November is a bustling month here in Ocala, with plenty of events to fill your calendar. Whether you’re looking to experience the local art scene, make family memories at the annual Light Up Ocala event, or enjoy some of Ocala’s most breathtaking views at an equestrian event, we’ve collected events for everyone.

November 2nd

October Art Walk | Downtown Ocala | 6 – 9 PM

The highly anticipated First Friday Art Walk season is back! This FREE community event takes place the first Friday of each month from September through May. Located within Ocala’s historic downtown, event festivities include artist displays, live entertainment, free family art activities and extended shopping hours.  Check the event page for a full lineup of activities. Additional activities and events will be happening simultaneously all throughout downtown at some of our participating businesses. #shoplocal #eatlocal #buylocal

November Exhibit – Here, There and Now by artist Milly Sheffer | Marion Cultural Alliance 

Come experience the latest one-woman show at the Marion Cultural Alliance featuring the works of Milly Sheffer. The Marion Cultural Alliance (MCA) is a private, 501(C) 3 supporting the arts & culture in Ocala/Marion County, Florida activities include Cultural Grants, advocacy, fundraising, and community partnerships, all to improve access and provide resources for a broad spectrum of cultural organizations in Ocala and Marion County, Florida. 

November 3rd

Marion County Chili Cook-Off |  Southeastern Livestock Pavilion | 10 AM – 5 PM

The highly anticipated annual Chili Cook-Off is back with chili galore! Expect countless tastings, a craft beer garden, children’s area, tailgate corner, new and improved stage, car show and so much more! Check the event page for updates leading up to the event.

Ocala Downtown Market | Downtown Ocala | 9 AM – 2 PM

Come out to enjoy a celebration of local produce, crafts, and food trucks! Just around the corner from the square, the open-air market pavilion hosts a wide variety of local and regional vendors offering unique and quality products. The market is open weekly, Saturdays 9am-2pm Rain or Shine

TEDxOcala 2018 | Reilly Arts Center | 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxOcala, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxOcala event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized. Our theme this year is “It’s Time” Tickets run from $20-75.00

Guided Tour | Kanapaha Botanical Gardens | 10 AM – 12 PM

Kanapaha offers a guided tour of the Gardens the first Saturday of every month, starting at 10:00 am. Regular admission price for non-members and members are admitted free of charge. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens (Gainesville, Florida) is comprised of 24 major collections visually accessible from a 1 ½ mile paved walkway. These include the state’s largest public display of bamboos and the largest herb garden in the Southeast.

Private Dinner with world-renowned pianist John O’Conor | Reilly Arts Center  | 6:30 PM

Enjoy a fabulous night and private dinner at Golden Ocala with world-renowned pianist John O’Conor to benefit the Reilly Arts Center! Seating is limited | Tables of 10 | Cocktail Attire. Your ticket will also include a ticket to his solo performance at the Reilly Arts Center on Sunday, November 4 at 3:00 PM.

November 4th

Mary Sue Harris Memorial Barrel Race | Williston Horseman’s Association

As the home base for the Williston Horseman’s Association, the Park hosts family-oriented competitions and events from equestrian events to car exhibitions to dog shows. The WHA is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to support the community and its youth.

Pianist John O’Conor LIVE |  Reilly Arts Center | 3:00 PM

World-renowned pianist John O’Conor will perform for Reilly audiences with a programme that includes works by Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Field. O’Conor has performed in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand and has appeared with such orchestras as the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony and more.

Ranger Program | Silver Springs State Park | 2 – 3 PM

You’re invited to take part in a park ranger program. Topics vary with each program offering an opportunity to learn something new about Silver Springs State Park and Florida’s unique environment.  The Ranger Program is held every Sunday, the program begins at 2 p.m. and is free with park admission.

Depot Park | Gainesville, FL 

Depot Park has ongoing events throughout the month includingswing dance lessons, fitness classes, tours, kids arts and crafts, game nights, DJ dance parties, and movies. Visit their website for updated event information and ongoing events. Depot Park is the highest used and most visible public space in the City of Gainesville. Since opening in 2016 the park has hosted countless events and serves as one of Gainesville’s biggest economic driving forces.

