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Summer

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 opens in a new windowsignature celebration 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 opens in a new windowart festival 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 opens in a new windowShow-Me State Games 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 opens in a new windowHeritage Festival 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 opens in a new windowRoots N Blues N BBQ Festival 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 opens in a new windowUniversity of Missouri Homecoming. 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.

opens in a new windowCheck out the festivals in Columbia

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The warm weather in Columbia is what many, like myself, anticipate all year and for a really good reason. Now that June is underway and the days are getting longer, I’m here to let you know just where you can breathe in fresh air and experience Columbia from some of my favorite spots: the patios.

There are several patios to enjoy across Columbia and even more open up every year, but no two patios are the same. They each take on their own character, feeding off the energy of the staff and guests to build an atmosphere that is unique. Although not a comprehensive list, I’ve brought together some ideas of where to find just what kind of patio you’re looking for.


For a Quick Relaxing Drink

If you’re looking for a place to stop after work or between boutiques in The District, these two have you covered:

Tropical Liqueurs

patio of Tropical Liqueurs - tables with green plastic chairs and blue umbrellasPhoto from Tropical Liqueurs Facebook

With two locations in Columbia and two decades of experience under their belt, Tropical Liqueurs knows how to treat patrons to the ultimate patio experience. The modest patio tables have shade umbrellas to protect you from the hot summer sun while you take in a cold drink. No food is served at the locations so this is a good place to spend an hour or two with friends or colleagues after work before heading home or to dinner.

Günter Hans- Artisan Café

brick patio with tables and chairs; photo taken next to a tree with purple flowersPhoto from Günter Hans- Artisan Café Facebook

Started by a female entrepreneur, Günter Hans- Artisan Café sports a traditional European flare that welcomes customers. Günter Hans is Columbia’s only full wine tap, which offers customers a unique experience coupled with a beautiful patio. The wine tap means the product arrives in barrels and is then served directly into the glass without being exposed to oxygen. European favorites such as bretzels, bratwursts, and waffles are featured on the limited menu to beat any snack craving you might have.

For Appetizers and Catching Up with Friends

These two are drastically different from each other but can both meet the need for quick food and good conversation with friends while relaxing on an outdoor patio:

Las Margaritas

wooden deck with string lights and large plants looking out over a lake with a fountainPhoto from Las Margaritas on Corporate Lake Facebook

Known for its location on Corporate Lake, Las Margaritas is a great spot for catching up with friends over delicious queso fundido or nachos Margaritas from their appetizer menu. The friendly personalities of the staff and quick service make your trip even more enjoyable and offers the potential to be a memorable meal.

Barred Owl Butcher & Table

Barred Owl restaurant sign and several tables with chairs and tan umbrellasPhoto from Barred Own Butcher Facebook

This pick is a newcomer to the Columbia scene and is taking strides to be a must-try for residents and visitors. While you’re there learn more about the made-from-scratch, ingredient-first culture they are so proud of. The staff from the front door to the table are friendly, passionate and ready to answer any questions. The charcuterie and spreads menu offers a variety of options, from a Butcher Board to a whipped ricotta served with pita breads that pair perfectly with good people, memorable stories, and hand-crafted drinks.

For the Lover of Art & Music

These two are known for their quirky styles and exceptional food:

Cafe Berlin

patio area with tables and chairs and sunflowers

Saturday and Sunday mornings year-round are busy with excited patrons ready for locally sourced comfort food but the onset of warm weather opens up new possibilities for Cafe Berlin-lovers. The patio is a great place to enjoy warm weather during the day and into the afternoon while night is a time to support local bands playing. Cafe Berlin is known for being vegetarian-friendly and a great place to eat out if you’re looking to please a variety of food lifestyles.

Tellers

exterior of Tellers Gallery and Bar with brick wall and a few high-top tables and stools

Although outdoor seating is limited, Tellers is a wonderful place to eat if you’re interested in watching The District’s nightlife or catch a street performer playing. Inside, if you venture in, is home to several pieces of local artwork. Each piece is unique and adds to the artistry of the atmosphere.

