Share the Love WEEK Gifts and Events

Share the Love Week at InTune Studios:    February 13 – 18:   Gifts, Playdates, Free Play in the open studio !

Here at InTune Studios, we LOVE what we do, sharing the joy of making music and art with children and families.  We LOVE watching the process of fine arts as it helps children blossom musically and personally.  And we love the children and families who choose to share this experience with us !  We want to SHARE our LOVE with you, and if you would SHARE your LOVE with us, I believe all of our hearts would “grow three sizes that day.”  (since we’ve been so Grinchy lately – though it’s all been in fun.)

WE LOVE KINDERMUSIK!  

With much joyful delight and anticipation, we invite you to participate in WE LOVE KINDERMUSIK Week with us during Valentine’s week, when Kindermusik educators and families around the world will join together to show, tell, and celebrate how much we all love Kindermusik and what Kindermusik means to each of us. 

Read about this international event that was launched by Kindermusk International yesterday.  And follow the conversations from around the world on Kindermusik International’s Facebook page.

We LOVE Kindermusik !

WE LOVE MUSIC and ART! 

In coordination with these events, InTune Studios is expanding on these ideas and offering even more fun for everyone in our studio !  Share your love for music and art with us.                   NEW studio #863-606-8115.

Here’s how our wonderful families can participate with us in SHARE THE LOVE Week:

SHARE THE LOVE !

  • DOWNLOAD and LISTEN to Kindermusik’s gift to everyone !  Kindermusik International is also offering a gift.  Their music site, play.kindermusik.com, is now featuring a special song for you to download free, “Love Somebody“!  Tell your friends, and they can download it too.  Share the LOVE ! 
    • More Music:  Watch my Facebook Page for more recommended songs from the website from which you might like to expand your Valentine’s Playlist !   Those who enroll in a SHARE THE LOVE Playdate will get to enjoy all these songs with Kindermusik Activities, and get a Play.Kindermusik.com Code Card to download these songs for free.
  • DISPLAY our gift to you! In every Kindermusik class and Playdate during this week, we’ll be giving out WE LOVE KINDERMUSIK window clings for your car in class. You’ll be proud to share your love for Kindermusik with these small, classy window clings – the love just goes ’round and ’round and ’round!!
  • SHARE why you love Kindermusik– Every entry will give you a chance in the drawing for prizes.
    • Comment on THIS POST, with a comment, a story, or a picture of your adorable musical children
    • Post Your Love on the Music Connections Facebook Page,  with a comment, a story, or a picture
    • Tweet Your Love :  just add #lkld and #kindermusik to your comment.  Follow my comments @debbiemondale 
    • Catch your love on Video:  create a short, quick video, on your own, or with us during Share The Love Days.
    • Complete a “Share the LOVE” Wall Art for us to hang at InTune Studios – can do during Share the Love Days.
    • All entries will be collected through the week, and the drawing for prizes will be at the end of each FREE PLAY event.
    • Prizes for online winners include Free music downloads from Play.kindermusik.com and Gift Certificates for FREE Kindermusik PLAYDATES and InTune MUSIC or ART WORKSHOPS,
    • Prizes for winners at FREE PLAY include instruments, music sets, art kits, Gift Certificates, and more.

Participate in Share the Love Days:   on Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, Feb. 14th        AND Saturday, Feb. 18th 

It is EASY to use our new All-Inclusive Sign Up Form to register for ANY of the following events!

