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University of Florida Bat House

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
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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

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

Reviewed 14 February 2017
Debra K
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295 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 280: English reviews
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2017

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.

Thank tufgator
2 reviews
Reviewed 14 February 2017

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

Thank Debra K
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 February 2017

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 

Thank D3357DTsandrab
Aspen, Colorado
Level Contributor
62 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2017 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 

Thank Kylison B
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2017

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

Thank Chunguita58
Daytona Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
58 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2017 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 

Thank shellsmedina
Ormond Beach
Level Contributor
31 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2017

We went to Gville in Dec. for our 1st grandsons graduation. Though weve been to Gville many times in the past 20 years, our kids, and grandkids went there. There's always an excitement up there. I really love that city. Always tons of people all over the place, and lots to see and do up there. Two more graduations to... More 

Thank 730rita
new york city, ny
Level Contributor
74 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2017

Since the bats eat insects, if it's too cold (like during our visit) you will not really see them. But they seemed to be building a third house when we were there so the population of them must be big. Must be quite the sight when the conditions are right.

Thank ladyluck523
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2017

This is unique experience at the University of Florida Campus. Get to the bat houses a little before dusk, the rest of the day the bats are asleep inside and you will not see anything, get a good location and be prepared to take pictures. The bats fly out of their houses all at once; they are thousands, and fly... More 

Thank alejandrab236
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2017

Watching the bats fly out of their house is an awesome experience! We walked across the road afterwards and watched them flying over the lake. Informative sign at the site as well.

Thank BVBI

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