Enjoy an early release of the What’s Good event guide this Thanksgiving week and make plans to create memorable moments with loved ones. 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. This week we’ve also launched a Guide to Holiday Fun in Gainesville and Alachua County with dozens of dazzling events and activities to inspire holiday cheer.
Start the weekend with the opening night of the feel-good Miracle on 34th Street Live Musical Radio Play at the Hippodrome Theatre. Or get into the spirit of the Sunshine State showdown football rivalry with Celebration Pointe’s pre-game Chomp the Block. Grab a little crisp air and sunshine at the Morningside Nature Center Cane Boil festival and the annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree in historic High Springs. Shop from 25 local makers and brands at the AUK Holiday Market on Small Business Saturday. Find art and culture with the Mott-May Gallery’s Winter Art Show reception and with an evening of jazz at the A. Quinn Jones Museum and Cultural Center.
Read on for more of 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.
Individual businesses in Alachua County may have masking and distancing requirements at their private establishments. We encourage you to become familiar with businesses, venues and attractions you intend to visit and to reach out directly to these establishments should you have questions regarding their current public health and safety procedures.
What’s Open for Thanksgiving?
Don’t stress about where to eat or gather this Thanksgiving, visit a local restaurant for your holiday meal. The Visit Gainesville, Alachua County team has done the hard work for you. Explore our list of what’s open for Thanksgiving in Gainesville and Alachua County, FL and make a reservation for your family or grab a holiday meal to-go.
Travel to Victorian England through a Cast of Colorful Characters with the Classic Coming of Age Musical Oliver!
Now through Sunday, December 19 | Vam York Theater
4039 NW 16th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32605
Gainesville Community Playhouse presents the Tony and Olivier Award-winning show, one of the few musicals to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, the streets of Victorian England come to life as Oliver, a malnourished orphan escapes to London and finds acceptance amongst a group of petty thieves.
Mark Your Calendar for the Opening Weekend of the Mainstage Performance of Miracle on 34th Street a Live Musical Radio Play
Friday, November 26 – Thursday, December 23 | Hippodrome Theatre
25 SE 2nd Pl., Gainesville, FL 32601
Get into the spirit of the holidays with this all-time favorite classic story. Based on the 1947 Lux Radio Hour broadcast, the all-time classic holiday story features a last-minute replacement Santa for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade claiming to be the real Kris Kringle. The belief of a little girl brings love, happiness, and the heart of the holiday spirit to all.
The Sunshine Showdown is on! Cheer on Your Favorite Florida Team as Gators Football Takes on FSU
Saturday, November 27, 12 p.m. | Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
157 Gale Lemerand Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611
The Sunshine Showdown annual rivalry game between Florida and Florida State is the last home game of the season for the Gators and will make for an exciting weekend for Florida football fans. Get details on parking, mobile ticketing and more with the Football Game Day Guide.
Celebrate the Football Weekend at Chomp the Block
Friday, November 26 | Celebration Pointe
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608
Before the Gators play in The Swamp on Saturday, join a pre-game football party at Celebration Pointe. Enjoy pop-up bars, UF celebrity appearances, kids’ activities and live music from Prime Time and Little Mike and the Tornadoes.
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.
Add Fall Harvest Traditions to Your Thanksgiving Weekend at Cane Boil
Saturday, November 27, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Morningside Nature Center
3540 E University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32641
Visit the Living History Farm at Morningside Nature Center and be transported to bygone days in a rustic setting. Hear the toe-tapping sounds of old-time Americana music throughout the day, gather around the cane kettle and smell the sweet, sticky syrup as it boils. Enjoy demonstrations of historic skills, playing games and plein air drawing. Admission is free.
Ring in the Holidays with Jane Lynch’s A Swingin’ Little Christmas
Monday, November 29, 7:30 p.m. | UF Phillips Center
3201 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611
The performance of A Swingin’ Little Christmas features Jane Lynch (Glee), Kate Flannery (The Office), and Tim Davis (Glee) with lively, finger-snapping takes on classic holiday tunes as well as nostalgia-steeped originals. Content may not be suitable for children under 10.
Mott-May Gallery Winter Art Show and Reception
Saturday, November 27, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Mott-May Gallery214 NE Cholokka Blvd., Micanopy, Florida 32667
Mott-May Gallery in historic Micanopy hosts a reception for its Winter Art Show. Enjoy live music and refreshments. Stroll and visit other shops open late like JEMs Originals. The Winter Art Show featuring Florida artists runs through January 16.
Browse Over 25 Vendors, Food Trucks and More at The AUK’s Holiday Market
Saturday, November 27, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | The AUK Market 2031 NW 6th St, Gainesville, FL 32609
Shop the holiday outdoor market on small business Saturday. Find a special gift and support local makers and brands. The market features over 25 vendors, fun activities, guest food trucks, food and coffee from Curia on the Drag and tasty drinks from Dad’s Bar.
