Summer stock photo

Whether you're catching some rays or seeing a show, Columbia has lots of summer surprises in store. 

The carefree days of summer have finally arrived. The temperatures are high, pools are crowded, and sunscreen is to be applied at every hour on the hour. Days and weeks blur together, and before you know it, it's already August. Don't let this summer morph into one giant pool day; get out and take part in numerous events being held in town!

But we get there's a lot to be done in these short, steamy months. To keep your schedule simple, we compiled seven of the hottest tickets from now through September. Time to pencil them in. 

1. Movies in the Park 

When: The second Friday of each month, May through September

Where: Cosmo Park, 1615 Business Loop 70 W

What: Nothing says summer quite like an outdoor movie, and thanks to Columbia Parks and Recreation and Missouri Care, all of your showtimes are free!

Next showing: Ferdinand on June 14 at 8:45 p.m.

2. Family Fun Fests 

When: The third Wednesday of the month, May through September, 6-8 p.m.

Where: Cosmo Park, 1615 Business Loop 70 W

What: Grab your neighbors for two hours full of free entertainment and activities perfect for all ages. Next fest: Explore Outdoors sponsored by the Columbia Missourian – June 19

3. Butterfly Festival 

When: June 22-23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: Jefferson Farm and Garden, 4800 E New Haven Rd.

What: Surround yourself with countless winged beauties at the two-day MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Butterfly Festival Open House. Don't forget your camera!

4. The Ponies Drop-In, Drop-Out Improv Comedy 

When: The first Friday of each month, beginning July 5, 6-9 p.m.

Where: Talking Horse Theatre, 210 St. James St. 

What: Talking Horse Productions presents a brand new short-form improv group, The Ponies, to mid-Missouri. Stop in as you make your way through the North Village Arts District for an interactive performance similar to Whose Line is it Anyway?

5. Boone Dawdle

When: August 10, 1 p.m. 

Where: Flat Branch Park

What: Support the True/False Film Festival months before the films come to town during this annual communal bike ride and float trip to Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport. Sip wine, savor a picnic dinner, and enjoy a film screening along the banks of the Missouri River. Tickets are available at truefalse.org

6. Glow Ball Night Golf 

When: August 23, 8:30 p.m.

Where: Lake of The Woods Golf Course, 6700 E. St. Charles Rd.

What: Break out your golf clubs one last time at the end of the summer for a 9-hole glow-in-the-dark tournament. To sign up, call 499-4653.

7. Mid-Mo Pride Fest 

When: August 24, noon to 9 p.m.

Where: Rose Music Hall

What: End your summer with a celebration of all things LOVE. Free and family-friendly, this colorful day includes live entertainment, vendors and food trucks.

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