Skip to main content

Magic Tree

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

stephens lake park sledding

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

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

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

Magic Tree 2010

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

bowling

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

Les Bourgeois A-frame Restaurant

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

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

Continue reading...

Photo from the Columbia Daily Tribune

Photo from the Columbia Daily Tribune

One of Columbia’s most popular holiday traditions in recent years has been bundling up, piling the family in the car, and heading out to visit the opens in a new windowMagic Tree. This gorgeous display has been delighting residents and visitors since 1995 and has become a part of Columbia’s holiday experience.

Will Treelighter works on the Magic Tree

Will Treelighter works on the Magic Tree

Each year, Will Treelighter (as he’s known) spends over 40 hours wrapping tens of thousands of lights around every branch of the Magic Tree. While the original Magic Tree was located in Will’s front yard, the amount of traffic to the tree necessitated a move to the Village of Cherry Hill in 2010. That first year at Cherry Hill, the Magic Tree was lit up with approximately 37,500 lights!

The Magic Tree’s location change also has allowed for increased interaction with the tree. Visitors can now get out and explore the tree from every angle, take photos, and enjoy special events around the tree, including choral performances. The Village of Cherry Hill is a wonderful setting to take in the tree, sip some hot chocolate in the gazebo and watch children of all ages be mesmerized by the Magic Tree.

Continue reading...