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It’s the most wonderful time of the year.. in Columbia! We have so much going on during the holiday season; read on for information on holiday events, upcoming festivals, and on-stage performances.

Magic Tree, Columbia MO

(Magic Tree at The Village of Cherry Hill)

Holiday Events

Holiday Home Tour | December 5-7 in the Old Hawthorne area
Contact the Missouri Symphony Society for tickets and more information.

Shelter Insurance Tree Lighting | December 5 at 6 PM, Shelter Insurance Company
Enjoy seasonal music by West Middle School and gifts from Santa for the kiddos.

Santa Hotline | December 6 from 9 AM – 3 PM
Children can place a collect call to the North Pole this holiday season to be sure they get a word with the big jolly man, Mrs. Claus, or one of Santa’s many bustling elves. Call 874-7473 or 874-6335 on the day of event.

Winter Craft Bazaar | December 6 from 10 AM – 3 PM at Knights of Columbus
Don’t go far to find the area’s best baked goods, resale items, and handmade crafts. From cranberry candles to pine birdhouses, this bazaar showcases home-based vendors.

City Kwanzaa Celebration | December 6 from 2 PM – 5 PM at Douglass High School
Come celebrate this African-American holiday which is based around developing positive families and communities.  There will be community awards given, entertainment and a holiday feast.

A Dickens Victorian Christmas | Stephens College, December 7-9 at Historic Senior Hall Parlors
You won’t want to miss this authentic recreation of a 19th Century English Christmas celebration. Join Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dickens, along with the Stephens Concert Choir, for a spirited evening of holiday music, period dance, refreshments, games and frivolity.

Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s “A Christmas Carol” | December 10, 7 PM at Missouri Theatre
A Christmas Carol delights families with the story of miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge and the three ghosts of Christmas who try to teach him the true meaning of the holiday before it’s too late.

Magic Tree Lighting | December 11, 6 PM at The Village of Cherry Hill
Come see the Magic Tree lighting in The Village of Cherry Hill. There will be family friendly activities like Santa, crafts, carriage rides and a holiday bazaar.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk | December 13, 8 AM at the Roger B. Wilson Government Center
Come wearing bells and ready to spread holiday cheer for the nationwide 5K race for arthritis.

Handbell Ensemble | December 13, 7 – 8:30 PM at First Baptist Church
Join us for a mix of traditional holiday classics, carols, and classical arrangements. Enjoy A Charlie Brown Christmas and a wild version of The 12 Days of Christmas!

Lights and Sights Tour | December 19, tours at 6:15 PM and 7:45 PM
Enjoy some of Columbia’s beautiful holiday lights from the comfort of Parks and Recreation mini-buses! Tours depart from the ARC. Pre-register with Parks and Recreation, 573-874-7460.

Symphony of Toys | December 21, 3 PM at Missouri Theatre
A holiday concert featuring a variety of festive music for the season with the Missouri Symphony Orchestra, the Missouri Symphony Children’s Chorus, the Columbia Chorale and special guest, renowned soprano Teresa Gomez. A special guest from the North Pole will also make an appearance!

Upcoming Festivals

Columbia Missouri Eve Festopens IMAGE file

(Columbia Eve Fest, courtesy of Notley Hawkins)

Living Windows Festival | December 5, 6-8 PM in The District
Shopkeepers move all the merchandise out of their front windows and stage live holiday performances for onlookers. The night itself is a celebration of the holidays. The District features open houses, strolling carolers, holiday treats,and visits with Santa.

First Fridays | December 5, January 2, February 6, 6-9 PM in the North Village Arts District
Galleries, shops, and businesses will be open on the first Friday of every month and will offer music, art, demonstrations, kids’ activities, refreshments, and much more. Each First Friday will be unique depending on the season and other downtown activities taking place throughout the year. First Fridays are free and all ages are welcome to join in the evenings offerings from parades to after parties.

Columbia Eve Fest | December 31, 7 PM in The District
Join us for a New Year’s Eve Block Party on 9th street between Elm and Locust in The District. Eve Fest is an alcohol-free, celebration of the New Year with music, art, ritual, and festivity.

