What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, July 1 – July 8, 2020

While some of the hallmarks of a typical Independence Day celebration may be on pause this year, we invite you to find inspiration for celebrating safely and responsibly – starting with hundreds of free-flying butterflies and birds at the Butterfly Rainforest with the re-opening of the Florida Museum of Natural History, July 3. Plus, the launch of thrilling summer skating on synthetic ice, and the new Moon to Mars exhibit at the Cade Museum. Adventure seekers can Safari at the Carson Springs 4th of July Animal Adventure or experience nature’s red, white, and blue sparklers with a guided tour of Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. These activities can be conducted safely while wearing facial coverings and practicing social distancing.

Visiting our public lands is another great way to observe the 4th of July. Alachua County offers outdoor enthusiasts more than 100 miles of trails for biking, birding, and hiking – plus crystal-blue springs and eight state parks.

Please continue to be safe. We are proud to live in this mindful, resourceful and resilient community, and to share with you all that we have to offer – What’s Good.  

Be safe and be well,– 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.

July 3 – August 23, Celebrate the Science of Cool at the Cade Museum with “cool” inventions from Florida inventors, a synthetic ice skating rink, and more
Beginning Friday, July 3, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
811 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601

Learn about “cool” inventions like air conditioning and refrigeration at The Science of Cool. Skating on the new synthetic ice rink is included with regular admission. Also opening Friday, explore the Cade through the lens of space with the new Moon to Mars exhibit theme.

Explore Fossils, Ancient Cultures and Walk with Butterflies as the Florida Museum of Natural History Reopens
Friday, July 3, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Florida Museum of Natural History
3215 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611

Discover the history of Florida from ancient geology to modern-day research. The butterfly rainforest and many permanent exhibits are open for all ages. Find the museum’s new reopening procedures here.

Kick Back with Eco-Friendly Pools, Outdoor Areas and Suites that Will Make You Smile – at the Home2 Suites Gainesville – Get 10% off with code CVB

Spacious, modern and clean, the Home2 Suites by Hilton Gainesville is an all-suite hotel that will make you smile with great amenities you want – kitchens with full-size appliances, living room area, Wi-Fi, fitness center, and an outdoor patio with grill. Plus, you receive a free hot (or cold) breakfast every day. You can rest easy knowing that Hilton CleanStay with Lysol protection is setting a new standard for hotel cleanliness and disinfection. 

** Now through September 30, 2020. Use code CVB. Discount based on availability. **

Take a Walk of the Wild Side at the Carson Springs Fourth of July Animal Adventure Open House
Saturday, July 4, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation
8528 E, County Rd. 225, Gainesville, FL 32609

Enjoy the outdoors on the 4th and experience a truly unique experience with lots of wildlife action, big cat feeding demos, warthog races and more. Wander on your own and social distance. Individual interactions with wildlife are possible and can be booked on arrival.

Let Gainesville LIVE! set the Soundtrack for Your Friday Evening with a Rare Solo Performance by the Talented Chelsea Carnes
Friday, July 3, 8 pm. – 10 p.m. | Online Event with Free Fridays Concert Series

Multi-instrumentalist Chelsea Carnes is a singer-songwriter whose performance with Wax Wings on the Plaza stage brought her a slew of new fans. Throughout the year, Chelsea makes multiple appearances with Wax Wings, Palimony, Mourning Glories and Rancho La Chua. This Friday, Chelsea performs her original material in a rare solo show just for Gainesville LIVE!  

Get a preview here! And then, don’t miss this performance!

Gainesville LIVE! is brought to you by the City of Gainesville as a temporary way to share with the public the joy of the Free Fridays Concert Series. The series typically takes place from May to October when hundreds of visitors and locals head to the Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville to listen and dance to a superb assembly of bands and talented musicians. It is the region’s longest-running free outdoor live music series.

View Nature’s Red, White and Blues Sparklers with a Guided Tour Through the Gorgeous Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Saturday, July 4, Starting at 10 a.m. | Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
4700 SW 58th Dr., Gainesville, FL 32608

Kanapaha is offering a guided tour on the 4th of July starting at 10 a.m. No one puts on a better show than Mother Nature. Grab your mask and your favorite partners-in-fun and then get ready to be wowed by the gorgeous and diverse 68-acre facility comprised of 24 major collections visually accessible from a 1 ½ mile paved walkway.

Celebrate the 4th of July with Great Eats, Lots of Space, Craft Beer and The Remedy
Saturday, July 4, 12 p.m. – 11:59 p.m. | High Springs Brewing Company
18562 NW 237th St., High Springs, Florida 32643

Celebrate Independence Day together apart in the outdoor area of High Springs Brewing Company. Smokin’ Like a 57 Chevy BBQ serves up delicious eats from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. enjoy made to order pizzas from Humble Wood Fire Pizza. Live music from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. by The Remedy.

Book a Paddling Trip on the Santa Fe River and Make an Adventure with 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 Fee Canoe Outpost. Go upriver for a leisurely ride back or explore several freshwater springs located downriver. Reservations are required. See trip times and safety measures here.

Explore Additional Parks and Trails Bike, Hike or Just Change Your View – Explore Gainesville and Alachua County’s Bountiful Outdoor Open Spaces

Find the park that suits you best! Most of the parks and trails in Alachua County have reopened including – Alachua County Parks, Playgrounds and Preserves including Poe Springs on weekends, city parks, Alachua Conservation Trust preserves and all Florida State Parks.

Find the list of Alachua County Parks and Preserves here.
Find our What’s Good Now list of additional open spaces to explore here.

