What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, August 13-19, 2020

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Stay cool with the What’s Good guide for the weekend – starting with our top 10 picks for local frozen treats, the big reveal for the University of Florida’s 2020 – 2021 Performing Arts Season with Tig Notaro, Rent, Jersey Boys, Chris Botti and more, a furry friend welcome home party at Peacefield Farm, a one-year anniversary celebration skate jam at Samurai Skate Shop, live music, great eats, and special rates to the Sweetwater Branch Inn, including in-room dining and access to a secluded saltwater pool.

Be sure to read on for more. We are proud to live in this mindful, resourceful and resilient community, and to share with you all that we have to offer – What’s Good.

Wear your mask and stay at safe physical distances while you enjoy the most of each day.Please adhere to public safety guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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

The below information was accurate at the time of publishing. Due to the current fluctuating environment, please contact organizers directly to double-check details.

Safety First. Be Informed About COVID19

In Alachua County, certain types of businesses require masks. Masks or face coverings are also required when social distancing is not possible. For additional details on the requirement as well as any exemption information please read the latest Alachua County Emergency Order.

For additional Coronavirus (COVID-19) information, visit the Alachua County COVID19 Community Resource Portal, the Alachua County Facebook page, call the Coronavirus Information Line at 866-779-6121, visit the Florida Department of Health website, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Preview the 2020-2021 UF Performing Arts Season

The Curtis M Phillips Center reopens to welcome audiences for live music, dance and Broadway performances including Jersey Boys, RENT, Branford Marsalis Quartet, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and more.

Click to learn about reopening guidelines at UFPA. Tickets go on sale August 13 for members, and August 29 for the general public. Watch the 2020-2021 season preview video here.

frozen treats , ice cream cone and frozen pops

Cool Treats to Beat the Summer Heat
10 Must-Try Ice Cream and Frozen Treats in Gainesville, Alachua County

As summer heats up, don’t have a meltdown. Enjoy cold, sweet goodness from frozen treat shops in Gainesville and Alachua County. When it comes to cool treats it can be hard deciding where to start or what to try next. Use the following list of 10 great spots to get you started down a fun (and sweet) filled journey that will turn any frown upside down.

For more of the timely entertainment information you love, follow us on Instagram and Facebook for daily updates and re-shares of your inspiring photos. Tag us at #whatsgoodalachuacounty.

sweetwater branch inn promotion

Enjoy a Weekend of Luxury and Relaxation in a Private Cottage at Sweetwater Branch Inn – Special Rates Starting at $120

sweetwater branch inn logo

A hidden oasis in the heart of Downtown Gainesville. The historic Sweetwater Branch Inn, nestled in the Bed and Breakfast District, offers the privacy you want with the modern amenities you love. Enjoy a dip in the saltwater pool, have breakfast delivered right to your room or stroll through the beautiful gardens. The private cottages include full-size kitchens, living spaces, outdoor seating and more!

Sweetwater is a Safe Stay Property, making sure guest safety is of utmost importance so you can enjoy your stay while knowing your room meets the highest standards for cleanliness.

Book now at  For the list of all the Alachua County places to stay, including information about the safety measures being taken at hotels and inns, click here.

Go Hands-On in the Kitchen and Make Pies from Scratch at All About Pies Workshop
Saturday, August 15, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. | The Fat Tuscan
725 NE 1st St., Gainesville, FL 32601

Learn techniques to make the perfect pie dough. Bake pies as part of the class or take home to bake on your own later. Cooking classes at The Fat Tuscan are great way to learn new recipes and to get familiar with unfamiliar ingredients and cooking techniques with in-person instruction. Click to see the upcoming schedule of classes.

Try Something Out of the Ordinary, Book a Private Theatre Performance at the “Tea for Two” Theatre Series
Weekday Afternoons by Appointment | Black C Gallery
201 SE 2 Pl. #111, Gainesville, FL 32601

The “Tea for Two” theatre series consists of only two audience members witnessing two performers enact a 30 minute performance art piece, which is loosely based on August Strindberg’s play “THE STRONGER”. The performances are held in the afternoon during weekdays and with teas served to the audience. Talkbacks after the performance allow access to the cast and director. Book a performance by emailing or call (352) 469-6278.

archer aiming at targets

Aim for the Bullseye at Funtastic Fridays
Friday, August 14, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Easton Newberry Archery Center
24880 NW 16 Ave., Newberry, FL 32669

Join the most fun you can have with a bow for open shooting and archery games including tic-tac-toe, battle ship, bowling with bows and more. A free orientation is required and is offered at 5 p.m.

