What’s Good Guide of Weekly Events in Gainesville and Alachua County, November 29 – December 6, 2023

whats good guide of weekly events
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Sweeten your weekend plans with a sprinkle of What’s Good. The first weekend in December features the two-day O’Connell Center Craft Festival, A Very GNV Holiday Parade, tree lightings and vintage holiday decorations at the Historic Haile Homestead.

Treat yourself to something fun and delightful like a taste of dessert inspired gourmet cookies at the grand opening of the Crumbl Cookie at Butler Plaza or an evening of wit-driven laughter stoked by Paula Poundstone at the UF Phillips Center. Grab a cocktail at Celebration Pointe’s Hotel Indigo and cruise the lobby for a unique reception and exhibit by the Gainesville Modern Quilters.

Read on for more of What’s Good.

Be safe and be well,
Your partners at Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

Be Informed: The below information was accurate at the time of publishing. 
Please contact organizers directly to double-check details.

paula poundstone

Enjoy a Few Laughs with Comedian Paula Poundstone at UF Phillips Center
Friday, December 1, 7:30 p.m.
| UF Phillips Center
3201 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611 

Described as one of the bravest and best improv comics of our time, Paula Poundstone can be heard regularly on NPR’s news quiz Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! and podcast Live from the Poundstone Institute. Poundstone’s shows are a steady stream of self-deprecation, sarcasm, current events, and stories about her cats and kids. The main complaint from her audiences across the country is that she leaves their cheeks hurting from laughter.

craft festival

Browse Holiday Gifts for Your Shopping List at the 2-Day O’Connell Center Craft Festival
Saturday, December 2 – Sunday, December 3, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Steven C. O’Connell Center | 250 Gale Lemerand Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611

Find something special for yourself or that hard to shop for person in your life. From stocking stuffers to elaborate finds, the annual Craft Festival provides an excellent opportunity to shop indoors for unique crafts authentically made by hundreds of talented artisans and crafters. 

DISCOUNT ALERT: Stop by the Visit Gainesville, Alachua County lobby at 33 N. Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday on December 1 to pick up $1.00 off of admission ticket. Limit one coupon per person attending.

artwalk gainesville

Explore the Local Art Scene on a Festive Self-Guided Tour at Artwalk Gainesville
Friday, December 1, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Multiple Venues

The Holiday Open House at Artisan’s Guild Gallery features live jazz, gourmet treats and an ornament sale. Bingo Deli and Pub displays paintings from Nava Ottenberg. View pottery inspired by plants and wildlife at The AUK Market.

Preview tour stops and download a map online at
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

growth at gfaa

Celebrate 100 Years of the Gainesville Fine Arts Association at the Opening Exhibit Reception for “Growth”
Friday, December 1, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Gainesville Fine Arts Association
1314 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601

The final exhibition of GFAA’s 100th anniversary year features work interpreting the theme “Growth.” Enjoy live music, hors d’oeuvres, refreshments and a holiday sale as all work in this exhibition is offered at a 15% discount. Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

gnv parade

View Holiday Floats at the Inaugural A Very GNV Parade
Saturday, December 2 | Downtown Gainesville

University Avenue Starting at W 6th St. and Ending at Alachua County Public Schools District Office, 620 E University Ave.
Grab a comfortable viewing spot along University Avenue for the new holiday parade in Gainesville. Head Ball Coach Steve Spurrier serves as the parade’s Grand Marshal. The parade is followed by a kids dance party and holiday lights celebration. Admission is free.

Holiday Kids Dance Party at Bo Diddley Plaza
Saturday, December 2, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.Join the fun with DJ E-LO and celebrate the holidays in style.

Holiday Lights Celebration at The Historic Thomas Center
Saturday, December 2, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.Lighting of the Thomas Center Gardens, Santa Claus Meet and Greet, Holiday Crafts, Horse and Carriage Rides and more. Admission is free.

hipp at night

Make Holiday Memories with 2 Holiday Productions on the Hippodrome Theatre Main Stage

hipp ultimate christmas shw

The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged)
Friday, November 24 – Sunday, December 23

The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) bursts with festive, slapstick fun as cheerful comedians celebrate all of the holiday traditions—at the same time.

achristmas carol

A Christmas Carol
Saturday, November 25 – Sunday, December 23

“A Christmas Carol” is a beloved holiday tradition featuring singing and storytelling people of all ages will enjoy. Celebrate Scrooge’s redemption through dance, laughter, and heartfelt songs, and become part of this cherished annual family and community event.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

The christmas express

Get the Holidays on Track at the Opening Weekend of The Christmas Express Departing from High Springs Playhouse
Friday, December 1 – Sunday, December 23 | High Springs Playhouse
23416 W US Hwy. 27, High Springs, FL 32643

