25 Unique & Fun Things to Do in Ocala at Night | 2024 (with Photos)

Rosalia Ignatova

Rosalia Ignatova - Travel Writer

Last Updated: March 25, 2024

Hey there! I'm Rose, a night owl always on the lookout for exciting adventures in Ocala. Join me as we uncover the hidden gems and vibrant nightlife this city has to offer. Let's make some unforgettable memories under the starlit Ocala skies!

Ocala Downtown Square & Historic District

Ocala, in north central Florida, is known as the "Horse Capital of the World" and is a premier destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

While the city boasts gorgeous scenery, rolling hills and historical sites, it also offers fun evening events and activities that cater to visitors of all ages and interests.

Whether you're into history, arts, outdoor activities, or simply enjoying a fun night out, Ocala has something for everyone.

In this travel guide, we'll show you our list of unique and fun things to do in Ocala at night. From the Gypsy Gold Horse Farm to the Silver River museum, you'll find a place or activity for your trip in this list. 

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Walt Disney World.

Top Choice Hotel

JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa.

Our Top Choice Restaurant

The Top Choice Restaurant for Food Lovers in Florida, United States of America is "Victoria & Albert's."

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

E11EVEN Miami

Best Time to Visit

Warm weather, sunny skies, and bustling tourist attractions.

Average Temperature

Generally warm with occasional hot and humid days.

Transportation Options

Cars, buses, trains, bikes, ferries - varied transportation options.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

For the ultimate Florida getaway, head to Miami – a vibrant city that never sleeps. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of South Beach, where you can soak up the sun on pristine white-sand beaches and indulge in the trendiest waterfront dining and nightlife venues. Experience the famous Art Deco architecture along Ocean Drive, then venture into the colorful neighborhoods of Little Havana and Wynwood to explore the city's rich cultural heritage and vibrant street art scene – all while savoring authentic Cuban food and sipping on refreshing mojitos.

Another must-visit destination in Florida is Key West – a laid-back island paradise that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and eclectic charm. Take a leisurely stroll along Duval Street, where you'll find an array of boutiques, galleries, and quirky bars. Discover the fascinating history of the island at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, and don't miss the chance to witness a breathtaking Key West sunset from Mallory Square. Embark on a thrilling snorkeling or diving adventure in the crystal-clear waters of the Florida Keys, and be sure to savor a slice of the island's famous key lime pie – the perfect sweet treat to end your unforgettable visit.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Swimsuit
  3. Beach towel
  4. Hat
  5. Sunglasses
  6. Walking shoes
  7. Camera
  8. Snorkeling gear
  9. Insect repellent
  10. Lightweight clothing

Things You'll Need To Bring for Transportation:

  1. Valid ID/passport
  2. Airline/train/bus tickets
  3. Maps/navigation app
  4. Driving license (if planning to rent a car)
  5. Cash/credit card
  6. Travel insurance information
  7. Charger/adapters for electronic devices
  8. Travel pillow/blanket for long journeys
  9. Entertainment (e.g., books, music, podcasts)
  10. Reusable water bottle

What Not to Miss

  1. Walt Disney World
  2. South Beach
  3. Everglades National Park
  4. Key West
  5. Universal Orlando Resort
  6. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
  7. Miami Art Deco Historic District
  8. St. Augustine Historic District
  9. Gulf Islands National Seashore
  10. Clearwater Beach

What to Avoid

  1. High touristy areas
  2. Rush hour traffic
  3. Overpriced tourist traps
  4. Crowded beaches
  5. Poorly reviewed restaurants or hotels
  6. Unsecured or unsafe areas at night
  7. Parking violations or street parking in restricted areas.
  8. Swarms of mosquitos in certain seasons.
  9. Ignoring safety guidelines in nature reserves.
  10. Engaging in illegal or prohibited activities.

1. Explore Ocala Downtown Square & Historic District

Ocala Downtown Square & Historic District

Ocala Downtown Square boasts a plethora of exciting attractions, from the live music and art events that take place throughout the year to the beautiful gardens and sculptures scattered around.

