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.
Wishing you the happiest of holidays,
– 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).
Cheer on Gators Football for the Last Game at The Swamp
Saturday, December 12, 7 p.m. | Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
157 Gale Lemerand Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611
The Gators host LSU as QB Kyle Trask continues his Heisman Trophy campaign. Find ticket information and game day safety protocols at FloridaGators.com
Watch the Big Game at Gameday at the Pointe
Saturday, December 12, | Celebration Pointe
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608
Watch the big game on the big screen on the promenade at Celebration Pointe. Enjoy live music and food and drinks from MidiCi, Hana Sushi, The Keys Grill and Piano Bar and other nearby restaurants. All CDC guidelines are being observed and enforced.
Stay at Hotel Indigo on the Celebration Pointe grounds and walk over to the GameDay, Shopping, BassPro Shopping and more.
See Big Cats, Reptiles, Birds and More as the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo Reopens to Guests
Open Daily, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo
3000 NW 83rd St., Building Z, Gainesville, FL 32606
The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo is the only zoo on a college campus accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Over 70 different native and exotic species call the zoo home. View the animals on a 1/4 mile trail through a wooded environment with boardwalks and walking paths. Before your next visit, learn about new reopening guidelines and watch an instructional video here.
Plan for a Perfect Gift or Fun and Festive Getaway at a Gainesville and Alachua County Bed and Breakfast
Whether you want to take your holiday shopping on the road, spend a weekend relaxing before the craziness begins, or celebrate the season somewhere new, staying at and getting pampered at a bed and breakfast can create an opportunity for a festive getaway – And, what better way to avoid an extra helping of aunt Sally’s fruitcake, control your own TV remote and enjoy your own bathroom. Plus, a weekend away with your favorite person may just be the perfect romantic holiday gift.
Read on for inspiration…
Find the county’s most comprehensive and searchable list of area hotels and restaurants at visitgainesville.com
Learn about our lodging partner’s commitment to a safe stay for all who visit, work and live in Alachua County at Safe Stay Pledge.
Hunker Down as Gainesville Community Playhouse Storms on Stage with A Cedar Key Christmas
Friday, December 4, 8 p.m. – Sunday, December 13 | Gainesville Community Playhouse
4039 NW 16th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32605
Discover Michael Presley Bobbitt’s: A Cedar Key Christmas in the newly reopened Gainesville Community Playhouse. Find safety protocols and audience requirements here. When an unprecedented December hurricane threatens to destroy a tiny island community of Cedar Key, FL and ruin Christmas, an unlikely superhero intervenes. From the playwright that brought you the smash hits “Florida Man” and “Sunset Village” comes an untraditional holiday tale that challenges us to confront the storms in our own lives head-on, even as it affirms the Christmas spirit in us all.
Take a Hilarious Holiday Trip to Texas as High Springs Playhouse Presents A Tuna Christmas
Friday, December 4, 8 p.m. – Sunday, December 20 | High Springs Playhouse
23416 W US Hwy 27, High Springs, FL 32643
Join the holiday fun with this hilarious sequel to Greater Tuna. It’s Christmas in the third-smallest town in Texas – Tuna, TX. Radio station personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie report on various Yuletide activities, including the hot competition in the annual lawn-display contest. In other news, unpaid electric bills jeopardize a production of A Christmas Carol. Get a snapshot of the many eccentric Tuna denizens, some you will recognize from Greater Tuna and some appearing here for the first time.
Watch a Modern-Day Christmas Carol at Ebony Scrooge
Friday, December 11 – Sunday, December 20 | Star Center Theatre
11 NE 23rd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32609
Ebony Scrooge is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in town. But there is a problem — she has a cold heart, nasty attitude and lacks a great deal of holiday cheer until she is visited by three spirits. And though the story is set in modern-day America, the themes of this story are the same as the classic, with Ebony looking back at what she missed and learning what’s truly important in life.
Waive to Santa at Alachua’s Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 12, 2 p.m. | Main Street Alachua
Main St., Alachua, FL 32615
Watch the procession of festive parade floats celebrating this year’s theme of classic toys. Enjoy food and drink from a café or restaurant on Main Street. Admission is free. Find inspiration with this holiday video from the City of Alachua.
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Get Crafty for the Holidays at the Winter Wreath Workshop with Iron and Clay Flowers
Sunday, December 13, 2 p.m. | 4th Ave. Food Park
409 SW 4th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601
Make a gorgeous grapevine wreath perfect for your home or holiday gift. The workshop provides everything you need including fresh and fragrant evergreens, festive seasonal dried ingredients, berries, bits and bobs. Masks are required.
