Rolla, Missouri, is a vibrant college town between the two bustling metropolises of St. Louis and Springfield. It is best known for its engineering prowess due to its renowned Missouri University of Science and Technology presence.
But there’s far more to this quaint town than just academic excellence; Rolla boasts an abundance of fun activities and attractions sure to delight visitors and locals alike.
For those who taste outdoor adventure, kayaking and hiking opportunities abound in the surrounding area. Several noteworthy parks offer beautiful natural scenery and recreational activities such as fishing, camping, and biking.
And for those who prefer indoor entertainment, there are charming antique malls, theaters, art galleries hosting workshops, and a nearby brewery serving delicious craft beers alongside mouth-watering pub food. Plus, in the summertime, you can cool off at one of Rolla’s waterparks with thrilling slides and rides for all ages.
Here are 22 things to do in Rolla, Mo;
1) Visit The Mark Twain National Forest
Credits: Alexander Ivakhniouk
- Address: 401 Fairgrounds Rd, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 364-4621
- Website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/mtnf
If you’re looking for the perfect outdoor getaway, head to Rolla and explore Mark Twain, National Forest!
Named after renowned author Samuel Clemens (known as “Mark Twain”), this 1.5 million-acre forest provides an unforgettable natural retreat experience filled with beautiful sights like towering trees, crystal clear streams and rivers, campgrounds, and more.
With over 750 miles of trails available for hiking, horseback riding, or simply soaking in nature’s serenity – no matter what adventure you seek – there is something here just waiting to be discovered!
2) Explore Downtown Rolla
Downtown Rolla is the perfect place to hang out with friends and take in all the things that Rolla has to offer.
Whether it be shops, stores, and cafes; things to buy; historical tourist attractions such as the Rollamo Theatre or Phelps County Courthouse—or perhaps just a chance for some great conversation!
Regardless of what brings you downtown, you are sure to be met with a truly positive and inviting atmosphere.
You can even bring the kids along for a fun shopping experience or an enjoyable night out. So come on down to Downtown Rolla and enjoy everything our beautiful city has in store!
3) The Fugitive Beach
Credits: C B
The Fugitive Beach offers a unique family-friendly experience in Rolla, providing things to do for kids of all ages.
This fabulous beach paradise features amenities such as a sandy beach and volleyball courts, as well as cliffs to jump from, a colossal waterslide, and pavilions for rent.
With plenty of tasty dining choices for the whole family to enjoy, The Fugitive Beach provides an escape from reality you don’t want to miss out on!
Make unforgettable memories with your children as you explore The Fugitive Beach! Whether you’re building sandcastles, swimming, or diving off the cliffs, you and your kids will have a blast spent bonding together.
4) Kokomo Joe’s Family Fun Centre
Credits: Kokomo Joe’s Family Fun Center
- Address: 10450 State Rte V, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 341-5656
Joe’s Family Fun Centre is a beloved family leisure spot in Rolla, Missouri. It is one of the best things to do in the area and a favorite hangout spot for locals and visitors alike.
Offering an array of entertaining and educational activities, Joe’s Family Fun Centre provides something for everyone – no matter their age or interests.
At Joe’s Family Fun Centre, you can choose from various activities such as go-cart rides, a driving range, batting cages, and mini golfing. With so much to choose from, it’s easy to find something everyone can enjoy.
In addition to the many physical activities available onsite, there are also numerous arcade games that kids and adults can play together – making it an excellent spot for family bonding time.
5) Ozark Actors Theatre
Credits: Ozark Actors Theatre
- Address: 701 N Cedar St, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 364-9523
- Website: http://www.ozarkactorstheatre.org/
Looking for things to do in Rolla that you and your partner can enjoy together? The Ozark Actors Theatre is the perfect place for couples to spend quality time.
Founded in 1987, this professional performing arts theater has become one of the best places to experience a romantic evening.
With brilliant world-class acts, an intimate atmosphere, and an array of enthralling live shows, it offers couples an unforgettable experience.