One of the main streets in downtown Ocala is Silver Springs Boulevard. This bustling stretch of road serves as the hiking, biking, and strolling heart of the town, and as night falls, the boulevard comes alive with bright lights, creating a magical ambiance.

Whether you're looking for a cozy cafe, unique shops, or simply a delightful stroll, the Ocala Downtown Historic District is a top destination for locals and tourists alike.

2. Take Part in the First Friday Art Walks

First Friday Art Walks

Taking place on the first Friday of each month from 6 PM to 9 PM, between September and May, this event transforms Ocala's historic downtown square into a captivating hub of creativity.

The Art Walk sprawls across the area and is a wonderful opportunity to explore and appreciate a diverse range of artistic expressions, from stunning visual artwork to captivating live performances.

Whether you're an art enthusiast, a supporter of local talent, or simply looking for an enjoyable evening out, the Ocala First Friday Art Walks offer a delightful experience that celebrates the thriving art community of the city.

3. See a Show at the Ocala Civic Theatre

Ocala Civic Theatre

Situated in the heart of downtown Ocala, the Ocala Civic Theatre is a cultural gem that has become an integral part of the Ocala arts scene.

The venue is renowned for its longstanding tradition and unwavering dedication to excellence.

From the moment guests step into the grand foyer, they are greeted with a sense of grandeur, setting the stage for a truly remarkable theater experience.

With a diverse repertoire that spans from timeless musicals to innovative contemporary productions, the theater consistently delivers outstanding performances that captivate theater-goers until the final curtain falls.

4. Go Camping at Ocala National Forest

Ocala National Forest

Encompassing an impressive 383,000 hectares of diverse landscapes, Ocala National Forest is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers.

Whether you're into hiking, camping, fishing, or boating, Ocala National Forest offers a refreshing break from everyday life in the bustling city.

You can explore the various habitats and witness Florida's diverse wildlife, including black bear deer, fox-tailed deer, and wild turkey.

Clear and clean spring water provides a way for the visitor to enjoy the scenic beauty of the woods.

5. Enjoy Glass Bottom Boat Tours at Silver Springs State Park

Glass Bottom Boat Tours at Silver Springs

Silver Springs State Park is just a short drive away and holds a special place in Florida's history as the state's very first tourist attraction, dating back to the 1870s.

Within Silver Springs State Park, the Silver River Museum & Environmental Education Center is a great place for those interested in Florida's natural history and conservation efforts.

Some of the highlights at Silver Springs State Park are the natural springs and the Glass Bottom Boat Tour, where you can witness Florida's diverse aquatic life.

So dip in the natural springs and then let the Glass Bottom Boat Rides, enjoying some of the most fun things to enjoy in the area.

Location: 5656 E Silver Springs Blvd, Silver Springs, FL

6. See a Performance at the Reilly Arts Center

Reilly Arts Center

Nestled in the heart of Ocala, Florida, the Reilly Arts Center stands as a dynamic hub of culture and creativity.

Boasting a seating capacity of 700, the Reilly Arts Center features state-of-the-art facilities, perfectly suited for captivating concerts, theatrical performances, and a variety of events.

With a versatile theater stage, the Reilly Arts Center caters to the unique requirements of each engaging event, further enhancing the immersive experience for attendees.

Location: 500 NE 9th St, Ocala, FL 34470, United States

7. See a Movie at the Ocala Drive-In Movie Theater

Ocala Drive-In Movie Theater

The Ocala Drive-in is a 2 screen drive-in, showing first-run double features on each screen nightly.

It dates all the way back to 1948 and offers a delightful experience by showcasing two screens with nightly double features of the latest movies.

With an affordable admission fee of $6 for adults and $3 for kids, patrons receive excellent value for their entertainment.

It's important to note that bringing outside food and drink is prohibited, so it's advisable to bring extra cash to enjoy the variety of snacks available at the concession area.

8. Enjoy a Show at The Orange Blossom Opry

The Orange Blossom Opry

For music enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable night out, the Orange Blossom Opry in Ocala is a premier destination.

The venue has garnered a well-deserved reputation since its opening in 1975 and has even been voted the Most Outstanding Country Music Show of 2018.

