Counselors and campers prepare a canoe at Stephens Lake Park.

ABOVE: Counselors and campers prepare a canoe to enter the water at Stephens Lake Park. Each camper attending Camp CoMo Kidz was given a life jacket and paddle in order to paddle across the lake. The camp counselors want to make sure that campers learn the correct and safe way to participate in outdoor sports.

RIGHT: The Blue Note offers live music every week.

Columbia has lots to offer when you want to leave the MU bubble. Here are a few ideas.

Visit a park or nature trail

Many city and state parks are located in Columbia or within a short driving distance. These are good options for students.

• Stephens Lake Park, 2001 E. Broadway, has a public lake that is open for swimming and fishing. In the winter, you can sled and ice skate at the park under the right conditions. The park is also a venue for summer and fall concerts, including the well-known Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival in September.

• Finger Lakes State Park is located about 10 miles north of Columbia off U.S. 63 at 1505 Peabody Road. Built in a former coal mining area, the trails and motocross track are popular, as is camping and exploring. The park also has the 2.75 mile Kelley Branch Mountain Bike Trail and a 4.5 mile water trail. Canoes ($10 for two hours; $25 for the day) and kayaks ($15 for two hours; $30 for the day) are available to rent.

• Rock Bridge Memorial State Park can be found about four miles south of Columbia at 5901 Missouri 163. The state park has trails to hike and bike. Visitors will also find a cave system with its rock bridge, sinkholes, spring and underground stream at the Devil’s Icebox.

See an independent film

Ragtag Cinema, 10 Hitt St., shows a variety of independent films. The two screening rooms inside have couches, as well as theater seats, and food and drink are available from Uprise Bakery located next door. Student memberships are available for $30 per year with discounts on tickets — $5.50 instead of $7.50 or $9.50. In late winter, it is a setting for the popular True/False Film Fest, a downtown event that brings documentary films and filmmakers to Columbia.

Finish an art project

For those who like painting a canvas or ceramics, these options may be for you.

  • The Mud Room, 1103 E. Walnut St., in Columbia is a paint-your-own-pottery studio. Walk in during open hours, choose a piece of pottery and follow instructions given by the staff to create a design with stamps, stencils and other decorating tools. The studio fires the pottery, and it’s ready for pick up in four to seven days. Average cost is $12-$18.
  • Paint the Town, 2703 E. Broadway, Suite 127, offers classes for canvas-painting sessions with an instructor and open painting sessions where a customer purchases a canvas and the materials are supplied. Prices range from $15 to $45 depending on the size of the canvas. Artists can choose to paint wine glasses, tote bags, bottles and tapestries.
  • Craft & Canvas Studio, 3605 S. Providence Road, Suite 4, has group classes each day, and the studio is open for drop-in instruction on Saturdays and Sundays. The space can fit up to 50 people around tables of four. Prices start at $40 for two-hour Friday and Saturday evening classes plus all materials. Prices for open crafting start at $10 on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Confetti Craft Co., 1201 E. Broadway, lower level, offers projects where crafters follow step-by-step instructions to create an item they choose from the project bar. The store supplies all of the materials. Average cost for a project is $32. Both reservations and walk-ins are accepted.
  • The Blue Note, 17 N. Ninth St., holds a variety of concerts every year. Tickets can be purchased at the MSA Box Office in the Student Center. If you are under 21, you cannot re-enter a concert if you leave, so take care of food and water before you go into the concert. Most shows are for all ages, but you must be 18 for some of them, so check before you buy tickets.
  • Rose Music Hall, 1013 Park Ave., is another live concert venue with indoor and outdoor spaces. Tickets can also be purchased at the MSA Box Office on campus. Pepe’s has moved into the kitchen, serving tacos, burritos, tamales, quesadillas, nachos and other Tex-Mex items.
  • General Assignment reporter, summer 2018 Studying science and agricultural journalism Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5720

Recommended for you

Join the conversation

When posting comments, please follow our community guidelines:
• Login with a social account on WorldTable.
• Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language or engage in personal attacks.
• Stay on topic. Don’t hijack a forum to talk about something else or to post spam.
• Abuse of the community could result in being banned.
• Comments on our website and social media may be published in our newspaper or on our website.