Great Educational Things To Do In Gainesville With Kids
I love small cities and I love discovering new places. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised on our recent family trip to Gainesville as I did not expect to find so many awesome and educational activities for the kids. There is so much more to Gainesville than being the home to the Florida Gators and we found that a weekend was not enough to take advantage of everything this city has to offer. There are so many great things for families to enjoy and here are our favorite reasons to visit Gainesville with kids and the best part is that most of these activities are free or under $10. All of these activities are not just fun for the whole family but all of them will also provide lots of opportunities to learn through new experiences and by putting knowledge into a tangible and contextual framework that makes so much more sense than reading about it in a book or learning it in a classroom.
Top 25 Free Things To Do In Gainesville
Hike the trail at Alfred A. Ring Park
This little park has an easy trail that is about 1.4 miles in length, which is short enough for a family with young kiddos to handle!
Feed the ducks at the NFRMC Duck Pond
This medical center has a locally famous duck pond with tons of green space for the kids to run around. A friend of mine who is in her 30s who grew up in Gainesville still remembers these ducks!
Look for wildlife around Lake Alice
Lake Alice is actually more of a marsh than a lake, located on the University of Florida campus. It is an important part of the local ecosystem and also serves as a habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. Walking around the area provides lots of opportunity for spotting interesting animals!
Get wet at the Alachua Splash Park
Splash parks are always a place we stop when on a trip. What could be better than free access to water and potential new playmates?
Older children and teens will enjoy joining you at this art museum, which features a mix of permanent and temporary exhibits.
Find your way through the UUF Labyrinth
This outdoor labyrinth is part of a local religious buildings property, and you and your kids will have fun working your way through the rock maze.
Explore the Westside Recreation Center and Park
Get out some energy at the Tioga Town Center Playground
Look for wildlife at Cofrin Nature Park
Feed horses at Mill Creek Farm
See bats at the UF Bat Barn and Bat House
Stroll through the Gainesville Solar Walk
Top 5 Free Things To Do In Gainesville Fl
by catalystadmin | Oct 25, 2019 | News & Events
Gainesville is an amazing city full of very fun, unique and free things to do. Sometimes it can be hard to find something to do that wont break the bank, so we atLiv+ Gainesville decided to compile an incredible list of the top 5 free things to do in Gainesville, FL. We made our list family-friendly, so you can enjoy an amazing weekend with the family, while still on a budget!
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Curtis M Philips Centre For Performing Arts
Union Street Station which is located on SE 2nd Avenue is a residential and office building that offers the best of residential spots. This building is worth the view on your visit to downtown Gainesville.
The ground floor of the building is full of shops and great eateries. The Union Street Station mall with the cafes lined on its side gives a cosmopolitan touch to the district.
You can stop by on any of these cafes or any of the restaurants for lunch or dinner.
Explore other parts of Florida during your visit to Gainsville. Check out this guide on things to do in Ocala as well as things to do in Lakeland.
The Cade Museum For Creativity And Invention
The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention was opened to the public in the year 2018. The purpose of its establishment is to inspire inventions and creativity in the minds of people by causing them to look at everything around us in a new light.
Since its establishment during the spring season of 2018, The Cade Museum for Creativity has been offering educational programs to the young people.
These programs are aimed at stimulating their minds. For instance, there is the Early Entrepreneurs Program which teaches one all the basic skills needed to come out top in the business world.
There is also another called the Living Inventor Series. This one teaches how to be creative in solving problems.
The museum is the most sort after by tourists because of its popular weekly field trips. In these trips, the participants get to do exciting stuffs such as building a robot from scratch and a lot more.
All these are done in a real laboratory setting. Surely, your kids are going to love this museum!
Address: The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, 904 South Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601.
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Best Things To Do In Gainesville Florida
Located in northern Florida, Gainesville is known as the home of the University of Florida, which occupies a sprawling campus in the center of the town. You can visit the fascinating Florida Museum of Natural History, the Bat Houses, and the Harn Museum of Art. A host of outdoor attractions, such as Devil’s Millhopper State Park and the Morningside Nature Center, can be easily accessed just outside the city. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
What To Do With Kids
See the Talking Walls, where the 14 kids of the Haile Family chronicled their history with over 12,500 words. On these walls, youll see drawings, recipes, poetry and daily journals.
Additionally, you may visit the Allen & Ethel Graham Visitors center for additional exhibits and background about the family.
