Plan a weekend getaway with your visit to the Faire, and add fun things to see and do in Gainesville and Alachua County.
The 36th Hoggetowne Medieval Faire opens the castle gates for three weekends and welcomes crowds cheering on jousting knights and feasting on food fit for a king and queen. Enjoy nine stages of entertainment where the forgotten skills of full-flight falconry, gripping aerial acrobatics and old-world magic come to life. Jugglers, knife throwers and gypsy dancers add to the excitement as they fill the streets of Hoggetowne. The Faire features a marketplace with more than 160 artisans and craftspeople. Find more festival details and get tickets at www.hoggetownemedfaire.com.
Round Out Your Itinerary with Attractions and Things to Do
Located near the Faire on Archer Road, stroll through plant collections and see winter blooms at Kanapha Botanical Gardens. See the largest public display of bamboo in Florida and the largest herb garden in the southeast.
Explore the University of Florida Cultural Plaza. Discover educational exhibits and learn about Florida’s past at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Walk among hundreds of butterflies at the Butterfly Rainforest. View selections from the largest collections of Florida-themed art at the Harn Museum of Art.
Sip a craft beer at award-winning local breweries. Swamp Head Brewery brewed up its Hoggetowne Irish Red to serve on tap at the Faire and sold in cans at the brewery.
Local breweries include First Magnitude Brewing Company, Blackadder Brewing Company, Big Top Brewing Company, Cypress and Grove Brewing Company, High Springs Brewing Company and Daft Cow Brewery . Learn more about the breweries and craft your own brewery trail.
Have fun, earn points and get Billy the Bison and the Brew Birds merch when you visit area breweries and check in with your Sippin’ Seven Alachua County Digital Ale Trail pass. Download the pass and Sip All Seven!
Sharpen your senses and go birding at a local park. In December, 169 bird species were observed on the annual Christmas Bird Count with the Alachua Audobon Society. Local hotspots include Sweetwater Wetlands Park and Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park.
Get up close to wildlife on a safari tour at Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation. In 2021, Carson Springs received the Travelers’ Choice Award from TripAdvisor, ranking it in the top 10% of things to do in the world. Home to over 70 different species, the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo is the only zoo on a college campus accredited by the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums. The Alachua County Agriculture and Equestrian Center features a display from Florida Color Horses, January 21 – January 22, 2023 and the BBQ and Bacon Festival, January 28 — January 29, 2023.
In addition to armored knights in battle, see athletes in competition at a Florida Gators sports event including Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Tennis and Gymnastics. See the upcoming schedule of events here.
Paddle the Santa Fe River and discover nature at a refreshing spring. North Florida is home to over 1,000 freshwater springs and the largest collection of First Magnitude freshwater springs in the United States.
Wooden targets await at The Hatchetbury Axe Throwing Bar. Book a session and blow off some steam with 9 axe throwing lanes and 18 targets.
From live theatre to food truck rallies, don’t miss these events while you’re in town:
Horse Shows in the Park at the Alachua County Agriculture and Equestrian Center
Saturday, January 14 – Sunday, January 15
Metal Bowl Blacksmithing Workshop at Fever Metal Art Center
Saturday, January 14, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
(sold out) UF/IFAS Beekeeping Series: Beginner Beekeeping and Swarm Control at UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab
Saturday, January 14, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Soy Candle Workshop with Earth Tonix at 108 Vine
Saturday, January 14, 6 p.m.
Sunday, January 15, 6 p.m.
GNV Art Jam presents Figure Drawing in the Parks at A. Quinn Jones Museum and Cultural Center
Sunday, January 15, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Story Time with Alachua County Library District at Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo
Wednesday, January 18, 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
(sold out) Single-Day Knife Blacksmithing Workshop at Crooked Path Forge
Wednesday, January 18, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The Gainesville Orchestra Ravel: Daphnis & Chloe
Friday, January 20
Opening Weekend of King Liz at Star Center Theatre
Friday, January 21 – Sunday, January 22
Bobby Rush with Jontavious Willis at UF Philips Center
Saturday, January 21
Florida Color Horse Club Orange Blossom Show at the Alachua County Agriculture and Event Center
Saturday, January 21 – Sunday, January 22
Opening Weekend of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at the Hippodrome Theatre
Friday, January 27 – Sunday, January 29
Opening Weekend of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at Gainesville Community Playhouse
Friday, January 27 – Sunday, January 29
Self-Guided Art Tour at Artwalk Gainesville
Friday, January 27, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunshine State Book Festival at Trinity United Methodist Church
Friday, January 27, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday, January 28, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Gators Gymnastics vs. Georgia at Exactech Arena
Friday, January 27, 5:45 p.m.
BBQ and Bacon Fest at Alachua County Agriculture and Equestrian Center
Saturday, January 28 – Sunday, January 29
Spiders Alive! Exhibit Opening Day at the Florida Museum of Natural History
Saturday, January 28