Blog

by Danny Lee

Missouri has something for everyone, and for festival fans, Columbia is the place to be. From the Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Weekend Celebration in May to the nearly year-round Show-Me State Games to the pageantry of football season’s Mizzou Homecoming, Columbia is prepared to show you a good time, and then some.

Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Weekend Celebration

The sky’s the limit in May, when patriots descend on Columbia—literally, in some cases—for the year’s signature celebrationopens in a new window of those who have served the United States’ armed forces. The headline event is always the air show, in which fighting aircraft from armed conflicts throughout modern history show their stuff to the delight of a vast crowd looking upward and shading their eyes against the bright springtime sunshine. Demonstration teams show off workhorse aircraft like the A-10 “Warthog,” T-28s, the British de Havilland D.H. 100 Vampire, Air Force T-33, the Douglas AD-1 Skyraider and even the 1917 Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” biplane. On the ground, visitors can get close-up looks at Vietnam-era Huey choppers, light observation aircraft and exhibitions by the nation’s military services. A parade on Memorial Day concludes at Columbia College Athletic Field, where the U.S. Army Black Daggers and the Canadian Armed Forces parachute teams make precision landings to kick off the formal Salute to the Nation Ceremony.

Art in the Park

It isn’t just about paintings. When the Columbia Art League sets out to create an art festivalopens in a new window every year in June, the palette ranges from sculpture to clothing to fabrics to ceramics and, yes, paintings in every medium and genre. To occupy visitors between exhibits and sales kiosks, the grounds abound with roaming entertainers such as jugglers and stilt-walkers. Kids won’t be bored for a second with magicians and face painters available to amaze and delight them and lemonade, ice cream and other savory snacks to nosh on. The site, Stephens Lake Park, offers a lakefront boardwalk perfect for enjoying a leisurely stroll, and there are woodland trails to get a close look at nature’s own artwork.

Show-Me State Games

For athletes and their fans, the Show-Me State Gamesopens in a new window are the ideal proving grounds. In June, lacrosse, swimming, pickleball, soccer and volleyball are on offer. In July, the Games feature competitors in a wide variety of sports—archery, disc golf, power lifting, softball, synchronized swimming, volleyball and wrestling to name a few. Entrants want to walk away victorious, but everyone has the time of their lives, win or lose. The Games are hosted by the University of Missouri and grew out of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health. Columbia plays host to more than 30,000 athletes competing in the Games, including contestants from nearly all of the state’s 114 counties. That means the competition is extremely challenging but the fun quotient is even higher.

Heritage Festival & Craft Show

A visit to the Heritage Festivalopens in a new window in Columbia doesn’t just turn back the clock, it turns back the calendar. Historically attired tradesmen and artisans put their skills on display, as well as their wares. It’s a rare visitor who doesn’t come away from this September festival with a handwoven basket full of handcrafted souvenirs and plenty of unique, happy memories. Entertainment on two stages gives a glimpse of the fun they had in Missouri’s early days. Back then, you couldn’t go down to the local cineplex for an afternoon double feature; people had to make their own fun. Not surprisingly, it’s still fun today to hear the singing, watch the dancing and listen to the tales of excitement and adventure relayed by gifted storytellers who seem to be left over from an age long before television and movies. On the beautiful grounds of Nifong Park, the festival leaves plenty of time to explore nature trails, the 1877 Maplewood Home and the Walters Boone County Historical Museum.

Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival

As the early autumn air fills with the scents of fall, the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festivalopens in a new window adds its own savory notes of barbecue and bluesy music. Every September, masters of the twin arts of blues music and barbecuing descend on Columbia to tantalize taste buds and well-tuned ears with sweet music and food. The laid-back atmosphere is contagious at Stephens Lake Park for this September event; even the songbirds along the nature trails seem to trill along with the music, and it must be hard for the raccoons to stay hidden with the tantalizing scent of barbecue drifting on the breeze. Just as there are many barbecue recipes available, the music menu is always shifting, as well. It’s not unusual to hear gospel, rhythm & blues, country & western, swing and maybe even a touch of Dixieland for a southern tang. As night falls and both the air and the music get cool, the festival heats up with music fans flocking to the bandstand, hands raised, feet tapping and more than a few couples clearing out space to dance and dip.

Mizzou Homecoming

By the third week in October, football season is well under way, and the time has rolled around again for the University of Missouri Homecomingopens in a new window. Interestingly, it’s also known as the original homecoming—in 1911, the then athletic director put out the call for graduates to “come home” and support their alma mater in the annual rivalry game against Kansas University. Tradition doesn’t go much deeper than that. In this case, tradition also involves a pulse-pounding parade through Columbia and around campus, three big talent nights and the distribution of beautiful Homecoming Mums. And of course there’s the football game itself, a riot of color, cheering, marching band music and tailgating that together turn Missouri’s historic Faurot Field into the Midwest’s epicenter of football for the duration of this fantastic festival weekend.

Check out the festivals in Columbiaopens in a new window

Continue reading...

Discover music, art and good reads in downtown Columbia, Missouri

written by Jackie Tucker


My husband, Jake, and I are massive music fans. The 9th Street Summerfest in Columbia, Missouri, is one of our favorite music festivals of the year. We buy our tickets early, clear our calendars and drive two hours from St. Louis to enjoy warm summer nights filled with all our favorite music. Last year, we tried something new. Instead of just heading downtown for the concert in the evening, we had decided to make a day of it. As many times as we had been to Summerfest, we had never taken the time to explore the surrounding downtown area of Columbia—The District.

