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Family Fun

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

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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

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Father’s Day is coming up this weekend so we’ve put together some ideas on how you can celebrate with your dad in Columbia: 

For the Competitive Dad

Strawn Park Course map

Is your dad always trying to win? Let him show off his skills this weekend (we won’t tell you to let him win but it IS his day). Hit Lazer Lanesopens in a new window for bowling and laser tag or Midway Golf Complexopens in a new window for mini golf and go-karts. Another option is disc golf: Columbia is home to Harmony Bendsopens in a new window, a course designed by renowned disc golf course designer, John Houck. This course is sure to get the competition going, but easy on the trash talk – it’s a special occasion.

Gift: Pick something out at Rally Houseopens in a new window that represents dad’s favorite team or gift him with some locally-brewed beeropens in a new window. (It works in this category because then he can brag to his friends about how his daughter/son is the best. Win-win.)

For the Art-Loving Dad

Art Landish Gallery

For the art-lover, schedule a time at Paint the Canvasopens in a new window to create your own masterpiece together. Even the least creative person can follow along with the instructor! If your dad is more into performing arts, catch “Dirty Rotten Scoundrelsopens in a new window” this weekend at Columbia Entertainment Company.

Gift: Take dad to one of our many fantastic art galleriesopens in a new window and let him pick out a piece of art to own.

For the Foodie Dad

Coffee cups with popcorn spilling onto a table.

Father’s Day weekend is timed perfectly for foodies this year. Design your own ‘culinary tour’ downtown to take advantage of Restaurant Weekopens in a new window (June 12-18). You can also check out the Savory Summer Kickoffopens in a new window on Saturday at Bur Oak Brewing, which will include food samples from 30+ local chefs, live music, and drinks.

Gift: Buy dad a pair of SEC Beer Fest passesopens in a new window or order gourmet popcorn and a cute ‘Pop’ mug from Gopo (pictured).

For the Outdoorsy Dad

Rock Bridge State Park

Of course, Columbia offers tons of options for outdoor activitiesopens in a new window. You and dad can go hiking, fishing, bird-watching, or rent a canoe/kayak at Finger Lakes State Parkopens in a new window.

Gift: Pick up something for dad to use in the great outdoors at Alpine Shopopens in a new window (spend $150 on dad and get $25 back for yourself) or Bass Proopens in a new window – we’re a fan of this folding hammockopens in a new window and Bug-A-Salt Salt Gunopens in a new window, both currently available at the Columbia location.


If none of the above ideas are your thing, you can always go with the tried-and-true dinner and a movie:

Grab a bite to eat:

Salad Bowl

Where to go to get the best:

What to see:

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – The team unravels the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage in the outer reaches of the galaxy. (PG-13)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him. (PG-13)

Baywatch – Devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchanan butts heads with a brash new recruit. Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay. (R)

All Eyez On Me – The true and untold story of prolific rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur. (R)

Cars 3 – To get back in the game, Lightning McQueen will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turns. (G)

Find movie timesopens in a new window

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Festivals and Events

Restaurant Weekopens in a new window | June 12-18 | The District

Enjoy exclusive Restaurant Week menus and specials offers at any of the participating eateries. In addition to enjoying special menus during Restaurant Week, you can also be entered into a drawing to win a gift card to various downtown locations. Just pick up a Restaurant Week Passport at any participating restaurant, beginning June 12. To complete your passport, you must dine at three or more locations, and turn your completed passport in to any of the participating restaurants by June 18.

Missouri State Senior Gamesopens in a new window and June Show-Me State Gamesopens in a new window | June 14-18 

The Missouri State Senior Games is an Olympic-style sports festival for individuals age 50 and older. June’s Show-Me State Games will include the following sports: Archery (NASP), High School Basketball, Lacrosse, Par 3 Golf, Pickleball, Soccer, Swimming, and High School Volleyball.

Savory Summer Kickoffopens in a new window | June 17, 12-4 PM | Bur Oak Brewing Co.

This event will bring together fine food, contests, local artisans, and entertainment. 30+ chefs and restaurants will serve up their best dishes to judges and the community to be chosen for our final top six cook off challenge!

Family Fun

Movies in the Park:

(PG-13) Three decades after the Empire’s defeat, a new threat arises in the militant First Order.

