If you are looking for amazing things to do in Lawrence KS, then you have come to the right place!
In this article, we will be listing down some of the activities and attractions in Lawrence that you simply cannot miss.
Home to the University of Kansas, Lawrence is a popular Midwestern town that is a great tourist attraction as well.
The city is home to several art galleries, restaurants, and shopping outlets, and even features a famous main street.
That’s not all though. Did you know that Lawrence is home to over 50 public parks? Yes, you read it right.
Since the city features so many parks, it is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts as well.
From museums to live music venues, there is no shortage of entertainment options in this small town in Kansas. As a result, it is the perfect place for a vacation for both families and friends.
Are you curious about what to do in Kansas? Then, check out our list of the 15 things to do in Lawrence KS you shouldn’t miss.
15 Things to Do in Lawrence KS You Shouldn’t Miss
Grinter’s Sunflower Farm
One of the most fun things to do near Lawrence Kansas is visiting Grinter’s Sunflower Farms which is a 12-minute drive from the city center.
The farm is open during the summer and the fall months and is one of the best places to admire sunflowers in the area.
Visitors can walk among these big, yellow beauties and click photographs to their hearts’ content.
Since the sunflower field is huge, you will have space to enjoy with your family.
This place is particularly magical during the fall months, making it one of the best places to experience fall in Kansas.
So, if you are looking for fun things to do with kids in Lawrence in the summer/fall season, then plan a trip to the Grinter’s Sunflower Farms in Lawrence!
Clinton State Park
Clinton State Park, a 1,500-acre park on the northern bank of Clinton Lake is one of the best parks in Lawrence KS for outdoor enthusiasts.
From wildlife observers to photographers, to bird-watchers, the park has something to interest different kinds of tourists from all over the world.
That’s not all, there are over 400 campsites that offer basic amenities like electricity and water, making this park one of the best camping spots in Kansas.
Moreover, you will find over 50 miles of hiking and biking trails that connect to the nearby 9,200-acre wildlife park.
If you love spending time in nature and want to catch a glimpse of the wildlife, then the best thing to do in Lawrence KS is to visit Clinton State Park.
Prairie Park Nature Center
Another great attraction to visit in the city of Lawrence Kansas is Prairie Park Nature Center which is managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks.
This attraction in Lawrence is located on Harper Street and features different habitats including wetlands, native prairie, woodlands, and a 5-acre lake.
Here, you can spot some native Kansas wildlife including beavers, bobcats, deer, and more.
Visitors can use the walking trail around Mary’s Lake to explore the different corners of this natural reserve.
Birdwatchers will also love exploring this center as they are likely to spot bird species such as eagles, hawks, owls, and so on.
There is also an educational building in this center that features dioramas, archaeology exhibits, nature displays, etc. to educate visitors about the wildlife and how the animals are protected.
Prairie Park Nature Center is a top place to visit in Lawrence for nature and animal lovers.
The University of Kansas Natural History Museum
Located on the campus of the University of Kansas, the National History Museum is one of the top attractions in Lawrence KS.
The Biodiversity Institute of KU features a small part that focuses on the study of the biodiversity of the earth.
The history museum features several galleries and also has a building that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Designed using Roman architectural style, the history museum has over 350 exhibitions that feature over 10 million species and artifacts.
Visitors can learn about the history of plant life, see amazing fossils like Tylosaurus, and so much more.
The University of Kansas
Of course, no trip to Lawrence is complete without a tour of the famous University of Kansas.
Located on Jayhawk Boulevard, this university was established in 1865 and is the largest university in the state, making it one of the top things to see in Kansas.
Visitors can take a professional tour of this attraction in Lawrence which features many schools such as the school of law, architecture, business, and more.
There are many other amazing attractions to check out on the campus such as the Lied Center of Kansas for watching theatrical performances.
In addition, Booth Family Hall of Athletics, the World War II Memorial, and more.
Visiting the University of Kansas would be such a fun Midwest road trip.
Booth Family Hall of Athletics
Are you looking for top things to do in Kansas? If yes, then make sure to visit the Booth Family Hall of Athletics.
This is one of the top attractions in Lawrence for sporting fans as this modern museum pays tribute to KU’s athletics program popularly known as the Jayhawks.
This program has delivered several successful coaches and athletes for many years.
Visitors can explore this free attraction to learn about the traditions and the crucial moments of the university’s sporting program.
Plus, you will find here many artifacts such as game balls, championship rings, etc.
If you want to learn more about the Jayhawks and the amazing players and coaches trained from here, then you should definitely visit Booth Family Hall of Athletics.
Located in downtown Lawrence, Massachusetts Street is a popular attraction in Lawrence Kansas.
Also known as Mass Street, this historical part of Lawrence is well-preserved and features over 100 shops, cafes, pubs, galleries, and so on.
Here, you will find many buildings constructed between the 1850s and 1950s that feature Victorian and Neoclassical designs.
A few of the top attractions to visit on this street are Watkins Museum of History, Lawrence Arts Center, and The Granada. There are a few buildings that are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
So, if you like the hustle and bustle of the city and wish to explore historical buildings, then one of the best things to see in Kansas is Massachusetts Street.
If you are still not sure about what to do in Kansas, then we recommend you visit Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence.
