What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, December 1-7, 2022

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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.

holiday lights celebration

Light Up the Holidays in the Gardens of The Historic Thomas Center
Saturday, December 3, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. | The Historic Thomas Center
302 NE 6th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601

The annual celebration begins in the Thomas Center Gardens with a holiday light display. Enjoy holiday music by Jim and Joyce Lillquist of the Gypsy Guerrilla Band and dulcet carols sung by the Singers of Reformation and the Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus. Surrounding the Thomas Center, the Historic Duckpond Neighborhood is lined by glowing luminarias. Horse and wagon rides are available by donation. Admission is free.

holiday at santa fe

Celebrate the Season with Family-Friendly Performances at Holiday at Santa Fe
Saturday, December 3, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. | Santa Fe College Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall
3000 NW 83 St. E-127, Gainesville, FL 32606

Santa Claus narrates the performances featuring the Dance Theatre of Santa Fe with their twist of The Nutcracker, youth dancers from SF Little School, animals from the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo and a lesson on why it doesn’t snow in Gainesville by the director of the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium, James Albury. After the performances, meet characters and animals from the teaching zoo in the lobby.

shrek the musical

Be Transported to the Story Book Setting of DreamWorks’ Shrek The Musical
Thursday, December 1 – Sunday, December 18 | Gainesville Community Playhouse
4039 NW 16th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32605

“Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek….” The Gainesville Community Playhouse presents the story of Shrek, a hulking green ogre content in his solitary life. When he comes to the rescue of a set of storybook characters, he ultimately finds true love. Shrek The Musical brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage and proves there’s more to the story than meets the ears.

a christmas story

See Holiday Movie Moments Come to Life at the Stage Adaptation of “A Christmas Story”
Friday, December 2 – Sunday, December 18 | High Springs Playhouse
23416 W US Hwy. 27, High Springs, FL 32643

Humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the midwest in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Moments from the movie take center stage including the boys’ experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost and Ralphie’s father winning a lamp shaped like a woman’s leg.

chicago dancers on stage

Experience the Tony Award-Winning Story of Fame, Fortune and All That Jazz at “Chicago”
Thursday, December 1, 7:30 p.m. | UF Phillips Center
3201 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611

The longest-running American musical on Broadway features show-stopping songs and dance routines. Chicago has been honored with six Tony Awards®, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy®, and thousands of standing ovations.

artwalk gainesville

Meet Local Artists and Visit Galleries on a Self-Guided Art Tour at Artwalk Gainesville
Friday, December 2, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Multiple Locations in Gainesville

14 venues are featured in the final Artwalk of 2022. View a variety of genres and media at the Top Secret Event Space. Browse “Ugly Mugs” with Brooke Madsen at Swamp City Gallery Lounge. Experience a mixed media installation from Kana Handel at The Auk Market. Preview venues and download a map at

gfaa winter showcase

View a Collection of Featured Works from Local Artists at the Artwalk Reception of the 2022 Winter Showcase
Friday, December 2, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Gainesville Fine Arts Association
1314 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601

Meet local artists and view their work at the Winter Showcase exhibit reception. The annual exhibit features a variety of subject matter and media from artists. In 2023, GFAA celebrates 100 years of fostering and encouraging the study of visual arts. Preview the exhibit online.

cane festival at dudley farm

Visit an 1870s Working Farm and Celebrate the Fall Harvest at the Farm and Cane Festival
Saturday, December 3, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Dudley Farm
18730 W Newberry Rd., Newberry, FL 32669

See an original Florida working farm from the post-Civil War era. Visit the cane grinder and kettle to see sugar cane juice boil down into syrup. Old-time demonstrations include woodworking, blacksmithing, butter churning, children’s games and toys, old-time music and washday. 

history and hoidays guided tours

Visit the Historic Haile Homestead for History and Holidays Guided Tours
Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sunday, December 4, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. | Historic Haile Homestead8500 SW Archer Rd., Gainesville, FL 32608

