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Bring on the pumpkin spice: it’s Fall in Missouri! This year looks a little different with many of our beloved fall festivals cancelled. However, there are still plenty of spook-tacular things to see and do before cold weather sets in. Here are just a few places we suggest visiting this fall.

 

It just wouldn’t feel like fall without a trip to the corn maze. The corn maze at Shryocks Callaway Farms opened September 18 and is a favorite for visitors of all ages. Layout and theme of the maze changes yearly and the theme for 2020 is Champs. Enjoy S’Mores by one of the campfire areas that comes complete with roasting sticks and a picnic table. Reservations are required and can be made during regular corn maze hours. Pumpkins will be for sale in late September. 

Photo Courtesy Shryocks Callaway Farms

 

Midway Golf & Games has added a corn maze to their fall 2020 season. They have partnered with Special Olympics Missouri and will be donating a portion of the profits to support programs for more than 16,000 athletes. In addition to the corn maze, they will have a pumpkin patch, mums, hayrides and firepits. Take advantage of one of their fall combo cards and enjoy a round of mini golf, a go kart ride or some time in the batting cage along with your trip through the corn maze. 

Photo by Sandi Peters

 

If you’re looking for pumpkins, there are plenty of places to find them in Mid-MO. Peach Tree Farms, about 20 minutes west of Columbia, offers an assortment of pumpkins and gourds starting October 1. The farm also offers hayrides, food for animals, Bunny Ville, Corny Crib and several photo opportunities. A great way to spend an afternoon with the family. 

 

Photo by Sandi Peters

 

Strawberry Hill Farms is open for the fall season from September 1 through October 31. We adore their assortment of unique pumpkins and gourds as well as their colorful mums. Houseplant fans will enjoy their selection of succulents and easy care houseplants. 

Photo by Sandi Peters

 

Mum season is in full swing at CMSE Giving Gardens. You will find a variety of mums, pumpkins and gourds available through October. Don’t forget to check out their houseplants too. 

Photo by Sandi Peters

 

Lloyd’s Family Farm in Ashland is another must see this fall. The farm offers a variety of pumpkins in their you-pick patch as well as hayrides, a corn maze and other family friendly activities. After pumpkin season ends, the farm transitions into selling Christmas trees. 

Photo Courtesy of Lloyd’s Family Farm

 

Visit Four Oaks Farm, LLC 4th generation family farm and you’ll find pumpkins, mums and more. A perfect place for the family to visit, they offer a cow train and a variety of outdoor activities for kids. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through October 31. 

Photo Courtesy of Four Oaks Farm

 

If you’re more interested in a good scare, Fear Fest Haunted House might be for you. Located at the Midway exit, this haunted house is open select hours in October and November. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for more information regarding their 2020 safety precautions and hours. 

Photo Courtesy of Fear Fest Haunted House

 

We hope this list gives you some ideas of fun places to visit this fall! Be sure to tag us in your fall photos using #ShowMeCoMo.

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Can you believe Labor Day is just around the corner? The holiday marks the unofficial end of summer and ushers in the season of pumpkin spice lattes and cozy wool sweaters. Before you say farewell to summer, here are several ways to enjoy the long weekend exploring some of the best outdoor spots in Columbia.

Finger Lakes State Park

Photo by Sandi Peters

If you haven’t had a chance to visit opens in a new windowFinger Lakes, this weekend is the perfect time to do so. Kayak, paddle-board and canoe rentals are available opens in a new windowonline at $25 a day. There are also more than 70 miles of off-road motorcross and all-terrain trails ready to explore. For those looking to relax, there is plenty of sandy beach shore waiting for you.

 

The Pinnacles

Photo by Sandi Peters

This unique Ozarkian geologic formation is wedged between two rivers and can be found just 20 minutes north of Columbia. Bring your hiking boots and make your way to the top where you will find breathtaking views. Cool off after your hike in one of the creeks or enjoy a picnic in one of the three picnic shelters. Visit during golden hour for amazing shots of the sun peeking over the rocks. 

