National Parks / Natural World in LAKELAND with kids

The world has some incredible natural wonders, and luckily for you, Lakeland has some incredible places to visit with kids right on your doorstep….and you won’t want to forget your camera!

The national and state parks in and around Lakeland, Florida offer an incredible variety of experiences for children.  Some parks protect a unique and diverse wilderness, teeming with wildlife which is always a thrill for kids!

Some parks protect incredible fascinating and significant historical sites, where the family can go back in time through American history…who says the learning as to stop on a family day out!

Even the city of Lakeland itself has smaller parks perfect for a quick trip into nature.  You don’t even need to leave the city to have that park experience - and kids LOVE them!

Shut those televisions off and put those computer games away….the great outdoors is calling and it’s calling YOU!

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  • Hillsborough River State Park

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    (19 miles) North Thonotosassa

    Opened in 1938 as one of Floridas first state parks, this park is divided by the swiftly flowing Hillsborough River. Fort Foster, a replica of an 1837 fort from the Second Seminole War, is located on ...

  • Colt Creek

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    (19 miles) Lakeland

    This 5067 acre park nestled within the Green Swamp Wilderness Area and named after one of the tributaries that flows through the property was opened to the public on January 20, 2007. For over 60 ...

  • Lettuce Lake Regional Park

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    (26 miles) Tampa

    A nature filled day out for the family with wooded picnic areas and a playground, canoeing and kayaking, as well as a host of wildlife.

  • Sunken Gardens

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    (45 miles) Saint Petersburg

    A century old garden with waterfalls, tropical plants and meandering paths - St. Petersburg's oldest living museum

  • Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

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    (50 miles) Spring Hill

    Amazing fun with this state park featuring Florida's only spring-fed waterpark, with thrill rides, beach sports, a kiddie pool, mermaid and animal shows, cruises and canoeing!

  • Anclote Key Preserve State Park

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    (53 miles) Dunedin

    Blue-green Gulf waters lap gently along the preserve��s beautiful four-mile-long beach. Located three miles off the coast of Tarpon Springs, this park is accessible only by private boat. Visitors ...

  • Pine Island Beach Park

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    (56 miles) Weeki Wachee

    Explore a whole world away on this idyllic beach, with swimming, sports, picnics, and the beautiful waters of Florida!

  • Fort Cooper State Park

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    (57 miles) Inverness

    The sparkling waters of Lake Holathlikaha were a welcome sight to sick and wounded soldiers during the Second Seminole War. In 1836, the First Georgia Battalion of Volunteers built a stockade for the ...

  • Sarasota Jungle Gardens

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    (59 miles) Sarasota

    Visit one of the oldest continuously operating attractions in the Florida, with beautiful gardens and amazing rescued wildlife!

  • Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

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    (61 miles) Sarasota

    Children will delight in our indoor "rainforest," brilliant dart frog collection, and our gardens abundant with tropical flora and fauna. More than 150 scientific expeditions to rainforests around ...

  • Swim With Manatees

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    (71 miles) Crystal River

    Make this vacation the most memorable ever for the entire family. Come swim with our gentle giants, the manatees. This will be one of the most exciting things you have ever done. Our staff biologist ...

  • Crystal River Preserve

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    (73 miles) Crystal River

    The Crystal River Preserve State Park is truly a unique area on Florida's Gulf Coast. The park is in between temperate and sub-tropical climate zones, which allows for different communities to grow ...

  • Hontoon Island State Park

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    (74 miles) Deland

    This island, located in the St. Johns River in Volusia County, welcomes visitors to enjoy nature and history in quiet solitude. The island is accessible only by private boat or park ferry. Evidence ...

  • Blue Spring State Park

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    (74 miles) Avenue Orange City

    The largest spring on the St. Johns River, Blue Spring is a designated Manatee Refuge and the winter home (mid-November through March) to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. For centuries, ...

  • Lazy Days Eco Kayak Tours

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    (83 miles) Cocoa Beach

    Enjoy nature at its finest when you get Ric Hinman's "Lazy Days" Kayak Eco-Tours to take you on a relaxing journey through Cocoa Beach, Florida's beautiful Thousand Islands... ...

