What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County December 12-15, 2019

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Make your plans for weekend fun and find some holiday magic! Take a candlelight visit to Haile Homestead, watch the ballet performance of Cinderella, see Santa in a parade, take a Christmas Light Tour and more.

We’ve made it easy to find unique seasonal shopping best bets by highlighting them with the following gift emoji 🎁. Find painted canvases during Museum Nights: Our 352, browse the Moonlight Market at The AUK and shop from over 50 makers at Indie Flea Winter Faire.

Don’t forget to share your adventure with us at #WhatsGoodAlachuaCounty and #WhyILoveGNV.

Read on for What’s Good this weekend, and get out there and have some fun!
Your partners at Visit Gainesville, Alachua County

Holidays at Haile Homestead

A Once a Year Treat, Full of History and Charm – Visit the Historic Haile Homestead for a Candlelight Tour
Friday, December 13, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Haile Homestead
8500 SW Archer Rd., Gainesville, FL 32608

See the old Homestead, decked out for the holidays and aglow with candlelight and soft lights. Docents in costume top off the stunning beauty of the 1856 plantation home and its “Talking Walls.” This is the only time during the year the house is open at night.

Cinderella dancers in costume

Find Out If Dreams Really Do Come True as Danscompany Presents Cinderella
Saturday, December 14, 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. | UF Phillips Center
3201 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611

Don’t miss this timeless love story and a truly magical ballet performance. Will the two step sisters capture the heart of the prince? Cheer on Cinderella as she dances the night away at the ball and sigh as she rides away in her beautiful carriage. Make Cinderella your family Holiday tradition.

Santa Claus illustration in Micanopy

Merrymaking in Historic Micanopy
Saturday, December 14, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. | Main Street Micanopy

37th Annual Christmas Festival and Parade in Hawthorne
Saturday, December 14, 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Hawthorne

Merry Melrose Christmas Parade: Past and Present
Saturday, December 14, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Melrose

The Alachua Christmas Parade on Main Street Alachua
Saturday, December 14, 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Main Street Alachua

High Springs 22nd Annual Twilight Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 14, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. | High Springs

Showcase of Global Holiday Festivities, International Food and more at Celebrations Around the World
Sunday, December 15, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. | Celebration Pointe

Gainesville Brew Bus Light Tour

Cruise the Best Holiday Lights Displays in Town Via a Guided Bus Tours Through January
Now through Sunday, January 12, 5:45 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. | Pickup in Haile Village Center
9158 SW 51st Rd., Gainesville, FL 32608

The Brew Bus Company invites you to go on a 45-minute family-friendly tour and see the some of the best light displays around town. Hot chocolate and blankets are provided. Group rates and private reservations are available. 

People making art. Museum Nights: Our 352

🎁Participate in Art Making and Explore the Local Art Community at Museum Nights’ Our 352
Thursday, December 12, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Harn Museum of Art
3259 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611

Enjoy Art Blast gallery tours and make your own creations. Meet local artist and makers, or browse the “Books for Bucks” sale for unexpected finds. Enjoy a Mini Art Sale all evening. Local artists sell 6×6 inch painted canvases for $40 each. 

Crowd Gathered around the stage at Celebration Pointe

Unwind at Jazz on the Green with AM Jazztet
Saturday, December 14, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Celebration Pointe
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave, Gainesville, FL 32608

Spread a blanket under the setting sun, or snuggle up by the fire pit in the promenade, and catch some beautiful music while the kids play games on the lawn.

Farm House at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park

Spend a Festive Evening at the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic Farm and Home Holiday Open House
Saturday, December 14, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
18700 S CR 325, Cross Creek FL 32640

Enjoy holiday festivities and tour the historic farm by candlelight. The evening includes live music, Christmas caroling and holiday refreshments. 

The Historic Melrose Woman's Club

Visit Historic Homes and Sites at Melrose Holiday House Tour
Sunday, December 15, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Multiple Locations
Melrose, FL 32666

Visit 6 homes and 8 historic structures in the charming town of Melrose, FL. Homes range from 1878 Bay View to a 2018 Craftsman Revival home. Two historic churches, the newly restored Woman’s Club, the Daurer Center, Baldwin Store, the Vogelbach Drugstore/Homemakers building and a vintage Gator basketball court are also included. Tickets day of event at the Baldwin Store 205 SR 26 and the Melrose Woman’s Club, 303 Pine St.