Sing Along with Country Artist Mitchell Tenpenny
Thursday, December 10, 7 p.m. | Knockin’ Boots Saloon 201 W University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601
Platinum recording artist from Mitchell Tenpenny tells authentic stories inspired from a wide range of influences and experiences. Tenpenny first picked up a guitar at the age of 13 and, after graduating with a music business degree from Middle Tennessee State University, he began his professional career. Tenpenny embraces the idea that he’s part of a new generation of country artists who grew up listening to a diverse range of styles and his songs portray his varied influences. Masks are required for entry.
Get in Tune with the Reggae Vibes of Kash’d Out, Tropidelic and Bonzai! Performing Live on Stage
Friday, December 11, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Knockin’ Boots Saloon
201 W University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601
Kash’d Out’s album hit #1 on iTunes reggae and #2 on Billboard Reggae. They are joined by Tropidelic and Bonzai! on Friday night. Masks are required for entry.
Celebrate Shopping Local for the Holidays at the Falliday Market
Saturday, December 12, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Sandy’s Savvy Chic Resale Boutique
4148 NW 13th St., Gainesville, FL 32609
Browse stylish fashion, home decor and holiday gifts at the outdoor pop-up.
Find One of a Kind Works of Art at the Open Studio and Holiday Art Sale
Saturday, December 12, 12 p.m. | Art Studios of Grace 3146 NW 13th St., Gainesville, FL 32609
Artists and invited guests feature their unique artwork under the eaves in the courtyard at the Art Studios of Grace. Shopping appointments may be made from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Masks are required.
Find Handmade and Vintage Holiday Gifts at the Mini Market Holiday Series
Saturday, December 12, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | The AUK Market2031 NW 6th St., Gainesville, FL 32609
Each Saturday at The AUK Market features 4-5 local artists, makers and vendors for an open-air shopping experience. The Mini Market Series is an indie retail experience showcasing local handmade vintage goods, art, apothecary and plants. Stop in to find specialty gift items for the holiday season. Masks are required.
The AUK Mini Market is located next to Curia on the Drag on 2.5 acres to safely socialize. Grab a hot coffee or chocolate and your favorite vegan pastries while you browse the open-air pop-up shops. And while you’re there, snap an Instagram pic in front of the new Solar Paneled Pergola, see the video here.
Dance into the Evening with Late Night Delivery at Music Under the Stars
Friday, December 11, 7-9 p.m. | Celebration Pointe
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608
Pull up a chair or blanket and enjoy live music after the sun sets. Celebration Pointe is City Walk style destination for entertainment, shopping and dining. Enjoy food and drinks from nearby restaurants
Warm Up the Night with Latin Jazz on the Green with Nino Castaneda
Saturday, December 12, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Hotel Indigo Courtyard5001 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608
Latin jazz recording artist Nino Castaneda heats up Celebration Pointe with flamenco guitar riffs. Spread a blanket and catch live jazz from the outdoor stage. Enjoy food and drinks from nearby Celebration Pointe restaurants.
Experience a Drive on the Road to Bethlehem, a Live, Outdoor Drive-thru Production
Saturday, December 12 – Sunday, December 13, 6 p.m. | Camp Kulaqua
23400 NW 212th Ave., High Springs, FL 32643
Camp Kulaqua hosts a live outdoor production of the story of Christmas with two evenings to choose from. The scenes feature music, animals and iconic imagery. Admission is free.
Join the Lighting of the Giant Menorah at the Grand Chanukah Family Celebration
Sunday, December 13, 4:30 p.m. | Bo Diddley Plaza
UF Lubavich Chabad Jewish Student and Community Center hosts a safe and socially distanced Chanukah celebration. See the lighting of the giant menorah, live entertainment, gelt for everyone and more. Learn more and RSVP here.
Select from 5,000 Plants and over 50 Unique Varieties at the 24th Annual Poinsettia Sale
Now through – Sunday, December 13 | UF Greenhouses
2475 Memorial Rd. Gainesville, FL 32611
UF’s annual Poinsettia Sale features traditional, novelty and trial varieties in 6.5” pots. Appointments are required to shop inside the greenhouse. Reserve a shopping time online here. Drive-thru shopping will be available December 12-13, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Find Sweet Deals and Sweet Treats at the Candy Cane Lane Pop-Up Shop
Saturday, December 12, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. | High Dive
210 SW 2nd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601
High Dive hosts local vendors for a holiday pop-up shop. Candy Cane Lane features a hot chocolate bar, live entertainment, gift wrapping station and more. VIP tickets include a Loaded Hot Chocolate, Holiday Souvenir, Food Truck Sampler and Discounts to Candy Cane Lane vendors.
Ring in the Holidays with the Cheerful Sounds of Christmas with The Currys Live at Heartwood
Wednesday, December 16, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Heartwood Soundstage
619 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601
For several years, The Currys have staked their claim on the Americana music scene. This annual concert brings together their guitar and mandolin licks with harmonizing vocals to their original hits, surprising covers and holiday favorites you can sing along to.
