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University of Florida Bat House

#5 of 63 things to do in Gainesville Features Animals
Museum Road, Near Lake Alice, Gainesville, FL 32611
+1 352-273-2054
Review Highlights
Sunset is best, of course

What for the very first brave bat to exsit for the evening feast over the lake (beautiful sunset... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Gainesville, Florida
Bats Galore!

This was a great evening activity! We got there about a half an hour before sunset and hung out... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
via mobile
Read all 312 reviews
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The University of Florida Bat Barn and Bat House are the world's largest occupied bat houses, with an estimated population of more than 350,000. The structures are located on the north side of Museum Road between Village Drive and Radio Road across from Lake Alice on the UF campus. Parking is available in a lot just west of the bat houses near Radio Road. A sidewalk leads from the parking lot to the observation area. A UF parking decal is required Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Parking is free after 4:30 p.m. weekdays, and on weekends and state holidays. The bats normally emerge during a 15- to 20-minute period after sunset, before total darkness on calm, warm evenings when temperatures are above 65 F. Bats may swoop near those observing the emergence to eat insects attracted to the carbon dioxide in human breath, however they will not attack or harm people when left alone. High winds, heavy rain or cold temperatures will keep the bats in the house for the evening. On warm winter evenings, the bats may come out for a drink of water at the lake and exercise; however they can eat only when bugs are flying.
  • Excellent66%
  • Very good27%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
Museum Road, Near Lake Alice, Gainesville, FL 32611
+1 352-273-2054
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Reviews (312)
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1 - 10 of 297 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago

What for the very first brave bat to exsit for the evening feast over the lake (beautiful sunset behind the chapel). But when he does, he is sure to bed snapped up mid air by the hawk. Stamped of bats ensue (just keep your mouth...More

Thank czuzh
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

This was a great evening activity! We got there about a half an hour before sunset and hung out until the main attractions decided to stop hanging out. The bats are slow to emerge, but once they begin it is like being in the middle...More

Thank irishuga4h
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

You arrive here about sunset & wait 15 minutes. All of the bats swarm out. For best viewing, stand on the gravel path near the last house. Parking is very close & free at night.

Thank TravelingfromPace
Reviewed 6 days ago

Bazillian bats at dusk fly out of the bat houses nightly. Wow. Okay, that's about it. If you've never gone, a must see. Lovely area across the street from Lake Alice on UF campus. But, if you've seen it once, you're probably good unless bringing...More

Thank H3487AQmarya
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

It was first time to see this huge numbers of bats in the same time. They said there are hundreds​of thousands of them. It was great experience.

Thank Saud M
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We brought dinner and ate on the picnic tables nearby while we waited for the bats to emerge. It was fun seeing thousands of bats searching for their dinner of insects!

1  Thank SuzieQT2
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

If you go to Gainesville, you have to make some time to participate in this UF tradition and witness thousand upon thousands of small bats leaving their habitat at dusk. This is an impressive sighting.

Thank oscari995
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Park in the free public lot to the left of the bat houses walk back and wait until dusk at the fence. You only need watch 15 minutes as the clouds of bats swarm out. It is worth the wait. If you go late, you...More

2  Thank solomonknibb
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is a fun end to an evening. During twilight several hawks began to gather around the bat house (much like the humans). There is a subtle smell of bat guano surrounding the area adding to the mystique. A couple of people had umbrellas; although...More

2  Thank Wanderlust_at_dawn
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is an enjoyable visit at dusk and most any evening, it kind of becomes an event. Thousands of bats come out at dusk, starting with just a few but more and more. They are smaller than I expected them to be but sheer numbers...More

1  Thank Claudia P
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Are pets permitted?
11 June 2017|
Answer Show all 12 answers
Response from Paul R | Property representative |
The bat houses are outside on the UF campus, and pets on leashes are permitted. The viewing area is right on Museum Road, so having pets on a leash is definitely a good idea.
Beth C
What is the best time of year to come
21 May 2016|
Answer Show all 8 answers
Response from edneufl | Reviewed this property |
As far as I know they come out every evening, right at dusk, so come a little early and wait around, they may have a different sense of dusk than yourself.
Where to park??
4 February 2016|
Answer Show all 7 answers
Response from Claudia P | Reviewed this property |
Parking lot on property