23 Best & Fun Things to Do in Rolla (MO)

Located very close to St. Louis and Springfield, There is quite a lot of fun things to do in Rolla, PA, for both the locals and visitors.

It is a lively college town for different kinds of weekend hang out. People know this town for its engineering thanks to the Missouri University of Science and Technology which is located right here.

The people are also very fun to be with, making Rolla a very top pick in the good options for you to choose from. There are fun-filled activities for you to engage in Rolla, such as kayaking, hiking and lots more.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Rolla, MO.

Things to Do in Rolla

1. Explore Downtown Rolla

Downtown Rolla
Credits: Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock
Downtown Rolla

Downtown Rolla is a lovely and cozy place to hang out with friends when you are done with all the activities in Rolla.

It is the epicenter of all the recreational activities in Rolla, boasting of many businesses thanks to the stores and shops right here.

You will see a lot of cafes and shops where you can buy stuff until you are tired. Downtown Rolla has plenty of tourist attractions too.

The Rollamo Theatre and Phelps County Courthouse are two of such attractions that have been around for hundreds of years.

Relax, sit in a cafe, take your kids shopping, and have a great evening here in Downtown Rolla!

2. Relive your childhood at Joe’s Family Fun Centre

Joe’s Family Fun Centre
Credits: Ivan Kurmyshov / Shutterstock

One of the most loved tourist attractions in Rolla and amongst the best things to do in Rolla is Joe’s Family Fun Centre. It is a place everyone loves and would be of interest to the children.

You can take a survey of the people in Rolla for their favorite hangout spot, and you are bound to receive replies of Joe’s Family Fun Centre.

This center has everything you need indoors. From escape rooms to trampoline parks – the place has just everything.

There are laser tags for you to play here, and if you want something a little more fun, you can ride their go-cart. The kids love going to this place, and no matter your age, there is something to do here.

Joe’s Family Fun Centre is open to the public every day.

Address: 10450 State Route V, Rolla, MO 65401.

3. The Zone

The Zone
Credits: ok_kate / Shutterstock

Do you want to learn roller skating? Or are you a professional skater? The Zone offers you an opportunity to try out your hand at roller skating.

Kids so love this place because they see it like their dreamland. There are roller-skating, maze, jungle gym, and laser tag here.

And if you have special occasions like birthday parties or events, feel free to organize them here. The guest of this place claims that the laser maze is quite incredible for a rainy day.

Another thing to note is their spacious arcade, filled with arcade games for you to try! So go enjoy a day here with your family!

Address: 555 Blues Lake Pkwy, Rolla, MO 65401.

4. Visit the Mark Twain National Forest

Mark Twain National Forest
Credits: Paul Sableman / Flickr
Mark Twain National Forest

One of the biggest national parks in the United States is Mark Twain National Forest. Located across a massive stretch of 750 miles, this forest is an attraction worth visiting in Rolla.

There are a lot of activities you can engage in, ranging from biking to hiking to trekking or even walking. Mark Twain National Forest has plenty of trails for you to enjoy.

The recreational activities are enormous for you to do anything you want with your family or friends. And if you want to camp, there are diverse campsites available for you.

Here is one point to note down, there are several black bears here in Missouri. Maybe you didn’t know, and you might even catch glimpses of some during your time here in Mark Twain National Forest.

Address: 401 Fairgrounds Rd, Rolla, MO 65401

5. St James Recreational Center

St James Recreational Center
Credits: ridersuperone / Shutterstock

Are you a sports enthusiast? Would you love to be part of a team while in Rolla? James Recreational Center takes care of this.

At James Recreational Center, there is always a game to catch. It could be baseball, basketball, or soccer, and you can always register yourself with any team and play with them.

However, there are different schedules for the summer and winter seasons. Also, there are different sports played during the respective seasons.

Be sure to inquire at their help desk before getting registered in any one of the sports, as the timing may differ due to the seasons.

6. Ed Clark Museum of Missouri Geology

Another interesting thing to do in Rolla is visiting the Ed Clark Museum of Missouri Geology. It is one place to take your kids to learn about some rocks.

The Ed Clark Museum of Missouri is one of the choicest educational places for your ward if he/she is into rocks and the likes.

Visitors can always look at the entire rock collection as they are available to the general public. This museum explains the geology of Missouri quite well.

And it is very serene a place to enjoy a calm day. Another lovely feature of this attraction is free of charge for any visitor.

It also has a highly maintained interior for you to relish.