Set Sail with Smooth Jazz, R&B and Neo-Soul from Bill Rogers and Friends
Sunday, November 28, 6:30 p.m. | A. Quinn Jones Museum and Culture Center
1013 NW 7th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601
Bill Rogers performs his original smooth jazz singles, Ocean Drive and Sailing. Get a taste of the rich, deep textured vocals from Cynthia Allen who’s voice is powerful, versatile and emotive.
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Arts & Theatre
Share in the Mystical and Magical Performance Art of Journal Entry at Black C Art
Now through Friday, December 10
Events & Festivals
Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in High Springs
Friday, November 26, 6 p.m.
Get Festive with the Annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Festival at Light Up Tioga in Tioga Town Center
Sunday, November 28, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Pet Pictures with Santa at Sweet Paws Bakery
Sunday, November 28, 2 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Fishing Pros and Tackle Reps with Live Music and Food from Blue Water Bay at the 11th Annual Customer Appreciation Day at Gary’s Tackle Box
Friday, November 26, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Music & Performance
Americana with The Front Porch Backsteppers at Lightnin’ Salvage
Friday, November 26, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Southern Rock with Crooked Counsel at One Love Café
Friday, November 26, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Give Thanks and Dance with Miami’s DJ A-Train at The Wooly
Friday, November 26, 10 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.
Latin Night with DJ Enzo at Vecinos
Saturday, November 27, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Funk with Fast Lane at One Love Café
Saturday, November 27, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Bedlam in the Belfry Goth Dance Party with DJ Blonde Ambition at The Wooly
Saturday, November 27, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Guitar and Flute Duo Craftus at One Love Café
Sunday, November 28, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Americana with Kyle Keller at Lightnin’ Salvage
Tuesday, November 30, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Comedian Mitch Fatel and Special Guests at High Dive
Wednesday, December 1, 8 p.m.
Gobble ‘Til Ya Wobble at Swamp Head Brewery
Wednesday, November 24, 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Monsters, Inc on the Big Screen at First Magnitude Brewing Company
Wednesday, November 24, 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Country Music with Houston Keen at High Springs Brewing Company
Thursday, November 25, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Hops and Shop Black Friday Market at High Springs Brewing Company
Friday, November 26, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
A Blackadder Black Friday at Blackadder Brewing Company
Friday, November 26, 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Blues and Such with Radha’s Kitchen and Dank Cakes at Cypress and Grove Brewing Company
Friday, November 26, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Classic Rock and Blues with Mandala Sky at Big Top Brewing Company
Friday, November 26, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Football Fridays with TommyKnockers Mobile Kitchen and Live Music with JT Collier at Swamp Head Brewery
Friday, November 26, 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Drag Brunch at Big Top Brewing Company
Sunday, November 28, 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.
U-Picks & Farmer’s Markets
Cypress & Grove Farmer’s Market with Live Music
Mondays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
One Love Cafe Local Market
Wednesdays, 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
GNV Market at Heartwood Soundstage Featuring Live Music
Thursdays, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
High Springs Farmer’s Market
Fridays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Newberry Farmer’s Market
Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 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.
GHFarmer’s Market at Gainesville Health and Fitness
Sundays, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Bites & Brunch
Champagne Nights at the Dunbar Hotel
Friday, November 26, 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
TomKatGiving Fall Harvest Prix Fixe Dinner at Tom Kat Kafe
Saturday, November 27, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Post Thanksgiving Turkey Free Feast at Peacefield
Sunday, November 28, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Dine at Local Restaurants, Enjoy Outdoor Seating or Grab a Meal To-Go
Dine-in or take advantage of additional outdoor seating expanded onto sidewalks like “GNV Commons” in downtown Gainesville.
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.
Parks & Trails
Sinkhole Guided Walk at Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park
Saturday, November 20 and November 27, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Rim Ramble Hike at Paynes Prarie Preserve State Park
Saturday, November 27, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
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.
Museums & Galleries
Winter Showcase at GFAA Gallery
Now through January 2
“Artistry in Motion” Exhibit at Cofrin Gallery at Oak Hall School
Now through December 10
O-B-S-O-L-E-S-C-E-N-C-E at Grinter Gallery
Now through December 3, 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Look at the Lives of Dinosaurs through their Nests at Tiny Titans: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.View authentic specimens from around the world, touch real bones and see lifelike models of eggs, embryos and hatchlings at the egg-citing new exhibit. The Tiny Titans exhibit is bilingual. Photo courtesy Silver Plume Exhibitions.
View More Than 50 Paintings Composing a Visual History of the State at Florida Impressions: Gift of Samuel H. and Roberta T. Vickers at the Harn Museum of Art
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Explore the World of Toys and Games, and Learn About the Language of Measurement at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Open Friday, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Between Heaven & Earth – The Paintings of Alyne Harris at Thomas Center Galleries
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Trailblazers: 150 Years of Alachua County Women at the Matheson History Museum
Wednesday – Saturday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day
Save The Date
For a complete list of events please visit www.visitgainesville.com/events/
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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.