Whether you live in the swamp or are just visiting, Gainesville has a lot to offer to its people. It can become difficult to keep your kiddos occupied during these last days of summer while staying on a budget. Here are 10 free things to do in Gainesville with your kids!
Due to COVID-19, make sure to check with each establishment, as they might be closed or requiring face masks for entry.
Go on a Hike
Gainesville has a plethora of parks and preserves that you can hike on with the whole family! Sweetwater Wetlands Park and Gainesville-HawthorneState Trail are two great options for a nice afternoon stroll.
Visit a Skate Park
Gainesville has three main skate parks, Albert “Ray” Massey (Westside), Possum Creek and Northeast Complex. You can learn more about all three parks by visiting cityofgainesville.org. Note that is a skate park for skate boarders, in-line skaters and BMX riders, so make sure you know your kiddo’s skill level before taking them to the skate park. Also, it is not a playground, so make sure younger kiddos do not use any of the equipment for playing or sliding on the ramps.
A. Quinn Jones Museum and Cultural Center
This free, permanent exhibition focuses on A. Quinn Jones, a community leader and educator. Within the museum, there are other exhibits centered around various Gainesville figures, who were also champions of the civil rights movement.
Virtual Events with the Alachua County Library District
You can join the Alachua County Library for virtual story times, music connections, bracelet making and more right from your home! Go to their website to explore all they have to offer!
Your children can play on the playground and enjoy the open grass. For more low-key activities, Depot Park is just a great place to relax on the benches or simply watch the birds. Pets are allowed, too!
Florida Museum of Natural History
For an educational day, head over to Florida’s official state-sponsored history museum. Also, the Butterfly Rainforest that is attached to the museum is great for the whole family.
Westside Park and Recreation Center
This park is located at 1001 NW 34th Street, Gainesville, FL 32605. The hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. It is one of Gainesville’s biggest parks with plenty of things to do! Enjoy the basketball court, hiking trails, playgrounds and more!
This state wildlife preserve features endangered plant species and different kinds of animals. If your children love nature and gators, this is definitely the place to be.
UF Bat Barn and Bat House
Watch the bats fly out of their house before sunset. UF’s Bat Barn has world’s largest bat houses and should definitely be one of the top free things to do in Gainesville with your family.
This modern and contemporary museum, right on UF’s Campus, allows for a fun-filled family day. You can all browse around 600 works of art, shop in the store and dine in their café!
Gainesville Solar Walk
Get your exercise in and walk down Eighth Avenue while exploring the 4 billion to one scale model of the solar system.
Get outside and enjoy these 10 free things to do in Gainesville with your kiddos!
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