November 6th

Homebuyer’s Education Course | UF/IFAS Marion County Extension | Oct 2 – Oct 23

Homebuyer education helps reduce stressful, discouraging, time-consuming and costly roadblocks. Certificates of completion will be awarded after attendance of all four classes. Satisfies requirements set forth by H.U.D., S.H.I.P., Habitat for Humanity and other housing assistance programs. Follow the link to learn about all 4 class topics. Registration deadline is September 27, 2018

November 7th

Stay Local – Marion County | College of Central Florida | 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Join our Corporate Recruiter Tiffany B., representatives of the College of Central Florida, and Ocala-area employers at this fun and informative event. “Stay Local” will showcase educational and career opportunities in the Ocala area. All middle school, high school, and college students from the area are invited. Doors open at 5 p.m. Follow the link to learn about what you can expect at this event. Be sure to look at our #CommunitySpotlight featuring CF’s Vintage Farm and learn how they are improving their equestrian studies program.

Archery 101 for Adults, Session II | Brick City Adventure Park | 5:30 PM

Try something new and unique with this beginner archery program for adults ages 17 and up. Class start Oct 3rd – 24th, entry fee is $15 a month per person and includes 4 classes. Classes meet weekly at Brick City Adventure Park – 1211 SE 22nd Road, Ocala, FL.

November 9th

Wonderment presented by Dance Alive National Ballet | Reilly Arts Center | 7:30 PM

Celebrate the Spiritual Life with ‘Wonderment’. Set to Mozart’s ‘Requiem Mass’ and Bernstein’s ‘Mass for the Common Man’, Kim Tuttle’s ‘Wonderment’ explores belief and skepticism with beauty and grace.

November 10th

Harvest Feast 2018 | Tuscawilla Park | 1 – 10 PM

Harvest Feast is back and more exciting than ever! The annual music and food truck festival will feature two stages of rock, bluegrass, country, and folk music. Enjoy lots of food trucks and vendors. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. This year’s headline artist features Daughtry, check the rest of the lineup here. Tickets purchase available at for $10.

Sorting | Williston Horseman’s Association | 1 PM – 5 PM

As the home base for the Williston Horseman’s Association, the Park hosts family-oriented competitions and events from equestrian events to car exhibitions to dog shows. The WHA is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to support the community and its youth.

Ocala Plein Air Painters | Silver Springs State Park | 9 AM

You’re invited to watch canvases come to life as artists with Ocala Plein Air capture the beauty of Silver Springs State Park. Enter through the main entrance to discover art created in real time of the beautiful Silver Springs State Park. The event is free with paid park admission.

Dancing Under the Stars | Depot Park | 6 – 9 PM

Put on your best clothes, grab a date and head to Depot Park for a night under the stars featuring lessons, lights (and stars) music, photos and a good time. Tickets can be purchased at the event, learn more via the event page.

2018 Fall Festival | Gainesville, FL | 8:30 AM – 12 PM

Mark your calendars for the Haile Farmers Market 2018 Fall Festival! Saturday the 10th of November we’ll have special extended hours, 8:30 am-Noon. Featuring handmade crafts of all kinds, special kids events/crafts, live music, food tastings, a fall family photo-opt, and much much more. Bring the whole family for a day at the market to usher in the cool weather to north central Florida.

Ocali Country Days | Silver River Museum & Environmental Education Center | Nov 10 – 11

Visit the Florida of Yesteryear at this family-friendly event where visitors get a chance to step back in time. Authentic old time music, folk crafts & demonstrations, unique vendors & great food. All proceeds support the Museum’s educational programs. Admission $5 Cash (No ATM on site) *Kids 5 & under free

Sunshine State Mopar Show & Swap Meet | Florida Horse Park | Nov 10 – 11

The Florida Mopar Association aims to promote car related hobbies for the Mopar (Chrysler Corporation Vehicles) enthusiast and to unite and assist all Mopar clubs within the state of Florida. Join them as they host a Mopar show at the Florida Horse Park featuring Big Daddy Don Garlits. Spectators are welcome and enter free with a fee of $5/car for parking.

November 11th

Partners of the Park 3-Phase Schooling | Florida Horse Park | 8 AM

Partners of the Park is a volunteer organization of equestrians and equestrian enthusiasts dedicated to delivering a variety of schooling, dressage, and hunter-jumper shows for riders and spectators alike. Profits go toward building a better horse park for everyone to enjoy.