Whether it’s a musical, theatrical performance, or some other engaging show, you’re sure to create remarkable memories while taking in a spectacular live performance at the Ozark Actors Theatre.
6) Go kayaking!
If you’re looking for things to do in Rolla, MO, look no further than kayaking and rafting!
From the fast-flowing rivers in the area to the tranquility of paddling across the still waters, there’s enough activity to keep your heart pumping while letting you relax.
Take some time away from emails and cell phone notifications and enjoy being in nature – taking in the views while you row your kayak.
And when you’re done with your kayaking adventure, why not explore all that’s on offer in one of Rolla’s many museums, take a spin at roller-skating or bowling? The town is filled with exciting things to do, so make sure to take some time out and discover all it has to offer.
7) Rolla Antique Mall
Credits: Jennie Spohn
- Address: 12020 Dillon Outer Dr, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 368-5747
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/Rolla-Antique-Mall-117007785025469/
If you’re looking for a truly unique shopping experience, the Rolla Antique Mall is the perfect place! Boasting at least 23,000 square feet of space, this mall is one of the most well-known in the area and offers an opportunity to explore countless vendors’ items.
No matter what kind of treasures you’re after, from glassware and furniture to jewelry and toys, rest assured, there’s something here for everyone.
When visiting, ensure that you plan and allot an hour or two of your time – with so many things to see at this antique mall, one hour won’t be enough! Don’t miss out on a chance to shop for keepsakes and finds that won’t blow your budget.
8) Rolla Lions Club Den and Park
Credits: Daniel Davis
- Address: 1061 S Bishop Ave, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 364-4386
- Website: http://www.rollalions.org/
One of the things to do in Rolla visits the beloved Rolla Lions Club Den and Park. This park has a plethora of amenities that you can enjoy, such as sports courts, playgrounds, pavilions with grills, and a glimmering lake with an ADA-accessible dock.
Not only can you have delightful picnics here, but you also make lasting memories with your companions while participating in various activities.
Throughout the year, it hosts many community events and festivals that could bring you even more fun and excitement! Head over to this inviting park and savor all the things it has to offer.
9) Vacuum Museum
Credits: Chicagomike68 Chicagomike68
- Address: 410 S Bishop Ave, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 261-9577
- Website: https://www.phelpscountyfocus.com/the_focus_insider/article_b886fc2e-6b76-11e9-a465-afa4756309ff.html
This highly unique museum showcases an incredible array of different vacuums throughout history.
Delve into the past and learn more about the first models ever invented and how they came into existence. Those passionate about machines, tools, or cleaning will love exploring this one-of-a-kind museum.
Friendly guides are available to provide tours so you can truly understand the significance of each model and its contributing part in history. Stop by today for a unique educational experience at the Vacuum Museum!
10) The Zone Rolla’s Family Entertainment
Credits: The Zone
- Address: 555 Blues Lake Pkwy, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 341-5700
- Website: https://rollafun.com/
The Zone Rolla’s Family Entertainment Center is a fun-filled indoor attraction featuring a variety of activities, such as roller skating, a laser tag arena and maze, a bounce area, an arcade, and a reliable jungle gym for children aged eight or below.
The unique combination of activities makes The Zone an attractive option for parents looking to keep their kids entertained while they practice skill development.
The guest reviews claim that the laser maze is incredible for livening up those rainy days! While you’re here, don’t forget to check out The Zone’s arcade area – here, you’ll find different games to play that will test your skills and luck.
The Zone is definitely worth checking out for any family looking for entertainment options on any day!
11) St James Recreational Center
Credits: Caesar Rana
- Address: 1204 Nelson Hart Rd, St James, MO 65559, USA
- Phone: (573) 265-6939
Are you a sports enthusiast? St James Recreational Center is here to satisfy your urges!
They offer various summer and winter sports for you to choose from, so you can stay energized throughout the year.
Whether it’s baseball, basketball, or soccer that intrigues you, St James Recreational Center has you covered. Before registering in any of their leagues, inquire at their help desk; their timings can vary due to the changing seasons.
