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“WILD”

University of Florida Bat House
Ranked #4 of 69 things to do in Gainesville
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

Reading about this did not really prepare me for the number of bats that come pouring out of those relatively small looking bat houses - 350,000 bats. That's a lot of bats.

Benches to wait on, one predatory bird waiting too to snatch dinner right out of the air, Lake Alice across the street, a very informative kiosk with everything you ever wanted to know about bats and more - it all adds up to one very interesting (and free) evening activity.

(Note: the kiosk advises one to look north, or toward the lights, or something - but don't worry: when those bats come out you CAN"T miss them because they go right over you.)

1  Thank Scurrier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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287 - 291 of 345 reviews

Reviewed March 14, 2013

This was an amazing experience!! About 20 mins before sunset, you will see a few bats fly out of the house and barn. Then the number of bats begins to multiply quickly as hundreds of bats are flying out and around. We even saw a Red Shoulder Hawk swoop down 3 times and catch his dinner (baby bat) as the bats were busliy munching on insects. The informational sign says about 300,000 bats live here. I can beleive it. You might want to bring bug spray and an umbrella. The sign says that the bats urinate and poop while flying.

2  Thank burgpartyof5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

Ha--you probably thought this review was about bar-hopping! No, it's about the nightly flight of the bats, definitely worth seeing if you are near campus at dusk. These little guys help combat the mosquitoes and other pests nearby.

1  Thank KTUFL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

Must see. It is so fascinating to see the bats in the evening. When they come out for feeding, you might feel they were trained to do this. In the sense its awesome to see the discipline there. The location is pretty next to the lake and the vegetable gardens.

2  Thank NamzyIno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

Kind of hot in the summer but I don't think bats are very active in winter time. The bats are usually pretty reliable and show up when expected (sundown). Fun free community activity for families.

Thank HealthyMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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