What’s Good in Gainesville and Alachua County, September 17-23, 2020

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Make new discoveries and plan your weekend with What’s Good! Celebrate art, culture and science with the exciting 30-year anniversary of the Harn Museum of Art, featuring the return of Claude Monet’s 1890s oil canvas painting Champ d’ avoine (Oat Field). Plus, be sure to check out the new What’s Good guest blog for a behind-the-scenes peek into the Harn’s inspiring exhibits. Explore the new Megalodon: The Largest Shark that Ever Lived exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History, and the launch of the Brain: The World Inside Your Head exhibit at the Cade Museum.

For an elevated date night vibe, try out the newly opened Covey Kitchen + Cocktails at Hotel ELEO. Learn about Florida wildlife at Paynes Prairie; enjoy live music on multiple stages and more.

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.

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.

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).

Harn Museum of Art

Celebrate the Harn Museum of Art’s 30th Anniversary and See Monet’s “Champ d’avoine” Back on Display

The Harn Museum of Art first opened to the public on September 22, 1990. Over the past 30 years, the Harn Museum has served more than 2.5 million visitors with engaging exhibitions and creative programs made accessible through free admission. In honor of its 30th Anniversary, the Harn’s fall exhibition schedule is bursting with a wide range of artwork sure to provide inspiration, escape, solace and introspection.

Visit this weekend and be one of the first to view the “Champ d’avoine (Oat Field)” by Claude Monet. The Harn’s Monet recently returned from its travels to Denver, Colorado and Potsdam, Germany. More than half a million people viewed the painting while traveling with the exhibition “Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature.” Share your enthusiasm. Take a pic with the Monet and tag the Harn! Plan your visit at

Learn more about the journey of the Harn’s Champ d’avoine painting from Gainesville, FL to Potsdam, Germany and back as told by chief curator Dulce Román on the Coffee with Curators blog.

person viewing giant megalodon shark jaw fossils

Be Consumed with Awe and Walk Away with Respect at the NEW Megalodon Exhibit
Saturday, September 19, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Florida Museum of Natural History
3215 Hull Rd., Gainesville, FL 32611

Learn about the gigantic Megalodon shark and how new scientific discoveries continue to reveal its remarkable story, including its enormous size, diet, relatives, evolution and ultimate extinction. The object-rich exhibit features real fossil specimens, full-scale models of ancient and modern sharks and tooth-shaped display units with actual Megalodon fossils. Plan your visit

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What's Good promotion for aloft hotel

Ready, Set, Playcation with 15% off at Aloft Gainesville and Free Entry to the Cade Museum

Enjoy the afternoon at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention then retreat back to Aloft Gainesville to socially distance over cocktails and music in Aloft’s vibrant open space lobby, or lounge on the pool deck with free WiFi and the latest technology throughout. At the end of the day, relax in one of the 146 urban inspired rooms featuring ultra-comfortable signature beds, walk-in shower, custom amenities by Bliss Spa, and plug & play so all your electronics charge and link to the TV.

The Aloft Gainesville is centrally located with easy access to the University of Florida, numerous museums, and Celebration Pointe and Butler Plaza shops and restaurants.

Click here to book by September 30 with code S7365 and receive 15% off your stay plus a free admission pass to the Cade Museum.

New Exhibit Brain The World Inside Your Head

Look Inside Your Mind at the Opening of Brain: The World Inside Your Head Exhibit
Saturday, September 19, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
811 S Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601

Explore the mysterious inner workings of the mind at this family-friendly, traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Learn about perception, learning, memory, and more now through January 2. The Cade museum is adjacent to Depot Park, The Hawthorne Rails to Trails, and within walking distance to First Magnitude Brewing Company and Downtown Gainesville.

Plan your visit at or plan a museum weekend when you stay at the Aloft Gainesville with the CADE/Aloft Playcation Savings package: Click here to book by September 30 with code S7365 and receive 15% off your stay plus a free admission pass to the Cade Museum.

Whiskey Jones band members

Rock Into the Night with Whiskey Jones at Music Under the Stars
Friday, September 18, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Celebration Pointe
4949 Celebration Pointe Ave., Gainesville, FL 32608

The outdoor stage hosts rocking music with JC Moretta on lead guitar and vocals, Danny “Gray Playa” Bowers – rhythm guitar and vocals, Charlie “Chachi” Delatorre – vocals, Chris “Brisket” Coleman on bass and Wesley Emmanuel on drums.

