What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, December 26 – January 1, 2020

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New Year, new adventures! Stay and play in Gainesville and Alachua County, and celebrate New Year’s Eve with fireworks at Depot Park’s Sparks in the Park, the Cade Museum’s Spark Wonder event, and the live music Downtown Countdown at Bo Diddley Plaza. Or dance the night away at the Take Over Main Street NYE block party, and at Celebration Pointe’s Party at the Pointe silent disco bash. And for an inspiring and revitalizing first day of 2020, explore our area parks on one of nine First Day Hikes.

Read on for What’s Good this weekend, and get out there and have some fun!

Fireworks over a crowd at Depot Park on New Year's Eve

Set Off Your NYE Celebrations with Fireworks at ‘Sparks in the Park’
Tuesday, December 31, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Depot Park
874 SE 4 St., Gainesville, FL 32601

At 5 p.m., bring blankets and chairs and find a spot in the park to enjoy the last sunset of 2019 while a DJ hosts a family-friendly dance party on The Hill. At 6:30 p.m., the fun continues with Sparks in the Park, a musically choreographed fireworks show. Following the fireworks display, guests can follow a trail of lights to downtown to enjoy dinner, drinks, festivities and the Countdown to Midnight at Bo Diddley Plaza.

Illustration of fireworks. 2020 Spark Wonder @ The Cade

(sold out) Watch Fireworks from the Cade Museum at Spark Wonder New Year’s Celebration
Tuesday, December 31, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. | The Cade Museum
811 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601

Enjoy everything the museum has to offer including exhibits and activities in the Creativity Lab and Fab Labs. Special party activities include face painting, glow party, carnival games, alternate time zone countdown, New Year’s Resolutions and more. After a sparkling cider toast, watch the Depot Park fireworks from the Museum. This event is sold out.

Countdown to Midnight with Live Music from Heavy Petty and JazzDad at Downtown Countdown
Tuesday, December 31, 9 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. | Bo Diddley Plaza
Downtown Gainesville

Featuring two bands and a countdown to midnight to ring in 2020 with the sounds of noisemakers provided free to the audience. Local Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute band, Heavy Petty, headlines the event while Phillip “JazzDad” Thomas and The Forever Miles Band kick things off with popular cover songs. Revelers are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets for seating. Rock out the old and ring in the new in Downtown Gainesville!

New Year's Eve Block Party

Take Over Main Street at the NYE Block Party
Tuesday, December 31, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. | Multiple Venues
Downtown Gainesville

Join the party at The Top, The Wooly, The Atlantic, The Alley and Arcade Bar. Bring your dance moves as DJs keep each venue fresh with music ranging from retro dance tunes to house/techno to hip hop and R&B. Ring in 2020 with free champagne. Ages 21+ only.

Ring in the New Year with Pizza, Cocktails and a Drag Show at New Years Eve 2020
Tuesday, December 31, 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. | MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza Company
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave., Suite 100, Gainesville, FL 32608

Tickets include a buffet, full bar, an incredible drag show at 11:30 p.m., a champagne toast at midnight and free shuttle service to downtown after the show.

Play and Stay at Celebration Pointe’s New Year’s Eve Party
Tuesday, December 31, 8:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. | Celebration Pointe
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave, Gainesville, FL 32608

Ring in 2020 at an adults-only party complete with small plates from Prime & Pearl, live DJ, silent disco, midnight countdown and ball drop. Expect an action-packed night at Celebration Point as Probeatz Entertainment Rocks in the New year with 3 DJs spinning Latin, Top 40 Dance, and Hip Hop under Glowing Headsets from 8:30-11:00 p.m. transitioning to Live DJ for the Final Countdown. For tickets and more information, www.celebrationpoint/

Avoid finding a ride at the end of the night Hotel Indigo offers a New Year’s Eve rate. Click here to reserve your room today!

Go on a New Year’s Safari and Wildlife Tour
Holiday Tours: December 26-28, 31, January 1, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Carson Springs Wildlife
8528 E County Rd., 225, Gainesville, FL 32609

See over 100 animals on a 2-hour walking tour with a professional zoologist. Reservations are required, email

Gainesville Brew Bus Light Tour

Cruise the Best Holiday Lights Displays in Town Via a Guided Bus Tour Through January
Now through Sunday, January 12, 6 p.m. – 9 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 some of the best light displays around town. Hot chocolate and blankets are provided. Group rates and private reservations are available. 


Where the Mountain Meets the Swamp with Mr. Aullie at Lightnin’ Salvage
Friday, December 27, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Americana with The Front Porch Backsteppers at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, December 28, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Hard and Heavy Rock and Metal with Modern Alchemy, Purely Red, Prophets of Demise, We the Generation at High Dive
Saturday, December 28, 8:30 p.m.

