New year, new adventures! Celebrate 2021 with What’s Good. Stay and play in Gainesville and Alachua County with a sing-along at Depot Park, BOGO admission to the Cade Museum, or find inspiration with guided tours at Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation, Sweetwater Wetlands Park and Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.
New Year’s Eve festivities abound with music and brews at Cypress and Grove, Big Top and High Springs breweries, Celebration Pointe’s Party at the Pointe featuring Hotel Indigo’s special rates, and more.
Raise a glass, toast to brighter days ahead, and read on for the award-winning guide to What’s Good!
No matter how you usher in the New Year, we wish you a safe, responsible and prosperous 2021!
Your What’s Good Event Guide Team — Jessica, Liz, Sean, Jodi, Cheri, Kathy, and Joe.
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).
Lift Your Voice with Cheerful Song at Depot Park’s 2021 Sing-Along
Friday, January 1 – Saturday, January 2, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Depot Park874 SE 4th St., Gainesville, FL 32601
Kick off the New Year in Depot Park with two days of music, food, fun, sweet treats and chalk art. Friday features two stages in the park; the stage at the base of the hill features a kid’s sing-along with an LED screen displaying a ‘follow the bouncing ball’ style sing-along, a live DJ and snow machines. The second stage in the open lawn features an adult karaoke stage with an LED screen display along with a secondary live DJ stage. Social circles are painted across both the hill and open lawn to encourage social distancing by all. Depot Park Ambassadors host music on Saturday. Food trucks and sweet treat vendors will be onsite all day and into the evening.
Celebrate Under the Stars with Great Food and Good Vibes at One Love Cafe
Thursday, December 31, 5 p.m. – 12 a.m. | One Love Cafe 4989 NW 40th Pl., Gainesville, FL 32606
Celebrate the end of 2020 with midnight toast featuring headliners The Real Deelz with great food, hot chocolate, drinks, live music, and a champagne toast at midnight all in a safe, outdoor setting.
Rock into the New Year with Country and Southern Rock from Treble Hook and Dinner at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Thursday, December 31, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. | The Great Outdoors Restaurant18587 Main St., High Springs, FL 32643
Go for dinner, stay for the music. Get an early start on ringing in the New Year with live country music and southern rock from Treble Hook on the patio at The Great Outdoors. Dinner reservations recommended.
Play and Stay at Celebration Pointe for New Year’s with Party at the Pointe and Hotel Indigo
Thursday, December 31, 8:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. | 4949 Celebration Pointe Ave, Gainesville, FL 32608
Ring in 2021 with a live DJ, midnight countdown and ball drop. Expect an action-packed night with fun, and lively old-time rock-n-roll and top 40 from The Showtime Band and a festive photo booth. The purchase of a Party at the Pointe ticket includes a champagne toast, two drink tickets and party favors. Click here to purchase tickets.
Avoid finding a ride at the end of the night. Hotel Indigo at Celebration Pointe is offering $72 per night on December 31 and January 1 with promo code NYE. Click here to book at room at Hotel Indigo.
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.
Revel in High-Energy Music at the Sooza Brass Band Outdoor Concert
Thursday, December 31, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Cypress & Grove Brewing Company1001 NW 4th St., Gainesville, FL 32601
Sooza Brass Band is a six-piece brass band composed of classically trained musicians. Say goodbye to 2020 with space to socially distance and fire pits.
Kick Back with BBQ, Brews and Bands at the High Springs Brewing Company
Thursday, December 31, 5 p.m. | High Springs Brewing Company
18562 NW 237th St., High Springs, FL 32643
Ring in 2021 together with High Springs Brewing Company. The Clean Slate Band provides live music into the night featuring Fat G’s BBQ and Catering from Ocala. Eat, drink, dance and be merry to say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021.
