December 1-2, 2018 in Downtown Lawrence

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Spend the weekend Downtown and experience the heart of the holidays in the heart of the city! We have everything you need for holiday shopping, dining, and entertainment!

Click on each event below for more detail.


Monday, Nov. 26 – Sunday, Dec. 2

Lawrence Festival of Trees
Liberty Hall, 644 Mass.
Join us for the 32nd Annual Lawrence Festival of Trees from Monday, November 26 through Sunday, December 2, 2018, at Liberty Hall in beautiful downtown Lawrence, KS. This is the annual fundraising event for The Children’s Shelter (previously known as The Shelter, Inc.), a nonprofit agency which has provided emergency services for youth and families in Lawrence and the surrounding communities since 1981.

Viewing times for the week of Nov. 26-Dec. 2; 
Monday, Nov. 26: 10 AM – 8:30 PM; Cookies with Santa Night 1: 4-6 PM
Tuesday: 10 AM – 8:30 PM; Cookies with Santa Night 2: 5-7 PM
Wednesday: 10 AM -5 PM; Gala Auction Party at 7:30 PM
Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 10 AM – 8:30 PM
Sunday: 11 AM – 3 PM

Admission: Suggested donation of $5 for adults and children over 12
Please see our Events tab for more information!

The Gala Auction Party will be held on Friday, November 30 at 7:00 PM. Suggested donation for attendance is $40.
The Patron Preview Party will begin at 6 PM. A donation of $60 is suggested for Patrons.

Nearly 50 trees and more than 20 wreaths decorated and donated by local individuals and groups are on display, and will be sold during the Auction Party on Friday, November 30, 2018.


Saturday, Dec. 1

The Eldridge Hotel Old Fashioned Christmas Buffet
701 Mass., 7-11am
$11.95 Ages 55+ // $13.95 Ages 54-13 // $7.95 Ages 12-7 // FREE Ages 6 and Under
Reservations recommended – call 785-749-1005
Come to where it all started – The Eldridge!!
Originally known as the Eldridge Old Fashioned Christmas Parade, it seems
fitting to go back in time and revisit this unique event in its early days for the
26h Anniversary of the parade! Stroll through the Eldridge Hotel lobby on parade
day, December 2nd, between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm to see bits of the Christmas Parade
history and enjoy a warm drink and a cookie, compliments of the Eldridge.


Gingerbread Festival 
Abe & Jake’s Landing, 8 E. 6th St. 9am-4pm
The Gingerbread Festival & Auction is a 24-year tradition here in Lawrence, and we look forward to offering new and exciting twists for 2018. Join us for holiday fun, food, drinks, activities, and the annual viewing of the biggest and best gingerbread houses that are all locally handcrafted and donated! Santa will be on site taking down those Christmas wishes as well as cookie decorating with Eileen’s Colossal Cookies, Hot Cocoa bar from The Roost, ornament decorating and much more! All proceeds raised from this event to go support our local Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters organization serving Douglas County. Make sure your calendar is marked for December 1st for the Viewing from 9am-4pm, and December 7th for the Auction at 7pm, all at Abe & Jake’s Landing!


26th Annual Lawrence Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade
Mass. St. from 7th to South Park, 11am
Marking the 26th year of tradition, this is a Christmas Parade you and your family don’t want to miss. As one of the most unique parades in the nation, the Lawrence Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade kicks off the holiday season with exclusively authentic horse-drawn carriages parading down Massachusetts Street. Cozy up with hot cocoa and blankets, and feel the true holiday spirit while watching dozens of beautiful horses and wagons adorned in garland and bells. Join us to celebrate American heritage and keep our tradition alive this holiday season.

Each year the Old Fashioned Christmas Parade partners with Douglas County Toys for Tots to help provide hope in the form of a new toy for children in need in Douglas County, KS. If you would like more information or to make a donation click here and select “KS – Lawrence” for the local campaign to ensure that your donation stays here in our community. The Toys for Tots Toy Shop will be set up once again this year at the former Borders Books location at 7th and New Hampshire. You can drop off donations there or at many locations across Lawrence throughout the holiday season!


Tails & Traditions Family Holiday Program & Activities
Watkins Museum, 1047 Mass., 9am-2pm

Our annual holiday favorite returns! Prime viewing seats for the Lawrence Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade, refreshments, holiday music, and kids’ crafts with our partners at the Spencer Museum of Art and KU International Studies. A free and fun family event!

Waxman Candles Kiddie Candle Dipping
Waxman Candles, 609 Mass., 10am-2pm
Kids dip a free candle!

Live Caroling by Lawrence Civic Choir
Mass. St., 11am-1pm

Santa Sightings at Weaver’s and the Gingerbread Festival

Sunday, Dec. 2

Santa Visits The Eldridge Hotel!!

Santa Sightings at The Toy Store, Weaver’s

Live Caroling 

Mass St., 1-3 pm

Lawrence Community Menorah Lighting & Chanukah Celebration 
Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont,  4:30-5:30pm
Light the giant menorah and gather for holiday treat. music, crafts and more!


All weekend

#Shopsmall #Shoplocal at over 100 local retailers specializing in unique gifts, fashions, local art & more!

Dine at over 40 local restaurants and coffee shops

#Shine bright under the incredible holiday lights on Mass. Street!

The heart of the holidays is in the heart of the city!


And the holiday fun continues . . . 

Friday, Dec. 7th

2018 Gingerbread Festival & Auction: Bourbon & Brews
Abe & Jake’s Landing, 8 E. 6th St.

The Gingerbread House Auction is a 24-year Douglas County tradition and 2018 is gearing up to be the best event yet! Join us for holiday fun, food, drinks, activities, and the auction of our biggest and best gingerbread houses that are all locally handcrafted and donated!

Hosted by KU Men’s Basketball broadcaster Brian Hanni. All proceeds from this event will support Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters Serving Douglas County.

Back by popular demand this year’s VIP Tasting Hour prior to the event will feature a selection of top bourbon and whiskey offerings. We will also have craft beer and wine to offer for the VIP hour. VIP attendees will have full access to Abe & Jakes Pub Room for the entire evening. No waiting in lines!

VIP Bourbon Tasting $100 (6pm-7pm)
General Admission $50 (7pm)
Live Auction at 8pm
To purchase tickets go to

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Brought to you by:
Downtown Lawrence, Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters of Douglas County, The Eldridge Hotel, Lawrence Festival of Trees, the Lawrence Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade and the Watkins Museum of History