15 Best Things to Do in Rolla, MO

15 Best Things to Do in Rolla, MO

Rolla is quite a lively college town to hang out with for a weekend. Located quite close to St. Louis and Springfield- Rolla has a ton of fun things to do if you pay attention! People know this town for its engineers, as the Missouri University of Science and Technology is located right here. But, the people apart from knowing about computers, sure know how to have fun! Being in the ‘middle of everything’ Rolla has some good options for you to choose from. Be it fun-filled activities, kayaking, or even hiking- you won’t be bored here in Rolla. Here are some of the best things to do while you are on a trip to Rolla.

Have a beach day at The Fugitive Beach

Want to have a nice day filled with laughs? Head over to the Fugitive Beach! One of the best water parks in Missouri- Fugitive Beach is the perfect place to go if you want to have some fun with water.

The water park was once an old quarry, but they made the best renovations, turning it into an amazing water park. There is a huge option of heights from where you can jump into the water. If you are brave enough, you can choose the 60ft rock, but there are also 15-20 ft cliffs for those not so brave hearts! You can even swim around, play some water sports or even volleyball on the fake beach! It costs minimal too and is an incredible way to enjoy your lazy day!

Visit the Mark Twain National Forest

Mark Twain National Forest
Randy Kostichka / Shutterstock.com

Mark Twain National Forest is one of the biggest national parks in the U.S. Located across a huge stretch of area 750 miles. You can bike, trek, hike, or even walk here. There are a lot of hiking trails here for you to enjoy. The recreational activities are endless here for you can do anything you want with your friends or family.

If you want to camp, there are a lot of campsites here for you. But, did you know there are several black bears here in Missouri? You might even see some during your time here in Mark Twain National Forest.

Learn something at the Ed Clark Museum of Missouri Geology

Want your kids to learn about some rocks? The Ed Clark Museum of Missouri is one of the best educational places for your child. If he/she is into rocks and stuff- it will be the best place.

The entire rock collection is available for everyone to look at. The geology of Missouri is explained quite well here. And, it is quite a nice place to enjoy a quiet day here. One of the best tourist attractions of Rolla- Ed Clark Museum has another feature! It is completely free for everyone to visit. Also, the interior is well maintained.

Relive your childhood at Joe’s Family Fun Centre

One of the most loved tourist attractions of Rolla- Joe’s Family Fun Centre is a place that everyone loves to go to! You can ask anyone in Rolla what their favorite hangout spot is, and they are bound to reply with Joe’s Family Fun Centre.
The place has everything you need indoors. From trampoline parks to escape rooms- the place has everything.

You can even play laser tags in here or just play go-cart outside if you are in the mood for something a little more fun. The kids love going to this place, and honestly, people of every age will find something to do here. The place is also open to the public every day.

Play at the Coachlite Lanes

Want to enjoy a bowling night with your peeps? Coachlite Lanes in Rolla has got your back! It is one of the best bowling venues not only in Rolla but in all of the US. People prefer the spot as there are 16 lanes in total, and it is a fact that scoring is easy here. Also, the place is nice, clean, and well maintained.

The ambiance is lively that will make you want to spend more time here. The lanes are both for amateurs as well as experienced bowlers. Even if you have never tried bowling, you can try out your luck here at the Coachlite Lanes.

Try laser tag at The Zone

Are you a skater? Or do you want to try some roller skates? Whatever it is, you can try out your hand at roller skating right here in The Zone.

Kids love this place as it is kind of like their dreamland. There are laser tag, roller-skating, jungle gym, maze here. You can even organize birthday parties or events here. Everyone claims that the laser maze is amazing here for a rainy day. The arcade is spacious and filled with arcade games for you to try! Go on, enjoy a day here with your family!

Catch a show at Ozark Actors Theatre

Having started back in 1988, The Ozark Actors Theatre did not even have a stage back then. Having nothing else to do, it remodeled a church to use as its stage. But, it evolved, and now it is one of the most active theatres in all of Missouri. The locals love this place as they often flock around the theatre for a movie night. Tourists get vintage vibes from the theatre, and it has now become a famous tourist spot after renovations.

There are a lot of shows and events that go to this theatre throughout the year. So, no matter when you visit, you are in for a treat!

