Calling all art lovers, music fans, and culture aficionados — Columbia’s vibrant creative scene awaits! Between awe-inspiring exhibits, high-energy festivals, world-class concert venues, and lively performances, there s are plenty of ways to enjoy arts and culture in Columbia.

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 link opens in a new window.

Columbia Festival of the Arts

The Columbia Festival of the Arts presents an annual festival with both free and ticketed events, featuring 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 link opens in a new window.

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 Columbia Association Lakefront Summer Festival.

Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center

Howard Community College’s Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center is HCC’s performance and exhibition space, playing host to professionals as well as providing learning opportunities for students. The center hosts more than 50,000 visitors annually. For more information, including an events schedule, visit HowardCC.edu/discover/arts-culture/Horowitz-Center link opens in a new window.

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 link opens in a new window.

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 link opens in a new window.

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 link opens in a new window.

Howard County 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 link opens in a new window.


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. Columbia Association’s events calendar is a great way to stay on top of CA’s upcoming events.