Partners of the Park XC Schooling | Florida Horse Park | 8 AM

Partners of the Park is a volunteer organization of equestrians and equestrian enthusiasts dedicated to delivering a variety of schooling, dressage, and hunter-jumper shows for riders and spectators alike. Profits go toward building a better horse park for everyone to enjoy. Get event updates here

Garden Tour | Silver Springs State Park | 1 PM

Join a park ranger for information about the gardens’ history, learn about the different seasonal flowers and blooms, as well as about pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies. The tour passes through the following gardens: Courtyard Garden, Crossroads Garden, Camellia Garden, Fire & Water Garden, and the tour ends at the Wildflower Garden. After the tour, visitors are free to continue exploring the garden pathways and trails or walk back along the river.  The program is free with paid park admission.

Appleton Museum of Art | Ongoing Events

The Appleton is an award-winning contemporary interpretation of classical architecture clad in Italian travertine marble. The 81,610-square-foot museum features 30,000 square feet of gallery space devoted to the Appleton’s permanent collections. With continuous events for the whole family to enjoy this is a must-see for art lovers of all ages.

November 14th

Pickleball Clinics with coaches Matty & Meishen | The Grand Oaks Resort | Recurring event

Coach Matty Klein is a certified teaching coach with the IPTPA (International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association). With over 7 years of experience, he has taught over 8,000 students on 22 states and 3 countries.  He and wife, Coach Meishen, offer weekly Pickleball Clinics where you can enhance your game and hone your skills. This is a recurring event, follow the link for registration details.

November 15th

Ocala Jockey Club 3-Day International Event | Ocala Jockey Club | Nov 15 – 18

The Ocala Jockey Club hosts a spectator and media-focused International 3-Day Event with a family-friendly atmosphere. This prestigious event, running since 2016, has already attracted two of the top three Rio Olympic individual medal winners and other top US and international riders. The event won the 2018 Florida Sports Foundation Small Market Event of the Year award, in recognition of its contribution to Florida sports tourism. Check the event page for details on events happening each day of the series.

The Ocala Cup Southern Regional Paso Fino Horse Show | Southeastern Livestock Pavilion | Nov 15 – 18

Make plans to attend The Ocala Cup with live entertainment, great food, car show, and over $100,000 in prize money! As one of the largest breeding and training facilities in the area the Southern Regional Paso Fino Association aims to sustain, enhance, improve, cultivate and protect the breeding, bloodlines, character and heritage of the Paso Fino breed: to educate, instruct, inform, enlighten and interest people in proper methods of Paso Fino riding techniques and to maintain the breed standards as well as promoting the Paso Fino breed.

Kayak and Koffee | Silver Springs State Park | 9:30 am 

Weekday outings on the Silver Rivers, ideal for beginners and those interested in nature and wildlife-viewing. Equipment provided. Fee is $30 / person ages 18 and up. Fee includes equipment and refreshments following the outing. Paddlers will meet at 9:30 am at the Silver Springs State Park launch site (Route 40 entrance). Can’t make it this week? No worries this event happens the third Thursday of every Month.

November 17th

Light Up Ocala | Downtown Ocala | 4 – 9 PM

Join us for the 35th annual Light Up Ocala! Watch beautiful downtown Ocala come alive with sparkling lights and illuminated icicles. Get in the holiday spirit as you shop from local vendors, sing along to holiday songs, take pictures in front of the tree and meet Santa himself! This year’s event theme is “Here We Glow Again” with two stages and two entertainment zones throughout the downtown area including live music, dance, food, crafts, and, of course, the annual holiday tree lighting ceremony and more than 100 vendors.

Pleasure & Ranch Schooling Show | Williston Horseman’s Association | 9 AM – 6 PM

As the home base for the Williston Horseman’s Association, the Park hosts family-oriented competitions and events from equestrian events to car exhibitions to dog shows. The WHA is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to support the community and its youth.

Handel’s Messiah and More! | Reilly Arts Center | 3:00 PM

Usher in the holiday spirit with Handel’s incredible Oratorio featuring the orchestra and a large community choir. Guests will also enjoy Vivaldi’s Winter from the Four Seasons.

November 18th

Born Yesterday | Ocala Civic Theatre | Oct. 18 – Nov 11

“Born Yesterday” is directed by Carlos Francisco Asse. There will be 21 public performances from October 18 through November 11. Tickets are $27 for adults and $13 for full-time students (school ID required for college students). For details about the show or to purchase tickets head to the event page. 

