Go, See, Do: More downtown carriage rides, a New Year’s Eve party for kids and more

photo by: Contributed photo

Two horse-drawn carriages take passengers for a ride in downtown Lawrence on a recent afternoon. The carriages will be running during the last week of 2019, picking up passengers from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday and 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday at the valet parking area of the Eldridge Hotel, 701 Massachusetts St.

Holiday carriage rides to benefit the Lawrence Community Shelter have been so popular that organizers have decided to keep them rolling on two more dates.

Two horse-drawn carriages, driven by Frank and Peg Burkdoll of Lyndon, will be picking up passengers from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday and 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the valet parking area of the Eldridge Hotel, 701 Massachusetts St. The carriages will travel down Mass. from Seventh Street to 11th Street and then head back to the Eldridge via Vermont Street.

There is a suggested donation of $8 per person or $30 for a family of four, and rides will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

The carriage rides, which started in mid-December, are organized by several local businesses, including McGrew Real Estate and the Eldridge.

“We can’t believe how successful it has been,” said Emily Willis Stewart, an associate broker with McGrew Real Estate.

During the fundraiser, the streets will still be open to vehicle traffic, but drivers will have to slow down and be patient to accommodate the carriages.

‘Opening Doors: A History of Accessibility in Lawrence’

At the Watkins Museum of History’s newest exhibit, visitors can learn about the history of disability rights in Lawrence.

“Opening Doors: A History of Accessibility in Lawrence” sheds light on the challenges that residents with disabilities faced from the 1800s through the present day, according to the museum’s website. It also explores the resources that are available now to help residents with disabilities.

One of the oldest institutions featured in the exhibit is the Kansas School for the Deaf, curator Brittany Keegan said. The school is now located in Olathe, but it got its start in Baldwin City, she said — an educator who had moved there from the East Coast started it to help his neighbor’s children, who were deaf.

Keegan said the exhibit itself is intended to be accessible, as well. The museum has partnered with Kansas Audio-Reader to offer descriptions of the exhibit for the visually impaired, she said.

The free exhibit will be open through April 4, 2020, at the museum, 1047 Massachusetts St. The museum’s hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. It’s closed on Sunday, Monday and holidays, and it will close at 1 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

Library’s early New Year’s Eve party

For kids who won’t be up at midnight, the Lawrence Public Library will be celebrating the end of the decade a bit early.

The library will be hosting a New Year’s Eve party from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, complete with a countdown — although revelers will be counting down to noon instead of midnight.

“The party is for the preschool set who might be asleep at midnight,” said Karen Allen, the library’s youth services coordinator.

Allen said there will also be snacks, crafts and dancing, and kids will have the chance to write down their goals for the new year.

Allen said this is the first year the library has hosted the party. In the past, she said, the library has been closed on New Year’s Eve, but this year it will close at 6 p.m.

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