See a show
December performances include family-friendly shows, holiday specials, and adult comedy:
December 3-4 at Warehouse Theatre
Moscow Ballet: The Great Russian Nutcracker
December 1 at Jesse Auditorium
5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche
December 8-11, December 15-18 at Columbia Entertainment Company
See our calendar of events for a complete list.
Take a photo at the Magic Tree
The Magic Tree is a favorite Columbia holiday tradition, and although there’s now several of these completely lit trees around town, you should still make a trip to the original Magic Tree at the Village of Cherry Hill. There is even a festival for the ‘lighting of the tree’ on December 1st with Santa, food trucks, and holiday fun.
Go holiday shopping
We have all the usual shopping options where you can pick up gifts for everyone on your list but you should also check out these special events:
1st Annual Christkindlmarkt – December 2 at Gunter Hans, 5:30-8:30 PM
Battle FBLA Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair – December 10 at Battle High School, 8-12 PM
Holiday Gift Boutique – December 10 at Columbia Independent School, 9 AM
Columbia Winter Farmers Market – December 3, 10, 17 at Parkade Center 9-12 PM
Attend a festival
The first weekend of December is packed with festivals: head downtown on Friday, December 2nd, for First Fridays in the North Village Arts District and Living Windows, when shopkeepers stage live performances in their shop windows. On Saturday, join Columbia Parks and Rec at Progressive Missionary Baptist for the City Kwanzaa Celebration. And Sunday? Check out the first annual Chocolate Festival at Parkade Center – pick up some holiday gifts from local vendors while enjoying chocolatey treats.
Listen to live jazz
“We Always Swing” Jazz Series is bringing two great holiday performances to Columbia this month:
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis+ Special Guest Vocalist, Catherine Russell
December 4th, 7 PM at Missouri Theatre
Tim Warfield’s All-Star Jazzy Christmas
December 11th, 3:30 PM and 7 PM at Murry’s
Check out a tractor parade
If you’re looking for a unique holiday experience, look no further than the annual Centralia Christmas Tractor Parade. See floats, tractors, lawn mowers, and other farm equipment decked out in holiday lights and decorations. Santa might even be there on his Christmas tractor.
December 16th, 7 PM in Centralia
Take in the holiday lights
You could drive around town looking for lights OR you could make plans to attend one of these events:
51st Shelter Insurance Christmas Tree Lighting | December 1st, 6 PM
Santa and holiday music included.
Friends of Rocheport Christmas Tree Lighting | December 4th, 6 PM
Christmas carols will follow the tree lighting and then head to Community Hall for refreshments and a visit with Santa.
Candy Cane Crib | 115 W. El Cortez Dr.
You can’t miss the famous Candy Cane Crib! Santa will be there on December 10th.
Holiday Lights and Sights Tour | December 16th, 6:15 PM and 7:45 PM
Meet Columbia Parks and Rec at The ARC and enjoy holiday lights from a mini-bus. Cost is $7.50, and pre-registration is required.
It’s a Wonderful Ride: Holiday Lights Bicycle Tour | December 18th, 5:30 PM
Join GetAbout Columbia at Lucky’s Market and see holiday lights in and around downtown.
Go back in time
Stephens College’s A Dickens Victorian Christmas is an annual favorite. It’s a family-friendly, authentic recreation of a 19th century English Christmas with Mr. and Mrs. Dickens that includes refreshments, period dance, music, and more. You have four days to choose from so don’t miss out!
December 4-7 at Stephens College, Historic Senior Hall
Run (or walk) for a cause
The Jingle Bell Run is the perfect excuse to break out those ugly holiday sweaters, tie jingle bells to yourself, dress up like Santa or an elf… the cheerier, the better!
December 10th, 8 AM at Silverthorne Arena
Brew ‘n View
Beer and holiday movies – enough said. The Blue Note has two Christmas Brew ‘n Views planned: Home Alone December 15th and Elf, December 22nd.