For Dinner with Someone Special

If you’re looking for a great date-night patio, these spots are tried-and-true:

Flat Branch Pub & Brewing

unfocused people dining on Flat Branch patio with tables, chairs, and green umbrellas, surrounded by green plants

With specialty pizzas and craft beer from its in-house brewery, a night out at Flat Branch Pub & Brewing is sure to be a special one. The outdoor patio is surrounded by trees so that the area is more intimate and cozy. Smiling faces from the servers and a wide variety of food options for all kinds of eaters makes this a nice location to spend time with a special someone or for a comfortable night with dear friends.

The Roof

rooftop bar looking over Columbia during sunset with fire burning in the firepit Photo from The Roof Facebook

Located at the top of The Broadway Hotel in The District is the perfect place for a romantic night. The Roof offers a beautiful view of the Columbia skyline accompanied by a lavish and diverse menu. The seating options and fire pits create a fun atmosphere to share that special somewhere.

For a Columbia Tradition-Seeker

Looking for a patio that is uniquely ‘Columbia?’ Try one of these:

The Heidelberg

rooftop bar with tables and chairs and a few mismatched umbrellasPhoto from The Heidelberg Facebook

A staple for visiting parents and prospective students, this is also a must try for anyone visiting Columbia. The Heidelberg’s upper patio offers a view looking towards the University of Missouri and offers both covered and uncovered tables in case you need to get out of the hot sun. From appetizers to drinks to burgers, you’ll be sure to find a favorite to add to your list of traditions when visiting.

Shakespeare’s Pizza

golden-doodle puppy sitting in a chair with a can of beer, a napkin, and a platter with a pizza-shaped dog toy on a tablePhoto from Shakespeare’s Pizza Facebook

Each Shakespeare’s location has a traditional patio where individuals (and their pups) can enjoy a slice and a cold beer. If you’re looking for something a little different, Shakespeare’s Downtown v2.0, as they call it, has a garage door to give you an indoor/outdoor feel along the side of the building for a more private eating experience.

Whatever your patio needs are, Columbia has you covered (or uncovered). Try them out and share your favorite patio stories and photos with us on Instagram and Twitter.


Blog written by Convention and Visitors Bureau intern, Grace Bommel

#ShowMeCoMo

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Festivals and Events

opens in a new windowRestaurant Week | 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.

opens in a new windowMissouri State Senior Games and opens in a new windowJune Show-Me State Games | 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.

opens in a new windowSavory Summer Kickoff | 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.

opens in a new windowFamily Fishing Night | 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.

opens in a new windowFamily Fun Fest: Explore Outdoors | 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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We have a summer full of on-stage performances coming up. What are you most excited to see?

opens in a new windowThe Music Man
June 16-19, June 23-26
Columbia Entertainment Company
Con man Harold Hill comes to River City, Iowa, intending to sell the town and its children on a fake marching-band system and then skip town — until he falls for the local librarian.

opens in a new windowgreater-tuna-mizzouGreater Tuna
June 17-19, June 25, July 8-9, July 13, July 22
Corner Playhouse, MU
Greater Tuna is the hilarious comedy about Tuna, Texas’s third smallest town, and the upstanding citizens who call it home.

opens in a new windowTruffles and Nougat
June 17-19
Talking Horse Theatre
On a beautiful spring day in 1815, candies and political unrest in Paris make their way into the French countryside. With Napoleonic police at the door, the dysfunctional LeFèvre household must come to terms with secret motives, old lies, new lust, and lots of chocolate in this fast-paced French farce.

opens in a new windowStephens College Summer Dance Concert
June 24-25
Macklanburg Playhouse 
Students studying in the Stephens Summer Dance program will showcase the pieces they’ve learned from our critically acclaimed guest artists at this annual concert. Expect to be inspired by various forms of original choreographed movement.

opens in a new windowCrimes of the Heart
June 24-26, June 30, July 1
Rhynsburger Theatre, MU
After nearly a decade apart, the three Magrath sisters gather in Old Grandaddy’s kitchen in Hazelhurst, Mississippi. Her two beautiful and impulsive younger sisters, Meg and Babe, have always outshined lovelorn Lenny, but now, with Meg’s failed singing career and Babe’s failed marriage, the three sisters will have to face their troubled family history and another very bad day.