Once a year, Historic Haile Homestead gets decorated for the holidays. Learn about the 1856 homestead, the Haile family and the laborers who lived and worked there.

blooming flower

See What’s in Bloom on a Guided Walk at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
4700 SW 58th Dr., Gainesville, FL 32608

A display of poinsettias welcomes you at the entrance and seasonal highlights await in the gardens including bromeliads and fall colors. Pet-friendly paved walkways wind through 68 acres of plant collections including the largest public display of Bamboo in Florida.

glam craft show

Browse Over 70 Artists and Makers at GLAM Winter Craft Show
Sunday, December 4, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | First Magnitude Brewing Company

1220 SE Veitch St, Gainesville, FL 32601 

Sip and shop at the brewery with a curated collection of jewelry, candles, ceramics, fashion and more. Enjoy a bite from food trucks and visit The Source taproom for craft beer, cider, wine, kombucha and sodas.

Century Tower and the Univeristy Auditorium at the University of Florida

Listen to Holiday Music Ring Out from 61 Bells at the UF Carillon Studio Annual Holiday Concert
Sunday, December 4, 1:55 p.m. | UF Century Tower
375 Newell Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611

Seasonal favorites ring out from Century Tower. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Century Tower is a 157-foot carillon tower in the center of the University of Florida campus featuring 61 bells. For an optimal listening experience, find a location at least 100 feet from the tower.

birds and brews

Pair a Guided Birding Tour with Craft Beer at Birds and Brews
Sunday, December 4, 4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. | First Magnitude Brewing Company

1220 SE Veitch St., Gainesville, FL 32601

Join volunteers from the Alachua Audubon Society on their monthly bird walks at First Magnitude Brewing Company. Meet at the brewery and depart for an hourlong walk along the Depot Park nature trail.

musicians with brass instruments

Journey Through Musical Traditions of the Christmas Season with the tenThing Brass Ensemble Holiday Concert
Tuesday, December 6, 7:30 p.m. | UF Phillips Center
3201 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611

Norwegian brass ensemble tenThing presents holiday songs from Norway, Germany, Italy, England and Ukraine as well as modern classics from America. Since 2007, the ten-piece, all-female brass ensemble has firmly established themselves on the international scene to great acclaim.

Holiday Events and Tree Lightings

View more holiday events and celebrate the season at

Songs of the Season at Santa Fe College Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall
Thursday, December 1, 7:30 p.m.

alachua tree lighting

City of Alachua Tree Lighting at Skinner Field
Friday, December 2, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

hawthorne christmas festival

Hawthorne Christmas Festival in Downtown Hawthorne
Saturday, December 3, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Festival of Trees 2022 at Gainesville Woman’s Club
Saturday, December 3, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

operatin santa deliveyr

Operation Santa Delivery at Santa Fe College North Field
Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Holiday Party and Make Fest at Good News Arts
Saturday, December 3, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Gainesville Pops Holida Concert at First United Methodist Church
Saturday, December 3, 3 p.m.

kids holiday dance party

Kids Holiday Dance Party at Bo Diddley Plaza
Saturday, December 3, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

high springs annual tree lighting

High Springs Annual Tree Lighting
Saturday, December 3, 6 p.m.

archer christmas celebration

Parade of Lights at Archer Christmas Celebration
Saturday, December 3, 6:30 p.m.

newberry christmas tree lighting

City of Newberry Christmas Tree Lighting in the Gingerbread Village
Saturday, December 3, 6 p.m.

sounds of the season

74th Annual UF School of Music Sounds of the Season at UF Phillips Center
Sunday, December 4, 7 p.m.