“Why have we not done this before?” I remembered Jake asking as we wandered down streets filled with sidewalk cafes, art studios and gorgeous old buildings.

Maybe it was the freedom of a summer day with no set agenda, or maybe it was the anticipation of the concert later, but the city seemed to be giving off a warm, energetic vibe that I was embracing wholeheartedly.

A good story

“Jake, look!” I pointed out a store window full of books.

I can’t pass up a good bookstore, and I could tell there was something special about Yellow Dog Bookshop. From the adorable name to the two children who were laughing as they walked out of the shop with their parents, I knew we had to go inside.

As Jake held the door open for me, he said (a little overdramatically), “All this happened, more or less.”

It was a running joke between us. I have this quirky knack for remembering the first lines of famous novels, and Jake always tries to one-up me. As I walked in, I responded with one of my favorites from Pride and Prejudice. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

Jake grinned as he browsed through a stack of books on a table by the door. He picked one up and cleared his throat.

“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.”

“All right, you win!” I laughed. It’s hard to compete with Dickens.

I made my way along the rows of shelves filled with everything from new releases to beloved childhood favorites. The smell of old books and the soft shuffling of pages took me back to afternoons spent at the library after school. And then, I saw my favorite book as a little girl—The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. It wasn’t new, but it was in excellent condition. On the inside cover an inscription read, “To Anna: I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did (and still do). Love, Aunt Sarah.”

And even though I already had three copies of the book, I bought this one, too.

Local art scene

A few blocks away we discovered the Columbia Art League, a gallery of work from talented national and local artists. The art was eclectic and vibrant, a reflection of The District itself. There seemed to be something for everyone—paintings, sculptures and even handcrafted items. It was a visual feast that ranged from contemporary art to funky folklore.

“I don’t understand it, but I like it.” Jake admired a rather psychedelic painting with a turtle in front of a cityscape on a bright blue background. “It looks like it should be an album cover.” Jake is a graphic designer, and I could see his mind spinning with ideas. It was fun to watch his creative process at work.

As we explored the rest of the art in the gallery, I began to appreciate the fact that local artists created all these pieces. While I am certainly no artist myself, I do enjoy it and admire organizations such as the Columbia Art League that involve national and local talent and give emerging and accomplished artists a place to showcase their work together.

Music and lyrics

We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling the streets of The District, delighted by the lovely shops and restaurants around every corner. After a quick bite to eat at Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, we made our way to The Blue Note. A crowd was filling the streets around the outdoor stage and the excitement was growing.

The Blue Note was the perfect spot for live music performances, small with a great bar. Jake and I discovered a couple of our favorite new bands there. It’s standing room only by the stage and the balcony seating is where it’s at if you want a great view. The intimate venue had amazing acoustics, but for 9th Street Summerfest, they took the party outside so more people could get in on the action.

Jake and I made our way to the stage, weaving in and out of the crowd. The energy was contagious. The band hit the stage and we joined in with all the other screaming fans. This may have been what we came for, but Columbia had delivered more than just a great concert and we certainly looked forward to returning in 2018.

Discover The District in Columbia.

Continue reading...

We checked out the photos posted around Columbia to find out what people are Instagramming the most, and there are definitely some favorite spots! Take a look at our list of ‘must-Instagram’ places in CoMo:

1. The Columns

Duh, right? Mizzou’s iconic Columnsopens in a new window are the 2nd most photographed spot in Missouri – so obviously it’s a can’t-miss for any Instagrammer visiting CoMo.

2. City Hall

City Hall is a beautiful building but to make it even more Insta-worthy, there’s this unique Keys to the Cityopens in a new window sculpture in front commemorating Columbia’s history.

3. CoMo trails

We have 60+ miles of trails, and the MKT has even been voted the 2nd best urban trailopens in a new window in the nation. Lucky for us we also have a great Parks and Recreation department to keep the trails in good shape and looking beautiful.

4. Festivals

While not exactly a ‘place,’ Columbia is home to so many awesome festivalsopens in a new window like Roots N Blues N BBQ, True/False Film Festopens in a new window, Art in the Park, Citizen Jane Film Fest, the Heritage Festival, Unbound Book Festival, and more.

5. Capen Park

Capen Parkopens in a new window provides picture-perfect views from the bluffs, and who doesn’t want to Instagram fall colors, a bluff-top sunrise, or cute pups on a hike? (We know there are daredevils out there but we do not recommend getting close to the edge.)

6. Memorial Union

The tower of Memorial Union was completed in 1926 as a tribute to students who lost their lives in World War I. One of Mizzou’s many traditionsopens in a new window involves always tipping your hat and whispering when walking underneath the tower to honor the fallen soldiers. The tower is popular on Instagram because of the gorgeous architecture (and it reminds Harry Potter fans of Hogwarts, so there’s that, too).

7. Columbia’s Skyline

From parking garages, The Roof, hot air balloons… you name it, photos of Columbia from above are another ‘must-have’ for Instagram.

8. Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

Rock Bridgeopens in a new window is kind of like our hidden secret: not many visitors know about the caves, natural rock bridge, sinkholes, and everything else that can be found in the park. There are eight major trails for you to explore – but definitely check out the plank trail that takes you to Connor’s Cave (Devil’s Ice Box is currently closed to protect the bats) and by the rock bridge for great photo opportunities.

9. Food from Local Restaurants

Nachos from Addison’sopens in a new window, ice cream from Sparky’sopens in a new window, Harold’s Doughnutsopens in a new window, Shakespeare’s Pizza, etc. We have so many delicious restaurantsopens in a new window – foodies (and Instagrammers) rejoice!

10. Public art

Columbia is full of random art – traffic box artopens in a new window, wall murals, storm drainopens in a new window paintings, sculptures, and more. Learn more about our public art and how to take a self-guided public art tour from the Office of Cultural Affairsopens in a new window.

Honorable mention: The Big Tree

The Big Treeopens in a new window is just south of Columbia off of Route K, and is worth the short drive or bike ride. If you have never seen it, you’re probably thinking, “what’s the big deal about a tree?” We think the photos speak for themselves, but if you want stats: this tree is the largest bur oak tree in Missouri, and is around 350 years old, 90 feet tall, and has a circumference of 287 inches. It has survived floods, lightning strikes, and the occasional vandalism, and locals and visitors love stopping by The Big Tree for picnics and photos. Just trust us on this one.


What do you think? Did we include everything or did we miss something? Tag us on Instagramopens in a new window and use #ShowMeCoMo!

Continue reading...

Spend the day exploring the outdoors in Columbia, Missouri

By Danny Lee

Finding fun outdoors comes easy around Columbia, Missouri, where residents and visitors can explore a landscape crowded with parks, trails and other outdoor action areas. Columbia offers enough forest-y fun for any nature lover, from the Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary to the wild appeal of the rails-to-trails Katy Trail. With a multitude of other invigorating outdoor venues, as well as facilities for more organized recreation, such as hiking, biking, swimming and casual picnicking, there’s an activity for everyone.

children bicycling on the MKT Trail in Columbia, Missouri

The MKT Trail, which connects Columbia to the Katy Trail, is a popular jogging and bicycling trail.

Finger Lakes State Park

All-terrain vehicles and woodland recreation coexist within the generous expanse of Finger Lakes State Park. Rolling hills, rippling waterways and forested glades thrill visitors who might never suspect that it’s all on reclaimed coal-mining land. A water trail accessible by canoe or kayak leads around the park’s lake, also popular with fishermen, and a pleasant beach is perfect for a refreshing dip after a hike or mountain bike outing through the woods. Visitors can lounge around the campfire and lay down their heads among the trees and quiet nighttime rustlings of a naturally wild environment in one of the 19 basic or 16 electric campsites.

Capen Park

The rocky topography of Capen Park takes Missouri outdoors adventure to another level. Rock climbers and rappelers love the challenging outcrops looking down on Hinkson Creek. Those who don’t fancy dangling from or clambering up and down the sheer limestone cliffs will certainly relish the tranquil, wooded trails along the creek’s flat-rocked path. One great place to enjoy the stream is from the graceful old iron bridge that crosses its course. Hikers love to sit on the bluffs looking out across the green and leafy property, tucked away in an in-town location that seems remote but is actually almost as convenient as your own backyard.

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

A short jaunt south of Columbia, Rock Bridge Memorial State Park showcases a variety of trails, wooded glens, hills and dales making up a fascinating karst landscape. It’s alive with sinkholes, crystal-clear springs feeding into streams, and the underground limestone features that jut unexpectedly into the open air or give way to yawning caverns below. Connor’s Cave makes a great self-guided exploration. Hikers, horseback riders and bikers share the 15 miles of trails tracing through shady woods and wildflower-sprinkled meadows in the park and adjoining Gans Creek Wild Area. Families gather in broad picnic areas and shelters and fill the playgrounds with happy laughter

At the heart of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park lies the popular Devil’s Icebox Trail. It’s a .5-mile loop boardwalk trail that features plentiful opportunities for nature viewing; it’s mostly wooded, shelters uncountable wildlife, and passes by sinkholes, a limestone glade, and a valley formed by a collapsed portion of the limestone caves that underlie the whole area.

Every level of hiking is available, from forested trails to well-maintained boardwalks, and you can’t beat the admission price: free!

Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary

Nearly 100 acres are devoted to the preservation of a large natural expanse that offers visitors to Bonnie View a beautiful getaway. Broad meadows filled with daisies, Queen Anne’s lace, bellflower and yellow corydalis open from woodland edges. Birdwatchers love the diverse landscape for its possibilities. Paved walkways and a modern shelter open the park up to enjoyment in all weather. The property includes the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, which has recorded 146 bird species in the area. In the spring the diversity swells with the arrival of migrating Ruby- and Golden-crowned Kinglets along with flycatchers, many varieties of warblers, American Woodcock, and Swainson’s thrushes.