Relax at St James Recreational Center

Are you into sports? Want to be a part of a team? Here at St. James Recreational Center, there is always some kind of game going on. Be it basketball, baseball, or soccer, you can always enroll yourself in any team and play with them.
But, there are different schedules for summers and winters. Also, there are different sports played during the different seasons. Make sure you ask at the help desk before enrolling in any one of the sports as the timing of it might vary due to the seasons.

Learn history at Vacuum Museum

Museum of Vaccums
Fredrik Guldbaek-Svensson / Shutterstock.com

This is quite an odd museum. Most people find it amusing. Have you wanted to know about vacuum cleaners? Ever wondered how they came into being? Or who was the first person who thought of a vacuum cleaner? Then, you have come to the right place!

The guy who runs this museum is very interested in vacuums as he lovers them and is a passionate man! The museum is filled with rooms full of vacuums. They even give you a tour telling you the story of the first vacuum, how it came into being, and its initial models! Everyone enjoys going there at least once on their trip to Rolla.

Enjoy a night at Red, Hot & Blue

Want some delicious Southern-style BBQ right in the heart of Rolla? Red, Hot & Blue has got you covered. Apart from some of the best quality meat, the combinations of the dishes are fantastic too. Some of the ribs on their menu have even won awards! Combining with the delicious food, there is always live music going on in the background that gives off a different vibe.

It is true that no matter when you visit, you will get to hear blues playing in the restaurant. Also, all of their walls have been decorated with their awards, memorabilia, and newspaper cuttings!

Shop at the Rolla Antique Mall

Are you into thrift shopping? Do you like to go through several things before you can finally decide on one? Want endless options before buying something? Rolla Antique Mall might be the ideal place for you!

There are a lot of vendors assembled with countless items on display! The mall has two floors full of vendors. And, the best thing about this place is that everything is cheap and will be under your budget. You can get your hands on a lot of antique pieces at great deals right here. It can be called a flea market within a mall. Try to bargain with the vendors before buying!

Little Prairie Conservation Area

Want a piece of greenery among the city chaos? It often happens that we search for places around us that can allow us to breathe some fresh air. Little Prairie Conservation Area is that slice of paradise in the heart of Rolla.

In the middle of the conservation area, there is a quiet lake, around which there are a lot of hiking trails that you can follow. You can enjoy a picnic here along with your near and dear ones. Located quite close to the town of Rolla, the place attracts a lot of tourists for this calm greenery. Also, it allows pets!

Visit Stonehenge

Stonehengein Rolla
Nebraska Puffer Fish, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have you seen the real Stonehenge? If not, you just might be in luck as this is the replica of the real one! But, unlike the real one- this is neither natural nor it is organic. They have structured a functional replica of the original Stonehenge on the campus of Rolla. However, if you are into rocks- you might be interested to check this out!

If you want more detailed information, the plaques on the site contain all the documents and the necessary information written on them. So, you should check that out. Go ahead, and take a few snaps of this replica and post it on your Instagram feed that might fool your friends. But, warning: the replica is not accurate. There are some places where it does look fake for, after all, it is man-made!

Walk around Downtown Rolla

National Parade in Missouri University, Downtown Rolla
Mohammad-amin asareh / Shutterstock.com

Downtown Rolla is quite a nice and cozy place to hang out when you are done with all the activities in Rolla. It is the hub of all the recreational activities in Rolla with a lot of businesses having their shops or stores right here.

You can get a lot of cafes, shops where you can shop till you drop! Downtown Rolla has a lot of tourist attractions too. The Phelps County Courthouse and Rollamo Theatre are two of such attractions that have been standing tall for hundreds of years. Sit in a cafe, relax, take your kids shopping, and you can enjoy a great evening here in Downtown Rolla!

Go kayaking!

There are a lot of kayaking options in Rolla. Not only kayaking- you can also opt for rafting in any of the fast-flowing rivers that are flowing through Rolla, Missouri. As you go down the old rivers flowing through the different parts of the town. Sit back, breathe in the views of the serene river and surrounding landscapes. The air is fresh and has a rural smell to it.
Also, kayaking in Rolla is a good way to get rid of your city life anxiety and worries. There will not be any WiFi or network so you can relax your soul and get involved with nature even if it is for a day.

These are all the things you can enjoy on your trip to Rolla. From the things, you can make out that it is a very fun town- filled with activities you can enjoy. With a lot of options for bowling, roller-skating, museums, and hiking- you can choose anything you want to do. Go on, plan a weekend trip, and you might get the best deal of your life!