 

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

Photo by Sandi Peters

Visitors to this opens in a new windowpark will notice many sinkholes, caves, streams and small springs; all characteristics of karst topography. There are several opens in a new windowtrails of varying length and difficulty perfect for hiking, mountain biking and even equestrian use. We suggest bringing waterproof shoes and a flashlight too as no trip is complete without exploring Connor’s Cave. We highly recommend a return trip in the fall to check out the beautiful foliage.

 

Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area

Photo by Sandi Peters

opens in a new windowEagle Bluffs is the perfect place to take a Sunday drive. A camera is a must for snapping shots of the majestic bald eagles. Check out the 17 wetland pools that provide habitat for animals such as heron, duck, geese, turtles and more. Stop along the Missouri River and watch the eagles soar overhead while enjoying a picnic. For those who don’t mind a hike, you will be rewarded with amazing views. There is a viewing platform accessible from S. Warren School Road or the Katy Trail. Visiting at sunrise or sunset is truly magical.

 

Katy Trail – Rocheport

Photo by Sandi Peters

The opens in a new windowKaty Trail is full of surprises. Have you been to Rocheport and ventured through the old railroad tunnel under Moniteau Bluff? The tunnel was built in 1893 and is now open only to bicyclists and pedestrians. You might also notice an old railroad explosives cave in the cliffs as you head south towards McBaine. Now is the perfect time to get out there and see what other hidden gems the trail has to offer. Bike rentals are available at opens in a new windowMeriwether Cafe and Bike Shop, conveniently located near the trail. 

Now that you have some new ideas for the holiday weekend, don’t forget to share your photos with us using #ShowMeCoMo. Have fun exploring!

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The Boone County History & Culture Center is open and now features the Treasures of Boone County mural, a testament to the County’s bicentennial this year.

The mural was designed by Columbia’s own Stacy “Wildy” Self, owner of WildysWorld! MuralMakers Studio. It features the communities that create Boone County, including Ashland, Centralia, Columbia, Hallsville, Harrisburg, Rocheport, Sturgeon and The Missouri River Community.

Photo by Samantha Waigand

The mural captures different aspects of life in Boone County. Self reached out to the community for input on what should be featured and even had community paint nights year. Hundreds of people came together to help paint this historic mural. It is a beautiful symbol for all who live in and visit Boone County.

Photo by Samantha Waigand

Everyone is invited to see this historic mural on display. The Boone County History & Culture Center is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 12 – 4 p.m. The first hour of each day is reserved for those over 60 years of age or high-risk individuals.

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Supporting your local businesses, restaurants and attractions while safely social distancing is still possible. Take a look at these ideas on how you can make a difference and keep our community strong.

FOOD DELIVERY & CURBSIDE PICKUP

Some restaurants are beginning to open for dine-in while still following the guidelines outlined in the Reopening Plan Order. More cleaning and sanitizing measures are in place for the health and safety employees and patrons. Curbside pickup, delivery and drive-thru options are still available at most restaurants. Check out our continuously updated list of restaurants that includes the details of the services they are offering.

PURCHASE GIFT CARDS

Purchasing gift cards to your favorite shop, restaurant or hotel is a simple way to support the community now while promising to come back in the future. Whether you are purchasing them for future use or gifting them to someone else, buying gift cards are a great way to support your favorite local businesses.

DIGITAL ATTRACTIONS EXPERIENCES

While many attractions remain closed at this time, there are still virtual experiences you can partake in. Art comes alive at Sager Braudis Gallery through its virtual galleries. The State Historical Society of Missouri features both digital collections and virtual events worth looking at. Be on the lookout for your favorite attraction’s virtual offerings.

SUPPORT LOCAL RETAILERS BY SHOPPING ONLINE

Retailers are actively using Facebook and other social media outlets to showcase their products and encourage patrons to shop online and even pickup their items with curbside pickup. There are so many shops and boutiques that offer unique items you can’t find anywhere else, and they would surely appreciate your business. Take a look at our continuously updated list of open shops and boutiques and see what services they are offering.