Katy Trail

At 240 miles, Missouri’s Katy Trail is one of the nation’s longest rails-to-trails parks, and provides Columbia visitors an excellent route to explore the state’s wilder areas. Tracking along the Missouri River, the trail serves bikers, hikers, and joggers 12 months a year, displaying brilliant colors in the fall, silent snowy vistas in the winter, wildflowers in the spring and a summer full of the relaxing buzz of crickets, katydids and yearly broods of cicadas. Birds and other wildlife make frequent appearances along the way; raccoon and deer, squirrel, chipmunks and opossum have their own daily and nightly rounds, which sharp-eyed hikers and bikers can enjoy keeping tabs on. The rolling Missouri serves up plentiful fishing holes, and fans of wild edibles will find natural treats no farther away than the nearest blackberry bush. The trail also features the MKT Trail, which connects Columbia to the Katy Trail.


With a variety of activities and outdoor venues, the parks and trails of Columbia are an outdoors paradise.

Explore the outdoors of Columbia.

#ShowMeCoMo

Continue reading...

Happy New Year! As happy as everyone is to leave 2017 behind and start fresh with 2018, we couldn’t resist taking a look back at our most popular Instagram photos from the past year. Looking through these photos, it’s clear that our followers love trails, trees, and sunsets:

January

dog sitting on a snow-covered bridge on one of Columbia's trails

@nelletheaussie enjoyed a snowy walk on one of Columbia’s many trails.

February

nighttime The Big Tree

The Big Tree is a popular spot for both visitors and locals. This shot was captured by @zachev7.

March

cloudy day shot of The Big Tree surrounded by purple honeysuckle

Everyone loves to Instagram The Big Tree. Photo from @alissabriannephotography.

April

nighttime shot of The Big Tree

Seriously… you all REALLY like The Big Tree. Photo by @haley.robison.

May

the natural Rock Bridge at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park with extremely flooded creek

A unique photo of a flooded rock bridge at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Photo captured by @wrumpf.

June

sunset over the Katy Trail

Our Instagram followers love trail shots and sunsets – this post of The Katy Trail is the perfect combo. Photo from @kim_horgan.

July

stormy sunset over Columbia MO

This stormy summer sunset was captured by @duyhauvn, who has awesome Columbia photos.

August

solar eclipse photo with sun peeking out from behind the moon

Let’s not forget about the once-in-a-lifetime event that occurred in August – a total solar eclipse right over Columbia! We had visitors from all over the world, and the experience was truly amazing. Photo by @rgriffin89

September

Exterior of Fretboard Coffee building in the North Village Arts District of Columbia, MO

Fretboard Coffee, one of Columbia’s popular coffee shops, is hidden away in the North Village Arts District. Photo from @younggloomy_.

October

trees showing off their fall colors over the MKT Trail in Columbia MO

The trees really showed off their colors during the fall. This photo of the MKT Trail was taken by @allietea.

November

the Magic Tree, covered in holiday lights at the Village of Cherry Hill in Columbia, MO

We love our trees here in CoMo. This is the original ‘Magic Tree,’ located at The Village of Cherry Hill. Photo taken by Visit Columbia team member, Sandi Peters. 

December

huge 'magic tree' covered in holiday lights at The Crossing church in Columbia, MO

The Crossing Church introduced a new ‘Magic Tree’ to Columbia in 2017, and it is huge! The tree is 85 feet tall and was covered in 200,000 lights. Photo taken by Visit Columbia team member, Sandi Peters. 


Use the tag #ShowMeCoMo on your Columbia photos, and we might ask to share it with our followers!

Continue reading...

As it gets colder, you may be tempted to pass on date night so that you don’t have to brave the frigid temps, snow, and everything else Missouri winters tend to bring. We don’t blame you – it can be hard to find the strength to emerge from your warm pile of blankets (we’ve all been there). But just in case you start getting a little stir-crazy, here are some ideas for a winter date night in Columbia:

stephens lake park sledding

Sledding is not just for kids. Throw on a bunch of layers, grab a sled, and head to Stephens Lake Parkopens in a new window. The hill on the east side of the lake is a popular sledding spot, and there’s typically a bonfire going at Collins Shelter when there is snow on the ground. You can also ice skate on the lake when the ice is deemed thick enough – there will be signs up and updates from Parks and Recreationopens in a new window when skating is allowed. When you decide it’s time to thaw out, stop by Lakotaopens in a new window for your favorite seasonal drink and some hot soup.

food at Gunter Hans in Columbia, MO - pretzel bites, waffle, beer

Mix up your regular ‘dinner and a movie’ date night! Head over to Gunter Hans for Bretzels and Liege Waffles before a movie at Ragtagopens in a new window. Just because you ventured out of the house doesn’t mean you can’t hang out on a couch. Couches = cozy. Check the website for information on current movies.

Magic Tree 2010

No Columbia winter is complete without a visit to the Magic Treeopens in a new window at the Village of Cherry Hill. Get some photos and then warm up at Flat Branch Pubopens in a new window for dinner. Grab a beer (see what’s on tap at Flat Branch), and order your favorite. If you’ve never been, we suggest the Green Chili Chicken Fingers, the Flat Branch Burger, and the Stout Brownie Sundae. Yum. [Once the Magic Tree is gone, here are some other stopsopens in a new window you can make instead.]

bowling

Two words: Lazer Lanesopens in a new window. They have bowling, laser tag, an arcade, BUMPER CARS, food, a bar… what more could you want? Make a contest out of it – whoever loses Lazer tag buys the winner fried Oreos (speaking of food, we want everything on the menuopens in a new window). If the onsite cafe is closed, go next door to Jose Jalapenos for cheese dip and tacos. Check out their drink specials online.

