General Columbia

Well, here we are – only two days left until 2017. It seems that everyone is ready to leave 2016 behind and get started on the new year but before we do, let’s take a look back at our 12 most-liked Instagram photos of 2016:

January

columbia big tree: big burr oak tree
The Big Tree looks extra magnificent surrounded by snow. Photo from @brittpepper.

February

alley a in columbia mo

Alley A đź“· by @nickeymonaghan

March

big tree mcbaine, columbia mo honeysuckle field

Awesome photo of the big tree from @schaeferpix.

April

rainbow over downtown columbia mo

Columbia = pot of gold. Photo by @imadiehere.

May

mizzou botanic garden, columbia mo, university of missouri, jesse hall in background

We heard it was National Garden Day…

June

sparky's homemade ice cream in downtown columbia, mo - cup of ice cream with a cone on top

90° temps = Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream đź“· by @christa_jane.

July

sunset in downtown columbia mo, como golden hour with tiger hotel in background

Check out that CoMo sunset! đź“·: @sugarwhips

August

the big burr oak tree at night, columbia mo the big tree

We don’t think The Big Tree has ever looked so beautiful 📷: @johnbecksroommate

September

mkt trail in columbia mo, autumn, brown leaves on the ground

It’s starting to look like fall on the MKT! đź“·: @dr_marge18

October

golden retriever rubbing francis statue nose for good luck on exam

Raise your paw/hand if this is how you get your good luck before exams. đź“·: @finleythefierce

November

supermoon rises above jesse hall on the university of missouri campus in columbia mo

Check out this amazing shot from last night! [Photo by @wenbozzz] Did you see the super moon?

December

snow-covered broadway in downtown columbia mo

We’ve had a rough couple of days here in Columbia but at least the snow made for some great photos! đź“·: @wgwinfrey


It looks like everyone really loves photos of The Big Tree, Jesse Hall, and The District! Do you have a favorite photo from 2016 you’d like to share with us? Tag us on Instagram (@VisitColumbiaMO), Twitter (@ColumbiaMOCVB), or use #ShowMeCoMo to share.

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See a show

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December performances include family-friendly shows, holiday specials, and adult comedy:

Elf Jr.
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

Magic Tree, Columbia MO

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 shoppingholidaystorefront

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

living-windows-the-district

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

big-band-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

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Beer and holiday movies – enough said. The Blue Note has two Christmas Brew ‘n Views planned: Home Alone December 15th and Elf, December 22nd.

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October is one of our busiest months of the year – there’s no way we could include everything but you can see the whole schedule on our calendar of events.

1. Love Your Craft Fest

What: The fest is a family-friendly block party that will feature live music, lots of doughnuts and food vendors, and thousands of dollars worth of giveaway prizes.

When: October 7, from 3-11 PM

Where: 9th Street in front of Shakespeare’s Pizza

pumpkin-fest

Photo from Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival Facebook page

2. Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival

What: The Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival is the quintessential fall fest. There’s a petting zoo, craft vendors, food, live music, activities for the kids, and so many pumpkins.

When: October 8-9, from 9AM-5PM both days

Where: Hartsburg, MO – find the route into town here

3. 7th Annual Harvest Hootenanny

What: The Hootenanny is an afternoon of celebrating agriculture with Missouri-grown food, local beer, live music, and games. The event IS kid-friendly but no fur babies.

When: October 8, from 3-8 PM

Where: Smith Street, in front of the Urban Farm

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4. South East Craft Beer Fest

What: The SEC Beer Fest is a festival for beer lovers (duh). There will be about 75 breweries, along with food, music, and more.

When: October 14-15

Where: NH Scheppers Distributing Co., 1306 Hathman Place

artrageous-weekend

Map for Artrageous Weekend 2016

5. Artrageous Weekend

What: This free art-filled weekend includes a self-guided art crawl, educational and hands-on activities, artistic brunches, and more art-filled activities. Check out their Facebook page to get an idea of who will be participating.

When: October 14-16

Where: Various locations in downtown Columbia

6. Paws in the Park

What: This annual event is held by Second Chance for people and their fur babies – check out the Dock Dog Diving Competition, Canine Carnival, games for people who don’t bring a pup along, 5K on Sunday morning, food and craft vendors, and live auction on Sunday.

