Happy Thanksgiving, friends! The What’s Good crew and all of the staff at Visit Gainesville, Alachua County extends our warmest wishes. We feel united with you in our love for the beauty, nature, adventure and creativity that our destination has to offer. All of us together – that’s What’s Good – and we are so grateful to share this connection.
Make memories with family members and guests or make the most of a few days off with dazzling events and activities to inspire holiday cheer. We’ve made it easy for you to see What’s Open for Thanksgiving with a directory of restaurants serving special menus on turkey day. Plus check out our Guide to Holiday Fun in Gainesville and Alachua County.
The Hippodrome theatre features back-to-back theatrical openings, beginning Friday with Murder for Two, and on Saturday with the debut of a Christmas Carol, a Gainesville favorite holiday tradition. The Carson Springs Thanksgiving Safari features fun for all ages on Friday and Saturday. Plus, Saturday through Sunday the O’Connell Center features fun ideas for holiday gifting at Craft Festival 2022.
Read on for 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. Please contact organizers directly to double-check details.
Ring in the Holidays with Stage Performances at the Hippodrome Theatre
A Christmas Carol
Saturday, November 26 – Friday, December 23
Bah Humbug to dashing through the snow and sleigh rides in Florida. Staying true to the weighty themes of the original novel while delivering a gripping story, cheerful holiday music, and genuine laughs for the whole family, A Christmas Carol at the Hippodrome Theatre is one of Gainesville’s favorite holiday traditions.
Murder for Two Holiday Edition
Friday, November 25 – Friday, December 23
One of Hippodrome Theatre’s most popular productions returns with a festive twist. One actor plays the investigator, the other plays all 13 suspects, and both play the piano throughout. This ‘whodunit’ is the perfect blend of music, mayhem, murder and mistletoe.
Browse Holiday Gifts at the O’Connell Center Craft Festival 2022
Saturday, November 26 – Sunday, November 27, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Stephen C. O’Connell Center
250 Gale Lemerand Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611
The annual Craft Festival provides an excellent opportunity to shop indoors for unique crafts authentically made by hundreds of talented artisans and crafters. Find something special for yourself or that hard to shop for person in your life.
See Over 100 Rare Animals at Thanksgiving Wildlife Tours
Friday, November 25 – Saturday, November 26, 10 a.m. | Carson Springs Wildlife
5828 E CR 225, Gainesville, FL 32609
See rare animals, experience big cat feedings and enjoy outdoor fun with zoologist led tours. TripAdvisor awarded Carson Springs Wildlife the 2022 Traveler’s Choice Award recognizing the attraction at the top 10% of things to do worldwide based on visitor reviews.
Step Into the Past and Celebrate the Fall Harvest at the Annual Cane Boil and Fiddlefest
Saturday, November 26, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Morningside Nature Center
3540 E University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32641
Be transported to bygone days by the rustic setting of Morningside’s Living History Farm. Hear enchanting sounds of old-time folk music made by talented local musicians. Make your way to the kettle to see sugar cane juice boil down to sweet rich cane syrup. Watch demonstrations of historic skills, shop vendor wares and join traditional games and crafts. Visit the log cabin and interact with historic interpreters as they go about a day in the life of 1870. Admission is free.
Holiday Events and Tree Lightings
Light Up Tioga Annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Festival at Tioga Town Center
Sunday, November 27, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
A Christmas Story at High Springs Playhouse
Friday, December 2 – Sunday, December 18
Fall Farm and Cane Festival at Dudley Farm
Saturday, December 3, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Lifesouth’s Operation Santa Delivery at Santa Fe College North Field
Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
74th Annual UF School of Music Sounds of the Season at UF Phillips Center
Sunday, December 4, 7 p.m.
GLAM Craft Show at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Sunday, December 4, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
tenThing Brass Ensemble Holiday Concert at UF Phillips Center
Tuesday, December 6, 7:30 p.m.
The City of Alachua and Dance Alive National Ballet Present Nutcracker Under the Stars at Legacy Park
Friday, December 16, 7 p.m.
Dance Alive National Ballet Presents The Nutcracker at UF Phillips Center
Saturday, December 17, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Sunday, December 18, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Spark Wonder 2023 at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
Saturday, December 31, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
View more holiday events and celebrate the season at VisitGainesville.com
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Pop-Up Markets and Retail Shopping
Record Store Day Black Friday Edition at Hear Again Records
Friday, November 25, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Small Business Saturday at Shoppes at Thornebrook
Saturday, November 26
Small Business Saturday in Historic Newberry
Saturday, November 26, 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Small Business Saturday Holiday Market at The AUK Market
Saturday, November 26, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Holiday Mimosas Sip and Shop at Artisans’ Guild Gallery
Sunday, November 27, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Shop local boutiques and national brands at Butler Enterprises, Celebration Pointe, The Oaks Mall and Shoppes at Thornebrook.
Arts & Theatre
12th Annual Jewish Film Festival at The Hippodrome Cinema
Now through December 8
Events & Festivals
Annual Turkey-Trot 5K at Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary
Thursday, November 24, 8:30 a.m.
BBQ Fork Blacksmithing Workshop at [Fe]ver Metal Art Center
Friday, November 25, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Evergreen Tree Candle Holder Blacksmithing Workshop at [Fe]ver Metal Art Center
Friday, November 25, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Single-Day Knife Blacksmithing Workshop at Crooked Path Forge
Wednesday, November 30, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Music & Performance
Ninja Gun and The Ones to Blame at The Wooly
Friday, November 25, 8 p.m.
