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Finish Your Holiday Shopping in Columbia! One Day, Twelve Ways

December 10, 2013


‘Tis the season…to panic about holiday shopping! Lists of friends, relatives and co-workers are piling up and making you wonder if you’ll ever get all your gifts bought. Never fear, Columbia is here! We’ve assembled another festive list (one you can even sing along with) that can help you knock out those presents in a snap. Spend one day in CoMo then put your feet up to revel in having your shopping done.

On my CoMo holiday shopping trip, I bought on my spree…

Twelve Velvet Cupcakes

Pick up a dozen of the most delectable, unique treats you’ll come across this season. The cupcake menu at The Velvet Cupcake changes daily, but the guests at your holiday party or your aunt with the sweet tooth will be delighted no matter which flavor you choose.

Eleven Painting Classes

Grab your ten closest friends and have a night out at The Canvas on Broadway. At the Canvas, art is for everyone, and you’ll leave with your very own piece of art and great holiday memories. They also have a bar, so your creativity will undoubtedly be heightened.

Ten Terrific Tootsies

Some days, there’s nothing more relaxing than a nice spa pedicure. For the person in your life who could use some pampering, pick up the gift of relaxation in the form of a gift card for one of Columbia’s many spas. A couple of Columbia favorites, Riversong and Salon Adair, will always be winners.

Nine Gunther’s Tokens

Have someone who always wants the highest score? Gunther’s Games is back in downtown Columbia! Offering classic games as well as new titles, Gunther’s is a great place for your favorite kid or kid at heart.

Eight Tiger Goodies

You’ve probably heard that Mizzou has had a pretty fantastic year sports-wise. Show your favorite fans you care with some Tiger gear from Rally House or Tiger Spirit. From coffee mugs to keychains, pom-poms to Tiger ears, the Mizzou fans in your life will go crazy for your black and gold gift.

Seven Stocking Stuffers

Everyone likes to find a little something special in their stocking! Check out Calhoun’s for fun little gifts ranging from unique jewelry to fun home decor and items for kids. Calhoun’s really is a one-stop-shop for that something extra special for anyone on your list!

Six Local Art Pieces

If there’s one thing Columbia really knows how to do, it’s art! Explore spots like Artlandish, PS:Gallery, Bluestem Missouri Crafts and the Columbia Art League Gallery for pieces with a local flavor at all price points. Whether you’re looking for a small work or a statement piece to last a lifetime, Columbia’s galleries offer some of the most beautiful work around.

Fiiiiiive Flower Arrangements

Everyone needs a centerpiece for the big holiday meal, right? Volunteer to take care of that this year and get rave reviews with an arrangement from Kent’s Floral Gallery on Broadway. Just stepping inside Kent’s during the holidays is an experience. Kent and his team will make your holiday shine with an arrangement that’s ready to go or customize it to your preference.

Four Pints of Sparkys

You can also be the star of the holiday by showing up with dessert! Allow us to recommend stopping by Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream to pick up an array of flavors. You can choose from the ready-to-go freezers or have them pack up any of their available flavors as well. You can go as traditional or outlandish on your choices as you want…Sparky’s has something for everyone!

Three Bags of Coffee

Another thing Columbia does well is coffee. With three colleges and a population of hard-workers, there’s never a short demand for caffeine. Explore the different roasts and local shops like Lakota, Coffee Zone and Kaldi’s to get the java lover in your life something new for their mornings.

Two True/False Passes

The True/False Film Fest is one of the hallmark weekends in Columbia. What started as a small event 11 years ago is now one of the world’s most respected documentary film festivals. Throw in a parade, music showcases, a game show and nightly parties and you have pretty much the most fun someone could have in four days. Passes are on sale now!

And a Gift Certificate Just For You From Me!

Need a gift for that one person who has everything? Let them explore Columbia for themselves! A gift certificate to The District will get that special someone into restaurants, shops and more!

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13 Things to do in Columbia, MO before the end of 2013

November 18, 2013



Somehow we’ve already made it to November this year! With only a few weeks left in 2013, here are a few Columbia experiences to check off your list before you ring in the new year. Of course, if you wait a little longer, we won’t tell.

