School’s out, and Columbia is suddenly a different city. It’s less crowded. Parking isn’t such an issue. The lines are shorter at your favorite watering holes and eateries. People seem less rushed. It’s time to enjoy what you have right here in your own backyard.
A staycation — a mash-up word that combines stay-at-home and vacation — could be just what the doctor (or the budget) ordered. Never fear, there is plenty to see and do here in Columbia to keep you happy and busy. In fact, you just might have your Best. Summer. Ever. Right here in CoMo.
Need to be convinced? Here are ideas for four weekends of fun that make the most of living in this delightfully cosmopolitan, yet pleasantly small-town city. Get out and soak in the laid-back vibe that settles over Columbia during the lazy days of summer.
The highlight is the fireworks show, which begins at 9:15 p.m. and is choreographed to music. This is the 67th year for this community celebration, which falls on a Thursday this year, so we’re stretching the weekend a bit.
Facebook: Mugs Up Drive In
The colorful, well-groomed gardens provide the setting for the concerts, with musicians performing in the cedar gazebo. It evokes days gone by, when summer band concerts in the town square gazebo attracted young and old.
The Boone County Fair has been pleasing crowds since 1835. With its traditional livestock competitions, carnival rides, arts and crafts contests, and kids’ events, the fair will put you in a down-home, country state of mind. Who knows — it might inspire you to head to the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia in August.
By the time this magazine reaches you, the Columbia Farmers Market should be open in its new home at CoMo Ag Park, 1769 West Ash Street. Until the agriculture park opens, the market will remain at the northeast parking lot of Parkade Center, 601 Business Loop 70 West. Hours are 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. You’ll get an authentic taste of Mid-Missouri at the various booths of this producer-only market, plus live music. Goods include fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs, cheese, honey, cut flowers, plants, artisanal items and more.
Facebook: Orr Street Farmers and Artisans Market
The park’s namesake, the rock bridge, was separated from the rest of the cave system when part of the cave roof collapsed. Follow the Devil’s Icebox Boardwalk past a natural tunnel, a sinkhole, a spring and Devil’s Icebox itself. Devil’s Icebox is a double sinkhole with a view of an underground stream. Cool, refreshing air flows from the sinkhole, giving the formation its name.
The mission of the Show-Me State Games is to provide all Missourians the opportunity to participate in activities of health, fitness, family and fun. Even if you’re not competing, you can enjoy the games as an onlooker or a volunteer. The University of Missouri is the host of the Show-Me State Games and events will be held in several venues.