The nostalgic theatrical greeting card is full of holiday spirit. Meet eccentric small-town characters on their journey to find the true wonder of Christmas. 

twelfth night by william shakespeare

Untangle a Hilarious Web of Mistaken Infatuations at the of Opening Weekend of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
Friday, December 1 – Sunday, December 17 | Acrosstown Repertory Theatre
3501 SW 2nd Ave., Suite O, Gainesville, FL 32607

William Shakespeare’s comedy follows Duke Orsino who is in love with the noblewoman Olivia. She, however, has fallen for his servant Cesario, who is actually Viola, a woman disguised as a man, who loves Orsino: confusion is rife. Meanwhile, Olivia’s arrogant steward Malvolio is cruelly tricked by her uncle Sir Toby Belch, his friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and the maidservant Maria into believing his mistress loves him.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

fall farm and cane festival

See Sugar Cane Turn Into Syrup at the Dudley Farm Fall Farm and Cane Festival
Saturday, December 2, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Dudley Farm Historic State Park

18730 W Newberry Rd., Gainesville, FL 32669

Explore an original Florida working farm as harvested sugar cane is ground down and boiled into syrup. Old-time demonstrations include woodworking, blacksmithing, butter churning, quilt drawing, kids’ toys and more. 

haile holiday tours

View Vintage Holiday Decorations on Guided Holiday Tours of the Historic Haile Homestead
Saturday, December 2 – Saturday, December 30 | Historic Haile Homestead

8500 SW Archer Rd., Gainesville, FL 32608

Visit the 1856 Historic Haile Homestead adorned with vintage decorations. Learn about the family of cotton farmers who relocated from South Carolina to Florida in the 1850s. Discover the “Talking Walls” within in the home containing over 12,500 words written on the walls 150 years ago. The Historic Haile Homestead is preserved to educate visitors about the intertwined history of the Haile family, enslaved laborers and freedmen.
Sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

crops and colors

Celebrate Florida Heritage Crops, Art and Culture at the Crops and Color Festival
Saturday, December 2, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. | Grow Hub

2900 NE 8th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32641

Learn how to grow and prepare nutritionally dense, locally grown crops. Discover new recipes and cooking techniques. Enjoy art activities, children’s activities, interactive workshops and more.

Poster image for Derive Cabaret Show taking place at the Alchemy Club December 1 and December 2, 2023. Pink graphic with two women performers leaning back to back against each other.

Explore an Original and Exciting Musical Theatre Experience with Dérive
Friday, December 1, 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 2, 8:00 p.m. | The Alchemy Work Club
602 S Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601

Dérive is a curated musical theatre experience that weaves the tale of two young creatives. With nearly 20 songs, you will be transported through the poignant chapters of the protagonists’ intertwined lives. The journeys is portrayed through some of musical theatre’s most beloved songs. How did destiny guide them to this very moment? And what indelible mark will they leave here? Tickets include one glass of wine (Sponsored by Superette Wine + Provisions) or non-alcoholic beverage, hors d’oeuvres, and an unforgettable performance.

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Pop-Up Markets and Retail Shopping

Image of a shop and a holiday tree with a red background. Promoting the December 1, 2023, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. tree lighting event at The Shoppes at Thornebrook.

Tree Lighting and Holiday Market at Shoppes at Thornebrook
Friday, December 1, 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Festival of Trees at Hawthorne Woman’s Club
Saturday, December 2, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

sycamore holiday market

Sycamore Lane Vintage Christmas Market
Saturday, December 2, 2 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

December Farmers “Moo-ket” at Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary
Sunday, December 3, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Plant Swap! at The AUK Market
Wednesday, December 6, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Graphis listing the details for the Gainesville Modern Quilters Reception at Hotel Indigo on December 1, 2023. Additional details are listed on the text immediately below.

Gainesville Modern Quilters Reception at Hotel Indigo, Celebration Pointe
December 1, 2023, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Gainesville Modern Quilters will host a reception for its show of modern quilts, taking place at Hotel Indigo, Celebration Pointe on Friday, December 1, 5:00-7:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public. Gainesville Modern Quilters is the local chapter of the international Modern Quilt Guild and the show will feature quilts made by members of the guild.  Attendees will have the option to purchase some of the quilts on display. The more than 20 quilts will be on display from December 1through January 30, 2024. The December 1 reception will include refreshments and an opportunity to meet the quilters. 

Shop local boutiques and national brands at Butler Enterprises, Celebration Pointe, The Oaks Mall and Shoppes at Thornebrook.

