Things to Do in Lawrence, Kansas

There are plenty of things to do in Lawrence, Kansas. It is the sixth-largest city in the state and has many places to visit. The best part is it is an amiable town with no shortage of fun activities.

Lawrence is a delightful town full of culture, shopping, and entertainment. It’s also home to the University of Kansas and the Jayhawks. This town has a vibrant, artsy bohemian vibe and is considered one of the coolest towns in America.

Best places to visit in Lawrence, Kansas

While this list is far from exhaustive, these are some of the best things to do in Lawrence, Kansas. Lawrence truly offers something for everyone with its central location, vibrant downtown area, and exciting museums and exhibits.

KU Natural History Museum

The University of Kansas Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center is one of the best natural history museums in the world. Visitors can expect to see live animals, insects, reptiles, and more. It is located on the main campus of the University of Kansas.

The Natural History Museum is a beautiful place for children to learn about the diversity of life on earth. KU students can visit the museum for free. A suggested donation is $7 for adults.

KU Natural History Museum
KU Natural History Museum

Visitors can also check out the Prairie Park Nature Center, which features an educational building and wildlife dioramas. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks manages this area. There are a variety of habitats to explore, including a five-acre lake, a prairie, and a natural reserve.

Clinton State Park

Clinton State Park is an outdoor mecca for hiking, mountain biking, boating, and fishing. Its 1,500 acres of land make it an ideal getaway. This park is located on the western edge of Lawrence, Kansas.

The park is home to numerous amenities, including an 18-hole disc golf course, Mowery Meadows. Also, there are several campgrounds. Some of the best sites at the campground offer scenic views of Pelican Island and Clinton Lake.

Places to go in Lawrence, Kansas

The park is also great for birdwatching along with its extensive trail system. Among the most common species in the park include turkey, dove, rabbit, white-tailed deer, and elk.

The park is also home to a small marina. If you are a boater, you can enjoy Clinton Reservoir, which is home to crappie, bluegill, and bass. There are several boat ramps and eight courtesy docks for fishermen. In addition, the lake has 16 launching areas for windsurfers.

Spencer Museum of Art

The Spencer Museum of Art, located on the University of Kansas campus, is a large and thriving cultural center. A great place to visit if you are in the Lawrence area, this institution is home to a collection of more than 40,000 works of art. It also has a comprehensive educational program that provides opportunities for visitors to engage with art from around the globe.

While the museum doesn’t offer a traditional exhibit of famous works, it does have an impressive collection of contemporary and historical art. This includes works by Andy Warhol, Dale Chihuly, Paul Gaughan, and Grant Wood. Additionally, the museum has a robust ethnographic collection, which includes more than 10,000 objects from various cultures across the globe.

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Spencer Museum of Art
Spencer Museum of Art

As a part of the university’s Arts Research Integration program, the Spencer Museum of Art has been doing innovative interdisciplinary work since the mid-70s. More noteworthy examples include the Arts Research Innovation, which launched a four-year Mellon Foundation grant in 2016.

Notably, the Spencer Museum of Art has many events and programs to occupy your time. These include free art-making activities, lectures, performances, films, and guided tours.

Watkins Community Museum-History

The Watkins Community Museum of History is an exciting venue for anyone interested in Douglas County’s history. It has a variety of exhibits and activities spanning the span of the early 19th century to the modern day. For a small fee, you can enjoy an array of interactive experiences that teach you about the people, places, and events that make the region unique.

Watkins Community Museum
Watkins Community Museum

The Watkins Community Museum of History boasts a three-story brick building that dates back to the 1880s. This is the same building that housed the famous Watkins National Bank and Land Mortgage Company. There was a time when these buildings were the envy of the town.

The museum aims to make the town a better place to live, work, and play by celebrating Douglas County’s rich and complex history. They do this by holding exhibits, workshops, and lectures.

Wilcox Classical Museum

The Wilcox Classical Museum in Lawrence, Kansas, is an institution that displays ancient Greek and Roman antiquities. It has two galleries. One houses plaster casts of Greek and Roman sculpture.

The other gallery is more expansive, and it doubles as a classroom. There are also student-created audio guides for parts of the collection.

Best tourist attractions in Lawrence, Kansas

The University of Kansas Department of Classics operates the Wilcox Classical Museum. The Wilcox Collection includes plaster casts of famous Greek sculptures. The Wilcox Classical Museum opened in 1888. At the time of its creation, it was the first of its kind in the area.

The collection was initially housed in Old Fraser Hall but was later moved to the Lippincott building. During the twentieth century, several significant benefactors donated objects to the museum. Sallie Casey Thayer, a Kansas City art collector, was among them. Her collection included paintings, sculptures, and textiles. She also offered a group of 7,500 art objects to the University of Kansas.

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