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University of Florida Bat House

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Museum Road, Near Lake Alice, Gainesville, FL 32611
Phone Number: +1 352-273-2054
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

The University of Florida Bat Barn and Bat House are the world's largest...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 271 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 168
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    Very good
  • 14
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Gone Batty!

An interesting place to see a whole lot of bats. Great informational signs to learn all the facts about this colony of bats. Fun for all to see and enjoy! Go at sun down and wait... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
via mobile
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271 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 256: English reviews
Level Contributor
40 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

An interesting place to see a whole lot of bats. Great informational signs to learn all the facts about this colony of bats. Fun for all to see and enjoy! Go at sun down and wait for the bats to emerge and flyover to the lake to begin the bug feast.

Thank UngavaNC
Port Charlotte, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

Absolutely amazing. I remember having to wait quite a while to see the bats.oh my gosh, it was so worth it.

Thank Jennifer J
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

There is a lot to do while waiting for the bats. Lake Alice is right across the street. There is a little cathedral on the lake that has beautiful stained glass. There is free parking to the left of the bat house. You have to time it just right. The thousands of bats in the house fly out immediately before... More 

Thank daedres
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I brought my pre-teen little brother to see the bats fly out at sunset, and it was a nice family experience.

Thank Shelby M
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
66 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

These two structures stand often forgotten I'm the centre of Gainesville. During the day not much happens here and you can visit the site any time. However I would suggest that you visit the bat house at dusk, just before sunset when all the bats get ready to leave, one by one they leave until all of a sudden they... More 

1 Thank Uwe H
Paul R, Public Relations Manager at University of Florida Bat House, responded to this review

Hi Uwe H, Thanks for your review and I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. To clarify for others who may not be aware, the bats emerge after sunset. Also, while there is no visible activity outside the structures during the day, the bats are often active, and may be viewed on one of the Florida Museum of Natural History 'critter... More 

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

If the temp will be 65 or over, you can enjoy a lovely evening watching swarms of bats take their ritual flights to feed just after sunset. Easy to find spot at the University, and really good information about bats and the history of the bat houses/

2 Thank dadio192
Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania, United States
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My son and I went earlier than needed. We waited for the event! A sight that I believe everyone should take the time to see and understand. Yes, there is a pungent odor. Everyone should stay outside of the fenced area. I do disagree to parents allowing small children to roll on the grass.

1 Thank Deirdre R
Gainesville, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
39 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Visit when it gets dark any evening and you will have thousands of bats soar around your head as they are leaving the bat house every night. It is quite a spectacular sight. Go across the street and visit the alligator and snapping turtles in Lake Alice!

2 Thank Moli1121
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2016 via mobile

We got there before sunset and waited and waited.. They really didn't come out until almost dark. And I'm pretty sure we all smelled like any pee when we left! I'm glad we got there early though to have a bench to sit. About twenty people had shown up by the time it started. Get there earlier and go across... More 

1 Thank Bobbie B
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
95 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2016

Great opportunity to literally see millions of bats stream out of two bat barns on the campus of the University of Florida at dusk. There is parking but it is very limited and crowds are large in the summer. Go just a little before dusk. Bats start coming out just as it turns from dusk to dark and it continues... More 

1 Thank c a

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