opens in a new windowSteel Magnolias
June 30-July 3, July 7-10
Maplewood Barn Theatre
A young beautician, newly arrived in a small Louisiana town, finds work at the local salon, where a small group of women share a close bond of friendship and welcome her into the fold.

opens in a new windowThe Rat Trap
July 5
Corner Playhouse, MU
The Rat Trap by Chad Parmenter, a wacky parody of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, with an evening of revenge, mayhem, and…murder.

opens in a new windowBuyer & Cellar
July 8-10, July 15-17
Talking Horse Theatre
A hilarious one-man show about a struggling actor who finds work managing the shopping mall in the basement of Barbra Streisand’s mansion.

opens in a new windowtom-sawyer-mizzou opens in a new windowThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer
July 15-17, July 20-21, July 23-24
Rhynsburger Theatre, MU
Join Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and Becky Thatcher in the greatest summer adventure ever told in this imaginative, highly theatrical, music-filled adaptation of Mark Twain’s incomparable classic.

 

opens in a new windowChicago
July 22-24
Warehouse Theatre
It’s just a noisy hall where there’s a nightly brawl and all … that … JAZZ!!

opens in a new windowThe Wizard of Oz
July 29-31
Warehouse Theatre
Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizardwho can help her return home.

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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 opens in a new windowhot summer! From opens in a new windowpools to indoor fun, here’s how you can stay cool in Columbia:

Pools

A-O pool users 062811

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 opens in a new windowEmpire 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 opens in a new windowlibrary 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 opens in a new windowLazer Lanes.

Going Bonkers | 3812 Buttonwood Dr.

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

ragtag3JM

Catch a movie: 

opens in a new windowForum 8 Theater | 1209 Forum Katy Parkway
opens in a new windowRagtag Cinema | 10 Hitt Street
opens in a new windowRegal Stadium 14 | 2800 Goodwin Pointe Dr.

Yogoluv | 201 S. 9th Street

If you’ve never been to opens in a new windowYogoluv, 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 opens in a new window@ColumbiaMOCVB.

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Today’s favorites come from Tourism Development Manager, Julie Ausmus –

It’s Friday in July, my favorite day of the work week and my favorite time of the year! Throw in a payday, and it doesn’t get much better. Before I leave on vacation to one of my favorite places with some of my favorite peeps, I’d like to share some of my other favorites:

Favorite summer activity in The District: Dog Days Sidewalk Sale

Dog Days - from The District FB

(Photo by The District)

I always look forward to the Dog Days of Summer Sidewalk Sales downtown. The sidewalks are full of merchandise – at special ‘dog days’ prices, and people are everywhere, shopping, eating lunch – there’s just always a good vibe in the air. I’m really not much of a shopper, but these sales somehow change that for just a little while. Some of my favorite places to check out are American Shoe, Calhoun’s, Tiger Spirit, Dryer’s, My Sister’s Circus and this year, now that I have a grandbaby, I couldn’t resist checking out Little Owl Boutique. (That was probably a big mistake!) It’s just fun shopping outside on the sidewalk, and I am ALL about finding a great bargain!

Favorite summer event: The Boone County Fair

Boone County Fair from FB page

(Photo from Boone County Fair Facebook page)

Along with the “Dogs Days” of summer comes the Boone County Fair. I was raised in Boone County and enjoyed the fair in my small hometown, Centralia. So when my three kids were younger we always made it a point to go to the fair. They just wanted to spend time on all the rides and eat funnel cakes and cotton candy, but I’ve always enjoyed walking through the multipurpose building and checking out all the 4H projects the kids have worked so hard on these past several months. I was in 4H as a youngster and vaguely remember sewing an apron or something lame, but the kids nowadays really impress me with some of their projects – all deserving of blue ribbons I think. And you can’t go to the Fair without checking out the animals! The amount of time, devotion, dedication, and love the kids put into raising their animals is amazing. I’ve always wanted a cute little lamb to take home with me.

Favorite place for live music: 9th Street Summerfest

Julie and Randy Houser - 9th St. Summerfest

(Julie and Randy Houser from 9th Street Summerfest!)

