Things to do in Jefferson City MO

6 Things To Do In Jefferson City MO

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Jefferson City, is smack dab in the middle of Missouri and acts as the capital for the state. 

From indoor entertainment to outdoor activities you are sure to find something that will entertain everyone in your group when you’re visiting this midwest city.

These recommendations will simply get your adventure started.

Things to do in Jefferson City MO

What charmed us during our visit were tree-lined streets, friendly residents, quaint shops and so much history.

As towns go it can definitely be classified as a small town, but that alone is part of its charm it’s also a great day trip or perfect for a weekend getaway.

We found a great selection of things to do in Jefferson City MO. We are sharing our favorites here.

Things to do in Jefferson City MO

6 Things To Do In Jefferson City MO

Things To Do In Jefferson City MO


If you love architecture and art you absolutely have to tour the Capitol Building. The building is modeled after the nation’s Capitol in D.C. The rotunda is simply amazing.

Take a guided tour and have them take you to the artwork that changes as you walk past it.

I could have spent a lot of time walking back and forth in front of it.

As much as I loved the inside of the building there are also great sculptures and works of art outside as well.

Plan at least 2 hours so you can fully soak up the experience here in Jefferson City, Missouri.

There are all kinds of hidden gems here. Take the time to enjoy them.

This may not be at the top of your teen’s list, but Emma survived the tour and even learned a thing or two.

Things To Do In Jefferson City MO

Missouri State Capitol
201 W. Capitol Ave.
(573) 751-2854
Tours: Monday – Saturday every hour on the hour, Sunday 10:00, 11:00, 2:00 and 3:00
Free admission

Things To Do In Jefferson City MO

This prison was established in 1836 and decommissioned in 2004. It has 180+ years of history lying within its prison walls. A guided tour brings all that history to life.

We visited the oldest building still standing on the site, the dungeon, the upper yard and the housing unit.

Our guide provided insight into infamous inmates (did you know that Martin Luther King’s assassin escaped from here?), the 1954 riot and so much more.

I highly recommend taking a historical tour and then taking a ghost tour of the prison.

Sadly, there wasn’t a ghost tour available on the day that we visited, but that just gives Em & I a reason to go back.

By the way, Em loved the prison tour so it’s definitely teen approved.

5 things to do in Jefferson City MO

Missouri State Penitentiary Tours
115 Lafayette Street
(866) 998-6998
Tour prices start at $15 per person
Age restrictions apply, please see their site for complete details.

Things To Do In Jefferson City MO


If you are unable to make it to the Missouri State Penitentiary (there are limited, seasonal hours) you definitely need to visit the Missouri State Penitentiary Museum in the Col. Darwin W. Marmaduke House.

The museum shares an insider look at prison life inside the cold stone walls.

In addition to historical facts, there is an actual prison cell with bars, bunk bed and graffiti wall to show size and living conditions.

The museum highlights the following four categories:

Prison Industries
Contract Labor/Private Industries
Inside the Walls
Control & Counter Control (ie: riots).

Plan an hour to completely absorb all that the museum has to offer.

Things To Do In Jefferson City MO

Missouri State Penitentiary Museum
700 E Capitol Ave
Jefferson City, MO

Things To Do In Jefferson City MO


Learn about Missouri’s habitats and the fish, forest and wildlife that call Missouri home. There is hiking, bird watching, and 3,000 square feet of exhibits showing off Missouri’s nature.

The trails are self-guided and there is even a trail that is accessible to people with disabilities. The center offers educational opportunities throughout the year.

Be sure to check their special events calendar to see what is happening while you are visiting Jefferson City, Missouri.

Things To Do In Jefferson City MO
Runge Nature Center
MO Hwy. 179
Jefferson City, MO 6510
FREE Admission

Things To Do In Jefferson City MO


Great eats can be found at Prison Brews, a unique brewpub located in the historic east side of Jefferson City two blocks from the old Missouri State Penitentiary.

In addition to having a delicious brew and great food, Prison Brews is the only place in Jefferson City that you can play Bocce Ball.

jefferson city, mo

305 Ash St
Jefferson City, MO 65101



Its an iconic stop in Jefferson City and one you won’t want to miss.

Serving up the tastiest, hand-dipped ice cream, you won’t regret stopping in for a scoop or two on your next visit to Jefferson City.

610 Madison Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101-3199

(573) 635-6148


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Disclosure: I was a guest of Jefferson City CVB. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



Leave a Reply


  1. Tracy Hernandez says:

    What about Arris pizza and Central Dairy Ice Cream

  2. I would add a couple of other exceptional places:

    Central Dairy on Madison St. It’s like stepping back into 1955 and the product is excellent.

    Also Paddy Malone’s Pub on West Main. The longest continuous bar is Cole County and it’s the real deal.

    Thanks for the blog!

  3. @Marianne: Absolutely!! Feel free to share away 🙂

  4. @Virginia: Oh, love this…another reason to come back and visit the city! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks Marianne….great info!!!

  6. Please contact the Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-769-4183 or 573-632-2820 regarding a visit to our city We have all the information on our attractions and interesting places to visit. Our specialty is helping visitors. Marianne

  7. Virginia Bailey says:

    Great article about Jeff City. I might add to your blog, for people to check out if any theatrical productions are playing. There are 3 great venues in Jeff. The Little Theatre (TLT) with 4 major productions a year at the Miller Art Center. Scene One, which is located on High Street, in the basement below Carries Hallmark store. They have innovative productions, local authors, and so much more, playing almost every week or so. Also, Capital City Players, which is a dinner theater, producing popular plays. All three highlight local actors, actresses, directors, production people, etc. Jefferson City is blessed to have such awesome talent in this town. I would say to contact the chamber to get information.

  8. Loved your experiences in Jefferson City and your style of writing. May I pass along your comments to other people considering Jefferson City as a destination? Marianne

  9. Bryce Soto says:

    There is also a book called “Somewhere in Time”, written by Mark Schreiber, which goes into great detail regarding MSP. Mr. Schreiber had been previously employed by the Cole County Sheriff’s Office until he was hired by Warden Don Wyrick at M.S.P. Although he is retired from the Department of Corrections, he currently is a tour guide for the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau, and frequently conducts tours of what remains of the old prison. Tours can be booked at

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