So you’re looking for one last summer hurrah, eh? Nothing too crazy or too far away, something easy-going and flexible. You want to bring the whole family, so you need some well-rounded entertainment. It’s going to be hot, so an indoor activity or two would be much appreciated. You want to eat some good food and enjoy some unique culture. I’ve got the solution: you come to Lawrence and you make it a Final Weekend.
Every month, the arts culture seeps out into the streets and infuses downtown Lawrence with a bit more energy than usual. Galleries hang special shows, restaurants offer cocktail deals, and boutiques open their doors. There are cheese plates and wine and hot dog vendors and lots and lots of unique, local art. Massachusetts Street and East Lawrence both have much to offer, each with a little bit of their own vibe. Mass St. truly comes alive on a Final Friday’s night and is just bursting with activity. East Lawrence is calmer and slower, but just as much fun. I love suggesting that people see both to get the full Final Friday’s experience.
This month, pack up the kids (and the dog if you have to), and come stay the weekend. I have gathered a weekend of indoor ideas that will keep you cool while being educational, interesting and of course, fun.
I’m going to start you off with one very special, not-to-be-missed event. Artist Erin Johnson is bringing us back to the film The Day After in a Final Fridays Reception from 5-9 at the Lawrence Arts Center. If you haven’t heard of it, the movie is about the lives of the people after a fictional nuclear explosion. It was filmed in Lawrence and 5,000 locals played extras. According to the Arts Center’s website, Johnson “asked extras from The Day After to continue their 1983 performance, now 34 years later, by recollecting their original scenes from during and after the fictional nuclear explosion.” The website also mentions a decontextualized black box theatre. Whatever form the event takes, I can assure you it will be interesting! If you have younger kids, this may not be the show for you. But fear not, because the Arts Center has range, people. Summer Youth Theatre will be performing Pippin at the Lawrence Arts Center this weekend only. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7.50 for kids, and there are three 7:00pm shows and two matinees. Getting out of the heat in the afternoon can be a great way to keep everyone’s spirits and energies high, and why not experience some more art and culture while doing it?
If you are looking for a more mature theatre show this weekend, the Kansas Repertory Theatre will be putting on La Cage aux Folles at the Crafton-Preyer Theatre on campus. The Kansas Repertory Theatre’s mission is to give Lawrence the opportunity to see professional theatre performances every summer. This play inspired the film “The Birdcage.” There will be one show at 7:30pm and one matinee. When the performance lets out, you can walk right across the street to see the original rules of basketball. The DeBruce Center is just steps away from the university theatre and offers the chance to not only see and experience the original rules of basketball, but to learn about the history of the rules and KU basketball as well. Something for everybody today, right?
Watkins Museum of History has two interesting exhibits this weekend as well. Simply Equal: The Fight for LGBT Equality in Lawrence and Rolling Revolution: How Bicycles Changed Lawrence. I’ve heard you can see whether or not you could out-cycle a T-Rex at the Rolling Revolution exhibit, so…that’s pretty cool. I would check that out if I were you.
Did you know Lawrence has an outdoor pool and an Indoor Aquatic Center? You could start at the outdoor pool to catch the morning rays and then head to the indoor facility to beat the afternoon sun. There are lap pools, water slides and lots of opportunity for fun.
Enjoy this weekend as a final summer getaway before we turn the corner into August and the school season approaches. There is always great food, interesting art exhibits and lots of quirky fun to be had both indoors and out here in Lawrence.
Places to Stay
Kate is a recent KU graduate and perpetual lover of words, details, and Jayhawk basketball. She is using her English degree to write both creatively and strategically. You can find more of her work on her blog, A Story By Me.