The Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville provides a stunning backdrop for your special event. With adventures and artifacts around every turn, the venue is a refreshing alternative to traditional reception halls.
We have 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-style events. We’ve hosted dinners, cocktail receptions, weddings, galas, award ceremonies, presentations, client appreciation events, bar and bat mitzvahs, and anniversaries.
Whatever you are celebrating, we’re here to help you welcome your guests in style. Whatever the occasion, be assured your event will go down in history at the Florida Museum!
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 and/or the featured exhibit for an additional fee.
Private events are scheduled for between 5:30 and 11 p.m. every day. We only book one event at the museum at a time, so 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.
- 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
- On-site Security and Rentals staff to guide you and your vendors.
- Complimentary evening self-parking in our spacious lot and garage.
- Banquet and pub tables, chairs, and AV (if needed).
- Two hours of setup and one hour of strike time.
- 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
- 180 – black wooden folding chairs
- 12 – 36” pub/bistro tables
- 28 – 8’ banquet tables
- Lectern (podium)
- LCD projector, screen and speakers (Denny Gallery only)
|Event insurance (required):||$110-$140 based on number of guests|
|Security staffing (required):||Approx. $300-$500 based on event length & number of guests|
|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):||$500|
|Late changes to contracted guest count, event times, or agreed-upon setup:||varies|
Portable Accent Lighting
New! Take your lighting beyond the mammoth with four portable LED accent lights. These can be used for the mastodon in the Galleria or almost anywhere you want additional accent lighting. Choose from over half a dozen color options (including color-changing).
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 & Strike Time – We automatically add two hours for event setup and one hour for strike 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 p.m. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. Site visit availability without an appointment cannot be guaranteed.
Facility Access – Rental 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. If you are worried about early arrivals or guests waiting outside, it is strongly recommended to begin your rental 30 minutes prior to your event’s advertised start time.
We are unable to accommodate daytime rentals.
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 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, 352-692-0701, www.cacciatorefoods.com
Celebrations Catering, 352-377-0787, www.celebrations-catering.com
Chef Brothers Catering, 352-727-4702, www.chefbrothers.com
Classic Fare Catering, 352-392-3463, www.gatordining.com
Custom Caterers, 352-466-0307, www.customcaterers.net
David’s BBQ & Catering, 352-373-2002, www.davidsbbq.com/catering
Dos Mamas Catering, 352-505-0369, www.dosmamascatering.com
Embers Wood Grill, 352-380-0901, www.embersofflorida.com
Stewart’s Catering Co., 352-335-4527
Sweetwater Catering Co., 352-373-6760, www.sweetwatercateringco.com
*In July 2016, the University of Florida created 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. To protect the Florida Museum’s collections, exhibits and clients, however, the Museum only works with the caterers from the UF 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 working with.
Aviant Party Rentals, 352-522-1805, www.aviantpartyrentals.com
Balloons by Florally Yours, 352-384-9989, florallyours.balloonhq.com
Dawn McKinstry Photography, 352-258-5047, www.dawnmckinstryblog.com
Footstone Photography, 352-562-3066, www.footstonephotography.com
Gainesville Wedding Hair by Deborah, 352-222-2254, www.gainesvilleweddinghair.com
Genius Entertainment, 352-678-7030, www.gnysentertainment.com
Jimmy Ho Photography, 352-871-7217, www.jimmyhophotography.com
Keith Watson Events, 352-264-8814, www.keithwatsonevents.com
The Plant Shoppe Florist, 352-371-6249, www.theplantshoppe.com
Prange’s Florist, 352-335-0100, www.pranges.com
Russell Martin Photography, 352-266-8015, www.russellmartinphotography.com
Sugar Refined Bake Shop, 352-472-9895, www.sugar-refined.com
Swamp Shots Photo Booth Rentals, 352-519-1011
Sweet Serendipity Photography, 352-278-3448, blog.sweetserendipityphotography.com
Überbooth Photo Booth, 352-577-5775, uberbooth.com
Wayne’s World Entertainment, 352-262-3820, waynesworldentertainment.com
Request a Quote
Questions? Call 352-273-2045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Revenue from private rentals helps sustain Museum programming and exhibits. Thank you for your support!