Les Bourgeois A-frame Restaurant

If you’re looking for a quick getaway, Rocheport is the place. Full of small-town charm, there are plenty of antique and gift shops and of course, the winery. Treat yourself to lunch or dinner at the Les Bourgeois Blufftop Bistroopens in a new window or pick out a favorite wine to take home with you at the Tasting Roomopens in a new window.

Have we talked you into a date night? Tweet us @VisitColumbiaMO to let us know or to give us your date night ideas. Enjoy! #ShowMeCoMo

Continue reading...

There is still time to find the perfect holiday gift for everyone on your list! 

For the dad who insists (every year) that he just needs socks

Alpine Shop: Go ahead and get him the socks but throw in something more fun like a new pocket knife, hammock, or Yeti tumbler. information about the holiday baskets offered by Barred Owl ButcherBarred Owl Butcher: The gift your dad didn’t realize he wanted – a holiday basket from Barred Owl. Quantities are limited, email brandy@barredowlbutcher.com or call 573-442-9323 to reserve yours (ask for Brandy or Meaghan).

For the mom who ‘already has everything she wants’

Top Ten Wines: Top Ten Wines has 2500+ different wines… that’s a lot of options. Let the team help you pick out the perfect bottle for your mom, or if you’re feeling especially generous, you can treat her to PV’s Picks Wine of the Month Club. [Top Ten also has a large whiskey and gin selection if your mom isn’t a wine-drinker.]

holiday gifts and home decor The Southern Rose: This local boutique has a huge selection of cute gifts including holiday shirts, ornaments, jewelry, home decor, accessories, and more. We guarantee you’ll be able to find the perfect gift for mom here.

For the one who introduces you to new music

The Blue Note: Check out the list of upcoming events and get a pair of concert tickets for that friend of yours who loves discovering new artists.

band on stage with crowd watching with words 'The Roots N BLues N BBQ Festival'Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival: Pre-sale tickets are available now for the weekend for only $130! The festival includes over 30 artists performing throughout the weekend along with a variety of delicious food vendors. Last year’s musicians included John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Leon Bridges, Band of Horses, and Gary Clark, Jr.

For the college student

to-do notepad Poppy: A new planner or weekly to-do notepad might be a lifesaver for the student in your life.

True/False Film Fest: Every student should experience True/False at least once! Simple passes are on sale for $100 and allow the passholder to reserve up to 10 tickets for films Friday-Sunday. [True/False is coming up March 1-4, 2018]

Lucky’s Market: Give the gift of groceries to your college student – pick up a gift card in-store or have one mailed out by calling the home office at 303-530-0782, extension 147.

For the child who is technically a pet

Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market: Choose from a huge selection of cat and dog food, toys, treats, accessories, and more.

Hanukkah decorated dog treatsTreats Unleashed: Get a sweater or holiday gift bag for your pup! Treats Unleashed has adorable freshly-baked treats and holiday collars, perfect for family photos.

For the one who is always eating

9 small jelly jar pies from Peggy Jean's PiesPeggy Jean’s Pies: Peggy Jean’s does this cool thing where they will SHIP PIES TO YOU. The pies come in cute little jars, and they are just as delicious as a standard-size pie. Of course, you can also order a normal pie to pick up from the shop.

GoPo: This gourmet popcorn is available at Plume, and offers flavors like Snapped Ched, Cookies N Cream, 1/2 Caramel, Everything Tiger, Slowburn Kettle, and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt.

For your grandparents

Give your grandparents a special gift made by you at The Canvas on Broadway or Confetti Craft Co. The Canvas has several holiday paintings coming up, and they walk you through each step (perfect for those of us who aren’t artists). Confetti Craft Co. gives you the option of unique projects like wooden coasters, string art, a dog leash, and a mason jar planter.

For your boss

Holiday Decor at The Candy FactoryThe Candy Factory: The Candy Factory has everything from mugs and holiday to decor to fudge and, of course, candy! You’ll be able to find your boss a small, easy gift here.

Kent’s Floral Gallery: Kent’s has a beautiful selection of holiday flower arrangements and simple red poinsettias.

For the one you can’t talk to before they’ve had coffee

gift pack from Fretboard Coffee with 12 oz coffee, shirt, sticker and bagFretboard Coffee: Get the ‘Caffeine Addict Gift Pack,’ which includes a 12 oz. bag of coffee (your choice) and a Fretboard t-shirt.

Lakota Coffee: Lakota has a ton of gift ideas that would be perfect for your coffee-loving friend including tumblers, coffee of the month clubs, chocolate-covered espresso beans, and coffee brewers and samplers.

Still stuck? Here are a few more ideas:

Boone County History and Culture Center: Hundreds of book titles on local and state history, historical figures, culture, nature and adventure, along with postcards and Boone County Bank commemorative holiday ornaments

Logboat Brewing Co.: Merch and beer!