(PG) While home sick in bed, a young boy’s grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride.

(PG-13) After a bitter divorce, an actor disguises himself as a female housekeeper to spend time with his children held in custody by his former wife.

Family Fishing Nightopens in a new window | June 16, 6-8 PM | Jefferson Farm & Garden

Bring your family and friends to fish in the seven-acre stocked fishing pond, enjoy s’mores by the bonfire or just sit back and relax with a cold drink. Cost is $5 per person (children 4 years and younger free) and includes the rental of a fishing pole, bait, one s’more and one drink. Fishing is catch and release only and a fishing license is not required. Please register by calling Amy Dooley at (573) 239-6134 or emailing dooleyam@missouri.edu.

Family Fun Fest: Explore Outdoorsopens in a new window | June 21, 6-8 PM | Cosmo Park

Entertainment for the whole family, including activities, music, hands-on learning, live entertainment, face painting, food trucks and more. The outdoors has so much to offer. Learn about Missouri fish, birds, parks, camping and more from state and local experts.

On-Stage

“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” | June 8-11, 15-18, 22-25 | Columbia Entertainment Company

“Stage Kiss” | June 9-11, 15-18 | Talking Horse Productions

“Peer Gynt” | June 21-25 | Artlandish Gallery

“Red, White, and Tuna” | June 22-25, June 28-30 | Corner Playhouse

“Laughing Stock” | June 29-30 | Maplewood Barn Theatre

Live Music

Music of Prince & The Revolution: Dr. Zhivegas | June 17 | Rose Park

Jelly Roll | June 20 | Rose Music Hall 

Jonny Lang | June 22 | The Blue Note

Summerfest: William Elliott Whitmore | June 24 | Rose Park

The Voice finalist, Barrett Baber | June 29 | Rose Music Hall

Hot Summer Nights | events throughout the month of June

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Festivals and Events

First Friday | May 5, 6-9 PMNorth Village Arts District

Each first Friday of the month, head to the North Village Arts District for a free gallery crawl – Galleries, shops and business will be open with music, art demonstrations, children’s activities, refreshments, and much more.

Heritage Weekendopens in a new window | May 13-14, 4-8 PM | Douglass Park

The unofficial opening of the park for the summer! Activities include balloons, table games for kids and adults, live music and family fun. Gospel in the Park will be featured on Saturday and Annette Driver will entertain on Sunday.

Bike, Walk and Wheel Weekopens in a new window | May 13-21st | Columbia

Bike, Walk, and Wheel Week is a week-long celebration designed to encourage Columbians to use active modes of transportation to get around town. There will be activities for everyone, whether you’re on a bike, on your feet, or in a wheelchair.

Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Celebrationopens in a new window | May 27-29th | Columbia Regional Airport and The District

Don’t miss this annual, free airshow, featuring WWI, WWII, and present-day military aircraft, both on display and performing stunning aerobatic shows. The parade will begin at 10 AM Monday in the District, ending with a mass jump by the US Army Golden Knights and the Canadian Skyhawks into the Columbia College Athletic Field on Rangeline and Wilkes.

Pedaler’s Jamboree IXopens in a new window | May 27-28th | Leaving from Flat Branch Park 

Bicyclists will ride the MKT Trail to the Katy Trail, which they will follow into Boonville. Along the way will be stops with live music and entertainment. Bicyclists will end up at Kemper Park in Boonville, where there will be live music, food vendors, and camping overnight.

Family Fun

Tons of Trucksopens in a new window | May 10th, 4-7 PM | Columbia Mall Parking Lot

Trucks and other vehicles of all shapes and sizes will be on display for you to admire, wander around, climb on, and sit in. This event is free and held rain or shine.

Fishing Nightopens in a new window | May 12th, 6-8 PM | Jefferson Farm & Garden

Bring the family for a fun night of fishing! $5 will get you a rental pole and bait, a s’more, and a drink; children 4 and younger are free.

Movies in the Parkopens in a new window | May 12th, 8:30 PM | Cosmo Park

Bring a blanket and enjoy a movie on the large, inflatable screen under the stars! Concessions and food trucks available. May’s movie is Zootopia.