Americana with the Front Porch Backsteppers at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, November 26, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Country and Caribbean with Lionel Jr. at Bingo Deli and Pub
Saturday, November 26, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Local Music Burlesque at Loosey’s
Sunday, November 27, 7 p.m.
Local Stand-Up Comedy Showcase at High Dive
Wednesday, November 30, 8 p.m.
Jazz Wednesdays with The Oak Trio at Covey Kitchen and Cocktails
Wednesday, November 23 and Wednesday, November 30, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Sippin’ Seven Alachua County Ale Trail Digital Pass
While you are visiting with family and friends, explore Alachua County’s unique craft breweries and sign up for free to the Sippin’ Seven Alachua County Ale Trail digital pass. Visit breweries, earn rewards and redeem your pass for “Billy the Bison and the Brew Birds” merchandise while supplies last.
Cheers to you and to Sippin’ All Seven!
Locals and Returning Locals at “ACR” Night at Swamp Head Brewery
Wednesday, November 23, 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
A Blackadder Black Friday at Blackadder Brewing Company
Friday, November 25, 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Brewery Tailgate Gators Football Watch Party at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Friday, November 25, 2 p.m. – 11 p.m.
U-Picks & Farmers Markets
Grove Street Farmers Market with Live Music
Mondays, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Archer Farmers Market at Archer Historical Society Railroad Museum
Tuesdays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
GNV Market at South Main Station Featuring Live Music
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
High Springs Farmers Market
Fridays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Alachua County Farmers Market
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Bites and Brunch
Hopdoddy Burger Bar at Butler Town Center serves hand-crafted burgers, sharable hand-cut fries, cocktails, vegetarian and vegan options, shakes and more. View the menu and learn more at www.hopdoddy.com
(sold out) Scones and Shortbreads Cooking Class at The Fat Tuscan
Saturday, November 26, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
What’s Open for Thanksgiving
Don’t stress about where to eat or gather this Thanksgiving. View our list of restaurants open on Thanksgiving or offering holiday meals to-go.
Gators Women’s Basketball vs. Prairie View A&M at Exactech Arena
Friday, November 30, 5:30 p.m.
Gators Men’s Basketball vs Florida A&M at Exactech Arena
Wednesday, November 30, 8 p.m.
Parks & Trails
Thanksgiving Day parkrun Free 5K at Depot Park
Thursday, November 24, 7:30 a.m.
Rim Ramble Ranger-Led Hike at La Chua Trail
Saturday, November 26, 10 a.m.
Cross Creek: World of Margorie Kinnan Rawlings Waterway Tour with Adventure Outpost
Tuesday, November 29, 10 a.m.
River & Springs
Paddle 8 Springs in 8 Miles or Slowly Float Down the Santa Fe River at Poe Springs Park with Anderson’s Outdoor Adventures
Friday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Float or Splash Into Freshwater Springs
North Florida is home to the largest collection of first-magnitude springs in the United States.
Museums & Galleries
Exhibit Opening at the Harn Museum of Art, AWE-some: time :: materiality :: meaning
Tuesday, November 22, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
AWE-some celebrates new photographs recently bought for, or donated to, the Harn’s permanent collection. Its theme: recognition of several brilliant, dedicated photographers, their time, their actual prints (not on a screen) and why they made them.
Annual Faculty Exhibit Opening at Santa Fe College Gallery
The Santa Fe Gallery is open daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Painting Situations: Sigfredo Chacón and Liliana Porter / ISLAA Artist Initiative at UF Gary R. Libby University Gallery
Now through December 2
View Memories of Legendary Bands at a Legendary Music Venue at the Matheson History Museum’s Newest Exhibit “Return to Forever: Gainesville’s Great Southern Music Hall”
Museum Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
The Matheson History Museum looks back at the state-of-the-art concert venue in Gainesville between 1974 and 1978. The Great Southern Music Hall hosted performers including Jimmy Buffett, Ray Charles, Muddy Waters, Bob Seger and Steve Martin to name a few. The exhibit features a collection of live performance photos from the house photographer John Moran, Bo Diddley’s signature square guitar and other artifacts. Admission is free.
Into the Woods and Out of the Woods Exhibits at The Historic Thomas Center
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Pictured above, “Log (2)” by Benjamin Ingle
Explore the Solar System with the Cade Museum’s Scavenger Hunt
Now through January 2023
Engage with the Gainesville-wide “Wandering the Milky Way Planetary Partnership Scavenger Hunt” and visualize the scale of the galaxy. Get a map at the Cade Museum and make stops at locations throughout Gainesville including The Historic Thomas Center, Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo, Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and more. The scavenger hunt is an extension of the museum’s current theme, “Wandering the Milky Way.”
Speechless, Text and Image in Global Culture at the Harn Museum of Art
Now through December 30, 2022
Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Discover a Unique African American Culture at Gullah Geechee – African Connections and Cultural Traditions in America at the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center
Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Explore the Cosmos at the Cade Museum’s New Exhibit: Voyages – A Trip Through Space and Time
Thursday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
This featured exhibit is part of the museum-wide theme “Wandering the Milky Way – A Tour of the Solar System.” Discover how spacecraft from the 1970s still teach us about the galaxy and learn how scientists are designing a mission that spans generations.
Dig Into the Past at the Florida Museum’s Science Up Close: Fantastic Fossils
Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Take a unique look behind the scenes, interact with scientists while they work and explore some of the museum’s coolest specimens. Get face-to-face with giant dinosaur skeletons, beautiful botanical fossils and ancient microscopic life. Plan your visit online. Photo by Florida Museum/Jeff Gage
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.