Kids Activities in Gainesville

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Thought it was opened just in 2012, the Harn Museum of Art's 26,000-square foot David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing has quite a bit of history on its hands. There are nearly 700 works on display, all chosen from the museum's collection of more than 2,000 pieces. Dating from the Neolithic period to today, the pieces hail from countries such as India, Persia, Vietnam, and Japan.

Asian art makes up a quarter of the Harn's more than 10,000 works, which, along with travelling exhibitions, fill 32,800 square feet of gallery space. You’ll walk past African wooden masks, metalwork, and ceramics, as well as almost 1,000 modern prints, drawings, and paintings—including canvases by Claude Monet.

Breaking the tradition of many art museums’ “Do not touch” signs, the Bishop Study Center has exhibit-related objects that can be gently touched, though you are not allowed to break apart any sculptures in search of hidden treasure maps. Beyond exhibits, the Harn hosts frequent events including lectures, film screenings, live performances, and interactive programs for students and families.

3259 Hull Road
Gainesville,
FL
US

Up to 22 gas-powered go-karts at a time can hug the twists and turns of Skate Station Funworks' more than 800-foot track. While the go-kart course is the park's longest attraction, it's not the tallest?that honor goes to the indoor rock-climbing wall. Besides climbing and driving, fun at Skate Station ranges from hitting homers in batting cages to putting balls past a landlocked airboat on the swamp-themed mini-golf course. Children aged 10 or younger can explore the three levels of the Kid's Adventure soft play space, whereas guests of all ages can compete in classic games such as air hockey at the arcade. All these attractions share a home with Skate Station's namesake, an indoor roller-skating rink where visitors can groove to Top 40 hits or learn skating fundamentals during lessons.

1311 NW 76th Blvd
Gainesville,
FL
US

At Splitz, bowling is never the same as it was the day before. That's because the fun-focused bowling center rolls out a slate of nightly specialties such as family nights, bowling and laser-tag nights, team trivia, and karaoke. Abuzz with festive lights and the din of toppled pins, Splitz also makes an ideal spot for shindigs such as birthday parties, company parties, and bachelor parties for soon-to-be married bowling balls.

1301 NW 76th Blvd
Gainesville,
FL
US

Clattering pins echo off the colorful walls beaming over Alley Gatorz? synthetic lanes, which host a hurtling horde of orbs until 1 a.m. on the weekends. Multicolored kicks safeguard toes for rounds of celebratory pin punting during cheerful games of knock-the-pins-down.

2606 NE Waldo Rd
Gainesville,
FL
US

The Easton Foundations' first-ever Harvest Hoedown corrals families for an afternoon of live music, archery, and spooky amusements. Beginning at 5 p.m., Root Redemption twangs out live bluegrass jams, and country tunes performed by special guest Bryce Carlisle cuddle up to eager eardrums. Children and adults can flex their bow muscles at the Try Archery station, and face painters coat features with colorful designs and forged presidential seals. Settle into the straw for a hayride through the surrounding woodland property, which, come nightfall, transmutes into a frightening trail. After harrowing drives through the forest, youngsters aged 13 and younger can tote candy bags or emptied-out urns around the festival to haul in trick-or-treat confections, complementing a supply of fall snacks and fare from Kazbor's Grille available for purchase. Guests are advised to bring their own blankets and chairs, and children aged 6 and younger gain free entry.

24820 Northwest 16th Avenue
Newberry,
FL
US

Two tails ranch shelters and cares for exotic animals across 20 acres of natural expanse, bolstered by the educational and awareness efforts of its nonprofit organization, All About Elephants. For more than 25 years, owner Patricia Zerbini has kept more than 100 elephants and exotic cats in her animal haven, where she trains, breeds, and provides medical care for these majestic creatures, in addition to building a comfortable place for them to retire from stressful careers as circus performers and stock traders. During tours, wildlife enthusiasts can gaze at giant elephants as they lumber throughout free-style enclosures and gain awareness as experts educate them about the plight of elephants in the modern world. The ranch also houses a variety of other domestic and exotic animals, along with a collection of fossils, artifacts, and elephant memorabilia, such as 500,000-hour audio books detailing each animal's memories.

18655 Northeast 81st Street
Williston,
FL
US