Ragtag Cinema: Gift card

holiday doughnuts from Harold'sHarold’s Doughnuts: A doughnut sweatshirt or doughnuts, obviously

Boone Olive Oil Co.: Olive oil and vinegar sampler

Office of Cultural Affairs: City of Columbia commemorative poster (scroll through the gallery for all of the options)

wooden ornament in the shape of missouri with a heart carved out where Columbia is with words underneath 'Columbia Missouri'Convention & Visitors Bureau: Columbia ornament made by Nestled Pines Woodworking – come by our office at 300 S. Providence if you’re interested in buying one! They are $8 plus tax.


Happy Holidays from the Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau! 

CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS:

Stop by 300 S. Providence Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM
Call 573-874-CITY (2489)
Tweet us @VisitColumbiaMO

Tag your photos #ShowMeCoMoopens in a new window!

Continue reading...

turkey on a platter

Not looking forward to cooking a big meal on Thanksgiving or Christmas? We totally understand. Here are some options for dining in this holiday season:

11Eleven | The Broadway Hotel
Open for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve

Applebee’s | 2010 I-70 Dr. SW
Thanksgiving open 4-10 PM
Christmas Eve open regular hours
Christmas Day open 4-10 PM

Bob Evans | 3000 Clark Ln.
Thanksgiving open 8 AM – 8 PM
Christmas Eve open until 6 PM

Cheddar’s | 1010 I-70 Dr. SW
Christmas Eve open until 9 PM

Churchill’s | Holiday Inn Executive Center
Open for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day

Cracker Barrel | 3304 Clark Ln.
Thanksgiving open regular hours
Christmas Eve open until 2 PM

Garden Grille | Hilton Garden Inn
Open regular hours for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day

Glenn’s Cafe | The Tiger Hotel
Open for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day (hours have not yet been set)

Golden Corral | 3421 Clark Ln.
Thanksgiving open 10:30 AM – 5 PM
Christmas Eve open 7:30 AM – 4 PM

Grand Cru | 2600 S. Providence
Thanksgiving open 11-3 PM

McDonald’s | 415 N. Stadium Blvd.
Thanksgiving open regular hours
Christmas Eve open until 7 PM

Texas Roadhouse | 2005 W. Worley
Christmas Eve 11 AM – 8 PM

TGI Fridays | 3030 I-70 Dr. SE
Open for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day (hours have not yet been set)

Truman’s | 3304 W. Broadway Business Park Ct.
Thanksgiving open 2 PM – 1:30 AM
Christmas Eve open regular hours
Christmas Day open 2 PM – 1:30 AM

Upper Crust | 3919 S. Providence
Thanksgiving open 11 AM – 5 PM with reservations

Continue reading...

Looking for a great shopping experience, a free holiday event for the family, or a musical on-stage performance? Columbia has it all! Find details below on shopping, free holiday events, holiday celebrations, music and on-stage performances, and more. We’re looking forward to celebrating with you!


SHOPPINGgold wrapped gift with red bow under a tree

Columbia Holiday Festival November 17-19
Friday 6-9 PM, Saturday 8 AM – 5 PM, Sunday 11 AM – 4 PM 
Holiday Inn Executive Center
The Holiday Festival provides unique items every year including stained glass, custom pottery, specialty food and beverages, custom jewelry, fur accessories, Christmas décor, children’s clothing, books, toys and much more.

Sip and Shop November 18
Saturday 8 AM – 3 PM
Columbia Country Club
During brunch, sip complimentary wine, and browse over 40 vendors including Scentsy, LuLaRoe and It Works!

Fall into Art November 18-19
Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM, Sunday 11 AM – 4 PM 
Parkade Plaza
Fall Into Art blends art, music, and education to provide a weekend destination for the entire family.

Kings Daughters Holiday Shopping Mart November 18
Saturday 10 AM – 4 PM
Country Club of Missouri
Shopping event with local stores and craftspeople.

Shop Small Business Saturday November 25
Saturday
Local shops and businesses

2nd Annual Christkindlmarkt December 1
Friday 5:30-8:30 PM 
Gunter Hans
We’ll be going all out with Christmas themed booths from Columbia favorites like Koeze Nuts, Mid-Missouri Wood Carvers, Optimist Club (Christmas Trees), Noonday and Senza Gluten Free Foods (Christmas cookies).

Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair December 9 
Saturday 9 AM – 1 PM
Battle High School
Admission fee is $2, which includes a raffle ticket for a door prize. Great place to finish up your last-minute holiday shopping.


FREE HOLIDAY EVENTSThe Magic Tree

Santa’s Wonderland returns to Bass Pro through December 24
Features include rustic Christmas cabins, holiday characters and live elves set amongst a dazzling backdrop of snow-covered hills and illuminated Christmas trees. The Santa’s Wonderland Christmas village offers remote control trucks, laser/ foam toy arcade, Lincoln Logs building area and much more. Kids can also spend time at one of the activity tables where they can write a letter to Santa, color and do fun crafts, all for free. See schedule of events at BassPro.com.

Santa’s Welcome Party November 18
Saturday 9 AM 
Columbia Mall
Bring the whole family to greet Santa as he arrives from the North Pole. Enjoy balloon art & crafts for the little ones, treats, and a special gift from Santa.

38th Annual Holiday Parade November 19
Sunday 3 PM
The District

Black Friday Wassail Walk November 24
Friday 12-5 PM 
Rocheport
Escape the madness of Black Friday and stroll through town, shop, and enjoy this free event as merchants participate in a friendly competition to see who has the best wassail recipe.

