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).
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.
Delight with Tin Soldiers, Snowflakes and the Sugar Plum Fairy at The Nutcracker Under the Stars
Thursday, December 3, 7 p.m. | Legacy Park Amphitheater15400 Peggy Rd., Alachua, FL 32615
Dance Alive National Ballet presents the holiday performance from an outdoor stage for an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Bring a chair and blanket and view the classic tale of Christmas Eve, a battle of The Nutcracker and Mouse King and a visit to the Land of Sweets ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy, all brought to life by talented Dance Alive dancers. Admission is FREE.
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.
Pair a Perfect Date Night with Cypress & Grove Brewing Company and The TOP Restaurant at Table for Two Beer Dinner
Friday, December 4, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | The Wooly
20 N Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601
Beer Dinners at The Wooly make a safe return! Savor this intimate evening featuring a four-course meal prepared by talented chefs of The TOP restaurant paired perfectly with craft beers from Cypress & Grove Brewing Company. Be sure to save room for desert, featuring Pecan Brown Ale and Maple Cream Tart with Pecan Brittle and Salted Caramel Sauce. Advance reservations are required and can be made here.
Get Festive at the 2nd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Newberry
Friday, December 4, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Newberry City Hall
25440 W Newberry Rd., Newberry, FL 32669
Newberry kicks off the holiday season with a festive tree lighting. Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies, listen to carolers and get photos with Santa’s reindeer. Find the perfect gift at the vintage market. Celebrate the season of giving by bringing an unwrapped toy for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
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Discover Micanopy – One of America’s Top 10 Historic Small Towns – A Great Destination for Treasure Hunting and Holiday Shopping
Stroll the historic town of Micanopy on sidewalks lined with Live Oaks and Spanish Moss. Visit unique shops and boutiques to shop small for holiday gifts or one of a kind antiques. Grab a roadtrip snack at a number of cafes or restaurants. Add to your visit with an overnight stay at an elegant bed and breakfast and explore nearby historic sites and hiking trails. Plan your visit with plenty of ideas on what to see and do with the visit Micanopy blog.
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.
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.
Find That One-of-a-Kind Gift at Sycamore Lane Vintage Christmas Market
Friday, December 4, 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday, December 5, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Newberry Historic District
25310 W Newberry Rd., Newberry, FL 32669
The two-day holiday market features vintage Christmas decor, home goods, local crafts and more. Brew Line Coffee serves up hot coffee and cocoa.
Shop Local Artists, Crafters and Makers at the GLAM Craft Show 2020
Sunday, December 6, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | First Magnitude Brewing Company
1220 SE Veitch St., Gainesville, FL 32601
Find a unique gift, visit with local artists and enjoy a craft beer at GLAM 2020. Masks are required. Alternatively, shop GLAM online through Sunday, December 13.
Find Your Jam at High Dive and the Florida Vintage Market
Sunday, December 6, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | High Dive
210 SW 2nd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601
High Dive hosts over 24 vendors for an outdoor community pop-up market. Browse from Gazzelli Sport Vintage, The Cozy Fern, Garage Shirts, Ebunny Creations and more. Add to your shopping experience with food trucks and a full bar.
Brighten Up the Holidays at Alachua’s Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration and Holiday Night on Main Street Alachua
Friday, December 4, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Downtown Skinner Field Park
15100 NW 142 Terr., Alachua, FL 32615
The free holiday celebration features a Christmas tree lighting, treat bags, family photo booth and much more. In addition to the tree lighting celebration, enjoy shopping, dining and a relaxing evening stroll in Alachua’s beautiful downtown district. Take in the cool fall air with live music, horse and carriage rides, shopping and unique dining. Learn more about Holiday Nights on Main Street Alachua here.
Find Handmade and Vintage Holiday Gifts at the Mini Market Holiday Series
Saturday, December 5, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | The AUK Market
2031 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.
Wear Your Favorite Ugly Sweater and Make Something Fun at Art Night
Friday, December 4, 6:30 p.m. | Island Grove Wine Tasting House
21848 S County Rd. 325, Hawthorne, FL 32640
DIY Signs with Kim hosts a fun night sipping and sign making. Register online and select your art project, from a lighted wooden Christmas tree to a lighted truck tree farm sign.
Do Some Holiday Shopping at the Two-Day Bavarian-Style Outdoor Christkindlmarkt
Friday, December 4, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday, December 5, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Blackadder Brewing Company
618 NW 60th St. Suite A, Gainesville, FL 32607
The 4th annual Christkindlmarkt features live music, craft and food vendors and holiday fun located right outside Blackadder Brewing Company. Shop for unique gifts and keep warm with hot mug of traditional Gluhwein.
Cheer on Gators Football at Gameday at the Pointe
Saturday, December 5, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Celebration Pointe
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608
The Gators travel to Knoxville to compete against Tennessee. Watch the game on the 15-foot big screen and enjoy food and drinks from Celebration Pointe restaurants. CDC guidelines observed and enforced.
Select from 5,000 Plants and over 50 Unique Varieties at the 24th Annual Poinsettia Sale
Monday, December 7 – 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.
Listen to Holiday Music Performed from the 61 Bells Located in Century Tower
Friday, December 4, 6 p.m. | Century Tower
375 Newell Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611
Century Tower is a 157-foot carillon tower in the center of the University of Florida campus featuring 61 bells. This performance is a faculty recital by Laura Ellis of the UF Carillon Studio. Find holiday concert details here (pdf). For an optimal listening experience, find a location at least 100 feet from the tower. See safety guidelines for visitors of the University of Florida here.
View last year’s 40th anniversary video and meet studio members past and present and go behind the scenes at Century Tower.