So don’t hesitate – if team sports make you come alive, St James Recreational Center is where you can find your fix!
12) Ed Clark Museum of Missouri Geology
Credits: Travel Girl
- Address: 111 Fairgrounds Rd, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 368-2100
- Website: https://dnr.mo.gov/about-us/missouri-geological-survey
The Ed Clark Museum of Missouri Geology is a great place to take the kids for an educational adventure.
They can explore and admire the entire rock collection with no admission fee, making it much more affordable than most other attractions.
The serene atmosphere makes for an enjoyable day, and visitors can learn about the geology of Missouri from experienced professional staff.
Not only that, but this museum also has a highly maintained interior that provides a comfortable and safe environment.
If you’re looking for something new to do with your kids, visit the Ed Clark Museum of Missouri Geology for an unforgettable adventure!
13) Little Prairie Conservation Area
Credits: Mel Warren (MelBell)
- Address: Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (417) 256-7161
- Website: https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/little-prairie-conservation-area
If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, look no further than Little Prairie Conservation Area in Rolla.
Spanning roughly 40 acres, this breathtaking area boasts lush greenery, woodlands, and a shimmering lake– ready for you to explore!
Whether you’re into hunting, fishing, boating, or just exploring the great outdoors, there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy here with your travel buddies.
Plus, it’s free! So what are you waiting for? Pack your picnic baskets, head over to Little Prairie Conservation Area, and enjoy quality time surrounded by nature. You won’t regret it!
14) Visit Stonehenge
Credits: Natalie May
If you’re a fan of ancient history and ruins, you’ll be glad to know that Rolla also has its own version of Stonehenge.
This mini-stone circle is an interesting sight to see on the campus of Rolla Technical Institute.
With plaques containing all the documents and relevant information, this Stonehenge is marvelously made with details so accurate that a few spots can almost be confused for the real thing.
If you want to capture the whole Stonehenge vibe, take some photos to share with your friends. This mini Stonehenge awaits your visit!
15) Public House Brewing Company
- Address: 600 N Rolla St, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 426-2337
- Website: http://www.publichousebrewery.com/
Stop by the Public House Brewing Company when looking for something to do with friends in Rolla.
This trendy and upscale brewpub offers a cozy and laid-back atmosphere, excellent food, and craft beers that are sure to please your taste buds.
Try dishes such as pizza from locally sourced ingredients, paninis, sandwiches, and salads, all complemented with an exquisite pint of beer.
The atmosphere is perfect for winding down after a day filled with sightseeing or other touristy activities.
Private areas can hold up to 35 people for special gatherings with just your inner circle. Don’t miss out on an unforgettable night at the Public House Brewing Company!
16) Coachlite Lanes
Credits: Dan Baumann
- Address: 1038 Kingshighway, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 364-4124
- Website: https://coachlitelanes.com/
Organizing a bowling night with friends or family is arguably one of the most fun activities to do in Rolla, and Coachlite Lanes is sure to cover all your needs.
This spot is especially preferred due to its easy scoring system and 16 available lanes. Whether you are an amateur or a well-experienced bowler, Coachlite Lanes is designed for everybody!
The atmosphere here is cheerful and lively, urging you to stay longer than expected. So, why not get together with your peeps and have a great time at Coachlite Lanes?
17) Leach Theatre
Credits: Glenn Lawrence
- Address: Castleman Hall, 400 W 10th St #103, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 341-4219
- Website: http://leachtheatre.mst.edu/
Leach Theatre at Missouri University of Science and Technology is one of the premier event centers in South Central Missouri.
Since its opening in 1991, Leach Theatre has offered students, locals, and visitors the highest quality entertainment.
From the renowned St.Louis Symphony Orchestra to American Idol winner Phillip Phillips and the exhilarating Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats and Russian National Ballet, Leach Theatre’s events create a magical atmosphere for everyone who passes through their doors.
Leach Theatre also offers rental services for outside organizations looking for a great venue for their next gathering or celebration.
