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
(25% discount)
Both galleries $3,000 $2,250
Denny Gallery only $2,100 $1,575
Thompson Gallery only $1,500 $1,125
 Add-on: Exhibits

Butterfly Rainforest $500 $500
Featured Exhibit varies varies
  • 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)

Additional Fee
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): $25
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
Materials storage: varies
Late changes to contracted guest count, event times, or agreed-upon setup: varies
Damages: varies

Mammoth Lighting

Light the mammoth in a special color to complement your event theme! Choose from the following color options for an additional cost of only $25: Green, Teal, Light Blue, Blue, Purple, Magenta, Pink, Red, or Orange

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.

Approved Caterers

Cacciatore Catering, 352-692-0701,

Celebrations Catering, 352-377-0787,

Chef Brothers Catering, 352-727-4702,

Classic Fare Catering, 352-392-3463,

Custom Caterers, 352-466-0307,

David’s BBQ & Catering, 352-373-2002,

Dos Mamas Catering, 352-505-0369,

Embers Wood Grill, 352-380-0901,

Stewart’s Catering Co., 352-335-4527

Sweetwater Catering Co., 352-373-6760,

*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,

Balloons by Florally Yours, 352-384-9989,

Dawn McKinstry Photography, 352-258-5047,

Footstone Photography, 352-562-3066,

Gainesville Wedding Hair by Deborah, 352-222-2254,

Genius Entertainment, 352-678-7030,

Jimmy Ho Photography, 352-871-7217,

Keith Watson Events, 352-264-8814,

The Plant Shoppe Florist, 352-371-6249,

Prange’s Florist, 352-335-0100,

Russell Martin Photography, 352-266-8015,

Sugar Refined Bake Shop, 352-472-9895,

Swamp Shots Photo Booth Rentals, 352-519-1011

Sweet Serendipity Photography, 352-278-3448,

Überbooth Photo Booth, 352-577-5775,

Wayne’s World Entertainment, 352-262-3820,


Request a Quote


Questions? Call 352-273-2045 or email

Revenue from private rentals helps sustain Museum programming and exhibits. Thank you for your support!