Now boasting an expanded 1100-seat venue and offering value-packed family tickets, the Orange Blossom Opry ensures an evening filled with excitement and delight.

The venue presents a lively fusion of country, gospel, bluegrass, rock 'n' roll, and comedy acts, guaranteeing toe-tapping entertainment and a fun night out in the city.

9. Explore the Appleton Museum of Art

Appleton Museum of Art

The Appleton Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and those seeking a unique and enriching experience.

With its impressive collection spanning centuries and continents, the museum showcases a great collection of European art, American art, Asian and African art, and contemporary art.

The Appleton Museum offers a rich cultural experience for visitors of all ages and interests, as it hosts a variety of exhibitions, educational programs, and special events, such as the "First Saturday" series.

On the first Saturday of each month, the museum features special activities, live performances, and interactive workshops that offer a deeper engagement with the artwork.

Location: 4333 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala, FL

10. Rainbow Springs State Park

Rainbow Springs State Park

Rainbow Springs State Park near Ocala, Florida, boasts stunning natural beauty, crystal-clear springs, and a variety of recreational activities to enjoy.

Rainbow Springs State Park offers a plethora of recreational activities for all ages, including swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and tubing along the gentle currents of the springs.

Nature lovers will be delighted by the park's hiking trails, which wind through different ecosystems and provide ample opportunities to spot Florida's diverse wildlife.

Rainbow Springs State Park offers a unique chance to immerse yourself in the region's natural beauty and connect with its rich heritage.

11. Visit Fort King National Historic Landmark

Fort King National Historic Landmark

Fort King was a US military fort in north central Florida, near what later turned into the city of Ocala.

The Seminole Tribe's assault on Fort King in 1834 marked the initiation of the Second Seminole War and maintained its importance throughout the subsequent seven-year conflict.

The United States suffered defeat in this war, and Fort King experienced periods of use and abandonment, and after the relocation of the Seminoles, the fort was transformed into a historical site.

Today, visitors have the opportunity to explore the remnants of Fort King and delve into its historical significance, gaining a deeper understanding of its role in the past. The site is open daily 7 am - 7 pm.

12. Watch a Movie at Regal Hollywood 16

Regal Hollywood 16

For the ultimate movie experience, there’s no better place to visit than the Regal Hollywood 16 in Ocala. 

From its plush seating and wide selection of concessions to its ever-expanding list of new releases and special events, a visit to this theater is sure to please even the most discerning filmgoers. 

They also offer an array of services like IMAX screens, reserved seating, and birthday fun packages. In short, if it has something to do with movies in greater Ocala, chances are Regal Hollywood 16 can help you out.

Location: 2801 SW 27th Ave, Ocala, FL

13. Have a Fun Night at Bonkerz Comedy Club

Bonkerz Comedy Club

Enjoy a weekend filled with laughter and entertainment at Bonkerz Comedy Club - Ocala, located inside The Lodge.

This comedy club offers a fantastic opportunity to enjoy hilarious comedy shows featuring talented Bonkerz comedians from TV and the movies.

The shows take place on the first Friday and Saturday of every month, starting at 8 PM

Gather with friends or family to unwind and be entertained by top-notch comedians who know how to tickle your funny bone.

Location: 36 S Magnolia Ave, Ocala, FL

14. Go on Fun Adventure with Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours

Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours

Get ready for an adrenaline-pumping adventure at The Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park in Ocala.

Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours offers an array of zip-lining experiences with five different versions of zip-lining adventures available, making it one of the top tourist attractions in Ocala.

Whether you opt for the Treetop Express or the Big Cliff Canyon tour, you'll be treated to a bird's eye view like no other, surrounded by awe-inspiring natural beauty.

For those seeking a unique experience, don't miss the Full Moon Zip Tour. Imagine zip lining under the enchanting glow of the moon, adding an extra touch of magic to your adventure.

Location: 8045 NW Gainesville Rd, Ocala, FL

15. Find Peace and Quiet in Sholom Park

Sholom Park

Sholom Park in Ocala is a captivating 44-acre park that invites visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.