Hansel and Gretel: UF Opera Theater | Reilly Arts Center | 3:00 PM

The famous fairytale by the Brothers Grimm is a holiday favorite and a treat for the whole family, young and old. This gala production features talented singers from the UF Opera Theatre, the full 80-piece UF Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Matthew Wardell, and all the moments you adore—rambunctious children, fretful parents, a beautiful, candy-sprinkled gingerbread house, and of course… the Witch! Discover opera in a delightful way and create family memories that will last a lifetime. The staging takes place in front of the instruments in a festive production reminiscent of the recent Sweeney Todd, which was broadcast internationally on PBS to rave reviews. Sung in English. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

Pickin’ in the Park | Silver Springs State Park | 1:00 PM

Silver Springs State ParkJam out to acoustic music at Silver Springs State Park, from banjo, guitar and fiddle to upright bass and accordion. You’re invited to bring your own instrument, join in, and jam with the group! Located in the central and charming Ocala, Florida, Silver Springs State Park has been a natural landmark since the 1870s, enjoy kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, Glass Bottom Boat tours, biking, hiking, camping.

November 19th

An Evening with Petula Clark | Reilly Arts Center | 6:30 PM

3 Grammy Awards, 68 million records sold, and 159 Top 40 worldwide hits…Petula Clark is the iconic artist behind countless huge global hits including ‘Downtown’, ‘I Know A Place’, ‘My Love’, ‘This Is My Song’ and ‘I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love’. Still blessed with a continuing love for creating music and an ability to inspire audiences all over the world, you won’t want to miss this chance to see Petula Clark in the beautiful Reilly Arts Center!

November 22nd

23rd Annual Turkey Trot | Frank DeLuca YMCA of Central Florida (Frank DeLuca) | 7 AM – 10 

A Marion County tradition, join in for the 23rd Annual Turkey Trot taking place Thanksgiving Day at the YMCA. Choose from a 5K, 10K, Outdoor Cycling Class, Turkey Burner Group Exercise Specialty Class, or Youth Dodgeball Tournament. Going out of town for Thanksgiving? Try the virtual race options for the 5K and the 10K, which allows you to complete the race on your own and post your results to social media. Register online here.

November 23rd

Grand Oaks Horse Trials | The Grand Oaks Resort | Nov. 23 – 25

Come see three days of equestrian competition events including dressage, cross country and show jumping. Spectators welcome, free and open to the public. Check the event page for more details.

Ocala Balloon Glow | Florida Horse Park | Nov 23- 25

The Ocala Balloon Glow features hot air balloons glowing at dusk, tethered balloon rides, the best local food trucks, retail vendors, activities for the kids – including a meet with SANTA CLAUS!!! And so much more!! Admission fees vary, check the event page for more details.

River Rhythms | Silver Springs State Park | 4 PM – 6 PM
You’re invited for an evening full of music and entertainment featuring a live drum circle. From 4 p.m. to sundown, enjoy this musical experience, and bring your own percussion instruments for even more fun. Audience participation is encouraged, including singing and dancing. For your comfort, please bring a blanket or chair. Whether you participate or just watch, it’s a great time for everyone. This program is free with paid park admission.

November 24th

Moonlight Paddles | KP Hole, Dunnellon | 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM

Paddle the Rainbow River under the light of the moon. Launch from KP Hole and paddle to the head springs. Equipment provided. Fee $35 / person (equipment provided) or $20 / person using your own equipment. This event is best suited for those ages 18 and up. The launch will vary based on moonlight schedule.

November 25th

Cracker Village Tour- Silver River Museum | Silver Springs State Park | 10:00 AM

Come and discover what life was like at the turn of the century in the Florida “Piney Woods.” The cracker homestead is a replica of a 19th-century pioneer settlement. This collection of buildings represents a small “Cracker” settlement dating to the 1890s. During the tour, replica buildings will be open for viewing and on most tours the blacksmith’s forge will be fired up. Meet at the Cracker Village across from the Silver River Museum. This is a reoccurring event check the event page for details.

November 30th

Symphony Under the Lights | Reilly Arts Center | 7:30 PM

Join us in Tuscawilla Park at the Reilly’s outdoor stage, the Jenkins Open Air Theatre, for a free and open holiday concert event! Bring chairs, a blanket, some hot chocolate and enjoy the sounds of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, joined by the Ocala Youth Symphony, for a holiday favorites and some surprises! Sponsored by Jenkins Auto Group, this is a family-favorite and a tradition here in Ocala.

Grand Oaks Combined Driving & Derby | The Grand Oaks Resort | Nov 30 – Dec 2

Come see exciting driving competitions! A CDE (combined driving event) is a carriage driving event with three phases of competition that include dressage, cones, and a marathon with hazards/obstacles. Admission is free and spectators are welcome.

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