We consider Horava-Lifshitz gravity in both 1+1 and 2+1 dimensions. These lower-dimensional versions of Horava-Lifshitz gravity are simple enough to be explicitly tractable, but still complex enough to be interesting. We write the most general (non-projectable) action for each case and discuss the resulting dynamics. In the 1+1 case we utilize the equivalence with 2-dimensional Einstein-aether theory to argue that, even though non-trivial, the theory does not have any local degrees of freedom. In the 2+1 case we show that the only dynamical degree of freedom is a scalar, which qualitatively has the same dynamical behaviour as the scalar mode in (non-projectable) Horava-Lifshitz gravity in 3+1 dimensions. We discuss the suitability of these lower-dimensional theories as simpler playgrounds that could help us gain insight into the 3+1 theory. As special cases we also discuss the projectable limit of these theories. Finally, we present an algorithm that extends the equivalence with (higher order) Einstein-aether theory to full Horava-Lifshitz gravity (instead of just the low energy limit), and we use this extension to comment on the apparent naturalness of the covariant formulation of the latter.