Story By Gina Crespo and Emma Schindler

It’s finally Fall. Even if the hot, humid weather and lack of sweaters around campus suggests otherwise, Halloween and Thanksgiving are quickly approaching. Luckily, if you are looking for ways to start to celebrate the season, there are many cheap options in and around Gainesville. From quiet craft festivals to pumpkin patches, here are a few suggestions on possible ways to spend Autumn at UF. 


Instead of watching horror movies in your dorm room, going to watch them at a small theater may easily enhance your movie-watching experience and give you an excuse to visit Downtown Gainesville. The Hippodrome, a historic local theater in Gainesville will be showing various scary movies closer to Halloween. Some scary movies available to watch are The Blair Witch Project, The House That Dripped Blood, and The Orphan. With your UF Gator 1 ID, the tickets for each show will cost only seven dollars. Besides these movies, the Hippodrome has several performances, events, and movie showings throughout the year that can provide an inexpensive way to take a fun break from your regular schedule and studying. 


If you are more interested in watching live shows, on October 17, 23, and 30, The High Dive will be presenting a live show of the iconic Rocky Horror Picture Show. This event is a little more expensive with the cost varying from 7 to 12 dollars. It is also important to note that you must be 18 years or older to attend the event. This show is a unique way to experience the cult classic and just before Halloween is a better time than any to enjoy this horrifyingly funny musical. 


Those seeking spooks should look to the Peanut Patch and Corn Maze on SW 75th Street. Here, you can find haunted corn mazes, haunted houses, and a regular child friends corn maze. With a wide array of activities, supporting this local event is a perfect way to spend time with friends and family, while getting your scare on.  


Craving some carving? Pick out the perfect pumpkin at The Family Garden and Roger’s Farm. These locations are also great for taking photos with your friends to commemorate this time of year. Perfect for a weekend getaway from studying, this farm will get you the fresh air and pumpkin spice you’re craving. 


The opening of the new Cheesecake Factory in Butler Plaza has answered the call of your heart. Choose from Pumpkin or Pumpkin Pecan for a classic seasonal treat. However, don’t be afraid to go for the Toasted Marshmallow S’mores cheesecake if bonfires are what send you to a place of fall bliss!


A pumpkin is a classic way to decorate your dorm room or apartment for Halloween. Getting small, simple gourds or even large pumpkins perfect for jack-o-lanterns are great ways to get in the spirit of the season. If you don’t want to spend too much on a pumpkin and you want a way to spend time with friends, the Alachua Pumpkin Patch is just a 20 minute drive from the UF campus. The pumpkin patch is located at 15710 NW US Highway 441 and is sponsored by the First UMC of Alachua. They sell pumpkins starting from just 50 cents. On Sunday, October, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. the patch will be hosting a Fall Festival which is free to attend. The Alachua Pumpkin Patch is regularly open Mondays through Fridays from 2 to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m until October 31.


If you are interested in another way to decorate for the season, The Wilmot Botanical Gardens may be the perfect event for you. On November 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on November 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Wilmot Gardens on campus is holding their 5th annual Fall Plant Sale. The admission for this event is completely free and the sale will include plants such as succulents and Christmas cacti. This event is a great reason to visit the gardens and help support some of their programs. The gardens are beautiful and serene and this sale is an opportunity to take some of that beauty home with you. 

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Micanopy, a small, historic town hidden among the tall oak trees covered in moss, is holding its 45th annual Fall Festival. The festival will be held on November 2 and 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Micanopy, which is just 20 minutes driving from UF. The event will host hundreds of local artists and musicians as well as food and drinks for purchase. There will also be live music throughout. If you are looking for something easy and fun to go to on the weekend, this event may be a great way to have a small vacation in a tranquil place.