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Creating Memories that last a lifetime- Family Entertainment in Greater Gainesville

Creating Memories that last a lifetime- Family Entertainment in Greater Gainesville

Fun entertainment ideas for the whole family


Family time is the highlight of a busy week –– for kids and parents. Weekends are meant for spending time together and making memories.

Greater Gainesville offers plenty of options for family fun. From educational to creative to adventurous, there is a choice for every interest and ability.

Here are some fun-filled ideas for family entertainment.



Florida Museum’s Buttery Rainforest – Gainesville

Nature lovers will enjoy this cannot-miss living exhibit. The Butterfly Rainforest features hundreds of free-flying butterflies, moths and birds from around the world. Children might also spot turtles and fish.

Tropical trees, colorful flowering plants and waterfalls adorn the picturesque landscape. Knowledgeable staff can answer questions to ensure the experience is educational. Weather permitting, visitors can view the live butterfly spotlight Monday through Friday at 2:00 p.m.


Know Before You Go: Ticket sales and exhibit entrance close at 4:30 p.m.



Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens – Williston


A day outdoors is good for the soul. This gorgeous botanical garden has cascading waterfalls and breathtaking views. Spend the afternoon viewing koi ponds and more than 50 garden displays.


Cedar Lakes Woods Gardens’ mission is to instill respect and appreciation for environmental stewardship by inspiring the public with artistic botanical creations. They promote peace, humane education, animal rescue and environmental preservation.


Membership includes unlimited access to the gardens and newsletter. The price also includes free or discounted admission to special events, concerts and expos held throughout the year.


Know Before You Go: Closed Wednesdays. Open all holidays except Christmas Day. 



Santa Fe Zoo – Gainesville


The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo is home to more than 70 different species of animals and is supported by approximately 100 students enrolled in the renowned Zoo Animal Technology program at the college. The zoo offers a diverse collection, showcasing a mix of native and exotic species, providing a delightful experience for all visitors.


From Bald Eagles and White-throated capuchin monkeys to American alligators and Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo, guests can marvel at these captivating creatures and many others. The zoo’s natural and shaded environment, featuring a quarter-mile trail lined with mulch, ensures a pleasant and accessible experience for visitors, whether they are strolling or using a wheelchair.


Know Before You Go: Visiting hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with last entry at 2:30 p.m. The zoo is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas




Pinspiration – Gainesville 

Pinspiration’s colorful studio offers families a chance to unleash their inner artist. They provide high-quality art supplies and a clean, inspiring place to put it all together. Snacks and beverages (including beer and wine for those over 21) are available for purchase.


Each person can create their own idea on the spot or choose a popular “pinned” social media craft trends. There are plenty of art, decor, gift and accessories project options for adults and children. Families that want to get messy can book time in the Splatter Room!


Pinspiration hosts classes, workshops, kids’ camps, parents’ nights out and crafting community events. A Wednesday afternoon drop off children’s crafting club is open on Alachua County Public Schools early dismissal days.


Know Before You Go: Reservations are recommended. Special times outside normal business hours are available for groups of 8 or more.


The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention – Gainesville

Inspire future inventors with a visit to the unique museum named after Dr. James Robert Cade, the lead inventor of Gatorade. Curious children looking to roll up their sleeves and try new experiments will enjoy this educational outing.

Visionaries of all ages can experience hands on programming designed to spark imagination and inspire creativity. Meet entrepreneurs through forums, classes and other events. Educational programs offer kids the chance to become inventors.

The museum frequently introduces new exhibits in different areas of science and invention.

Know Before You Go: Children under four are free.


The Repurpose Project Creative Tables – Gainesville


The Repurpose Project Community Center is dedicated to embracing sustainable practices and prioritizing the things that truly matter: Meaningful experiences, community, art, music and creative expression. They offer a diverse range of workshops and activities for both adults and children, including fix-it days where old items are repaired, not replaced; open-ended play sessions where the possibilities are endless and even tie dye days to get that perfect spiral.


Additionally, the center hosts live music performances, captivating art displays, mesmerizing dance shows, gallery openings, puppet shows, trash fashion shows, community yard sales, clothing swaps and other exciting experiences that foster community engagement and inspire a mindful approach to consumption.


Know Before You Go: Check their website, Instagram @therepurposeproject or Facebook The Repurpose Project to see their upcoming events.




KidStrong – Gainesville


Children walking through 11 years old can participate in a unique curriculum focused on building stronger kids through innovative training. KidStrong aims to help kids discover their superpowers, get them future-ready and who are confident in making friends and participating in school.


The private training center runs classes with custom equipment and KidStrong-Certified Coaches. A team of professionals and developed curriculum focus on whole child development. Brain development programming is designed to increase physical literacy, strength and mental toughness. Physical development exercises concentrate on life skills, confidence and general athleticism. Character Development lessons promote problem solving and creativity.


Online access to experts and training programs are available for parents and kids to continue progress at home.