  • Enroll for a Share the Love Kindermusik Playdate 
    • 9:30 am.  –  Babies Playdate  (only on Sat.)
    • 10:30 am. – Family Playdate (Tues. and Sat.)
    •  $15 for first child, $5 for siblings
    • Includes 45 min. of Kindermusik activities, Music from Play.Kindermusik.com, and Valentine play props 
    • Includes a “We Love Kindermusik” Window Cling to display in your car.
    • Includes ability to participate in FREE PLAY at InTune Studios !
    • Please register in advance, Pay at the door.
  • Enjoy FREE PLAY at InTune Studios !  –  FREE to all enrolled in any Kindermusik or InTune Studios programs
    • 11:30 am – 1:00 pm  – Register in advance for this event so we can plan effectively
    • Kindermusik Room is open for play: Filled with instruments, scarves, gertie balls, and more.  Mrs. Debbie will be there to Share the LOVE with Kindermusik Tatoos, “I love Kindermusik” Stickers, and hand stamps, of course !
    • The Director’s Room is our camera friendly room for pictures and a chance to make a Share the Love video.  Mrs. Tiffany will be our photo and video specialist !  AND create a Share the Love comment to disply on our walls for an additional entry into our drawing for prizes at the end of the event.
    • The Art Room is open to Create a SHARE THE LOVE wearable Masterpiece.  Bring your OWN t-shirt, canvas bag, baby bib, or whatever you’d like to decorate.  Mrs. Carolyn will be there to assist and share her supplies and ideas, as well as some cool iron ons, like these “We LOVE Kindermusik” logos, or “We are InTune with Music & Art” .  Then wear your masterpieces to classes and lessons throughout the month of Feb to Share Your LOVE.

Big Kids get a SHARE the LOVE Kids Night Out on Friday, Feb. 17th        ages 4 – 12 years

  • Friday Night:  6 – 10 pm.    Special Price:  $20 for first child, $15 for siblings  
  • Registration required ! 
  • Mrs. Tiffany and Mrs. Carolyn are setting up some fabulous music and art activities. 
  • Bring your own cotton t-shirt, bag, or cloth item to decorate with our SHARE THE LOVE materials.

It is EASY to use our new ALL-Inclusive Sign Up Form to register for ANY of these events, even the FREE ones !

SHARE the LOVE Week week is truly intended to be a week of happy reminders of why we all love Kindermusik, music, and art, and most importantly, of all the special people – educators, families, and children – who come together every week to change the world through music.  

PLEASE SHARE YOUR LOVE with us in the comments section of this post !!!   We have some wonderful prizes to award.

It’s Gonna Snow and I Gotta Crow

I GOTTA CROW !

Like Peter Pan,

I get so excited, that…

I GOTTA CROW !

COCK-A-DOODLE  MOOOO !  (that’s the Kindermusik way to CROW !) 

COCK-A-DOODLE  BRRRRRR !!!

Winter Wonderland CDTHIS Sat. we celebrate the season:chilly winds, snowfalls, and ice skating with the best music for singing, dancing, and playing in the snow.

WINTER WONDERLAND PLAYDATES
THIS Sat. Jan. 28th Enroll online here, email, or call/text me: 863-397-4976

9:30 – Families with babies up to 18 m.

10:30 – Families with all ages of children

Special Prices this Month:     $15 includes music, snow props, & tuition for 1st child:  $5 for siblings: Siblings < 1 year or > 7 yrs. are FREE:  $5 to bring a friend new to Kindermusik

I GOTTA CROW ! COCK-A-DOODLE ZOOM !

Demos Days were delightful (Thank You!),  new materials are on their way, and

Spring Semester of Kindermusik is ready to roll NEXT WEEK !     (Click on the Spring Icon to Enroll)

I’m excited to see everyone:

the babies will be fascinated by the farm animals; the toddlers are going to chug and vroom, and zoom as Away We Go; and the preschoolers have many “treasures in store”… in our imaginary TOY store, that is.

Come join us ! It is never too late – jump in any time ! If you haven’t yet, come try your first class FREE !

 Tiffany is CROWING about the number of families who will be enjoying her Kindermusik Sign and Sing class. A few spaces remain !

 I GOTTA CROW ! COCK-A-DOODLE TWEET !

My “dinosaur” computer was replaced with one that actually does what I ask without crashing… It’s so NICE to work more efficiently !    And I am very excited about my new website that will launch soon, with all the ways it will help us connect more easily !

Come and CROW with me !

Let’s celebrate all our joys and accomplishments together, with music, and movement, and lots of fun !

May we never grow to old to CROW !

Peter Pan
Peter Pan ” I Gotta Crow “

So your child likes Trains

Whoo! Whoo ! ALL Aboard !  Children LOVE things that go ! Some of us never grow out of it. I love train rides and long road trips that give us a chance to feel the wind in our hair, see new places and connect with our traveling friends.

Trains are especially exciting for young children, with all the sounds, the motions, and the adventures !  Most folks are aware of Thomas, and all the wonderful stories of he and his friends.  But there are many other wonderful resources, ie. books, movies, websites, and more about unique trains, and even railroad track layers.  In the following linked blog posts, I have listed some of my favorites ! 

