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Family Fun that Won't Break the Bank!
Posted on 6/30/2011
In most households, one of the first things to go in an economy such as ours is all the trimmings– the enjoyable, fun things that we do. We do those things because they help relieve the stress and the pressures of day-to-day living. Financial stressors are at an all-time high and can take a huge toll on our physical and emotional health. We can begin to become exhausted because we have less money to go out, have fun and spend funds on entertainment because that money needs to be spent on the essentials.
Having fun is incredibly important as it helps us become closer to our loved ones through shared experiences and it helps us to refuel to be better able to accomplish tasks or responsibilities. We are incredibly lucky because our Lakeland community is chockfull of free or nearly free things to do. Hope to see you out and about enjoying some of these amazing events.
Circle B Bar Reserve-4399 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland, FL 33803 (863)534-7377
- Hiking, fishing, tours, bird watching, picnic areas, biking, Equestrian Trails (bring your own horse). No pets.
Downtown Lakeland http://www.downtownlakelandfl.com/
- First Friday in Downtown Lakeland– First Friday is a free monthly celebration in Downtown Lakeland from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Stores stay open late—entertainment and activities.
- August “Dog Days of Summer” – It’s hot! But Downtown is the cool place to be with your pets!
- DOWNTOWN FARMERS CURB MARKET- every Saturday between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 200 N. Kentucky Avenue
- Feed ducks at downtown lakes, count the swans.
- Free outdoor movie experience held at Lake Mirror in Downtown Lakeland. ‘Grab a blanket, pack a picnic dinner and head out for a Friday night under the stars to enjoy your favorite movies on a giant outdoor screen’. http://picsonthepromenade.com/
Lists all the parks in Lakeland http://www.lakelandgov.net/parkrec/parks/parklisting.html
- Edgewood Park- ‘Common Ground’ Baseball, football, playground (HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE), soccer field, restrooms, 8 racquetball courts, 16 lighted tennis courts, 1 picnic pavilion; 17.7 acres, 1000 E. Edgewood Dr.
- Picnics in Dobbins Park. Covered tables and swings, slides for the kids.
- Take the dog for a walk at one of the parks (be sure to check first to be sure animals are allowed in parks).
Other favorite playgrounds:
- Barnett Park – Corner of Lake Ave. & Orange Ave, downtown near Lake Mirror
- Dobbins Park – Ariana St, next to Dixieland Elementary
- Peterson Park – off Cleveland Heights (turn down the road between the YMCA and Cleveland Heights Animal Hospital)
- Lake Bonny Park – Hwy 98 across from Lakeland HS.
- Lake Hollingsworth is a great place to ride bikes, walk or skate
Lakeland Library has story time for little ones and also other activities; visit the following for a list: http://www.lakelandgov.net/library/youthservices.html
Family Fundamentals offers many free events for kids throughout the year. Contact info: Shawna Butler Shawna.Butler@uwcf.org Ask to be placed on the mailing list.
Explorations V Children’s’ Museum http://www.explorationsv.com/
109 N. Kentucky Avenue , Lakeland , FL 33801 (863) 687-3869
- Museum Members – FREE, Children Under 2 – FREE, Ages 2 through Adult $5.00, Seniors 65+ $2.50
Polk Museum of Art
800 East Palmetto Street, Lakeland, Fl 33801. (863) 688-7743 or (863) 688-5423 for classes and tours. Admission: $5 general, $4 seniors, students and children under 5 FREE.
Colt Creek-16000 State Rd 471, Lakeland (863) 815-6761
Fishing and Hiking
Florida State Parks- http://www.floridastateparks.org/default.cfm
Create a scavenger hunt/treasure hunt in one of the parks or at the beach. Do an internet search for suggestions on things to include on the scavenger/treasure hunt lists.
For Summertime Fun:
- Outdoor Concert Series at the Lake Mirror Amphitheater
- Weekday movies at CobbTheater-Lakeside Village (863) 937-0416
- GANDY POOL – 404 Imperial Blvd Lakeland, FL 33805 (863) 834-3157 $3 per visit. Dive- In movies and swim on Friday nights.
Other Ideas For Fun:
- Color the sidewalk with chalk.
- Play catch, tag, hopscotch, hangman, color, sing silly songs, do crafts, finger paint, create an obstacle course, go bike riding.
- Family game night, movie night, big breakfast on Sundays
- Around the Holidays schools/churches put on plays/concerts.
- High school sporting events, college and high school theatrical events
- Chucky Cheese and McDonalds inside playhouses.
- Volunteer somewhere
By: Melissa Brown, LCSW, Therapist at Peace River Center