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Things To Do In Lansing

Lansing is Michigan’s capital city, and it is known for its historic shopping district downtown, gardens and parks and for being near Michigan State University. This city has fun things to do all over, from its museums to the shopping areas surrounding city center. Keep reading to find the best things to do in Lansing.

It’s easy to find free things to do in Lansing. During the springtime, people flock to the MSU Horticulture Gardens to see the tulips in full bloom. The gardens cover 7 acres, and they’re free to walk through. The Potter Park Zoo also does special $1 days around the beginning of July.

Cheap things to do near Lansing include:

  • Grabbing a burger at Dagwood’s Tavern
  • Eating Thai cuisine at Naing Myanmar
  • Going to free admission Sundays at the Michigan Historical Museum
  • Walking through the Fenner Nature Center
  • Watching a performance at Summer Circle theater at MSU

Some of the best tourist attractions are in downtown Lansing. The Michigan State Capitol is a must-see. The building dates back to 1879 and it has free tours. The Turner-Dodge House is another good place to visit. The home is one of the oldest in the city, and it has been perfectly restored on the interior.

Popular attractions near Lansing include:

  • The Potter Park Zoo
  • The Lansing River Trail
  • The R.E. Olds Transportation Museum
  • The Fenner Nature Center
  • Lansing JazzFest every August

Lansing has plenty of fun things to do during the day, like catching a Michigan Wolverines football game or seeing a show at Abrams Planetarium. Visitors will also like the MSU Hidden Lake Gardens too. While it is easy to walk through the city, people can do their own tour on bicycle or take a foodie tour of the city.

Exciting activities near Lansing include:

  • Visiting the Women’s Historical Center
  • Going to a show at the Abrams Planetarium
  • Getting lunch at Soup Spoon Cafe
  • Stopping to smell the roses at Cooley Gardens
  • Exploring the sights at Hawk Island Park

This city has tons of things to do at night. The Wharton Center hosts the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, which performs 17 concerts a year for free. There’s also the Peppermint Creek Theatre Company, a group that has already won awards in its short existence. Spiral Video & Dance is the place to be for dancing in the city.

Nighttime activities near Lansing include:

  • Dining at Mitchell’s Fish Market
  • Grabbing a beer at Michigan Brewing Company
  • Checking out open mic at the Rendezvous
  • Wine Wednesday’s at Beggar’s Banquet
  • The piano bar at Rum Runners

Looking for things to do this weekend? Consider taking a day to explore Lake Lansing’s many attractions. This 30-acre park has a beach, sand volleyball courts, and pedal boat rentals. This city also has an annual film festival in April featuring more than 100 independent films and 30 live touring bands.

Weekend activities near Lansing include:

  • Catching a Lansing Lugnuts baseball game
  • Grabbing brunch at the Creole
  • Spending the day at Lake Lansing
  • Watching a performance at the Boars Head Theater
  • Viewing the state tree come to light at Silver Bells

Families will find plenty of things to do with kids in Lansing. To start, there’s the Potter Park Zoo that has train rides and pony rides. MSU has a 4-H Children's Garden which lets children taste and smell some of the ingredients to their favorite dishes.

Family-Friendly things to do near Lansing include:

  • Playing with the animals at Preuss Pets
  • Grabbing a burger at Weston’s Kewpee Sandwich Shoppe
  • Trying gourmet popcorn at Cravings
  • Exploring the Impression 5 Science Center’s interactive exhibits
  • Seeing a show at the Abrams Planetarium

It’s date night in Lansing, so here are some ideas for romantic things to do in the city. During the day, take a walk along the scenic River Trail. Finish the evening with a tasty chocolate walk in Old Town Lansing.

Date night ideas near Lansing include:

  • Catching a Broadway performance at Wharton Center for Performing Arts
  • Viewing the works at the Broad Art Museum
  • Relaxing at a couples massage at Zoe Life Spa
  • Watching a movie at Celebration Cinema
  • Reserving dinner for two at Dusty’s Cellar

Lansing is a great place for group activities. The city has multiple escape rooms, such as Breakout and Challenges East Lansing. When it comes to trivia, this city has several options such as Thursday night at Harry’s Place, Tuesdays at the Green Door and Thursdays at Moriarty’s Pub.

Things to do with your friends near Lansing include:

  • Going on a riverboat tour with the Michigan Princess
  • Watching a Lansing Lugnuts game
  • Laser tag at Spare Time
  • Catching a MSU basketball or football game
  • City Limits East, a bowling alley with happy hour deals

It’s easy to spend a day just doing indoor activities in Lansing. The city has several museums, such as the Michigan Women's Historical Center. There’s also the Michigan State Capitol, which has guided tours year round.

Lansing things to do indoors include:

  • Visiting the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum
  • Walking through the Lansing Art Gallery
  • Touring the Turner-Dodge House & Heritage Center mansion
  • Grabbing coffee at The Avenue Cafe
  • Exploring The Abrams Planetarium

As far as outdoor activities go, Lansing has several city parks, gardens and it’s close to the golf courses. River Town adventures offers kayaking and canoeing down the Grand River. The Fenner Nature Center covers 134 acres, and it has hands-on exhibits at the visitor’s center.

Active things to see in Lansing include:

  • Grabbing lunch at Lansing City Market
  • Viewing art at the Lansing Sculpture Walk
  • Shopping along Washington Avenue
  • Swimming at Hawk Island Park
  • Exploring Woldumar Nature Center

One of the best things to do in Lansing is visiting the hidden gems in Old Town. For example, Preuss Pets is more than just a pet store. It has a boa snake, a friendly pet rat named Alfredo and a golden poison frog.

Must-see places near Lansing include:

  • Crunchy’s dive bar
  • Finding the hidden lake gardens at the MSU Museum
  • Taking a class at Fireworks Glass Studio
  • Falafel sandwiches at Jerusalem Bakery
  • Ice cream at MSU Dairy Store