The 10 Best Things To Do In Lansing

Lansing, Michigan’s capital city, is a hidden gem tucked away in the heart of the Great Lakes region. It’s a place where history, culture, and natural beauty converge, creating a playground for all sorts of adventurers. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or someone who loves to immerse themselves in the great outdoors, Lansing has something to offer.

Explore the Michigan State Capitol

First on the list is the magnificent Michigan State Capitol. With its stunning architecture and rich history, it’s a must-see. The building’s dome, modeled after the one in Washington D.C., is a sight to behold. Free tours are available, and they provide a fascinating insight into Michigan’s legislative process. It’s not just a treat for the eyes; it’s an educational experience that brings the state’s history to life.

Step Back in Time at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum

Car enthusiasts, you’re in for a treat! The R.E. Olds Transportation Museum is a treasure trove of automotive history. Named after Ransom Eli Olds, founder of Oldsmobile, the museum showcases an impressive collection of vintage vehicles and memorabilia. It’s a nostalgic journey through the evolution of transportation that’ll rev up your engine for sure.

Get Wild at Potter Park Zoo

Animal lovers, rejoice! Potter Park Zoo is a cozy yet captivating attraction. Home to over 160 species of animals, the zoo offers an intimate experience with wildlife. From majestic big cats to playful river otters, it’s a place where you can get up close and personal with creatures from around the globe. The zoo’s conservation efforts are commendable, making your visit both enjoyable and educational.

Immerse Yourself in Art at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum

Art aficionados, prepare to be wowed. The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, with its futuristic façade, is a work of art in itself. Inside, you’ll find an ever-changing array of contemporary masterpieces. The museum’s exhibitions are thought-provoking, often featuring works that challenge the status quo. It’s a cultural hub that stimulates the mind and feeds the soul.

Take a Stroll through Cooley Gardens

Need a moment of tranquility? Cooley Gardens is a serene oasis. This hidden gem is a horticultural haven, boasting a variety of plants and flowers that bloom in a riot of colors. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely walk or a peaceful picnic. The gardens are a testament to Lansing’s commitment to green spaces and are a breath of fresh air for city dwellers and visitors alike.

Discover Lansing’s History at the Michigan History Center

History buffs, you’ll find your bliss at the Michigan History Center. This museum offers a deep dive into the state’s past, from its indigenous roots to its role in major national events. The interactive exhibits are engaging for all ages, making it a fantastic outing for families. It’s a place where the past is preserved and presented in a way that’s both informative and entertaining.

Enjoy the Outdoors at Hawk Island Park

Outdoor enthusiasts, Hawk Island Park is your playground. With its scenic trails, picturesque lake, and year-round activities, it’s a haven for nature lovers. In the summer, you can rent a pedal boat or go fishing. Come winter, the park transforms into a snowy wonderland, complete with a tubing hill. It’s a slice of outdoor paradise in every season.

Sample Local Flavors at Lansing City Market

Foodies, get ready to indulge. Lansing City Market is a cornucopia of local produce and artisanal goods. From fresh fruits and veggies to gourmet cheeses and wines, the market is a feast for the senses. It’s a place where you can support local farmers and businesses while treating your taste buds to the best of Michigan’s bounty.

Catch a Show at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts

Theatergoers, take your seats. The Wharton Center for Performing Arts is Lansing’s premier venue for live entertainment. From Broadway productions to symphony orchestras, the center’s lineup is diverse and top-notch. The acoustics are superb, ensuring an immersive experience that’ll leave you applauding for an encore.

Unwind at the Lansing River Trail

Lastly, for a dose of relaxation, the Lansing River Trail beckons. This picturesque pathway meanders along the Grand River and Red Cedar River, offering stunning views and a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle. Whether you’re cycling, jogging, or simply taking a leisurely walk, the trail is a balm for the soul and a reminder of Lansing’s natural charm.


  • What’s the best time of year to visit Lansing?

    Every season in Lansing has its charm, but if you’re after outdoor activities, summer and fall are fantastic. Winter offers a snowy wonderland, perfect for those who enjoy cold-weather sports.

  • Are there any family-friendly activities in Lansing?

    Absolutely! Potter Park Zoo, the Michigan History Center, and Hawk Island Park are just a few spots that cater to families and provide fun for all ages.

  • Is Lansing accessible for travelers without a car?

    Yes, many attractions are accessible via the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) bus service. The Lansing River Trail also provides a scenic route for pedestrians and cyclists.


Lansing, with its eclectic mix of attractions, offers a little something for everyone. From the grandeur of the State Capitol to the intimate charm of Cooley Gardens, it’s a city that surprises and delights. Whether you’re soaking up history, enjoying the arts, or exploring the great outdoors, Lansing’s top 10 things to do provide a rich tapestry of experiences. So pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and discover the heart of Michigan. Who knows? You might just find yourself planning your next trip back before you’ve even left.

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