Summerfest on Ninth Street, of course! I’ve been to several of these concerts, and year after year the entertainment keeps getting better. The ticket prices are always reasonable, the crowds are big (but not overwhelming), and the beer is cold. I just love the atmosphere, and there’s never a “bad seat” in the house.

Favorite lunch: International Cafe

International Cafe

(International Cafe menu – find it on their website)

This favorite I owe to my co-workers. They are always introducing me to new things and pushing me out of my comfort zone – for my own good. Until a few years ago, I had never been near or inside the International Café. I don’t know if it’s because it was “hidden” for years on Hitt Street (it’s now on 9th Street) or if I was just being Judgey McJudgerson thinking that “international” food would be awful – after all I’m all about burgers and fries. So when I was introduced to gyros, hummus and taziki, I was hooked! My favorite is the Greek Salad or chicken kabob sandwich with taziki. Whenever someone in the office says “I’m hungry, what should we have for lunch?” I’m the first to yell “International!” (Editor’s note – this actually happened in the office today)

Favorite local landmark: The Columns

8thStCir 3 92111

(Photo courtesy of the Mizzou Botanic Garden)

I graduated from Mizzou back in the 80s. I worked part time as a student in the Arts and Science Dean’s Office so I spent a great deal of time walking all over campus delivering packets of “timely” information to department heads (this was before we had email – hard to imagine, right?!) I always enjoyed the beauty of the campus and the history that came with it. I spent a majority of my work breaks sitting on the columns and enjoying the view. At that time the columns were 90 years old and I was always in awe of their massive size and history. I still enjoy taking a work break and walking to the columns. They are still a beautiful sight with great history and they bring back some of my favorite college memories!

Favorite place to shop: Columbia’s antique shops

Midway Antique Mall

 (Photo from Midway Antique Mall’s Facebook page)

As I get older I’ve come to realize that there are many things I really enjoy now that I did not enjoy when I was younger, and vice versa. As I kid, my friend and I would travel around Boone County with her parents to various flea markets and antique stores. I always thought they were just buying a bunch of junk, honestly. We always wished we were at the mall instead – or the Parkade Center as it was called in those days! J Now I’d much rather be at a flea market than in a mall! I don’t know what it is specifically but I just enjoy walking through Midway Antique Mall, Itchy’s Flea Market or Artichoke Annie’s looking for that special eclectic treasure. Or maybe it’s just because I like to see things that remind me of my Grandma Emma and Aunt Pearl. I usually come home with some type of miniature trinket, a book or a piece of furniture that is going to be my next big DIY project. (We all know how that goes – I have 4 projects in my basement that I’ve yet to start – darn Pinterest!) Anyway, like I said before I’m all about finding a great bargain and these flea markets usually have some of the best.

Thanks for allowing me to share some of my favorites.  Columbia has a lot to offer and even though I’m heading out of town for a favorite vacation spot, as next week comes to an end, I will look forward to coming home to my favorite – CoMo.

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Summer in Columbia means great summer concerts! Below is information on each of our annual summer concert series:

9thstreetflaminglips

(Photo courtesy of The Blue Note)

9th Street Summerfests with The Blue Note
“Join us outside on 9th Street! For those of you new to these incredible shows: We close down the block of 9th Street between Broadway and Walnut. Entry gate is at the north end on the corner of 9th and Walnut. Beverages will be served both outside and inside!”

Upcoming concerts:

  • 6/26 – Randy Houser, Adam Craig, Brian Bax Band; tickets $25; 7 PM
  • 7/30 – Cracker, Wanda Jackson; free; 7 PM
  • 9/5 – Cole Swindell; tickets $20; 7 PM
  • 10/8 – Foster the People; tickets $30; 8 PM

Shelter Gardens Concert Series
“Each summer, the Sunday evening shows typically draw crowds of 1,000 or more music lovers to the Shelter Insurance Gardens, where well-groomed, colorful flora offset a cedar concert gazebo. Concerts begin at 7:00 p.m., Sundays, in the Shelter Gardens at the northwest corner of Shelter’s home office grounds, 1817 W. Broadway in Columbia, Missouri. The concerts are free and open to the public. Those attending concerts should bring blankets or lawn chairs.”