Raise a Glass to the New Year at Party at the Pointe
Thursday, December 31, 8 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. | Celebration Pointe
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608
Party where the Celebration never ends and usher out 2020 to ring in 2021. Celebration Pointe’s New Year’s Eve Party at the Pointe features a live DJ, live music by SHOWTIME and a Champagne Toast. VIP tickets include hors d’oeuvres, premium beverages and an exclusive VIP area, which includes access to the Green, pergolas and fire pit in the Promenade.
Wave Goodbye to 2020 with a Dueling Piano Show and New Year’s Eve Party
Thursday, December 31, 9 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. | The Keys Grill and Piano Bar
4860 Celebration Pointe Ave. #30, Gainesville, FL 32608
Celebrate the end of 2020 with a New Year’s Eve party to remember. Resident piano man Brad Heron joins American Idol finalist Chris Hatfield for a raucous show to end this crazy year. Tables are available by VIP ticket only. Each VIP ticket includes a guaranteed table, New Year’s Eve party favors, and champagne toast at midnight for up to four guests.
Make Merry with All-Inclusive Food, Drinks and Live Entertainment at MidiCi’s New Year’s Eve Bash
Thursday, December 31, 8 p.m. – 12 a.m. | MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave. #100, Gainesville, FL 32608
Ticketed guests enjoy open beer and wine, with a Champagne Toast, and an all-inclusive food buffet complete with an assortment of MidiCi’s authentic Neapolitan style pizza, salads, charcuterie, antipasti and signature desserts. MidiCi’s indoor and outdoor seating provides and access to the main Celebration Pointe concert stage, featuring a live DJ and a live performance from The Showtime Band.
Wine and Dine Your Way to 2021 with a Five-Course Prix Fixe Dinner
Thursday, December 31, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Embers Wood Grill
3545 SW 34th St. A, Gainesville, FL 32608
Make reservations for the New Year’s Eve dinner celebration. Choose from a menu including Gulf of Mexico Blue Crab Bisque, Wood Grilled Organic Romaine Caesar, Roasted Quail, Wood-grilled Colorado Venison, S’mores Vanilla Bean Cheesecake and more.
Toast to 2021 with Craft Beer at Big Top Brewing Company
Thursday, December 31, 9 p.m. – 12 a.m. | Big Top Brewing Company
201 SE 2nd Ave. #101, Gainesville, FL 32601
Celebrate New Year’s Eve under the Big Top with $2.21 core beers from 9 p.m. – midnight. No cover charge and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight!
Spark Wonder with the Cade Museum’s Virtual New Year’s Eve Celebration
Thursday, December 31, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Online Event with the Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention
Spark Wonder with “Sounds of the New Year” virtual celebration for all ages. Learn how to make thrilling sounds during the New Year’s Eve party. Register for the free virtual event at CadeMuseum.org/SWCade.
See Rare and Endangered Animals on a Walking or Drive-Thru New Year’s Safari
Thursday, December 31 – Friday, January 1 | Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation
8528 E County Rd. 225, Gainesville, FL 32609
Add a fun-filled, family-friendly adventure to your holiday weekend. Go on a safari and see big cats, lemurs and more. Meet Henry, the oldest Indian Rhino in captivity, and his friends on 275 acres of lush Florida woods and farmland. Reservation are required, book online here.
Explore the Cade Museum with BOGO Admission
Friday, January 1 – Saturday, January 2, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention 811 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601
Depot Park hosts “Sing in the New Year! A 2021 Sing-Along in Depot Park.” Joining in the celebration, The Cade offers Buy One Get One admission tickets on Friday and Saturday from 12-5pm. Buy one ticket and get a second ticket (of equal or lesser value) free. Plan your visit: www.cademuseum.org/plan-your-visit.html
Go Birding on a Ranger-Led Tour at Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Saturday, January 2, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. | Sweetwater Wetlands Park325 SE Williston Rd., Gainesville, FL 32641
Wood Ducks, Soras, Northern Harrier Sided, Lesser Scaup, American Coots, oh my. See these birds and so many more at Sweetwater Wetlands Park. Explore on your own, or register for the ½ mile walk ranger-led tour at Sweetwaterwetlands.org. Masks are required throughout the tour. The ranger led tour includes about a 1/2 mile walk and will last about 1 hour. Bring water, sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes.
