Here are just a couple ideas to keep guests of conference attendees busy and having fun while in Columbia! Contact the Columbia Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Convention Services Manager to build your own customized tour or itinerary that’s perfect for your group.
Best of Columbia and Rocheport Tour
8:30 a.m. Shelter Gardens, Contact: 573-445-8441
Start the day with a morning stroll through the award-winning Shelter Gardens, which features a replica one-room school house, garden for the blind, rose garden, fern grotto, streams and pools.
9:00 a.m. MKT Spur and M.L. King Jr. Memorial Gardens , Contact: 573-874-7460
Columbia’s MKT spur connects downtown Columbia to the Katy Trail State Park. Make a quick stop to point out the King Memorial Gardens which includes an amphitheater and sculptures featuring the writings of Dr. King. (The Midwest’s largest, public tribute to Dr. King.)
9:30 a.m. Nifong Park, Contact: 573-443-8936
Tour the Boone County Historical Museum which features a sampler exhibit of the lives and events that shaped the settlement of Boone County – from Daniel Boone and his Boone’s Lick Trail to the establishment of the University of Missouri. Then go next door to the Maplewood, a 19th Century rural farmstead which features a gracious 2 story home and original outbuildings.
11:05 a.m. Bluestem Missouri Crafts, Contact: 573-442-0211
Bluestem Missouri Crafts began as a partnership of five local artisans who displayed and sold their own art work. Today, this gallery represents 175 artists and craftsmen from cities, towns and farms across Missouri and its contiguous states. Displayed art work includes functional and decorative items in mediums of clay, glass, wood, metal, and fibers.
11:35 – 12:50 p.m. LUNCH at one of Downtown Columbia’s many restaurants.
1:00 p.m. MU Campus, Contact: 573-882-6333
Visit Historic Francis Quadrangle on the MU Campus, site of the historic MU Columns, and Thomas Jefferson’s original tombstone.
2:00 p.m. Candy Factory, Contact: 573-443-8222
Central Missouri’s only Old Fashioned Candy Shop where fine chocolates are made fresh on the premises daily. Visitors can enjoy samples while browsing the retail shop which features gift items, collectibles and candies of all kinds, or they can go upstairs to see the cooking kitchens. If chocolate is in production, guests can watch the chocolate enrober, or view the workings in the chocolate molding room.
3:30 p.m. Rocheport, MO
Rocheport began as an early trading post on the Missouri River in 1825 and grew rapidly as steamboat transportation increased. The town continued to prosper in the 1890’s as the Missouri, Kansas, Texas (KATY) Railroad was built through the town. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, the town today is a charming historic site. The KATY Railroad corridor is now the scenic KATY Trail State Park which spans most of the state. A bluff-top winery overlooks the KATY Trail and the town has a wealth of quality antique shops, craft shops and fine restaurants.
Katy Depot, Contact: 573-698-2063
The group can rent bikes at the Trailside Cafe or take a short walk on the Katy Trail to the only tunnel on the trail. After departing the tunnel, the group will go to northwest section of the town for a little exploring on their own. After browsing the many antique shops, step into Flavors of the Heartland/ Rocheport Gallery for a taste and sight sensation. This small shop carries a large variety of gourmet food items from the heartland. They offer samples of everything from raspberry salsa to their own signature creations. The adjoining art gallery features original, juried fine art from Midwestern artists. Shops generally open Wednesday – Sunday. Appointments suggested.
4:45 p.m Les Bourgeois Winery, Contact: 573-698-3060
Wine tasting and appetizers or dinner. Situated on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River and the Katy Trail, Les Bourgeois Vineyards is the perfect way to end your visit to the Columbia area. The group can tour the vineyards, sip wines and enjoy sausage/cheese/bread/fruit baskets or a fabulous meal in the beautiful, Bistro featuring quality entrees, salads and desserts. Restaurant available Tuesday – Thursday with limited availability on weekends for groups. Winery and gift shop available daily by appointment.
Family Fun Day
10:00 a.m. Arrive at the ARC
Plan a visit to the ARC, Activity and Recreation Center, for fun family recreation. Regardless of the time of year, you can find something to do for the whole family. Enjoy the amazing indoor aquatics center that features a heated indoor facility. It is complete with a triple loop water slide, lazy river, and water play features. There is also a gymnasium with various courts available and an equipment checkout if you did not bring your own. Enjoy a friendly environment where your family can spend some active time together utilizing the many facilities of the ARC.
12:15 p.m. Lunch at Shakespeares
Shakespeare’s pizza is a well-known restaurant with lots of personality and tasty lunch and dinner options. Try the famous Shakespeare’s pizza topped with your personal choice of items and maybe some salad and garlic bread to go along with it. Enjoy a fun, animated ambiance, great food and quality time with the family.
1:30 p.m. Orange Leaf
The perfect complement to a delicious lunch is delicious dessert. The whole family will love the delectable, frozen treat that can be customized with toppings to suit everyone’s tastes.
2:15 p.m. Shops at Stadium
Anchored by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Pet Smart, also includes Bed, Bath and Beyond, Old Navy, Rue 21, Shoe Carnival, Macaroni Grill, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and more. Shopping for all interests!
4:00 p.m. Lazer Lanes
A spacious and friendly atmosphere with eight state of the art bowling lanes, an arcade complete with a full redemption center, lazer tag, and glow mini golf. You’ll have hours of fun!
6:30 p.m. Enjoy a delicious family dinner from one of the distinctive restaurants around Columbia. Whatever your family enjoys, can be found in this tasty town!