Celebration Pointe is citywalk style destination for entertainment, shopping and dining. Enjoy food and drinks from nearby restaurants.

Christ McCarty performing on stage

Jam to the Live Acoustic Tunes of Chris McCarty
Saturday, September 19, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. | Tioga Town Center
133 SW 130th Way, Newberry, FL 32669

Chris McCarty is an international American singer/songwriter and guitarist. McCarty’s music is a wide variety of rock with a little acoustic-funk-soul-reggae and whatever-else-gets-mixed-in blend. His passion is to create music that builds connection with the listener, creating a sense of happiness. Check out his music at

Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy a free outdoor concert on the Tioga Town Center stage. Complete your evening with takeout from one the nearby restaurants.

exotic bird

See Unusual Birds from Finches to Macaws at the St. Augustine Exotic Bird Fair
Sunday, September 20, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Wyndham Garden Gainesville
2900 SW 13th St., Gainesville, FL 32608

Visit with breeders and suppliers and learn about birds, cages, food and toys. Admission is free for children 10 and under.

Jazzy Mondays at The Keys

Start the Week on an Upbeat with Live Music and Great Food at Jazzy Mondays
Monday, September 21, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. | The Keys Grill and Piano Bar
4860 Celebration Pointe Ave. #30, Gainesville, FL 32608

Every week, The Keys Grill and Piano Bar sets the stage for an ensemble of Gainesville’s best talent and a fresh play list to start your week off right with an evening of jazzy grooves, delicious bites, and tasty cocktails, with half price wine and Florida craft draughts for $4.

Image of baby deer

Catch Knowledge About Florida Wildlife at the Big Anniversary Speakers Series
Thursday, September 17, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park Visitor Center
100 Savannah Blvd., Micanopy, FL 32667

Samantha Wisely of the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida shares her research relating to wildlife disease processes and their impacts to Floridians. This year the Florida Park Service is 85 years old, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is 50 years old and Friends of Paynes Prairie is 35 years old. Celebrate The Big Anniversary with a speaker series featuring professionals and experts in the field of conservation, environmental science, and natural history.

latino film festival

Celebrate Latin Culture Through Film with the Gainesville Latino Film Festival
Now Through September 29 | Online Event with Latina Women’s League

This year’s virtual film festival features a lineup of films and special events taking place online. See upcoming events and film screenings on Facebook.View the 2020 film lineup here.

Musician Michael Claytor performing on stage

Quench Your Thirst for Quality Musical Performances.Tune Into New Singer-Songwriter Series, Songs from the Heart, Featuring Michael Claytor and Andy Zipf
Friday, September 18 | Online Event with Heartwood Soundstage

Songs From the Heart is a live-streaming series brought to you by Heartwood Soundstage. Each episode focuses on two artists and the craft of songwriting. Michael Claytor is a story-driven songwriter and a musician in residence at UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine. Andy Zipf is a singer songwriter, director of music, artist in residence and producer living in Jacksonville.

Heartwood Soundstage is a state-of-the-art recording studio, video production facility, and intimate performance venue – built by musicians for music lovers and music makers. Known for hosting superb musical performances from the nation’s indie scene, Heartwood returns to live performances with its first physically-distanced outdoor stage show, The Curry’s, Sunday, September 27. Click for tickets and more information.

Big Read Alachua County

Get Inspired from Women in Science at National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Kickoff Alachua County
Saturday, September 19 | Online Event with Florida Museum of Natural History and Alachua County Library District

Join the Florida Museum of Natural History and Alachua County Library District and kickoff the NEA Big Read, a series of events building community while lifting the voices of women in science. The FREE virtual event takes attendees behind-the-scenes and into the labs of Florida Museum scientists! Learn about their experiences as local women in STEM, see cool objects and hear encouraging words of wisdom for future researchers. Sign up for the Lab Blitz Zoom here.

egret flying at paynes prairie

Be in the Know About Local Species with the Audubon Society’s Live “Bird Cast.” And Then Get Ready to go Birding… Virtually Anywhere.
Thursday, September 17, 6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Online Event with Alachua Audubon Society

Before adding bird-watching to your next adventure, take a little time to open your world to the species in our area. Did you know that thanks to the introduction of the Apple Snail, numbers of the Snail Kite have soared? During the 2019 Christmas Bird Count, 99 were spotted versus just 29 the previous year.

