Exploring the Best Things to Do in Columbia, MO

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Things To Do In Columbia, MO

Columbia, MO is a charming and vibrant city that is a perfect blend of culture and community. With its lively downtown scene, you’ll find an array of eclectic shops, delicious eateries, and local art galleries to explore. The University of Missouri adds youthful energy, bringing with it engaging events and a lively college-town atmosphere.

Nature enthusiasts will be delighted by the numerous parks and trails that offer opportunities for outdoor adventures. From the bustling Farmer’s Market to the friendly locals, Columbia warmly invites you to experience its unique Midwestern charm and endless entertainment options.

Without giving away everything at once let’s look at the plethora of things to do in Columbia MO that you will remember for a lifetime.

1. The District Downtown Columbia

The District Downtown Columbia

Greetings, fellow adventurers! If you’re in Columbia and looking for a great spot to hang out, The District Downtown is the place to be. Imagine a vibrant center where local flavor meets modern entertainment. It is the ideal combination for a remarkable visit.

Let’s talk about what to do. Shopaholics, rejoice! The District is full of stores, boutiques, and galleries where you can find one-of-a-kind items and souvenirs. And if you’re a foodie, get ready for a gastronomic journey. From cozy cafes to trendy restaurants, there’s something to satisfy every craving.

Here’s the best part: the art scene. The District often hosts events like art walks, live music, and theater performances. It’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and maybe even catch a show or exhibition that leaves you feeling inspired.

Oh, and did I mention the local festivals? Throughout the year, The District comes alive with celebrations that showcase the best of the community. It’s a wonderful way to mingle with locals, enjoy some entertainment, and experience Columbia’s vibrant spirit.

So, if you’re up for a day of shopping, dining, and taking in the local atmosphere, The District Downtown Columbia is the place for you. Bring your curiosity, your appetite, and your sense of adventure – get ready for a dose of urban excitement in the heart of the city!

Cost: Free

Address:11 S 10th St, Columbia, MO 65201, United States

2. Mizzou Cheerleading

Mizzou Cheerleading

Mizzou Cheerleading is known for getting the crowd pumped up with chants and cheers but that’s not all. The team also hosts clinics and workshops where you can learn some moves and feel the energy of cheerleading. Even if you’re not a pro, you can still join in the fun. Everyone is welcome to cheer alongside the team and be part of the Mizzou spirit.

So, if you’re ready to soak up some college sports excitement, Mizzou Cheerleading is the place to be. Bring your enthusiasm and team spirit – it’s time to cheer loud and proud!

Cost: Moderate

Address: Columbia, MO 65211, United States

3. Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

Hey there, all you nature-lovers and outdoor adventurers! If you’re in the Mizzou area, Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is the place for you. Picture a tranquil haven with gorgeous landscapes and plenty of fun activities.

What can you do there? Well, first off, there are plenty of hiking trails! Put on your hiking boots and explore the trails that meander through lush forests and rocky formations. The views are breathtaking, and you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away from the hustle and bustle.

If you’re into caves, you’re in luck! The park has some really cool ones to explore, like Connor’s Cave and Devil’s Icebox. It’s like entering another world, just make sure to bring a flashlight and wear comfy shoes.

Fishing is also a popular activity at the park’s lakes and streams. So, grab your fishing gear and cast your line, you might just catch a big one!

And here’s the icing on the cake: picnics! The park has designated areas where you can lay out a blanket, have a meal, and take in the peaceful atmosphere. It’s a great way to relax and appreciate the beauty so pack your gear, your sense of adventure, and get ready for a day of exploring, hiking, and simply enjoying the great outdoors!

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Cost: Moderate

Address: 5901 South Highway 163, Columbia, MO 65203, United States

4. Farmer’s Market

farmers market columbia

Are you a traveler or foodie visiting Columbia, MO? If so, you won’t want to miss the Farmers Market. It is a bustling gathering of fresh produce, handmade goods, and community vibes. You can explore stalls filled with colorful fruits and veggies, baked treats, artisanal crafts, and more. Plus, it’s a great way to support local vendors and discover the true taste of the region.

But the Farmers Market isn’t just about shopping. It is an experience. Take your time chatting with the farmers and artisans. Learn about their products, their stories, and maybe even pick up a recipe or two. Plus, the market often hosts live music, cooking demonstrations, and even workshops. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local scene, mingle with locals, and make some new friends.

So, if you’re a foodie, a shopper, or simply someone who loves soaking up the community spirit, the Farmers Market in Columbia is the perfect place for you. Bring your shopping bags, your appetite, and your curiosity. Get ready for a flavorful adventure that connects you with the heart of the city.

