloween costume contest, food vendors and a trick-or-treat village.
 
Halloween Festival
Location: Lewis Matthews Complex, 400 E. Palm Street, Davenport
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Details: Enjoy free hot dogs and drinks, trunk or treat, costume contests, Touch a Truck, and games & activities.
 
Halloween Water Ski Show
Location: Lake Silver, Winter Haven
Time: 7 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.
 
Harvest Festival
Location: Spence Field, 1100 NE 1st Street, Mulberry
Time: 4 p.m.-7 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 Bluegrass band!
 
Lakeside Village Halloween Bash
Location: Lakeside Village, Lakeland
Time: 5-8 p.m.
Details: The event will feature three costume contests for kids in different age groups, a DJ hosting games with kid-friendly music, face painting, a photo booth, a strolling magician and fun prizes! There also will be trick or treating throughout the village. The event is free.
 
Monster Mash Costume Party
Location: Lkld Live (Studio B, 202 N Mass Ave., Lakeland)
Time: 7-11 p.m.
Details: Grab to ticket to this special Halloween fundraiser for the opportunity to perform on the LkldLive stage. There will be a lip sync battle and karaoke all night with prizes for best costumes throughout the evening. The best way to pre-party for your Saturday night Halloween extravaganza! Tickets $5 adv / $10 day of event
 
Munn Park Extravaganza
Location: Munn Park, Lakeland
Time: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Details: The 33rd Annual “Munn Park Extravaganza”, presented by the Garden Club of Lakeland Inc. will offer over 50 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.
 

Sunday, October 29

Fall Festival
Location: Lake Eva Park, Haines City
Time: 3 p.m.- 6 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.
 
Fall Festival
Location: Scott Lake Baptist Church, 5811 Scott Lake Rd, Lakeland
Time: 4-6 p.m.
Details: This fall festival is a Halloween alternative for families that want to make one stop for all the fun, food, and candy they desire for Halloween. Scott Lake Baptist will have plenty of candy, car show, inflatables, dodgeball, gaga ball, hot dogs, snow cones, popcorn, and more. Free event.
 
Family Fall Festival
Location: Beymer Church, 700 Lake Howard Dr. NW, Winter Haven
Time: 3-5 p.m.
Details: Stop by for free food, games, candy, a chili cook-off and more.
 
Harvest Party – Fall Festival
Location: Kathleen Baptist Church, 3939 2nd St. NW, Lakeland
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Details: You and your family are invited. There will be food, games, candy, bounce houses, horses, and much more.
 
Trunk or Treat 2017
Location: First United Methodist Church of Lakeland, 72 Lake Morton Dr., Lakeland
Time: 4-7 p.m.
Details: This fall has been tough for our community and many families have experienced disruption and trauma. Take a break from the stresses of storm recovery, and take a photo in the pumpkin patch or at one of our photo booths and enjoy dinner, games and candy in a safe environment. Family-friendly costumes for children are welcome. Adults, please refrain from costumes with masks.
 
Trunk or Treat
Location: Highland Park Church, 4777 Lakeland Highlands Rd, Lakeland
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Details: Bring your family and friends to Trunk or Treat with us at Highland Park Church. Enjoy a little time out with your family at this free, safe, and fun community event. Kona Ice will be here to help keep you cool.
 

Tuesday, October 31

6th Annual Fall Festival
Location: 124 S. Kentucky Ave., Lakeland
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Details: The 6th Annual Fall Festival Celebration presented by Just Cares, Inc. is a free, community event. The goal is to fill the streets in Downtown Lakeland with families looking for an alternative to Halloween by providing a safe environment where they can have fun and spend quality time as a family.
 
Boo! Bash
Location: Explorations V, Lakeland
Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; 4-6 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.
 
Dinner & a Movie – The Shining
Location: Polk Theatre, Lakeland
Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Details: Enjoy dinner featuring a menu of ribs, chicken, Johnny Cakes, beans, redrum & Jack Daniels cupcakes, popcorn and a drink and then enjoy the featured film, The Shining. Tickets are $22 for dinner & a movie or $5 for the movie only.
 