This coming semester,  In Our Time:  Away We GO!, the children will love Shiny Dinah, her book, her songs, and the big case in her shape, as well as exploring the many other methods we use to get places !    In Imagine That: Toys I Make, Trips I Take, we help set up a train set in our Toy Store, and pretend we are going on a train ride… but where?  Our students learn to draw maps to show where they want their train ride to go.  Take your child’s train play to a whole new level… and let them learn music concepts in the process !   This can take your child’s train play to a whole new level.    Try out one of these classes this week at a Free Demo class.  And join us for delighful traveling fun and learning at the beginning of February as part of our Spring Semester of Kindermusik.   The process of music will amaze you.

Enroll for a Demo class today !

Enroll for a full semester of Kindermusik ! – Monthly payment plans are automatically set up upon online enrollment.

ENJOY the resources at these links !  The music and books are really great !

DOWNLOAD some great music from:  Play.Kindermusik    Check out these albums:

  • All Aboard
  • Zane the Train

And enjoy the resources that I have shared on my blog postings:

Try a music or art class at January Demo classes

Of course, you want to try a Kindermusik class with Ms. Debbie, or an art class with Ms. Carolyn, but you are worried about the cost, or whether your child will like it, or whether they will disrupt the class, or whether you will have to dance or sing.  Well, don’t worry so much, you can dance and sing when you want to, just like your child is encouraged to participate in their own way.  Your child may not be ecstatic about it the first day, but will grow to love it in just a few weeks (when they become familiar with the routine), and we can work through the cost issue (I’ve got my ways.)  But first, just come and try it out a class.

Demo Days Logo

THIRD Week of January:    17 – 21st

at InTune Studios

Enroll Online:   FREE DEMO Class Schedule 

Invite a friend: See you then !               Enroll Together and each get FREE music !

 

Demo classes reflect the programs offered by Music Connections and InTune Studios

Spring 2012 Semester

starting First week of February:            Jan. 31 – Feb. 2

leaf play

Babies: infants up to 17 months

– Kindermusik Village: Cock-a-Doodle Moo

– Kindermusik Playdates: Winter Wonderland
– Kindermusik Sign & Sing: Unit 1 (6 – 30 m)

 

Peek a boo Darcy

Toddlers: 1 1/2 – 3 1/2 yrs

– Kindermusik Our Time: Away We Go

– Art & Literacy: Pee Wee Picasso’s (InTune)

 

IT Boats

Preschoolers: 3 – 5 yrs.

– KM Imagine That: Toys I Make, Trips I Take

 

Ole'

Elementary: 5 – 7 yrs.

Kindermusik for the Young Child (5 – 7 yrs)

Art’Sing: Singing, Drama, Art (6 – 13 yrs) (InTune)

 

Family Lap bounce

Families:

Kindermusik Playdates: (one time events)

Jan: Winter Wonderland

Feb: Let Me Call You Sweetheart

Mar: It’s Your Lucky Day

 

These Playdates are offered one Sat. a month, as well as a variety of times of other times.

 

Be a part of a wonderful musical experience with your family this Spring !!!

 

For any Kindermusik classes,  Enroll online   or contact Debbie Mondale.

Email  musiconnx@att.net ,  or call: 863-816-8835

 

For any InTune Studios classes,  contact Tiffany Stokes

intunestudios@gmail.com , or call  863-937-7782

I hope to see you at the studio this week.  Until then, be well.

Holiday Thank You Cards as a Family Ritual

Gratitude is a gift you give back lovingly, not a chore to be forced.   SO, how can we, as parents, set this up for success for our children to take on this task with pride and wholeness of heart?   We make it into a full family ritual, complete with sounds, smells, tastes, and a Thank You Card (or Method) that incorporates their personality and their abilities.  Make sure to do it each year the week after Christmas, or the Hanukka events, or whatever holiday you celebrate, and it will be a cherished memory, and a lifelong tradition they can share with their children.  When done with love, it helps them embrace an important life skill: an attitude of gratitude.

Although it will take some prep time on your part (see below), when your family sits down to complete the task, make it special, and give it plenty of time.  

