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University of Florida Bat House

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

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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Always entertaining

The bats are always fun to watch. When it is warm enough to see the bats, expect mosquitoes and the foul smell of guano. Be sure to plan your visit with sufficient time to park... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
lauelipas
,
Gainesville, Florida
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289 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 274: English reviews
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

The bats are always fun to watch. When it is warm enough to see the bats, expect mosquitoes and the foul smell of guano. Be sure to plan your visit with sufficient time to park before dusk.

Helpful?
Thank lauelipas
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
34 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

So neat to see all the bats fly! A lot of people left before all of them had come out, so don't leave until it actually starts getting dark. The bats are quite small, so you won't be able to see lots of definition, but the sheer number of them is astounding. There was a hawk (or some other type... More 

Helpful?
Thank Kathryn M
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

bring all family members a delight from start to finish a real GVILLE tradition my granddaughter age 6 totally entranced

Helpful?
Thank burmawallah
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
64 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I've witnessed the running of the bats a few times, since we live near Gainesville. Its pretty neat to be there when the sun goes down and see the bats departing their man-made homes in the thousands. When we were there they took off towards the lake, on the other side of the road from the bat houses. I recommend... More 

Helpful?
Thank burntweeniesandwich
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

You need to time it right to go there before sunset and wait for the bats to fly out. It's very cool to see millions of bats coming out to hunt.

Helpful?
Thank Thomas C
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Such an amazing site if you have not been yet, you'll definitely want to put this on your list to see while visiting.

Helpful?
Thank Debra K
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The sight of their transparent wings soaring right above your head is not to be missed. It happens as promised. Tens of thousands of bats leave the the bat houses approximately 5 minutes after the sun goes down every evening. A crowd gathers to watch, and smell, as this evening ritual plays out on this easily accessible University property. Some... More 

Helpful?
Thank D3357DTsandrab
Aspen, Colorado
Level Contributor
59 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Went here a few months ago with my friend and saw SO MANY BATS. They were flying around and it was so cool to see, but they did smell pretty bad. Then, I went here again with my boyfriend last week and THE BATS DIDN'T COME OUT. It was really a shame, we waited for an hour and nothing happened,... More 

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Thank Kylison B
Florida
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The first visit in September was absolutely spectacular. The second one, not so much, but still worth seeing. A must at least once.

Helpful?
Thank Chunguita58
Daytona Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
54 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Every evening at dusk the bats come out to feed on insects. I mean they pour out by the hundreds. First a few, then more and then the sky is full of them. It's an amazing experience. Caution: some children were traumatized by witnessing bats easily picked off for dinner by waiting hawks. Mother Nature can be brutal. If you're... More 

Helpful?
Thank shellsmedina

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