Merriweather Post Pavilion
Columbia is home to Merriweather Post Pavilion, one of the premier outdoor music venues in the United States. Commissioned by the Rouse Company and designed by award-winning architect Frank Gehry, the pavilion has played host to countless artists since opening in 1967. It’s also home to graduation ceremonies for many Howard County Public Schools, with ceremonies held in the early summer each year. For more information, visit MerriweatherMusic.com.
The Columbia Festival of the Arts
The Columbia Festival of the Arts presents four weekend-long arts festivals throughout the year, with both free and ticketed events. Festivals feature performances, exhibitions, concerts, classes and workshops and many more activities for artists, individuals and families. Founded in 1987, the festival has grown into one of the region’s premier arts events. For more information, visit ColumbiaFestival.org.
Lakefront Summer Festival
Lakefront Summer Festival is CA’s annual action-packed entertainment series, featuring music, movies and other family-friendly events nearly every night in the summer. Enjoy free evening entertainment at the beautiful Downtown Columbia Lakefront near Lake Kittamaqundi. For more information, including upcoming events, visit ColumbiaAssociation.org/LakefrontFestival.
Lunchtime concert series
Every Wednesday in the summer, CA presents free concerts by local musicians. Come catch a rising star in front of Lake Kittamaqundi — spread a blanket and bring a picnic, or purchase lunch at nearby Whole Foods to enjoy while listening to music. For more information, visit ColumbiaAssociation.org/LFW.
Howard Community College Horowitz Center
Howard County Community College’s Horowitz Center is HCC’s performance and exhibition space, playing host to professionals as well as providing learning opportunities for students. Celebrating its 10th season in 2015-2016, the center hosts more than 50,000 visitors annually. For more information, including an events schedule, visit HowardCC.edu/discover/arts-culture/Horowitz-Center.
Robinson Nature Center
Robinson Nature Center is a nature education facility located next to the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area. One of only three LEED Certified Platinum buildings in Maryland, the nature center is nestled on 18 acres of land and host to many nature exhibits, a planetarium, children’s activities and more. For more information, visit HowardCountyMD.gov/RobinsonNatureCenter.htm
Howard County Center of African American Culture
The Howard County Center of African American Culture, Inc. is an independent non-profit educational organization founded in 1987. The center is dedicated to collecting, preserving and interpreting African American history and culture for Howard County and the surrounding regions. For more information, visit HCCAAC.org.
Symphony Woods/Merriweather Park
Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods is a 36-acre park encircling Merriweather Post Pavilion. Inner Arbor Trust, Inc. is currently in the process of developing this park to include a concert stage, pavilion and several sculptures. For more information about this development, visit InArTrust.org.
Columbia Farmers Markets
Howard County is host to many Farmers Markets, with a bounty of fresh produce, meat and other goods available Wednesday through Sunday at locations throughout Howard County. Many area farmers markets also feature live music or other entertainment while you shop. To find your nearest market, or for more information, visit HowardCountyFarmersMarkets.com.
Columbia is host to dozens of events every month, from performances to exhibitions to family-friendly activities hosted by CA, The Downtown Columbia Partnership and many other community organizations. CA’s events calendar is a great way to stay on top of upcoming events.