20 Best Things to Do in Lawrence, KS

20 Best Things to Do in Lawrence, KS

While Lawrence has been known as an educational town, due to the obvious reason that it has the Kansas University, it also has a lot of other things to offer. Lawrence is a town that is artistic and vintage in itself.

The town has so many art galleries, shops, artistic streets, and shopping venues that you would definitely want to take all of it with yourself. With more than 50 parks open for public and famous museums, Lawrence is a city of anyone’s dream. This list comprises of the best things that you should do in Lawrence, Kansas.

Massachusetts Street

Massachusetts Street in Lawrence, Kansas
Bhall87 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Massachusetts Street is a very centrally located tourist attraction in the downtown area of the city. Also known as the mass street, it is quite famous as one of the historically important parts of the city.

The street was named after the Massachusetts emigrant aid company which had started the foundation of the town by bringing in the settlers. The street has an antique architecture which belongs to the Victorian and neoclassical era of architecture.

The entire street was designed it between 1856 to 1953. Specific parts of the street are also listed as the historical place in the U.S national register. While you are in the Massachusetts Street, be ready to spot a lot of beautiful shops, delicious food, and are unique brewery.

University of Kansas Natural History Museum

University of Kansas Natural History Museum
InaMaka, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The natural history museum is located on the campus of the University of Kansas. The museum is a part of the biodiversity institute of the university.

This museum is dedicated entirely towards the study of biodiversity on earth. The museum has several galleries and a building which has a place on the national register of historic places. The museum is inspired from an event which was held in 1893 in Chicago.

As a result, the museum was completed in the year 1903. It is designed using the Roman style of architecture and has more than 350 exhibitions. The museum also houses more than 10 million species and millions of artefacts.

This is definitely a very informative place in the city and you cannot miss visiting this wonderful set up.

Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics

Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics
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How many cities in the world have an entire institute which is dedicated to politics? The Answer would be very few and Lawrence is one of those few cities.

This institute of politics was established in the year 2003 by a very famous senator from the US, Bob Dole, who was also a republican presidential candidate in 1996. Robert J. Dole Institute of politics is located on the campus of Kansas University.

The institute covers a total area of 28,000 square foot. The institute is not only the major venue of political events but also houses important papers from its founders. The institute has had some really famous and influential speakers. Some of these are Bill Clinton, Bob Woodward, Tom Brokaw, etc.

The institute also has a vast collection of pictures from political history and its evolution. The institute offers various programmes as well as guided tours. It is also open for private events and can be rented accordingly.

Watkins Historical Museum

Watkins Historical Museum
Bhall87 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Watkins historical museum was opened in 1933 on the historic Watkins land and national bank building. The museum was built with the sole objective of protecting and preserving the history of Douglas County.

The museum has beautiful displays of artefacts belonging to the major movements that took place in the Douglas county. Like all other museums, this museum also has temporary as well as permanent exhibitions.

While the permanent exhibition depicts important events such as the Vietnam war, the civil war, the civil rights movement, etc., the temporary exhibitions majorly deals with how the city was settled and how it grew as a community.

The museum is quite beautiful and definitely a place for people who want to learn about the history of the city and its surrounding areas.

Lied Centre of Kansas

Lied Centre of Kansas
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Another beautiful and famous tourist attraction on the campus of University of Kansas is the Lied centre of Kansas. It is a performing arts facility which was established in 1993. The Centre is a perfect place for experiencing some good quality theatrical performances.

This is also a very popular spot for romantic getaways for couples. The Centre has two separate spaces. The main auditorium has a capacity of taking in 2000 people at a time and is the major venue for events such as drama performances, art performances, musical nights, concerts, and many more.

The Pavilion in the centre has seeds for almost 200 people. The Centre also organises various educational programmes which promote the participation of school children in performing arts.

The Centre also has students from various schools around the city as the guides who would take you on a cultural tour of the Centre and also give some insights about schools in the local areas.

Prairie Park Nature Centre

Prairie Park nature Centre was opened in 1999 on the Harper Street in the city of Lawrence. It is a nature reserve centre which is spread over several different habitats around the city.

Within the centre, there is a lake which is known as Mary’s lake. The lake is very ideal for fishing and provides ample opportunity for all the fishing lovers during the spring and summer months. The Centre is managed by Kansas Department of wildlife and park.