Magic Tree Lighting November 30
Thursday 5 PM
Village of Cherry Hill

Shelter Insurance Christmas Tree Lighting November 30 
Thursday 6 PM 
Shelter Insurance, West Broadway

Living Windows December 1
Friday 6 PM
The District
Shopkeepers throughout The District move all the merchandise out of their front windows and stage live holiday performances for onlookers.

Centralia Tractor Parade December 15
Friday 7 PM
Downtown Centralia
The annual Young Farmers Tractor Parade will be held on Friday, December 15, 2017, at 7 p.m. in downtown Centralia.


HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONSholiday gift with pine cones and hot chocolate

March Family Christmas December 3-6
Sunday-Wednesday 7:30 PM 
Historic Senior Hall, Stephens College
This annual Victorian holiday celebration will include lovely Christmas carols, dancing and treats, as enjoyed every year. Join Marmee, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy as they try to keep up their spirits during the holidays while their father is away at war.

City Kwanzaa Celebration December 9
Saturday 2-5 PM
Progressive Missionary Baptist
Come celebrate this African-American holiday which is based around developing positive families and communities.  There will be community awards given, entertainment and a holiday feast.


MUSIC & PERFORMING ARTSnutcracker ornament on a tree

Joyeux Noel: Chamber Music of Ravel and Faure December 1
Friday 7 PM
First Baptist Church of Columbia
This program indulges in all-French chamber music, prominently featuring Maurice Ravel’s piano trio, violin sonata and Chansons madécasses for exotic combination of voice, piano, flute and cello. Last half will feature Gabriel Faure’s gorgeous piano quartet No. 1 with musicians from the University of Missouri.

An Antique Carol December 1-3, 7-10
Friday-Saturday 7:30 PM, Sunday 2 PM
Talking Horse Productions
Titus Canby is the name of this version of Ebenezer Scrooge, and he is taken to task by the ghosts of past, present, and future to discover the true joys of life!

Danú: A Christmas Gathering ‘Féile Na Nollag’ December 2
Saturday 7 PM
Missouri Theatre
Danú’s Christmas Gathering offers a taste of these extraordinary events, which have been held across Ireland for hundreds of years. Celtic music lovers around the globe have been thrilled by their virtuoso players on fiddle, flutes, button accordion, percussion and the gorgeous voice of Nell Ní Chróinín along with top notch guest dancers.

Sounds of the Season December 3
Sunday 4 PM
Hickman High School
This Columbia Community Band concert will feature some well-known composers, including Mozart and Holst, along with familiar holiday pieces including Auld Lange Syne, March of the Toys, and Dreidel Dance.

The Great Russian Nutcracker December 4
Monday 7 PM
Jesse Auditorium
Experience the exquisite artistry of world-class Russian dancers, playful puppets and the unmatched splendor of hand crafted sets and costumes.

A Time for Christmas December 9-10
Saturday-Sunday 7 PM
Memorial Baptist Church
See the Memorial Baptist Church Choir and Orchestra perform this Broadway-style musical, an imaginative adventure through 2000 Christmases of hope and changed lives.

Symphony of Toys December 17
Sunday 3 PM
Missouri Theatre
Members of Columbia Chorale team up with the Missouri Symphony Society to perform selections during the Missouri Symphony Orchestra’s annual holiday concert.


MORE HOLIDAY EVENTSthanksgiving dinner on the table

Turkey Trax 5K November 23
Thursday 8:30 AM 
Ultramax Sports
The Boone Hospital Turkey Trax Run provides friends and family a chance to do something active before they start their traditional celebration while benefiting a local charity.

Christmas Brew ‘n View: Christmas Vacation November 25
Saturday 8:30 PM

The Blue Note
A very special Christmas Brew ‘n View featuring National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation complete with Christmas themed drink specials and free candy canes.

Holiday Home Tour December 1-3 
Friday 1-4 PM, Saturday 10 AM – 4 PM, Sunday 1-4 PM
Women’s Symphony League’s 34th Annual Holiday Home Tour. Tour the homes of: Mary Phillips & Brian Treece; Jane Mandel; Julie & Scott Swain; and Lili Vianello & John Shrum – all in the Grasslands.

Jingle Bell Run December 2
Saturday 8 AM 
Stephens Lake Park
Wear a holiday-themed costume. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. Show off your ugly Christmas sweater. Complete a 5-kilometer run or walk with your team members, spreading smiles, good cheer and a winning spirit.

Caroling for Cocktails & Cash December 2
Saturday 2-5 PM
Rocheport
For $5 we will provide commemorative cup to sample a variety of cocktails as you stroll through the shops and sing for your sips from 2-4 PM. Be sure to enter the Caroling Sing-Off to be held 4-5 PM followed by a live band playing Christmas tunes with a twist.

Holiday Lights and Sights Tour December 8
Friday 6:15 PM and 7:45 PM
Leaving from The ARC
Enjoy some of the City’s most beautiful holiday lights from the comfort of a Parks and Recreation mini-bus.

Winter Wonderland at Maplewood House December 10, 17 
Sunday 1-4 PM
Boone County History & Culture Center
The Historic 1877 Maplewood House is decorated for the holidays by professional local designers and florists for a beautiful walking tour. For a single ticket price, everyone also gains admission to the History & Culture Center and its holiday-themed model train exhibit.