When enjoying the outdoors, please strictly adhere to public health safety guidelines, keep 6 feet away from others, avoid large groups of people and follow all State and local ordinances. Note that due to the changing environment and regulations, open hours are subject to change and some facilities may not be available.

Commemorate the 4th with Your Gainesville Favorites at Fanfares from Home Airing on WUFT-TV, WUFT-FM and Streaming at
Saturday, July 4, 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., Sunday, July 5, 9:30 a.m.

WUFT’s Fanfares from Home a 30-minute radio and television special will premiere on Saturday, July 4 at 7:30 p.m. on WUFT-TV 5.1 (Channel 3 on COX in Gainesville) and on WUFT 89.1/90.1. The special features familiar and favorite Gainesville performers participating virtually including Billy BuchananBears and LionsThe Savants of SoulUF Health Shands Arts in Medicine Musicians in Residence (Jason Hedges, Ricky KendallMichael Claytor, Sam Moss and Cienna Wesley) and Gainesville Community Band Conductor Gary Langford. WUFT-FM “Morning Edition” host Glenn Richards will serve as emcee.

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).

Arts & Theatre

A Trip to the Unknown with Sunday Sci-Fi Serials, an Online Event with Acrosstown Repertory Theatre
Sunday, June 21, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
The Sunday Sci-fi Serials is a collective of writers who are each committed to creating new stories in the style of old serialized science fiction shows.

Flip the Script and Rewrite Your Narrative during a Virtual Story GNV Storytelling Workshop
Thursday, July 2, 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.

A Trip to the Unknown with Sunday Sci-Fi Serials, an Online Event with Acrosstown Repertory Theatre
Sunday, June 21, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
The Sunday Sci-fi Serials is a collective of writers who are each committed to creating new stories in the style of old serialized science fiction shows.

Flip the Script and Rewrite Your Narrative during a Virtual Story GNV Storytelling Workshop
Thursday, July 2, 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Virtual Poetry Jam with Civic Media Center
Thursday, July 2, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Music & Performance

Fest at Home with Streaming Music from FEST 19 bands Alright, Late Bloomer, Pet Symmetry and Worlds Scariest Police Chases
Thursday, July 2, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

FEST hosts its 19th music festival in downtown Gainesville on October 30 – November 1, 2020. In anticipation of this yearly sellout event, ‘Fest at Home’ is producing Thursday evening live music sets from this year’s music festival lineup. FEST19 will feature 300+ bands, comedians and pro wrestlers, tickets on sale now.

Shawn Manley Live at Crafty Bastards Restaurant & Pub
Thursday, July 2, 7 p.m.  – 10 p.m.

Rock, Americana, Blues and R&B with Couch Messiahs at One Love Cafe Friday, July 3, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Chris McNeil at Crafty Bastards Restaurant & Pub
Friday, July 3, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Acoustic and Electric Rock with Bill & Miguel at One Love Cafe Sunday, July 5, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Blues Jam with JuJu Junction at Mother’s Pub & Grill North Gainesville Sunday, July 5, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Folk, Americana with Bohemian Sunshine Facebook Live Virtual Concert presented by MusicGNV and The Bull
Wednesday, July 1, 7 p.m.    

Craft Breweries

Get Beer To-Go at Local Craft Breweries

First Friday Fun Run at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Friday, July 3, 6 p.m.  – 8:30 p.m.

Virtual Brainaholics Trivia by First Magnitude Brewing Company Tuesday, July 7, 6:30 p.m – 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday Trivia Night at Blackadder Brewing Company
Wednesday, July 8, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Sangria, Wines and More To-Go at Island Grove Wine Company Tasting House

U-Picks & Farmer’s Markets

Grove Street Farmer’s Market at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company
Mondays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. 

Union Street Farmer’s Market at Celebration Pointe
Wednesdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

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

Alachua County Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Newberry Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Waldo Farmer’s Market
Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Bites & Brunch

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.


Premier Girls Fastpitch Independence Day Invitation at Champions Park
Wednesday, June 29 – Wednesday, July 5

Rivers & Springs

Sunday is Fun Day with Kulaqua River Ranch Community Days   Sunday, July 5 | Camp Kulaqua Retreat and Conference Center
23400 NW 212th Ave., High Springs, FL 32643

River Ranch is open from mid-April till the end of August. It’s available by reservation only, except during Community Event Days.

Community Event Days are specific days when the water park is open to the community. No reservations are required and you can pay at the front gate upon arrival.

Museums & Galleries

Plan Your Visit to the Harn Museum of Art, Reopening July 9

Visit Artisans Guild Gallery Before Their Big Move and Browse the Red Dot Sale
Open Daily 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. or by appointment until July 1.
Founded in 1970, the Gainesville Artisans’ Guild is one of the oldest artist-owned and operated cooperative galleries in the country. 

Covid-19 Community Archive from the Matheson History Museum

View Online Classes and Activities presented by the Cade Museum

Take a Virtual Museum Tour with the Greatest Hits from Florida Museum of Natural History

Save The Date

Anne of Green Gables at High Springs Playhouse

July 24 – August 9The Dirty Knobs withMike Campbell, Night 2

September 12AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA GatornationalsSeptember 25-27

For a complete list of events please visit

Thank you for your continued partnership! Please keep in communication with us by sharing your events, updates and news with our team by emailing

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.

Visit Gainesville, Alachua County | (352) 374-5260 | 33 North Main Street, Gainesville 32601 Never miss an event: Follow Visit Gainesville, Alachua County on social media.

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.