The Centre also has walking trails so as to enable the visitors to take walks along the beautiful ecology of the Centre. These walks also allow the visitors to spot the indigenous bird species. The Centre also has a variety of wildlife such as deer, birds, beavers, Bobcat, and many more.

The Centre also has an educational building which houses natural dioramas and animals so that visitor can get an idea about wildlife and its preservation.

Washington Creek Lavender

Washington Creek lavender is located right outside Lawrence. It looks like a hill which is covered with beautiful flowers. However, it is actually a lavender farm which is managed and owned by a couple. The farm has more than 6000 lavender plants, some of them from different varieties.

The Plants are quite fragrant and soaks everything in their very pleasant smell. The main highlight of this farm is that all the flowers and plants grown on this park are organic using traditional methods and hand operated tools.

The farm is also one of the agri-tour site as per Kansas official authorities. The farm is open for visitors and they are allowed to take walks along the rows of lavender plants. The entire visit is quite calm, peaceful and tranquil.

This is a perfect place for everyone who is visiting Lawrence and has a very busy life. The farm also has a store where you can buy souvenirs and lavender related products.

Booth Family Hall

Booth Family Hall
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Booth family hall was established in 2006. It is a museum which honours athletic programs and athletes of the Kansas University. The museum honours not only the present coaches and students but also the past members of the athletic community.

The hall of athletics is Spread over an area of 19,335 square foot. However, the hall was not so big when it was established and it was significantly expanded in 2009. This hall is open every time of the year. As a result the hall is a very good place for people who want to get into the athletic history of the city.

The gallery of the hall showcases the history of athletics in Kansas from 1879. The hall also exhibits the great honours that the city has won, Olympian and Chamberlain trophies being one of them. No other gallery in the hall exhibits all the present teams in the city.

The other gallery, Kansas experience wall Gallery depicts the traditions that are being followed from time immemorial in the sport and athletic culture of the city.

Spencer museum of Art

Spencer museum of Art
Alan Islas, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spencer Museum of Art was originally opened in 1928 with a basic collection of 7500 objects which were donated by the University of Kansas and art collectors of the city.

These objects are mainly artistic objects which were donated with an objective to promote and appreciate the fine arts in the city. The museum underwent a big renovation in 2016. Apart from the artistic collection, there are other collections which include paintings, sculptures, furniture, textiles, and many decorative pieces.

The biggest collection of the museum was added in 2007 in form of 9500 ethnographic objects. These objects were transferred by the museum of anthropology.

In addition to the exhibitions, the museum also arranges various educational programs such as lectures, expert talks, film showcasing, performances and other indulge in activities.

The Roost

The roost is one of the most famous and biggest eateries in the city. Located on the Massachusetts Street, the eatery is known for its simple yet delicious food.

The eatery serves breakfast, lunch, coffee, and also has its own bakery. The roost also has its own bar which is quite popular among the masses as they have a different and unique collection of imaginative cocktails and mock tails.

The food at the eatery is quite inexpensive and fresh. The bakery serves freshly made cakes, brownies, cookies and delicious pies. The roost is definitely a worth visiting place in the city.

University of Kansas

University of Kansas
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If you do not visit the campus of University of Kansas, it would not be doing justice to your trip to the city. Established in 1865, the University of Kansas is located on Jayhawk boulevard.

This university is the largest university in the entire state and have branches all around the state. The university is quite famous for its Medical facilities and University hospital as well.

The university houses various schools such as the school of architecture, law, journalism, business, medicine, and engineering. If you are visiting the campus, consider taking a professional tour which are quite easily available.

Free State Brewing company

Free state brewing company is known to be the first legal brewery in Kansas. The brewing company was established in 1989 and currently has a 14-barrel production capacity.

The brewery uses some of the best equipment for the purpose and prepared some of the best beers using authentic methods. The most attractive thing about this brewery is that it allows you to test the brews on your own and then decide how it actually is against the traditional way of following the rules during the testing events.

The brewery also has a brew pub where you can comfortably sit and enjoy beers from their large collection. Along with the drinks, the place also serves delicious complementary items such as chips and fish dishes.