13. Peruse a Gallery
Looking for a little inspiration? Wander through some of Columbia’s impressive art galleries for all mediums of art created by artists from across the country. 
12. Explore Campus
There’s not much more beautiful than freshly fallen snow on the University of Missouri campus. Both the historic buildings and majestic trees look even more amazing than usual under a blanket of white. 
11. Take in a Movie

Spend a few hours in another world with the incredible films showing daily at Ragtag Cinema. With a calendar full of documentaries, acclaimed films from other countries and features made by locals, your Ragtag experience will be both relaxing and enlightening.

10. Grab Some Hot Chocolate

Whether you’re cold, thirsty or your hands are just freezing, take time to explore all of Columbia’s wonderful coffee shops. If you need something with a little more pick-me-up, we love the Rocket Fuel at Coffee Zone.

9. Make Your Own Art

Even if you say you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, try your hand at painting with an evening of art at the Canvas on Broadway or Paint the Town Columbia. Both spots have fun projects to sign up for, helpful instructors and a bar!

8. Sip a Drink
If you’re looking for something a little different, head to Bleu to try out some of their seasonal custom cocktails. House-made mixes, syrups and spirits mean you can imbibe in a Red October, a Giggle Water or a Cat on a Hot Gin Roof, all created just for you.
7. Walk on a Trail

Columbia is home to more than 50 miles of trails! Whether you’re a hiker, biker or leisurely stroller, Columbia’s trails are a great escape from the holiday bustle.

6. Get Tiger Gear and Give a Cheer

Time to get some new black and gold gear for the winter season! Rally HouseTiger Spirit and Alumni Hall are great one-stop shops for all your Tiger best. Of course, you’ll want to sport your new clothes at a Tiger sporting event, so make sure to get some tickets too.

5. Attend Living Windows
As the weather turns colder, shopkeepers throughout The District begin planning for the annual Living Windows Festival. On the first Friday in December,from 6 to 8 p.m., shopkeepers move all the merchandise, out of their front windows and stage live holiday performances for onlookers. 
4. Sample Some Sparky’s
Though some may disagree, ice cream is just as amazing in the winter. So amazing, in fact, that Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream is finally going to be open year-round! Those who used to mourn their cold weather closing will be enjoying their incredible range of flavors 365 days a year. 
3. Check Out the UCS
Make the University Concert Series your new holiday tradition. Family-friendly performances including The NutcrackerA Christmas Carol and a Tribute to Trans-Siberian Orchestra go on stage in the historic venues of Jesse Hall and the Missouri Theatre.
2. Buy Your True/False Passes
The True/False Film Festival has become one of the most renowned documentary festivals in the entire world. Get your passes now to experience the films, music, parties and general revelry that True/False brings year after year.
1. Visit the Magic Tree

There’s no better way to end the year than to load up the car and visit Columbia’s Magic Tree. This tradition started in the front yard of a south Columbia home and is now located in the Village of Cherry Hill, where thousands of people stand in awe at the over 40,000 lights on one tree.

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An Entire Weekend of Artrageous!

October 3, 2013


Don’t forget that next weekend, there will be an entire weekend of Artrageous fun in The District and North Village Arts District! Artrageous Weekend will run from October 11-13, with fun events planned at galleries, restaurants and shops all within easy walking distance.

Each year, the Artrageous events get better and better, with more businesses participating and more fun for everyone involved! Visit Columbia during Artrageous and come home with a new piece of art, fun jewelry and lots of great stories to tell about your experience.

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Unexpected Columbia – The Stephens College Historic Costume Gallery

September 17, 2013


One of the attractions we get asked about most is the Stephens College Historic Costume Gallery. Stephens has an incredibly extensive collection of over 13,000 pieces ranging from hundreds of years ago to examples of modern fashion.

Their newest exhibit, Bohemian Rhapsody, explores the fashion of this counterculture movement, with most pieces coming from the 1920s-70s.

Paisley meets fur in this matching coat and dress circa mid-’70s.

The exhibit opened on September 12th and will be on display in Lela Raney Wood Hall through mid-December. Open from Noon-3:00 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays and Thursdays from 5:30-8:30 p.m., you can also schedule a group visit to this exhibit in the Historic Costume Gallery by appointment.

A 1920s dress with feather fringes.

Visit Stephens College on your next trip to Columbia to trace the history of Bohemian fashion from the French Revolution into modern times. It’s definitely something you’ll unexpect!

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Columbia Snapshot: Lumen!

July 26, 2013



Check out the inner workings of Columbia City Hall’s newest resident, Lumen! Officially dedicated last week, Lumen the robot was the mascot for the ‘Ragtag Needs Robots’ Kickstarter campaign last year, which raised tens of thousands of dollars to help the local independent filmhouse convert to digital projectors.

With the campaign a rousing success, Ragtag and Lumen’s creator, Greg Orloff, have donated Lumen to the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs and he now holds permanent residence in the Visitors Center in the City Hall lobby. This beautiful piece of art truly demonstrates Columbia’s commitment to the arts.

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Unexpected Columbia: Traffic Box Art

June 5, 2013


One of the most popular places in Columbia is The District, the city’s thriving and vibrant downtown area. Home to dozens of local restaurants, shops and galleries, The District is often busting with visitors and citizens of all ages. Next time you’re exploring downtown, keep your eyes open for some pieces of art you might not expect…on traffic boxes!

Each year the City of Columbia, Missouri invites local artists to apply for a public art project to create art on traffic signal boxes in the downtown area. The goal of the project is to decrease the instances of graffiti on these surfaces while making them artful objects.

Now at five locations throughout downtown, this project has added unexpected pops of color and beauty to the landscape.

Before you visit, check out where the boxes are located and enjoy videos featuring the artists as they complete their projects. Just another unexpected Columbia highlight that you won’t want to miss!

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Art in the Park Delivers Fun for the Entire Family!

May 20, 2013


The first weekend in June is home to one of Columbia’s favorite festival traditions…Art in the Park. This year marks the festival’s 55th year and on June 1st and 2nd there will be something for every member of the family to love!

Stephen's Lake Park, Home of Art in the Park.

Stephen’s Lake Park, Home of Art in the Park.

One of the best parts of Art in the Park is its location. Stephens Lake Park is one of Columbia’s most beautiful locations, with a rolling landscape, open spaces, a stunning lake and play areas. Nature combined with the incredible art makes Art in the Park sure to inspire.


Stroll through the booths in the park to explore the art!

Sometimes people may think Art in the Park is all paintings…but it’s so much more than that! The festival attracts artists from across the country to sell their work in mediums ranging from jewelry and ceramics to weaving and, yes, paintings. You can pick up a new coffee mug for your office, a new painting for that empty wall in the living room or a gorgeous scarf that all your friends will want.

Let the kids get their hands messy!

Let the kids get their hands messy!

Of course, buying and shopping isn’t all you can do. Let the kids get in on the act to make some art! Face painting, tie-dyed a t-shirts and more all await the little ones.

This June, take the first weekend and round up the whole family (and some sunscreen) for Art in the Park. It’s two days of art and play you’ll come to Columbia for every year.

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Uniquely Columbia: Stephens College Costume Museum and Research Library

March 12, 2013


Some people just get up and get dressed, but then there are those who live fashion.

Since 1958, Stephens College in Columbia has been collecting stunning pieces of clothing and accessories. Donations from alumnae, friends and designers have resulted in the collection growing to over 13,000 pieces. The pieces within the collection date back to the 1730s and  range from everyday wear from many decades, representations of ethnic wear and priceless pieces from designers. These archival pieces allow students to study textiles, construction and design dating back to the very beginnings of America and from around the world.

While most of the collection is housed in Stephens’ archival space, rotating exhibits allow visitors to enjoy thoughtfully curated experiences based on a designer, a time period or an emotion.

The current collection, titled Emergence, will let visitors experience the emergence of spring through one imaginary socialite’s closet as it evolved from 1947 to 1990. At the beginning of the exhibit, the collection will consist of winter wear: White, silver, taupe suits and heavy garments. Like any woman of the time, our muse will swap out her winter pieces to make room for a spring wardrobe, consisting of lighter fabrics in pinks, greens and yellows. The second phase of the exhibit will emerge over spring break during the last week of March.

To visit this beautiful exhibit, head to the Historic Costume Gallery in Lela Raney Wood Hall on the Stephens College campus. The exhibit is open Thursdays from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 12:00-3:00 p.m. Take a step back in time to see where the fashion we wear today originated and perhaps get a sneak peek into what’s next.

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Uniquely Columbia – The State Historical Society of Missouri

February 22, 2013


Fans of history have no trouble finding great spots to explore here in Columbia. One place to absolutely not miss is a hidden gem on the University of Missouri campus, the State Historical Society (SHS) of Missouri. Nestled into Ellis Library, the SHS is the premier center for research and study when it comes to the history of our state.