When: October 15-16, 9AM-4PM Saturday and 9AM-3PM Sunday

Where: Stephens Lake Park

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7. Mizzou Homecoming

What: Homecoming is MU’s favorite and most well-known tradition (we’re known as the birthplace of ‘homecoming’), and the celebration is more than just a football game – the weekend includes campus decorations, a spirit rally, the ‘stroll off,’ parade, and revisiting favorite Columbia spots.

When: October 21-22

Where: University of Missouri

8. Rocheport Oktoberfest

What: This free fest will include live music (folk, traditional, Americana) and lots of beer and food.

When: October 22, from 12-10:30 PM

Where: Rocheport, MO

9. (Not so) Frightening Friday

What: Take the kiddos trick-or-treating in The District!

When: October 28, from 4-6 PM

Where: The District

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10. Rocheport Fall Colors Trail Ride

What: Join Parks and Rec on a 26-mile (round-trip) bike ride on the Katy Trail to Rocheport and back. This is the perfect way to see the fall colors!

When: October 30, 10AM-3PM

Where: Leaving from the Jay Dix Station off of Scott Blvd


Happy October! Remember to tag your photos #ShowMeCoMo.

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megan
Hi, I’m Megan. I do Marketing and Communications here at Visit CoMo and I’m also a Columbia native!  I love traveling (that’s me with a glacier in Alaska), the Mizzou Tigers, live music, ice cream, my cats and a good nap. I’m also lucky enough to get to promote my hometown every day. There are so many different ways to enjoy Columbia and each month I’ll be bringing you some of my favorites. Let’s go!


megan-and-brenna

Brenna and me at a CBT event

Autumn in Columbia is my very favorite season. I love the crispness of the air, the leaves changing, the sound of drumlines that signal football is back. It’s also the perfect time to get out and spend time with friends. My favorite days spent out in CoMo lately are with my pal Brenna, who is the Editor over at the Columbia Business Times.

We like to mix something active with a nice dose of leisure, so this fall day out is perfect! This itinerary is more of a suggestion, though Brenna and/or I have done all of these things here in Columbia. Brenna would like you to know that I promise action photos from our next day out (Winter) because we’re going to plan it now and then document our day! Ok, ready to spend a great autumn day here in CoMo? Let’s do it!

Ladies’ Day Out – The Fall Edition

First thing’s first: sleep in a bit. You thought we were going to get up at the crack of dawn for our day out? Ha! You do not know Brenna and me well enough yet.

Ok, so you got some extra rest because you worked hard this week. Now the day out can begin. Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and one of the best stops in Columbia is at Café Berlin. It’s down in the North Village Arts District and the food is amazing. Look at this weekend brunch menu and salivate:

cafe-berlin

Only Café Berlin could make something called the Compost Pile mouthwatering.

One of the local favorites is the Starving Artist because gravy, but for my money it doesn’t get any better than the Apples & Sausage on a Pancake. A heaping plate of food plus coffee in one of CafĂ© Berlin’s random mugs means you’re ready to shop. Or take a nap. No! On to shopping…

The District, Columbia’s downtown, is full of fun little shops to explore. We have a few favorites that we always stop by so we can see what’s new!

Route used to be known as The Mustard Seed, but it’s still the incredibly unique free trade shop you always loved. The beautiful handcrafted pieces from around the world range from jewelry to scarves to décor. Last time we were in, I picked up a beautiful silver vase for my mantle at home and a black and gold ring I can wear when I want to look fancy while supporting Mizzou.

poppy

Every time I walk into Poppy, I decide I probably need one of everything. Photo from Poppy’s Instagram (@poppymadebyhand).

Poppy is also home to a great array of handcrafted pieces that make it very difficult to leave without something new. The fabulous owner, Liz, curates the best in jewelry, greeting cards, baby clothes, art and so much more, so that Poppy is the perfect place to shop for a gift. I’ve gotten everything from wedding shower gifts to Mother’s Day gifts at Poppy. They also partner up with Christy at The Ink CafĂ© for calligraphy classes that are a blast – even for people like me who have terrible handwriting and can only draw stick people.

yellow-dog

Yellow Dog always has the best window displays! Here’s theirs from the True/False Film Fest this year. Photo from Yellow Dog’s Instagram (@yellowdogbookshop).