715 is a very famous Tuscan restaurant which has an open kitchen and serves extremely delicious food. The menu of this restaurant is quite extensive and they have a lot of famous items. The restaurant also has a great wine menu with affordable options to choose from

Au Marché

For those of you who are not familiar about it, Lawrence is also a very famous city for shopping aesthetic and artistic pieces. Au Marché is a European market in the city.

The market has lot of shops which offers German, Dutch, French, and Scandinavian items. In addition to the shopping items, the market also has a number of eateries which serve European food. While in the market you can buy items like Eatables, decorative pieces, personal care pieces, specially made ketchups and Mayonnaise, chocolates, jams, jellies, clothing items and many more.

The market has a very charming atmosphere and you would definitely find something for yourself. The staff in the market is also very friendly and helps you in a very conscious and good selection. To summarise it up, there is nothing that you would not find in this market.

Grinter Farm

Grinter Farm
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Grinter farm is located a few miles away from the town, but is definitely worth the drive. The farm opens seasonally during the summer and fall months. It is a popular location for the reason that it has big and spacious fields which are filled with sunflowers.

Everyone is allowed to click pictures and take walks among these beautiful yellow flowers. The entire field is covered with yellow and green colours which would definitely give you a very summery and fresh vibe. Do not forget to see a sunflower facing towards the direction of the sun and wondering how beautiful the nature is.

Lawrence in Kansas is an extremely beautiful city which not only appeals to the minds of the young learners but other age groups as well. With it culturally rich vibe and warm hearted people, the city is just as beautiful as its sunflower fields.

Have a Fun Family Day at Clinton State Park

Clinton State Park may be found around 6.4 kilometers west of Lawrence in the direction of the city's west.

The 1,500-acre park on the north bank of Clinton Lake is well-known for the variety of outdoor activities available.

The park is popular with various visitors, including wildlife observers, birdwatchers, photographers, and cross-country skiers.

The nearby 9,200-acre wildlife park has a bike and hiking track that links to it.

You'll find bald eagles, white-tailed deer, ducks, songbirds, and even wild turkeys in the park.

The lake's beautiful water and fishes make it a popular destination for anglers.

Discover the Region's Past at Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum

The Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum displays tell the narrative of how Clinton Lake came to be.

It also exhibits the influence the lake had on the local population.

However, a dam on the Wakarusa River, which would create Clinton Lake, would entail the relocation of generations of people who had lived and worked on the land for decades.

A group called the Clinton Lake Landowners Association was created to try to keep some of the area's historic homes from being torn down.

Clinton Lake's impact on the lives of the family who lived there eventually led to the development of a whole new museum.

The Phoenix Gallery was established over two decades ago.

It caters to local and visiting artists to exhibit their work in its modest gallery.

The Ranjar Building in the historic downtown district has served as the gallery's new home for the last several years.

It's the perfect setting for the gallery, featuring a wide variety of artwork, including woodwork, ceramics, sculpture, and textiles.

Participate in Phoenix Gallery activities like the Final Friday Art Walk or in philanthropic events and exhibits presented by curators.

Play Bowling with Your Pals at Royal Crest Lanes

Traveling to Lawrence with your friends?

Check out Royal Crest Lanes, a neighborhood bowling alley.

Royal Crest Lanes has something for everyone, with 40 bowling lanes and an arcade full of today's top arcade games.

It regularly provides a variety of leisure and competitive bowling activities.

Additionally, visitors looking to see their favorite sports events may walk over to Wayne and Larry's Sports Bar and Grill, known for its wide array of high-definition TVs and six 95-inch projection screens.

Solve Mysteries at Breakout Lawrence

Escape room Breakout Lawrence is located in the center of the city's downtown district and is open seven days a week.

It's the ideal location for visitors who want to unite and make lasting memories and colleagues who wish to better their collaboration and mutual understanding.

Breakout Lawrence's room is perfect for parties of two to eight players, with five themed rooms to select from.

Defeat the Queen of Hearts before she finds you in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, or get out of an enemy bunker before the enemy returns in Civil War.

At midnight, the Y2K virus threatens to shut down all computers worldwide.

At the same time, Paranormal Pandemonium is a mobile escape room that can be leased by groups of 5 and is ideal for parties.

Final Thoughts

Lawrence is a great place to shop and dine, with a historic downtown and some of the top restaurants in the Midwest.

When it comes to Lawrence, it's hard to think of a better place to spend a weekend than the city's historic district.