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Summer Fun in Columbia: 8 Exciting Activities for the Whole Family


Is your family ready for some summer fun? Look no further! We asked you on social media to share your favorite family-friendly activities in Columbia, Missouri, and we got some exciting responses.

Whether you’re into biking for miles or tasting new ice cream flavors, Columbia has something for everyone to enjoy. Let’s explore what Columbia has to offer.

1. Stroll around the Columbia Farmers Market.

There is no other place to be on Saturday mornings in Columbia. Every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., families, friends, and vendors from around the community gather for food and fun.

My ideal morning at the farmers market is as follows: first, grab an iced latte at the Fretboard Coffee truck, then stop for baked goods and end the morning with a bundle of fresh, locally grown flowers.

2. Bike (or drive) to Meriwether Café and Bike Shop.

This breakfast and lunch spot sits a couple of miles east of Columbia. If you’re feeling adventurous (and athletic), hop on the MKT Trail until you reach the Katy Trail, and after a bit over an hour of biking, you’ll arrive.

Celebrate with some Bananatella pancakes (yep, that’s banana + Nutella).

3. Hike at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.

If you want to be active but don’t want to leave town, check out some of Missouri’s most popular trails at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. For those who are extra adventurous, the park offers a large cave system ready to explore!

4. Stop for ice cream at Sparky’s.

Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, Sparky’s serves up homemade ice cream all summer long. Here you can find a wide range of classic and new flavors.

My personal favorite? Oreo Speedwagon. Oreo plus coffee. This makes for a perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

5. Play pickleball at Albert-Oakland Park.

If you haven’t already tried the fastest-growing sport, now’s the time. All you need is a paddle, a ball, and an opponent. Then head to one of Albert-Oakland Park’s twelve pickleball courts. At the park, you’ll meet pickleball newbies and masters alike.

So, get out there and get dinking.

6. Catch a sunset.

Missouri sunsets are some of the best sunsets, in my humble opinion. There are many places to watch the sunset around Columbia, but my two favorites are Cooper’s Landing and the A-Frame Wine Garden at Les Bourgeois Vineyards.

Pack food or buy some there, enjoy some beverages, and watch the sunset over the Missouri River.

7. Listen to live music.

The perfect end to any summer night is a concert. Check out the summer lineups for the Blue Note and Rose Music Hall to plan your live music night out. For those perfect summery nights, enjoy the weather at Rose Music Hall. But when it’s just too hot to be outside, see a show at the Blue Note.

8. Watch a movie at Lakeside.

You’ve maybe heard the buzz about this unique event venue in Ashland, Missouri. If not, I know what your family should do this weekend.

Lakeside features a 70-foot LED video wall to watch movies on as a family throughout the summer. The best part? Free unlimited popcorn and soda. See what’s showing this summer.

From exploring the farmers market and hiking at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park to playing pickleball and watching a movie at Lakeside, there's something for everyone to enjoy. So, grab your sunscreen and get ready for a summer filled with adventure and fun in Columbia, Missouri!


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