The City of Alachua and Dance Alive National Ballet Present Nutcracker Under the Stars at Legacy Park
Friday, December 16, 7 p.m.

dance alive ballet dancers

Dance Alive National Ballet Presents The Nutcracker at UF Phillips Center
Saturday, December 17, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Sunday, December 18, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Spark Wonder 2023 at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
Saturday, December 31, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

View more holiday events and celebrate the season at

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Pop-Up Markets and Retail Shopping

vintage christmas market

Sycamore Lane Vintage Christmas Market in Historic Downtown Newberry
Saturday, December 3, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Live Music, Performers, Food Trucks, Artisans, Real Snowfall and More at Bazar Á La Carte Night Festival at How Bazar
Saturday, December 3, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

cow on sleigh

Meet the Critters of Critter Creek and Browse the Plant-Based Farmers Moo-Ket at Critter Creek Sanctuary
Sunday, December 4, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Pet Night with Santa at The Oaks Mall
Monday, December 5, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops
Now through December 24

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

Arts & Theatre

a christmas carol and murder for two holiday edition

Ring in the Holidays with Stage Performances at the Hippodrome Theatre

A Christmas Carol

Now through Friday, December 23
Bah Humbug to dashing through the snow and sleigh rides in Florida. Staying true to the weighty themes of the original novel while delivering a gripping story, cheerful holiday music, and genuine laughs for the whole family, A Christmas Carol at the Hippodrome Theatre is one of Gainesville’s favorite holiday traditions.

Murder for Two Holiday Edition
Now through Friday, December 23
One of Hippodrome Theatre’s most popular productions returns with a festive twist. One actor plays the investigator, the other plays all 13 suspects, and both play the piano throughout. This ‘whodunit’ is the perfect blend of music, mayhem, murder and mistletoe.

12th Annual Jewish Film Festival at The Hippodrome Cinema
Now through December 8


UF School of Theatre and Dance Celebrates African Dance Cultures at Agbedidi at UF Constans Theatre
Friday, December 2 – Sunday, December 4

Events & Festivals

Large Scale Lighting Armature Blacksmithing Workshop at [Fe]ver Metal Art Center, Morning and Afternoon Groups
Saturday, December 3 – Sunday, December 4

Movie Night with Elf at Tioga Town Center
Friday, December 2, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Music & Performance

Jazz with Brazilian Side B at Lightnin’ Salvage
Thursday, December 1, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Tran the Piano Man at Ballyhoo Grill
Thursday, December 1, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

University of Florida Symphonic Band Presents “Old’s Cool” at University Auditorium
Thursday, December 1, 7:20 p.m.

Indie Rock with Truth Value at High Dive
Thursday, December 1, 8 p.m.

Soul, Funk, R&B with The Browns at Lightnin’ Salvage
Friday, December 2, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Classic Rock with Couch Messiahs at One Love Café
Friday, December 2, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Indie Live Outdoor Concert Series Presents Rohna, Driveaway, The Forum, and Bambii Lamb at Heartwood Soundstage
Friday, December 2, 7:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Live and Local GNV Concert Series at Bo Diddley Plaza
Friday, December 2, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Traditional Irish Music with Randal Bays and Paddy League at Theatre of Memory
Friday, December 2, 7:30 p.m.

fast fashion

Fast Fashion – The Depeche Mode Experience at High Dive
Friday, December 2, 8 p.m.

A Very Merry Swiftiemas Holiday Dance Party with Trivia, Lip Sync, Costume Contest and more at The Wooly
Friday, December 2, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Singer Songwriter Pierce Pettis with Michael Claytor at Heartwood Soundstage
Saturday, December 3, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

the shoddy beatles

Music of the Beatles with The Shoddy Beatles at Heartwood Soundstage
Saturday, December 3, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Pop Punk Emo Night at High Dive
Saturday, December 3, 9 p.m.

The Gainesville Flute Ensemble Holiday Concert at Covenant Presbyterian Church
Sunday, December 4, 3 p.m.

Indie Rock with Level 6 at High Dive
Sunday, December 4, 7 p.m.

