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 won’t break the bank, so we at Liv+ 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! 

Florida Museum of Natural History

Florida Museum of Natural History is a great and fun learning experience for people of all ages. At Florida Museum you’ll be able to visit all the 7 stunning natural history exhibits for completely free. The 7 free exhibits include the Florida Fossils exhibit, the Discovery Zone, where kids can learn about the natural world while still having fun and playing, the Indoor Butterfly Exhibit, and much more!  They also have some other exhibits like the Butterfly Rainforest which is an outdoor exhibit that can be purchased for a small fee. This a great way to spend the day with some friends and family without breaking the bank! 

University of Florida Bat Houses

The University of Florida Bat Houses has 2 of the largest bat houses in the world. The bat houses are available for visiting free of charge, but the bats will not emerge from their home until 15-20 minutes after sunset. UF Bat Houses recommend visiting during spring or early summer for the best viewing experience, as the bats will emerge sooner after sunset providing a longer period of twilight. At UF Bat Houses there is a whopping number of about 500,000 bats located in these houses, with a small percentage of them having rabies. UF Bat Houses ask visitors to take precautions by not picking up any bats since many of the fallen bats are more likely to have rabies and may bite. The University of Florida Bat Houses is a great place to visit to have some fun with family without having to spend much money.

Depot Park

Depot Park has an amazing array of different activities to do. If you have kids, you can take them to the Romp in the playground, at this playground kids are allowed to run, climb, and just have tons of fun, kids love it! If it’s a little too hot to be running around a playground, then take them to Splash in the Blue Grotto, but this part of the park isn’t just for kids, it’s for adults too! At Splash in the Blue Grotto, you’ll be able to play with water cannons, ground jets, and waterfalls. Depot park also features a conservation area, lots of events to participate in, a picnic area to enjoy a delicious lunch outside, and much more! Depot Park is the perfect place to spend the day with friends and family free of charge!

 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, it’s 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, you’ll 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!

Andrew R. Mickle, Sr. Pool

Andrew R. Mickle, Sr. Pool is a great place to go to have a nice long swim, on a hot summer day with the family, best of all it’s free on Thursdays and Fridays! This amazing pool features lap lanes, diving boards, showers, trained staff, swimming lessons, and a new pool climbing wall. Going for a swim is a great way to get some exercise while having some fun with the family. The pool is located on the south side of Gainesville near downtown which is a good location for everyone to join in on the fun. Mickle Pool is a must-visit for anyone who likes to swim! 

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