Upcoming concerts:

  • 6/29 – Missouri Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Kirk Trevor
  • 7/13 – Norm Ruebling Band
  • 7/20 – Ironweed/Swampweed
  • 7/27 – Lisa Rose with Hot House and Margaret Bianchetta

Missouri Symphony Society’s Hot Summer Nights
The largest Classical and Pops summer festival in the Heartland. All performances are at the Missouri Theatre unless otherwise noted.

Upcoming concerts:

  • 6/25 – Family – Music & Science; $5-25; 6:30 PM
  • 6/27 – Pops: Ben E. King; $12.50-32; 7:30 PM
  • 6/29 – Love Notes, Casual Classics; $5-10; 2:30 PM
  •  6/29 – Community Concert (at Shelter Gardens); free; 7 PM
  • 7/2 – Patriotic Pops; tickets $12-15; 7:30 PM
  • 7/6 – Masterworks: Grand Opera Matinee; $11.50-28
  • 7/7 – Chamber Recital (at Broadway Christian Church); $5-10; 7 PM
  • 7/9 – Family – The Color of Music; $5-25; 6:30 PM
  • 7/11 – Pops – Elvis at the Symphony; $12.50-32; 7:30 PM
  • 7/12 – Masterworks: Orchestral Fireworks; $11.50-28; 7:30 PM

 Other great places to catch live music in Columbia:

 

 

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Friday Favorites

It’s Friday! Today’s favorites come from Beth Mead, CVB Sales and Marketing Manager. Her list is all about her “summer in Columbia” favorites:

Patio Dining:

Patio

(Photo of Bleu’s patio)

Columbia has amazing restaurants with great food. That is good news for us COMO diners year round. In the summer, we have great food on great patios. Even better! Some of my favorite patio- dining spots are Bleu, Sophia’s, Flat Branch, Les Bourgeois and Las Margaritas. So many patios, so little summer….

Kids Playing Outside:

Flat Branch sprayground

(Photo of Flat Branch Spraygrounds)

It’s a beautiful summer day and I’m stuck inside working at my desk. You know what makes that all better? Opening my window and working to the sounds of happy children playing in the spray grounds at Flat Branch Park. Suddenly, I am transported back to my childhood, running through a sprinkler in my front yard.

Ice Cream:

sparkysicecream

(Photo of Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream)

What is summer without ice cream? Of course, you can always make ice cream if you have enough time. Why bother, though? Columbia has more than enough ice cream spots to keep you going all summer long. My family’s favorites are Sparky’s, Randy’s, Andy’s, yogoluv and Buck’s Ice Cream at Mizzou.

Less People:

Hinkson Creek Trail

(Photo of bicycle rider on Hinkson Creek Trail)

This may sound odd for someone who spends their time encouraging people to visit Columbia, but I do love summer in Columbia. It’s quiet and peaceful; it takes less time to go from place to place. There are shorter lines everywhere-at the theater, the ice cream stand, your favorite coffee shop. Even the trails are less crowded.

The Arts Keep Going:

Art in the Park 2011 photo courtesy Art in the Park

(Photo of art at Art in the Park)

There may be fewer people in Columbia in the summer, but the Columbia arts scene doesn’t take a vacation. Summer kicks off with Art in the Park followed by the Blind Boone Festival, not to mention great stage productions at Maplewood Barn Theater, Summer Repertory Theater at Mizzou and Columbia Entertainment Company.

Flowers Everywhere:

Flat Branch Park flowers

(Flowers in front of Flat Branch Park sign)

The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department does a fantastic job of creating beautiful garden spots in our public spaces. Whether you are walking or driving downtown, you can’t help but notice the bright plantings all over downtown. Also, next time you are taking your kids to the pool, or hurrying in to a tee-ball game, look around you. You are walking past colorful displays at the entrances to these places. Even if you don’t have time to stop and smell the flowers, you can enjoy them as you drive by: at the roundabout, the stoplight and the “Adopt a Spot” median plantings all over town.

