Fall-themed events in Columbia allow students to enjoy the season

Columbia and MU get into the fall spirit with attractions and events as fall approaches.
Graphic by Nick Prainito

The changing of seasons after midterm madness is always a time to appreciate what nature has to offer, enjoy a seasonal drink or snack and spend time with people before the weather gets intolerable. Columbia’s trees are turning red and yellow, the air is getting chilly and students are ready to enjoy fall. Here are five things you can do to enhance your fall experience.

If you want to explore Columbia a bit more, Decorate the District has just what you need. An MU Homecoming tradition, students from different organizations decorate storefronts and windows with artwork celebrating MU and its connections to Columbia all in one afternoon. The District, which is just north of campus, is home to Columbia favorites like Booches, Shakespeare’s and Sparky’s. Search for all the murals, shop at small boutiques, grab a bite to eat and find some hidden gems!

Maybe you’re more into experiencing nature as the seasons come and go. Only 15 minutes outside of Columbia, Rock Bridge State Park has much to offer. Nature lovers enjoy Rock Bridge for its walking, hiking and biking trails. The park features one of Missouri’s most unique natural wonders, a complex underground cave system. Explore Connor’s Cave or the Devil’s Icebox before the subterranean streams get too chilly. And if you brought snacks, feel free to spend time at one of the various picnic areas.

Need a pick-me-up after your hike? Visit another Columbia classic and grab a latte at Lakota Coffee Company on 9th St. With social distancing guidelines in place, it is a great place to study or relax over a seasonal drink or pastry. Only a five-minute walk from campus, Lakota is the perfect spot to warm up on a chilly day. They are currently featuring a salted caramel and pumpkin spice latte, a perfect addition to any fall festivity.

After you fuel up at Lakota, head to Strawberry Hill Farms to enjoy some classic fall festivities. Just south of Columbia, it’s a local fan -favorite for any mid-Missourian. Strawberry Hill is the destination for any fall garden additions with pumpkins, gourds, perennials, houseplants and shrubs to spruce up any green space, open Sept. 1-Oct. 31, Make sure to plan a visit before they’re closed for the season!

Trying to unwind after a long day? MU’s Campus Activities Programming Board is putting on a socially distanced fall movie showing series on Kuhlman Court. Camp out with some snacks and enjoy some classics on the court. Their final showing is a Halloween must: Hocus Pocus on Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. The event features free food, and no RSVP is required. Just make sure you don’t forget blankets!

As fall continues to take over, MU and Columbia still offer students ways to get into the spirit with festivities that work for everyone despite today’s challenges. Whether you’re into shopping, nature or Halloween movies, there’s something in store for your next weekend outing.

Edited by Sophie Stephens | sstephens@themaneater.com

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