The Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville provides a stunning venue for your special event. With adventures and artifacts around every turn, the Museum is a unique and unparalleled alternative to traditional reception halls.
Whatever you are celebrating, we’re here to help you welcome your guests in style. You can be assured your event will go down in history at the Florida Museum!
The Florida Museum has two rental spaces for events — the Denny Gallery and the Thompson Gallery. We can accommodate up to 160 for a seated dinner, and more for reception/mixer-style events. We’ve hosted dinners, cocktail receptions, weddings, galas, award ceremonies, presentations, client appreciation events, bar and bat mitzvahs, anniversary parties, and more.
Choose one or both of our two galleries for your event. Your guests will will be able to tour the Museum’s indoor permanent exhibits at no additional cost, or you can choose to book the Butterfly Rainforest, Discovery Zone, and/or the featured exhibit for an additional fee.
Private events can be scheduled between 5:30 and 11 p.m. every day. We only book one event at the Museum at a time, so you and your guests will have our full attention.
|Private & corporate
||UF depts & 501(c)(3) orgs
|Denny Gallery only||$2,100||$1,680|
|Thompson Gallery only||$1,500||$1,200|
- The Butterfly Rainforest and Featured Exhibit may only be rented as an addition to a gallery rental. The Butterfly Rainforest will be open for the first hour of the event and pricing includes up to 160 guests for exploration or about 80 for a ceremony.
- Venue fees are exclusive of sales tax. Organized programming in public spaces, for purposes beyond regular Museum visitation, is not permitted by outside parties during normal Museum hours.
Courtesy Features & Services
- Onsite rentals staff.
- Complimentary evening self-parking in our spacious lot and garage.
- Rectangular banquet tables, pub tables, garden chairs, and basic AV (if needed).
- Two hours of setup and one hour of cleanup time (included on top of your rental times).
- Catering preparation space.
- Opportunity to explore the Museum’s permanent exhibits during your event at no additional charge (extra fee for the Butterfly Rainforest and featured exhibits).
- Ability to select from a varied list of caterers, decorators, entertainment, planners and other vendors.
- A unique venue unlike any other in North Central Florida!
Equipment Included in Rental
- 160 – black folding chairs (a.k.a. garden chairs)
- 10 – 36” pub/bistro tables (can be short or tall)
- 25 – 8’ rectangular banquet tables
- 3 – 6’ rectangular banquet tables
- lectern (podium) and one wireless microphone
- LCD projector, screen and speakers
|Event Operations/Security staffing (required):||Approx. $350-$500 based on event length & number of guests|
|Event insurance (required for non-UF clients):||$107-$139 based on number of guests|
|Butterfly Rainforest exhibit admission:||$500 for the first hour of your event (recommended during Daylight Saving Time only; limit to ~80 guests for ceremony)|
|Discovery Zone exhibit admission:||$250 for the first hour of your event (subject to availability)|
|Featured Exhibit admission:||varies|
|60″ round tables||$10/table|
|Mammoth lighting (colors below):||$30|
|Portable accent lighting (colors below):||$30|
|Lighting package (mammoth+portable accent):||$50|
|Ceremony setup fee:||$150|
|Client lets guests in before scheduled start time:||$150|
|Event runs over scheduled end time:||$500|
|Excessive cleanup (including cleanup after vendors):||varies|
|Materials storage:||varies/based on availability|
|Late changes to contracted guest count, event times, or setup:||varies|
New! 60″ round tables
The Florida Museum now rents 60″ round tables! Save on delivery fees by renting directly. We charge a competitive fee of $10/table (seats 8 comfortably, 10 max).
Portable Accent Lighting
Take your lighting beyond the mammoth with four portable LED accent lights. These can be used on the mastodon in the Galleria or almost anywhere you want additional accent lighting. Choose from over half a dozen color options (including color-changing) for only $30.
Light the mammoth in a special color to complement your event theme! Choose from the following color options for an additional cost of only $30: green, teal, light blue, blue, purple, magenta, pink, red or orange (or a combination of any two available colors).
Parking – Self-parking in the UF Cultural Plaza lot and garage is complimentary for all evening rentals. Parking cannot be reserved or guaranteed.
Set-up & Cleanup Time – We automatically add two hours for event setup and one hour for cleanup to your event times. It is very important that we know your actual start and end times so you receive an accurate quote.
Site visit – If you want to preview our facilities, site tours are available by appointment Monday-Friday between 10 a.m.-5:45 p.m. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. Site visit availability without an appointment cannot be guaranteed.
Facility Access – The Florida Museum can only accommodate evening gallery rentals – events may begin no earlier than 5:30 p.m. and end no later than 11 p.m. The Museum’s doors are locked at 5 p.m. daily for security closing procedures and will not be re-opened until your contracted event start time. Vendors will be allowed early access for setup, but event guests may NOT enter the facility before the contracted start time or the client will be charged a fee. If you are concerned about early arrivals or guests waiting outside, we strongly recommended advertising your event start time as 30 minutes after your rental begins.
Exclusive Access – We only schedule one event at a time, so you and your guests will have exclusive access to the museum for the duration of your rental time.
Approved caterers* – To protect our collections, exhibits and clients, the Museum only works with full-service caterers who have demonstrated respect and agreed to adhere to the Museum’s Special Event policies.
Alcohol – All of our approved caterers are properly insured to serve alcohol. A cash bar and/or paid entry into an event serving alcohol requires additional permitting, however, so please check with your caterer to ensure they have the proper documentation to sell alcohol. Alcohol sales may require the purchase of additional insurance. Self-serving of alcohol is NOT permitted on the UF campus.
|Cacciatore Catering||Dos Mamas Catering|
|Celebrations Catering||Embers Wood Grill|
|Classic Fare Catering||Stewart’s Catering Co., 352-335-4527|
|Custom Caterers||Sweetwater Catering Co.|
|David’s BBQ & Catering|
The University of Florida has an Approved Caterer program to ensure various regulations, policies, procedures and best practices are followed in order to provide a safe and responsible dining experience on campus. However, to protect the Florida Museum’s collections, exhibits and clients, the Florida Museum only works with select full-service caterers from UF’s list who have demonstrated respect and agreed to adhere to our special event policies.
You must verify your caterer is on the Museum’s list of approved caterers before contracting with them. Please also ensure your caterer is properly permitted for alcohol sales if you will have a cash bar or if your event provides alcohol and requires paid entry.
We are more than happy to work with you on your choice of DJs, photographers, florists and other vendors for your event. These are the vendors we recommend because they are familiar with the unique space and needs of our facilities, but we are open to discussing alternate vendors you are planning to work with.
Request a Quote
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred) or call 352-273-2045.
Revenue from private rentals helps sustain Museum programming and exhibits. Thank you for your support!