Cirque Musica presents Holiday Wishes

Be Amazed by Acrobatic Feats as Cirque Musica presents Holiday Wishes
Monday, December 16, 7:30 p.m. | O’Connell Center
250 Gale Lemerand Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611

A holiday story comes to life in a full theatrical cirque event for the entire family. Featuring the world-renowned cast of Cirque Musica with holiday hits all performed LIVE by a full symphony orchestra. 

Audiences will be amazed by the acrobats, aerialists, hilarious hijinks and holiday cheer. The show blends the spellbinding grace and daredevil athleticism of today’s greatest circus performers with the sensory majesty of a symphony orchestra.

Band members of The Currys

Listen to Holiday Harmonies at Jewel Box Concert: The Currys Holiday Show
Wednesday, December 18, 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | The Historic Thomas Center
302 NE 6th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601

The Currys’ annual show features an entertaining high-energy performance of holiday favorites in the intimate setting of the Thomas Center. Patrons are invited to arrive early and bring their own bottle of wine if desired.

Cast of A Christmas Carol on stage

Make Holiday Memories with A Christmas Carol and Scrooge in Rouge
Now through Sunday, December 22 | Hippodrome Theatre
25 SE 2nd Pl, Gainesville, FL 32601

A Christmas Carol is a delight for the entire family. Share wonderment and joy with your loved ones at the Hippodrome during this annual holiday performance.

Actors on stage in costume for Scrooge in Rouge at the Hippodrome Theatre

And for grown-up fun that breaks with convention don’t miss the hilarious and fast-paced Scrooge in Rouge, and English Music Hall version of A Christmas Carol. Deck the halls with bawdy humor, bad puns and witty songs.

Musician Roy Book Binder

Witness the Guitar Artistry of Bluesman Troubadour and Master Storyteller Roy Book Binder
Saturday, December 14, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. | Heartwood Soundstage
619 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601

Binder is known to shift from open tunings to slide arrangements set to his original and sometimes quirky tongue-in-cheek compositions, with both traditional and self-styled licks, drawing on many musical influences. He combines his Blues with Hokum, Dixie Jazz licks, and Old Timey acoustic Hill Country music with ease. 

Death Protector Fest II Poster

(SOLD OUT) Death Protector Fest II Rocks the Gainesville Independent Music Scene
Saturday, December 14, 6 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. | The Atlantic
15 N Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601

Dikembe headlines a lineup of nine bands taking the stage and playing into the night at The Atlantic. On Friday, Smart Punk Records presents a pre-party at The TOP with bands playing DJ sets, record store pop-up, drink specials and more.


Rock Blues with Little Mike & The Tornadoes at One Love Café
Thursday, December 12, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Blues with Middle Ground at Lightnin’ Salvage
Thursday, December 12, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Funky Florida Fusion with Whale Feral, Chuck Magid Band, Trevor Griffin & The Receptionists at High Dive
Thursday, December 12, 9:30 p.m.

Classic Rock and Originals with Wild Blue Yonder at One Love Café
Friday, December 13, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

High Energy Bluegrasss with Boilin’ Oil at Lightnin’ Salvage
Friday, December 13, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Americana with Someday Honey at Heartwood Soundstage
Friday, December 13, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Heart Shaped Box (Nirvana Tribute), Marquis in Spades (Smashing Pumpkins) at High Dive
Friday, December 13, 10 p.m.

Funk, Rock and Roll and Soul with Fast Lane at One Love Café
Saturday, December 14, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Holiday Harmonies VII: It’s That Time Again! at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville
Saturday, December 14, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All-Improv Human DJ Langston Kelly at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, December 14, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Classic Rock, Blues and Folk with Moondog at One Love Café
Sunday, December 15, 5 p.m – 8 p.m.

Ambient and Synth-pop Sounds from Batry Powr, Animal Prince, Wilson Stern at Signal
Sunday, December 15, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Sofar Sounds Gainesville December Performance with a Secret Lineup and Mystery Venue
Monday, December 16, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Kimball Wiles Elementary Wildcats Chorus & Orff Sounds of the Season
Tuesday, December 17, 7 p.m.