Cheers to Four Years of Beer at Blackadder Brewing Company
Tuesday, December 15, 4 p.m. | Blackadder Brewing Company
618 NW 60th St. Suite A, Gainesville, FL 32607
Blackadder Brewing Company turns four. The celebration includes the tapping and bottle release of EmanuAle, a Winter Warmer, with prize drawings throughout the day. A new food vendor Everyday Amore, serves up hearty Italian recipes from Francesca’s Trattoria including Amore Pasta, Shrimp and Mac, and Citrus and Herb Grilled Salmon.
Celebrate the Season with Sales, Music and More at Butler Town Center’s Annual Tree Lighting
Friday, December 11, 6 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. | Butler Town Center
2851 SW 35th Dr., Gainesville, FL 32608
Join Butler Town Center on Friday nights as the annual tree lighting gets “socially distanced” to separate Friday showings. The celebration takes place in the heart of Butler Town Center, next to Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang’s, Whole Foods, REI Co-op and Kilwins. Enjoy street entertainment, giveaways, letters to Santa, special sales and the lighting of the tree. The tree lighting may also be viewed online from the Shop at Butler Facebook page.
Enjoy Scenery Speckled with Decorative Holiday Lights with an Evening at Depot Park
Now Through December 31, 6 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. | Depot Park
200 SE Depot Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601
The magic of the holidays radiates from Depot Park as 200,000 lights create a festive glow at “Light up ‘D Holidays.” Depot Park is a hub for the community with plenty of room to spread out, playground for the kids, waterside walking paths and connections to several biking trails. Enjoy food and drinks from Parkside Convenience, Boxcar Wine and Beer Garden and Fire Food Truck.
Take in the Gorgeous Downtown Scene as You Shop, Dine and Stroll on Main Street Alachua
Friday, December 11, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Alachua
Main St., Alachua, FL 32615
Enjoy shopping, dining, and a relaxing evening stroll in Alachua’s beautiful downtown district. Holiday nights on Main Street Alachua feature live music, horse and carriage rides, twinkling lights and local dining.
Celebrate the Visual and Vocal Energy of the Local Community During Museum Nights: Local Vocal
Thursday, December 10, 7 p.m. | Online Event with Harn Museum of Art
Local Vocal includes a conversation about the creation and performance of the play From Colored to Black with actor and Alachua County Poet Laureate E. Stanley Richardson, UF student and researcher/writer Brittney Caldwell, and director Jeffrey Pufahl (UF Center for Arts in Medicine). In addition, enjoy two recorded dance performances from Swamp Dance Fest! 2020. Join Museum Nights from the Harn’s YouTube page.
Songs from the Heart with Shema Shine and Jordan Foley
Friday, December 11, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Online Event with Heartwood Soundstage
Songwriting for Shema Shine is spontaneous, inspired by melodies and lyrics that come out of nowhere born from real life experiences. Jordan Foley’s powerful vocals and acoustic rhythms make for a talented addition to the Americana music scene.
“Songs from the Heart” is dedicated to celebrating the songs and songwriters that connect every person to others. Beginning at 8 p.m. most Fridays, the artists will talk about the process of writing a great song, share an intimate experience and offer new tunes. Airing online at heartwoodsoundstage.com, the venue will pair two diverse songwriters as they tell the stories that inspired their music. Heartwood Soundstage is a state-of-the-art recording studio, video production facility, and intimate performance venue – built by musicians for music lovers and music makers.
Plan Ahead and Create Memorable Moments with What’s Good Home for the Holidays Guide – Updated Weekly
The month of December is filled with holiday events ranging from tree lightings, gift markets and annual performances. As you begin to make holiday plans with your family, the What’s Good guide has got you covered with the most up-to-date and complete directory of events and fun for the entire family. View the complete guide to Alachua County’s Holiday Events here.
Arts & Theatre
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, Inspired by the Children’s Book, Streaming with Actors’ Warehouse
Thursday, December 10 – Friday, December 18
Watch the One Man Production of This Wonderful Life Streaming Online
Thursday, December 10 | Online Event with the Hippodrome Theatre
The Hippodrome brings an amazing one-man production of This Wonderful Life directly to you this holiday season in collaboration with Broadway On Demand.
A Christmas Carol Archival Streaming Production from the Hippodrome Theatre
Now through Sunday, January 3
Private Performances of The Stronger at Black C Art Gallery
Now Through Saturday, December 12
“In Search of…” Dance Performance at Black C Art Gallery
Monday, December 14 – Saturday, December 19
A short movement investigation by Ani Collier and Tzveta Kassabova, presented for an audience of four. Tzveta Kassabova, named one of ’25 to watch’ by Dance Magazine, explores live performance possibilities with fellow dancer/choreographer Ani Collier with an observance of public health safety protocols. Masks are required and distanced seating is provided.
