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“Truly Unique”

University of Florida Bat House
Ranked #5 of 62 things to do in Gainesville
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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.
Parker, Colorado
Level Contributor
63 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Truly Unique”
Reviewed May 18, 2013

If you are not irrationally terrified of bats this will provide you a fascinating experience. As the Sun sets the bats emerge from this specially constructed bat habitat on the University of Florida campus.

Though bats are often reviled, these bats are harmless to human, but not to insects. Their nightly flights are for feeding on the many insects that come out in the evening. Bats perform a valuable function in holding down insect populations.

It is fascinating to be relatively close to the bats as they emerge by the hundreds. It is not a sight you are likely to see in many other places.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank drhank333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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303 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Smells like pee and poo, fun for the whole family!”
Reviewed May 9, 2013

Park west of the houses on Museum rd. Get there about 20 minutes before sundown and enjoy. Really cool experience, great to bring out-of-town folks.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank jeffdude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“See it all the time.”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

I see it all the time, but it never ceases to impress me. Watch out for bat pee!! Don't stand under the stream of flying bats.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Nelson A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
central florida
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“WILD”
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.)

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Scurrier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A MUST SEE!!”
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.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank burgpartyof5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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