The Special Events Division operates out of Holcom Park Recreation Center, 2700 W. 27th St. For questions regarding special events, contact Duane Peterson, Special Events supervisor, at (785) 832-7940.

Events
Arts & Crafts Fairs
Fun Run Walks
Summer Concerts
Camps
Fun Days of Summer/End of Summer Flings

Events

BOOKWORMS AND WATERBUGS
How do these two critters create summertime fun? They like to dive into books and the pool! When we partner with the Lawrence Public Library, families can enjoy listening to a wet-and-wild tale on the lawn at Watson Park, and then head over to our Outdoor Aquatic Center for an hour of free swimming. Guardians are required to attend. 10:30 a.m.-noon Fridays, June 15 and July 20. Recommended ages: 3-8 years-old (plus parents).

BEACH BASH SUMMER KICK-OFF PARTY
Break out the Hawaiian shirts and flip flops and splash into summer with us as we celebrate the official first day of the sunny season! Welcome in the warm weather as we offer live entertainment, a free craft station, contests and giveaways galore! Prizes will be awarded for the most creative costumes. The event is open to the public and requires daily admission for participants.5-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, at the Outdoor Aquatic Center.

SUMMER FREEZE OUT
Ages: All ages. We are bringing winter back to Lawrence for our summer freeze out event at the outdoor swimming pool. When the heat is too much to bear bring your family to the pool and enjoy frozen treats, games, crafts and of course swimming! Daily admission applies. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative costumes. The event is open to the public and requires daily admission for participants.Summer Freeze Out will be held from 5-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, at the Lawrence Outdoor Aquatic Center.

FAMILY FUN NIGHT
Saturday, September 15 Ages: All ages. This is a fun opportunity to relax with friends and family, and participate in fun family activities. We will have food, music, yard games, life-sized and interactive games! Games are provided, but you are also welcome to bring your own. Registered participants will receive a bag with fun items and chances to win prizes throughout the evening.
Find out when it’s available and enroll online this summer

NATIONAL GYMNASTICS DAY
Saturday, Sept. 15, from 2-4 p.m. at Sports Pavilion Lawrence, 100 Rock Chalk Lane. Mark your calendars now! Join LPRD gymnastics staff for games, a moonwalk, open gymnastics, demonstrations, touch-a-truck and lots of fun! This is a free even open to all youth up to 14 years-old.

KIDS FISHING DERBY
Free to the public and open to children ages 5 to 13. Anglers 13 and younger are invited to test their fishing expertise at Mary’s Lake (31st & Haskell Sts.) on Saturday, June 9, 8:30 a.m.-noon. A pre-derby meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. All anglers are asked to provide their own fishing poles and bait. Door prizes will be given throughout the morning. Supervision provided, however parents are asked to help out. Co-sponsored by Wal-Mart, Crown Casting Club and Outside for a Better Inside.
Kids Fishing Derby

9-11 a.m. Saturday, May 12 – Kids Fishing Derby
Bismarck Lake, 1616 N. 1700 Road

9-11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22 – Kids Fishing Derby
Sandra J. Shaw Community Health Park, Second and Indiana Streets

KIDS, LET’S BUILD A MUD FORT
Ages: 7-12. Enrollment Min 6 / Max 15 Couples. Take a trip back in time to pre-Civil War Lawrence. Meet at the Lawrence Visitors Center to learn about the mud forts resident built to defend their town from the Border Ruffians, and build your own model mud fort. Then we’ll travel to Constant Park to construct at 1/10th scale mud fort not far from their original location.One adult registration required for each child. Bring a sack lunch.
Find out when it’s available and enroll online this summer

KIDS DAY OFF
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, Nov. 8-9
Ages: 5-12.Min 10 / Max 50. Join LPRD for fun-filled days while school is out for in-service workdays. Your children will participate in arts and crafts, field trips and games. Participants will need to bring a sack lunch. Registration deadline: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2.
Medical Form (back of registration form) for camp enrollments – NEEDED PRIOR TO ATTENDING FIRST DAY
REGISTER ONLINE
Kids Day Off

KID’S NIGHT OUT – AQUATICS
Ages: 5-12. They swim, you relax. Kids can jump right in and join us throughout the year for a ton of fun centered on a variety of themes. These kids-only nights always feature pizza, games, crafts and of course… swimming. Your kids will enjoy interactive activities in a safe and supervised environment at the pool while you take some time for yourself. Everyone should bring a towel and arrive with their swimsuits on. Pre-registration is required by the Tuesday before the event date, which is Friday, Feb. 23.
Find out when it’s available and enroll online this summer
Find out when it’s available and enroll online this fall

LPRD YOUTH ALL-STAR TRIATHLON
Ages: 6-16. Kids are always on the move so why not make it official and join in on one of the fastest growing and challenging sports for kids! Our youth triathlon is about spotlighting the kids and letting them be the all-stars for the day and helping them discover their inner triathlete. Athletes aged 6-16 will compete in the age appropriate courses and awards will be presented to the top three male and female finishers in each age group.
Find out when it’s available and enroll online this summer