One place we absolutely never ever miss (ever) is Yellow Dog Bookshop.  This small shop is owned by a wonderful married couple and is stuffed full of used books. They have a huge non-fiction selection on all sorts of topics, a Missouri section, and a fiction section that I love looking through to find treasures to add to my to-read list.  Anyone who knows me even a little knows I cannot leave a bookstore without buying at least one book (and usually more), so Yellow Dog is my favorite downtown escape.

Alright, I managed to keep myself from running out the door to go book shopping. Once our shopping has finished, it’s time to spend the afternoon outside enjoying the beautiful fall weather. Sometimes this is as simple as a walk on the MKT Trail here in Columbia, but when the fall colors are really out I love heading south of town to Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.

rock-bridge

Fun fact, Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is even more beautiful than this picture makes it look.

Trail options are plentiful at the park, but my favorite is the wood-planked trail that leads you through the heart of the park. The trail allows you to take in the most impressive geological features of the park, including the actual rock bridge the park was named for, and you can also explore Connor’s Cave. The trail itself is under a mile long, but is has plenty of stairs and offshoots that allow hikers to experience the best the park has to offer. Plus, we’ve been shopping, so a lengthy hike isn’t really needed, right? Right.

After a long day of shopping and outdoor adventure, a nice dinner is in order. Brenna and I both have plenty of favorites when it comes to restaurants in CoMo. One of the most difficult decisions to make when you have such a great culinary scene is where to go for dinner. Just in The District alone, it’s almost impossible to choose!

For this fall ladies’ day out, we’ll stay in the south part of town near the park and hit Sophia’s for dinner. Like most places in Columbia, the atmosphere is casual but sophisticated, and their patio is a great spot for a fall evening. The menu ranges from incredible pasta dishes to flavorful tapas and flatbreads. With an impressive wine list, Sophia’s is also the perfect spot to linger and make the day out last a little longer.

Now for some ladies’ day out enthusiasts, there would also be another activity like dancing or cocktails somewhere fancy. But, to be honest, that’s not how Brenna and I roll. After dinner, our day ends with a big hug and a retreat to our homes where we can put on pajamas and watch Netflix. Of course, if I’ve really done a day out right, there will also be some Sparky’s Ice Cream waiting in the freezer for me.

Thanks for spending a ladies’ day out with Brenna and me! We’ll be working on our next day out as the weather gets colder and bring it to you in January. Next month I’ll feature some of my favorite CoMo dishes from all over the city. See you then!

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How is it September already?! We’re not sure but, like everybody else, we love fall so we aren’t complaining. Our calendar of events is jam-packed this month; here are the events you shouldn’t miss out on:

1. Show ‘Em Comedy Festival

What: Two days of stand-up comedy featuring acts like Comedy Wars, Bill Chott, Sam Losco from The Trailer Park Boys, and Kevin Farley

When: September 2-3

Where: Various locations in Columbia – see the schedule

Les Bourgeois Vineyards, Rocheport

Les Bourgeois Vineyards, Rocheport

2. Crush Festival 

What: Free, family-friendly festival to kick off harvest season with live music, pumpkin-painting, games, and grape-stomping

When: September 3, from 2-6 PM

Where: Les Bourgeois A-Frame, Rocheport

3. Hallsville Fall Festival

What: Festival fun including pony pull, garden tractor pull, parade, and horse show along with food trucks, beer garden, live music, and a fish fry

When: September 9-10, starting at 6 PM Friday and all day Saturday

Where: Hallsville Fairgrounds

mizzou sunset at faurot field

4. Mizzou Football vs. Eastern Michigan

What: The return of Mizzou football, ’nuff said

When: September 10, kickoff at 6:30 PM

Where: Faurot Field

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5. Finger Lakes Adventure Challenge

What: 10K challenge – 5K kayak and 5K run through a water trail and mountain bike trail

When: September 10, beginning at 9 AM

Where: Finger Lakes State Park

6. 2nd Annual Berlin Bazaar

What: Over 40 Missouri artisans, 6 musical acts, 2 incredible kids booths, 1 cupcake vendor, 1 dessert vendor, 1 burger pop up, 3 henna artists, and 1 chakra card reader

When: September 10, from 5-9 PM

Where: Cafe Berlin

Face paint

7. Heritage Festival & Craft Show

What: Step back in time with vendors and crafts, tradesmen, music, dancing, storytelling, and tours through the Maplewood Home and Boone Junction Village