Americana with Nostalgia at Lightnin’ Salvage
Wednesday, December 18, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.


The Nutcracker “Under the Stars” presented by Dance Alive National Ballet at Legacy Park Amphitheatre
Thursday, December 12, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Exit Santa at Acrosstown Repertory Theatre
Now through Sunday, December 15

Scrooge Macbeth at High Springs Playhouse
Now through Sunday, December 22

New Feature Documentary Gorillaz Reject False Icons at the Hippodrome Cinema
Monday, December 16, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Kids Meet Dancers from The Nutcracker On Stage at The Magic of Nutcracker at the Phillips Center
Wednesday, December 18, 5 p.m.


Yee-Holiday (Country) Night at Tioga Town Center
Saturday, December 14, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

🎁 Holiday Moonlight Market at The AUK Market
Friday, December 13, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Holiday Mingle with Alachua Conservation Trust at Prairie Creek Lodge
Friday, December 13, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

🎁 Holiday Open House at Thornebrook Gallery
Friday, December 13, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Holiday Sign Painting at Art Night at Island Grove Wine Tasting House
Friday, December 13, 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Nightmare Before Christmas Mash Bash at Signal
Friday, December 13, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Friday the 13th Holiday Horror Show at Visionary FAM
Friday, December 13, 10 p.m. – 4 a.m.

🎁 Inaugural Gear and Instrument Gear Swamp at Heartwood Soundstage and B-Side Vintage
Saturday, December 14, 9 a.m – 2 p.m.

🎁 Vendor and Craft Event at Green Market Nursery
Saturday, December 14, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Blacksmithing Workshops with Leslie Tharp Designs
Bladesmithing 101: Saturday, December 14, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Make and Take Trivet Forging: Wednesday, December 18, 6 p.m.

🎁 Over 50 Local and Independent Makers at Indie Flea! Gainesville Winter Faire at Afternoon Restaurant
Saturday, December 14, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Live Music, Plant-Based Food, Farm Animals and more at Happy Holi-Brays at Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary
Saturday, December 14, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Holiday A Capella Music with The Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus and The Barbergators at Holiday Harmonies VII: It’s That Time Again at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville
Saturday, December 14, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Ancestry Research with The Genealogy Guys at Alachua County Library District Headquarters
Saturday, December 14, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Local Author Series with Gary Gordon at Alachua County Library District Headquarters
Saturday, December 14, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Gainesville Street Rods Monthly Cruz-In at Publix at Springhill Commons
Saturday, December 14, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Holiday Dance Party at Rena’s Ballroom
Saturday, December 14, 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Holidaze Alley Cat at the Freewheel Project
Sunday, December 15, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

All Veterans Christmas Party with Buffet Dinner at Wyndham Garden
For more info and ticket sales,
Contact Don Sherry (352) 375-8355,
or Fred Judkins (352) 642-6992
Sunday, December 15, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Polar Express at Winter Wonderland at High Springs Lions Club
Now through Sunday, December 22, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

🎁 Pop-Up Holiday Market at The Backyard, Boca Fiesta and Palomino
Wednesday, December 18, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.


Holiday lights

Get festive with light displays and decorations to pair with your beverage:

Miracle at Madrina’s
Friday, November 29 – Tuesday, December 31

Tis the Season at First Magnitude
Sunday, December 1 – Tuesday, December 31

Wonderland at the Wetlands 2019 at Swamp Head Brewery
December 3 – 16, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.

🎁 Last Minute Christmas Shopping at El Mercado Latino at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Saturday, December 14, 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Blackadder Brewing Company Birthday Bash
Saturday, December 14, 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. and December 15, 1 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Taco Tuesdays with Subline Tacos at Swamp Head Brewery
Tuesday, December 10, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Cornhole Tourney at High Springs Brewing Company
Wednesday, December 18, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Elf on the Big Screen at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Wednesday, December 18, 7 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

Trivia Night at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company
Wednesday, December 18, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.