With over 250 species of plants and trees, the park offers a breathtaking landscape. However, Sholom Park is more than just a picturesque setting or a tourist attraction.

Sholom Park serves as a sanctuary for those seeking peace and quiet, with a meditation walk, inviting visitors to take a reflective journey amidst the calming surroundings.

Numerous seating areas and quiet spots invite contemplation and relaxation. As you explore, you'll find plaques with thought-provoking sayings, adding an extra touch of inspiration.

16. Take a Ghost Tour Through Historic Downtown Ocala

Ghost Tour

Embark on a captivating ghost tour through the historic downtown of Ocala, one of the oldest cities in Florida, and experience a delightful journey through time.

At every corner you turn, you may encounter the hidden remnants of a history that stretches back to the 1870s.

From the lingering presence of Jabez Frederick Slaughter, a Revolutionary War veteran fondly known as "Bud," to the enigmatic tales of lost records, Ocala holds countless secrets waiting to be discovered.

Hear the haunting accounts of places like Silver Springs and the narratives of forgotten settlers from South Florida and transport yourself back centuries in time.

17. Pay a Visit to Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing

Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing

The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing has been a longtime attraction in Ocala, FL, captivating visitors since 1984.

The museum serves as a tribute to the rich history and excitement of the sport of drag racing, and it is also home to the prestigious International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

With a collection of nearly 100 drag racing cars and a wide array of iconic Garlits "Swamp Rat" cars, it offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the world of speed, power, and adrenaline that define this thrilling sport.

The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing also organizes exciting evening events that often include live demonstrations, car shows, and interactive activities.

Location: 13700 SW 16th Ave, Ocala, FL

18. Explore the Marion County Museum of History and Archaeology

Marion County Museum of History and Archaeology

The Marion County Museum of History and Archaeology in Ocala is a captivating destination that immerses visitors in the rich heritage of the city and surrounding areas.

Conveniently situated near Fort King Street, the Marion County Museum has been welcoming visitors since its opening in 2011.

Through its diverse exhibits, the museum showcases a wide range of historical and cultural artifacts that were discovered during the development of Ocala and Marion County.

The museum also hosts a historic lecture series and occasional evening events that add an extra layer of excitement and engagement for visitors.

19. Attend The Spring Art Park Series

The Spring Art Park Series

The Spring Art Park Series in Ocala is a highly anticipated annual event that takes place at the Tuscawilla Art Park.

This unique event features live music concerts and outdoor activities with the stunning backdrop of the park's impressive collection of public art.

The Tuscawilla Art Park, situated near the historic Ocala Union Station, provides a charming and picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy a delightful fusion of music and visual arts.

20. Chill and Play Pool at Downtown Billiards

Downtown Billiards

Downtown Billiards in Ocala is a great spot for those seeking a lively and enjoyable atmosphere.

Open every day from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m., the place boasts a spacious room with 14 pool tables, inviting guests to showcase their skills and engage in friendly competition.

Additionally, Downtown Billiards offers a full bar and regularly features enticing drink specials, adding an extra element of enjoyment to the visit.

Whether you are a seasoned billiards player or simply looking for a fun and vibrant hangout spot, Downtown Billiards promises a fun-filled night in the city.

21. Test Your Problem-Solving Skills at Ocala Escape

Ocala Escape

As Ocala's premier escape room experience, Ocala Escape offers an adventure like no other.

With 60 minutes on the clock, you and your group will find yourselves fully engaged in a thrilling storyline of your choice.

The Ocala Escape presents three distinct and captivating escape room experiences to choose from - a spine-chilling haunted house, a heart-pounding prison break, and a mind-bending detective's office.

Prepare for an unforgettable journey as you work together, unravel clues, and race against the clock to escape.

22. Take a Trip to Disney World

Disney World

Located just about 1 1/2 hours away, Disney World is a convenient destination that can be added on as a long day trip.

Disney World offers an incredible array of experiences that cater to the entire family. From the enchanting Magic Kingdom with beloved Disney characters to the thrilling rides and shows at Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, there's something for everyone.

The magical atmosphere, immersive storytelling, and world-class entertainment make Disney World a place where dreams come true.

