What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, May 14-20, 2020

It’s almost the weekend, and we’re pleased to share an expanded list of opportunities for you to experience enriching and entertaining virtual performances created by Alachua County’s entrepreneurial and innovative businesses, cultural organizations, and talented artists. Bravo to all those who have kept the spirit of the arts, entertainment, recreation, and delicious dining available to us during this time.

This weekend, delight in a picnic with gourmet food from on the gorgeous garden grounds of the Sweetwater Branch Inn, create a date night at home with an inspirational live-streaming performance by the Dance Alive National Ballet dancers, or enjoy live local talent with Gainesville LIVE’s cabaret concert, Dusty’s Ragtime Circus at Heartwood Soundstage, the MusicGNV series and others. 

For family-friendly activities, don’t miss the Harn Museum’s Arty Party, the Florida Museum of Natural History’s 360 virtual tour, U-pick farms, and more.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for daily updates and re-shares of your inspiring photos. Tag us at #whatsgoodalachuacounty  

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 

Safety First. Be Informed About COVID19.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: There is an Alachua County-wide emergency order in effect pertaining to the required use of face masks in public settings. For additional details on the requirement as well as any exemption information please read ​County Emergency Order 2020-21.

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).

The below information was accurate at the time of publishing. Due to the current fluctuating environment, please contact organizers directly to double check details.

Harry's restaurant in downtown gainesville at night

Dining with Increased Safety: City of Gainesville Allows for Expanded Restaurant Seating

You may notice something new happening in Downtown Gainesville and other areas of town as more outdoor seating is made available. For example, portions of SW 1st Ave. and SE 1st St. are closing to car traffic and opening up for you to enjoy meals outdoors. Additional parking is now available in the lot at 100 SW 1st Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601. Be sure to check with your favorite dining destination to see if they are expanding. Click here for a searchable directory of Alachua County restaurants.

The road closures, beginning May 14, are part of the City of Gainesville’s temporary ease of regulations on outdoor seating in support of local food establishments and industry employees, as they reopen dining services for patrons. Under the new changes, restaurants can adapt their unused, private parking lots to create additional outdoor seating options for customers under social distancing guidelines.

Museum Nights Arty Party Virtual Event

Museum Nights: Arty Party
Thursday, May 14, 6 p.m. | Virtual Event with the Harn Museum of Art 

Create origami with a live demonstration. Then gather around for “Conversations with Creatives” as local artists and UF graduates share their creative practices, studios, inspirations and motivations. 

Picnic lunch in the garden at sweetwater branch inn

Enjoy a Picnic Lunch in the Gorgeous Gardens of the Sweetwater Branch Inn
Sweetwater Branch Inn Catering To-Go

625 E University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601

The Sweetwater Branch Inn, a shining star in the downtown bed and breakfast district known for gorgeously appointed rooms, innovative cuisine and fresh ideas, is now open to the public for picnics in the garden. Order a delicious to-go meal form Sweetwater Catering, pick it up and enjoy your meal in the gardens at Sweetwater Branch Inn.

Dusty's ragtime and novelties with performers on stage

Dusty’s Ragtime Circus Live Stream at Heartwood Soundstage
Friday, May 15, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
| Livestreaming Event with Heartwood Soundstage

Dusty’s Ragtime Circus is a live music cirque extravaganza! Enjoy pop music set to the magic of ragtime, and mingled with acrobats, dancers and clowns. This daring and family friendly show inspires and delights audiences across the nation. Dust off your bonnet or bow tie and join the fun at Dusty’s Ragtime Circus. Get a sneak peek at all the fun here.

Alachua County Poet Laureate E. Stanley Richardson

Alachua County Poet Laureate E. Stanley Richardson on Facebook Live
Sunday, May 17, 5 p.m.
| Facebook Live

Join Alachua County’s poet laureate E. Stanley Richardson for a poetry reading event on Facebook live. An acclaimed author, actor, and founder / director of ARTSPEAKSgnv, Mr. Richardson was named as Alachua County’s first Poet Laureate in January 2020.

Ballet dancers holding hands

Find Inspiration in the Graceful Movements of Ballet and Beyond Encore Online
Monday, May 18, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Live streaming Event with Dance Alive National Ballet

Join an up close and personal performance of Ballet and Beyond, a production originally choreographed for the Curtis M Phillips Center stage. Dance Alive National Ballet will be live streaming on their Facebook page from the Pofahl Studios. Audience participation is encouraged so feel free to post comments and ask questions.

Valerie Torres-Rosario performing for Gainesville Live!

Try a Quality Family Night or Date Night at Home with Gainesville LIVE!’s Cabaret Concert
Friday, May 15, 8 p.m. | Live streaming performance by Valerie Torres-Rosario Organized by the Free Fridays Downtown Concert Series

Gainesville LIVE!, a live streaming concert series, presents musical theatre star Valerie Torres-Rosario. Valerie is a 2018 graduate from the University of Florida School of Theatre and Dance who has been working professionally since graduation, appearing in Evita, Seussical, Once on This Island, and more, with Orlando Shakes, Orlando Rep, Theatre West End and others.

For her Gainesville LIVE! concert, Valerie will be singing musical theatre songs from West Side Story, Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, In the Heights and other Broadway shows, plus songs by ABBA, Elvis Presley, and Barbra Streisand!

