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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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Something to be experienced

I used to live in Gainesville and the bat house is a place you should go at least once if you live there. This wouldn't be a "travel several hours" to see attraction. The flying... read more

Reviewed 22 July 2016
Wen J
Sebring, Florida
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295 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 280: English reviews
Sebring, Florida
2 reviews
Reviewed 22 July 2016

I used to live in Gainesville and the bat house is a place you should go at least once if you live there. This wouldn't be a "travel several hours" to see attraction. The flying out of the bats lasts about 30 minutes or so . . . there are that many bats! It's very interesting and intriguing site to... More 

Thank Wen J
Level Contributor
41 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2016

What an amazing experience! University of Florida has the world's largest bat houses. We braved the heat and humidity, but the experience was well worth it. Who knew that so many people would stand around and wait for bats.

Thank EMBall
Cutler Bay, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 5 July 2016

Waiting to view the flying activity of bats is an unforgettable moment since I had never seeing such a sight.

Thank caramel52016
Level Contributor
146 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2016

visited with family got there just in time to see the bats take flight...would make a very scary movie...but it was a wonderful sight.

Jupiter, Florida
Level Contributor
269 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2016

Not your typical experience. You don't think ... oh lets go see the Bats... Well they actually are very important to the eco system. Having visited the Bat House at University of Florida you see and learn just how very important Bats are to our existence. So do not just think of them as furry flying rodents. They are pretty... More 

Thank Tracy R
Lutz, Florida
Level Contributor
158 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2016

After reading about the strength of this habitat, I had to see it for myself. 50,000 bats descending on on-lookers each evening- great natural summer evening entertainment, although available almost year-round.

1 Thank Kathryn B
Jamestown, New York
Level Contributor
43 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2016

We were just out for a drive one night and stopped by the UF Bat House. I was surprised by the number of people that congregated for the short time it took for the bats to fly out of the houses at dusk/dark. It is truly something to see if you are in to nature.

1 Thank HuMMingbird562014
Titusville, Florida
Level Contributor
60 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2016

My daughter attends UF and told us about "the bat house". We thought that surely she was exaggerating this spectacle. We waited until near sunset and walked down to the bat house. Dozens of people with cameras were gathered on the sidewalk to watch. The smell of guano ( bat poop) was overwhelming but we decided to endure this at... More 

1 Thank rfakner
Saratoga Springs, New York
Level Contributor
120 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2016

So the first time we came to the Bat House we were with local relatives who were showing us the sites. Living in the Adirondacks we smiled at each other and politely went with them to be sociable. We had our own bats and we didn't think we would be impressed with the Florida version. We all congregated with many... More 

1 Thank mtnchkbek
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2016

It is so exciting to go there before it gets dark and watch the bats start leaving the bat house. This is great for all ages. I like sitting on the tables across the street and watching all the bats come out-

1 Thank chbz54

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