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Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Co Incorporated
This is the place for Japanese cuisine in Gainesville. Choose from the Chefs Select, Staff Favorite, or Customer Favorite menus, and dont forget Happy Hour. The artfully designed food looks as good as it tastes and sharing dishes are encouraged. Their vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options will satisfy any date.
Things To Do In Gainesville For Families/kid
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens This area of Gainsville is unlike any other botanical garden youve been to before. They easy paths wind through the acreage of familiar and exotic plants, including a bamboo forest. Dont forget to stop and listen as you go through the musical bamboo. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the hummingbird garden portion, where you can observe many of these tiny birds in action.
Florida Museum of Natural History This is an impressive museum with five permanent exhibits and limited run, special attractions. Learn about the history of Florida, local animal life, ancient area fossils, and how the waterways and wildlife have established the area. Everything is geared toward children and adults, so everyone will be entertained in this museum.
Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo This zoo is student-run and low-key. Set on 10-acres, there are over 200 animals here, including monkeys, tree kangaroos, and lemurs. The laid-back feel of this zoo is accented with a fun playground for kids to let out their inner animal and a picnic area for families to take a break together.
The University of Florida Campus If your family has any sports fans, this is a great stop. Take a self-guided tour by car around the 2,000 acres of campus. Stop and tour the football stadium and pick up some swag from the student building book store.
Ready to book your trip?
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Cade Museum For Creativity And Invention
The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, located at 811 South Main Street in Gainesville, is named for Dr. James Robert Cade, a former professor at the University of Florida and the lead inventor of the sports drink Gatorade. The Cade Museum, which opened to the public in 2018, pays homage to Cades outlandish spirit, zest for life and new ideas, and his constant, genuine interest in helping, motivating and encouraging people of all ages and experience. The museum hosts camps, fields trips and other programs, in addition to featuring a variety of exhibits. You can visit from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday or from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Adult admission is $12.50, while children ages 5 to 17 are $7.50 and children 4 and younger are free.
Bluefield Estate Winery Gainesville Florida
You can take some time off from exploring all the cultural attractions of Gainesville to pay a visit to the Bluefield Estate Winery, located in the small town of Windsor, just outside Gainesville. Here you can sample the unique range of fruit-inspired wines that are produced by husband-and-wife winemakers Jennifer and Bradley Ferguson, who started their enterprise by making blueberry wine in their kitchen. Today, they own a couple of acres planted to blueberries and muscadine grapes, both of which produce fruity wines that are higher in anti-oxidants than other varietals. You can visit their tasting room to sample the fruits of their labor and buy some delicious wines to take back home. Blueberry and grape self-picking is available during the harvest season.
Bluefield Estate Winery, 22 NE CR 234, Gainesville, FL 32641, Phone: 352-337-2544
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Experience The Hippodrome State Theatre
Is your date the artsy type? The Hippodrome State Theater has a stage for live theater, a cinema showing foreign and domestic films, and a visual arts gallery. This historic theater is an architectural masterpiece with a full-service bar. Their free pop-up theater summer series features live cabaret.
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Gainesville Fl
At Gainesville’s beautiful Kanapaha Botanical Gardens you can feast your eyes on 24 major horticultural collections, including the largest herb garden in the southeast and Florida’s largest display of bamboos. You can see it all as you stroll along the accessible 1.5-mile pathway, which is dotted with benches and gazebos where you can relax and just admire our surroundings. The gardens are at their eye-catching best in spring , when the annual Spring Garden Festival takes place, and in May you can enjoy the magical Moonlight Walk, when the paths and meadows are gently lit with twinkle lights and lanterns. Other annual events include the fall plant sale and orchid show.
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, 4700 SW 58th Drive, Gainesville, FL 32608, Phone: 352-372-4981
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Morningside Nature Center Of Florida
Step back in time with the Morningside Nature Center of Florida.
Though it offers more than 400 acres of hiking trails and picnic areas, its centerpiece is a 19th century living history farm.
The farm is comprised of a cabin, barn and one-room schoolhouse surrounded by fields of corn, cotton and sugarcane.
All chores are done by hand, and everything has been preserved or recreated to function just like it did when its original owners lived in Florida.
Visitors can take a tour, feed the livestock and try on period-appropriate clothing.
Everything is free, but donations of fruits and vegetables are gladly accepted for the animals.