Open from 10 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday. Leach Theatre welcomes anyone looking for an exciting live music or theatre performance experience!
18) Ber Juan Park
- Address: 1200 Holloway St, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 364-6769
- Website: https://www.rollamoparks.org/outdoor
Ber Juan Park is an inviting spot for the locals and visitors of Rolla, located in the east-central part of town.
Encompassing nearly 85 acres of open grassland, Ber Juan Park boasts top-class recreational facilities, walking trails, and plenty to keep one busy during a day out.
The Ber Juan Health and Recreation Complex holds several basketball courts, racquetball, pickleball, and volleyball courts, and an indoor swimming pool for public use.
If you’re looking for outdoor activity, The Centre offers four soccer fields; a playground and picnic area is flooded with children just beyond Splash Zone; Ber Juan Sportsplex has ample baseball, softball, and soccer field space; and Bayless Field stands as the home of Rolla High School baseball team’s games. Ber Juan Park has something to offer everyone!
19) Hands On Art Studio & Gallery
Credits: Hands On Art Studio & Gallery
- Address: 908 N Pine St, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 324-7168
Hands On Art Studio & Gallery is the perfect place to get creative!
They offer many activities for all age groups, from preschoolers to adults. This inspiring space brings exciting energy and life to the local arts community.
Not to mention, it’s a gallery, studio, and workspace for artist Visherryl Morgan of Visherryl’s Virtual Visions.
Come by on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays between 10:00 am – 7:00 pm and explore Hands On Art Studio & Gallery – make sure you leave with loads of inspiration and artful ideas!
20) Ozark Rivers Audubon – Nature Center
Credits: Ozark Rivers Audubon – Nature Center
- Address: 550 Meriweather Ct, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 465-2472
- Website: http://www.ozarkriversaudubon.org/
One of the best things to do in Rolla, Mo, is to explore the wonders of nature and join Ozark Rivers Audubon Nature Center on a family-friendly adventure!
With over 70 acres of beautiful hiking trails, you’ll witness unique biomes and observe some amazing wildlife. Whether it’s your love for birds that bring you there or simply an interest in conservation efforts – this is one journey not to be missed.
Come soak up the serenity while helping protect our planet today at Rolla’s must-see destination!
21) Mule Trading Post
Credits: Heng Yu
- Address: 11160 Dillon Outer Rd, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 201-7091
Rolla’s Mule Trading Post is a must-visit destination. Frank Ebling opened the Mule Trading Post in 1946 after Interstate 44 bypassed his trading post on Route 66.
Since then, it has been passed down to several owners, who have maintained its unique charm and modern features.
Visitors can expect a pleasant and brand-new showroom where they can find comfortable and exciting items from Thursday to Saturday.
So don’t miss out on your chance to visit Mule Trading Post while in Rolla!
22) Visit Rolla Public Library
Credits: Rolla Public Library
- Address: 900 N Pine St, Rolla, MO 65401, USA
- Phone: (573) 364-2604
- Website: http://www.rollapubliclibrary.org/
Rolla Public Library is beloved by Rollanians, offering the perfect opportunity to connect with their community.
Rolla Public Library offers something for everyone in the Rolla area: a catalog of over 50,000 books, magazines, newspapers, CDs, music cassettes and tapes, videos, DVDs, and more!
In addition to these fantastic resources, they also offer a variety of online databases that allow people access to consumer product information and legal forms and help with schoolwork research and genealogy tools.
Rolla Public Library is the perfect place for lifelong learning – it’s open every day of the week from 9 am to 8 pm (with exceptions on Sundays when it’s only open from 1:30 pm-5 pm). Rollans can feel inspired and at home whenever visiting this popular library.
Be sure to add Rolla Public Library to your bucket list of things to do in Rolla, Mo.
Plan a Trip to Rolla
There’s never a dull moment in Rolla, with plenty of things to do that will keep you entertained all day long. From great restaurants and shopping to fascinating museums and outdoor activities, you will find everything you need here in Rolla!