VISIT PARKS, TRAILS & NATURE AREAS

Columbia is home to numerous parks, trails and nature areas. Check out our Nature Checklistopens PDF file and start safely adventuring to new nature spots. Fresh air and exercise do great things for mental health, and with beautiful summer weather coming in, it should be enjoyed.

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Who is counting down to the start of the True/False Film Fest?! I know I am!

12 movies later, I am officially ready to go and anxiously awaiting the start of the ultimate four-day movie marathon.

But, there is more to the True/False Film Fest than independent films.

From March March, art installations, music and merch, there is so much to see and do for everyone, even if you aren’t going to watch the films.

March March

March March has to be one of the most exciting parts of the True/False experience!

It’s a parade like no other, and it is going to be a sight to see. This parade kicks off the fest Friday evening in the District.

Everything begins at the Boone County Courthouse Square, and the march goes down 9th Street to the Sculpture Yard outside Missouri Theatre.

It’s a free event, and everyone is invited to either be part of the parade or be a spectator. I plan on being a spectator this first time so I can watch it happen firsthand, and I just can’t wait!

Art

True/False has incorporated Art  into the fest from the very beginning.

This year’s pieces are centered around the Foresight concept.

These installations are captivating, engaging and worth a trip downtown just to see what these artists ave created.

They are dispersed throughout the fest, and I am looking forward to seeing each artist’s individual take on Foresight.

Music & Concerts

So. Much. Music.

There will be so many musicians in town for the fest! Each of them have their own style, and you can even hear their tracks on the True/False website.

I have already gone through and know who I really want to see perform. Who are you most excited for?

Merch

The Fest Merch store is open! Located in the Sager Braudis Gallery, 1025 E Walnut Street, is it conveniently where the Box Office is located, too.

You must take a look and see all the True/False merchandise you can take home to commemorate exciting weekend you are bound to have. 

In late March there will be merch available for purchase online. Until then, the store is worth a visit. Happy shopping!

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Did you see all the films that are going to be showing at the True/False Film Fest? If you haven’t, check them out!

The films are all so unique and interesting, how can I choose which to see? Why are they all so great?!

To figure out what films make the cut and when I can see them, I have created a game plan that could actually work.

Here we go!

Step 1: Pick your favorite films

I was on the True/False website at 6:01 p.m. om February 12, just one minute after the films would for sure be listed.

Whoa, was I ever impressed with all the film descriptions I was reading! So impressed that after I read through them once, I immediately read through them again making internal notes on which ones I was the most interested in seeing.

This process was more helpful than I knew at the time. I automatically found 10 films I wanted to see. After a second look though, the number jumped to 14.

That’s nothing though.

When she first looked, my friend Megan had 12 films she knew she wanted to see. When she looked at them all again, she added four more to the list. The more you look at the film list, the more likely you are to add to your watch list!

It has to be a True/False trick. But it worked! Now on to the next step.

Step 2: Look at the schedule

Time to take in when and where all my film favorites are playing!

When I first looked at the schedule, I felt overwhelmed. There is a lot of information to take in, and there is just a lot going on.

Let’s walk through it.

There is an individual schedule for each day of the fest. The film start and end times are listed for each of the 11 venues where you watch the films.

There is also a column for Other Music and Events. This shockingly details other times you can listen to music and attend various events throughout the fest. I am definitely going to take a look at these two columns before and during the fest; I want to go to March March and experience other fun things!

I feel like I’ve grasped the schedule and understand it, so let’s move on to Step 3, where it all comes together.

Step 3: Plan the weekend

I’m looking at this schedule right now with my 14 favorite films ready to go, and I just hope this all works out.

I really want it to be possible to see all the films I’m interested in (and maybe two or three more).

We have to consider the film length, where the film is being shown, how far away my next film venue is, ALL of the things.

Luckily, the True/False team thought of all of that.