A perfect place for sports lovers, Allen Fieldhouse is considered to be one of the best collegiate arenas in the country with a capacity of 16,500.
The Jayhawks have been competing here in NCAA tournaments for years now and have even won the Big 12 Conference title several times in 20 years.
This is why one of the best things to do in Kansas for sports fans is to catch a game here or simply take a short tour and relive the memorable Jayhawks traditions in this arena.
Perry State Park
Are you in search of free things to do near Lawrence? If yes, then one of the best activities in Lawrence has to be hiking in Perry State Park.
This state park in the Midwest is located a 25-minute drive from Lawrence and makes for a perfect picnic spot for families and friends.
The park features a campground where visitors can enjoy camping with electricity and a water supply.
There are lots of outdoor activities to enjoy in this state park including boating, mountain biking, and hiking.
That’s not all, this state park also features an abundance of wildlife making it a top spot for bird and animal watching.
For outdoor activities and camping trips, Perry State Park is one of the best places to visit near Lawrence KS.
Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics
Dedicated to the 1996 Republic presidential nominee, Bob Dole, who was a Kansas native, the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics is located at KU.
This place not only sees many important political events in Lawrence but is also home to crucial documents from its founders.
Over the years, many influential people have given talks here including Bill Clinton and Tom Brokaw.
Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of this political institute to learn about Bob Dole’s life during the Great Depression, his contribution to WWII, and his 11-year role as Republican Leader of the State.
Naismith Valley Park
One of the first greenbelt parks in Lawrence KS, Naismith Valley Park is a 25-acre park that is home to different types of flowers and prairies.
This place is a must-visit park for birdwatchers as you can observe many varieties of birds here including red-winged blackbirds, purple martins, killdeer, tree swallow, and more.
Stretching from 24th to 29th street, this public park also features natural and hiking areas for visitors to explore.
The 3.4-km trail in this park is quite popular and takes only 38 minutes to cover. It is open throughout the year and is the perfect trail for biking, running, and walking.
It has some of the most scenic trails for hiking in the Midwest.
So, if you are looking for an outdoor activity in Lawrence to enjoy with your family or friends, then a walk inside the Naismith Valley Park is a perfect choice.
Another great free thing to do in Lawrence KS is exploring the Kansas River, one of the longest prairie rivers in the world.
The river passes through many Kansas cities including Lawrence and offers many recreational activities such as kayaking, fishing, canoeing, rowing, and more.
You can rent a canoe to go on a self-guided trip on this river with your family and friends.
There are several river trails and parks located on the banks of the Kansas River where visitors can enjoy their time.
The Riverfront Park and Burcham Park are a few places where guests can walk beside the river and watch birds as well.
If you are searching for free things to do in Lawrence Kansas, then exploring the banks of the Kansas River or canoeing in the river is definitely a good idea.
Washington Creek Lavender
If you love flowers, then one of the most fun things to do in Lawrence Kansas is visiting the Washington Creek Lavender.
This lavender farm is located on a hill and owned by a couple. It is open to visitors every summer and fall season.
With over 6,000 varieties of lavenders, this is one of the best places for enjoying summer in Lawrence.
The main highlight of this farm is that all the plants and flowers grown in this park are grown using traditional methods.
Visitors can take a walk among these plants and get their photos clicked as well.
You can also buy lavender flowers and souvenirs from here to take home with you.
If you are looking for fun things to do with kids in Lawrence KS, then a visit to Washington Creek Lavender is a must.
Another amazing place to visit in downtown Lawrence on Mass Street is the 715 Restaurant which is popular for its Tuscan cuisine.
This is one of the top restaurants in Lawrence KS that is located in a historic building with stone walls, low lighting, and reclaimed wood.
The restaurant features an open kitchen where visitors can watch how the delicious food is being prepared.
They use local produce and meats and have an extensive menu for guests to choose from. Their in-house pasta dishes are particularly delicious.
If you visit this restaurant, don’t forget to try their fine selection of wines as well.
For good food and ambiance, 715 Restaurant is one of the best places to visit in Lawrence.
Lawrence Rotary Arboretum
Located close to Clinton Lake is another great place to visit in the city of Lawrence Kansas is the Lawrence Rotary Arboretum
This park was built in 2005 and has an amazing tree collection along with several botanical gardens.
At this arboretum, you will find around 30 types of tree species including bald cypress, a swamp white oak, a Pacific sunset maple, and so on.
The best thing to do in Lawrence is to visit this arboretum and track down the tree species with the help of the interactive map on the city website.
There is also a WaterWise demonstration garden available here where visitors can learn about drought-resistant plants and native pollinators.
Packing List When Searching For Things To Do In Lawrence KS
If you are searching, here are some tips on how to pack lightly when packing when heading to attractions in Lawrence Kansas.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when visiting the SD Black Hills. It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind. You can place it under your clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and is so easy to use.
It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking Insta-worthy selfies at all the cool places in Lawrence that you explore.
I never much believed in using packing cubes when traveling. That is until I tried them. Now I am hooked. These are the exact cubes I use to stay organized when I pack for a trip!
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for your adventures and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car. Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. . No matter the time of day or evening.
This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great. And it comes in many different colors!
Here we have listed 15 cool things to do in Lawrence Kansas.
Because of all the options found here, it is one of the best places to visit in the Midwest!