Family Fun

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.Canoe rental at Finger Lakes State Park in Columbia, Missouri

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.Bluff-top view of Capen Park

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!two men reading a sign at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

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.trail at Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary

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.Katy Trail State Park running along the Missouri River


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

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

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

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

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:

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!

Halloween Special Events

trick-or-treat

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:

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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

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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 hereopens in a new window

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

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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

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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.

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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.


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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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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 eventsopens in a new window for more.

Family

Xtreme Force Live Action Showopens in a new window | 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: Frozenopens in a new window | 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 Dayopens in a new window | 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 Weekendopens in a new window | 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 Healthyopens in a new window | 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!opens in a new window | 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 VIIIopens in a new window | 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 Celebrationopens in a new window | 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 Brunchopens in a new window | May 15th, 12 PM at Rose Music Hall

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9th Street Summerfest with Billy Currington and Kelsea Ballerini opens in a new window| May 20th, 6 PM

Lightnin’ Malcomopens in a new window | May 20th, 9 PM at Rose Music Hall

Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakersopens in a new window | May 22nd, 7:30 PM at The Blue Note

Rising Appalachiaopens in a new window | May 26th, 8 PM at Rose Music Hall

Hellyeahopens in a new window | May 27th 8 PM at The Blue Note

Special Events

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15th Annual Bike, Walk, and Wheel Weekopens in a new window | May 16-22nd
See schedule for more details.

Dancing with Missouri Starsopens in a new window | 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 Valentiopens in a new window | 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 Symposiumopens in a new window | 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 Cupopens in a new window | 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’opens in a new window | 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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