Catch a Dinner and a Show

Things to do when out and about in the Greater Gainesville Region

Florida is known for its heat and sunshine. Anywhere you go, you will be sure to find a relaxing place to spend the day in the sun. But when the sun sets below the horizon, Florida still has much to offer.

One of the best aspects of Gainesville is its variety of restaurants and shows- specifically if you are in search of an activity for a night out on the town or a romantic evening. When it comes to restaurants, Gainesville has whatever food you are in the mood for. Restaurants such as Mark’s Prime and Embers offer an elegant dining experience with a menu filled with seafood, steak, sides, and other steakhouse options. If your cravings include seafood, then BlueGill, Blue Water Bay and Paramount Grill offer a wide selection. Italian options can be found at Amelia’s Restaurant, O Sole Mio Cucina Italiana and Piesano’s. If you have some time to burn before your show, V’s Pizza & Sidecar has an assortment of cocktails to waste time in the best way possible.

After you choose the restaurant that will satisfy your cravings, Gainesville has multiple choices for a show to continue the night with. There are three different movie theater locations; Regal Royal Park, Regal Butler Town Center, and Regal Celebration Pointe 10. Each of these theaters provides visitors with the newest selection of movies, comfortable reclining chairs, a wide assortment of snacks, and alcoholic beverages.

If you are in the Downtown area and plan on staying within that vicinity, the Hippodrome offers incredible options. The Hippodrome is well-known for its live theatre performances that will leave the audience feeling as if they were included in it. They also feature a wide variety of independent films, documentaries, classics, and other signature movies scheduled throughout the year. The Hippodrome recently showed the movie Parasite, which went on to win the Golden Globe for “Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language.”

If the Hippodrome is not showing anything that particularly piques your interest, be sure to look out for the available plays at the UF Performing Arts Center and the Community Playhouse. The UF Performing Arts Center stars students that are studying performing arts at the university. Both of these locations offer live theater options that celebrate diversity and a welcoming environment to all. Personally, the Regal Celebration Pointe is my favorite place to catch a show because of their selection of wine and beer, and the location makes it easy to grab dinner, buy some snacks at the Trader Joe’s nearby (which are then stealthily hidden in my purse), and enjoy a movie in a recliner that is comfier than in my own living room. Especially with the endless dining options in this area of town, it is easy to find a place that fits exactly the meal you want, and the show you want to follow it with.

-Written by Skylar Carter