When: September 17-18, from 10-5 PM

Where: Nifong Park

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8. Rocheport Wine Stroll

What: Sample wines from a dozen Missouri wineries and stay for live music after the stroll

When: September 17, from 4-8 PM

Where: Downtown Rocheport

9. Family Fun Fest: Creative Kids

What: The final festival focuses on creativity and will include hands-on art activities, musical performances, theater, and dance, along with food trucks

When: September 21, from 6-8 PM

Where: Cosmo Park

10. Best of the Year Student Films

What: See works from Stephens College digital filmmaking students

When: September 23, at 7 PM

Where: Charters Lecture Hall, Stephens College

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You may associate 5Ks with getting up way too early and digging out that active-wear you use, well, not as often as you should. No more. The growing popularity of themed runs such as The Color Run, Diva Dash, Superhero 5K, FroYo Run, and many more are changing the face of fun runs.

These production style events are drawing crowds in the thousands. Runners are, in some cases, traveling across the country and signing up sometimes 10 months in advance to participate. Almost all of the races give back to local charities but the events are becoming big business. The Color Run, in it’s 4th year coming to Columbia is continuing to attract participants, add more cities to their tours, and increase the size of their courses each year.

If you are coming out to join in the madness at the Columbia Color Run, here’s what to expect on race day.

Color Run

The Vibe

Each of these themed 5K races puts fun first and fitness second by offering plenty of distractions and attractions throughout the race course and hosting elaborate pre and post-race parties. The atmosphere at these events is electric and fast-paced but you don’t necessarily need to bring your Nike’s to keep up.

For example, The Color Run, coming to Cosmo Park in Columbia on August 27th, does not post race times. Its focus is on happiness, health, and individuality. The theme must be resonating with runners and fun runners alike because, according to its website, The Color Run is now the single largest event series in the world, offering races in over 35 countries in 2015 and growing in 2016.

Normal races encourage a basic level of runners’ etiquette but at The Color Run, participants come armed with colored powder and navigate a course filled with volunteers who are out to get them. The course has different color “zones” and introduces a new color of powder at each 1K checkpoint. Runners start the race shiny white and end looking like an art project gone awry. It’s all in good fun, though and has marketed itself as the “5K Vacay” or “The Happiest 5K on Earth.”

Happiest 5K on Earth may be a bold claim but The Color Run backs it up on their website with this fun fact: “Color runners have found love! TCR has witnessed 87,410 love at first sightings, 9,607 first dates, 654 proposals, and 35 weddings!”

proposal

The Gear

Part of the fun that comes with the new wave of fun runs, like The Color Run and The Blacklight Run, is the opportunity for participants to rally around a theme or create their own for their team or group. The Color Run gets you started by equipping each participant with a Tropicolor themed kit. There are 3 tiers of registration for The Color Run: Classic, Classic Plus, and Deluxe. The main difference besides price is the amount of swag that comes in your registration kit and whether or not you want your kit mailed to you.

Classic registration is $34.99 and you’ll need to come to packet pickup either the day before or the day of the race. Classic Plus is $42.99 and ships your packet to your door. Deluxe registration is $54.99. It’s shipped to your door and includes extra goodies like wayfarer style sunglasses and trucker hats.

color run deluxe-kit

If you really want to stand out, take your outfit to the next level by choosing a specific neon color for your team or creating a character. Coordinating funky costumes with your teammates is not required but it certainly adds to the fun. You are sure to see people skipping around in tutus, capes, glowing bodysuits and more. While technically the powders being hurled around during the race are washable, expect to leave the race with more than a few colorful souvenirs on your official Color Run t-­shirt.

The Big Day

Because The Color Run is focused more on the overall experience rather than on speed, the race is a good fit for every age and ability. Avid runners can enjoy themselves alongside families and park walkers. Children and strollers are allowed to run the race with a paying adult participant – pets are not. Small lockers will be available on site at Cosmo Park for $5 and large lockers for $10.

Pre-race packet pickup is from 10:00am to 6:00pm Friday the 26th at Kohl’s on Green Meadow Drive. Check in starts at 8:00am on Saturday the 27th at Cosmo Park. If you chose to have your packet mailed to you, you do not have to check in. Just put on your race bib and head to the starting line. All registered participants receive a t­-shirt, headband, tattoos, and race bib. Medals and additional color packs for the after-party are handed out at the finish line.