Halloween Flashlight Egg Hunt
Location: Simpson Park Community Center, 1725 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Lakeland
Time: 7:30-9 p.m.
Details: Join the Parks & Recreation Department for a fun, free, safe event at the Simpson Park Community Center on Halloween. There will be fun group activities inside and then an egg hunt outside for Halloween treats. BYOF (Bring Your Own Flashlight)
 
Mall-O-Ween
Location: Eagle Ridge Mall, Lake Wales
Time: 5-8 p.m.
Details: Bring your ghouls and goblins to Eagle Ridge Mall for a SPOOKtacular evening of free family fun, music, games, prizes and sweet treats! Get your photo taken to enter the costume contest. Five finalists from each age group (0-5, 5-13 and 14+), and shoppers will vote for their favorites from November 2-9th in the food court. 1st-3rd Place gift card prizes will be given in each age group (1st: $100, 2nd: $50, 3d: $25).
 
Trunk or Treat Annual Fall Festival
Location: Trinity Christian Center, 4416 E County Road 540A, Lakeland
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Details: This free event will feature food, games, bounce houses, a photo booth, face painting, balloon animal and candy.
 

Saturday, November 4

Belk Charity Day Sale
Location: Belk at Lakeside Village
Time: 6-10 a.m. (and later)
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 and save on rarely discounted brands! The first 100 customers to arrive on Saturday, Nov. 4 will receive a free gift card. The pre-sale dates are Oct. 23 – Nov. 3. Pick up your ticket at the Learning Resource Center or other participating organizations.
 
Fall-O-Ween-Fest
Location: East Park Complex, Dundee
Time: 10 a.m.- 2p.m.
Details: Bring the family out for fall festivities.
 
Kathleen Area Historical Society’s Fall Bazaar
Location: 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.
 

Saturday, November 11

Lakeland LuLaPalooza
Location: R.P. Funding Center, Lakeland
Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Details: Come out to this amazing LuLaRoe shopping opportunity featuring 30 consultants and more than 20,000 pieces of inventory.
 
Red Ribbon Half Marathon, 5K and Kids Fun Run
Where: Lake Mirror Promenade, Lakeland
Time: 6:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Details: The Red Ribbon Half Marathon, 5K & Kids Fun Run, presented by Title Sponsor Publix Super Markets, Inc., is a family event where adults can compete in the Half Marathon or 5K, and children can participate in the Kids Fun Run. We invite the community to join in the exciting 2017 Red Ribbon events on Saturday, November 11th that include a special tribute to our area’s Veterans.
 
The Big Event
Location: Frances Ford Langford Promenade at Lake Mirror Amphitheatre, Lakeland
Time: 4-10 p.m.
Details: The BIG Event Lakeland is a free music fest featuring local businesses, makers and delicious food. The event kicks off with the Red Ribbon Run Corporate Award and the Watson Clinic Poster Contest Award, immediately followed by a special Salute to Veterans by Green Construction. Then, enjoy non-stop entertainment.
 
 
Related Posts:
2016 Fall Festivals & Events
2015 Fall Festivals & Events
 
 

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
 
 

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

 
 

For the Love…of Learning 2016 was a success!

The 2016 Oscar-themed fundraising event took place at the exquisite home of Richard and Mary Ellen Krakowski in Lakeland’s Grasslands Saturday evening. The cocktail-chic affair not only served as a way to raise scholarship funds for deserving LRC students, but also served as the center’s 40th Anniversary celebration.
 
Over the course of the evening, guests were able to view and bid on an array of items showcased throughout the house while enjoying savory hors d’ouvres from Terrie Lobb Catering, libations by Head Over Heels Bar and live entertainment from The Sofa Kings. Jennifer Leigh of New Channel 8 hosted the affair as the Mistress of Ceremonies and introduced LRC star students Jaylen Arnold and Jaylaycia Lewis. LRC also recognized past and present board members with medals in celebration of the nonprofit’s 40 year-history and named GiveWell Community Foundation the For the Love…of Learning 2016 Honoree.
 
