We've visited the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville at least six times already. Here's why: $4 to park, free admission to the museum which is incredible (donations are encouraged). Hands-on interactive displays, many with a great wow-factor. There also is a butterfly rainforest with a $10.50 admission and another temporary exhibit which costs $8. Their permanent free exhibits are great. For lunch you can eat at the cafe or bring your own and eat at the picnic tables outside of the museum next to the "frog wall." Their Discovery Room is full of hands-on activities for little ones. In summary a really nice museum for people of all ages.
Here is the monthly Satchel's post.
Who doesn't enjoy a Walk-O-Junk after a delicious pizza?
The post that I did on the Bagel Bakery on 4113 16th Boulevard has been bothering me. Taking pictures of things in public places takes getting used to. As a result of me not being used to doing this that post doesn't do the BB justice. So here are some pics which illustrate more reasons (in addition to their awesome boiled bagels) to go--including an excellent cup of coffee. An amazing thing about Gainesville is that generosity seems to be in the water around here. In so many ways Gainesvillites are doing great things to help others. Inspiring!
Roger's Farm is a true working farm on the north side of Gainesville that celebrates the Halloween season with a huge corn maze, a mini corn maze, petting zoo, pony rides, hay rides, a large bouncy thing (?), a vortex tunnel, a tractor-pulled mini-train, play house, pretend horsey races, a spooky forest walk, slushes, and deep fried oreo cookies. $10 for all of the above with the large maze (except the slush and cookies). $8 for everything with only the mini maze. We'll be back for pick your-own-strawberries in April!
The happiness is spreading! A couple weeks ago a co-worker and I spent a day visiting some great spots in Gainesville. You can read about them on CoLab Radio.
Morningside Living History Farm is part of the Morningside Nature Center. Admission to the farm is free which is open September through May, Tuesday through Saturday, from 9:00-4:30. A picture perfect living history museum where little ones can feed Penny the Cow, ramble around, and observe the park staff dressed in 1870 period clothes and performing daily duties in the woodshop, kitchen, forgery, et cetera. Added bonus: tasting homemade biscuits with hand-churned butter and cane syrup.
Morningside Nature Center is part of the City of Gainesville's Nature Operations Division. Located at 3540 East University Avenue the Center is a 10 minute drive from downtown Gainesville. Admission is free and the property includes an educational center, 5 miles of walking trails, and some great interpretive displays like the ones pictured here. No one was around during our visit (on a national holiday) and following the cell phone dial-in tour doesn't work with the Rock Star. But despite our ignorance over what we were seeing we enjoyed the fresh air and beautiful new place to explore. The property also includes the Morningside Living History Farm which was closed during our visit but didn't stop us from having a lot of fun at this great park and has given us a reason to visit again, soon!
We have had a great summer in Gainesville, and the constant temps in the 90s have not really bothered us, but now that the heat and humidity have finally broken we are excited to explore the town with high temps in the 80s (F) and lows in the 60s (F). We've heard that things won't get chilly until Thanksgiving, but by our northeastern climate standards we expect that Gainesville's "chilly" will be nice and comfy to us.
Fall in Gainesville means riding our bikes more, walking more, mid-afternoon trips to parks, and an onslaught of community events. October and November are packed with festivals and fairs around Gainesville and the surrounding towns including:
- Rogers Farm Corn Maze
- Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Orchid Show & Fall Plant Sale
- Florida Museum of Natural History Butterflyfest
- The Fest
- Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale
- Gainesville Downtown Festival and Art Show
We're looking forward to going out to as many of them as we can!
For real, chewy, authentic boiled bagels go to the Bagel Bakery at 4113 16th Boulevard in Gainesville. I was shy about taking photos in this busy cafe on a Sunday morning at 8:30 am so let me describe it for you.
Exterior: Strip mall with a post office, Publix, CVS, and a couple other shops. The Bagel Bakery has some outdoor cafe tables.
Interior: Awesome large cafe with ample seating, great ambiance, and local artists' work displayed on the walls.
They have other baked goods and make sandwiches but I always just grab a dozen bagels to go. $10.99 for thirteen real bagels. I don't understand why anyone makes bagels any other way. Thank you Bagel Bakery! Thank you!
A 45 minute drive outside of Gainesville in the town of Cross Creek, Florida, the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park and The Yearling Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge make a perfect day trip to the country.
The Park: picnic tables, a great playground, and frequent tours of Rawlings house which is complete with chickens running free around the grounds and a small grove of orange trees. $3 entrance fee, $3 per person for the tour.
The Restaurant: fried green tomatoes, old Florida feel, regulars lined up before the place opens, and Willie Green singing the blues and playing slide guitar and harmonica at noon on a Sunday. All made for a perfect day!