Cost: Free

Address: 1769 W Ash St, Columbia, MO 65203, United States

5. Museum of Art and Archaeology

Museum of Art and Archaeology

The Museum of Art and Archaeology is filled with captivating art and historical treasures, just waiting to be explored. The museum’s collection is truly impressive, featuring paintings, sculptures, and artifacts from different cultures and eras. Take your time to appreciate the details and learn the stories behind each piece.

But it’s not just about looking. The museum also hosts events, lectures, and workshops that let you engage with art on a deeper level. You might even get the chance to create your own masterpiece!

If you’re visiting with kids, don’t worry – the museum offers family-friendly activities that make art fun and accessible for the little ones. It’s a great way to inspire their creativity and introduce them to the world of art.

So, if you’re looking for a unique cultural experience, the Museum of Art and Archaeology in Columbia is the perfect place. Bring your curiosity, your appreciation for beauty, and your sense of wonder. Get ready to be transported through time and across cultures as you discover the magic of art and history!

Cost: Free

Address: 1020 Lowry St, Columbia, MO 65201, United States

6. True/False Film Fest

True or False Film Fest

The True/False Film Festival celebrates documentary films in an extraordinary way. It showcases a carefully chosen selection of documentaries that will challenge, motivate, and entertain you.

But it’s not just about watching films. You can also meet the filmmakers, take part in Q&A sessions, and even join workshops to learn more about documentary filmmaking. The atmosphere of the festival is electric – you’ll feel the energy of the crowd, the conversations, and the thrill of discovering new perspectives through film.

Don’t worry if you’re not a film expert. The festival is open to everyone, from film fanatics to those who are just starting out. It’s a great opportunity to see the world from a different angle and connect with people who share your love for storytelling.

So, if you’re ready for a cinematic journey that goes beyond the screen, the True/False Film Fest in Columbia is the place for you. Bring your curiosity, your enthusiasm for stories, and your excitement for meaningful entertainment. Get ready to be mesmerized by the power of documentaries and the vibrant atmosphere of the festival!

Cost: $5

Address: The District and University of Missouri campus5 South 9th Street Columbia MO 65201

7. Stephens Lake Park

Stephens Lake Park

If you’re in Columbia, Missouri and need a place to relax, then Stephens Lake Park is the spot for you. Picture a tranquil sanctuary where nature and recreation come together to create the perfect day.

So, what’s on the agenda? To start, the lake itself. Take a leisurely stroll around it, take in the tranquil views, and maybe even spot some ducks swimming around. If you’re into fishing, bring your gear, the lake is stocked with fish just waiting to be caught.

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For the more active types, the park has something for you too. Hiking and biking trails meander through the greenery, giving you a chance to get some exercise and breathe in the fresh air. If you’re into water activities, you can rent a kayak or paddleboat and glide across the lake.

Got little ones with you? They’re in for a treat! The park has a great playground that will keep them entertained for hours. And if you’re visiting during the warmer months, the spray grounds provide a fun way to cool off.

And here’s the icing on the cake: events! Stephens Lake Park often hosts concerts, festivals, and community gatherings. Keep an eye on the schedule, you might come across a lively event that adds an extra layer of excitement to your visit.

Cost: Moderate

Address:  2001 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201, United States

8. Columbia Mall

Columbia Mall


Columbia Mall is a vibrant shopping hub with plenty of stores to explore, from popular brands to local boutiques. Whether you’re searching for fashion, electronics, or gifts, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.

If you’re feeling peckish, the mall has a range of dining options to choose from. Grab a quick bite at the food court or sit down for a leisurely meal at one of the restaurants. It’s the perfect way to refuel before getting back to your shopping spree.

Plus, the mall often hosts events, from fashion shows to live music performances. Keep an eye on the schedule, you might just stumble upon something that adds an extra layer of excitement to your visit.

If you’re traveling with family or friends, the mall is a great place to spend time together. There’s a play area for the kids to burn off some energy while you take a breather, and you can even catch a movie.

So, if you’re ready for a day of shopping, dining, and enjoying some indoor entertainment, Columbia Mall has got you covered. Bring your shopping list, your appetite, and your sense of adventure. Get ready for a day of retail delight and quality time with loved ones!

Cost: Free

Address: 10300 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044, United States

9. Columbia Cosmopolitan Recreation Area (Cosmo Park)

Columbia Cosmopolitan Recreation Area (Cosmo Park)

If you’re in Columbia, Missouri, and looking for a place to get in touch with nature and have some fun, then you need to check out Columbia Cosmopolitan Recreation Area, or Cosmo Park. It’s a huge park with plenty of activities and green spaces that everyone can enjoy.

So, what’s the deal? The park has walking and biking trails that go through some gorgeous scenery. It’s a great way to get some exercise, breathe in the fresh air, and take in the beauty of the area. Sports fans, this is your paradise. You’ll find sports fields, courts, and even a skate park. Whether you’re into soccer, basketball, or just want to show off your skating skills, you’ll find a place to play.

