Tag Archives: holiday

Shop Back-to-School During the 2017 Tax-Free Weekend

Shop, and save this weekend!

2017 Florida Sales Tax Holiday Back-to-School
 
The 2017 sales tax holiday will take place over three days beginning on Friday, August 4 at 12:01 a.m. and running through Sunday, August 6 at 11:59 p.m.
 
This year’s tax-free rules apply to clothing, footwear and certain accessories that cost $60 or less per item and school supplies that costs $15 or less per item.
 
Examples of items that will be exempt from tax this weekend include:

Clothing:

  • Bags
  • Belts
  • Hats
  • Hair accessories
  • Jackets
  • Jeans
  • Raincoats
  • Shirts
  • Shorts & skirts
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Scarves
  • Swimsuits
  • Ties
  • Uniforms
  • Wallets

Supplies:

  • Backpacks
  • Binders
  • Calculators
  • Folders
  • Markers, crayons & colored pencils
  • Notebook paper
  • Poster board
  • Pens & pencils

Computer & Accessories:

  • Computers for noncommercial home or personal use
  • Computer speakers
  • Flash drives
  • Headphones
  • Ink cartridges
  • Software
  • Tablets

 
According to the Florida Department of Revenue, the holiday will NOT apply to the following:

  • Any item of clothing selling for more than $60
  • Any school supply item selling for more than $15
  • Books that are not otherwise exempt
  • Personal computers and computer-related accessories purchase for commercial purposes
  • Rentals or leases of any of these items
  • Repairs or alterations of any of these items
  • Sales of clothing or school supplies in a theme park, entertainment complex, public lodging establishment or airport.

 
For a complete list of exempt and non-exempt items, please CLICK HERE.
 
 

2016 Holiday Events in Polk County

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

Ongoing/Recurring Events

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

Library Events

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

Community Events

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

Theatre & Performing Arts Events

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

Attraction Events

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

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

Misc. Events

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

Get Your Back-to-School Items During the 10-day Tax Holiday

The 2015 sales tax holiday will begin on Friday, August 7, 2015 and continue through Sunday, August 16, 2015. That’s right! This year’s tax-free holiday will last for ten days, allowing shoppers ample time to purchase the products they’ll need for the upcoming school year without paying sales tax.
 
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As with the extended length of the tax-free period, other changes will take effect this 2015 holiday.
 
Clothing and certain accessories up to $100 each will apply, while shoes are also eligible, but must cost no more than $100 per pair. Certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item, such as pens, pencils, folders, and calculators will be eligible, but items such as staplers and computer paper will not be included. The first $750 of the sales price for computers and certain computer-related accessories (purchased for noncommercial home or personal use) will also be eligible.
 
For those who prefer online shopping to in-store shopping, eligible purchases through the Internet during the sales tax holiday will also be exempt.
 
While the stores will participate, the ten-day tax holiday does not apply to theme parks, entertainment complexes, public lodging establishments, and airports.
 
For more on tax exempt items and qualifying purchases, please visit the Florida Department of Revenue’s site at http://dor.myflorida.com/Pages/default.aspx.