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  • The Florida Air Museum

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    (6 miles) Lakeland

    Floridas “Official Aviation Museum and Education Center” features a dynamic display of the best examples aviation has to offer including one-of-a-kind designs, classics, ultra-lights, antiques ...

  • Dinosaur World

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    (15 miles) Plant City

    Come face to face with over 200 life size dinosaurs in a natural Florida setting, with animatronics, fossil digs, playgrounds and more!

  • Museum of Science and Industry

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    (28 miles) Tampa

    A science-tastic day out for kids under 12 where they can play, interact, learn and understand science and the world around them. Perfect for the whole family in the countries largest kids science ...

  • Glazers Childrens Museum

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    (32 miles) Tampa

    There are equipped role play settings, elemental experiment sections and construction zones plus art and crafts, computers and plenty more besides.

  • Ripleys Believe It Or Not

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    (41 miles) Orlando

    An amazing museum that appears to be sinking into one of Florida's infamous sinkholes! Filled with oddities from all around the world...including shrunken heads and a spinning vortex!

  • Holy Land Experience

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    (45 miles) Orlando

    The Holy Land Experience is a beautiful, educational, and fun experience that offers kids a unique and interactive way to experience God and the bible.

  • Museum of Fine Arts

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    (45 miles) Saint Petersburg

    A trip through the wonderful world of fine arts in Florida, with a permanent collection, rotating exhibitions and special kid events!

  • The Dali Museum

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    (46 miles) Saint Petersburg

    A museum in St. Petersburg dedicated to that master artist we know as Dali.

  • Florida Holocaust Museum

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    (46 miles) Saint Petersburg

    A moving and eye opening museum that honours the memory of those who were involved in the Holocaust. Suitable for the older children.

  • Tampa Bay Automobile Museum

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    (46 miles) Pinellas Park

    Car loving families will love tis automobile museum, just a short drive from Tampa, with an amazing collection of vintage vehicles.

  • Replay Amusement Museum

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    (50 miles) Tarpon Springs

    Visit the WORLDS biggest pinball machine at this fun Florida museum, with over 100 pinball games, and amusements from history. No quarters needed here!

  • Armed Forces History Museum

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    (50 miles) Largo

    A fascinating museum with incredible displays and exhibits that honour the armed forces, and tell their story.

  • Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum

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    (50 miles) Tarpon Springs

    The history of Tarpon Springs is ready to be explored at the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum. Fascinating and educational experience for the whole family

  • The South Florida Museum

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    (53 miles) Bradenton

    The South Florida Museum interprets the region from the Pleistocene to the present with stunning life-size dioramas and dramatic exhibits based on its extensive collections of anthropological ...

  • American Police Hall of Fame and Museum

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    (79 miles) Titusville

    The American Police Hall of Fame and Museum was founded in 1960. It is the nations first national police museum and memorial dedicated to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.The ...

  • Kennedy Space Centre

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    (84 miles) Titusville

    NASA's launch headquarters is still the only place on Earth where you can tour launch areas, meet an astronaut, see giant rockets, train in spaceflight simulators, and even view a launch!

  • Dade City's Wild Things

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    (27 miles) Dade City

    Embark on an adventure that will take you closer to amazing animals than ever before, with 22 acres of Florida animal fun!

  • The Florida Aquarium

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    (31 miles) Tampa

    Tens of thousands of marine plants and animals from all around the world are ready to be explored at this Florida Aquarium, with dive programs and a splash pad too!

  • Giraffe Ranch

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    (31 miles) Dade City

    45 minutes north of Tampa is 47 rolling acres of countryside teeming with wildlife that kids can play with, feed, look at, and even ride! This wildlife preserve offers intimate safari expeditions for ...

  • Lowry Park Zoo

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    (32 miles) Tampa

    With more than 2,200 animals, this fun Tampa zoo has interactive exhibits for kids, as well as fun rides! Bumper boats, flumes, carousels - an amazing family zoo day out in Florida!