Lawrence is your quirky, cool friend who brings fun to the neighborhood. Let us help you discover the quirky side of Lawrence…
This spectacle is just what it sounds like, but so much more than you expect. Randy Walker has filled his Lawrence home with a vast collection of oddities that are sure to pique your interest. Elvis Presley hair or toe nail? Hunk of elephant dung turned into Adolf Hitler? A sock monkey-or four hundred? Walker’s got it! He’s fascinated by American kitsch and has been picking through garage sales and antique stores since his teenage years. You can revel in this bizarre assembly of artifacts by making an appointment with Walker. He will personally give you the full tour so you don’t miss anything-you wouldn’t want to mistake a piece of trash for the napkin Elvis once used.
Art Emergency is located in the continually growing cultural district of East Lawrence. The giant warehouse welcomes you with large outdoor installation pieces and a vintage van before you even step foot through the door. Inside, the giant warehouse is split into booths used as mini galleries for local artists’ work. Art Emergency is open every month during Final Fridays.
If you grew up watching Sid and Marty Krofft, have the Muppet Family Christmas tucked away under your TV, or just enjoy a nice puppet show for adults, then the Felt Show will be a real treat. They describe themselves as “harder edged but still tasteful”-something for the grownups that still yearn for those quirky puppet show days. The Show recently announced on their website that they have added six new troupe members and have a new theme song and new stage. They hope that this year will be the year that “everyone gets down with the Felt.” Seems like the perfect time to catch a show!
Lawrence has always been a place for artists to be inspired, stretch their creative prowess, and showcase their work for the community. The Percolator is one of many creative spaces that local artists use to share and grow. It is a house that acts as a gallery, meeting space, theatre, and whatever else the people cook up! You are sure to find a kitschy collection of unique art when you visit by appointment or during an event, which you can find on their website.
If you think Pet World is just another pet store, you can banish that thought right now. Pet World is a locally owned, full line pet store, rescue, and exotic animal shelter. It has been a family favorite in Lawrence since it was established in the 1970s, and is the only pet store to win “Best of Lawrence” every single year without fail. Even the state of Kansas agrees- it uses Pet World as a training site for new Animal Health inspectors! Pet World is enthusiastic about their animals but also about educating and serving the community through youth programs, internships, apprenticeships and employment. Experience what a pet store should be with Pet World-you might even leave with a new friend.
We may be landlocked in Kansas, but that doesn’t mean we can’t feel the island vibes! The Sandbar has been providing Lawrence with a tropical oasis since 1989, complete with Jimmy Buffet tunes and mermaids dancing on the bar. This spot has been voted the Best Bar in Lawrence-maybe because people love getting plastic sharks and beads with their tropical drinks? The Sandbar is also very proud of what they claim as “the best jukebox in Lawrence” and the indoor hurricane that sweeps through every night at 10 pm.
Ladybird Diner is more than just a cutesy restaurant that curbs your comfort food cravings-it is an integral part of the Lawrence community. What started as appreciation for the best pie in town turned into buzz about the place for donuts as the diner rebuilt after fire damage. The community’s love for Ladybird is exhaustive- the disappearance of one half of a salt shaker couple (the diverse collection of shakers is well-loved by customers) set off a series of news articles and search and rescue campaigns. Now, Ladybird is a strong voice for action and equality and acts as a meeting place after hours when need be. And I think it’s safe to say that Ladybird is the only joint in town that has a full-sized, stuffed buffalo head adorned with flowers watching over hungry patrons.
“Sit down and make a wish. You will not be disappointed.” Sitting down used to be an easy task back when the bench was unadorned by hanging ropes of knitted yarn, layers of mismatched cloth, and trinkets and tokens left behind by wishers past. You won’t be disappointed, though, by the wacky decoration and potential luck this Lawrence legend has to offer. You can find the wishing bench on the corner of 9th and Delaware.
I am a senior at KU writing both creatively and strategically. I pay attention to words, details, pancakes, style, and Jayhawk basketball.