Arts & Theatre

the addams family

Connect with the Magnificently Macabre and Hilarious Addams Family A New Musical Comedy at Gainesville Community Playhouse
Now through Sunday, December 10
In The Addams Family, America’s darkest family comes to life in a musical about love, family, honesty and growing up. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, falls in love and families are put to the test as the Addams host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.

agbedidi event flery with blue gackground and dancer on the right

Agbedidi: A Fusion of Traditional African and Contemporary Dance at UF School of Theatre and Dance
Friday, December 1 – Sunday, December 3

Tree Lightings, Parades and Holiday Festivals

alachua holiday nights with people on main street

Christmas Tree Lighting at Skinner Field Park on Main Street Alachua
Friday, December 1, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Shop Dine and Stroll Holiday Night on Main Street Alachua
Friday, December 1, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

menorah making

Menorah Making Party at Studio TM
Saturday, December 2, 4 p.m.

Light Up Tioga Holiday Celebration at Tioga Town Center
Saturday, December 2, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

5th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Downtown Newberry
Saturday, December 2, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Music & Performance

Les Miserables: In Concert at High Dive
Wednesday, November 29, 7:30 p.m.

Jazz with Three Flights Up at Lightnin’ Salvage
Thursday, November 30, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Live Disco Night with Matcha at High Dive
Thursday, November 30, 8 p.m.

Classic Rock with Wild Blue Yonder at One Love Café
Friday, December 1, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Alt-Country with Mike and the Moonpies at Heartwood Soundstage
Friday, December 1, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Holiday at Santa Fe at Santa Fe College Jackson N Sasser Fine Arts Hall
Saturday, December 2, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Classic Rock with The Shambles at One Love Café
Saturday, December 2, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Panhandle Blues with D. Scott Riggs at Lightnin’ Salavage
Saturday, December 2, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

whitey morgan

Outlaw Country with Whitey Morgan and the 78s at Heartwood Soundstage
Saturday, December 2, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

UF Carillon Studio Annual Holiday Program at UF Century Tower
Sunday, December 3, 1:55 p.m.

Indie Live Outdoor Concert Series with Bruvvy, Saturn Lights and No Hit Wonders at Heartwood Soundstage
Sunday, December 3, 6 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

sounds of the season

UF School of Music Sounds of the Season at UF Phillips Center
Sunday, December 3, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

The Hogtown Rounders Writers Round at Lightnin’ Salvage
Tuesday, December 5, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

cosmic country

Eggy and Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country at Heartwood Soundstage
Tuesday, December 5, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Alt Rock with 10 Years at High Dive
Wednesday, December 6, 8 p.m.

Craft Breweries

Image of the Sippin' Seven Ale Trail logo depicting a blue bison witj seven blue birds siting on the Bison's back. Photo also shows a pint glass with the same logo. Text on image says: Award-winning breweries. Gainesville. Alachua. High Springs. Visit

Here’s to the “Sippin’ Squad” and all the sippers who helped make the Sippin’ Seven Alachua County digital ale trail pass a great success!

Almost 4,000 pass holders and 15,000 check-ins showed us that visitors and residents love award-winning craft beer and making time with friends. Stay in touch with all the events and happenings with the trail breweries with Sippin’ Seven on Tap.

high springs brewing company

Hot Rodding for Heroes Car Show at High Springs Brewing Company
Saturday, December 2, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Country with Lionel Jr. at Daft Cow Brewery
Sunday, November 26, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

christkindlmarket at blackadder

Christkindlmarkt at Blackadder Brewing Company
Friday, December 1, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday, December 2, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

holiday pet pageant at swamp head

Holiday Costume Pet Pageant at Swamp Head Brewery
Saturday, December 2, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

glam craft show

GLAM Craft Show at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Sunday, December 3, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

U-Picks and Farmers Markets

Grove Street Farmers Market with Live Music
Mondays, 4 p.m. –7 p.m.

sign at archer farmers market

Archer Farmers Market at Archer Historical Society Railroad Museum
Tuesdays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Union Street Farmers Market at Bo Diddley Plaza
Wednesdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

GNV Market at South Main Station
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Fall Farmers Market at Celebration Pointe
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

High Springs Farmers Market
Fridays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Haile Village Farmers Market
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Alachua County Farmers Market
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Waldo Farmers and Flea Market
Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Bites and Brunch

Nutcracker Holiday Party and Tasting at The Traveler
Thursday, November 30, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Wine Tasting at Superette Wine and Provisions
Thursday, November 30, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

Wine Tasting at Beaker and Flask Wine Co.
Thursday, November 30, , 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

crumbl cookies grand opening

Grand Opening of Crumbl Cookies
Friday, December 1, 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.


gator talk

Gator Talk Live Broadcast with Gators Women’s Basketball Coach Kelly Rae Finley at The Keys Grill and Piano Bar
Thursday, November 30, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

gymnastics hype night

Gators Gymnastics Hype Night at Exactech Arena
Monday, December 4, 6:30 p.m.

