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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
A unique experience that has to be seen to be believed

When told about it I was not overly interested , but having witnessed it the event I can only... read more

Reviewed 9 May 2017
colin g
Rainham, United Kingdom

Awesome wave of flapping madness! Just after sunset you will be witness to thousands of bats... read more

Reviewed 1 May 2017
Christine B
via mobile
Read all 309 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 (309)
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11 - 20 of 309 reviews

Reviewed 9 May 2017

When told about it I was not overly interested , but having witnessed it the event I can only describe it as a unique event that I have not witnessed before and was very pleased that I went to witness it. Be aware that it...More

Thank colin g
Reviewed 1 May 2017 via mobile

Awesome wave of flapping madness! Just after sunset you will be witness to thousands of bats heading out to hunt down mosquitoes​! Can't miss it

Thank Christine B
Reviewed 30 April 2017

Went for the first time over graduation weekend, spring 2017, and a large crowd was there. Sunset was to be at 8:05pm so we parked in the lot to the west at 7:45pm and got bench seats. Waited and waited... finally at 8:30pm, when we...More

Thank JFGainesville
Reviewed 29 April 2017 via mobile

He planned this trip! I thought it would be spooky but it was really cool! The little kids loved it! Very interesting! Would go again!

Thank fullnelson75
Reviewed 19 April 2017 via mobile

Aside from the seven little bats that the hungry hawk ate before the mass of them left the houses, this experience was awesome! We missed going there the last time we were in town & made it a point to go this time. It was...More

Thank traveler202020
Reviewed 11 April 2017

The bat house on the UF campus is definitely one of the coolest things in Gainesville, but, like all things nature-related, it requires patience. If you get there on the right night, the bats will slowly start to emerge around sunset, first one-by-one, then a...More

1  Thank flskycat
Reviewed 10 April 2017 via mobile

It does list it on the website but there are no signs around that the bats do not come out below 65 degrees! I've lived in Gainesville three years and have heard a lot of chatter about the evening spectacle. I have driven by when...More

1  Thank Scott S
Reviewed 26 March 2017 via mobile

My 8 yr old, husband and i enjoyed it very much. Once they start coming out, hundreds upon hundreds keep on coming. I could smell a string scent of urine once they started to fly out but my husband could not. I saw some people...More

Thank KTRP
Reviewed 14 March 2017

Very interesting 15-20 minutes from dusk til dark. Thousands of bats flying together in harmony. Well worth getting there early to take in the beautiful lake across the street while waiting for dark to fall. There is a very smart hawk in the trees who...More

Thank klordh
Reviewed 11 March 2017 via mobile

I wonder what people must think if they drive by without knowing what's going on! I've been wanting to see this and tonight was a first. People gather and wait patiently. First just a few bats, then they start pouring out - spinning and swirling....More

Thank Kate S H
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Are pets permitted?
11 June 2017|
Answer Show all 11 answers
Response from StephanieKowacz | Reviewed this property |
Yes, well behaved leashed pets are always welcome outdoors in Gainesville area.
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