Pre-­race festivities start at 9:00 am with waves going every few minutes, and the skipping, dancing, and smiling continues throughout the brightly colored race course, ending with the finish festival at the brand new Rainbow Beach. Fair warning that there is actual sand at this beach, so if you are bringing kids, be prepared to hose them down when you get home.

thecolorrunomaha

The Cause

Each Color Run event contributes to a local charity partner as well as cancer research and encourages race participants to share their stories about using this event as a platform to find hope, health, and happiness in the fight against cancer. This year the Color Run is partnered with The Huntsman Cancer Foundation and the Sigma Chi International Fraternity to be the generation to end cancer.

A themed 5K may not be a serious runner’s cup of tea, but that is kind of the point. It’s a race for people who may not love running, but they love fun. If that’s you, get yourself to Columbia next month, and see what they hype is all about. You may not leave with an engagement ring, but you are sure to leave with a smile, a messy t-­shirt, and some great memories.


goodlinksbio

About Katie:

Katie Dillman is a Communications Coordinator with Premier Glow, an online retailer of glow products. She enjoys working with businesses through copy writing to share ideas that connect with their audience.

 

 

 

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Hello! My name is Andrea and I am a sales manager for the Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau. I am an avid traveler, and I love the experience of meeting new people, experiencing new unexpected environments, the FOOD, the art, music and just soaking it all up.

Each month I am going to introduce you, our visitor, to all things Columbia, especially our fabulous arts community. Along the way we will explore some of our fabulous locally- owned restaurants or one of our many music venues or fabulous festivals. I hope you enjoy this city as much as I do, and of course, we would love to have you back many times to take advantage
of WHAT YOU UNEXPECT.


Columbia Culinary Tours
Whether you’re our guest for the weekend, new to town, or a life-long resident, if you haven’t tried Columbia Culinary Tours then you’re missing out!

 

So what is a culinary tour? Well I’d say it’s part-dining experience, part-socializing, and part-education. Regardless of how you describe it, it’s a great time and a fun way to sample some of Columbia’s food offerings.  You’ll get to sample five to seven restaurants and specialty food stores, and you can also meet the owners and managers of each location.

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My first tour was the Brunch Tour – a stroll through the district, sampling a variety of tasty breakfastoptions and coffees while learning a bit about Columbia’s history.  I walked away with a greater knowledge of Columbia and was happily satisfied from the tasty treats.

My second tour was the Flavors Tour, which was a fun tour spent with the accompaniment of good friends. We sampled several restaurants, oils and vinegars from Boone Olive Oil Company, and tasty cocktails while exploring the streets and alleys of our fine city.

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Have I captured your interest yet? There are five tours to choose from: the Brunch Tour, the Flavors Tour, the Night on the Town Tour, the Night on the Town Tour with wine pairings, and last but not least, the Craft Beer and Food Pairing Tour.  These tours are perfect for conference attendees, team-building experiences with co-workers, a group of friends, out of town guests or just for something new to do.

We hope you enjoy the experience and make it a part of your Columbia go-to activities. Have fun!

Book your tour here

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It’s only mid-June and we’re already seeing temperatures in the 90s – it looks like it’s going to be a hot summer! From pools to indoor fun, here’s how you can stay cool in Columbia:

Pools

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Albert Oakland Family Aquatic Center | 1900 Blue Ridge Rd.

June – August hours: M-F 12-7 PM | Sa 11-5 PM | Su 12-5 PM (July 4th, 12-5 PM)
Last weekday: August 12th | open weekends 12-5 PM (Aug 13-14 | 20-21 | 27-28 | Sept 5-7)

Pricing:
Adults (16+): $3.75
Ages 2-15: $2.50
1 year or younger: free

Outdoor 50-meter pool with double-loop enclosed flume water slide. Includes a children’s play area with sprinklers and a slide. Concessions, shade umbrellas, and lounge chairs are available.

Douglass Family Aquatic Center | 400 N. Providence Rd.