Farmers Markets:

Columbia Farmers Market

(Photo of Columbia Farmers Market)

I love getting up early and going to the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. I especially love the Farmers Market in the summer when there is so much variety with all the tasty summer fruits and vegetables. It gets my Saturday off to a great and healthy start and I am much more productive on those Saturdays. But…here’s a little secret: sometimes, I like to stay up LATE on Friday night and then I don’t love getting up early on Saturday. No problem. Columbia has a Sunday Farmers Market too. It’s open from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, so I can play late on Friday and not miss out on my tasty summer market finds.

The Library:

Columbia Public Library

(Photo of Columbia Public Library)

I know that going to the library isn’t just a summer activity. The library is open all year. But there’s something special about visiting the library in the summer. I see all the kids checking out reading books with their parents and it reminds me of the time I spent browsing through my hometown library’s bookshelves with my mom and going to the morning “story time” once a week. Is there a better place to read a good book than outside on a sunny summer day?

Summer Welcome:

Mizzou Cornell

(Trulaske College of Business – University of Missouri. Photo courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism)

Okay, I know that I said I liked less people in Columbia in the summer. That’s true, but there’s just something about watching families visit Columbia in preparation for the upcoming school year. At the CVB, we get a lot of parents in our lobby during Summer Welcome asking questions about Columbia – where to live, what to do, where to eat. They are so excited to be here and when talking with them and answering their questions, I get excited to be here all over again. Every time.

Mugs Up:

Mugs Up

(Mugs Up at 603 Orange Street)

It seems like I’ve spent a lot of time talking about food: patios, ice cream, farmer’s markets.  Mugs Up is more than food, though, it’s an experience. If you’ve never been to Mugs Up, it is a small family operated drive-in located on Orange Street.  Their signature style loose meat “zip burgers” are tiny but tasty and their home made root beer served in thick glass mugs is just like root beer should be. Mugs Up: car hops serving hot delicious burgers, fries and root beer to your car window since 1955.

Summer Concerts:

9thstreetflaminglip

(9th Street Summerfest, photo courtesy of The Blue Note)

Columbia is a great music town all year, but I think our summer concerts are special. The variety is amazing; from high energy crowds jammed together on Ninth Street during Summerfest events to low-key, family friendly Sunday night concerts in Shelter Gardens, we have it all. If it gets too hot for you, duck into the Missouri Theatre for the Missouri Symphony Society’s Hot Summer Nights performances.

Let us know what you think of Beth’s favorites, and don’t forget to check back with us next week for more Friday Favorites!

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If you get a little overheated during your summer visit to Columbia, be sure to hit these ‘cool’ spots and get yourself a treat!

opens in a new window63 Diner

5801 Hwy 763 North | 573-443-2331

Step back in time at the 63 Diner! A classic diner featuring music from the 50’s and nostalgic decor – the waitresses even wear poodle skirts! Order one of many signature diner-style meals, and don’t forget the milkshake!

opens in a new windowMain Squeeze Natural Foods Cafe

28 S. 9th St. | 573-817-5616

While Main Squeeze does feature a vegetarian menu, it’s not just for vegetarians! Stop by and try one of their unique fresh juice drinks or smoothies, like the Ginger Tonic (apple, celery, lemon, and ginger) or the Berry Berry Good smoothie (grape, blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry).

opens in a new windowSparky’s Homemade Ice Cream

21 S. 9th St. | 573-443-7400

A small ice cream parlor in The District (downtown Columbia), Sparky’s features awesomely unique rotating flavors including mango strawberry almond, chocolate banana Tabasco, dark and stormy (for those 21 and older, it includes rum and ginger beer), blackberry goat cheese, and dark pepper dark chocolate espresso. Don’t worry, for those of you who would prefer a safer choice, Sparky’s also has “normal” flavors like vanilla bean, chocolate, cookies and cream, and butter pecan.

opens in a new windowTropical Liqueurs

515 E. Broadway | 573-442-8098

3805 S. Providence | 573-256-7141

A bar specializing in frozen cocktails, Trops is the place to be (as long as you’re 21)! There are 2 locations in Columbia: one on the south side of town and one downtown in the District. While Trops does serve beer and mixed drinks, they are known for their frozen drinks such as the Tiger Paw (peach schnapps, rum, pineapple juice, and orange juice), ’57 Chevy (rum, gin, vodka, sloe gin, and mai tai blend), and many others.

