SOS. It’s Saturday and your parents surprised you with a visit. They ask what you do for fun on the weekends, but you don’t want to tell them you’re a regular at the Bull. Or maybe, just maybe, you’re not really into underage or binge drinking.
Don’t worry, Chalk has you covered. Here are 10 things you can do in Lawrence that don’t involve alcohol, with input from actual students. Your liver can thank us later.
1. Head to the rec
OK, so maybe your parents don’t want to work out. But the rec center is a good way to take a break from drinking. Take your pick of working out on the elliptical, playing a game of basketball or ringing the bell after rock climbing.
2. Spend a day at Clinton Lake
Whether it’s just a drive down the windy E 900th Road or a day full of exploration and views, you can’t go wrong with Clinton Lake. “I love going out to Clinton Lake and putting up a hammock, especially when the weather’s really nice,” says Ojas Patel, an Overland Park native in the third year of his MD program.
3. Eat your way through Larry Town
If you take a walk down Mass Street or head over to Iowa Street, you’re bound to run into a restaurant. Nothing is better than finding a new go-to spot for you and your friends. “I just kind of like going to random restaurants or eateries and kind of just go in, sit down and enjoy the local cuisine,” says Cole Bruening, a philosophy graduate student from Sioux City, Iowa.
4. Hang out with friends
Sometimes it’s just nice to be surrounded by your people. It can ease parents’ minds a little, too, about who their beloved child surrounds themselves with. Sierra Waters, a sophomore from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, agrees: “I like to hang out with my friends. We don’t even have to do anything."
5. Throw an axe or roll a ball
6. Shop on Mass Street
One doesn’t even need a reason to visit Mass Street — just like Target, you let Mass Street tell you what you need. Whether that means a basket of fried pickles from Jefferson’s, a new-to-you book from The Dusty Bookshelf, or maybe a hand-crafted shirt from Acme, you can’t go wrong with a weekend visit to the heart of downtown Lawrence.
7. Lawrence Public Library
Libraries are not just for kids. While picking out a good read at the Lawrence Public Library is highly encouraged, there are a number of other activities you can partake in at the library. “People may not know, but the Lawrence Public Library has sound and audio studios that you can rent out for free as long as you book it,” says Patel. “So, I record music there.”
8. Get outdoors-y: parks edition
Again — these are not just for young kids. From Holcum Park to Centennial, the Prairie Park Nature Center to Mutt Run Dog Park, you can get your fix of vitamin D in no time.
9. Get outdoors-y: sports edition
Another healthy alternative: Lawrence offers a number of different outdoor sports options. You can play Frisbee at Centennial Park, practice your soccer skills at Holcum Park, or get some of your friends together for a sand volleyball game outside the Robinson Center.
Ian Rogers, a biochemistry and pre-med sophomore from Reedsburg, Wisconsin, says he plays a lot of sports with his Lawrence friends. "Especially in the summer," he says. "We would play sand volleyball, like a lot."
10. A night in
Get the popcorn, grab a cozy blanket and plop yourself on the couch: it’s movie night. If you know what you’re doing, you can’t go wrong with a night surrounded by friends and flicks. Or, if your parents are in town, head to Regal Cinemas Southwind 12 — and splurge on popcorn and a soda, mom and dad’s treat.