June – August hours: M,W,F 1-7 PM | Tu,Th,Su 12-5 PM | Sa 11-5 PM (July 4th, 12-5 PM)
Last day: August 7th

Pricing:
Ages 2+: $1
1 year or younger: free

Outdoor facility with water slide and climbing wall. Includes concessions, a shaded shelter, and spraygrounds.

Flat Branch sprayground

Flat Branch Park Spraygrounds | 400 Locust St.

Open until September 30th | free

Spraygrounds activated by push button.

Lake of the Woods Pool | 6700 St. Charles Rd.

June – August hours: M,W,F 1-7 PM | Tu,Th,Su 12-5 PM | Sa 11-5 PM (July 4th, 12-5 PM)
Last day: August 7th

Pricing:
Adults (16+): $2.75
Ages 2-15: $1.50
1 year or younger: free

Outdoor facility with a country club setting. Includes a water slide, shade umbrellas, and a concession stand in the clubhouse.

Little Mates Cove | 2500 Chapel Hill Rd.

June – August hours: M,W,F,Sa 11-5 PM | Tu,Th 12-7 PM | Su 12-5 PM (July 4th, 12-5 PM)
Last day: August 7th

Pricing:
Adults (16+): $2.75
Ages 2-15: $1.50
1 year or younger: free

Outdoor children’s water park with slides, sprinklers, water cannons, and falls. Concessions are available.

Stephens Lake Park

Stephens Lake Park | 100 Old 63 N.

Open until September 30th from dawn-dusk | free

Unguarded sand beach with spraygrounds and restrooms.


Indoor Fun

Empire Roller Rink | 1305 Business Loop 70 E.

You can still get some exercise without being out in the heat! Head to Empire to roller skate during their public sessions:

Wednesdays: 12-3 PM and 6:30-8:30 PM
Thursdays: 12-3 PM
Fridays: 7-10 PM (Family Fun Fridays)
Saturdays: 9-11 AM (9 years and younger), 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM
Sundays: 1:30-3:30 PM

Columbia Public Library

Columbia Public Library | 100 W. Broadway

While you do need a library card in order to check out the materials, anyone can stop by and look through the books. Have your kids pick out something to read quietly to themselves for a bit, and then grab a snack at The Perk Desk.

Lazer Lanes | 3412 Grindstone Parkway

Bowling, lazer tag, bumper cars, snacks, an arcade… you can keep your family busy for hours at Lazer Lanes.

Going Bonkers | 3812 Buttonwood Dr.

Going Bonkers is a great option if you have young children – there is a multi-level ‘playground,’ arcade, food, and even a quiet room for you with WiFi where you can keep an eye on the kids.

ragtag3JM

Catch a movie: 

Forum 8 Theater | 1209 Forum Katy Parkway
Ragtag Cinema | 10 Hitt Street
Regal Stadium 14 | 2800 Goodwin Pointe Dr.

Yogoluv | 201 S. 9th Street

If you’ve never been to Yogoluv, here’s how it works: grab a bowl, fill it with your favorite flavors of frozen yogurt, and then head over to the toppings and go crazy. Maybe not too crazy, though – the cost depends on how much your bowl weighs.


How do you stay cool in Columbia? Tweet us @ColumbiaMOCVB.

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6697small- AndreaHello! My name is Andrea and I am a sales manager for the Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau. I am an avid traveler, and I love the experience of meeting new people, experiencing new unexpected environments, the FOOD, the art, music and just soaking it all up.

Each month I am going to introduce you, our visitor, to all things Columbia, especially our fabulous arts community. Along the way we will explore some of our fabulous locally- owned restaurants or one of our many music venues or fabulous festivals. I hope you enjoy this city as much as I do, and of course, we would love to have you back many times to take advantage
of WHAT YOU UNEXPECT.


Microbreweries and distilleries are growing in popularity nationwide, and you won’t be disappointed if you look for them while visiting Columbia. We’re home to five uniquely different microbreweries, two distilleries, and one winery.

Flat Branch
Flat Branch Pub & Brewing opened its doors in 1994. It’s nestled in the heart of Columbia, located in the historic downtown area and was once a Hudson car dealership. Flat Branch has a wide variety of beers on tap, including seasonal favorites like Watermelon Ale, Bluesberry Ale, and more. Beer isn’t their only specialty, though – the food is delicious and they also brew their own root beer and cream soda.

