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Your Guide to Gainesville’s Fall Festivities

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Fall is upon us, and while it may still be 85 degrees in Gainesville, there are plenty of fall activities to get you in the seasonal spirit. Throughout the months of October and November, you can find something that everyone in the family will enjoy in Gainesville:

Amber Brooke Farm Fall Festival (Weekends, Sept. 23 – Oct. 29)

Amber Brooke Farm’s biggest festival is back for another year, and there’s something to make everyone happy. Pick pumpkins, explore the farm’s crop maze, visit the petting zoo, listen to live music or eat from local vendors. There’s a chance for photo opportunities, or test out your archery skills at the archery range on site. Tickets are on sale through their website for $15, or $17 if you buy on site! The farm is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Newberry Cornfield Maze (now through Oct. 28)

Founded in 2004, the Newberry Cornfield Maze is open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The cornfield maze and offered hayride are great excursions for families, but they warn that things can get spooky after nightfall. For children 10 and under admission is $20, and for adults admission is $25

Pumpkin Festival at The Bryer Patch (Oct. 14 & 15)

You can find a fun outdoor activity for fall at the Bryer Patch. This pumpkin festival takes place on Oct. 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a $12 admission fee (children 2 and under are free). Admission includes the farm’s pre-picked pumpkin patch, the crop maze, hayrides, a farm animal petting zoo, photo opportunities, the play paddock where horses are kept and games! You can also purchase treats to feed the farm animals, pumpkins and u-pick sunflowers and zinnias for an additional cost. The farm strongly advises visitors to wear closed-toe shoes, and kindly warns visitors that you may be exposed to the elements since it’s an outdoor activity.

UF/IFAS Extension Extravaganza & Food Truck Rally (Oct. 14)

On October 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., UF/IFAS i0s hosting this family-friendly event at the Alachua County Agriculture and Equestrian Center, and it’s got something for everyone. Activity booths at the extravaganza will feature UF/IFAS employees that serve the Alachua community. Master Gardener Volunteers will host a herb plant sale, and some members will host presentations on educational topics like poultry, snakes, cheeses and pollinators. There will also be a chance to support local vendors through the many food trucks that will be on site. Ice cream, tacos, burgers and more — there’s food for every type of taste bud!

Waldo’s Annual Fall Festival (Oct. 14)

In Waldo’s City Square, the city will host its annual Fall Festival. From 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., the festival, with no admission fee, has games, music, local food and business vendors and more! Waldo has been hosting this seasonal festival for 30 years and counting!

Gainesville Cycling Fest (Oct. 21 & 22)

The 42nd Annual Cycling Festival is perfect for an active family, and offers various mileage options. Saturday rides include the Santa Fe Century and Gravel Challenge, which showcase Gainesville’s beautiful rural scenes. Saturday festivities begin at the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida, and the organization receives proceeds from the event. Sunday’s ride, the Horse Farm Hundred, takes cyclists into Marion County, the horse capital of
the world. There are some beautiful scenes on this ride, but significant elevation gain.

Friends of the Library Fall 2023 Book Sale (Oct. 21 – 25)

A book lover’s dream! This book sale is the largest book sale in Florida with over 500,000 books, records, posters, CDs, DVDs and games for sale. The items sold were donated and you can expect prices to range from $0.25 to $4 for most items. All proceeds go to Alachua County Libraries and literacy projects.

Florida Bat Festival (Oct. 21)

For 19 years, the Lubee Bat Conservancy has hosted this family-friendly fall festival to honor the most famous flying mammal in the world. Gates to the festival open at 10 a.m. and admission is $5 for ages 5 to 12; $10 for 13 and up; and $30 for 21 and up who want to attend the beer
garden. There’s a lot to see between local artisans, food vendors, live music and the kids zone!

Sunny’s Howl-A-Palooza (Oct. 22)

Going on 33 years, this super spooky fall carnival has something for everyone. The $25 dollar entrance for kids provides access to rock climbing, carnival games, bounce houses, a haunted house, train rides and other carnival festivities. Adults get in for $10, and the proceeds will go to the Food4Kids Backpack Program of North Florida and The UF Cancer Research Center inmemory of Linda Bennet. In 2022, the carnival donated $25,000.

More Fall Events:

In Florida, the weather may not change too drastically and you may not pull your sweaters out until January, but that won’t stop Alachua County from participating in the fall fun. With events almost every weekend from now until December, there’s a fall activity for everyone in your family.

Happy Fall,

The Sweetwater Branch Inn