Gators Men’s Basketball vs. Merrimack at Exactech Arena
Tuesday, December 5, 7 p.m.

Parks & Trails

group at devils millhopper

Ranger-Led Tour at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park
Saturday, December 2, 10 a.m.

Yoga at Devils Millhopper Geological State Park
Saturday, December 2, 10 a.m.

Ranger-Led Rim Ramble Hike at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park La Chua Trail
Saturday, December 2, 11 a.m.

Holidays on the Prairie at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park Visitors Center
Saturday, December 2, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Rangler Led Tour Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Sunday, December 3, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

River & Springs

paddling on the santa fe river

Enjoy Cooler Weather and Explore the Outdoors and with Anderson’s Outdoor Adventures and Visit 8 Springs in 8 Miles
Friday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Fed by the underground Floridan Aquifer, North Florida has one of the highest concentrations of springs in the world. Anderson’s Outdoor Adventure offers an easy way to experience 8 springs in 8 miles. Paddle along the Santa Fe River in a canoe or kayak and experience crystal clear water, see native wildlife and relax in a tranquil nature setting. 

tubing at the springs

Float or Splash Into Freshwater Springs
North Florida is home to the largest collection of first-magnitude springs in the United States. The springs make a perfect destination for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and relaxing in nature. If you’re looking for outdoor fun, we’ve got you covered with our list of nearby springs, great places to stay and fun things to do.

Museums & Galleries

sign up here exhibit logo on different color backgrounds

Sign Up Here at The Historic Thomas Center
Now through January 19

“Vital and Veiled: Valerie Brathwaite and José Fernández” at the Gary R. Libby University Gallery
Now through January 26

Tom Petty with Guitar

Go Behind-the-Scenes with a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer at the new Exhibit “Tom Petty: Among the Wildflowers”
Open Now through December 31, Thursday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
811 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 

Tom Petty: Among the Wildflowers explores the joys, pains, and creative awakenings that Gainesville native Tom Petty experienced while pouring his soul into his magnum opus, Wildflowers, released in November 1994. The exhibit includes artifacts previously on display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.  Explore three unique aspects of the Wildflowers creative process: songwriting, recording, and reception and delivery. The exhibit runs through December 31.

Chill with Cool Dinos at the New Interactive Exhibit “Antarctic Dinosaurs”
Now through April 21 | Florida Museum of Natural History
3215 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611 
Step back in time and discover life beneath the ice in Antarctic Dinosaurs. Uncover the history of the world’s southernmost continent and the unique species that have called it home in this interactive, family-friendly experience. Antarctic Dinosaurs is on display through April 21.

Save The Date

Micanopy 3rd Annual Holiday Stroll, December 9

UF Poinsettia Sale, December 9

Alachua Christmas Parade, December 9

Swallowtail Farm Dining Experience, December 9

Dance Alive National Ballet Presents The Nutcracker, December 15-17

The Curry’s Christmas at Heartwood Soundstage, December 21

For a complete list of events please visit

Thank you for your continued partnership! Please keep in communication with us by sharing your events, updates and news with our team by emailing

Your participation, communication, and sharing of events and programs is a key way for us to market our community to visitors and to enhance the engagement of residents in all of the incredible programs you create.

Put simply, the more you share with us, the more we have to promote. Please read the attached PDF document for additional ways in which your organization can participate.

Visit Gainesville, Alachua County | (352) 374-5260 | 33 North Main Street, Gainesville 32601 Never miss an event: Follow Visit Gainesville, Alachua County on social media.

The images and materials included in the Alachua County What’s Good guide of weekly events may be copyrighted works and property of the content provider, and thus subject to legal protections. Display by the County of such does not authorize another to copy, reproduce, distribute, publish, display, modify, or in any way exploit any such works.

This publication contains information about events, venues and activities in Alachua County, Florida. Reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the information is accurate. We are not responsible for errors or omissions in the information provided. For complete details, contact the host directly. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, we do not represent, warrant, undertake or guarantee that the information is correct, accurate, complete or non-misleading. We will not be liable to you in respect of any special, indirect or consequential loss or damage. If a section of this disclaimer is determined by any court or other competent authority to be unlawful and/or unenforceable, the other sections of this disclaimer continue in effect.

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