Know Before You Go: Classes are for KidStrong members and reservations are required. 


Flip Factory Zone – Gainesville

This premiere entertainment park has a multi-level trampoline deck with features for guests of all ages. Try the ninja course, rope course, basketball or dodgeball. Win prizes in the arcade or climb the four-story jungle gym. Check out the axe-throwing lanes or laser tag arena.

A toddler area zone allows younger children to play in a safer space. There is a full-service café with meals and snacks.

Know Before You Go: Lockers are available to rent.

Amber Brooke Farms – Williston 

Experience the beauty of picking fresh fruit and flowers at this scenic agritourism destination. Choose from blueberries, strawberries, peaches, sunflowers and zinnias.

Childrens activities include a ball zone, barrel train ride, bubble barn, corn hole, duck race, gemstone mining, jump pillows, platform playground, slide hill, wagon ride, spider web and a tire sand pit with diggers.

The Fall Festival has a large corn maze and a large variety of pumpkins to choose from. The February Strawberry Festival features a strawberry mascot, live music, face painting, food trucks, strawberry shortcake eating contest, relay races, and arts and craft vendors.

Know Before You Go: No coolers or pet allowed. U-Pick access is complimentary. Farm Fun Passes and tickets for special events are available online. Free parking.  

See Also



Savage Junior – Gainesville  

Children that enjoy flying over hurdles, trampling through mud or careening through walls of foam will love this adventure experience. Enthusiastic staff monitor each wave of the obstacle course and parents are encouraged to play too.

There are two waves at each start time. The first wave is a half-mile course designed for children ages eight and under. The second wave is a one-mile course with larger obstacles for children ages nine and older. Children can choose which race path they prefer. Each participant receives a Savage Race Finisher medal and T-shirt.

Know Before You Go: A spectator pass is included in each Savage Junior registration.


Skate Station Funworks & Splitz Bowling Center – Gainesville

The fun filled entertainment facility started as a skating arena but expanded to include much more. Located in the same plaza, families can bounce between Skate Station and Splitz for a full day of fun.

Choose from a 14,000 square foot roller skating rink, a 20-foot-high rock-climbing wall or a video arcade. The Kid’s Adventure soft play area is a three-story play gym for children 10 and under. Spend time at Swamp Golf 18-hole miniature golf course, Strikes multi-speed six bay batting cage or the Funworks Speedway go-kart racing. Splitz Bowling Center includes Thirsty Gator Sports Bar and Grille for when everyone needs a lunch break.

Know Before Your Go: The unlimited band includes roller skating, rock climbing, swamp golf and jumpworks. There is a $5 Spectator Fee for non-participants.

Kulaqua River Ranch Water Park – High Springs

Water activities are the perfect way to stay cool on a hot Florida day. This water park is designed for families of all ages, with a little something for everyone.

Rent one of their tubes and float down the 600-foot-long lazy river, ride the waves in their 15,000-square-foot wave pool or race down the loop-de-loop water slide. Play a friendly game of volleyball on the sand courts or enjoy a relaxing picnic in the shade.

Know Before You Go: Only available April–August. Open to the public on their Community Days, check their website to see their schedule.



Educational Exploration

Mudslinger Tours – Gainesville

Find a piece of history on an adventure to the lesser-explored areas of Gainesville. Knowledgeable guides lead families through creek tours in search of shark teeth, rocks, gems and fossils.

Gainesville Solar Walk – Gainesville

Marvel at this four-billion-to-one scale model of the solar system spanning nearly a mile. Each planet is represented with its own monument designed by artist Elizabeth Indianos. Each planet also has a bronze plaque designed by Tim Malles.


Playground Picks

Depot Park – Gainesville

Enjoy a sunny Florida day with free, classic fun. Pack a lunch and eat at the picnic pavilion or take a leisurely stroll through the conservation area. Children can stay active on the jungle gym and splash pad.

Bouncers – Gainesville

Take refuge from the heat at this 15,000-square-foot indoor playground. Children can release energy on the jungle gym complete with netted towers and inflatable bounce zones. Parents can join the fun too.



Family Fun at the Gainesville YMCA


There is plenty of active fun for everyone at the YMCA. Adults can work out in the gym, participate in group fitness classes or try water aerobics in the pool. Children can learn to swim or enjoy a week of summer camp. Teens can exercise or visit the newly created Youth and Teen Center.


The fitness center has modern workout equipment and a pool with community exercise classes. One-on-one sessions are available with personal trainers. An introductory tour teaches youth how to safely use the facility.

Youth and Teen Center

Children ages 10–16 can enjoy this new area dedicated to their interests. Pre-teens and teens can hang out with friends, do homework, use the computer lab or work on community service projects. Speakers and special guests are scheduled to interact with visitors.

Summer Camp

The YMCA summer fun offers kids a weekly theme camp designed to explore new skills and build confidence. Activities include arts and humanities, STEM and character development.




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