If you worked up an appetite after all that fun, you may wish to visit nearby restaurants like Arepas Milko, Villaggio Pizzeria, Woodyard Grill or neaby Tioga Town Center.

local shops at butler town center

Support Local Businesses and Enter to Win with the Shop Local Butler Town Center Passport
Winner Announced August 31 | Butler Town Center
3597 SW 32nd Ct., Gainesville, FL 32608

Butler Town Center is excited to give away a $200 gift card for shopping local. Complete the passport by shopping at Agapanthus, Pink Narcissus, Narcissus Gainesville, The Village Jeweler, Hearth and Heart and Gainesville Running and Walking. Find details and full instructions on Facebook here.

Drop-In and Celebrate at Samurai Skateshop’s 1-Year Anniversary Skate Jam
Friday, August 14, 5 p.m. | Samurai Skateshop
920 NW 2nd St., Gainesville, FL 32601

A pop-up shop and best trick contest will be part of the festivities celebrating the anniversary of the skateshop. The ramps will be in place on the parking lot next door for social distancing. Stay cool with iced coffee from Hardback Cafe. Did you know owner Billy Rohan is a fan of Origami Paper Cranes and all things samurai? View a paper folding tutorial and make your own and tag Samurai Skateshop on Instagram.

welcome home party for 9 sheep and 1 mini donkey

Make New Furry Friends at Peacefield Farm and Welcome the New Sheep and Miniature Donkey
Saturday, August 15, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Peacefield Farm
2220 SW 146th St., Newberry, FL 32669

Peacefield recently rescued the animals and want you to join the house warming of their forever home. Please arrive on time and wear closed toed shoes. Suggested donation of $5. Peacefield is a farm sanctuary located near Gainesville and the University of Florida. Learn more about Peacefield at here. 

DIY chillers with wine bottles

Get Crafty and Make a One-of-a-Kind Beverage Chiller
Sunday, August 16, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Island Grove Wine Company
21848 S Co 325 Hwy, Hawthorne, FL 32640

Join Hammer & Stain for a DIY art project at Island Grove Wine Tasting House, where you can find dry and sweet wines made from locally harvested fruit. Make a beer and wine chiller with stencils and chalk paint. View examples and register online here.

museum nights clay date virtual event

Make it a Clay Date with Harn Museum Nights
Thursday, August 13, 6 p.m. | Online Event with Harn Museum of Art

Each month, the Harn Museum of Art stays open late for a fun evening inspired by exhibits and installations at the museum. Artists Sara Truman (MFA, Ceramics, and Ceramics Instructor at Gainesville High School) and Ailynda Ho (UF BFA, Ceramics) will provide a peek into their studio, explore ceramics, the art of transforming clay into objects that we live with, admire, and–too often–break. Join Museum Nights on Youtube.

The Harn Museum of Art is now open with exhibits and galleries featuring over 600 works of art. Learn more about reopening guidelines and plan your visit.

Richy Stano and Chelsea performing on stage

Enjoy Acoustic Duo Richy Stano and Chelsea Perform Their Takes on Classic and Modern Hits from the Virtual Stage of Gainesville LIVE!
Friday, August 14, 8 pm. – 10 p.m. | Online Event with Free Fridays Concert Series

Richy’s legendary guitar and Chelsea’s incredible vocals have been entertaining local music lovers since they formed their duo a couple of years ago.

Gainesville LIVE! is brought to you by the City of Gainesville as a temporary way to share with the public the joy of the Free Fridays Concert Series. The series typically takes place from May to October when hundreds of visitors and locals head to the Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville to listen and dance to a superb assembly of bands and talented musicians. It is the region’s longest running free outdoor live music series.

40 years of art musical tribute

View a Live Cabaret Performance Online and Celebrate 40 Years of ART: A Musical Tribute
Saturday, August 15, 7pm | Online Event with Acrosstown Repertory Theatre
Live via Facebook and YouTube

On August 11, 2020, the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre officially turned 40! In lieu of the annual fundraising gala, the Acrosstown created a special live-stream cabaret performance highlighting local talent by exploring musical theatre numbers from 1980 to today. Directed by Laura Jackson with Music Direction by Jackie Collins. The online live-stream is free, but donations are encouraged and can be made online at

View the full song list here.

closeup image of mushroom and snail

Zoom Into Fungal Fun and Learn About Mushrooms with the Museum
Sunday, August 16 | Online Event with Florida Museum of Natural History

Join University of Florida scientists, the Florida Academic Lichen and Fungi Enthusiast League and experts from all over the country to learn about mushrooms. Register for the Zoom webinar here.

The Florida Museum of Natural History and Butterfly Rainforest are now open daily. View reopening guidelines, frequently asked questions and plan your visit here.

Cade Museum

Make “Cool” Discoveries, Explore Space and Skate on Synthetic Ice
Open Thursday – Saturday, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
811 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 

Learn about “cool” inventions like air conditioning and refrigeration at The Science of Cool. Moon to Mars features micro-exhibits and activities to explore space. Skating on the new synthetic ice rink is included with regular admission. Advanced registration is required for Thursday’s skate night pajama party.

paddling on the santa fe river

Create Your Own Adventure with a Paddle Trip on the Santa Fe River and Discover Springs, Scenery, and Wildlife
Open Daily | Santa Fe Canoe Outpost
21410 NW US Hwy. 441, High Springs, FL 32643

Cruise down the Santa Fe River in your stress-free time capsule… err, we mean in your canoe, kayak or stand up paddleboard. All three are available for rent from the Santa Fee Canoe Outpost. Go up river for a leisurely ride back or explore several freshwater springs located downriver. Reservations are required. See trip times and safety measures here.

Explore Additional Parks and Trails Bike, Hike or Just Change Your View – Explore Gainesville and Alachua County’s Bountiful Outdoor Open Spaces

Find the park that suits you best! Most of the parks and trails in Alachua County have reopened including – Alachua County Parks, Playgrounds and Preserves including Poe Springs Friday-Sunday, city parks, Alachua Conservation Trust preserves and all Florida State Parks.

Find the list of Alachua County Parks and Preserves here.
Find our What’s Good Now list of additional open spaces to explore here.

When enjoying the outdoors, please strictly adhere to public health safety guidelines, keep 6 feet away from others, avoid large groups of people and follow all State and local ordinances. Note that due to the changing environment and regulations, open hours are subject to change and some facilities may not be available.

The historic home of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Watch “Life and Times in Cross Creek: Memories and Reflections” and Learn More About Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

The Friends of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Farm released a video in celebration of Marjorie’s birthday. The documentary introduces us to the friends and neighbors of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Yearling,” Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. The video includes historic photos, audio and video of many of the characters Rawlings wrote about in her book, “Cross Creek.” Purchase a DVD or view on Youtube.

Go back in time to the 1930s and see Marjorie’s Cross Creek home in person at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park. While in-home tours are suspended, views from screen doors and windows provide access to nearly every room. Staff are available to answer questions.

Music & Performance

kyle keller performing with guitar

Grab a Slice and a Song with Campfire Americana with Kyle Keller at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, August 15, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Indie Rock with Surfer Blood: Astro Coast 10th Anniversary Live Stream with High Dive
Thursday, August 13, 6 p.m.

Party in Your Living Room with Fest Bands Freezing Cold, Long Neck, Oceanator and John-Allison “A.W” Weiss at Fest at Home
Thursday, August 13, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Rock and Blues with Little Mike & The Tornadoes at One Love Cafe
Thursday, August 13, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Classic Rock with Wild Blue Yonder at One Love Cafe
Friday, August 14, 6 p.m.

Gainesville Hip Hop Night with Big Win, Live Stream with High Dive
Friday, August 14, 8 p.m.

Singer, Songwriter George Gomez at One Love Cafe
Saturday, August 15, 12 p.m.

Jazz and Swing Favorites with Swing Theory at One Love Cafe
Saturday, August 15, 6 p.m.

Acoustic Country Rock with Clay Brooker Live at Crafty Bastards Restaurant & Pub
Saturday, August 15, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Hard Rock Music with Apex, Eroding the Past Live Stream with High Dive
Saturday, August 15, 8 p.m.

Jazz and Blues with Middleground at One Love Cafe
Sunday, August 16, 11 a.m.

Classic Rock with Moondog at One Love Cafe
Sunday, August 16, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Indie, Electronic with Wild Pines presented by MusicGNV
Monday, August 17, 7 p.m. Wild Pines is the indie/electronic project of Florida native Matt Stanland where he writes songs about life, connection and meaning. Access the livestream on Facebook.

