Columbia Logo

- For Immediate Release November 5, 2012 - 

~ Find Your Fun This Winter in Columbia ~ 

  Columbia Convention
& Visitors Bureau

Facebook prompt
Twitter prompt
Join Our Mailing List

Fun Links
Missouri Tigers Basketball

Columbia Star Dinner Train

Living Windows Festival

First Night Columbia

The Candy Factory

Patric Chocolate

True/False Film Festival 


Discover The District 


Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs 

Missouri logo

Magic Tree
The Magic Tree, which is decorated with over 75,000 individual lights, has been drawing regional onlookers since 1995.
The winter months are a beautiful time in Columbia, Missouri with a number of unique events, fun and exciting festivals and the dawning of a new era for the Missouri Tigers as they tip off their inaugural basketball season in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). "Columbia definitely has an exciting atmosphere even in the winter months," says Megan McConachie of the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The Magic Tree is a favorite holiday attraction and the Children's Christmas Express is a great way to kick off the yuletide season with your family. The shops and galleries in The District (Columbia's historic downtown) are wonderfully decorated and bustling throughout the season, especially during the Living Windows Festival. And no matter what the weather, thousands of people descend on Columbia at the end of February for the True/False Film Festival." Read on for more information on what's going on around Columbia this winter.
Missouri Tigers Tip Off First Season in Southeastern Conference (SEC)

Excitement fills the air every winter when the first tip off of basketball season rolls around, and this year promises to be another exciting season of Missouri Tigers basketball.  With a strong recruiting class and several key returning starters, 2012 AP Coach of the Year Frank Haith and his 15th-ranked Tigers are looking to make a strong start in their inaugural season in the SEC. The Tiger's SEC action begins at home against Alabama on January 8, 2013. For tickets and a complete schedule of games, please visit the Tigers' basketball home page at


All Aboard the Children's Christmas Express!  

Spice up your holiday family traditions with a festive evening on the Columbia Star Dinner Train's Children's Christmas Express. For a second year in a row, David Tenny of the Columbia Star Dinner Train invites children of all ages to believe in the wonder and magic of Christmas the first three weeks in December. Families will enjoy a chorus of Christmas carols lead by Mrs. Claus herself, fruit, cookies, pound cake and hot chocolate as they make their way to Hallsville to pick up old Saint Nick on a vintage 1950s locomotive. Every child will receive a gift bag filled with holiday goodies and get to sit on Santa's lap to personally deliver their Christmas "wish list." The Children's Christmas Express will be winding through the Missouri countryside for two-hour holiday excursions Mondays through Thursdays, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., beginning December 3 and concluding December 20. Tickets for the Express are $28 for kids and $52 for adults. The Christmas Express will sell out fast, so make your reservations today. For a complete Christmas Express schedule, and to reserve your family's spot for what could become a new Christmas tradition, visit or call 573-474-2223.


For holiday events in The District (Columbia's historic downtown), including the Living Windows Festival on Friday, Dec. 7 and First NIght Columbia on New Year's Eve, visit  


Get Your Holiday Sweet Treats in Columbia
  • Since 1974, The Candy Factory has been creating delightful, gourmet chocolates. Their confectioners prepare all their recipes by hand, in small batches, using only the finest ingredients to ensure the chocolate's quality and the patrons' satisfaction. The family-owned and operated retail store is nestled in the heart of downtown Columbia at 701 E. Cherry Street, and remains one of the few old fashioned candy shops in the Midwest. For more on The Candy Factory, visit, or call 573-443-8222.
  • What began as a pure passion for craft chocolate has turned into a dream come true for Mizzou alum Alan "Patric" McClure. Since producing his first micro-batch of Patric Chocolate bars in July 2007, McClure's hand-crafted chocolate has been racking up recognition and accolades. Patric Chocolate has been praised by national publications such as Gourmet magazine, The New Yorker, Forbes, The LA Times, and was hailed as the "Best New American Chocolate" by Food & Wine magazine. In the last five years, the Patric line of made-from-scratch chocolate has expanded to include 14 bean-to-bar options, including several award-winning bars and the regional favorite, Mizzou Crunch. As of November 5, Patric Chocolate will reveal a local release of Columbia Art Bars, which will be sold exclusively at art-related boutiques in Columbia. Each Art Bar includes a collectible, limited edition piece of signed and numbered art by a Columbia-based artist. With the exception of the limited release Art Bars, Patric Chocolate is available throughout the U.S., primarily on the East and West Coasts, in St. Louis and, of course, Columbia. In Columbia, these bars can be purchased at Clovers Natural Market, Root Cellar, World Harvest Foods, Hoss' Market and the Hy-Vee Health Market. Lovers of fine chocolate can also place holiday orders through McClure's website,
Just Around the Corner: Big News for the Big Screen - True/False Film Fest Celebrates 10th Anniversary
One of the most exciting film festivals in the U.S. celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2013. From February 28 through March 3, downtown Columbia is transformed into a small-town Midwestern utopia with hordes of filmmakers, film lovers, artists and musicians flocking to the internationally acclaimed True/False Film Festival. The entire four-day festival is enveloped in excitement and intrigue with a handful of highly-sought-after secret screenings of films, masquerade balls, dance parties, ragtag parades and busking musicians. And rest assured that the fest organizers have a lot of big surprises in store for the tenth annual installment. Passes for the 2013 festival are already on sale, so don't delay in ordering yours. For more information on the fest, and to order passes, please visit

Jesse Hall in Winter Columbia features a mix of small town charm and friendliness with the amenities and cultural offerings of a big city. There is always something exciting to see and do in Columbia, so for more information on these events and other ways to have fun in Columbia, please contact Megan McConachie, Communications Manager, at the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-652-0987 or at  


Attention Media: Let us play host and show you around Columbia. To schedule a press trip, please contact Marjorie Beenders, Jo Duncan, or Kyle Stewart. For more information, media assistance or high-resolution photos, please call The Beenders-Walker Group toll-free at 800-544-8474 or email Marjorie, Kyle or Jo.