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

University of Florida Wind Symphony Presents “Voyages” at University Auditorium
Tuesday, December 6, 7:20 p.m.

jazz wednesdays

Jazz Wednesdays with The Oak Trio at Covey Kitchen and Cocktails
Wednesday, December 7, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Jazz Night at The Keys Grill and Piano Bar
Wednesday, December 7, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Craft Breweries

sippin seven

Sippin’ Seven Alachua County Ale Trail Digital Pass
While you are visiting with family and friends, explore Alachua County’s unique craft breweries and sign up for free to the Sippin’ Seven Alachua County Ale Trail digital pass. Visit breweries, earn rewards and redeem your pass for “Billy the Bison and the Brew Birds” merchandise while supplies last.
Cheers to you and to Sippin’ All Seven!  

Lights and Holiday-Themed Beers at Wonderland at the Wetlands at Swamp Head Brewery
December 1 – December 31

Holiday Movies and Beer Releases at First Magnitude Brewing Company
December 1 – December 31

Singer Songwriter Bobby James at Swamp Head Brewery
Friday, December 2, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Song Writers Night with Alex Lopex and Mei at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company
Friday, December 2, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.


Outdoor Holiday Shopping at Christkindlmarkt at Blackadder Brewing
Friday, December 2, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday, December 3, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Brunch at Swamp Head Brewery with Cheffrey’s
Sunday, December 4, 11 a.m. 

U-Picks & Farmers Markets

Grove Street Farmers Market with Live Music
Mondays, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

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

GNV Holiday Market at South Main Station featuring Live Music from The Shambles
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

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

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

newberry farmers market

Newberry Farmers Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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

Waldo Farmers Market
Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Bites and Brunch

fords garage

Now Open: Ford’s Garage
The car-themed restaurant in Butler Town Center pays tribute to the legendary Henry Ford. Be transported into a 1920s service station complete with vintage Ford vehicles, gas pumps and fixtures. The menu features a selection of burgers, comfort food, shakes and desserts, craft beers, spiked lemonades and brunch on Sundays. 

Breakfast & Photos with Santa at Brown’s Country Buffet
Saturday, December 3, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Full Moon Oysters and Bubbles at Superette Wine and Provisions
Saturday, December 3, 4 p.m. – sellout

Brunch with Santa Buffet at Local Provisions
Sunday, December 4, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

candy cane ice cream

Winter Flavor Night at Sweet Dreams Ice Cream
Sunday, December 4, 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.


volleyball hosting tournament

Welcome NCAA Volleyball Tournament First and Second Rounds!

Gators Volleyball vs. Florida A&M at Exactech Arena
Friday, December 2, 7 p.m.

NCAA Volleyball Tournament Second Round at Exactech Arena
Saturday, December 3, 7 p.m. 

11th Annual Chain Hawk Disc Golf Open Presented by Dynamic Discs at Northside Park and Jonesville Disc Golf Course
Friday, December 2 – Sunday, December 4

Perfect Game Softball at Champions Park
Saturday, December 3 – Sunday, December 4

Gators Men’s Basketball vs. Stetson at Exactech Arena
Sunday, December 4, 2 p.m.

16th Annual Ornament Race at High Springs BMX
Sunday, December 4, 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Gators Gymnastics Hype Night at Exactech Arena
Monday, December 5, 6:45 p.m.

florida gators women's basketball

Gators Women’s Basketball vs. Presbyterian at Exactech Arena
Tuesday, December 6, 6 p.m.

Gators Men’s Basketball vs. UConn at Exactech Arena
Wednesday, December 7, 9 p.m.

Parks & Trails

Free Timed 5K with parkrun at Depot Park
Saturday, December 3, 7:30 a.m.

Rim Ramble Ranger Led Hike at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

Classic Cracker Architecture with Ron Haase at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
Saturday, December 3, 2 p.m.

