Located in the heart of downtown Lakeland is Lake Mirror and its Promenade. Its design was envisioned by Tom Appleyard, the manager of Lakeland's Chamber of Commerce in the 1920s. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Lake Mirror Promenade has been a source of pride within the community. Since its original construction, Hollis Garden has been added as well as a new amphitheater. The Promenade stands as grand as ever - take a stroll around Lake Mirror and experience it for yourself. Other activities to do are visiting the Farmers' Markets and art Galleries across the city. There are major shopping centers in Lakeland that include: Lakeside Village, Lakeland Square Mall, Shoppes of Lakeland, Lakeland Park Center, Merchants Walk, Hobby Lobby North, Best Buy Center, Southgate Shopping Center, Target Center South, Sam's Club and Wal-Mart.
The Florida Air Museum displays a wide variety of aircraft and the history of almost 100 years of flight. Year round programs bring aviation to life with imagination and energy. More than just a collection of airplanes, the Museum holds testament to the men and women aviators of the past, present and future; to those who dedicated their lives to the dream of flight. The International Sport Aviation Museum tells their stories and shares the thrill of flight with its visitors.
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) holds its annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In every April at the Lakeland Lindner Regional Airport. With numerous activities that include forums and workshops, member gatherings, news conferences and one-on-one discussions, EAA offers information and opportunities for fellowship among EAA members and other aviation enthusiasts throughout the grounds during Sun 'n Fun. The fly-in, which began in the 1970s with critical leadership and support provided by EAA chapters, has since assumed its own identity as one of the country's most significant aviation events.
There are approximately 10,000 full time college students and another 20,000 part-time students in Lakeland. Most of these students attend either Florida Polytechnic University, Southeastern University, Florida Southern College and Polk State College.
The institution originated as a branch campus of the University of South Florida, Lakeland, which opened in 1988. The State of Florida authorized a new campus in 2008, and renamed the school University of South Florida Polytechnic. In 2012, the Florida Legislature initiated plans to dissolve the USF branch campus and reform the Lakeland institution into an independent school. Florida Poly opened for classes on August 25, 2014 with an inaugural class of 554 students. In 2009 Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava was selected to design the campus' first building. The University is focused on STEM degree programs, such as engineering and computer science.
Southeastern University is the largest university in the area, with an enrollment around 2800. Southeastern is affiliated with the Assemblies of God, it's NAIA sports programs has brought it to National Championships in both Football and Basketball.
Florida Southern College, established in 1883 and with a current enrollment of just over 2000, is on Lake Hollingsworth. Florida Southern is the home of the world's largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. The College is classified as NCAA Division II and has won 30 Team National Championships in Baseball, Basketball, and Golf, it has also won 31 Individual National Championships is a series of individual sports.
Both Everest University and Keiser University, two multisite, accredited universities, have locations in Lakeland. Traviss Career Center is a vocational school. Webster University offers on-site, regionally accredited graduate degree programs in business and counseling at their Lakeland Metropolitan Campus.
Whitefield Theological Seminary is a Reformed theological seminary in Lakeland, Florida, United States. A conservative confessional institution, it teaches from the Reformed perspective of Protestant Christianity. The seminary holds to the Westminster Standards which includes the Confession of 1647, Larger and Shorter Catechism. Courses of study are offered on-site at the seminary's Lakeland offices but primarily through distance learning. The school is affiliated with Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly.