Whether your favorite way to spend a Friday night is singing along with your favorite band, creating something new to hang on your walls or attending a performance of "Chorus Line" there is no shortage of entertainment options here. The Columbia Art League provides opportunities to either appreciate or make art; venues like The Blue Note and Mizzou Arena bring in musicians ranging from local bands to big-name acts; a slew of local theater companies provide ample opportunities to take in a play or musical and Columbia is even home to the Missouri Contemporary Ballet. There are also big events like the Roots and Blues and Barbecue and the True/False and Citizen Jane film festivals. There's always something going on in Columbia.
Fun on a budget
Want to get out of the dorm for a study break, but don’t have much money? Here are some fun activities in and around Columbia that won’t break your piggy bank:
The Mud Room
Location: 1103 E. Walnut St. (inside the Central Missouri Computer Center building)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
While you’re hitting up the art district, try making some of your own. At The Mud Room, you can paint pottery to make a custom piece to decorate your dorm (or a great gift for Mom) or get even more creative in the hands-on clay working studio. There is a $5 painting fee, with pieces ranging from $5 to over $40.
Learn how to paint
Have you always wanted to paint but aren’t necessarily artistically gifted? Columbia is home to two locations where you can tap into your inner Picasso with guided classes.
The Canvas on Broadway
Location: 706 E. Broadway, Ste. 100
Sign up: Check their website, www.canvasonbroadway.com for a schedule of classes with specific paintings and to reserve a spot. They also have open painting during class times.
Cost: Depends on the size of the painting; ranges from $15 for an 11”x14” canvas to $35 for a 16”x20” canvas
Paint the Town
Location: 2703 E. Broadway
Sign up: Check their website, www.paintthetowncolumbia.com for a schedule of classes with specific paintings and to make a reservation. They also have open painting during class times.
Cost: Depends on the size of the painting and class time; ranges from $15 for an 11”x14” canvas to $40 for an 18”x24” canvas for 5 p.m. classes and from $30 for an 11”x14” or 12”x16” canvas to $45 for an 18”x24” canvas for 6:30 p.m.
Empire Roller Rink
Location: 1305 Business Loop 70 E.
Flash back to your childhood as you roll around the hardwood. Skate rental is $1.50 for quad skates or $3 for inlines/speed skates, or you can bring your own, as long as they are clean.
Empire has public sessions throughout the week:
Wednesdays from noon-2 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m. for $5.50 (per session)
Family Fun Fridays from 7-10 p.m. for $8.50
Saturdays 2-4 p.m. or 7-9 p.m. for $7.50 (per session)
Sundays from 1:30-3:30 p.m. for $7.50
They also have special events throughout the week:
Hardball Pick-up Hockey 8-9 p.m. on Tuesdays for $6
Wednesday is Pizza Night during the public sessions. For $25 you get four admissions, a large pizza and four sodas.
Adult Pick-up Hockey 8-9 p.m. on Thursdays for $6
Lazer Lanes Galactic Fun Zone
Location: 3412 Grindstone Pkwy.
Hours: 4-10 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 4-11 p.m. Thursday; 4 p.m. to midnight Friday; 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Lazer Lanes is a three-for-one center of fun, with bowling, laser tag and an arcade. Bowling is $4.25 per person per game, plus $1.99 shoe rental. Laser tag is $6.50 per person per 12-minute “mission.” The arcade charges 25 cents per token, with games ranging from one to four tokens.
Columbia is home to three 18-hole disc golf courses. Two are located at Albert-Oakland Park, 1900 Blue Ridge Rd. in northeast Columbia. The third is located at Indian Hills Park, 5009 Aztec Blvd.