Got kids with you? The park has playgrounds that will keep them entertained for hours. They can climb, slide, and swing to their heart’s content while you sit back and relax.

And here’s something really cool: the park’s Harmony Bends Disc Golf Course. It’s a unique twist on golf that involves throwing discs into designated baskets. It’s a fun challenge that’s great for groups or even a solo outing.

Plus, the park hosts annual events and festivals that add a special touch to your visit. From concerts to cultural celebrations, there’s always something happening that you won’t want to miss.

Cost: Free

Address: 1615 Business Loop 70 W, Columbia, MO 65202, United States

10. Sparkling Nightlife

columbia nightlife

Hey, night owls and party seekers! If you’re in Columbia, Missouri and ready to explore the city after dark, you’re in for a treat. There’s a lively nightlife scene that caters to all tastes and preferences.

So, what’s on the agenda? First, head to The Blue Note, it’s a historic music venue that hosts live shows, concerts, and events. You can catch both local and touring artists, and the atmosphere is electric.

For those who love a good brew, Craft Beer Cellar or Logboat Brewing Company are the places to go. They offer a variety of craft beers that’ll satisfy any beer enthusiast’s palate.

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Hungry? Good news. Columbia’s nightlife is just as diverse when it comes to dining. Try Addison’s for a tasty range of American fare or Flat Branch Pub & Brewing for delicious food paired with their own handcrafted beers.

And here’s the fun part: dancing! Get your groove on at places like The Social Room or Rose Music Hall. Whether you’re into electronic beats or live bands, you’ll find a place to dance the night away.

Feeling fancy? Check out Columbia’s cocktail bars like Room 38 and 44 Stone Public House. They serve up creative concoctions that’ll tantalize your taste buds and make your night feel extra special.

So, whether you’re into live music, craft brews, or dancing until dawn, Columbia’s nightlife has got you covered. Put on your dancing shoes, bring your appetite, and get ready for a night of fun, flavor, and fantastic memories!

Cost: Moderate

Columbia, MO is a great place to explore and enjoy. From its lively neighborhoods and delicious cuisine to its art and outdoor activities, this city has something for everyone. Take a stroll through its charming streets and experience its diverse nightlife – you’ll create memories that will last long after you’ve gone. In short, Columbia is the perfect mix of exciting experiences and peaceful escapes.

Frequently Asked Questions On Things to Do In Columbia, MO

What are the must-visit attractions in Columbia, MO?

Columbia offers a range of attractions to explore. Don’t miss the vibrant District Downtown, the Museum of Art and Archaeology, and the beautiful Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.

Are there outdoor activities to enjoy in Columbia, MO?

Columbia boasts parks like Stephens Lake Park and Cosmo Park, perfect for hiking, biking, picnicking, and even fishing. Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is also a great spot for nature enthusiasts.

Q3: What can I expect from the nightlife in Columbia, MO?

Columbia’s nightlife scene is diverse and lively. You can catch live music at The Blue Note, enjoy craft beers at local breweries, dance the night away at various venues, and explore cocktail bars and dining options in The District.

Q4: How can I explore the local art and culture in Columbia, MO?

Columbia offers cultural experiences like the Museum of Art and Archaeology and the True/False Film Fest, celebrating documentaries. You can also explore local neighborhoods, street art, and even engage with the arts community through events and workshops.

Are there family-friendly activities in Columbia, MO?

Cosmo Park features playgrounds, trails, and sports facilities for families. The True/False Film Fest and various parks like Stephens Lake Park offer activities suitable for kids.

Can I explore historical sites in Columbia, MO?

Definitely! You can visit historical sites like the Museum of Art and Archaeology, which showcases historical artifacts, and explore the past through various events and festivals in the city.

Where can I enjoy local cuisine in Columbia, MO?

Columbia offers a range of dining options. You can savor local flavors at Farmer’s Markets, enjoy American fare at spots like Addison’s, indulge in craft brews at breweries, and explore diverse eateries in The District.

What is the True/False Film Fest, and how can I participate?

The True/False Film Fest is a unique documentary film festival that showcases thought-provoking films and engages attendees with workshops, discussions, and interactions with filmmakers. You can attend screenings, join discussions, and immerse yourself in the world of documentaries.

Can I experience live music in Columbia, MO?

Absolutely! The Blue Note is a historic music venue known for hosting live shows and concerts. You can catch both local and touring artists, as well as explore other venues in the city.

What’s the best way to make the most of my visit to Columbia, MO?

To make the most of your visit, plan ahead! Explore a mix of attractions, from cultural sites and outdoor spaces to nightlife and dining experiences. Engage with the local community through events and festivals to truly immerse yourself in the Columbia experience.

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