The schedule includes all of the films, where they are playing and when exact moment they start and end. But wait, there’s more!

At the bottom of the Thursday Schedule, there is a chart showing how far of a walk it is between venues. ALL the venues. This is going to be crucial as I plan out which films I want to see, where I can see them and how long of a walk I have to the next one.

They really did think of everything!

I am going to buckle down and make my plan tonight so I am ready to go when the time comes to login to the True/False system and make my reservations. Good luck to all of us, and may we all reserve the films and times we hope for!

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Whether you are celebrating Galentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day or waiting for the discounted candy on February 15, there are exciting events you can take part in this Valentine’s Day. Check them out here!

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13

Galentine’s Day at Coley’s

The Southern Rose Galentine’s Day Party

Ladies Night Out! at Jake’s Bar & Grill

Galentine’s Epic Pie Tasting at Peggy Jean’s Pies

Galentine’s Day Ladies Night! at The Mud Room

Galentine’s Day Party at DogMaster Distillery (rescheduled for Wednesday, February 19)

 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14

Dim the Lights Valentine’s Dance Party at Cafe Berlin

Valentine’s Day with the Big Bang Brass Quintet at Broadway Brewery

Silverball Valentine’s Party

Valentine’s Day Champagne Tasting at Gunter Hans

Valentine’s Dinner at the Columbia Country Club

Wine Lovers Tasting & Tour for Two at Les Bourgeois Vineyards

Wine & Whiskers at Papa’s Cat Cafe

Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot at Woof’s Play & Stay

Pottery Valentine’s Date Night at The Mud Room

Sugarwitch Valentine’s Day Pop-Up at Fretboard Coffee

Valentine’s Special at COMO AXA Attack with Paint the Town

Valentine’s Day Wine & Chocolate Pairing at Les Bourgeois Vineyards

 

No matter where you celebrate or who you celebrate with, Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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Have you ever been to the True/False Film Fest? Because I have not. 

I’m Amanda, the Community Relations Specialist for the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). I have lived in Columbia for a total of six years (four during college, two most recently). 

While living here, and especially working for the CVB, I’ve heard a lot about the fest. The films, the music, the art, everything worth mentioning, I’ve heard about it. I’ve just never experienced it for myself.

That all changes this year! This is my time to fully invest and go all-in to the True/False Film Fest weekend. 

And I’m taking you all with me. 

This is the beginning of my blog series, True/False for a First-Timer. Together, we are going to go from start to finish through the fest. 

For those of you who are new to True/False, too, my goal is to help you prepare and have a wonderful film-watching experience. And for those who have gone once or twice (or every year), please share your wisdom. Every little bit helps!

Now, before every venture, I personally believe research should be completed to make sure you know as much as you can so you have the most worthwhile experience. 

Let’s learn something new!

The very first True/False Film Fest took place in Columbia in 2003. From the very beginning, it has been about nonfiction cinema. 

There have been numerous films featured in this fest that have gone on to be nominated (and even won) at the Oscars in the Documentary (Feature) category. Check out the list of films below.

Man on Wire (2008)

Burma VJ

GasLand 

Restrepo

Waste Land

Undefeated (2011)

Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

How to Survive a Plague

Twenty Feet From Stardom (2013)

The Act of Killing

Cutie and the Boxer

Dirty Wars

Cartel Land

The Look of Silence

What Happened, Miss Simone?

I Am Not Your Negro

Life, Animated

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Strong Island

Hale County This Morning, This Evening

Of Fathers and Sons

American Factory (2019)

The Edge of Democracy

From what I’ve heard, True/False is not a solo adventure. If you’ve been through the fest before, what advice would you give to someone who’s never gone before? If you’re a first-timer like me, what questions about the True/False Film Fest do you have?

Let the True/False adventures begin!

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va·ca·tion: an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or traveling

Leisure. Recreation. Travel. Are you packing your bags yet?

On this day (National Plan Your Vacation Day), it is important to remind ourselves to take a break, take some time off, take a vacation.