Family Fun Festopens in a new window | May 17th, 6-8 PM | Cosmo Park

Entertainment for the whole family, including activities, music, hands-on learning, live entertainment, face painting, food trucks and more. This month’s theme is ‘Kindness is Contagious.’ Join Parks and Rec for music, fun, crafts and activities promoting kindness and mental health.

On Stage

“Dark Creation, The Mary Shelley Project”opens in a new window | May 5-7th at 8 PM | Muse Clothing

“Violet”opens in a new window | May 5-6th at 7:30 PM and May 7th at 2 PM | Talking Horse Productions

“Commedia Tonight!”opens in a new window | May 19th at 7:30 PM | Warehouse Theatre

“Pump Boys & Dinettes”opens in a new window | May 25-28th at 8 PM | Maplewood Barn Theatre

Live Music

Fleetwood Mac Tribute with Orchard Fireopens in a new window | May 13th at 9 PM | Rose Music Hall

Bonoboopens in a new window | May 15th at 8 PM | The Blue Note

Live music at Les Bourgeoisopens in a new window | Saturdays starting May 20th, 4PM – sunset | The A-Frame

‘Blind’ Boone Piano Concert with Audra Sergelopens in a new window | May 22nd at 7:30 PM | Boone County Historical Museum

Shooter Jenningsopens in a new window | May 27th at 8:30 PM | The Blue Note

Tech N9neopens in a new window | May 30th at 8 PM | The Blue Note


Keep an eye on our calendar of events and social media for updates on May events.

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Whether you want family-friendly trick-or-treating or you’re more into walking through a ‘haunted house’ while scary things pop out at you, Columbia has what you’re looking for. Celebrate Halloween with us!

pumpkin candy jar

Family Events:

BYOBW ‘Track’ or Treatopens in a new window
October 22nd, 9 AM – 10:30 AM at The ARC 
Take your 2-6 year olds to The ARC where they can ride their Big Wheels, tricycles, and other pedal-powered vehicles (no bikes) on a ‘haunted’ ride around the track.

Spooktacularopens in a new window
October 26th, 7-11 PM at MU Student Center
Free for students and only $5 for general public – check out the haunted house, the Great Pumpkin Carving, costume contest, and Halloween treats.

(Not so) Frightening Fridayopens in a new window
October 28th, 4-6 PM in The District 
Free trick or treating in The District.

Trunk or Treatopens in a new window
October 28th, 3-7 PM at Ascenisa Spa (Cherry Hill)
Join Ascenisa Spa for their Trunk or Treat – games, a fire truck, hot dogs, popcorn and candy are all included in the event.

Spine-Tingling Tales and Craftsopens in a new window
October 28th, 4:30-5:30 PM at Columbia Public Library
Gather ’round, little witches, goblins and ghouls! Get the whole family into the Halloween spirit with spooky stories and creepy crafts. The event is ages 9 and up, and registration beforehand is encouraged.

Halloween & Hoopsopens in a new window
October 28th, 5:30 PM at Mizzou Arena
To kick off Halloween weekend, put on that crazy costume and catch some Mizzou hoops. Both the men’s and women’s programs will be passing out candy, socializing with fans and taking photos before playing in the Black & Gold scrimmage games. Halloween-themed entertainment will be provided in between the scrimmages.

Trick or Treat at The Creekopens in a new window
October 31st, 4-7 PM at Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center
All ages are invited to join us in this safe, family-friendly trick-or-treating community event. Rain or shine, you and your kids can enjoy games, crafts, treats, contests, and prizes.

Grown-Up Events:

scary face Halloween costume

Halloween Brew ‘n View: The Rocky Horror Picture Showopens in a new window
October 20th, 8:30 PM at The Blue Note
Kick off your Halloween by experiencing the chaos and delight of the world’s greatest rock & roll audience participation film, hosted by Mark “The Master” Chambers.

Tri-Sigma’s Haunted Touropens in a new window
October 26th, 7-11 PM at Stephens College
Join Tri Sigma for their 11th Annual Haunted Tour of Stephens. The tour will begin at the basement of Roblee Hall.

90s Halloween Party with The Lone Rangersopens in a new window
October 28th, 9:30 PM at The Social Room
Get hyped for Halloween with a night full of hits from the decade with this ’90s cover band. Relive the prime of Third Eye Blind, Britney Spears, OutKast and the like.

