When we were planning our road trip from Chicago to Florida, one of our major destinations we wanted to visit was Central Florida – specifically Polk County. Located between Tampa and Orlando, the main draw for families here is LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Haven. But the fun doesn’t stop there! Find out what else we did with the family in Central Florida.
Disclosure: A huge thank you to Visit Central Florida and their partners who graciously hosted our family. All opinions are our own. Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Places to PLAY:
Bok Tower Gardens
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Bok Tower Gardens not only has beautiful gardens to peruse but an awesome 2.7-acre Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden. What an adorable space to play and be one with nature! A map in hand, my little adventurers explored their hearts out by climbing the spider web, making music outdoors, and chilling out on the hammocks. If you’re into geocaching, they have 6 hidden spots.
Not to be missed is the 205-ft Singing Tower with daily carillon concerts. Bring quarters for fish food — there’s a reflecting pond to feed koi fish.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
We definitely got cool parent points by visiting one of the largest LEGOLAND theme parks around. The block-themed park included pretty awesome LEGO builds including those at Star Wars Miniland and Miniland, character meet and greets, 4D movies, and so much more! After tears and screams, we found out that we weren’t quite ready for roller coasters. No worries, we stuck to other fun rides.
We saw some of their favorite characters including the NINJAGO crew in NINJAGO World. We all had so much fun in the blasting fireballs and lightning against the villains at NINJAGO The Ride.
And taking the driver’s seat at the Ford Driving School and the boat ride. We had such a fun-filled day, but it wasn’t over yet. It was time for…
LEGOLAND Water Park
The heat was unbearable and, after spending a few hours in the park, we were so ready to cool off at LEGOLAND Water Park. We were only able to explore a few attractions such as the water playground with its squirters, slides, and bucket, plus the fun wave pool area before the thunder came booming and everything was shut down.
Even though our visit to LEGOLAND Florida Resort may have been cut short, we did indeed have an awesome time! Highly recommend it for your LEGO-loving kids (and adults!)
Tip: If you’re in the area during Halloween, make sure to check out Brick or Treat. You can even book a Halloween-themed room!
Sadly, we didn’t have enough time to visit all that Central Florida’s Polk County offers. Here are more kid-friendly ideas including a Safari Wilderness, an awesome playground, and more.
Places to EAT:
Harry’s Old Place
A true local favorite, Harry’s Old Place had many things we wanted to try. The kids were given mini goldfish packs which kept them happy until the food came. When given a chance to try gator bites, the kids couldn’t resist. And surprisingly enough, they devoured it! We couldn’t leave without trying the seafood. My crab cake was delicious while my husband, feeling adventurous, tried corvina, a fish he’s never tried before. You must save room for dessert especially their homemade key lime pie and peanut butter pie.
MJ’s Pizza & Wings
After a full day at LEGOLAND, we just wanted to sit and relax in our hotel room. Plus, it’s another great excuse for pizza! After a quick search online we ordered from MJ’s Pizza & Wings. We loved it! The BBQ Chicken pizza with marinated chicken tenders in BBQ was pretty darn good, while the kids gobbled up the cheese pizza.
Places to STAY:
Hampton Inn Winter Haven
Our home away from home in the Central Florida area was the Hampton Inn Winter Haven located just 5 minutes away from LEGOLAND. Before LEGOLAND Florida Resort (LLFR) had their own accommodations, the Hampton Inn was an official “Bed and Brick” partner. The kids appreciated the little touches of LEGO throughout the hotel including a LEGO guy to take pics with and LEGO coloring sheets with crayons. We loved coming back to the hotel to the smell of popcorn in the lobby. (FREE to boot!) The hotel also offers a free hot breakfast. (Love!)
Holiday Inn Winter Haven
Located next door to the Hampton Inn Winter Haven, the Holiday Inn is another great option if you’d like to stay close to LEGOLAND without the hefty price tag. Back in the days, this hotel used to be a part of LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s Bed and Brick program.
If you’re looking to be where all the action is, then you’ll want to book a room at the LEGOLAND Hotel. Stay in a themed-room, fuel up at the free breakfast buffet, splash away in the pool. Going up the elevator has never been more fun in the disco elevator. Next time we’re in the area, we’d love to stay at the hotel.
Legoland Beach Retreat
Another great lodging option if you’d like to immerse yourself in all things LEGO is the Legoland Beach Retreat. The beach-themed hotel has brick-tastic beach bungalows, free breakfast buffet, a playground, poolside games as well as a sandy beach.