  • SOUND:  Put on some enjoyable Winter Music, or some of your favorite children’s Christmas songs, or music specific to your holiday.  Our family’s favorite is the Charlie Brown Christmas album (LOVE that JAZZ).  Or the Winter Wonderland album.   NOTE:  The title song is a FREE DOWNLOAD during December, a special gift from Kindermusik International.
  • TASTE:  Serve hot chocolate, or spiced cider, and a few nibbler treats to munch on (choose to serve before, during, or after, based on what works best for your family.)  Many times, we are still working on finishing off our Gingerbread houses.  
  • SMELL:  Add a delightful aroma with some of your favorite candles or essential oils of the season.  This year, a special family gave me a “Twisted Peppermint” candle – a perfect addition to our tradition.
  • TOUCH:  Set up the table with all the things you need to make this successful and free of stress.

First, consider the best method that YOUR child will enjoy to make MULTIPLE  Thank You cards.  Take into account their ability level, and their personality.   Each one of these activities allows the child to share a bit of themselves in a way that makes them feel special for “giving back”, without overwhelming them with the task.  Combine the ideas, and make them your own.  If you have any of your own, please add them in the comment section.

PICTURES:  For a baby or any child who is not yet able to write, take a photograph of the child with the objects given to them by each specific person/family.  They may be wearing the new outfit, or playing with the toy, or even sleeping with it under their arm.  This can be emailed with a quick note, or printed and sent by mail with a handwritten note below the picture, or on the back.  IF gifts are given personally, it is an awesome memory to take a picture of the giver, the child, and the gift while they are together.  For your child, when they are ready, it is a great idea to have a picture of each family and friend in a photo album that is easy for them to use.   Review these family photos, and talk about which person gave them which gift, and maybe help them remember some details of that family member.   These pictures can be looked at again and again, with stories weaved in to make the family tapestry strong.  BOTH my children repeatedly sought out and  lingered over family pictures in their baby books – mesmerized as young children are with faces.  As they got older, we had to call each one… even if just to listen to the other family member talk.

Thank You stampINK STAMPS:   There is an amazing array of stamps on the market now because of Scrapbooking.   For children able to use stamps (but not write well), get a STAMP with their NAME on it.  For the very young, you may use a self inking stamp (to avoid patches of ink everywhere), but the regular stamps offer more of a variety with children just a bit older.   Ink pads come in a variety of colors, so get a few of their favorites, and let them choose which color to use.  Or, of course, you can have them use their markers to color the stamp any way they want, and then stamp it on the paper.  You may even take them to the store, to choose a few stamps that reflect their interests, ie. trains, animals, or royal accessories.   Cut a sheet of card stock into four postcards and let them decorate both sides with their “personality stamps” and their NAME stamp on ONE side at the BOTTOM, and let dry.  Parents can write the address on one side, and on the side with the name, a quick note commenting on how their child reacted to the gift.   If they are starting to write, you may have them write just the NAME of the person it is for.  Help them “picture” the person in their head by showing pictures, or telling stories of fun times they had together.

COPY ART / SIMPLE THANK YOU:  Maybe your child can trace or write THANK YOU ! and their NAME, and add their own art work to a sheet of paper.  This page can be color copied, as many as you need, full size, or even half size on the top of a full sheet of paper, allowing the parents to add a few handwritten details at the bottom. 

FORM LETTERS:   For those children who are able to write a bit, but get bogged down in the repetitiveness of the Thank You note, appreciate having a Form letter with many of the words already written.   This can easily be done on the computer by the parent, or even better, the parent and child working together to design it.  A normal Word document with expanded margins, with two columns, on a horizontal page can fit FOUR “postcards”.  See, or even USE my sample.

Dear _________________,                                                                                            December 2011

Single Snowflake

 

Like a single snowflake, you are unique,

and you have brightened my world with

the gift of your friendship.

I especially want to thank you for

_____________________________

_____________________________

_____________________________

The world is a more beautiful place because of you !

May your new year be filled with beautiful unique adventures!

