What’s Up Ocala? If you are looking for things things to do in Ocala and Marion County you’ve come to the right place. New things are happening all the time and we have the buzz on what’s going on. Check out special events, find out what’s going on this weekend, and check out great ways to spend an eventing in Ocala.
Looking for more events and things to do in the Ocala area? Check out the What’s Up Ocala Events Calendar. Check out information below about some of the great things to do that are open all the time in Ocala. If we missed something don’t hesitate to let us know!
Silver Springs State Park
Wild Waters Waterpark
Appleton Museum of Art
Cactus Jack’s Trail Rides
Relax and enjoy beautiful guided trail rides through the FLORIDA HORSE PARK and on the Ocala GREENWAY Trail System.
Captain Mike’s Lazy River Cruises
-On the Withlacoochee River
-Sightseeing & Birdwatching
-Leaving various times daily!
Take a trip in to Florida’s Past. Leisurely scenic tours on the Withlacoochee River in a covered pontoon boat.
Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing
Easy Street Family Fun Center
The whole family will have fun at this amusement center that includes go-karts, bumper boats, a miniature golf course, a large arcade, a giant indoor playground, and a snack bar.
I-75 Super Flea Market
The Market of Marion
Ocala Civic Theatre
Silver River Museum and State Park
The Silver River Museum and Environmental Education Center
Wild Bills Airboat Tours
“Looking for something to do?.”
Okay, let’s be honest. We’ve all said it. And if we haven’t, surely one of our friends has.
While Ocala may not offer as many activities as a large metropolitan area, there’s definitely a lot of things to do for people of all kinds to experience by a short drive to downtown Ocala or as the locals call it, “The Square.”
Downtown Ocala, the “brick city”, serves as the seat of Marion County. It gained its nickname after the area was rebuilt with bricks after a devastating fire on Thanksgiving in 1883 and has remained a steady presence in the Central Florida area ever since.
The historic downtown area provides locals and tourists with a peek into the rich history of the city with century-old buildings, horse-drawn carriage rides and tours. For those who are more interested in the present, downtown Ocala has plenty of other things to do.
Whether you are an artist, a musician, a movie buff, a couple, or someone who just likes to have a good time, the downtown scene has you covered. There is something to do tonight, tomorrow and this evening!
For the artist:
For you creative types out there, the square is constantly hosting art festivals for you to indulge in a good time. Also, be sure to check out the Brick City Center for the Arts, there is plenty of artist work displayed. It can be located on 23 S.W. Broadway St. This gallery and gift shop is part of the Marion Cultural Alliance (MCA), a non-profit membership organization that strives to support cultural activities in the Marion County area. The location hosts a variety of events ranging from exhibits, live music, Open Mic Night and other performing art activities.
For the music lover:
To those of you musically inclined looking for something to do, concerts are thrown several times throughout the year, and occasionally, dancers perform. Restaurants and bars host live music several nights of the week as well. There are nightly specials
Besides offering a Cuban sandwich that’s hard to beat, Mojo Grill and Catering is a hot spot to catch a live band. The good thing is you don’t have to be 21 to catch the action.
And for those of you 21 and up, be sure to check out Pi on Broadway, BFE (Booze, Food and Entertainment), O’Malley’s Alley, Ritters Beer Garden and Lillian’s Music Store.
The movie buff looking for something to do:
Are you that person who sees a movie preview and counts down the days until the first showing? If so, the Marion Theatre is certainly the spot for you. The theater, located at 50 S. Magnolia Ave, has been an off and on presence to the downtown area since 1941.
The cinema shows the latest and greatest films for moviegoers to enjoy.
Also, for those of you who like to sip an alcoholic beverage while viewing a film, beer and wine are made available to those 21 and up.
For the best couples date :
To those of you helplessly in love looking for something to do, treat your honey to a romantic night out on the town. For an intimate meal, try The Melting Pot. With the lights dimmed and booths that allow for privacy, couples can indulge in a 4-course meal of cheese-fondue, salad, an entrée and chocolate fondue.
If cooking your food isn’t your style, opt for La Cuisine French Restaurant. In this elegant atmosphere, couples can experience a traditional French meal while listening to soft music and trying delicious savories.
The date doesn’t end there. Be sure to take a walk around and catch a late-night movie, grab a drink or just enjoy the company of your person of interest on the historic streets of Ocala.
For the foodie:
If so, DO stop in Stella’s Modern Pantry and Primary Oven Handmade Bakery and Café for one-of-a-kind breakfast and lunches. Also, be sure to try one of Stella’s Co-Owner and Pastry Chef Albert Barrett’s delicious desserts. They are simply to die for.
For the nighttime foodie, Primary Oven is now offering gourmet dinners on Saturday night.
For the foodie on a tighter budget, we’re back to Mojo Grill and Catering. Providing soul food paired with a fun environment, you won’t be let down. Not to mention, Norman’s Chocolates and Confections is right next-door for an after dinner treat.
For the social butterfly:
If you’re interested in meeting a friend to relax, study or even a quick chat, Starbucks offers the perfect atmosphere to kick back over a great cup of latte.
Looking for a fun place to enjoy drinks with friends in a casual environment? Try BFE and Lillians. Both are fun bars that serve food and allow for a good time to let loose.
If you’re looking for a dressier place to get down, try Pi on Broadway. This restaurant and bar with its open rooftop is a classy and fun time.
But remember, safety first. If you are looking for a taxi in Ocala. Dan D the Taxi Man is also there for you. He is always parked by the Marion Theatre and can be reached at 352-671-3400.
So, for those of you who think there is nothing to do in Ocala, be sure to try “The Square.” From dinner, entertainment and tasty treats, there is a piece to go around for everyone.
Words by Ashton McLeod