The weekly broadcast from the Alachua Audubon Society highlights local news and notes, observations and occurrences from birding experts. Fall migration is already off a start, find out about the latest developments and tune in on Facebook or Zoom.

Find out how to start birding here!

Find information about the top birding sites in Alachua County.

Musician Andrew Leahey

Listen to Roots Rock at its Best with Andrew Leahey from Gainesville LIVE!
Friday, September 11, 8 pm. – 10 p.m. | Online Event with Free Fridays Concert Series

Rolling Stone calls Andrew Leahey “A celebratory mix of sharp storytelling and fist-pumping rock & roll swagger.” American Songwriter describes his music as “An insistent rhythm somewhere between the Byrds, T Rex and Tom Petty… A cascading rock and roll juggernaut.” Friday’s online show features original music, deep cuts into Tom Petty’s catalog and more.

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.

paddleboards on the santa fe river

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 Fee 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.

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 Friday-Sunday, 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.

Arts & Theatre

Old-Time Radio Series, featuring Burns & Allen and Abbott & Costello, Streaming Online from Actor’s Warehouse
Friday, September 18 – Sunday, October 4

Writing for Sketch Comedy Virtual Class with the Hippodrome Theatre
Thursday, September 17, 5 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Private Performances of The Stronger at Black C Art Gallery
Through Wednesday, September 30

Music & Performance

Flaco's Comedy Night

Laugh Out Loud with Live Stand-Up Comedy Night at Flaco’s
Thursday, September 17, 7:30 p.m. – 12 a.m.
See some of the best comics in the area live in person from the outdoor patio at Flaco’s. The early–bird show starts at 7:30 p.m. and the late show starts at 10:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Acoustic Soft Rock Duo Richy & Chelsea at One Love Cafe
Thursday, September 17, 6 p.m.

Duet with Harmonies by Laurel & Nicole Wagner at Tony and Al’s Art and Music Night
Thursday, September 17, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Party from Your Living Room with Spanish Love Songs at Fest at Home
Thursday, September 17, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Couch Messiahs

Rock, Americana, Blues and R&B with Couch Messiahs at The Great Outdoors Café
Friday, September 18, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Soulful Singer Songwriters SistarAnna and Sara Donnachie at Flaco’s Outdoor Patio
Friday, September 18, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Favorite Alternative Rock Songs with The Remedy at One Love Cafe
Friday, September 18, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Singer, Songwriter George Gomez at One Love Café
Saturday, September 19, 12 p.m.

Jazz and Swing Favorites with Swing Theory at One Love Café
Saturday, September 19, 6 p.m.

Classic Rock and Country Covers with Doc Adams at The Great Outdoor Café
Saturday, September 19, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Singer Songwriter Paul Elliot

Americana Singer Songwriter Paul Eliot at Lightnin’ Salvage
Saturday, September 19, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Power Pop from Arrows in Action, Causa, The Real You Live Stream with High Dive
Saturday, September 19, 8 p.m.

Favorite Hits with Sounds Unlimited with Lupe and Cindy at Woodyard Grill
Saturday, September 19, 7 p.m.

Jazz and Blues with Middleground at One Love Café
Sunday, September 20, 11 a.m.

Classic Rock with Moondog at One Love Cafe
Sunday, September 20, 5 p.m.

Country Music with Cliff Dorsey at Ballyhoo Grill
Sunday, September 20, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Classic Rock with Centerlane at Ballyhoo Grill
Monday, September 21, 5 p.m.

Singer Songwriter Cliff Dorsey at Woodyard Grill
Wednesday, September 23, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Country Music with Justin Lee Partin at The Great Outdoors Café
Wednesday, September 23, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Wednesday Night Drag on the Bricks at Flaco’s
Wednesday, September 23, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Keg of Laughs Comedy Hour at World of Beer
Wednesday, September 23, 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Craft Breweries

first magnitude brewing company beer and beer garden

Sample Craft Beer at Local Breweries, Now Open
Breweries have once again opened their doors to welcome fans of craft beer. Enjoy award-winning local brews safely and responsibly from First Magnitude Brewing Company, pictured above, Blackadder Brewing Company, Big Top Brewing Company, Cypress & Grove Brewing Company and High Springs Brewing Company. To-go beers are still available, including online ordering from Swamp Head Brewery.

