10 Fun Things to See and Do in Columbia, Maryland

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Best Attractions and Activities in Columbia, MD

Downtown Columbia
© Karmen Osei/Howard County Tourism & Promotion

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. Lake Kittamaqundi (pictured above) is a man-made 27-acre lake which is home to many of Columbia's seasonal events. You can walk the trail around the lake year-round and enjoy some paddleboating fun during the summer months. 

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See a Concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Merriweather Post Pavilion
© I.M.P. Concerts

Nestled in 40 acres of forest located in the center of Columbia, the amphitheater 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. Read more about Merriweather Post Pavilion. 

03 of 11

See a Show at Toby's Dinner Theatre

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. For more information, visit www.tobysdinnertheatre.com​.

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Attend Events

Symphony of Lights
Courtesy of Symphony of Lights

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

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05 of 11

Visit Historic Ellicott City

Ellicott City
@photoggal93 / Twenty20

The historic district of Ellicott City offers unique shopping, dining, and 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. Read more about visiting Historic Ellicott City.

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Visit Centennial Park

Centennial Park Maryland
cj13822 / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

 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. For more information, visit www.centennialmd.org.

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Shop at the Mall in Columbia

The Mall in Columbia
Payton Chung / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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 AMC Theater and several restaurants that offer outdoor dining. Read more about shopping at the Mall in Columbia.

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Explore the African Art Museum of Maryland

African Art Museum of Maryland
Courtesy of 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. For more information, visit www.africanartmuseum.org.​

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09 of 11

Visit the Columbia Art Center

Columbia Art Center
Jeff Kubina / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

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. For more information, visit www.columbiaartcenter.org .

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Skate at the Columbia Ice Rink

Columbia Ice Rink
Courtesy of Columbia Ice Rink

The Columba Ice Rink is operated by the Columbia Association and offers year-round daily public skating sessions. Lessons, hockey, birthday parties and private rentals are available. 

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Play at the Columbia Sports Park

Columbia Sports Park
Courtesy of Columbia SportsPark

The Columbia Association SportsPark features an 18-hole mini golf course, 10 batting cages, a skate park, a clubhouse, 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. For more information, visit www.columbiasportspark.org.

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