A guide to things to do in Columbia this summer

Here are ideas of fun things to do this summer in Columbia, which cost little or no money at all, and provide an opportunity to engage in community events.

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For college students, money can be tight and even more so, it can be hard to fill your summer with activities that are not work or school related. Thankfully, spending less or nothing at all does not mean saying goodbye to your social life and fun times since there are plenty of ways to have fun without spending money.

Here are some ideas of fun things to do this summer in Columbia, which cost little or no money at all. These events provide an opportunity for you to take part in a variety of activities locally without stressing about cost or travel.

What better way to start summer than to release the stress of the semester through evening meditation, offered for free every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Show Me Dharma. According to its Facebook page, Show Me Dharma is a non-profit organization dedicated to making the study and practice of insight meditation available to mid-Missouri.

Meditation is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety and improve awareness of self and surroundings while promoting emotional well-being.

Looking to get exercise while exploring nature? The Columbia Trail System features a variety of trails in different settings such as parks, nature sanctuaries, along creeks and through wooded areas.

Amenities along the trails, like water fountains, restrooms and bike repair stations, are provided to make your journey easier. These can be found on the trails map.

Another fun, relaxing and recurring activity to enjoy this summer are free movies in the park, starting on Wednesday, June 5 in Rose Park. You may bring picnic blankets and lawn chairs along with an appetite for refreshments, great films, tacos, laughing and socialization.

Reggae music, warm weather and good company can serve as the main ingredients for an epic and thrilling summer night. Luckily, Central Bank of Boone County and 102.3 BXR will be hosting the Stephen Marley Acoustic Jams Tour with Special Guest Mystic Marley on Thursday, June 6 at Rose Park. Additional information can be found here.

In continuance with the music festival theme, the Boone County History & Culture Center is proud to be the home of John William ‘Blind’ Boone’s 9-foot, custom-made, grand piano. The piano will be featured in an annual six-concert season with Jacqueline Schwab at 7 p.m. on July 29.

If you prefer being the one behind the mic instead of in the audience, Fretboard Coffee hosts an open mic night on the third Friday of every month from 6 to 9 p.m. The event celebrates all styles of music and art. According to the shop’s event page, “any instruments, music or spoken word are welcome."

For those feeling brave and adventurous, The Blue Note presents An Evening with Spirits featuring renowned Missouri Medium Britney Buckwalter on Thursday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m.

A platform mediumship demonstration is when a medium stands in front of a live audience and connects the energy of deceased loved ones in the room with the living. Participants are encouraged to attend with an open mind and no expectations, for no spirit gallery is the same.

These are only a few ideas, but they can serve as inspiration to seek out other local events happening here in Columbia during the summer. Memories can be made in some unlikely places; take advantage of any opportunity that allows you to explore new things with friends or family.

Edited by Janae McKenzie | jmckenzie@themaneater.com

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