Forget Football Weekends: Alternative Weekend Activities

Now that several weeks of the semester have passed by, most students think they have got the Gainesville weekend routine all figured out: tailgate, game, then clubbing to celebrate the glorious Gator victory. That is all fine and dandy but doesn’t even scratch the surface of what Gainesville has to offer. These alternative options can help diversify the somewhat overdone Gainesville weekend.


  • See a show at The Hipp.

The Hippodrome Theatre is one of Gainesville’s best-kept secrets. This state-of-the-art historical theater is a dramatic performance haven. The Hippodrome screens independent films in its cinema and hosts plays on its main stage. So if your Saturday night is looking a little bland, a quick trip down West University will have you feeling cultured and thoroughly entertained. The Hippodrome State Theatreis located at 25 SE 2nd Pl.

  • Go all natural.

Let us not forget our location - Gainesville is in the heart of north Florida. The natural gems that lie on the outskirts of Gainesville should not be overlooked. Enjoy the simple life for the weekend at Lake Wauberg or Ginnie Springs. Both of the parks offer a variety of outdoor activities from tubing to rock climbing. These weekend activities will secure you a healthy dose of fresh air and adrenaline.

  • Check out the local music scene.

Yes, believe it or not there is a local music scene that consists of more than just DJ’s and rappers performing in parking lots. Gainesville is home to a diverse independent music market, and venues like 1982 Bar and Double Down Live are to thank for that. You can find an interesting event and a crowd at any one of these venues almost any night of the week. Mix up your weekend with a karaoke night, local band performance, or a performance by well-known indie rockers. There are plenty of establishments around town ready to dish out fine tunes, a great atmosphere and of course a Gainesville staple: liquor.

  • Visit museums.

Gainesville won’t be giving Washington D.C. a run for its money any time soon but it is home to quite a few museums that are well-worth checking out. The Harn Museum of Art or The Florida Museum of Natural History, both located on UF’s campus, offer a wide variety of culture. Expand your mind and acquire more knowledge to whip out on trivia nights. Not only is it healthy but it is also surprisingly fun. 

  • Enjoy some good eats.

You can’t discuss the cultural merits of Gainesville without mentioning the abundance of fabulous eateries. Take a stroll through Bo DiddleyPlaza at night and try not to be enchanted by the antique streetlamps and cobblestone roads. While you’re at it, stop by Maude’s or The Top to indulge in a unique dining experience that’ll make you never look at dining-hall food the same way again. These restaurants offer more than just delicious food, they offer the ambiance of downtown with laidback outdoor patios perfect for taking in the sights of a busy Saturday night.