Craft Breweries

beer pints at cypress and grove

Enjoy Great Beer Together Apart in the Yard at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company. Now Serving Pints in their Open-Air Yard
Sit at one of their tables or bring your own blanket so you can spread out and enjoy a pint and good eats from a fantastic food truck. And when their isn’t a food truck, their new kitchen will be serving up Wild Man Foods hotdogs and Caribbean Spice empanadas.

Blackadder Brewing Company Now Open with Food Service
Blackadder Brewing Company has acquired a food service license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation which allows us to be open again for consumption on premises under Executive Order 2020-09. In addition to our own Blackadder beer plus all our regular guest beer, cider, wine and Blackadder soda, we now offer a simple menu with crackers & cheese, Italian cold cuts, olives, mixed nuts, hummus & crisps, and pretzels/cheese balls. We still have visiting food trucks many evenings of the week for a choice of more robust dinner fare. 

Order Craft Beer To Go from Craft Breweries

BINGO Night for Charity at Blackadder Brewing Company
Thursday, August 13, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Beer Bingo Tuesday at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Tuesday, August 18, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Trivia at High Springs Brewing Company
Tuesday, August 18, 7 p.m.

Trivia Night at Blackadder Brewing Company Gainesville
Wednesday, August 19, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Cornhole at High Springs Brewing Company
Wednesday, August 19, 7 p.m.

Sangria, Wines and More To-Go at Island Grove Wine Company Tasting House

U-Picks & Farmer’s Markets

Summer and Fall Free Seeds at Veterans Memorial Park, Registration Required
Saturday, August 15, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Grove Street Farmer’s Market at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company
Mondays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. 

Union Street Farmer’s Market at Celebration Pointe
Wednesdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Haile Farmer’s Market at Haile Village Center
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Alachua County Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Newberry Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Waldo Farmer’s Market
Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Bites & Brunch

Vegan Breakfast for Dinner Cooking Class at Peacefield
Sunday, August 16, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Tipple’s Virtual Wine Tasting
Tuesday, August 18, 7:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Pickup Local Oysters and Clams Food at Working Food
Wednesday, August 19
Order by Sunday and pickup Wednesday at Working Food

Dine at Local Restaurants and Enjoy New Outside Seating Options

Some restaurants are welcoming diners back into their dining rooms. You may also notice additional outdoor seating expanded onto sidewalks, into parking lots or into the street.

Did you know that our dining scene regularly makes national headlines? Find out why We Chomp with the best of them!

Find a searchable list of Alachua County restaurants here.


RC Car Racing at Toys and More and Newberry RC Park
Friday, August 14, 7 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. at Newberry RC Park
Sunday, August 16, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Toys and More

North Florida Cornhole at Celebration Pointe
Thursday, August 13, 6 p.m.

Greater Florida Baseball at Champions Park
Sunday, August 16 – Monday, August 17

Parks & Trails

Record breaking Victoria Cruziana waterlilies at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Don’t Miss Record-Breaking Giant Waterlilies at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Open Fridays – Wednesdays
Giant Victoria Water Lilies grow over 6 feet in diameter and are only a summer phenomenon at the gardens. Plan your visit at

River & Springs

Tubing at the springs

Splash Into the Springs Near Gainesville

North Florida is home to over 1,000 freshwater springs and the largest collection of First Magnitude fresh water springs in the United States. The springs are a perfect way to get outside and explore the natural side of the state. Did you know the crystal clear water flows from underground at a refreshing 72 degrees Fahrenheit, or 22 degrees Celsius, all year round? Make sure to add a visit to the springs to your Gainesville and Alachua County itinerary.

Museums & Galleries

samples of botanical prints at florida museum

Go Behind the Scenes at the Museum with Virtual Trivia with Florida Museum
Thursday, August 13, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Butterfly at the butterfly rainforest

Explore Florida’s History and Walk With Flying Butterflies at the Florida Museum
Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Browse Galleries Featuring Over 600 Works at the Harn Museum of Art
Open Thursday- Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Save The Date

Lessons From The Marjories with Alachua Conservation Trust, August 20

Paynes Prairie Big Anniversary Speaker Series, August 20

Drive-Through Safari at Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation, September 5

The Dirty Knobs with Mike Campbell, Night 2, September 12

AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, September 25-27

Swamp Head Brewery Adult Trick or Treating, October 23

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.

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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