Family fun awaits you just outside the door of your Lakeland vacation rental in sunny Florida. As the name implies, Lakeland is home to an array of lakes, providing many opportunities to enjoy quiet nature hikes, soak in gorgeous views, or watch native birds in their habitats. Lakeland also offers bike tours, museum visits, and baseball games, so you can customize your visit based on what your family loves doing. Check out this list for some great Lakeland activities that kids and adults will enjoy.
1. Visit the Explorations V Children’s Museum
Enjoy hours of hands-on fun at Explorations V Children’s Museum. This museum, geared for families with children ages birth to 12 years, features three floors of art- and science-focused exhibits that appeal to all five senses, hence the “V” in the museum’s name. Watch and participate as your children check out the workings of a supermarket in the Explore Store, get in front of the camera and report the news, or make music in the music and sound studio.
2. Check Out the Florida Air Museum on Sun ‘n Fun
Prepare for a high flying experience at the Florida Air Museum at SUN ‘n FUN. A variety of restored military planes, commercial jets, and homebuilt, experimental, and aerobatic planes are on display for your family to explore. Because the museum is completely staffed by volunteers, the hours vary, so call ahead to plan your visit.
3. See the Wildlife at Safari Wilderness Ranch
Get up close and personal with unique animals, including eland, Grant’s zebra, Watusi cattle, axis deer, and water buffalo, at Safari Wilderness Ranch. See the animals in their natural habitats on a customized vehicle safari, or, if you have older children, choose a more adventurous camel expedition, kayak safari, or horseback safari. If you really want to get hands-on, sign up for one of the animal feeding experiences with the lemurs, budgies, or guinea pigs.
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4. Pick Berries at Shady Oak Farm
Hand-pick fresh blueberries while teaching your kids about where their food comes from by visiting Shady Oak Farm. Although known for their delicious varieties of blueberries, they also offer strawberries and other vegetables and herbs. Take your day’s harvest back to your vacation rental, and cook an amazing family meal with local ingredients.
5. Take in a Baseball Game at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium
Cheer on the Lakeland Flying Tigers, or see the Detroit Tigers during spring training, at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Watch an exciting baseball game in luxury from one of the six suites, or enjoy the view from comfortable stadium seats. Consider sitting on the berm if you’re bringing young children to give them the freedom to move around or play in the grass while you watch the game.
6. Have a Day of Play at Common Ground Park
Experience a unique spot that caters to children of all developmental levels and abilities at Common Ground Park. This all-inclusive playground features equipment for running, jumping, sliding, and climbing, letting your kids get their energy out in a fun and interactive environment. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day, or take a short trip here for an afternoon activity.
7. Relax at Hollis Garden
Take in the tranquility of the beautiful Hollis Garden while you’re visiting Lakeland. Bring your camera to this botanical garden, which features over 10,000 different plants and flowers along with fountains and beautiful views of Lake Mirror. If your younger kids need something a little more thrilling, take them to Barnett Family Park, located right next to Hollis Garden, to cool off in the splash zone and play on the climbing structures.
8. Enjoy Nature at Circle B Bar Reserve
Watch a bald eagle circle overhead, see an osprey feeding its young, take a scenic nature hike, or enjoy a picnic at the Circle B Bar Reserve. If you have young children with you or just don’t feel like walking through the reserve, hop on the free tram tour. A staff member explains the wildlife habitats you come across, and you are free to take pictures and enjoy the sights from the comfort of the tram.
9. Discover Lakeland with BeFly Bike Tours
Explore the city of Lakeland on two wheels with a guided bike tour. Choose from one of 12 different routes around the city, each highlighting different restaurants, lakes, businesses, and other area attractions. After your tour, head back to your vacation rental for an evening of relaxation on the patio.
10. Adventure Golf at Family Fun Center of Lakeland
Activities for the whole family abound under one roof at the Family Fun Center of Lakeland. Let the younger children play in the Funtasia soft play area while the older kids take each other on in a game of laser tag. Work together to reach the end of the laser maze, or stir up some family competition to see who can get the highest score at the arcade games. Finish off the day with a round of adventure golf on the beautiful 18-hole mini-golf course that boasts a natural pond and waterfall.
11. Tour the Polk Museum of Art
More suitable for older children, the Polk Museum of Art combines art, science, and history in its exhibits, which feature works by local, national, and international artists. Exhibits change every two to three months, giving you a new experience each time you visit. Best of all, admission is free for the whole family.
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