Music & Performance
Rock and Blues with Little Mike & The Tornadoes at One Love Cafe
Thursday, December 10, 6 p.m.- 9 p.m.
Live Stand Up Comedy Night at Flaco’s
Thursday, December 10, 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Gainesville’s Own Ska Pop Punk Band Less Than Jake – Live Stream
Friday, December 11, 6 p.m.
Rock, Country, Pop with Faster Than Flash at the Great Outdoors Restaurant
Friday, December 11, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Sister Hazel’s Holiday Hang: Home Edition on Facebook Live
Friday, December 11, 8 p.m.
Rock Music with 4PLAY at Mother’s Pub & Grill North Gainesville
Friday, December 11, 9 p.m.
Heavy Dance Music with Grow-Op 002: Levitation Jones at SwampCity Gallery Lounge
Friday, December 11, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Rock Music with Whiskey Jones at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Saturday, December 12, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Country Music Clay Brooker at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Wednesday, December 15, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Keg of Laughs Stand Up Comedy Hour at World of Beer
Tuesday, December 15, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Country Music with Cliff Dorsey at Woodyard Grill
Wednesday, December 16, 6 p.m.
‘Tis the Season at The Source at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Now through December 31
Wear Your Ugly Sweater for $1 off Core Beers at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Saturday, December 12, 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Beer Bingo Tuesday at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Tuesday, December 15, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Cornhole Tourney at High Springs Brewing Company
Wednesday, December 16, 6 p.m.
Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone on the Big Screen at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Wednesday, December 16, 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Plant Based Junk Food at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company
Wednesday, December 16, 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
U-Picks & Farmer’s Markets
Cypress & Grove Farmer’s Market
Mondays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Union Street Farmer’s Market at Celebration Pointe
Wednesdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
GNV Market at Heartwood Soundstage
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
High Springs Farmer’s Market
Fridays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Alachua County Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Haile Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Waldo Farmer’s Market
Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Bites & Brunch
Thursday Wine Tastings at Downtown Wine and Cheese
Thursday, December 10, 6:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
All About Pies Cooking Class at the Fat Tuscan
Monday, December 14, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Collard Week 2020 with Working Food
Monday, December 14 –Thursday, December 17
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.
Virtual Kickoff Lunch with Dan Mullen
Friday, December 11, 12 p.m.
Aim for the Bullseye at Funtastic Fridays
Friday, December 11, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Easton Newberry Archery Center
24880 NW 16th 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.
Winterfest RC Racing at Newberry RC Park
Saturday, December 12, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Double Points Mud Racing Season Finale at Waldo Motorsports
Saturday, December 12, 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
PGF Florida Fall State Championship 18U and 12U at Champions Park
Saturday, December 12 – Sunday, December 13
Gainesville Cars and Coffee at Butler Town Center
Sunday, December 13, 9 a.m.
Mountain Bike Rides with Goodbike
Thursday, December 10, 7 p.m., Medium Pace for the Intermediate/Advanced Rider
Tuesday, December 15, 7 p.m., Brisk Pace for the Advanced Rider
Parks & Trails
Ranger-Led Tour at Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Pre-Registration Required
Sunday, December 13, 2:30 a.m. – 3:30 a.m.
Photo by Wesley Hetrick
Trek Through Cool Trails: Top 5 Family-Friendly and Dog-Friendly Shaded Hikes
Spending time in nature has been proven to benefit the mind, body and spirit, so round up the kids, find the dog, or go solo and reacquaint yourself with the outdoors on Alachua County’s nature trails.
River & Springs
Swim Into the Freshwater Springs and Experience Nature Near Gainesville
The springs are a perfect way to get outside and explore the untouched natural side of Florida. Did you know North Florida is home to over 1,000 freshwater springs? The water flows crystal clear at 72 degrees all year round so make a splash on your Gainesville and Alachua County itinerary.
Museums & Galleries
Little Sparks at the Cade Museum
Thursday, December 10, 10:15 a.m.
Winter Showcase at GFAA Gallery
Now Through January 2
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 Friday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Spark Dialog with the “Lights of Conversation” Outdoor Illuminated Poetry Verse Exhibit at the Matheson History Museum
On Display Daily
Spark Wonder at the Cade Museum and Discover Science of Music with the New Theme “Wires and Waves”
Fridays – Saturdays, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Save The Date
For a complete list of events please visit www.visitgainesville.com/events/
Thank you for your continued partnership! Please keep in communication with us by sharing your events, updates and news with our team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.