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“Cool experience”

University of Florida Bat House
Ranked #4 of 69 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.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

Everyone should see this. Make sure to read the information board by the road. You may want to pick a spot on a bench that is covered by trees. Watch out for guano. :)

Thank JMB1991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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255 - 259 of 344 reviews

Reviewed November 25, 2013

It sounds weird, but everyone loves to come here. You need to come near dusk when they come out to feed on mosquitos and you can see them silhouetted against the sky. There's parking and sidewalk and a fence separating the field where the bat houses are and everyone lines up against the fence to wait. They trickle out at first, but then pour out from the bottom. Some seem to zoom right over your head, but with their sonar they've never hit anyone that I've heard.of. Remember to spray yourself with bug spray. Sometime, there's a hawk waiting to swoop down and eat a bat. Another place we take visitors is to La chua Trail to see alligators and birds.

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

Don't miss this dusk event in Gainesville. It is fascinating, unusual, and awesome. Adults and children alike are impressed by this nightly event as thousands of bats leave the facility at one time.

Thank banditoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

It may sound strange, to go watch bats fly out of the bat house. But it is REALLY COOL! Everybody waits in anticipation as the time comes for the bats to start heading out for the night. And when they do, it's like this soft black river heading out over the trees and lake. People get popped on and are laughing and ooohing and aaaahing and it's just real special.

Thank MJean B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2013

I was a student at UF when they proposed building the bat house. Many people thought it would never work and for the first year, it did not. Despite transplanting bats into the bat house they kept returning to the familiar eves of buildings on campus. Eventually, they got the idea and moved into their lakeside view. Wasn't more than a few years that a second house was built. Now they both proudly stand and attract visitors to watch for their nightly excursions. If you walk up to the bat houses, you can hear the chirping even during the day. But the real challenge is how long can you stand by the houses and experience the smell of guano. It's a unique odor, strong with ammonia and man it will knock your socks off!

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

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