10 Things to Do in (and Around) Columbia, Missouri at Christmas
Whether this is your first or your fiftieth Christmas in Mid-Missouri, this year has a chance to be special. Opportunities for festive fun are popping up across town, so we want to make sure you’re in the “holiday loop.” Sure, there are lots of things to do in Columbia, Missouri at Christmas time, but we’re hand-picking a few of our favorite seasonal activities that we recommend for Missourians of all ages.
So, grab your winter coats (or snuggle up somewhere warm if that’s more your thing) and get ready to experience the magic of Christmas in Columbia, Missouri this year.
1. Visit the Living Windows Display Downtown
WHAT: Kick off the holiday season with shopping and entertainment in downtown Columbia! The District is excited to welcome back the annual Living Window Festival. Stop in for live performances, open houses, shopping, and more.
WHEN: Friday, December 2 at 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: The District
2. Shop for handmade gifts at the Winter Wonderland Holiday Market
WHAT: Looking to shop local this Christmas? This is the largest Holiday Market in Columbia that features local artists, artisans, handmade goods, small businesses, and musicians. This is an opportunity to find unique gifts for everyone on your list!
WHEN: Sunday, December 4 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
WHERE: Stoney Creek Hotel, 2601 S Providence Rd, Columbia, MO 65203
3. Drive through Bright Lights/Holidays Nights by Veterans United
WHAT: Put on your Christmas jammies, grab some hot cocoa, and hop in the car! Veterans United Home Loans is pleased to invite the public to enjoy a drive-through holiday light spectacular at its south campus. Bright Lights/Holiday Nights will offer a drive-through experience through a one-mile loop of lights, including holiday displays and music. No reservations are required, and there is no charge for admission.
WHEN: December 7th-18th, 7-10:30 p.m.
WHERE: Veterans United, 4700 S. Providence Rd, Columbia, MO 65203
4. Snag a Free Photo with Santa at Bass Pro Shop
WHAT: Step into a Winter Wonderland and even meet the big guy himself! Grab a free photo with the kids, bring home a free holiday craft, and even mail a letter to Santa. Reservations are required.
WHEN: November 5 - December 24
WHERE: Bass Pro Shop (3101 Bass Pro Drive, Columbia, MO 65202)
5. Visit The Crossing Magic Tree
WHAT: Come take in The Crossing’s 85-foot sycamore illuminated by nearly 200,000 lights. Each light is intended to represent almost every person living in Boone County and remind us that each member of our community matters to God and is made in his image. On Friday nights, enjoy Christmas music and free photo booths.
WHEN: The Magic Tree is lit and open to the public every day from 5-10 p.m. starting November 25 through the first week in January.
WHERE: The Crossing (3615 Southland Drive, Columbia, MO 65201)
6. Check out the Candy Cane Crib at Rose Music Hall
WHAT: Check out the Candy Cane Crib’s new location this year: Rose Music Hall. While Logboat Brewing Company is under construction, you are invited to enjoy a local brew under the lights at Rose Park this holiday season.
WHEN: Wednesday, November 23 – End of Christmas season
WHERE: Rose Music Hall (1013 Park Ave, Columbia, MO 65201)
7. Take a Christmas Lights Tour of Columbia
WHAT: Grab some hot chocolate, load into the car, crank up the Christmas music, and take a tour of COMO’s most iconic Christmas light spots.
WHEN: Any evening after dark!
WHERE: Drive around and see what you discover, or use this Christmas Lights Map as your guide!
8. Holidays with the Clydesdales at Warm Springs Ranch
WHAT: Central Missouri is home to the famous Budweiser Clydesdales, and they go all out for Christmas! Take a drive to Booneville and enjoy Holidays With the Clydesdales at Warm Springs Ranch.
You can reserve a spot to tour the stalls, meet the horses, and enjoy the lights. Reservations are required and spots are limited, so make sure you sign up soon!
WHEN: Thursday – Sundays from November 25th to December 30th
WHERE: Warm Springs Ranch in Boonville (25270 MO-98, Boonville, MO 65233)
9. Chop Down Your Own Tree at Starr Pines Tree Farm
WHAT: Take in the beautiful scenery, then take your pick of the Pine and Fir trees home with you. Shop for a carton of apple cider for your family, a fresh wreath, and other gifts outside the famous Starr Pines barn. Tractor rides to the field are available on weekends when weather allows.
WHEN: Open every day from Thanksgiving through Christmas from 9 a.m. until dark.
WHERE: Starr Pines Christmas Tree Farm (21298 Pleasant Hill Road, Boonville, MO 65233)
10. Attend a Christmas Eve Service as a Family
WHAT: Join The Crossing on Christmas Eve! Be sure to invite a friend, family member, or co-worker to join you! Crossing Kids is available for preschool and younger, but all ages are welcome in the service.
WHEN: Saturday, December 24 at 1:00, 2:30, 4:00, or 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: The Crossing, 3615 Southland Drive, 65201
Looking for more ways to make Christmas meaningful this year? Check out ColumbiaChristmas.com for ideas, blog posts, and other content to help make your spirits bright!
PHOTO CREDIT: Living Windows: Living Windows Facebook / Shelter Gardens Winter Wonderland: Shelter Gardens Winter Wonderland Facebook / Winter Wonderland Holiday Market: Holiday Market Facebook /Bass Pro: Bass Pro Shops / Candy Cane Crib: Candy Cane Crib Facebook / Warm Springs Ranch: KOMU / Starr Pines Farm: Starr Pines