The SHS is home to beautiful displays of Missouri art, including one of the largest George Caleb Bingham collections and Thomas Hart Benton works. Many other Missouri artists, both past and present, also are well represented.

Also ready to be explored are a variety of collections.

The Manuscript Collection
-Began acquiring through members of the Missouri Press Association in 1898.

-One of the earliest and most significant acquisitions is the Thomas Adams Smith (1781-1844), Papers.

-In 1943 the Western Historical Manuscript Collection (WHMC) was created at the University of Missouri with the aid of a Rockefeller Foundation Grant.

-In 1963 with SHSMO and WHMC manuscript holdings were combined creating a joint collection.

The Newspaper Collection 

-Beginning with the July 26, 1808 issue of the St. Louis Missouri Gazette, the Society’s newspaper collection offers a wealth of information about the day-today lives of Missourians and the political, cultural, economic and religious events that have influenced them.

-Available in 1,270 bound volumes and on over forty-one million pages of microfilm

-Some 300 current newspapers, from every Missouri county are added to the collection each week.

Oral History Program 

-Since 1993, the SHSMO has had a full-time oral historian recording and transcribinghundreds of oral history interviews that preserve Missouri’s history, culture and heritage.

-The first project of the oral history program focused on artists from Missouri’s Bootheel region. Researchers collected oral history interviews and other recordings, which resulted in Art and Heritage of the Missouri Bootheel: A Resource

-With over 4,000 interviews, the oral history program continues to actively produce and collect oral history interviews that represent Missouri’s culture and history. However, researchers will find our oral history collection reaches well beyond the Show-Me State’s borders.

Reference Collection 

-Houses resources ranging from family histories and printed minutes kept by local literary societies to Missouri official publications and scholarly monographs on the history of the state and the lives of its citizens.

-County and town histories, city directories, compiled cemetery records, and indexes to local records.

-Primary and secondary sources on many aspects of the state’s and the nation’s history and culture.

Take some time during your next visit to Columbia to dive into the exciting history of our state. It’s a great place to get lost in the past.

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It’s Time to get Artrageous

January 15, 2013


Four times each year, Columbia gets Artrageous! Head into The District and the North Village Arts District to enjoy special art events, artists in residence, musical performances and more! While you’re there, pick up a new piece of jewelry, chat with other art lovers and enjoy dinner at one of downtown’s spectacular restaurants.
The next Artrageous Friday is on January 18th from 6-9 p.m., so plan your artsy adventure now!

Map out your artsy adventure!

Here are a few stops to consider on the 18th…

Bluestem Missouri Crafts: A Tisket, A Tasket, Some Very Special Baskets will open at Bluestem on Friday, January 18. The show will feature the work of award-winning basket artist Martha Monson Lowe.

Columbia Art League: Multi-award winning scratchboard artist, Harold Farley, will be demonstrating his art in the CAL gallery. You might have seen his award winning Night Owl work at last Fall’s Boone County Art Show. Come and watch how his animals take form on scratchboard. Young artists can come and try their hand at scratch-boarding in the CAL classroom with Harold on-hand to give out tips and techniques.

Orr Street Studios: Housing 28 artists in 19 working studios, Orr Street Studios offers the opportunity to interact and visit with numerous local artists in one location.  Creating amazing works in paint, pencil, woodworking, ceramics, design, photography, and more, Orr Street has it all!  During Artrageous Fridays our artists will be on hand, one-of-a-kind works will be for sale, music will be in the air, and community members are sure to be inspired and amazed!

PS: Gallery: Come create your very own terrarium in honor of Laura Konopinski’s artwork, recently debuted and currently on exhibit at PS:Gallery. Laura’s new series, utilizing a variety of media and glass-working techniques, are looking-glass enclosures of text, organic imagery and found objects that result in intimate, and intensely poetic worlds. You’ll have a chance to make your very own terrarium with supplies provided at PS:Gallery.

Missouri Contemporary Ballet: Stop by Missouri Contemporary Ballet to watch a rehearsal for our upcoming tour to William Woods University in Fulton, MO. Join us from 6-9pm to experience the artistry, athleticism, and grace of the only local contemporary ballet company! It’s not every day you get to see the process behind the finished product.

Also be sure to dine at restaurants featuring art like Bleu, Trey Bistro, Room 38 and more.

What will you be sure to experience at Artrageous Friday?

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