Art, theater and music have always been popular forms of entertainment, and Polk County has plenty to offer. Professional and community live theater, live music, world-class art galleries, exquisite museum collections and elegant arboretums are just a few of the exciting and culturally appealing things to do in Central Florida.
Obviously, Central Florida attractions include the ever-popular amusement parks, restaurants and a plethora of tourist activities to enjoy. However, for a truly memorable vacation experience, it is the art and music of Polk County that will stimulate your mind and satisfy your senses, regardless of which venues you and your family choose to partake.
Abundant Art In A Variety Of Arenas
Art is such a broad term that one cannot simply decide to go "look at art" in Polk County, although there is certainly plenty to look at. There are a variety of things to do in Central Florida that will intrigue and satisfy your taste for art. The Lake Wales Museum and Cultural Center, also known as The Depot, is popular with children and adults alike with its displays of trains and memorabilia from the local citrus and cattle industries. Additionally, the Arts Ensemble International combines business with art, as its community of artists contributes artworks that defy description in this Soho style setting.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture at Florida Southern College in Lakeland is simply breathtaking. His "Child of the Sun" campus project consists of 12 structures, making it the largest single one-site collection of Mr. Wright's buildings. If you prefer traditional museums, the Polk Museum of Art is one of the great things to do in Central Florida. It boasts eight galleries filled with Asian and African art and contemporary works from local and internationally known artists. The sculpture garden is a wonderful way to enjoy art outdoors.
Gardens And Arboretums As Art
Nature frequently provides the inspiration for art, and arboretums are a delightful way to enjoy the beautiful weather while appreciating astonishing works of art, both manmade and botanical. The Hollis Garden's neoclassical design provides visitors with the opportunity to view more than 10,000 ornamental shrubs and flowers in this display that focuses on the progression from ancient agriculture to modern horticulture.
If you love bells, you simply must visit the Bok Tower Gardens, which features one of the world's greatest carillons. There are 60 bells in the carillon, the largest one weighing in at 12 tons! This melodic collection is housed in a 205-foot coquina stone and marble tower, built by Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Bok in 1929. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Bok Tower Gardens is located at the highest point in peninsular Florida, offering visitors a stunning view of the region.
Sensational Stage Performances
The stages of Polk County, filled with drama, music, comedy, dance and so much more, provide visitors with plenty of things to do in Central Florida. The Lakeland Center offers everything from Broadway style productions to the Moscow Ballet, shows performed on ice and live comedy. For something a bit more intimate, the Lakeland Community Theater is known for its high caliber productions at the Lake Mirror Center Theater. Another delightful community theater group declared the 'Best in America' by the Tampa Tribune, Theatre Winter Haven offers full-scale productions, a children's series and some of the best performances available in the region.
Additionally, the Polk Theater offers vaudeville style performances and independent films shown in the Old World movie palace style. For fans of dance and music there are plenty of things to do in Central Florida, as the Florida Dance Theater offers four major productions every year from its professional and student performers, and the Imperial Symphony Orchestra features over 80 talented musicians in their masterworks concerts. They also offer free outdoor pops concerts, another great way to enjoy the weather while treating your senses to the classics.
There is are so many things to do in Central Florida that it may be difficult for you to decide where to begin, but you are sure to enjoy the rich repertoire of art and music available in Polk County.
Christine O'Kelly is an author for Central Florida Visitors and Convention Bureau, an organization offering some of the best things to do in Central Florida. Tourists and residents of Florida are sure to find art and musicCentral Florida attractions to be some of the finest in the world.