7. Go kayaking!

Go kayaking!
Credits: Vitalii Nesterchuk / Shutterstock

Rolla has a lot of kayaking options to enjoy. It’s not only kayaking; you can decide to go rafting in any of the fast-flowing rivers that are in/through Rolla, Missouri.

It would be an interesting thing going down the old rivers running through the various parts of the town. Just relax, breathe in the views of the quiet river and the encompassing terrains.

The air is fresh with the smell of the rural in it.

Furthermore, kayaking in Rolla is a great way of getting rid of the anxiety and worries of your city life. There will be no network nor WiFi, so you can relax your body and soul while getting entangled with nature at least for a day.

These are more are the things to enjoy in Rolla. From there, you can make out that it is a town filled with activities for your enjoyment.

There are diverse options for museums, roller-skating, bowling, and hiking – you can pick anything you want to do. Go ahead, plan a weekend trip, and you might be in for the best deal of your life!

8. Catch a show at Ozark Actors Theatre

Ozark Actors Theatre
Credits: Who is Danny / Shutterstock

The Ozark Actors Theatre started in 1988, but back then, it did not even have a stage back. It rebranded a church to use as its stage without anything else to do.

However, the theater evolved, and now it is one of the most functional theatres in Missouri. It is lovers of the locals, and you would see them flocking around the theatre for a movie night.

And it has even become a popular tourist spot after some renovations, with guests gaining vintage vibes from the theatre.

Ozark Actors Theatre hosts many shows and events throughout the year, and it is ranked as one of the best things to do in Rolla.

So, no matter when you visit, you are assured of a treat!

Address: 701 N Cedar St., Rolla, MO 65401.

9. Enjoy a night at Red, Hot & Blue

Red, Hot & Blue
Credits: Alexander Raths / Shutterstock

Located right in the heart of Rolla, Red, Hot & Blue has got you covered in the area of tantalizing Southern-style BBQ.

Aside from some of the best quality meat, they also offer fantastic combinations of the dishes. A good number of their ribs on their menu have even gained recognition and awards!

There is always live music playing in the background, and this combines with the delicious food, thereby giving off a different vibe.

Of truth, no matter when you visit, you will hear blues playing in the restaurant.

You would also love the beauty of their walls. They are well decorated with awards, newspaper cuttings, and memorabilia!

10. Have a beach day at The Fugitive Beach

Would you want to have an awesome day filled with laughs? Stop at the Fugitive Beach! It is one of the best water parks in Missouri and is the perfect place to be if you want to have some fun with water.

The water park used to be an old quarry, but after the best renovations were made, it has turned into an astonishing water park.

There are plenty of height options from where you can jump into the water. And if you have enough courage, you can choose the 60ft rock, but there are also 15-20 ft cliffs available for those not so strong at heart.

You may even choose to swim around, play volleyball, and do some water sports on the fake beach! It only costs a little and is an amazing way to enjoy your lazy day!

The Fugitive Beach is just one of the best things to do in Rolla.

Address: 16875 County Rd 5285, Rolla, MO 65401.

11. Learn history at Vacuum Museum

Vacuum Museum
Credits: Vintage St. Louis & Route 66 / Facebook
Vacuum Museum

Another exciting thing to do in Rolla is stopping by the Museum of Vacuums. It is quite an odd museum such that most people find it amusing.

Have you wanted to learn more about vacuum cleaners? Ever imagined how they came into existence? Or who was the first person to have imagined a vacuum cleaner? This is the right place to be!

This museum is run by a very interested guy, loves, and has a great passion for vacuums. The museum is filled with rooms full of vacuums.

You would be taken on a tour which tells you about the first vacuum, how it came into existence, and its first models!

Everyone who takes a trip to Rolla enjoys visiting this museum at least once. Don’t miss out!

12. Little Prairie Conservation Area

Do you desire a piece of greenery among the chaos of the city? Often, we lookout for places around that can allow us to take in some fresh air.

Little Prairie Conservation Area is that piece of heaven in the heart of Rolla.

The conservation has a quiet lake in the center, around which there are plenty of hiking trails that you can walk. You can also enjoy a picnic here with your close and dear ones.

The location of this place is close to the town of Rolla, and it attracts a lot of tourists for its calm greenery. Pets are also allowed here too!

Address: Rolla, MO 65401

13. Visit Stonehenge

Credits: Haydn Blackey/ Flickr

Have you seen the real Stonehenge? If you haven’t, you might just be lucky to see the replica of the real one! However, this is neither organic nor natural (unlike the real one).

Located on the campus of Rolla is a well-structured functional replica of the original Stonehenge. And if you are into rocks, this might interest you to check out!