Latkes & Vodkas Pre Chanukah Happy Hour at Leonardo’s 706
Tuesday, December 17, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Enjoy delicious house made latkes, vodka specials, a raffle, and live music featuring the Klezmer Katz, presented by The Jewish Council and Gainesville Chapter of Hadassah.

Winter at Windsor Tea at Haile Village Bistro
Saturday, December 14, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Drag Brunch & Toy Drive at MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company
Sunday, December 15, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Mary’s High Tea at Sweetwater Branch Inn
Tuesday, December 17, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.


Fresh Pick farm stand on the farm with 2 Sandhill Cranes walking in front

December Fresh Pick at Pastoral Farm
Saturday, December 14, 8 a.m. 12 p.m.

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

Main Street Alachua Farmers Market at Main Street Alachua
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

One Love Café Farmer’s Market
Thursdays, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

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

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

Newberry Farmers Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Spider Cup #6 – USAA Indoor at Easton Newberry Archery Center
Saturday, December 14, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Winter Fall Ball Classic at Champions Park
Saturday, December 14 – Sunday, December 15

Gators Women’s Basketball vs Mercer at Exactech Arena Tuesday, December 17, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.


5K Run/Walk at Depot Park parkrun
Saturday, December 14, 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Help Plant 3,000 Trees at Longleaf Pine Restoration Day at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Saturday, December 14, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Art in the Parks with the Florida Museum at Morningside Nature Center
Saturday, December 14, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Stargazing at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park (advance tickets required)
Saturday, December 14, 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Annual Christmas Bird Count with the Alachua Audubon Society (Sign-up and Team Assignment Required)
Sunday, December 15, all day
Birding Fact: Alachua County recorded 175 species last year, the largest total ever for an inland North American Christmas Bird Count in the entire 119-year-history of the Count.

Wednesday Bird Walks at the Wetlands with Alachua Audubon Society at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Wednesday, December 18, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.


Holiday Monologues from the Community at Who’s on the Other Side of the Footlights? YOU! at Black C Art Gallery
Friday, December 13, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

View 15 Artists’ Work in Appreciation of “Trees” at Blackbird Farm and Gallery in Micanopy
Fridays and Saturdays through December 14, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

One Man’s Treasure at Oak Hall Gallery
Now through Monday, December 16

Harlem Renaissance Exhibit at the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center
Sundays, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Thursdays 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

School of Art + Art History 53rd Studio Faculty Art Exhibition at Harn Museum of Art
Now through Sunday, January 5, 2020
This exhibition recognizes and applauds UF’s art faculty as individual artists and as a collective of exemplary art educators.

Synchronica :: Framing Time at the Galleries at the Historic Thomas Center
Now through Saturday, January 4, 2020.
This exhibition of 150 photo portraits featuring and created by young adults between the ages of 14 and 21 captures a moment in time and place — Gainesville in 2019.

Cuban Ingenuity: The Artistry of the Everyday Inventor at the Cade Museum
Now through Tuesday, December 31
Through videos, photographs, and objects collected for the Cade throughout Cuba, Cuban Ingenuity highlights the ingenious vision behind dozens of innovations and inventions of necessity.

Crocs: Ancient Predators in a Modern World at the Florida Museum of Natural History
Now through Sunday, January 5, 2020
See the result of 200 million years of predatory evolution and learn about one of nature’s oldest and stealthiest hunters: crocodilians. This unique exhibition educates guests on the history and significance of these creatures using live reptiles, realistic models and interactive elements.

Gainesville’s Modern Landmarks at the Matheson History Museum
Tuesdays – Saturdays 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Every city has a period of time that defines its built environment and architectural character. For Gainesville, that moment was the mid-20th century.

SAVE THE DATES, while you are making plans, take a look at these upcoming crowd pleasers:

Dance Alive National Ballet presents The Nutcracker, December 21-22
New Year’s Eve Downtown Countdown,December 31, 2019
The Book of Mormon, January 14-19, 2020
Collector’s Day at the Florida Museum of Natural History, January 11, 2020
Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, January 18-19, 25-26, 31 and February 1-2, 2020
Sunshine State Book Festival, January 24-26, 2020
Shen Yun 2020, January 28-29, 2020
Heartwood Music Festival IV, February 22, 2020
Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 12-15, 2020

For a complete list of events please visit

What's Good Alachua County

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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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