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Les Bourgeois Vineyards was started in 1974 by Curtis and Martha Bourgeois in Rocheport – less than fifteen minutes west of Columbia. Since that time, Les Bourgeois has grown from selling award-winning wines at the beautiful A-Frame to include the Blufftop Bistro and newly renovated Tasting Room featuring their latest endeavor, Rocheport Distilling Company, which offers rum masterfully crafted by distiller, Jonny Ver Planck. Be sure to ask for a Captain’s Cooler – perfect for a hot sunny day!

Columbia’s microbrewery scene has blossomed in the last few years, beginning with the opening of Broadway Brewery. They say, “Our beer echoes our mission: cultivation and fermentation. Our hand crafted beer combines traditional brewing method, creative approach and sustainable techniques. All our organic spent malt is provided to our local farmers that grow our produce and raise our livestock.” Follow them on Instagram for photos of their specials.

Logboat Brewing Co

Logboat Brewing Company features a Taproom and is known for the Boatyard, affectionately known as their playground. On any given day you will find folks playing bocce ball, washers and corn-hole while enjoying their brew and food from our local food trucks. Throughout the week you can find Boss Taco for taco Tuesdays, Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co., Grill-A-Brothers or Playing with Fire ready to feed you at Logboat.

bur oak

Bur Oak Brewing Company was the next to join the family of craft beers in Columbia. You can find Bur Oak on the east side of Columbia at the Route Z exit. Bur Oak also features a Taproom and has space available for rent. If you love to cook, be sure to check out their website which offers beer pairing suggestions and recipes.

Rock Bridge Brewing Co. was established in 2012 and offers seasonal and specialty brews. Stop in and have a Saison with founder Dave Brouder, a lively character who will provide you with tips on street luge and English literature.

Last but not least, DogMaster Distillers is located in the North Village Arts District, and has recently celebrated a year crafting high quality new American spirits. If you are a mint julep fan be sure to try their strawberry mint juleps, and if savory is more your style, try their Bloody Mary!


We hope you enjoy your visit to Columbia and take the opportunity to visit one or several of these thriving businesses.

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Warmer weather means more great activities and events going on in Columbia! Here’s a preview of what’s coming up this month – check our calendar of events for more.

Family

Xtreme Force Live Action Show | May 13th, 6 PM at Missouri Theatre
World Champion Black Belt Martial Artists featured as “The Turtles” perform stunts, kicks, flips, and more while promoting a positive anti bullying awareness message that is FUN for the entire family!

Movies in the Park: Frozen | May 13th, 8:30 PM at Cosmo Park
These films are shown on a giant inflatable screen; grab a blanket or low lawn chair and head out for an unforgettable evening of cinema. Pre-show activities and entertainment begin one hour prior to the movie start time. Concessions are available. This year, all movies are free of charge, thanks to Missouri Care.

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Youth Fishing Day | May 14th, 10-12 PM at Finger Lakes State Park
Learn basic fishing skills and receive a prize for biggest fish, most fish and first fish caught. Fishing poles and bait will be provided for the first 25 that sign up. Meet at the lake located near the beach parking lot. This event is free for all ages and no fishing permit is required for all that attend. Prizes will be awarded to those 12 years of age and under. For more information and to sign up, call the park at 573 443-5315.

Heritage Weekend | May 14-15th, 4-8 PM at Douglass Park
The unofficial opening of Douglass Park for the summer! Activities include balloons, table games for kids and adults, live music and family fun. Sunday will feature a domino tournament, single elimination, for individuals and partners. Starts at 4 PM, free for all ages. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy your neighborhood park!

Family Fun Fest: Be Kind, Be Healthy | May 18th, 6-8 PM at Cosmo Park
Entertainment for the whole family will include music, live performances, art activities, hands on learning, face painting, balloon art, and fun for all! Join us for music, fun, crafts and activities promoting kindness and mental health.

Kid Disco! | May 22nd, 10:30 AM at Rose Music Hall
Bring your kids out to Rose Music Hall and Forrest Rose Park every other Sunday. We’ll have DJs Requiem, RonIronic or Jen Ha set up on our patio spinning disco, club classics, 80s, funk, and more.  The kids will around dancing like wild animals in the friendly confines of our cute little park, burning energy and jumping in our bounce house (provided by our pals at Rockin Rents).  You hang out with other parents and chow down on Pepe’s tasty Mexican brunch menu while sipping on Bloody Mary’s, mimosas, beers, or even just an orange juice if that’s your thing.  Then at 2pm when the party’s over, everybody can go home and take a big nap.