While LRC is still working on the numbers, it appears the organization is well on its way to surpassing 2015’s fundraiser earnings of more than $21,000 in scholarship funds that assisted more than 25 deserving students.
 
LRC is grateful for all of the generosity and support that went into making the event a success and is elated for the ability to continue assisting deserving students in this way that the community has helped make possible.
 
 
 
Related Posts:

 

Celebrate 40 & Raise Scholarships for Students with LRC on Saturday

Celebrate the Learning Resource Center of Polk County, Inc.’s 40th Anniversary while helping children and families in the community at the annual For the Love…of Learning benefit this Saturday from 7-10 p.m.
Screen shot 2016-02-18 at 5.18.58 PM
 
The Oscar-themed event, aimed at raising scholarship funds for deserving LRC students, will take place at the exquisite home of Richard and Mary Ellen Krakowski in Lakeland’s Grasslands and will feature entertainment from The Sofa Kings, Hors d’oeuvres by Terrie Lobb Catering , host Jennifer Leigh of News Channel 8, libations by Head Over Heels Bar, and a world-class silent auction.
Screen shot 2016-02-18 at 5.19.09 PM
 
Attendees will find an eclectic mix of auction items showcased throughout the evening. Items, trips, packages and services such as a one-week getaway to North Carolina, Chef’s Table for Two at the Terrace Grille, Lone Palm Golf Club foursome, Disney Park Hopper passes, and Payne Air Conditioning & Heating preventative maintenances will be up for bid.
 
Other highlights will include a look at LRC’s 40-year history, recognition of past and present board members, and the 2016 Honoree presentation honoring GiveWell Community Foundation. Florida Southern College, Polk County Public Schools, United Way of Central Florida, Publix Super Markets, Inc., and Junior League of Greater Lakeland make up past years’ honorees.
 
Guests can purchase tickets to the benefit on LRCLoveofLearning.com for $65.00. Other ways to support the cause include becoming a sponsor, bestowing a scholarship, donating a silent auction item or contributing to the LRC Endowment Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation.
 
Those interested in sponsorships and donations should contact LRC Executive Director Dr. Pam Craven by email, PamelaC@LRCPolk.com, or phone, 863-688-9477.
 
 
Related Posts:

 

PigFest Offers Triple Volunteer Hours

LRC has the unprecedented opportunity to log over 200 volunteer hours during this year’s signature Bar-B-Q weekend.
pigfestlogo
 
LRC’s assignments include the VIP Sponsors’ Party on Thursday, January 27, and the team breakfasts on Friday, January 28 and Saturday, January 29. This year, however, LRC is also assigned to operate the 8-passenger golf carts which help shuttle people, equipment, and supplies on all three days. Two golf carts will run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Thursday. LRC drivers will also operate 5 golf carts every hour from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday and 7 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday.
 
PigFest proceeds will be divided between the participating non-profits based on the number of hours worked.
 
If you are interested in volunteering with LRC at PigFest, please email RebeccaT@LRCPolk.com.
 

About PigFest

 
The 20th annual event opens to the public on Friday, January 29 from 5-10 p.m. and continues through Saturday, January 30 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Tigertown in Lakeland. Over 150 competition barbecue teams will participate. Stop by for savory cuisine, lively entertainment, and a whole lot of fun!
 
pigfest flyer
 

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.
 
 

Back-to-School Bashes, Health Fairs & Donation Drives

School bells will be ringing soon, signaling that classes are back in session. Before the 2015-2015 year begins, have some fun, get informed, and help other teachers and students at these back-to-school bashes, events, and donation drives taking place throughout Polk County.
 