The Zombie Runopens in a new window
October 29th, 8:30 AM on MKT Trail at Twin Lakes
Run for the kids at this 5k through part of the MKT trail that benefits St. Jude’s.

80s vs. 90s Costume Ballopens in a new window
October 29th, 8 PM at The Blue Note
Costume contest at midnight for 80s/90s TV Character and Music Icon. Music videos will be shown on the big screen – dance the night away!

Rocheport Oktoberfest II: Monster Mashopens in a new window
October 29th, 12 PM – 10:30 PM in Rocheport, MO
Celebrate Missouri’s Rock and Blues music scene and enter the costume contest for a chance to win $250! Join the Monster Bike Mashopens in a new window to Rocheport and catch the shuttle back to Columbia.

Halloween with Tech N9neopens in a new window
October 31st, 9 PM at The Blue Note
As if Halloween wasn’t scary enough, Kansas City native Tech N9ne will take the stage for a night of intense, focused rap. Prep the Caribou Lou and your costume.

Creepy Places

Necropolis haunted house

FearFest Haunted Houseopens in a new window
6399 US 40
FearFest is under new management this year and features two brand new attractions: Hawthorn State Asylum and The Mortuary.

NecroPlanetopens in a new window
1207 Rogers St.
Featuring two interactive haunted attractions, The Pit and the legendary Necropolis, now in its 12th year.

Costume

Halloween makeup workshopopens in a new window
October 27th, 3-5 PM at MU’s Craft Studio
Need some help getting that perfect Halloween makeup effect? Our makeup artist will go over the basics of Halloween makeup and be on hand to give you specific tips for your own costume. Bring your own makeup kit. Cost is: MU Students $10 / Non-Students: $20.

Gotcha Costumesopens in a new window
819 E. Walnut St.
Monday-Saturday 11 AM-8 PM; Sunday 12 -5 PM

Party Cityopens in a new window
Broadway Market Place, 21 Conley Rd.
Monday-Friday 9 AM-9 PM; Saturday 8:30 AM-9 PM; Sunday 10 AM – 8 PM

Maude Vintageopens in a new window
818 E. Broadway
Monday-Thursday 12 PM – 7 PM; Friday-Saturday 11 AM – 8 PM; Sunday 1-5 PM

Leo’s Old Clothesopens in a new window
9 N. 9th St.
Monday-Friday 12-6 PM


Have a happy Halloween! Tag your Columbia photos – #ShowMeCoMo.

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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.opens in a new window

1. Love Your Craft Festopens in a new window

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

2. Hartsburg Pumpkin Festivalopens in a new window

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

3. 7th Annual Harvest Hootenannyopens in a new window

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 Farmopens in a new window

sec-beer-fest

4. South East Craft Beer Festopens in a new window

What: The SEC Beer Fest is a festival for beer lovers (duh). There will be about 75 breweriesopens in a new window, 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 Weekendopens in a new window

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 pageopens in a new window to get an idea of who will be participating.

When: October 14-16

Where: Various locations in downtown Columbia

6. Paws in the Parkopens in a new window

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

mizzou-homecoming-16

7. Mizzou Homecomingopens in a new window

What: Homecoming is MU’s favorite and most well-known tradition (we’re known as the birthplace of ‘homecoming’opens in a new window), 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 Oktoberfestopens in a new window

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 Fridayopens in a new window

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

When: October 28, from 4-6 PM

Where: The District

mkt-fall

10. Rocheport Fall Colors Trail Rideopens in a new window

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 #ShowMeCoMoopens in a new window.

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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

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

DSC01114

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

les bourgeois vineyards

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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It’s only mid-June and we’re already seeing temperatures in the 90s – it looks like it’s going to be a hot summeropens in a new window! From poolsopens in a new window 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 Empireopens in a new window 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 libraryopens in a new window 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 Lanesopens in a new window.

Going Bonkers | 3812 Buttonwood Dr.

Going Bonkersopens in a new window 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.

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Catch a movie: 

Forum 8 Theateropens in a new window | 1209 Forum Katy Parkway
Ragtag Cinemaopens in a new window | 10 Hitt Street
Regal Stadium 14opens in a new window | 2800 Goodwin Pointe Dr.

Yogoluv | 201 S. 9th Street

If you’ve never been to Yogoluvopens in a new window, 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 @ColumbiaMOCVBopens in a new window.

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