opens in a new windowBuck’s Ice Cream

Eckles Hall, University of Missouri | 573-882-1088

Buck’s is known as the official ice cream of the Mizzou Tigers and is even made fresh on the University of Missouri’s campus by food science students. Their typical hours are Monday – Friday noon-5 (and Saturdays during warmer months), but it’s completely worth it to find time to go just for a taste of their tiger stripe or Mizzou gold ice cream.

Yogoluv

201 S. 9th St. | 573-777-9694

Yogoluv features a buffet of frozen yogurt and topping choices, and the price depends on how much your bowl of deliciousness weighs. The flavors are rotated but the basic choices of chocolate and vanilla are available along with toppings including candies, syrups, fruits, cereals, and almost anything else you’d want on your frozen yogurt.

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Columbia is full of sporting activity during the summer! Whether you’re in Columbia for a baseball tournament, a swim meet or the Show-Me State Games, here are a few tips to make your summer visit a success.

Keep Cool! Indoor Activities

A few spots to cool down and have fun in between games.

Columbia Mall: I-70 and Stadium Blvd., 573.445.9458

Going Bonkers: 3812 Buttonwood Drive, 573.499.0366

Goodrich Forum 8 Theaters: 1209 Forum Katy Pkwy., 573.445.7469

Hollywood Theaters: 2800 Goodwin Pointe Dr., 573.817.0770

Columbia Public Library: 100 West Broadway, 573.443.6027

Lazer Lanes: 3412 Grindstone Parkway, 573.447.6021

The ARC: 1701 West Ash, 573.874.7700

Retail Locations

Need to stock up on sports drinks, bandages and other necessities? Here you go!

Wal-Mart:

1201 Grindstone Parkway, 573.449.0815

3001 W. Broadway, 573.445.9506

415 Conley Road, 573.499.4935

Kohls: 1010 East Green Meadows, 573.256.1188

Hy-Vee Supermarkets:

3100 West Broadway, 573.447.0133

25 Conley Road, 573.442.7703

405 East Nifong, 573.442.8616

Schnucks Supermarket: 1400 Forum Blvd., 573.446.2800

Gerbes Supermarkets:

1729 West Broadway, 573.445.9518

205 East Nifong, 573.874.2939

2900 Paris Road, 573.474.9418

Family Friendly Dining

Round up the whole team and have a celebratory meal!

Bengal’s Bar & Grill: 227 S. 6th Street, 573.875.2337

La Siesta: 27 N. 9th Street, 573.449.8788

The Rome: 38 N. 8th Street, 573.876.2703

Shakespeare’s Pizza: 225 S. 9th Street, 573.449.2454

Shiloh Bar & Grill: 402 E. Broadway, 573.875.1800

Buckingham Bar-B-Q: 3804 Buttonwood Dr., 573.499.1490

G&D Pizza-Steak: 2101 West Broadway, 573.445.8336

McAlister’s Deli: 1205 Grindstone Parkway, 573.256.7783

Houlihan’s: 2641 Broadway Bluff Drive, 573.815.7210

Steak ‘n Shake: 3004 Clark Lane & 1912 West Worley

Gumby’s: 1201 East Broadway, 573.874.8629

A Few Last Tips

Easy reminders for anytime you travel!

  • Always lock your vehicle. Even if you are “just going inside for a minute”. It only takes a thief a few seconds to grab your stuff!
  • Make your vehicle as unattractive of a target as possible by taking all valuables inside or locking them in a trunk/out of sight. Don’t forget that things like phone chargers and computer cords are clues to a thief of what might be inside.
  • Park in a well lit area if possible.
  • Record the serial numbers to electronic items, firearms etc. and keep the list in a secure location such as a safety deposit box or in an email to yourself.
  • Consider marking personal items of value such as iPods and cameras with a distinct marking only you know about.
  • Don’t hide spare keys outside your vehicle.

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