Student orientation: Thursday, August 20
First day of school for students: Monday, August 24
 
Tax-free holiday: August 7-16
 

Bashes

 
Back to School Bash
When: Saturday, August 8, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Where: Eloise Resource Center 710 Snively Avenue, Eloise
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: 863-298-4485
 
Back to School Bash

When: Sunday, August 9, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 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 BASH Winter Haven

When: Saturday, August 15, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Where: Greater Works Ministries, 2110 Oakhurst Drive, Winter Haven
What: Food, entertainment, various groups with information and resources for children and parents, haircuts, various back-to-school services and games.
Contact: 863-206-5706
 
EMERGE Goes Back to School

When: Tuesday, August 18, 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Where: Crystal Lake Elementary, 700 Galvin Drive, Lakeland
What: EMERGE Lakeland is giving back to some hardworking Polk County teachers! Volunteers will meet at Crystal Lake Elementary for a light breakfast before helping teachers prepare their classrooms for the 2015-2016 school year!
 
Even if you can’t volunteer that day, you can help by donating the following “Back to School” items:
 
Notebooks
Composition Books
Pencils
Crayons
Erasers
Hand Sanitizer
Kleenex
 
Contact: 863-688-8551 ext. 228
 

Back-to-School Extravaganza

When: Saturday, August 22, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Where: Ward and Coney Community Center, 2610 Recker Highway, Winter Haven
What: Many local businesses have come together to provide the community with fun, food, hairstyles, bounce houses, kids craft workshops, health testings, live entertainment and valuable giveaways for this extravaganza. The Guest Speaker will be Altrichia Cook, CEO of Allusions By A.Lekay. School Supplies will be given to a limited number of students.
*Parents must PRE-REGISTERfor the school supply packages.
Contact: 863-288-0099, wardandconeycenter@gmail.com
 
Back to School Pool Bash

When: August 29, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Where: Winter Haven Recreational and Cultural Center, 801 Ave. T NE, Winter Haven
What: Enjoy food, water slides, bounce houses, games, music, and more at this free community event geared towards ages 6-17.
Contact: 863-291-5675
 

Health Fairs

 
Back To School Health Fair

When: Friday, Aug 8 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Where: Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, 40100 US Highway 27, Davenport
What: Celebrate back to school with Heart of Florida.

  • School-aged children can enjoy Heart of Florida’s Kid Clinic: a hands-on learning opportunity focused on staying healthy, exercising, and eating right.
  • Heart of Florida’s Teddy Bear Clinic: a special check-up for your child’s teddy bear.
  • Education on concussion awareness, early learning programs, a healthy eating initiative, and more, provided by Nemours Children’s Hospital.
  • Local pediatricians, physicians, police, and EMS offer info on back-to-school screenings & discounts, and keeping kids safe during the school year.
  • Enjoy the fun zone with free crafts, face-painting, and activities.

Contact: RSVP line, 866-997-DOCS
 
Back to School Health Fair

When: Friday, Aug 14, 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Where: Central Florida Health Care, Inc.-Mulberry, 106 NW 9th Ave., Mulberry
What: A Central Florida Health Care back to school health clinic featuring  CFHC school supplies and backpacks also.
Contact: 863-425-6200
 

Donation Drives

 
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. Stop by Hall Communications located at 404 West Lime Street in Lakeland between on Wednesday, August 19 between 7:00-8:30 a.m. to deliver your drop-off. Stuff the Bus is taking place throughout Polk County. Here is a list of Lakeland drop-off sites leading up to the August 19th event: Learning Resource Center, Red Elephant Pizza and Grill, Victory Church, Lakeland Association of Realtors, Regal Lakeland, Maximize Digital Media, and The Doggie Bag Boutique. Please visit http://lrcpolk.com/stuff-the-bus-for-students-in-need/for more information.
 
Winter Haven Stuff the Bus Info.
 
Pace Center for Girls – Polk Supply Drive

PACE Polk could use your help with school supplies. They will welcome 48 girls on August 17, and could use supplies such as pencils, binders, notebooks, crayons, dictionaries, markers, glue sticks, and more. Please contact Mayelin Quintero at 863-688-5596 or mayelin.quintero@pacecenter.org for more information on how you can help. You can also find a list of needed supplies on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PaceCenterPolk. Pace Polk is located at 101 West Main Street, Suite 140 in Lakeland.