Post-Thanksgiving weekend boasts plenty of fun, family-friendly events in Lawrence

After a full day of family and food, it's easy to experience a bit of a letdown once the big Thanksgiving feast has ended. Consider venturing outside — there is a lot to do and see in Lawrence this weekend.

We've included a few options here to get you started. For more ideas, check out our online event calendar.

Nostalgia Friday

Stop by the Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St., anytime from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the museum’s stress-free alternative to Black Friday. Visitors can enjoy hot chocolate while making picture boxes for loved ones or sharing favorite holiday memories on Watkins’ community board. Everyone is welcome at this free event.

Ice Skating Rink

Lace up those skates — Lawrence’s long-awaited outdoor ice skating rink will open Friday. Lawrence Parks and Recreation will host the festivities, slated for 3 p.m. just outside the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St. After a brief ceremony, the rink will remain open until 8 p.m. The cost to skate is $3, including skate rental. Ages three and up can participate, though children 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Final Friday

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Bizarre Bazaar

One of Lawrence’s longest-running holiday traditions, the Bizarre Bazaar, is just one of several events for this month’s Final Friday lineup. This year’s “BizBaz” will be held Friday and Saturday at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., and will offer wacky and wonderful goods on sale from more than 100 artists.

Also on the roster: Lawrence Creates Makerspace’s Final Friday Art Party, 512 E. Ninth St., featuring live music and work from more than a dozen artists in a variety of mediums.

The Phoenix Gallery and Phoenix Underground, both at 825 Massachusetts St., will host new exhibitions Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. Upstairs, Phoenix Gallery will open "Illuminated Glass," a collaboration of local glass artists Ben Kappen, Brad Chun and Courtney Skeeba. Paintings by Elizabeth Rowley will be displayed in the Vermont Street entrance and throughout the gallery. At Phoenix Underground, Topeka printmaker Justin Marable will debut his show, “Skyward Shifts,” a collection of ethereal Kansas landscapes.

Cider Gallery’s Holiday Group Show will feature the work of John Sebelius, Kyla Strid, Jeremy Rockwell and 10 others. The exhibition, at 810 Pennsylvania St., starts at 5 p.m.

Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony

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Lawrence Journal World

Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony and Santa Rescue

For many Lawrencians, the holiday season officially begins with the “rescue” of Santa Claus from the roof of Weaver’s department store, 901 Massachusetts St. Head to the US Bank Plaza at the corner of Ninth and Massachusetts streets at 5:30 p.m. to enjoy entertainment by Ric Averill of the Lawrence Arts Center and dancers from "A Kansas Nutcracker," as well as seasonal tunes from the Lawrence Children's Choir. Lawrence mayor Mike Amyx will flip the switch at 6 p.m., illuminating every tree down Massachusetts Street. Santa will then make his big appearance on top of Weaver's, only to be rescued by a ladder truck from the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Department. Once safely on the ground, Santa will be available to take gift requests from kids.

Small Business Saturday

If the thought of long lines, crowds and general chaos of Black Friday gives you anxiety, stay in that day and try Small Business Saturday instead. The national campaign encourages shoppers to support local stores the weekend after Thanksgiving. With so many Lawrence merchants to choose from, you’re bound to find a winning gift for everyone on your list.

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