                                                                                  __________________,      ___________

Cora (almost 8 years old) wanted a snowflake this year, so we found a good image online and we worked on the words together.  She can, and would be willing to write this ONCE, but would fight tooth and nail if she had to write it multiple times.  Once printed and cut into postcards, she can personalize each one by just writing the NAME of the person, and the gift received, as well as a short comment about her reaction to it.  Then she can decide how to end it, and add her name.   Actually, she is choosing to cut each postcard a little smaller and send each one in an envelope this year, along with a paper snowflake that she has cut out herself (a good use for all the snowflakes that seem to be multiplying at my house.)

Even my 16 year old son, James, likes using the Form Letter format.  He just types in the information instead of leaving blanks.  This is only for the family and friends who don’t use text messaging… the current means of ANY communication for a teenager.  Handwriting, as I am told, is no longer used to communicate.  Except, as I tell him, for those few family members who consider his handwriting a treasure of their own.

SHORT & SWEET VIDEO:  For all the drama kings and queens out there, especially those with parents who have access and knowledge of video taking and sharing, there is ALWAYS the personal Thank You video.  Cora got one of her wishes fulfilled when Grammy sent her matching outfits for her and her American Girl doll.  Within the hour, She had to put the outfits on both her and her doll, then pose for pictures, and showcase her gift and her appreciation via a short video taken on my smartphone and texted to Grammy.   Then we called her to make sure she got it, and they had a grand discussion.  YES, she will still be sending a Thank You card in the mail because these things mean a lot to Grammy.  But the immediate nature of communication these days offers a LOT of options ! 

Whereas, my teenage son won’t even let me take a picture of him.  What is up with that ??!!

PLEASE share your ideas for Holiday Thank You Methods with me as well !

Top 5 Gifts of Music

“I LOVE Music !” your child says, whether with words, or with their body when music is playing and when enjoying an instrument,  or with their facial expressions when you are singing with them.  If they could, they might tell you their top 5 gifts of music like this.

Baby FamilyI love to listen in the car, and sing along with the fun songs.  I love to make music with my instruments, and anything else I can bang on or shake ! Most of all, I love it when my family and I enjoy music activities together:

 
lap bounces with daddy like “Giddy Up A-Horsie”, dancing with scarves with mommy, and circle dances like “Ring Around the Rosie”… 
 
More, please.  Let’s do it again !
 
boy interacts with musicResearch shows that music activates my whole brain, enhancing ALL my learning right now,  and building a strong foundation for all my future learning.    My brain is always searching for patterns that help the world make sense, and music is full of patterns.  My brain learns best when comparing opposite concepts, and music is full of contrasts.  My brain learns best when NEW things catch my interest, and is followed by many repetitions to help keep strong what I have learned.   
 
More, please.  Let’s do it again !
 
girls eyesIf I could, I would tell you that the gift that would mean most to me,
the one that will fill more of each of my days with fun and learning,
the one that will last the longest, and make marvalous memories,
….
is the Gift of Music !

 
…………

 

My TOP 5 Gifts of Music
 
Classes - girl#1 – Kindermusik makes it fun and easy for me and my family to learn new songs and music activities, and gives us all the materials to keep the fun and learning going at home, and in the car !   And it makes me feel so good because Mrs. Debbie thinks I’m so unique and wonderful, and helps me learn in my own way.  
 
There are so many programs, for infants up to 7 years old, available in the Spring Semester starting in Feb.  But we don’t have to wait, let’s visit a class in January.  Check out the details on Kindermusik Gift Certificates, and about the Kindermusik Payment Plans
 
 
#2 – It is so much fun to unwrap and explore new  musical Instruments !
Mrs. Debbie recommends these shopping places:
  • The ONLINE Kindermusik Store has LOTS of great music, instruments, scarves, and even sets (best prices!).  Please “tell” them that Mrs. Debbie sent you by entering her educator code, #15788, at checkout.
  • At the studio, Mrs. Debbie has a limited supply of integrated music sets (that means CDs, books, instruments, props and more that ALL connect on a specific theme that kids LOVE.)  Click the yellow link, or contact Debbie for more details.
  • Boomwacker girlMusic for Little People has the best, most expansive collection of musical stuff for our young children.  Mrs. Debbie could get in a LOT of trouble here! 
  • Locally, there are several great music stores.  Did you know Brooke Potteryalso has a nice small selection?
  • Mrs. Debbie’s Advice: choose instruments your child can be successful with.   Some instruments, like a violin or guitar, are best considered with recommendations for the right size and quality, as well as lessons from a music educator.
#3 – I would LOVE to learn songs about things I am interested in !!!
SweetPea3On play.kindermusik.com, there are hundreds of songs , stories, and music to choose from.  AND, there is a way to SEARCH for songs about the things I like most, like TRAINS, CARS, ANIMALS, Princesses, or growing a garden.      It is easy to download these songs, and the first 10 credits are free when you log in.   Families enrolled in a Kindermusik class not only get the CDs, but they can dowload all the music from the class for FREE, along with MORE fun activities that are part of the semester. 
 