If you want to obtain more detailed information, there are plaques on the site containing all the documents and the relevant information.

So, you can see them too. Feel free to take a few photos of this replica and post them on your social handles. But please note that the replica is not accurate.

There are some spots where it looks facsimile; after all, it is synthetic!

14. Play at the Coachlite Lanes

Coachlite Lanes
Credits: stockshoppe / Shutterstock
Coachlite Lanes

What about enjoying a bowling night with your peeps? Do you mind that? Coachlite Lanes in Rolla has got you covered!

It is one of the best bowling venues in Rolla and the entire United States, thereby making our list of top things to do in Rolla.

This spot is preferred by people as there are 16 lanes in total, and as a matter of fact, scoring is easy here. In addition to these qualities, the place is pleasant, clean, and well maintained.

It has a lively ambiance that will make you want to stay more than you anticipated. It does not matter if you are an amateur or a well-experienced bowler, and the lanes are for both categories.

So, even if you have never tried bowling before, you test your might here at the Coachlite Lanes.

Address: 1038 Kingshighway, Rolla, MO 65401.

15. Shop at the Rolla Antique Mall

Rolla Antique Mall
Credits: Aris-Tect Group / Shutterstock

Do you have an interest in thrift shopping? Are you a person who likes to go through several things before finally choosing one? Do you want unending options before buying something?

If any of these questions align with your personality, then Rolla Antique Mall might just be the perfect place for you!

You will see a lot of vendors gathered with innumerable items on display. It has its two floors full of vendors ready with their goods.

The best thing about this mall is that everything is cheap and will not overshoot your budget. You can lay your hands on a whole lot of antique pieces and at wonderful deals right here.

It can be referred to as a flea market within the mall. Try to make a good bargain with the vendors before purchasing anything!

Address: 12020 Dillon Outer Dr., Rolla, MO 65401.

Missouri makes one of the top vacation states in the United States, check out our guide on things to do in Kansas City, and things to do in Branson for a memorable Missouri vacation.

16. Rolla Lions Club Den and Park

Rolla Lions Club Den and Park
Credits: Vagengeim / Shutterstock

Rolla Lions Club Den and Park is a well-loved city park thanks to its plethora of amenities and facilities. The park plays host to several interesting community festivals and events throughout the year.

Rolla Lions Club Den and Park is one of the many cool attractions and amazing things to do in Rolla. It has plenty of playgrounds to keep your children happy, sports courts, and rentable pavilions with grills.

This place has a picturesque landscape and features a glinting lake with an ADA-accessible dock, towering trees, and spacious green fields.

Create unforgettable memories with your loved, loved ones at Rolla Lions Club Den and Park. And you can enjoy a delightful picnic, mountain biking, fishing at its sparkling lake, and so on.

You can also develop and improve your team-building skills as you enjoy sports such as soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, and disc golf.

Address:1061 S Bishop Ave., Rolla, MO 65401.

17. Public House Brewing Company

Public House Brewing Company
Credits: id-art / Shutterstock

Next on our list of things to do in Rolla is going to the Public House Brewing Company – a trendy and exclusive brewpub that offers some delightful craft beers in Rolla.

If you are looking for local favorite things to do in Rolla at night with your partner, consider a bond time at the Public House Brewing Company.

This spot features a warm and breezy ambiance where you can enjoy delicious dishes, an expressive beer selection, and private spaces that can accommodate about 35 people.

So, after a fun day of sightseeing, exploring, and other engaging activities, conclude your day with delicious food and a pint of revitalizing beer and at this brewpub. You can get tasty dishes like pizza made from farm-fresh ingredients, sandwiches, salads, and paninis.

Address: 600 N Rolla St., Rolla, MO 65401

18. Leach Theatre

Leach Theatre
Credits: antpkr / Shutterstock
Leach Theatre

Leach Theatre is located inside Castleman Hall on Missouri University of Science and Technology campus. Since its opening in 1991, the theatre has rendered world-class entertainment to the South Central Missouri area.

Leach Theatre plays host to an average of 100 events every academic year. Diverse musical performances have been performed here, including the St.Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Others are the American Idol winner Phillip Phillip’s, energetic movement and dance troupes like the Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats and the Russian National Ballet, and much more.

Depending on the schedule, Leach Theatre can also be rented by outside organizations. It is open from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, but it is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Address: 103 Castleman Hall, 400 W 10th Street Castleman Hall, Rolla, MO 65409-6521

19. Visit Rolla Public Library

Rolla Public Library
Credits: Billion Photos / Shutterstock

The Rolla Public Library improves the quality of life in the Rolla community by offering the resources and services for lifelong learning.

