Sure, Santa Claus may live in the cold of North Pole, but we’ve heard that he enjoys his quick stop in The Swamp! The holiday season is in full swing this month in Gainesville, and there’s plenty to do to get into the holiday spirit. Check out what’s going on around town this December.
The football team is going bowling, and basketball season is heating up as winter rolls in. What a great time to be a Gator!
- UF (Jimmy V Classic) vs. West Virginia (Dec. 9th, 9:00pm)
- UF vs. Michigan State (Dec. 8th, 12:00pm)
- UF vs. Mercer (Dec. 18th, 8:00pm)
- UF (Orange Bowl Classic) vs. Florida Gulf Coast (Dec. 22nd, 5:00pm)
- UF vs. Butler (Dec. 29th, TBA)
- UF (SEC/Big 12 Challenge) vs. Texas Tech (Dec. 2nd, 2:00pm)
- UF vs. Bethune-Cookman (Dec. 5th, 7:00pm)
- UF vs. Florida A&M (Dec. 9th, 2:00pm)
- UF @ Ohio State (Dec. 16th, 1:00pm)
- UF (Duel in the Desert) vs. Utah (Dec. 20th, 3:00pm)
- UF (Duel in the Desert) vs. UNLV or Hawaii (Dec. 21st, TBA)
- UF vs. Charleston Southern (Dec. 30th, 2:00pm)
There’s no reason not to be jolly for the holidays with so much to do to get you in the spirit! Check out the array of festivals, lighting ceremonies, and parades in Gainesville this December.
- 29th Annual Pond Lighting @ North Florida Regional (Dec. 1st, 5:00pm-8:00pm)
Another year of lighting up the pond in front of the North Florida Regional Medical Center will include hot cocoa and cookies, ornament decorating, horse-drawn carriage rides and sled rides with real snow. Yea, real snow.
- Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration @ Historic Thomas Center (Dec. 1st, 6:00pm-8:00pm) Free
The annual tree lighting ceremony will be the talk of the town! Come enjoy light refreshments and possibly a little snow!
- Blackadder’s Christkindlmarkt @ Blackadder Brewing Company (Dec. 7th-8th, 4:00pm-9:00pm) Free
Crafts, food vendors, holiday music and of course, beer. What better way to celebrate the holidays?!
- Hawthorne’s 36th Annual Christmas Festival and Parade @ Downtown Hawthorne (Dec. 8th, 11:00am) Free
Carnival rides, a parade, gift booths and more! Bring that special someone to partake in holiday cheer with you and even meet Santa!
- Ninth Annual Downtown Gainesville Santa Crawl @ V Pizza and SideCar (Dec. 8th, 6:00pm) $20.00
Dress as Santa, go to bars. I mean you could do that any time in December but this way you’ll get free drinks and also won’t look like a weirdo.
- 2nd Annual Ugly Sweater Contest @ Blackadder Brewing Company (Dec. 21st, 4:00pm-10:00pm) Free
Ugly Christmas sweaters steal our hearts every December. Now you can win money for having the ugliest?! Game on. Also if you lose, there’s beer to ease the disappointment.
The holidays aren’t the only thing happening this month, just most of what’s happening. But if you need a break from the eggnog and Christmas carols, swing by one of the other non-festive (but still fun!) events happening around town.
- 37th Downtown Festival & Art Show @ Downtown Gainesville(Dec. 1st-2nd, 10:00am-5:00pm) Free
Experience art, music, and culture in Downtown Gainesville! Enjoy beautiful art that showcases over 240 artists and 4 stages of continuous entertainment.
- Brewery Yoga @ First Magnitude Brewing Company (Dec. 2nd, 1:00pm-2:00pm) $5 donation request
Get fit and drunk at the same time! Not sure if one will cancel out the other, but you sure will have fun!
- Alachua Main Street Festival @ Main Street Alachua (Dec. 4th, 11:00am-5:00pm) Free
Stroll through a walk of food and goods vendors on a lovely December day! Local music will be playing to keep the vibe upbeat during the 16th year of this festival.
- Gainesville Harley-Davidson 17th Annual Chili Cookoff @ Gainesville Harley-Davidson (Dec. 8th, 12:00pm-4:00pm) Free
Try some chili or bring some yourself! Winner takes $500, and proceeds from the event go toward Alachua Humane Society.
These are just a few of the exciting events happening throughout Gainesville this December! Though not many concerts are coming around the city, there’s still a chance to catch shows in nearby Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tallahassee. For more events, festivals, and activities happening locally, check out the calendars below!