See Winter Blooms on a Guided Tour at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Saturday, January 2, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
4700 SW 58th Dr., Gainesville, FL 32608
Stroll through and see all the winter blooms, the state’s largest display of bamboo and the largest herb garden in the Southeast at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.
Add Bamboo to Your Landscape at the Annual Bamboo Sale
Monday, January 4 – Monday, January 18 | Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
4700 SW 58th Dr., Gainesville, FL 32608
Every winter, Kanapaha holds an Annual Winter Bamboo Sale. A descriptive sales/availability listing of bamboos that are being offered during January and February on a dug-to-order basis can be viewed online at kanapaha.org
In January, orders for bamboo may be phoned in to 352-372-4981. Buyers will be advised of the date orders will be ready for pickup and payment will be needed when orders are placed.
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Arts & Theatre
A Christmas Carol Archival Streaming Production from the Hippodrome Theatre
Now through Sunday, January 3
“In Search of…” Dance Performance at Black C Art Gallery
Monday, January 4 – Friday, January 8
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
Eclectic New Year’s Mix by DJ Flashdrive, Les Voss and more at Signal
Thursday, December 31, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
80’s Rock with HeadrusH at Mother’s Pub & Grill North Gainesville
Thursday, December 31, 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Classic Rock with Couch Messiahs at One Love Café
Friday, January 1, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Soul, R&B and Motown with The Browns at Lightnin Salvage Enterprises
Saturday, January 2, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Classic Rock and Americana with Late Night Delivery at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Saturday, January 2, 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Classic Rock and Blues with Moondog at One Love Café
Saturday, January 2, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Rockabilly with Houston Keen at Creek’s 19th
Sunday, January 3, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Country and Classic Hits with Montine Humphries at The Great Outdoors Restaurant
Sunday, January 3, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Beer Bingo Tuesday at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Tuesday, January 5, 7 p.m. – 8 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.
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
New Year’s Day Bottomless Brunch at World of Beer
Friday, January 1, 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Brunch at Covey Kitchen + Cocktails
Saturday, January 2 – Sunday, January 3, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Making Gnocchi Pasta Class at The Fat Tuscan
Wednesday, January 6, 6 p.m. – 9 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.
The Florida Get Down Premier Basketball Holiday Showcase at Various Locations
Friday, January 1 – Sunday, January 3
Men’s Gators Basketball vs. LSU
Saturday, January 2, 2 p.m.
All-Welcome Test-and-Tune and Gambler Race at Gainesville Raceway
Saturday, January 2, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Women’s Gators Basketball vs. Texas A&M
Sunday, January 3, 1 p.m.
Mountain Bike Rides with Goodbike
Tuesday, January 5, 7 p.m., Brisk Pace for the Advanced Rider
Parks & Trails
Trek Through Trails: Top 5 Family-Friendly and Dog-Friendly 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
Relax on the Water with a Paddle Trip on the Santa Fe River and Discover Springs, Scenery, and Wildlife
Open Daily | Santa Fe Canoe Outpost
21410 NW US Hwy. 441, High Springs, FL 32643
Cruise down the Santa Fe River in your stress-free time capsule… err, we mean in your canoe, kayak or stand up paddleboard. All three are available for rent from the Santa Fe Canoe Outpost. Go up river for a leisurely ride back or explore several freshwater springs located downriver. Reservations are required. See trip times and safety measures here.
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
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 Virtually at the Harn Museum of Art
“Dreaming Alice” Closes January 3Open Thursday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Friday, January 1
Prose and Shop the Winter Showcase Exhibit (online) at the Gainesville Fine Art Association
Now through January 2
Spark Dialog with the “Lights of Conversation” Outdoor Illuminated Poetry Verse Exhibit at the Matheson History Museum
On display daily
Save The Date
For a complete list of events please visit www.visitgainesville.com/events/
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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.