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The Detroit Tigers may be the pride of the Motor City, but even they go down south for their spring training. For 85 years, their home away from home has been Lakeland, Florida, and you can see them train for the season at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. This is also the home of the Lakeland Flying Tigers, which is an advanced-A team affiliated with the Tigers.
For 2019, they’ll be playing in Lakeland from February 22 to March 25, and you can purchase tickets to see any of the games. While you’re down there watching the Detroit Tigers win game after game, you might be wondering if there’s anything else to see or do. As it turns out, Lakeland has plenty of great attractions for the whole family.
If you’re an art lover, you’ll enjoy the Polk Museum of Art. This museum has everything from 5,000-year-old Korean ceramics to traditional African art to modern works. They even have ceramic plates made by Picasso. You can get a souvenir work of your own from the Art-O-Mat machine before you leave.
Do you need a place that kids will enjoy? Try the Explorations V Children’s Museum. Your youngsters can make their own news broadcast, view things through a giant microscope or even view an interactive skeleton. All of this will help them learn more about the incredible world that they live in. They also have temporary exhibits that your kids won’t want to miss.
Theater lovers will enjoy Lakeland whether they prefer stage or screen. The Polk Theatre has been around for a long time, and it hosts live performances as well as classic films inside its Mediterranean-inspired walls.
Since this is Florida, the great outdoors is something to look at all year long. Hollis Garden, for instance, is a short distance from the center of town, and it features over 10,000 different flowers. Music can be heard throughout the gardens as you stroll through the butterfly trail on your way to one of the best lakeside views you’ll ever see.
You can also go visit Safari Wilderness, a 260-acre preserve that’s considered to be one of America’s best safari parks. You’ll find a lot of African herd animals including Grant’s zebras, Watusi cattle and even scimitar-horned oryxes, which are extinct in Africa. They also have ostriches, llamas, camels, and fainting goats. You can take one of their safari buses through the park, or you can choose to go with a guide while riding a camel.
For something a little closer to home, take a look at the Circle B Bar Reserve, which is home to some of the finest animals native to Central Florida. Before you head out onto the hiking trails, you should check out the Polk Nature Discovery Center, which will give you an idea of what nature can do in this area. There are 1,267 acres of wetlands, lakes, and grasslands to explore, and you’ll have a chance to see alligators, boars, ospreys and bald eagles in their natural habitats.