Watch the Pond Light Up at North Florida Regional Medical Center on Facebook Live
Friday, December 4, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Online Event with NCFRMC
The 31st annual pond lighting ceremony puts on a dazzling display from Facebook. Tune in Friday night to North Florida Regional’s Facebook page.
After Friday night, throughout the rest of December, guests may walk around the pond among the holiday lights. Practice social distancing and wear a mask at all times on hospital campus.
Experience the Hippodrome’s This Wonderful Life Streaming Online
Friday, December 4 | 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. Company member David Patrick Ford inhabits every role in this heartfelt, hilariously touching stage adaptation of the iconic film, It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey, Clarence, Mr. Potter, Mary, and the entire town of Bedford Falls come to life in this moving exploration of hope, compassion and togetherness.
Celebrate the Season with Sales, Music and More at Butler Town Center’s Annual Tree Lighting
Friday, December 4, 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 five separate 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 and the lighting of the tree. The tree lighting also 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, Fire Food Truck and Big Mill’s Cheesesteaks.
Dance on the Keys with Daniel Townsend at Jazz Night
Monday, December 7, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. | The Keys Grill and Piano Bar
4860 Celebration Pointe Ave. #30, Gainesville, FL 32608
Daniel Townsend is an award-winning composer and improvisational jazz pianist. Daniel Townsend is included in this spectacular socially distanced performance of “The Event Horizon” from the UF Large Jazz Ensemble with familiar faces from this year’s lineup at The Keys Grill and Piano Bar.
On Mondays, The Keys Grill and Piano Bar sets the stage for an ensemble of Gainesville’s best talent and a fresh play list to start your week off right with an evening of jazzy grooves, delicious bites like conch chowder or blackened redfish, and tasty cocktails, with half price wine and Florida craft draughts for $4.
Songs From The Heart with Don David and Noan Partly
Friday, December 4, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Online Event with Heartwood Soundstage
Don David is a Gainesville music icon known for his dynamic vocals featured in The Impostors and the Don David Trio. Don is well-known as an interpreter of artists like James Taylor and Paul McCartney, but at this show, you will get a chance to hear tunes from his own deep catalog of original songs. Hailing from Florida’s west coast, Noan Partly is known for her masterful understanding of the nuances that can be coaxed out of a guitar or banjo. Her songs are electric, moving and so original.
“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.
Arts & Theatre
Agbedidi Online Dance Performance by UF School of Theater and Dance
Friday, December 4, 6 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Private Performances of The Stronger, Loosely Based on August Strindberg’s Play of the Same Name at Black C Art Gallery
Now Through December 12
Music & Performance
Live Stand Up Comedy Night at Flaco’s
Thursday, December 3, 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Pop and Rock Covers with the Barstool Prophets at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Friday, December 4, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
R&B, Funk, Soul and Hip Hop with Chillula at Mother’s Pub & Grill North Gainesville
Friday, December 4, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Island-Infused Drum n’ Bass Gospel Ninja Soul with Zach Deputy, Maha & The Lions at High Dive
Sunday, December 6, 9 p.m.
Keg of Laughs Stand Up Comedy Hour at World of Beer
Tuesday, December 8, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Country Music with Justin Lee Pardon at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Wednesday, December 9, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
County Music with Jamie Davis at Woodyard Grill
Wednesday, December 9, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
‘Tis the Season at The Source at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Now through December 31
Drag Brunch at Big Top Brewing Company
Sunday, December 6, 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Beer Bingo Tuesday at Big Top Brewing Company
Tuesday, December 8, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Cornhole Tourney at High Springs Brewing Company
Wednesday, December 9, 6 p.m.
Elf on the Big Screen at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Wednesday, December 9, 6:30 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 3, 6:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Downton Abbey Christmas Tea Party at Haile Village Bistro
Saturday, December 5, 3 p.m.
Wine Down Wednesdays at Joel’s Coffeehouse
Wednesday, December 9, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
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.
Aim for the Bullseye at Funtastic Fridays
Friday, December 4, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Easton Newberry Archery Center24880 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.
Gators Women’s Basketball vs. Cincinnati at Exactech Arena
Saturday, December 5, 1 p.m.
Swamp City Mustang Club Cruise-In at The Mustang Grill and Bar
Saturday, December 5, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
USSSA Holiday Baseball Classic at Champions Park
Saturday, December 5 – Sunday, December 6
Florida Senior Games: Archery at Easton Newberry Archery Center
Sunday, December 6, 9 a.m.
Gators Mens Basketball Home Opener vs. Stetson at Exactech Arena
Sunday, December 6, 2 p.m.
Florida Senior Games: Table Tennis at Legacy Park Multipurpose Center
Monday, December 7 – Tuesday, December 8, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Mountain Bike Rides with Goodbike
Tuesday, December 1, 7 p.m., Brisk Pace for the Advanced Rider
Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School
Tuesday, December 8 – Wednesday, December 9
Parks & Trails
Ranger-Led Tour at Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Pre-Registration Required
Saturday, December 5, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 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
Science Off-Tap: Mangroves on the Move on Zoom
Thursday, December 3, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Tot Time at the Harn Museum of Art
Friday, December 4, 11 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
Candy Cane Lane Pop-Up Shop at High Dive, December 12
Alachua Christmas Parade on Main Street Alachua, December 12
Drive on the Road to Bethlehem at Camp Kulaqua, December 12-13
The Curry’s Christmas at Heartwood Soundstage, December 16
Dance Alive National Ballet Presents The Nutcracker, December 17-20
Christmas Safari Tours at Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation, December 25-27
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.