Planning for the holidays can be rather hectic. Decorating, baking, shopping, and spending time with family and friends is a blast, but there’s so much to do! There are so many ways to celebrate this time of year, which is why we’ve taken the time to create the ultimate holiday guide, so you know exactly what Columbia, Missouri has to offer.
In Columbia, there are a number of holiday events to attend, in addition to many shops, restaurants, bars, and Christmas tree farms. Celebrate your holiday season by checking out the places in our guide.
Our Favorite Holiday Shows and Events in Columbia, MO
Columbia hosts a ton of holiday activities that everyone can enjoy. Whether you like holiday markets, watching shows, seeing light displays, or learning about Christmas history, Columbia has you covered.
- Bass Pro Photos with Santa. For those with a Bass Pass, they can get a free photo with Santaon Saturday, November 10 from 6-8pm. There will also be a tree lighting, the unveiling of Santa’s Wonderland, free cookies, and a giveaway. There are also a number of other free activities happening until December 24.
- Clydesdale Ranch Light Show.Enjoy the light show at Warm Springs Ranch– home of the beautiful Budweiser Clydesdale horses! This year’s showings begin on Friday, November 23 and continue every Thursday-Sunday until December 30.
- University Concert Series. The University of Missouri offers a number of holiday shows. This year, you can see The Great Russian Nutcracker on November 28, Noël on December 5, and The Ultimate Christmas Show on December 12.
- The “Wish Tree” Lighting.A half hour away in Fulton, MO, you can attend the Festival of Lights on November 30 at 5:30pm. The tree will have more than 10,000 LED lights, and you can leave a holiday wish in the Wish Box. In addition, you can check out the Field of Joy the same day, until New Year’s Day, which will feature locally decorated trees.
- 35th Annual Holiday Home Tour. The Missouri Symphony League is hosting a tour of four decorated homes in Southwest Columbia. The tours run from November 30 – December 2.
- City Kwanzaa Celebration. Celebrate this African-American holiday with food and entertainment on Saturday, December 1 from 2-5pm.
- Boonville MO Historic Home Tour.A half hour drive from Columbia in Boonville, you can attend their holiday event that includes a holiday market, tours of historical tours, Frosty Fun Fest, and more on Saturday, December 1.
- Sounds of the Season Holiday Concert.On December 2, the Columbia Community Band will perform their holiday concert, The Sounds of the Season, at 4pm at Hickman High School.
- A March Family Christmas.Celebrate the Christmas season with this annual Victorian event on December 3 from 7:30-10pm. Enjoy the Christmas carols, dancing, and treats. This year will focus on the women from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.
- Calvary Episcopal Bazaar. On Saturday, December 3, from 8am-12pm, visit the Cavalry St. Nicholas Bazaar. You will find many interesting items, like their hand-sewn Cavalry Church Mice, and handmade crafts. Breakfast will be available, too. All proceeds will benefit local charities.
- Holiday Lights and Sights Tour. On Friday, December 7 from 6:15-7:30pm or 7:45-9pm, climb aboard a Parks and Recreation minibus and see all the beautiful lightsthe city has to offer.
- Living Windows Festival. On December 7 from 6-8pm, you can see the living window displays in “The District”(Downtown Columbia). Many businesses decorate windows for the holidays. The festival will also have live performances, shopping, Santa, and more.
- Centralia Lighted Tractor Parade.On Saturday, December 14 at 7pm, farmers from around Centralia decorate tractors for the holidays with lights.
- Caroling for Cocktails and Cash.Another fun activity in Rocheport, MO is on December 8 from 2-5pm. Competing groups aim to be the best caroling prize. As you go to different shops, you sing for a cocktail. The winner will receive $250 and $250 to a charity of their choice.
- A Christmas Carol. One of the most famous Christmas talesis coming to the stage a half hour from Columbia. From December 12-23, the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theater will show “A Christmas Carol.”
Places to Buy Great Holiday Gifts in Columbia, MO
It won’t take you long to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list when you check out these great shops.
- Addie Jane Originals. Want to give someone a beautiful floral arrangement? This is the place for you. There’s also a custom flower design option.
- Calhoun’s. This trendy gift shop has something for everyone. From accessories, to candles, and other gifts, you’ll be able to cross some names off your to-do list here.
- The Candy Factory. Know a chocolate lover? Get them something delicious from the Candy Factory.
- The Columbia Goodwill.Check out this store to find fun holiday apparel and inexpensive gifts if you’re on a budget this holiday season.
- Glossy Goat in Centralia, MO. The Glossy Goat has unique clothing, accessories, jewelry, and more.They carry items for children, too.
- Lizzi & Rocco’s. If you’re looking to buy a gift for the furry friend in your life, stop by this natural pet market.
- The Southern Rose. Buying for someone who loves monograms? Southern Rose offers apparel and accessories meant for monogramming.
- Stockton Mercantile in Rocheport. This place is great if you’re looking for home décor, collectibles and antiques.
- Looking for a store that sells quality kitchen, tabletop, and home goods? See all that Tallulahs has to offer.
- Upscale Resale in Columbia. You’ll probably find more than one gift here. You can find clothing, home goods, accessories, books, music, and more.
- Yellow Dog Bookshop. If you’re looking for a present for the book lover in your life or trying to find a new holiday recipe book, check this shop
Our Favorite Columbia, MO Bars and Restaurants for Holiday Cheer
Whether you need a break from all that shopping or are just looking to grab a bit to eat, Columbia has a number of local restaurants and bars you can visit. Here are just a few:
- 44 Stone Public House. If you’re looking for unique food options and a quality beer, wine, and whisky selection, check out this gastropub.
- Addison’s. For a full service restaurant with a variety of food and drink options, Addison’s is the place to go.
- Barred Owl. For fresh, local ingredients and a seasonal menu, the Barred Owl Butcher & Table is the place to go. Their bar has an extensive list of liquor, wine, and beer.
- CC City Broilers. Quality beef and excellent service put this steakhouse at the top of the list for any meat-lover.
- Flyover. This restaurant serves small-plate foods to encourage people to share, talk, and enjoy themselves.
- Murry’s. Come here for excellent food and jazz music.
- Shortwave Coffee.Need a quick cup of coffee? Stop by Shortwave for a quality, hot cup of refreshing coffee.
- Sycamore. Seasonal drinks and delicious local food make this restaurant a must-visit.
Where to Get Fresh Cut Christmas Trees in Columbia
Picking out a Christmas tree and cutting it down yourself is a fun tradition that many people look forward to. Luckily, Columbia has plenty of farms to get the best tree for the season.
- Hinkson Creek Tree Farm. A short 11-minute drive away from Columbia is Hinkson Creek Tree Farm. You can choose and cut your Christmas tree.
- Pea Ridge Forest. If you’re looking to make a day trip out of your Christmas tree hunting, check out this farm that’s only an hour away in Hermann.
- Starr Pines. This farm is a half hour away. They offer an enjoyable experience. Along with finding your Christmas tree, you can go on a hay ride, have some free hot spiced cider, and see their donkeys and chickens.
- Timber View Tree Farm. 20 minutes away from Columbia is a farm that has beautiful choose and cut Christmas trees and wreaths.
Happy Holidays from Thomas Law Offices
We hopes that you make the most of your holiday season by enjoying everything that Columbia has to offer. Take time to explore the events, try new foods, and find the perfect gifts for your loved ones.
We wish you a happy holiday season and new year.