SKYHOUNDZ FRISBEE DISC CHAMPIONSHIP AND PAW VALLEY FESTIVAL
Free and open to the public. Grab your pooch and kick off the morning with the Paw Valley 5K. Following will be the Skyhoundz Frisbee Disc Throwing Contest held in South Park on Saturday, May 19, at 11 a.m. This event will be held in conjunction with the Humane Society’s Paw Valley Festival. Registration can be done online or the day of. Check in and registration open at 10 a.m. The Fourth Annual Paw Valley Festival will take place after the 5k from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and will feature food, drinks, contests, local vendors, music and activities for two and four-legged friends of all ages. Additional information is available at Holcom Park Recreation Center, 2700 W. 27th Street, (785) 832-7940. 5K and vendor information is available at the Humane Society, (785) 843-6835.
Skyhoundz Frisbee Disc Championship

QUANTRILL’S RAID GRAVEYARD WALK
Ages: 8 and Up. Enrollment Min 10 / Max 24. Join Brittany Keegan, Watkins Museum of History curator, to learn about some of the founding of our historic Oak Hill Cemetery, hear stories of early Lawrence, including Quantrill’s Raid. You’ll also meet some of the notable people buried within the hallowed grounds.
Find out when it’s available and enroll online this summer

POOCH PLUNGE
Tuesday, Sept. 4 The dog days of summer are coming to a close, so we have the Outdoor Aquatic Center open one last day just for the dogs! This community tradition continues as we close the pool to humans and neutralize the chemicals to make the water safe for the canines. Your pup may want to dive in or simply splash around in the wading pool. Regardless, this event is fun for participants and spectators alike, so register today. On-site registration will also be available at the gate. Toys and treats will be provided for our furry friends. Vendors will be present. All dogs must have documentation of current vaccinations and must be under their owner’s control at all times. Interested vendors can contact Martha Terhaar, aquatic programmer, for more details at (785) 832-SWIM or mterhaar@lawrenceks.org.
Find out when it’s available and enroll online this summer

POOL OF PUMPKINS
All ages welcome. Jump right in to our floating pumpkin patch and swim in search of your favorite pumpkin! Once you pick your pumpkin, you can take it to our decorating stations and turn your pumpkin into a work of art. In addition, we will have apple cider, snacks, fall crafts, a fall photo booth, and inflatable obstacle course (contingent on weather). Come join in the fall festivities and participate in our first annual Pool of Pumpkins event. We will NOT provide any carving stations. All carving must be done in the comfort of your own home. Sunday, Oct. 14. Fee: $10 – access to all activities. $5 – Day of event; everything BUT pumpkin patch.
Find out when it’s available and enroll online this fall

46TH ANNUAL HALLOWEEN PAINT-IN
Free and open to ages 3rd grade and older. Must be pre-registered to participate. Come join us in spreading Halloween spirit! LPRD, Downtown Lawrence, Inc. and the Lawrence Breakfast Optimists Club will hold the Halloween Paint-In on Saturday, Oct. 20. Students and adults must submit a sketch to Holcom Park Recreation Center, from which participants will paint on local Lawrence merchants’ windows. There will be an organizational meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Holcom Park Recreation Center, 2700 W. 27th St.. All participants must attend the organizational meeting. Each participant will receive a Halloween Paint-In T-shirt. There will be additional Halloween activities celebrating our 45th Halloween Paint-In. Registration deadline: Wednesday, Oct.17, 6:30 p.m. For more information, call (785) 832-7940.
Register Online

HALLOWEEN TRICK-OR-TREAT NIGHT
LPRD recommends Trick or Treating on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Homeowners wishing to participate are asked to leave porch lights on for costumed youngsters. HAVE A SAFE HALLOWEEN!

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA – CHRIS CAKES
Ages: 3 to 12. Come have breakfast with your favorite jolly man. Santa will join us for a meal and holiday arts and crafts. We’ll enjoy pancakes, sausage, orange juice and water as we spread holiday cheer at the Community Building, 115 W. 11th St., in Downtown Lawrence. Registration to eat, participate in arts and crafts and visit with Santa. You may registration for just arts and crafts and visit with Santa without taking advantage of the breakfast at the price of $5 per person.
Register Online

CANDY CANE HUNT
Ages: 6 and Under. Rumor has it that Santa is going to be at Holcom Park Recreation Center, 2700 W. 27th St., hiding candy canes for children from 4-6 p.m. with the hunt starting at 4:30 p.m. After the hunt, we will warm up inside the center with some hot chocolate, cookies, and arts and crafts while listening to great holiday music. Registration deadline: Tuesday, November 28. For more information, contact (785) 832-7940.
Register Online

SANTA SPLASH
Ages: 2-12. The reindeer seem to be ahead of schedule this year and will be delivering Santa early to the Indoor Aquatic Center for some holiday fun. The craft room will be open for ornament making and stocking decorating at Noon. Then a special visitor will manage to stop by during his busy holiday season to review wish lists, give out presents and take photos with the children. Be sure to bring your camera! Pre-registration is required by Wednesday, Dec. 12, to secure crafts; may pay day-of to participate in the Santa visit and swimming. All children must be accompanied by an adult. If adults choose to swim, daily admission applies.
Register Online

Arts & Crafts Fairs

Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department hosts several arts and crafts fairs throughout the year for exhibitors to showcase and sell their work. The list below provides the dates/times of each of LPRD’s upcoming arts & crafts fairs. All Fairs are Free and Open to the Public.

For Exhibitor Deadlines/Information, please click here.

  • Summer Fest – Sunday, June 24
  • Fall Arts & Crafts Festival – Sunday, Sept. 9
  • Holiday Bazaar – Sunday, Nov. 18
  • Holiday Extravaganza – Saturday, Dec. 1

Fun Runs/Walks Results

Summer Concerts