If you have the spirit of a pioneer within you, consider a visit to the Morningside Nature Center of Florida.
Address: 3540 E University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32641, USA
Thinking of a trip to other parts of Florida? Check out our list of things to do in Pensacola, things to do in Fort Lauderdale& fun things to do in Orlando!
Cycle The 6th Street Rail Trail
What do you say? Would you like to tour Gainesvilles urban and park areas on a bicycle? Surely, you agree that its much fun than trekking and wearing your shoes out.
Here is what I suggest you do. When you get to Rosa Parks station on the SE 2nd Street, hire a bicycle from the Zagster bike share scheme.
In Gainesville, there are so many cycleways. You can make cycling on any of the many cycleways an early morning exercise.
One of the special places to cycle is the 6th Street Rail Trail. This Rail Trail is a combination of country and urban.
You may decide to cycle along the Loblolly Woods Nature Park.
You can download the Zagster app online. There, you will be urged to fill a membership form. Zagster offers an hour ride on their cycle for free. Then subsequent hours are charged.
A perfect addition to your list of stuff to do in Gainesville FL as it will give you a good view of this city. One you will always cherish throughout your lifetime.
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Loblolly Woods Nature Park
Now, I want you to imagine a hundred and fifty plus acres of land. Now, imagine that this land is a forest filled with enormous Loblolly Pines.
What you just imagined above is kind of a picture of the Loblolly Woods Nature Park.
Loblolly Woods Nature Park is located on the border of the districts boundary. You can get to the Park by coming through the 8th Avenue.
What makes Loblolly Woods Park one of the most visited or used Parks in Gainesville is because it has so many trails and also has a water beside it.
Most hikers and cyclists use these trails coupled with the fact that the Woods intersect with the Hogtown Creek. So, it is never lonely.
You can take a stroll alongside the waters or you can head deeper in the wood and watch nature showcase its beauty.
Dont forget to wear decent walking shoes while going for a walk. The trails are quite dusty.
Harn Museum Of Art At The University Of Florida
Harn Museum of Art is one of the most amazing places to visit Gainsville and best of all, its free of charge! Harn Museum of Art has over 11,000 stunning pieces of art to look at. Their exhibits are frequently changing, keeping all the exhibits new and fresh, so you can come back later and check out their new exhibits. At the Harn Museum of Art, youll be able to view a number of different types of exhibitions in 16 different galleries to choose from. Their exhibits feature many different African, Asian, modern and contemporary art pieces. They also have many historic and artistic photographs for you to check out. This very interesting museum is a great place to bring your friends and family to look at some amazing art pieces!
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Samuel P Harn Musuem Of Art
Diverse, contemporary art is showcased here, plus classrooms, gardens, and a café. Kid-friendly guides, scavenger hunts, and year-round art activities engage children in the exhibits and encourage them to harness their creativity. Donation-based Family Days at the museum occur five times per year and include a tour.
Fun Things To Do In Gainesville Florida
Though its best known as the location of the University of Florida, theres a lot more to Gainesville than a college campus.
It has a rich history dating back thousands of years to the time of hunter-gatherers, and many of its wild forests and wetlands have been carefully preserved to this day.
Its an absolute haven for nature lovers who like to get away from it all.
Theres another side to Gainesville, however, that is a lively college town, so theres plenty to see and do for active vacationers.
There are shops and restaurants there are malls, museums, nightclubs and breweries. If you like to cut loose, you wont lack for opportunities.
You might be wondering where to get started. What are the biggest attractions in the area? What are some travel hacks that you can use for having a great time?
If youre wondering how to plan a trip to one of the coolest destinations in Florida, here are just a few things to do in Gainesville.
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Harrys Seafood Bar And Grill
Bringing the authentic flavors and aromas of New Orleans to Gainesville, Harrys Seafood Bar and Grill has been pleasing palates since its inception in 1987. Since then, the restaurant has grown by leaps and bounds. Right at the top of the menu you will find traditional Fried Green Tomatoes and Boudin Balls heading the list of appetizers. Other uniquely New Orleans favorites on the menu include Jambalaya, Shrimp n Grits and their ever-popular New Orleans Ribeye. They serve a great selection of cocktails including Harrys Hurricane, the Bayou Bloody Mary and the Southern Mule, as well as a good selection of wines by the glass or bottle.
Harrys Seafood Bar and Grill, 110 S E 1st Street, Gainesville, FL 32601, 352 372 1555