Cruise the Area’s Craft Beer Crawl and Sample Award-Winning Local Brews

musician cliff dorsey

Country with Singer-Songwriter Cliff Dorsey at High Springs Brewing Company
Saturday, September 19, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Virtual Brainaholics Trivia by First Magnitude Brewing Company
Tuesday, September 22, 6:30 p.m. – 7: 30 p.m.

Beer Bingo Tuesday at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Tuesday, September 22, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

$6 Burger Wednesday at Big Top Brewing Company Gainesville
Wednesday, September 23, 12 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Trivia Night at Blackadder Brewing Company Gainesville
Wednesday, September 23, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Cornhole Tourney at High Springs Brewing Company
Wednesday, September 23, 6 p.m.

Wine Pops, Sangria and More at Island Grove Wine Company Tasting House

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.

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

cocktails lined up at the bar

Now Open: Covey Kitchen + Cocktails
Hotel ELEO at the University of Florida welcomes the community to its cosmopolitan restaurant, Covey Kitchen + Cocktails, offering a casually elegant culinary experience with globally influenced cuisine. Culinary highlights include the bahn mi, a popular Vietnamese sandwich, and modern twists on much-loved southern dishes such as shrimp and grits. The bar menu delivers refreshing hand-crafted cocktails, local beers and top wines. Covey Kitchen + Cocktails is open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily.

Pre-Order Fresh Flavors with Café Baskets from The Fat Tuscan
Order Friday for Wednesday Pickup

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.


archer aiming at targets

Aim for the Bullseye at Funtastic Fridays
Friday, September 18, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | Easton Newberry Archery Center
24880 NW 16 Ave., Newberry, FL 32669
Join the most fun you can have with a bow for open shooting and archery games including tic-tac-toe, battleship, bowling with bows and more. A free orientation is required and is offered at 5 p.m.

If you worked up an appetite after all that fun, you may wish to visit nearby restaurants like Arepas Milko, Villaggio Pizzeria, Woodyard Grill or nearby Tioga Town Center.

Spider Cup at Easton Newberry Archery Center
Saturday, September 19, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Mountain Bike Rides with Goodbike
Thursday, August 17, 7 p.m., Medium Pace for the Intermediate/Advanced Rider
Monday, August 21, 7 p.m., Brisk Pace for the Advanced Rider

Parks & Trails

Record breaking Victoria Cruziana waterlilies at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Don’t Miss Record-Breaking Giant Waterlilies at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Open Fridays – Wednesdays
Giant Victoria Water Lilies grow over 6 feet in diameter and are only a summer phenomenon at the gardens. Plan your visit at

River & Springs

Tubing at the springs

Splash Into the Springs Near Gainesville

North Florida is home to over 1,000 freshwater springs and the largest collection of First Magnitude freshwater springs in the United States. The springs are a perfect way to get outside and explore the natural side of the state. Did you know the crystal clear water flows from underground at a refreshing 72 degrees Fahrenheit, or 22 degrees Celsius, all year round? Make sure to add a visit to the springs to your Gainesville and Alachua County itinerary.

Museums & Galleries

Music instruments hanging from a net

Exhibit Opening: In, Of, From: Experiments in Sound at University Gallery
Thursday, September 17 – Friday, December 4
Pictured above: Cecilia Lopez, RED (d), 2020

Matheson Museum Online Exhibit: Trailblazers 150 Years of Women in Alachua County

“The Human Race” Online Exhibit with Gainesville Fine Arts Association

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 at the Harn Museum of Art
Open Thursday- Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Spark Wonder at the Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
Fridays – Saturdays, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Save The Date

Drive-Thru Oktoberfest at Swamp Head Brewery, September 25

The Currys Live Outdoors at Heartwood Soundstage, September 27

The Gainesville Orchestra Presents ADVENTURE! October 9

Max Major Remote Control with Hippodrome Theatre, October 1-11

Sangria 5K with Island Grove Wine Company, November 14

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.  

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