This is realized by the available space and opportunity created to connect with the community and encourage a love of reading.

Rolla Public Library has a catalog that boasts over 50,000 books, newspapers, magazines, CDs, music cassettes, books on tape or CD, videos, and DVDs!

They offer several online databases that reel out information on consumer products through legal forms, schoolwork and research, genealogy tools, magazine and newspaper articles, and more.

This library is loved by everyone who visits, especially lovers of knowledge. It is open every day of the week from 9 am to 8 pm but on Sundays are 1:30 pm to 5 pm

Address: 900 N Pine St, Rolla, MO 65401-3173

20. Ber Juan Park

Ber Juan Park
Credits: vinwim/ Flickr
Ber Juan Park

Located in the east-central part of Rolla, Ber Juan Park is the centerpiece of Rolla parks in Rolla. It is bordered on the east by Burgher Branch, on the west by Holloway and Farrar, on the north by 14th and 18th streets, and on the south by 10th Street (Highway BB).

Ber Juan Park occupies nearly 85 acres of open grassland, top-class line recreational facilities, and walking trails.

Key areas of interest with the park include Rolla’s Health and Recreation Complex, The Centre, the tennis courts, and SplashZone.

More include a playground and picnic area east of the SplashZone; the Ber Juan Sportsplex, a multi-field baseball, soccer, and softball complex. The Rolla High School baseball team uses Bayless Field, part of the Sportsplex, for their home games.

Additionally, is the walking and exercise trail encompassing most of the park with outdoor fitness equipment positioned along the trail and relevant exercise guides that offer you the platform to measure and improve your fitness level.

Address: 1200 Holloway St, Rolla, MO 65401-2453

21. Check Mule Trading Post

Mule Trading Post
Credits: Bill Eichelberger/ Flickr
Mule Trading Post

Another interesting thing to do in Rolla is check the Mike Trading Post. Opened in the Pacific in 1946 by Frank Ebling, the Mule Trading Post is

It was, however, bypassed by Interstate 44 in 1957, causing Ebling to construct this building as his new trading post on the four-lane Route 66. Since then, it has been passed through several owners.

It has been a favorite local attraction since the 1950s and offers its customers an exciting, comfortable, and downright brand new showroom with modern items.

Mule Trading Post is open from Thursday through Saturday, so do well to stop by while in town.

Address: 11160 Dillon Outer Rd, Rolla, MO 65401-7853

22. But items at Fall Creek Rock Shop

Fall Creek Rock Shop
Credits: Fall Creek Rock Shop/ Facebook
Fall Creek Rock Shop

Fall Creek Rock Shop is a family-owned business having Laurence (Larry) and Helen Nuelle as the principals and son Justin and daughter Sarah as co-owners.

Larry is a consulting geologist specializing in mineral exploration, while Helen retired from teaching special education and is now a consultant in that field.

Since grade school, Larry had been a rockhound and still maintains an active collection of mineral and fossil specimens.

Fall Creek Rock Shop is a specialty & gift shop with various kinds of rock items, from the very little price to the expensive. They also have super nice helpful staff ready to attend to you.

They are open every day of the week, so take advantage of the Fall Creek Rock Shop, as they are one of the top things to do in Rolla.

Address: 11010 Dillon Outer Rd Interstate 44, Exit 189, Route 66, Rolla, MO 65401-7854

23. Hands On Art Studio & Gallery

Hands On Art Studio & Gallery
Credits: silverkblackstock / Shutterstock

Hands On Art Studio & Gallery is an exceptional space that offers various art activities for all age categories from preschool-adult.

They are aimed at creating an inspired workspace and bringing new energy and liveliness for the arts into the community.

They also act as a gallery, studio, and workspace for Visherryl Morgan of Visherryl’s Virtual Visions, a local artist. She intends to work on her traditional pieces and bigger installations in this space.

They are open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a – 7:00 PM

Address: 908 N Pine St, Rolla, MO 65401-3142

Want more of the beauty of Missouri? check out our guides on things to do in St. Charlesthings to do in Joplin, and things to do in Hermann for a memorable time in Missouri.

Plan your Trip to Rolla

Rolla offers a good time for any tourist and even the locals. Just like we’ve seen, this town is full of amazing museums, beautiful galleries, thrilling water parks, historic sites, antique malls, and lovely theatres.

Why not start preparing to make Rolla your next place of vacation. You would have a great time with your family and friends, so do well to include them in your plans.

And if you need some guidance along the line, feel free to check back here.

Safe travels