Things To Do

We like to keep it casual, but we don’t mind if you dress up. Come and play.

Lawrence is a lively town with lots to do – ranging from two universities to an intriguing pre-Civil War history to arts, crafts, music, shopping and dining, sports, and outdoor activities. Want to narrow it down to things that suit you best? Check out our experiences, where you will find your niche.

We are very proud of our locally-owned businesses, restaurants, artists, musicians, farmers, and entrepreneurs.

Local opinions are as diverse as the wide variety of options available, so be ready for a full range of suggestions, but there is no limit to the choices.

First of all, Lawrencians love a parade and will come out in droves for St. Patrick’s Day, Earth Day, PRIDE, Art Tougeau (pronounced “art to go,” get it?) a hometown wheeled-art parade, and, best of all, the all-equestrian, horses only, no motorized vehicles Old Fashioned Christmas Parade, held the first weekend of December annually. We also love fun runs and weekend races. We’re big supporters of our local Lawrence Humane Society, and we love the end-of-summer Pooch Plunge when the aquatic center goes to the dogs as a fundraiser.

Other events we love include Art in the Park, an annual festival featuring over 150 artists and musicians, set up in South Park. 

The Lawrence Busker Festival welcomes street performers from all around the world doing amazing things like sword-swallowing, fire juggling, acrobatics, and much more throughout Downtown Lawrence. 

If you appreciate a thoughtfully curated film festival, then you will love the Free State Festival. Brought to us by the Lawrence Arts Center, this annual festival consistently brings us thought-provoking film, art, discussions, and music.

Regarding food, we have an embarrassment of riches in our choices.

Music? Entertainment? The Granada brings live music to town every week with bands who are known across the country and some who are still making a name for themselves. The Live on Mass series of free outdoor concerts featuring big acts is a local fav. The Jazzhaus has long been a favorite spot for music and dancing, along with the Bottleneck and the Replay Lounge.

The historic old theatre that now houses Liberty Hall is a great place to view independent films or take in a madcap performance of Kansas Public Radio’s entertaining “Right Between the Ears.”

Rather settle for a good book? Local bookstores are treasured here, with The Raven, home to good reads and two cats adopted from the local shelter. The Dusty Bookshelf is piled high with used books and literary finds, while the Signs of Life bookstore has a strong selection of religious texts and a nice little coffee shop, too.

On the weekends during the growing season, you’ll find us at the Lawrence Farmers’ Market, enjoying the local vegetables, fruit, honey, meat, flowers, crafts, and music. The market runs from April to November, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 824 New Hampshire, and a Tuesday Market from May to October, 4 to 6 p.m at South Park. 

And during college basketball season, most of us are obsessed with the KU Jayhawks. Our advice to those who move here who haven’t yet caught the college hoops bug is, ”Embrace it. It’s kind of like the whole town hobby.”

Most of all, Lawrence folks are friendly, and we like to share. Just ask, and we’ll tell you our favorite places to eat, drink, play, see and enjoy.

Check out our locals’ list of favorites and also the list of what our fans enjoy when they are here.