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World of Chima at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort in Winter Haven: The World of Chima presented by Cartoon Network is at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort, a theme park specifically geared toward families with children ages two to 12.


Barbeque Festivals: Barbeque fans, rejoice! January kicks off a new year and the return of BBQ festival season. Plan to attend Lakeland PigFest, Ribs on the Ridge, and Budweiser Smoke on the Water BBQ Competition.


Bok Tower Gardens: A historic gem, Bok Tower Gardens has been inspiring Central Florida Visitors for more than 80 years.The 205 foot Singing Tower carillon features daily concerts at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

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Local Attractions: Safari Wilderness Ranch offers an exclusive, fun and educational journey where you will learn about conservation programs, and encounter amazing animals that are endangered or extinct in the wild.

Central Florida Vacations

Official Visitor Information for Polk County, FL

BBQ Festivals: The Perfect Reason To Plan A January Central Florida Vacation

Looking for a way to stave off the potential winter doldrums that inevitably come after the holidays? Plan a Central Florida vacation. Every January not only brings with it the New Year, it also signals the return of barbeque festivals to Central Florida’s Polk County, making it the perfect time to plan a getaway to this popular destination.

You’ll find several opportunities to experience mouthwatering barbeque at popular annual competitions during your Central Florida vacation throughout the months of January and February. Bring your foodie traveling companions as well as your appetite, as many of the competing teams will be selling their barbeque specialties for your enjoyment.

To experience the best BBQ festivals on your January Central Florida vacation, consider these upcoming events and attractions:

19th Annual Lakeland PigFest

  • Friday evening and Saturday, January 30 – 31, 2015 at the Tiger Town Sports Complex in Lakeland
  • The area’s largest barbeque competition of the year (150 teams expected to compete this year to benefit Lakeland area charities)
  • Admission is free but attendees must exchange cash for “Pig Bucks”, the official currency of the Lakeland
    PigFest, to purchase food

11th Annual Budweiser Smoke on the Water BBQ Competition

  • Saturday, February 7, 2015, from 10 am to 5:30 pm in Winter Haven
  • More than 80 teams from across the country are expected to compete in this event, a qualifier for both the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue and the Florida BBQ Association Triple Crown
  • Nominal fees for admission and parking benefit the Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs of Winter Haven, Lake Wales and Haines City

7th Annual Ribs on the Ridge

  • February 27 and Saturday, February 28, 2015 at Lake Eva Park in Haines City
  • Florida BBQ Association’s largest competition for the last four years and is a Jack Daniel’s Qualifier in 2015
  • Approximately 100 teams are expected to compete and the festival will have entertainment, food and craft vendors and fun activities for the whole family

Polk County: Home Of Popular Barbecue Restaurants

Not sure you’ll be able to plan a January Polk County vacation? Not a problem; you can feed your barbeque habit all year long in Polk County, as our area offers numerous barbeque restaurants. Well known, popular establishments that fired up in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s include:

  • Peebles Bar-B-Q
  • Jimbo’s Pit Bar B-Q
  • Schack’s Bar-B-Que

Still looking for more ways to indulge in BBQ during your Central Florida vacation? Polk County is also home to the renowned Brock’s Smoke Hut. Brock’s Smoke Hut has been recognized by National Barbecue News as one of the “Best of the Best Barbecue Restaurants in America.” Additionally, sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q and Woody’s Bar-B-Q are familiar names with several locations throughout Polk County.

Starting to get hungry? Just remember, this round-up barely scratches the surface of BBQ options found throughout Polk County. Check out our dining section to see details on these and the many additional restaurants available in the area so you can start planning your dining itinerary on your Central Florida vacation now.