Since 1825, the Old Town area has seen both prosperous times and, for the second half of the 20th century, stretches of destitution. Within the last 30 years, dedicated locals have started turning Old Town back around, dropping its building vacancy rates from 90% to fewer than 10%, and establishing a slew of festivals, art venues, and boutiques. The Old Town Commercial Association plays its role in this cultural and economic renaissance by holding the annual Old Town Oktoberfest, a Midwestern interpretation of the traditional German holiday.
Over the course of two days, live polka bands provide a soundtrack for German-style dancing and festivities. Vendors pour German and European Oktoberfest beers from Spaten, Warsteiner, and Frankenmuth, and autumnal beers from American breweries such as Sam Adams and Blue Moon. Local restaurants serve authentic German dishes such as spaetzle, potato soup, frankfurters, and bratwurst throughout the fest, allowing visitors to taste the country’s staples without having to stow away in a UN ambassador’s suitcase.
Moonlight pools in the gym’s entryway as the nighttime visitor stops to fumble for her keycard. It’s 3 a.m. She worked the night shift again and wants to work off some tension. Her fingers grasp the small plastic card and with a quick swipe, she’s inside. Immediately enveloped by the warm glow of Snap Fitness, she joins the other late-night exercisers in pounding on the treadmill and lifting weights before the sun rises.
Accessible 24/7 via keycard, guests enter Snap Fitness to tone their physiques on myriad cardio and strength equipment day or night. During staff hours, they can seek out fitness assessments and one-on-one sessions with personal trainers, which ensure all moves are performed effectively, topped with a dose of motivation. The trainers devise personal fitness plans for each guest, taking into account their strength, cardio, and flexibility conditions to help them tackle weight loss, boost overall body strength, or attempt to finally unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
Woldumar Nature Center greets visitors with a coterie of trees, flowers, and grasses that populate 178 acres of diverse environs representing the region's larger ecosystem. Visitors explore the center's trails spanning 5 miles of lush scenery, which treats them to a prairie of wildflowers waving their vivid heads in the breeze, the Grand River flowing throughout 1.25 miles, and a hardwood forest that casts cool shade in the shadows of beech and maple trees. Deer peacefully forage in the apple orchard, and a butterfly garden hosts a feast for the gentle winged insects. The herb garden showcases common household herbs such as rosemary alongside oft-forgotten useful plants such as calendula, which pinky swears it goes well in potato soup. The nature center's knowledgeable staff lead educational programs year-round that fill brains with experiences in geocaching, exploring the Grand River, and watching live owl presentations.
Ransom Eli Olds was certainly one of Lansing's most prolific citizens. The inventor, entrepreneur, and financier helped revolutionize the automobile industry, specifically through the two companies he founded in the area: Olds Motor Works in 1897 and REO Motor Car Company in 1904.
A mid-Michigan institution since 1929, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra performs for more than 20,000 visitors every year. Music director and conductor Timothy Muffitt currently leads its roster of professional musicians in concerts that explore a variety of musical styles, including classical masterworks, a pops and chamber series, and brassy big-band engagements.
Genesis Fitness Center offers group classes for all kinds of fitness sensibilities, whether you're into high-intensity circuit training or the slow, methodical stretches of yoga and Pilates. The center is also home to Inertia CrossFit, where challenging daily workouts push students to jump higher, run faster, and shout action-movie quotes louder.