Introduction to Backyard Birding: A Perspective on Enjoying Local Birds at Hogtown Creek Headwaters Nature Center
Sunday, December 4, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

limpkin with snail

Wednesday Bird Walks at the Wetlands at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Wednesday, December 7, 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Cross Creek: World of Margorie Kinnan Rawlings Waterway Tour with Adventure Outpost
Tuesday, November 29, 10 a.m.

River & Springs

paddling on the santa fe river

Paddle 8 Springs in 8 Miles or Slowly Float Down the Santa Fe River at Poe Springs Park with Anderson’s Outdoor Adventures
Friday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Float or Splash Into Freshwater Springs
North Florida is home to the largest collection of first-magnitude springs in the United States.

Museums & Galleries

Gallery Talk: Speechless with Rebecca Nagy at the Harn Museum of Art
Saturday, December 3, 10:30 a.m.

Sound Moves: Nu Quintet Interdisciplinary Class Project at the Harn Museum of Art
Saturday, December 3, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Exhibit Opening at the Harn Museum of Art, AWE-some: time :: materiality :: meaning
Museum Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.AWE-some celebrates new photographs recently bought for, or donated to, the Harn’s permanent collection. Its theme: recognition of several brilliant, dedicated photographers, their time, their actual prints (not on a screen) and why they made them.

Annual Faculty Exhibit Opening at Santa Fe College Gallery
Open daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Painting Situations: Sigfredo Chacón and Liliana Porter / ISLAA Artist Initiative at UF Gary R. Libby University Gallery
Now through December 2

return to forever

View Memories of Legendary Bands at a Legendary Music Venue at the Matheson History Museum’s Newest Exhibit “Return to Forever: Gainesville’s Great Southern Music Hall”
Museum Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
The Matheson History Museum looks back at the state-of-the-art concert venue in Gainesville between 1974 and 1978. The Great Southern Music Hall hosted performers including Jimmy Buffett, Ray Charles, Muddy Waters, Bob Seger and Steve Martin to name a few. The exhibit features a collection of live performance photos from the house photographer John Moran, Bo Diddley’s signature square guitar and other artifacts. Admission is free.

into out of

Into the Woods and Out of the Woods Exhibits at The Historic Thomas Center
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Pictured above, “Log (2)” by Benjamin Ingle

Explore the Solar System with the Cade Museum’s Scavenger Hunt
Now through January 2023
Engage with the Gainesville-wide “Wandering the Milky Way Planetary Partnership Scavenger Hunt” and visualize the scale of the galaxy. Get a map at the Cade Museum and make stops at locations throughout Gainesville including The Historic Thomas Center, Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo, Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and more. The scavenger hunt is an extension of the museum’s current theme, “Wandering the Milky Way.”

Speechless, Text and Image in Global Culture at the Harn Museum of Art
Now through December 30, 2022
Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Discover a Unique African American Culture at Gullah Geechee – African Connections and Cultural Traditions in America at the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center
Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Explore the Cosmos at the Cade Museum’s New Exhibit: Voyages – A Trip Through Space and Time
Thursday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
This featured exhibit is part of the museum-wide theme “Wandering the Milky Way – A Tour of the Solar System.” Discover how spacecraft from the 1970s still teach us about the galaxy and learn how scientists are designing a mission that spans generations.

fossil exhibit and museum attendees

Dig Into the Past at the Florida Museum’s Science Up Close: Fantastic Fossils
Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Take a unique look behind the scenes, interact with scientists while they work and explore some of the museum’s coolest specimens. Get face-to-face with giant dinosaur skeletons, beautiful botanical fossils and ancient microscopic life. Plan your visit online. Photo by Florida Museum/Jeff Gage

Save The Date

Historic Home Tour with Matheson History Museum, December 10

Fun 4 Gator KidsTouch A Truck, December 10

Swallowtail Farm Dinner Experience, December 10

La Balooza Hot Air Balloon Festival, December 16-17

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

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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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