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Top 10 Things to Do in Columbia, Maryland


Looking for things to do in Columbia, Maryland? Located half-way between Baltimore and Washington, DC, Columbia is a family-oriented community with a variety of attractions, parks, recreational facilities, shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Here is a guide to the top activities in the area.

1. See a Concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Photo &copy: I.M.P.
The amphitheatre, nestled in 40 acres of forest, offers a full calendar of concerts featuring the best in rock, country, rhythm and blues, pop, jazz, hip hop, alternative, electronica and classical. The natural outdoor setting is ideal for summer concerts and a favorite destination for music lovers.

2. See a Show at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

© Toby's Dinner Theatre
Located in the heart of Columbia, Toby’s offers award-winning Broadway and original musicals with a buffet-style dinner. Performances are in-the-round providing an intimate experience, with no seats more than 30 feet from the stage. There are evening and matinee performances. This is a great thing to do with family and friends of all ages.

3. Attend Events

Photo © Rachel Cooper
Special events are held in Columbia throughout the year. Here is a list of some of the most popular annual events:

4. Visit Historic Ellicott City

© Rachel Cooper
The nearby historic district offers unique shopping, dining and historic attractions. Visit the Ellicott City B&O Railroad Station Museum and learn about the history of the railroad and stop by the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin to learn more about the mill town that dates back to the 18th century. Enjoy some antique shopping and dining at one of Howard County's best restaurants.

5. Visit Centennial Park

© Howard County Recreation & Parks
The 325-acre park features a 2.4-mile loop around the lake, tennis and basketball courts, baseball fields and playgrounds. Visitors can have a picnic, rent a boat, go fishing, enjoy natural wildflower areas and see a diversity of birds, waterfowl, and wildlife. The park is open daily from dawn to dusk.

6. Shop at the Mall in Columbia

© George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin
The Mall in Columbia, one of the region’s best shopping destinations, has five department stores and more than 200 premier retail stores offering a variety of products and services. The Mall is home to the only L.L. Bean store in the area, an AMC Theater and several restaurants that offer outdoor dining.

7. Explore the African Art Museum of Maryland

© African Art Museum of Maryland
The museum, located in Fulton, Maryland just 5 minutes south of Columbia, encourages an understanding of African art and culture with exhibits, events and activities. Tours, videos, lectures, workshops and school and community outreach programs are available.

8. Visit the Columbia Art Center

© Digital Vision
The Columbia Art Center, part of Columbia Association’s Community Services Division, offers year-round art classes, art exhibitions, summer art camp for children, birthday parties, lectures and more. Admission is open to all. Members receive a discount.

9. Skate at the Columbia Ice Rink

© Lori Adamski Peek
The ice skating rink is operated by the Columbia Association and offers year-round daily public skating sessions. Lessons, hockey, birthday parties and private rentals are available.

10. Play at the Columbia Sports Park

© Michael Grecco Photography
The Columbia Association SportsPark features an 18-hole mini golf course, 10 batting cages, a skate park, a club house, two 600-foot pavilions and a playground. The facilities provide an indoor space to be active and enjoy family-friendly recreation. Skate camps are available during the summer months and birthday parties can be scheduled year-round.

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