- Bring your camera and take pics with Santa and Geoffrey.
- Enjoy story time and decorate your own gingerbread cookie.
- Receive free giveaways.
WALKABOUT, CHRISTMAS PARADE, FIRST FRIDAY, SNOWFEST, SUNFLOWER PLAYGROUND & A CALL FROM SANTA
On Tuesday, November 30th, the Annual Holiday Walkabout will take place in Downtown Lakeland. If you want a gift that doesn’t say I was mass produced in a department store, then shopping in Downtown Lakeland is for you. Stores and restaurants will be open from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. While you’re there, you can play reindeer games, participate in a toy walk and hang out with the Grinch. Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a kiddie train ride and pony rides will be available for little elves. Free parking will be available at the main street garage. The public parking entrance is located on Cedar St. The Bay Street entrance is also open and can be accessed from Tennessee Ave.
On Thursday, December 2nd the 30th Annual Christmas Parade will kick off at 7:00 p.m. with a fantastic fireworks display over Lake Mirror. The theme of this year’s parade is Christmas Stories. Over 100 organizations will be participating in this year’s event. The parade will leave the Lakeland Center and make its way down Lemon Street twisting and turning through Downtown Lakeland. Streets along the parade route will begin closing at 5:30 p.m. Additional parking will be available after 5:00 p.m. in the Downtown parking garages and parking lots. So get your seat early and keep an eye out for the “Big Guy” at the end.
On December 3rd “Holiday Happenings” First Friday takes place as Downtown Lakeland stays open late for holiday shopping and cheer. Enjoy the yuletide spirit during this event. There will be photo opportunities with Santa as well as holiday music and entertainment by Lawton Chiles Middle School and Carlton Palmore Elementary. There will also be several Christmas Parade floats on display! Visit downtownlakelandfl.com for more information for this event and the Holiday Walkabout.
On Saturday December 4th, snow will fall in Lakeland as the 30th Annual Snowfest kicks off at Lake Mirror from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. This year’s event will feature the traditional snow mountain along with an exciting snow slide, a visit from Santa Claus, children’s entertainment, inflatables and food vendors will complete the day. Price for admission to Snow Mountain or the snow slide will be a canned food item or a $1.00 donation. Admission to the inflatables will be $1.00. All canned food items will be donated to the Polk County Senior Orphans.
Sunflower Preschool Playground
In conjunction with this year’s Snowfest the new Sunflower Preschool Playground will open its gates for the first time. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. The new park is designed for children 3 -5 years old and features age appropriate equipment that provides maximum early childhood developmental and play opportunities.
What holiday season would be complete without a call from Santa Claus? Special arrangements have been made this year for Santa to phone local children from his workshop. Santa and his long distance operators will be calling elementary school children on Tuesday, December 7th from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. To ensure your child doesn’t miss out on this exciting opportunity you must complete a Santa’s Calling form. Forms can be obtained online at lakelandgov.net or picked up at any of the following facilities: Kelly Recreation Complex at 404 Imperial Blvd., Simpson Park at 1725 MLK Jr. Avenue or at City Hall located at 228 S Massachusetts Ave.