Columbia, MD is a pretty little town with lots of fun activities for families. Bike paths weave in and out of the town in an almost spiderweb-like framework, connecting you to all the places you would want to go. There are five lakes that are each a host to free concerts in the summer and are stocked with bass for those whose passion is to share their next fish story. There are ten village centers, each with a shopping area and a community hall. There are also 170 tot-lots and playgrounds for the really little ones to enjoy.
If you are interested in concerts and fesitvals, one of the most prominent festivals is the Columbia Festival of the Arts. A two week long festival of music, art and dance from around the world, it has featured prominent international performers. Many of the performances are free so children get an opportunity to see unique styles of dance and art and listen to international songs. They also participate in hands-on activities specially designed for them. The Boat Float allows residents to design their winning boat floats and show off their hard work. The competition is quite stiff. The Wine in the Woods Festival affords adults an opportunity to taste various wines from the region, sample different wares and enjoy picnics with serenades from live performers. The children enjoy the performances and the face painting, balloon animals, and the occasional juggler that may wander their way. The Merriweather Post Pavilion hosts internationally acclaimed artists and concerts of various genres of music. The International Day offers up ethnic foods, art, music, dance, and artifacts.
For those who are interested in theater, there is Toby’s Dinner Theater that offers up a smorgasbord of wonderful musicals complimented by tasty meals. The acting is great and the cooks divine. Howard Community College’s theater center and the Jim Rouse Theater, also provide great entertainment. Local societies offer a series of films for the residents. If your taste is more contemporary, you might want to watch a movie at one of the two large movie theaters.
For the daily things to do, why not take the children (ages 6 weeks to 10 years) to Playwise Kids where they can indulge in creative play. There can shop (pretend of course), keep house, paint, play piano, and tap dance. If you prefer, the Columbia Association provides a gym membership that includes swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), roller skating, ice skating, tennis, raquetball, martial arts, weight lifting, aerobics and fitness classes, a special room with exercise equipment and a rock climbing wall specifically for children, and batting cages. The list is almost endless and the price is great. There is also a discount buying service that allows you to get tickets to area events at a discounted price.
There are more things to do, but you need to come to Columbia and see for yourself. Bring your bike, enjoy the view.