Tag Archives: Polk County Parks and Rec

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

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

Upcoming Dates

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

Bashes

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

Health Fairs

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

Donation Drives

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

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

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

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.