10 Reasons You Must Visit Bonnet Springs Park and Downtown Lakeland

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Finding new ways to spend time together is one of the many fun things about being in a relationship. Bonnet Springs Park is about an hour from Tampa Bay, and it’s totally date-worthy. This brand new private park built on the outskirts of downtown Lakeland is a new place to play in Tampa Bay. And, we have a feeling it will quickly become one of your favorite ways to spend time together.

Here are 10 reasons to visit Bonnet Springs Park

1. 168 acres of space

The 168-acre park sits on the property of a former rail yard that helped put Lakeland on the map and it’s happening again with the transformation of this quadrant near downtown. Our sister site, Tampa Bay Parenting, recently had a private tour with Bonnet Springs Park CEO Josh Henderson to help you plan your family’s adventure to this new gem in Tampa Bay and Central Florida.

2. Continuous loop around the park

Bonnet Springs Park is huge and can seem overwhelming, however, all attractions are connected by a 1.7 mile long paved loop called the Lakeland Regional Health Circulator. Walk, ride a bike or a pedal scooter on the circulator. It is also suitable for strollers and trolleys.

A tram continuously circles the park with six stops along the way. Henderson says they’ll have 2-3 trams running at a time.

Map of Bonnet Springs Park
Map of Bonnet Springs Park

3. Several playgrounds

Whether you have kids with you or just enjoying the fresh air outside, the multiple playgrounds around Bonnet Springs Park are a great reason to visit.

People of all ages will enjoy cooling off while strolling through the water misters similar to the ones we LOVE at Julian B Lane Park in Tampa!

4. Trumpets

One of the best playgrounds in Bonnet Springs Park is Los Trompos. The colorful rides are inspired by an international popular children’s toy for children to play in. Los Trompos means “spinning tops” in Spanish.

colorful play equipment in the Los Trompos section of Bonnet Springs Park - Laura Byrne
Los Trompos Bonnet Springs Park – Laura Byrne

“These are very fancy rides. I think it will become central to selfies when they come here and have an opportunity or roll around and take pictures,” Henderson said.

5. The Crenshaw Canopy Walk

We need only mention the Walk in the canopy. Imagine a walk, hand in hand, along this shaded path. What a simple and beautiful way to connect with each other.

It’s a great way to seek shade while enjoying the beauty of the park at heights of up to 25 feet in the air. It is not a loop and connects you to the family lawn area near the Florida Children’s Museum and The Cafe Depot.

Bonnet Springs Park Canopy Walk - Laura Byrne
Bonnet Springs Park Canopy Walk – Laura Byrne

6. Zoe’s butterfly house

What could be sweeter than seeing nice butterflies together? Zoe’s Butterfly House is popular with families, but couples can also spend some quality time here. Again, you’ll find it by walking the park’s 1.7-mile circulator near the event center.

Enter the butterfly house to learn about the native plant species and pollinators that call Florida home.

7. The Givewell Community Foundation Nature Center

This is another beautiful spot along your trip around the Bonnet Springs Park Circulator and a great place to cool off and seek shade while learning more about the park’s plants and animals. You will also learn about the efforts being made to restore this land to its natural beauty.

There are several interactive exhibits for children and adults.

RELATED: If You Love Spending Time Outside Together, Check Out These outdoor activities for adults in tampa.

8. The Boathouse

Right next to the nature center is the Boathouse where you can optionally rent a kayak and stand-up paddleboard on the Blanton family’s man-made lagoon.

Bonnet Springs Park Boathouse - Laura Byrne
Bonnet Springs Park Boathouse – Laura Byrne

9. Meals at Bonnet Springs Park

The Depot Cafe next to the Florida Children’s Museum has a rooftop bar for snacks and drinks. Couples will love the view from this laid-back rooftop spot.

You can also grab coffee and snacks at the Visitor Center, which will also offer Starbucks coffee.

Rooftop Bar at Bonnet Springs Park - Laura Byrne
Rooftop bar at Bonnet Springs Park – Laura Byrne

Related: Outdoor Dining in Tampa Bay

10. An Easy Day Trip to Downtown Lakeland

If you want to experience even more of the Lakeland community, you should definitely explore downtown Lakeland, about an 8-minute drive from Bonnet Springs Park. The Joinery is a food hall that has something for everyone and beautiful views of Mirror Lake.

You can explore inspiring art installations, bakeries, breweries and more. Our other sister site, Orlando Date Night Guide walks you through all the amazing places not to miss in downtown Lakeland.

carpentry exterior in downtown lakeland - laura bryne
The Carpentry of Downtown Lakeland – Laura Byrne

Where exactly is Bonnet Springs Park?

Bonnet Springs Park is tucked away on the outskirts of downtown Lakeland near George Jenkins Boulevard. If you plug it into your GPS, the address is: 400 Bonnet Springs Blvd in Lakeland.

If you’re coming from I-4, it’s about 7-10 minutes from the exit point at exit 28/US-92.

Is it free to go to Bonnet Springs Park?

Yes!! It’s free to go and it’s also free to park. Although the park is a privately funded park, it is community sponsorships and support that have brought the park to life.


Make it a full day and enjoy one of these drive-in theaters in Tampa Bay, including near Lakeland.

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