 Need something that is easy, durable, and safe for me to use to listen? Check out this cool SweetPea3 MP3 player
 
#4 –  I think I’m READY for music lessons! 
Am I ready to sit down one-on-one with a teacher for a specific instrument? 
Or will I learn best how to read and write music, and play instruments, through singing, moving, and playing games, which will get me READY for more formal lessons?   
Better talk to Mrs. Debbie and Mrs. Tiffany, to see what is best for me at this time. 
  • Kindermusik for the Young Child (ages 5 – 7) with Mrs. Debbie
  •  InTune Studios offers: Private lessons on the piano, violin, flute, guitar, or voice
    •  Art’Sing – unique program with group voice, acting, dance, and art
      • there is an Afterschool version that can include Martial Arts ! 
    • ART classes are available for toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary ages 
 #5 – The Greatest Gift is Musical TIME with YOU and ME

I really like to hear you sing to me, teach me the songs you grew up with, tell me rhymes while I bounce on your knees, pull out the pots and pans and tell me what beautiful music I am making, help me make homemade music instruments, dance with me with music that’s got a groove, and rock me to sleep with the most soothing lullabies.   It’s a gift you can give everyday, and it doesn’t cost a thing, except your time. 

More music, please.  Let’s do it Again !

What GIFT of music are you giving YOUR child or family this year?  Please share !

Local Treasures – Holiday Events for 2011

It is hard to find a good listing of ALL the wonderful local holiday events for Lakeland, FL, in one place.  It has actually taken a good bit of research and even some phone calls to compile this list of what I consider “must-do” holiday events coming up in Lakeland or nearby.  I WISH I could do all of them, but I will have to CHOOSE wisely !  Oh, decisions… decisions… 

PLEASE ADD your favorites as well in the comments so others can be aware.  That’s how I found out about two of these the last time I did this.  Click on the blue links for more information and pictures.  I’d add pictures, but then it’d be too long.  This way you can copy, paste, print, and hang it on the fridge !

I hope your holidays are filled with joy and special moments with your family …  and maybe even with our local treasures. 

Featured Events with Music Connections & InTune Studios

Winter Wonderland Kindermusik Playdate – Sat., Dec. 3rd,  9  OR  10 am

        at the Bay Street Bistro, where we will enjoy a Wonderful Waffle Bar  Breakfast

“As cold winds blow and bring us snow…”  Our musical adventures include snowy fun: snowflakes fall,  snow balls abound, snowmen are created and come to life, jingle bells ring, and the room turns into an ice skating rink. 

Check out the music on the Winter Wonderland Album.  As soon as you register, you’ll recieve a code to download the music  right away, and a Kindermusik jingle bell awaits your attendance.  Then after class, you can head to the downtown Snowfest.

 

A Whoville Christmas  –  Sun.,  Dec. 11,   5:30 – 6:30 pm

Dixieland Village is being transformed into Whoville, full of Whopeople, Whoscenes, Whostuff, and  delightful Whoville Christmas entertainment.  Our Art’Sing students are eager to share their set designs, costumes, and performance of “A Whoville Christmas”.  Other holiday musical gems will be performed by the InTune Studios students.  You can also catch the “Whoville”  performance (without the set)  at the downtown Holiday Walkabout on Nov. 29th.

Treasured Annual Lakeland Events

Public Ice Skating   Nov. 18 – Dec. 19  (see times)    –  The Lakeland Center

Get in the winter mood with some chilly fun.  Good Luck, and Be Careful !

Holiday Walk-a-bout  – Nov. 29 ,  6 – 9 pm                – Downtown Lakeland

Downtown Lakeland celebrates the holidays with shopping, dining, music,  horse-drawn wagon rides and more!  Holiday music from many area schools and churches create a festive atmosphere.  Visit Santa at Tougie Baby on South Kentucky Avenue.  PLEASE COME SEE Our Young Voices students from InTune Studios performing “Whoville Christmas”.   

Christmas Parade – Thursday, Dec. 1st   – 7 pm           – Downtown Lakeland

Get your seat early as the parade consisting of about 100 floats will set off from the Lakeland Center and wind through Downtown.  Roads will begin closing at 5:30.  Fireworks over Lake Mirror at 7:00 to start the parade.

Cookies & Carols  at First Friday, Dec. 2,  6 – 9 pm     –  Downtown Lakeland

Downtown continues the holiday festivities with holiday music and entertainment, visits with Santa and so much more.

Lights of Lakeland – Dec 2 – 4 & 9 – 11 – 6:30 – 9 pm   –  Highland Park Church

Lakeland’s largest lighted Christmas event boasts of 9 Scenes, including a walk through Bethlehem with live animals, and even SNOW in Florida !

Snowfest – Saturday, Dec. 3    10:00 am – 2 pm.        – Lake Mirror Promenade

A Holiday Event for the Entire Family featuring Snow Mountain, a rock climbing wall, photos with Santa, live entertainment and more!  The festival is open to all.  The cost for admittance onto Snow Mountain for a few minutes play is a can of tuna for the food bank (or $1), and other activities may include a ticket price.  This is totally lacking online info, but I called to make sure !

Colonial Christmas – Sat., Dec. 3,  6  pm    –  Kingscliff – Lake Hollingsworth

Geneva Classical Academy Event:  Experience the Holiday Celebrations of America’s Founding Fathers at a Lake Hollingsworth mansion.  90 minutes of interactive 18th century dancing, tavern fare, theatre and games.  Phone: (863) 644-1408

Santa’s Calling  –  Tuesday, Dec. 6   5:30 pm

Arrange for your child to receive a special telephone call from Santa!!  Print Santa’s Calling Form, then return the completed form to a city Parks & Rec. location (mail, fax, or deliver) by Dec. 5.  The questions are interesting.

Sounds of the SeasonsDec. 9 – 11 (check times)  

Lakeland Community Theatre at the Lake Mirror Complex:    A musical family event to celebrate the Holiday Season featuring 12-piece pit orchestra, as well as talented singers and dancers.  Call:  863-603-7529

Treasured Nearby Weekend Events

Cannonball Christmas ExpressSat & Sun in Nov & Dec        – Tavares, FL

Get into the holiday spirit on board the Orange Blossom Cannonball Christmas Express for a magical trip to the North Pole.   Take a real train ride in vintage coaches pulled by our 1907 steam locomotive as we travel to our destination singing Christmas songs and enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and cookies. Santa will board the train at the North Pole to visit with kids of all ages and present each child with a gift.

Tea with Mrs. SantaSaturdays throughout Dec.                – Auburndale, FL

Make arrangements with friends to enjoy a Christmas Tea Party in Auburndale.  Mrs. Clause is there to read stories and take pictures with your little ones.  Upstairs there is a place for decorating Gingerbread houses (graham crackers).  Limited seating means no overcrowding.  Magnolia Tea Room.  CALL for reservations:  (863) 965-1684

Christmas Notes – Sat, Dec. 17,   5 – 8 pm.    –  Homeland Heritage Park, FL

Polk County Parks & Recreation invites you to the annual Christmas Notes. Join us for a Frontier Christmas and explore the historic Homeland Heritage Park.  Activities include cookie decorating, photos with Santa, a caroling hayride, live music and entertainment, inflatable bounce houses, refreshments, and food vendors.  Most activities will be free to the public.   Phone: (863) 534-3766.  At the website, look for contest coloring page & festival info. to download  in pdf format.

Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens – ongoing                            – Lake Wales, FL

Coordinate your Guided Winter Walk with one of the Holiday Film Series for children, and the Seasonal Carillon Music concerts.    Make it on Sat, Dec. 17,  1 – 4 pm, and get the chance to “decorate a tree with naturally tasty garlands and gifts for our feathered friends.”, and hear the George Jenkins HS Golden Harmony Show Choir.