True/False Film Fest | March 5-8 in The District
T/F is a magical Columbia experience, offering 4 days of the newest and most compelling documentary films, each accompanied by the director, plus dozens of bands playing before screenings and at concerts all weekend. There are also art installations throughout downtown, a legendary live gameshow, and the March March parade to kick it all off.

True False March March parade at the Film Festival

(True/False Film Fest’s March March parade, courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism)

On Stage

Snow Queen | TRYPS, December 6-7, 13-14 at Stephens College Warehouse Theatre
Long before Disney created its smash hit Frozen, a more traditional tale was told of a mystical Snow Queen. Chill out with this classic story.

Anne of Green Gables | Stephens College, December 5-7, 10-11 at Macklanburg Playhouse
Known for its bright, charming, resourceful and highly imaginative heroine, as well as the beauty of its setting on Prince Edward Island, Anne of Green Gables has captivated audiences for generations. Experience this timeless tale for the first time, or share it with someone you find charming/and irrepressible, too.

Over the River and Through the Woods | Talking Horse Productions, December 5-7, 12-14 at Talking Horse Theatre
Nick is a single, Italian-American guy from New Jersey. His parents retired and moved to Florida. That doesn’t mean his family isn’t still in Jersey. In fact, Nick sees both sets of grandparents every Sunday for dinner. This is routine until he has to tell them that he’s been offered a dream job, which would take him away from his beloved, but annoying grandparents. The news doesn’t sit so well. Thus begins a series of schemes to keep Nick around.

Dial ‘S’ for Santa | Sherlock’s Mystery Dinner Theatre, December 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 at The Broadway
Performing at The Broadway Hotel in downtown Columbia, Missouri, Sherlock’s presents shows full of hilarious comedy and fascinating intrigue combined with high-end food prepared by an award winning chef.

Our Town | Greenhouse Theatre Project, December 10-14 at Orr Street Studios
GreenHouse collaborates with Orr St. Studios on a new, experimental adaptation of the Thornton Wilder classic by co-artistic director Elizabeth Braaten Palmieri.

cinderella logo for show at columbia entertainment company

Cinderella | Columbia Entertainment Company, January 22-25, 29-31, February 1, 5-8 at Columbia Entertainment Company
The timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality, charm and elegance. As adapted for the stage, with great warmth and more than a touch of hilarity, the hearts of children and adults alike still soar when the slipper fits.

End Game | University of Missouri Dept. of Theatre, February 4-8 at Corner Playhouse
Samuel Beckett’s Endgame pares down human existence to what is left after every other option is taken away. Yet this stark absurdist tragicomedy challenges us to find comic moments in the despair of four people facing the end of the world. Don’t miss this meditation on death, dependency and wit.

Antigone | Stephens College, February 6-8 at Macklanburg Playhouse
In a world fraught with moral compromise, how does one maintain personal integrity—and at what cost? That’s the dilemma faced by faithful sister Antigone as she mourns her two dead brothers in this thoughtful adaption of Sophocles’ classic Greek tragedy.

The Whipping Man | University of Missouri Dept. of Theatre, February 19-21 at Rhynsburger Theater
As the Civil War ends, a wounded Confederate soldier returns to find his plantation home in ruins, occupied by two of his family’s former slaves. Bound by history and the Jewish faith they share, the three men are forced to confront the changing social order as deeply buried secrets are revealed that could cost each of them their freedom. Strong language and explicit physical trauma.

What Every Girl Should Know | Stephens College, February 19-22 at Warehouse Theatre
Four young Catholic suffragettes in early 20th century New York City adopt birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger as their patron saint.

love loss and what I wore logo

Love, Loss, and What I Wore | Columbia Entertainment Company, February 26 – March 1, March 5-8 at CEC
A play of monologues and ensemble pieces about women, clothes and memory covering all the important subjects—mothers, prom dresses, mothers, buying bras, mothers, hating purses and why we only wear black.


Hope this gives you an idea of what we have coming up in Columbia! Keep an eye on our calendar of events and blog for more information.