Celebrate the Arts
If you've ever visited Polk County, you're well aware of its renowed reputation for having the area's most celebrated visual and performating arts attractions. When planning your next Central Florida vacation, you won't want to miss these art venues and attractions. There's something for everyone in the family to enjoy!
Polk Museum Of Art
Does abstract art both puzzle and excite you at the same time? If so, you’ll love what the Polk Museum of Art has to offer! Named as one of the Top 10 art museums in Florida and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Polk Museum of Art features an extensive permanent collection of contemporary and modern art, as well as an impressive array of Pre-Columbian, Asian, European and American Decorative Arts.
If your family is looking for a more hands-on approach to art, check out their free Family Fun Workshops, held every Saturday at 10:30 AM. The workshops are led by experienced art educators and give families the opportunity to create their own artwork together. Plus, admission to the museum is free every Saturday morning from 10:00 AM to noon. General admission: $5 for adults, $4 for seniors (62+) and Free for students with valid school ID or children under 6.
Keep in mind, the museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays – and house of operation vary by season, so be sure to plan ahead!
Bok Tower Gardens
Bok Tower Gardens is a beloved National Historic Landmark and an artistic wonder in its own right. Guests have enjoyed daily carillon concerts for decades and you simply can’t deny the beauty of its gorgeously maintained gardens and the stunning architecture of the “Singing Tower” and the Pinewood Estate.
Explorations V Children’s Museum
As exciting as art exhibits, symphonies and theatre performances may be for the adults, the children may start to get antsy for something a little more kid-friendly. If you’re looking for something to awaken the artistic curiosities of the young (and young at heart!), look no further than Explorations V Children’s Museum in Lakeland!
Wondering what that Roman numeral “V” represents in the museum’s name? It symbolizes your five senses, which this fun-filled museum seeks to appeal to with hands-on art and science exhibits and programs.
The mini art-enthusiast in your family will love the children’s art gallery, located on the second floor; and with amazing instructional programs offered daily, there are endless learning opportunities to seize! Kids can create their very own masterpiece during Open art Studio on Tuesdays at 1:00 PM, or during the Fun Friday session held each Friday at 10:30 AM.
The museum is closed on Sundays and the cost of admission is $7 per person (children under 2 are free), with special discounts available for senior citizens, military and teacher families.
Imperial Symphony Orchestra
A tour of the arts community in Polk County simply wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Imperial Symphony Orchestra (ISO) in Lakeland.
This community orchestra is comprised of 80 volunteer musicians, who have made it their mission to entertain, educate and inspire audiences through enlightening performances of symphonic music. The orchestra presents a number of concerts each year, primarily at the Lakeland Center, but also at other venues throughout the area.
Theatre Winter Haven
Since 1970, Theatre Winter Haven has been delighting local audiences and tourists alike with outstanding performances of the highest caliber.
With more than 30,000 tickets sold annually, this theatre group presents eight full-scale productions each year, in addition to two touring productions and various special events.
Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture
The Florida Southern College Campus in Lakeland is the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright works in any single location. A self-guided tour will lead you through the numerous archways and walkways that connect the buildings, allowing you ample time to enjoy Wright’s work at its finest. All the architecture here has been meticulously restored to ensure authenticity and integrity to Wright’s initial vision. A self-guided tour is free fun at its best for architecture buffs and novices alike.
For a true taste of historic Polk County, the Ramon Theater is a sure bet! Built in 1925, the Ramon Theater began as a vibrant entertainment hub featuring everything from movies to vaudeville performances. Today, located in historic downtown Frostproof, the renovated venue hosts Murder Mystery dinners, an annual music series, and various holiday events.
Also a historic vaudeville and movie palace, Lakeland’s Polk Theatre was built in 1928 and has been an integral part of the arts community in Polk County. Elvis Presley even performed at the Polk Theatre in 1956! Today, the venue is home to an annual performing arts series, screenings of various independent films, and many special events throughout the year.
Calling all art lovers, casual enthusiast, and anyone who enjoys being entertained! Platform Art is a non-profit arts organizations dedicated to supporting and promoting the work of local artists in the areas of visual arts, music, fashion, film and performance art.
The organization’s signature event, the annual Platform Art Party, is among the highest attended art events in Polk County.
Lake Wales Arts Center
Searching for an artistic haven where music and visual art join forces? Check out the Lake Wales Arts Center, owned and operated by the Lake Wales Arts Council.
Open year-round, the Arts Center is free to the public and includes access to the current exhibit at the Michael Crews Gallery, as well as the permanent art collection housed throughout the building. The Lake Wales Arts Center also hosts classes, workshops and a number of concerts throughout the year.