Pick a place you want to visit and GO! Maybe you will end up somewhere unexpected.

what·you·un·ex·pect: the unique expression one will use to describe their experiences in Columbia, Missouri

CoMo offers something for everyone, which makes it the ideal vacation destination.

Diverse dining options, breathtaking parks and trails, shopping for all tastes, sports for watching and playing and home to festivals you have to see to believe.

This is what awaits you in Columbia, but there’s more to it than that.

The food you can find in Columbia is second to none.

No matter what you are craving, there is a new place to try and favorites to return to.

Visit the District in downtown Columbia for a wide variety of dining options.

Whether you are walking or bicycling, you will see views unlike anything you have ever seen before.

There is always a new trail to wander on and a new discovery to be made before you reach your destination.

 Rock Bridge Memorial State Park and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial at Battle Garden are worth exploring.

Shops, boutiques and a mall await you, and each one has something new and unique to offer.

Local artisans create charm-filled pieces you cannot find anywhere else.

The District and the North Village Arts District can offer shopping, art and cultural experiences to your stay.

Home to the Mizzou Tigers, Columbia regularly hosts SEC teams in a wide variety of sports.

Sporting events like the Show-Me State Games and countless others are held here every year.

The Harmony Bends Championship Disc Golf Course is an acclaimed course worth visiting.

Festivals like Roots N Blues Festival, True/False Film Fest and Unbound Book Festival are held annually in Columbia.

Each event offers its patrons unique experiences that will always be remembered.

The True/False Film Fest is happening March 5-8, 2020, and passes are available now.

Make a plan today to visit Columbia and experience what you unexpect.

#PlanYourVacation

 

 

 

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New Year, New CoMo

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HAPPY NEW YEAR, COLUMBIA!

Not only is this the beginning of a new year, it’s the start of a new decade and the perfect opportunity to try new things.

Whether you are a visitor or a local, Columbia offers new and unexpected experiences. Take a look at what you may already be familiar with and find some hidden gems located all around our city.

Indoor Adventures

Level UP is the newest attraction in the Columbia Mall. Bowling, laser tag, a ropes course and arcade games can all be found in this one place. With food and drinks also offered, it is the perfect place for indoor fun.

If you love coffee and cats, Papa’s Cat Cafe is the place for you! This unique cafe gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy beverages and other treats while spending time with over 20 cuddly cats.

Shop & See

Have you been to The District? Filled with boutiques, shops, restaurants and more, downtown Columbia offers something for everyone and is worth a trip. Be sure to check out Alley A, the not-so secret gem located between Ninth and Hitt Streets.

         

But wait! There is more to downtown Columbia! The North Village Arts District is home to Columbia’s thriving art scene and features galleries, live performance spaces, art studios and so much more. Visit during the First Friday of every month for a free art crawl featuring music, art demonstrations and more.

For the Foodies

You may have heard of Shakespeare’s Pizza, a local icon and now operating out of three locations in Columbia. Both the pizza and the atmosphere make a visit worth it.

Pizza Tree is another pizza joint that is absolutely worth eating at. With daily specials and pizza served by the slice all day long, you will easily be planning your next visit as you are leaving.

Out & About

Walking the MKT Trail is an experience like no other. You can take in the views and see so much of the nature that encompasses Columbia. But, have you ever thought about biking on the MKT Trail? You can enhance the adventure and go farther faster by renting a bike from Pedego Electric Bikes, a shop in downtown Columbia. Conveniently located near Flat Branch Park, it is close enough where you can hit the trail almost immediately.

That’s Entertainment

Concerts are regularly held at The Blue Note, and it is located right in the heart of the District. Let us introduce you to its sister property, Rose Music Hall. Home to both an indoor and outdoor space, Rose Park, the patio is ideal for spending time outdoors with fellow music-lovers.

         

All of these experiences and countless others can be found in Columbia. To make 2020 even more worthwhile, make a resolution to try something new, something CoMo. Any one of these adventures just might make your year!

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