So gather your loved ones and embark on an unforgettable adventure filled with laughter, joy, and cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

23. Celebrate a Special Family Occasion at Petting Zoo Ocala

Petting Zoo Ocala

The Petting Zoo Ocala is a delightful destination that offers a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

From gentle farm animals like goats, sheep, and pigs to exotic creatures such as alpacas and llamas, the Petting Zoo Ocala offers a diverse and engaging animal encounter.

Petting Zoo Ocala is also an excellent place for birthday parties and special events, with several picnic areas for guests to enjoy.

With various animals to see and activities to do, this lovely spot offers a fun and affordable outing for the entire family.

24. See a Free Movie with the After Dark in the Park Series

Park After Dark

The After Dark in the Park Series in Ocala is a fantastic opportunity for families and friends to enjoy free movies under the stars at various City of Ocala parks.

All you need to do is bring a blanket or chairs or find a cozy spot near the picnic tables, and immerse yourself in the cinematic magic.

As you indulge in the movie, concessions will be available for purchase, including tasty snacks, popcorn, and refreshing soda.

The After Dark in the Park Series provides a perfect setting for an enjoyable and budget-friendly movie night with your friends or family.

25. Have Fun at the Pi on Broadway Live Music Nights

Pi on Broadway

Experience the captivating Pi on Broadway Live Music Nights in Ocala with an impressive lineup of acoustic acts, DJs, and full bands, ensuring an unforgettable musical experience.

Take advantage of their rooftop terrace, an idyllic spot to bask in the tunes of happy hour while the sun sets, or get groovy at their monthly full moon parties.

Alongside the exceptional music, Pi on Broadway is renowned for its culinary prowess, specializing in gourmet pizza, tapas, sandwiches, and salads.

Gather your friends and indulge in a delightful feast by sampling a little bit of everything or perch at the bar and savor one of their many craft beers.

FAQs: Fun Things to Enjoy in Ocala at Night

In this section, we answer common questions about Ocala, and the most popular things to do in Ocala at night. 

Is Ocala FL worth visiting?

Ocala is definitely worth visiting. It offers stunning scenery, fascinating horse farms, and outdoor adventures, such as horseback riding and tours on glass-bottom boats.

Apart from scenic landscapes, Ocala boasts several museums, such as the Silver River Museum, the Appleton Museum of Art, and the Discovery Center.

What time is Light Up Ocala?

"Light Up Ocala" is an annual event held in downtown Ocala to kick off the holiday season.

The specific time of the event may vary from year to year, so it's best to check the official event website for the most up-to-date information regarding the time and date of the event.

What is the nicest part of Ocala FL?

Ocala has several beautiful areas, but one of the nicest parts of the city is the historic downtown district.

With its quaint streets lined with Victorian architecture, charming shops, art galleries, and entertainment venues, downtown Ocala offers a delightful atmosphere for visitors to explore and enjoy.

What recreational activity is Ocala most known for?

Ocala offers a plethora of options for outdoor recreation. The city is famous for its extensive hiking trails, walking trails, horseback riding, and mountain biking.

Ocala National Forest, Silver Springs State Park, and the nearby Florida Horse Park are popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts seeking to immerse themselves in nature.

Why is Ocala called the "Horse Capital of the World"?

Ocala is known as the "Horse Capital of the World" due to its deep-rooted equestrian culture.

The city boasts numerous horse farms and the famous Florida Horse Park, which hosts a variety of events for horse lovers.

The Gypsy Gold Horse Farm in Ocala showcases the distinctive breed of Gypsy Vanner Horses.

Ocala's Horse Country features picturesque landscapes, providing an ideal setting for horseback riding and training.

Summing Up: 25 Best Things to do in Ocala at Night

As you can see, there is no shortage of unique and fun things to do in Ocala at night. With its stunning natural beauty and wide range of outdoor activities, Ocala offers something for every kind of traveler.

From enjoying the crystal clear springs and horseback riding to immersing yourself in art and culture in the evening hours, there's no shortage of unique and fun things to do in this enchanting city.

Plan your visit to Ocala today and get ready to create unforgettable memories in this captivating destination.