Pop Punk with Glazed, Runner’s High and Sports Reference at Hardback Café
Saturday, December 28, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.

NYE Bash with Live Music from Billy Reese Peters and Whiskey & Co. at Public & General
Tuesday, December 31, 5 p.m. – 1 a.m.

New Year’s Eve Gainesville Punk Night Party with DJ RoXX XXavage at High Dive
Tuesday, December 31, 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.

New Year’s Eve Dueling Piano Party at The Keys Grill and Piano Bar
Tuesday, December 31, 10 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.

SAVE THE DATES, while you are making plans, take a look at these upcoming performances and shows:
The Book of Mormon, January 14-19, 2020
High Springs Music in the Park with Dean Johanesen, January 19, 2020
Shen Yun 2020, January 28-29, 2020


Celebrate Kwanzaa with Community Involvement and Panel Discussion at the Alachua County Library Headquarters
Saturday, December 28, 1 p.m. 4 p.m.

NYE Party Flow with Kate at Searchlight Yoga
Tuesday, December 31, 5:45 p.m. – 7 p.m.

New Year’s Eve All Night Skate for ages 15 and under at Skate Station Funworks
Tuesday, December 31, 7:30 p.m. – Wednesday, January 1, 7 a.m.

NYE Masquerade Ball at the Backyard
Tuesday, December 31, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.

NYE Karaoke Dance Party at Loosey’s Downtown
Tuesday, December 31, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Roaring Twenty20s NYE Soiree at Hotel Indigo
Tuesday, December 31, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.


Holiday lights

Get festive with light displays, decorations and themed beverages through New Year’s Eve.

Miracle at Madrina’s

Tis the Season at First Magnitude Brewing Company

Wonderland at the Wetlands 2019 at Swamp Head Brewery

On tour through Florida, Outlaw Fancy at Big Top Brewing Company
Saturday, December 28, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Kids Art Activities at Paint in Your Pajamas at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company
Sunday, December 29, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Craft Nite with Yaymaker at Cypress & Grove Brewing Co.
Monday, December 30, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

NYE at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company
Tuesday, December 31, 1 p.m. – 1 a.m.

New Year’s Eve at High Springs Brewing Company
Tuesday, December 31, 3 p.m. – 2 a.m.

New Year’s Eve Speakeasy Party at Blackadder Brewing Company
Tuesday, December 31, 9 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.

New Year’s Eve 90’s Party at Big Top Brewing Company
Tuesday, December 31, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Cornhole Tourney at High Springs Brewing Company
Wednesday, January 1, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.


End of Year Celebration Wine Tasting at Dorn’s
Friday, December 27, 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

One Last Brunch at Emiliano’s Café
Sunday, December 29, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

NYE Chef Specialty Menu at Pomodoro Café
Tuesday, December 31, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

New Year’s Eve Celebration Dinner at Embers Wood Grill
Tuesday, December 31, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.

New Year’s Eve Wine Pairing Dinner at Leonardo’s 706
Tuesday, December 31, 7 p.m.

Pre-Countdown NYE Dinner at Downtown Wine and Cheese
Tuesday, December 31, 7:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Spark @ Embers Annual NYE Cocktail Bash
Tuesday, December 31, 8 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Open Bar, Buffet and Champagne Toast with Live Music by Gilberto de Paz at NYE Celebration at Emiliano’s Café
Tuesday, December 31, 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.


Radishes onions and sweet potatoes at the farmers market

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 Fall Festival at Haile Village Center
Saturday, October 26, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

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

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


Gators Mens Basketball vs. Long Beach State at Exactech Arena
Saturday, December 28, 12 p.m.

Gators Womens Basketball vs. Davidson at Exactech Arena
Sunday, December 29, 2 p.m.

5th Annual New Year’s Day Race at High Springs BMX
Wednesday, January 1, 2:30 p.m.


Guided Hike on Rim Ramble at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Saturday, December 28, 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Historic Park Tour at Dudley Farm Historic State Park
Saturday, December 28, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Monday Night Ride at Goodbike Trailside Bike Shop
Monday, December 30, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m

Wednesday Birdwalk at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Wednesday, January 1, 8:30 a.m.

First Day Hike at Paynes Prairie State Park
Wednesday, January 1, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

First Day Hike at O’Leno State Park
Wednesday, January 1, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

New Year’s Day Walk at Dudley Farms State Park
Wednesday, January 1, 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Meet and Greet Farm Animals with Barnyard Buddies Nature Program at Morningside Nature Center
Wednesday, January 1, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.


First Day Hike to Hidden Springs at Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park
Wednesday, January 1, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. 


GFAA Winter Showcase November 26 - January 4

Winter Showcase at GFAA Gallery
Now through Saturday, January 4

Classical Guitar Performance at the Harn Museum of Art
Saturday, December 28, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.

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:

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
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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