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19 May 2022
Things to Do
Posted by
Alyssa Hockensmith

May 2022 in Gainesville - Where to Go, What to Do


The spring semester may be over and the campus might be bereft of the many students who call UF home, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything left to do in the month of May. In fact, whether you're into sports, drama, music or flowers, Gainesville has something for everyone this spring.



One of the most memorable things about attending the University of Florida is the impeccable athletic department which hosts seventeen Division 1 men's and women's sports. Obviously, Gator football doesn't start up until the fall, but why not spend the day or night under stadium lights watching something other than football for a change?


This summer, for example, the UF Softball team is hosting the SEC tournament, starting May 10. For those who have never watched Gator Softball, you're truly missing out. The newly renovated Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium hosts the No. 9 ranked Gator softball team in this year's SEC tournament from May 10-14. It's a single-elimination tournament with all SEC teams that determines the champion of the conferences before the NCAA Women's College World Series. It's the first time since 2005 that the Lady Gators are hosting this prestigious tournament, and tickets for all games range from $50-$130 or single games are $10-$15 per game. Softball is one of those sports that you don't know you love until you watch it, so if you've never had the pleasure of taking in a game, now is your chance. In fact, according to Natasha Solano, sports editor for the Saint Peter's Tribune, college softball is one of the NCAA's fastest-growing sports with increased revenue and viewership across the regular and postseason play. If it's even entertaining to watch on ESPN, imagine the electricity of taking in a game in person, hot dog in hand, cheering on the Gators.


Along the same lines, though perhaps a little slower-paced, the Gator Baseball team takes on FSU on May 17 at 7pm. If there's two things that go together, it's summertime and baseball games. Though the boys won't be hosting the SEC tournament this year, the in-state rivalry between UF and FSU is one that we should all be familiar with. Take some extra days, explore the campus, and spend the evening at the ball field cheering on the Gators as they try to dominate the Seminoles.


In addition to Gator athletics, UF will also be home to the FHSAA Track and Field State Championships this year from May 11-14 at the James G. Presley Stadium on campus. High school students from across the state will be competing for the glory of being state champions. And who knows, maybe one day some of them will be Gators too, bringing that glory back to Gainesville. Admission is $11 per day if purchased in advance and $14 the day of the event.


If track and field isn't your thing, try watching an archery competition. The Gator Cup, held May 27 at the Easton Newberry Archery Center is a qualifying event for the US Archery Team. Embrace your inner Katniss Everdeen and enjoy food trucks and other vendors as people in all different age groups compete for a spot on the team. It's something different, new and exciting that the whole family can enjoy.



Sports aren't for everyone, but Gainesville has much more to offer than the athletic scene. The arts and culture in Gainesville are unique, interesting, and readily available in the summer.


Running from April 29-May 15 at the Hippodrome theatre in Downtown Gainesville, for instance, you'll find a unique play called The Revolutionists. The play is one part historical comedy and one part female empowerment. According to the website Visit Gainesville, the play follows "four badass women during the French Revolution's Reign of Terror" as they try to find a way to change the world in the middle of a revolution. While Bastille Day may not be until July, the prospect of watching a comedy situated during one of the most tumultuous and significant times in history sounds like a great way to kick off the summer.


Perhaps though, The Revolutionists is a bit too radical for you and you'd rather take in something a little more classic. Well, the High Springs Playhouse has that answer for you. On May 1, from 2-4pm, they are putting on a stage production of the classic novel The Jungle Book. Follow Mowgli and friends as they embark on an adventure of self-discovery and understanding. It's great for kids and tickets range from $10-$15. This kind of show is a great introduction to the theatre for anyone at any age.


If music is more your thing, there are some events for you too. On April 30, the Wooly, a local club, is hosting a Pop Punk and Emo Night, which would be a great addition to your itinerary if you're heading into town for Gator Stompin' on the 28th. See our Guide to Gator Stompin' for more details on that event. They'll be playing all your favorites from the 2000s, and it's only 18+ to enter, 21+ to drink.


Or, if you're looking for something a little more classical, check out the season finale of the Gainesville Orchestra with conductor Evans Haile on May 6 at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on UF's campus. This event gives you all the sophistication of the Philharmonic right here in Florida, all for the price of $35. It's a great way to kick off the Mother's Day weekend and treat your mom and yourself to something out of the ordinary.


Speaking of out of the ordinary, you could even give the blues a try in Gainesville this summer. On May 22, the Heartwood Soundstage is hosting Memphis blues man Mick Kolassa and Gainesville blues man Paco for an acoustic performance. Blues music is a classic sound of the South and why not feel a little southern as you explore one of central Florida's most well-known towns.


If you'd like to enjoy the sounds of the summer outdoors, you're in luck. On the third Thursday of every month, the City of Gainesville hosts a free concert series in Bo Diddley Plaza from 6:30-8:30pm. The next two dates are April 21 and May 19. On April 21, Pulp Arts present: rugh, Leah Rando, Suddenly, and Noe Moore. On May 19, it's the Singer-Songwriter Series, featuring Purple Kloud, Hannah Toombs, Lionel Jr., Mike Dorsey, Clay Dixon, Kim Lecouter, Jordan Burchel, Maggie Clifford, Giselle & Erik, Austin Brockner. It's a great way to spend some time outdoors with your friends and family, have a date night picnic, and listen to a free concert.



Maybe you're looking for something a little more relaxing. If that's the case, take a stroll through the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens to take in the plant life there. The first Saturday of every month, they offer guided tours that are $10 for adults and $5 for children. However, on Mother's Day and Father's Day, they are offering free admission to mothers and fathers respectively. It's a nice way to spend an afternoon meandering through gardens and looking at plants in various kinds of environments.


For foodies, Flavors of Florida on May 5 is a must. The best chefs of Gainesville create irresistible bites featuring new varieties of strawberries, peaches, and avocados, among other delectable delights, developed by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).


Or, maybe you'll be looking to relive your childhood at the Cade Museum's After Dark Party. The Cade Museum is celebrating its inception with an after-hours, 21+ party complete with board games, science experiments and more. The party takes place on May 20 from 6-9pm and is a great way to experience the museum from a new perspective.


Whatever your pleasure, Gainesville has a lot to offer anyone coming to visit this May. Whether you're a high school student planning a college visit or alumni wanting to revisit some of the places you once knew or someone who is just passing through, take some time to explore all the different things Gainesville has to offer.