Pedaler’s Jamboree VIII | May 28-29th, Flat Branch Park
Bicyclists start at Flat Branch Park from 7:30 am to 10 am and head to Kemper Park in Boonville. Drop off your overnight packs at check in and prepare for a weekend of relaxed bike riding, music, and fun. Enjoy the scenic views of the Katy Trail State Park as you ride on crushed limestone trails flanked by cliffs and the Missouri River. Stop at your convenience at a handful of locations to enjoy live music and entertainment. Bands will play throughout the day in communities across the trail.

The final destination will once again host the feature event with main stage music. Overnight camping at Kemper Park will be free for all registered riders. There will be food available at restaurants throughout the town of Boonville as well as food vendors at Kemper Park. The following day, food and entertainment await you on your journey yet again.

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Salute to Veterans Celebration | May 28-30th at Columbia Regional Airport and downtown Columbia
This FREE two-day airshow at Columbia Regional Airport is the 28th Annual Salute to Veterans Corporation Airshow. The airshow is May 28th-29th from 9am-4pm, and the Memorial Day Parade in downtown Columbia begins at 10am on Memorial Day (May 30th).

Live Music

Rose Revival: Sunday Gospel Brunch | May 15th, 12 PM at Rose Music Hall

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9th Street Summerfest with Billy Currington and Kelsea Ballerini | May 20th, 6 PM

Lightnin’ Malcom | May 20th, 9 PM at Rose Music Hall

Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers | May 22nd, 7:30 PM at The Blue Note

Rising Appalachia | May 26th, 8 PM at Rose Music Hall

Hellyeah | May 27th 8 PM at The Blue Note

Special Events

bike walk wheel

15th Annual Bike, Walk, and Wheel Week | May 16-22nd
See schedule for more details.

Dancing with Missouri Stars | May 19th, 5:45 PM at Holiday Inn Executive Center
Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s 10th Annual “Dancing With Missouri Stars” combines esteemed members of the mid-Missouri area and MCB professional company dancers – they have three months to take lessons and then compete for the prestigious DWMS trophy. MCB would like to introduce our 2016 Celebrity Dancers: Meghan Buchert, Craig Franklin, Cyndi Frisby, Brandon Gerau, Richard Huffstutter, Denise Nelson, Mary Stauffer, and Steven Taylor. The champion is determined by audience votes, at $1 a vote, and the proceeds all go to benefit MCB and our mission of bringing the art of dance to our community and surrounding areas.

Meet the Author: Laura Valenti | May 21st, 9:30 AM at Boone County Museum
Admission is Free! Book signings and sales at 11:30am. Also available at every Meet the Author: free coffee and the delicious, fresh-baked Harold’s Doughnuts! Laura Valenti brings several of her southern Missouri fiction titles to Meet the Author.

Native Pollinators Symposium | May 23rd, 8-3:30 PM at Bond Life Sciences Center, MU
Join Mizzou Botanic Garden for the Native Pollinators Symposium. As part of National Pollinators’ Week experts will highlight and share the importance of pollinators including bees, birds, butterflies and bats. Discover new information about native pollinator conservation through lectures, round table discussions and Q&As with national experts.

2016-bianchi-logoNRA Bianchi Cup | May 24-28th at Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club, Hallsville
Championship firing of the first 1920 will commence at noon on May 24, firing through noon on May 28. The top 36 competitors from the first 1920 (Top 16 Open, 4 Metallic, 4 Production, 4 Woman, 4 Junior and 4 Senior/Grand Senior) will move on to the Championship Round. The top 36 competitors will fire an additional 1920 through the same four NRA Bianchi Cup events, in the Championship Round, which will be fired on Saturday, May 28 starting at 8:30 am.

‘Godspell’ | May 26-29th, 8 PM at Maplewood Barn Theatre
A small group of people help Jesus Christ tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling techniques, and hefty dose of comic timing. An eclectic blend of songs ranging in style from pop to vaudeville is employed as the story of Jesus’s life dances across the stage. Dissolving hauntingly into the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Jesus’s messages of kindness, tolerance, and love come vibrantly to life.

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