Tag Archives: holidays

Polk 2017-2018 Schools Dates to Remember

POLK COUNTY 2017-2018 SCHOOL CALENDAR

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

2017

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

 

2018

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

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

2017-2018 Assessment Schedule

 

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

Click for more Polk County testing information.
 

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

 

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
 
 

Winter Break Activities for Students of All Ages

School is out, and winter break is here! Don’t let boredom get you (or your child down) this holiday season. Check out these ideas for students of all ages and levels.

Preschool:

– Help bake cookies.
– Build a fort.
– Read your favorite book.
– Write a letter to a friend.
– Create a holiday craft.
– Stop by the library for activities, story-time, or to pick out some books together
Additional ideas
 

Elementary School:

– Play a board game with family
Make your own board game, and play it with family
– Write a poem about Christmas
Participate in winter indoor fun activities
Conduct science experiments
– Cut paper snowflakes & make DIY decorations
Make a magazine collage
Make a lava lamp
– Bake cookies
– Create a gingerbread house
Read and discuss a book
Go on an alphabet hunt
Create a snowman snow globe
Go on a neighborhood photo safari
Ring in the new year with STEM activities
Additional ideas
Even more ideas
And more ideas
 

Middle School:

Indoor activities
– Make ornaments
Try STEAM or STEM activities
– Make a gingerbread house (and possibly enter a local contest)
– Create your own Christmas cards, and distribute them
Conduct science experiments
Ring in the new year with STEM activities
Additional ideas
 

High School:

– Host a party with friends & DIY decorate
– Organize a holiday gift exchange
Read a holiday novel
– Have a Christmas movie marathon
Participate in indoor activities and workouts
– Clean out your closet, and donate items to the less fortunate
– Read Christmas books to kids (ex. family, library, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club)
– Work on college plans/applications
– Look into jobs
– Search for scholarships
– Throw a friend’s New Year’s Eve party
 

College:

– Learn to cook
Try your hand at baking
– Make goals for the new year, and set a plan for achieving them
– Try new restaurants
– Make DIY gifts for personalized presents
– Give your room a makeover
– Clean out your room and donate items, to the less fortunate
– Road trip
– Catch up with old friends or friends from home
– Host an epic New Year’s Eve get-together
Additional ideas
Even more ideas
 

Ideas for all ages:

– Visit a museum:

Explorations V, Polk Museum of Art, Mulberry Phosphate Museum, Polk County History Center, MOSI, Tampa Museum of Art, Henry B. Plant Museum, The Dali Museum, Ringling Museum of Art, Orlando Museum of Art, Online museums

– Volunteer

Library, nursing home, hospital, soup kitchen, homeless shelter, community center, church or nonprofit, toy and canned-food drives, holiday events
Local volunteer ideas
Additional local volunteer ideas

– Ride around looking at Christmas lights while playing a scavenger hunt game
– Visit a park
– Stop by a local attraction

Bok Tower, The Orlando Eye, theme parks, shows, movies, ice skating, etc.

Check out holiday events
Make a 2015 time capsule with memorable items from the year.
 
 

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.
 

Make a Difference, and Help LRC Students On #GivingTuesday

We have joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide, and hope that you will too!
2015-Keep-Calm-graphic-300x300 graphic
#GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support. This year the initiative will take place on Tuesday, December 1, 2015.
 
Those who are interested in joining us for the LRC #GivingTuesday initiative can make a donation online at https://secure.qgiv.com/for/lrcpolk. The donations we receive will help further our cause in helping deserving students receive the educational help that they need and providing students the opportunity to reach their maximum potential.
 

Join the event on Facebook.

 

About #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a movement to celebrate and provide incentives to give—the 2015 iteration will be held on December 1, 2015. This effort harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners—nonprofits, businesses and corporations as well as families and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. #GivingTuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they celebrate and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday harnesses the power of social media to create a global moment dedicated to giving around the world.
 
For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website GivingTuesday.org.