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.


Music GNV presents Maggie Clifford

MusicGNV Safe At Home Live Virtual Concert with Maggie Clifford
Monday, May 18, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

MusicGNV Compilation
Support Gainesville musicians by purchasing the new We Are MusicGNV Compilation featuring new music from local artists.

FEST from Home with Live Streaming on Facebook
Thursday, May 14, 7:05 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
FEST hosts its 19th music festival in October featuring hundreds of bands in downtown Gainesville. In anticipation of this yearly sellout event, see live music sets from scheduled artists through the summer.

Singer Songwriter Shawn Manley at One Love Cafe
Friday, May 15, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Online Fiesta with ELIO
Friday, May 15, 11 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Swing Music with Swing Theory at One Love Cafe
Saturday, May 16,  6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

The Mississippi Blues Sessions with Robert Kimbrough Sr. and Sheba presented by the Music Box Home Edition
Sunday, May 17, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

heartwood and first magnitude present support local music

Heartwood Soundstage and First Magnitude Brewing Company present Support Local Music with Driveaway, Lorne, Tanna and Arrows in Action, Live on Facebook
Saturday, May 16, 7 p.m – 10 p.m.

The Mississippi Blues Sessions with Robert Kimbrough Sr. and Sheba presented by the Music Box Home Edition
Sunday, May 17, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.


Tree Kangaroo Tuesday from Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo

Tree Kangaroo Tuesdays with the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo
Tuesday, May 19

Tree Kangaroo Awareness Day goes virtual this year. Join the SF Teaching Zoo for Tree Kangaroo Tuesdays throughout May 2020. Visit their Facebook and Instagram pages every Tuesday in May to see these rare, majestic animals and learn how you can help them in the wild.

Saturday Story Time at 4th Ave Food Park
Saturday, May 16, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.


Sticker reading Drink Gainesville Beer. Swamp Head Brewery in background.

New Beer Releases of Old Favorites in Celebration of American Craft Beer Week at Swamp Head Brewery
Through Sunday, May 17

Taco Tuesday at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Tuesday, May 19, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Virtual Brainaholics Trivia by First Magnitude Brewing Company
Tuesday, May 19, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Package Takeout:
Growler Fills and Kegs from Cypress & Grove Brewing Company

To-go Cans from Swamp Head Brewery

Drive-Thru Beer Pick Up at First Magnitude Brewing Company

Growler Fills and 32 oz. Crowlers at Blackadder Brewing Company

To-Go Cans from Big Top Brewing Company

Growler Fills at High Springs Brewing Company

Sangria, Wines and more at Island Grove Wine Company Tasting House


(sold out) Wine Tasting and Chef Cooking Class at The Fat Tuscan Café
Saturday, May 16, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Some restaurants are slowly opening their dining rooms or providing outdoor patio seating. Please contact restaurants for additional information and any service changes. Find a searchable list of Alachua County restaurants here.


U-Pick Sunflowers and Drive-Up Farmstand at Rogers Farm
Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Strawberry U-Pick and Food Market at Frog Song Organics
Thursday, May 14, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Farm Stand Fridays at Bambi’s Café
Friday, May 15, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Farm Stand at The Family Garden
Friday, May 15, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday, May 16, 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Drive-Thru Farmer’s Market CSA at Working Food
Wednesdays, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Union Street Farmer’s Market at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company
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.

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

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


Street Legal Madness Drag Racing at Gainesville Raceway (racers and crew only, no ticket sales at the gate)
Friday, May 15, 6 p.m.

King of the Hill Paintball Game at First Strike Paintball
Saturday, May 16, 10 a.m.


herb garden at kanapaha botanical gardens
Dudley House

Find a Little More Room for Safe Exercise and Peaceful Exploration with the Updated Parks and Outdoor Spaces List by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County.

Additional Florida State Parks have reopened including Dudley Farm, Devil’s Millhopper and Paynes Prairie! 

There are over 100 miles of trails in Alachua County for biking and hiking. You can find some of the area bike trails listed here. However with many park closures, it may be difficult to figure out where you can still go for outdoor relaxation, recreation and exercise. Visit Gainesville, Alachua County has done the research for you, and provides the most up-to-date information on parks and open areas to explore. Click to find an UPDATED LIST of open spaces, What’s Good Now.

When enjoying the outdoors, please strictly adhere to public health safety guidelines, keep 6 feet away from others and follow all State and local ordinances. Note that due to the changing environment and regulations, open hours are subject to change.


Museum 360 – Florida Fossils with the Florida Museum of Natural History
Thursday, May 14, 3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Bring the Florida Museum to your home. Go back through geological time and witness the fossil history of Florida during the Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs in this 360° virtual tour.

Covid-19 Community Archive from the Matheson History Museum

View Online Classes and Activities presented by the Cade Museum

GFAA Virtual Gallery: The Garden

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


Top Fuel Racecar with flames shooting out of it on the race track. #Gatornats

AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals
September 25-27

For a complete list of events please visit

What's Good Alachua County

The more you share with us, the more we have to promote. Please keep in communication with us by sharing your events, updates and news with our team by emailing

Tickets are available while supplies last and will not be held. 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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