Columbia Holiday Soiree December 16
Saturday 8 PM
The Blue Note
Break out your swankiest 60s garb and head down to Columbia’s oldest and classiest theatre for an unforgettable night of style, sophistication, and pure fantasy.


Happy Holidays from the CVB!blue lights on a large tree

CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS:

Stop by 300 S. Providence Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM
Call 573-874-CITY (2489)
Tweet us @VisitColumbiaMO

Tag your photos #ShowMeCoMoopens in a new window!

Continue reading...

The Mizzou Tigers kick off this Saturday, 6:30 PM at Memorial Stadium against the Tennessee Volunteers.

PRE-GAME INFORMATION

Looking for a hotel room? If you’re having a hard time finding a room, call the City Contact Center at 573-874-CITY (2489) and ask for hotel availability.

Transportation:

  • Park downtown [parking garages are free on Saturdays] and walk to the stadium
  • Park downtown and catch a shuttle to the stadium
  • Check to see if your hotel is on a shuttle route

Shuttle information and routes can be found at GoCOMOTransit.com.

{Shuttles cost $1.50 each way, exact change is needed}

Don’t forget to wear gold Find new game day gear here:

nachos bianco on a plate at Addison's

Grab a bite to eat: Look through our list of restaurants located in The Districtopens in a new window for lunch or dinner before the game.

Be prepared: be sure to follow the bag policy; the following options are allowed into the stadium:

  • Bags must be clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and not exceeding 12″ x 6″ x 12″
  • One-gallon, clear plastic freezer bags
  • Small clutch bags that do not exceed 4.5″ x 6.5″
  • An institutionally approved logo no larger than 4.5″ x 3.4″ on one side of permissible clear bag

TAILGATE

A few tailgating notes:

  • Tailgating sites open at 8 AM
  • Tiger Walk occurs 2 hours and 30 minutes before kick off – this year Tiger Walk will begin at the corner of Mick Deaver and Champions Dr. and will be followed by a free concert from Shane Smith and the Saints in the free fan fest area on Mick Deaver Drive, east of the stadium

tiger walk route

  • The stadium opens 90 minutes before kick off
  • Keep any pets on a leash
  • Drones are not allowed to be flown on campus
  • If you don’t have your own, ask a parking attendant for a free blue recycling bag
  • Make sure you have designated drivers if you serve alcohol at your tailgate
  • Just follow the rules and have fun!

Make this: Slow Cooker Chili

chili being made in a crockpot

Our Tiger Tailgatingopens in a new window Pinterest board has more ideas for game day recipes, tailgating tips and games, and more.

WHILE YOU’RE HERE

We hope you’ll take some extra time to explore Columbia while you’re here for the game! Here’s what is going on around town this weekend:

ON STAGE:

“Father Comes Home From the Wars Parts 1, 2, and 3”
Friday-Saturday 7:30 PM, Sunday 2 PM 
Rhynsburger Theatre
A story from America’s past with profound contemporary relevance, this poetic, irreverent, blues and hip-hop infused riff on Homer’s Odyssey from a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright follows a brave young slave named Hero who journeys with his master to the battlefields of America’s Civil War.

12 angry jurors“12 Angry Jurors”
Friday-Saturday 7:30 PM, Sunday 2 PM

Columbia Entertainment Company
Following the closing arguments in a murder trial, the 12 members of the jury must deliberate, with a guilty verdict meaning death for the accused, an inner-city teen. As the dozen people try to reach a unanimous decision, while sequestered in a room, one juror casts considerable doubt on elements of the case.

“A Gulag Mouse”
Friday-Saturday 7:30 PM, Sunday 2 PM
Warehouse Theatre
When privileged and pretty Anastasia is sent to a Siberian gulag for the murder of her abusive husband, her arrival destroys the intricate web of hierarchy, alliance and treachery among the other four inmates of her bunkhouse.

LIVE MUSIC:

Jane Froman Era Cabaret series brochure coverJane Froman Era Cabaret
Friday 7 PM
Launer Auditorium, Columbia College

Show-Me Opera Scenes: A Weekend in the Country 
Friday 7 PM
Missouri Theatre

Grateful Dead Experience: The Schwag
Saturday 9 PM
The Blue Note

Susto
Saturday 9:30 PM
Rose Music Hall

Missouri Symphony Conservatory Concert
Sunday 7 PM
Missouri Theatre

OTHER EVENTS:

Holiday Open House November 10-12 at the tasting room

Les Bourgeois Holiday Open House
Friday-Sunday 10 AM 
Les Bourgeois Tasting Room and Gift Shop

Columbia Weavers and Spinners Guild Holiday Exhibitions and Sale
Friday 5:30-8 PM, Saturday 9-4 PM, Sunday 11-3 PM
Boone County History & Culture Center

1st Annual Cider Festival
Friday-Saturday 5 PM 
Gunter Hans

Mizzou Basketball vs. Iowa State
Friday 8 PM
Mizzou Arena


CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS:

Stop by 300 S. Providence Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM
Call 573-874-CITY (2489)
Tweet us @VisitColumbiaMO

Tag your photos #ShowMeCoMoopens in a new window!

Continue reading...