13 Things to do in Lansing Michigan Places to Visit, Top Attractions! | Ultimate Guide to the State Capitol, Michigan Library and Historical Center, Broadway Shows, Art Museums

Article:  13 Things to do in Lansing Michigan Places to Visit, Top Attractions! | Ultimate Guide to the State Capitol, Michigan Library and Historical Center, Broadway Shows, Art Museums

Chris and I always have a blast exploring Lansing Michigan!  It's a perfect Mid-Michigan college town that's rich with history, attractions and fun things to explore. We visited several history and art museums, enjoyed great coffee, explored Michigan State University's campus, saw cute animals at Potter's Park Zoo, learned about Michigan history while touring the Michigan State Capitol, and saw scary dinosaurs!  There are so many things to see in Lansing Michigan! 

In this article, we'll cover the top activities to do in Lansing MI and more, just keep reading! All attractions in Lansing are family-friendly and a great date day idea! Make it a Michigan weekend getaway as there are so many fun things to do and top places to visit in Lansing Michigan.

Table of Contents

About Lansing Michigan

Lansing Michigan is located in Mid/Central Michigan.  It's home to the beautiful Michigan State Capitol that officially opened on January 1, 1879. The Capitol was designed by architect Elijah E. Myers of whom created one of the first state capitols to be topped by a stately cast iron dome.

As such, Michigan made a mark in American history for this awesome accomplishment! In 1992 the Lansing State Capitol was deemed a National Historic Landmark.  Lansing's population is approximately 113,000.

Lansing is home to Michigan State University and the Michigan State Spartans football team. During the school year, the city population swells to accommodate the 51,000 Michigan State students. MSU is located in East Lansing, a vibrant college town located three miles from Michigan's capital. 

Lansing Michigan breweries, like Lansing Brewing Company and SaltRock Brewing Company are making headlines.  So be sure to stop by and enjoy a brew and meal. 

  • Let's explore the top 10 things to do in Lansing Michigan!

Interactive Map of Lansing Michigan Attractions

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1. Explore the Michigan History Center in the Michigan Library and Historical Center

Where: 702 W Kalamazoo St, Lansing, MI 48915

Let's explore the Michigan Library and Historical Center!  There is a small fee per hour for parking and a  $6 fee to enter the museum at the time of this writing. Let me just say, this place is fantastic!  

The Michigan History Center offers exhibits about Michigan's awesome past, from the time of the state's earliest peoples to the late 20th century.  Check their website for special exhibits! 

Chris and I enjoyed wandering through their several floors of exhibits. There's definitely something for everyone in this fascinating museum!

2. Visit Pruess Pets! Fantastic Lansing Pet Store!

Where: 1127 N Cedar St, Lansing, MI 48906

Chris and I love visiting Pruess Pets! This wonderful pet store features a fantastic array of fish and everything for your tank, beautiful birds, amphibians and so much more. 

I always learn tips for caring for pets from their very knowledgeable staff!  I love the koi fish river, watching the turtles being fed and watching the beautiful fish swim in their colorful tanks. 

3. See an Incredible Show at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts: Top Lansing Attractions

Where: 750 E Shaw Ln, East Lansing, MI 48824

The Wharton Center is an awesome venue to catch a Broadway show, concert or production! The Wharton Center is committed to enhancing and infusing the world around us with the arts! Chris an I were blown away by the production of Aladdin. 

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Don't you just love Aladdin? (We are super fans here!) We were so giddy to go see the latest movie with Will Smith. It was so AWESOME! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ SOOO, imagine my thrill when I found out the Wharton Center in Lansing is presenting the hit Broadway musical December 4 through Sunday, December 15. WHOOT! We will be going December 6 at 8 p.m! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Did you know Aladdin established itself as one of the biggest new blockbusters in recent years, breaking 14 New Amsterdam Theatre house records; worldwide it has welcomed more than 10 million people and grossed over $1 billion? Freakin' awesome! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photo by Deen van Meer-We were given approval to use by the Wharton Center.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #aladdin #aladdin2019 #aladdinmuscial @whartoncenter #gottaseeit #broadwaymusical #lansing #lansingmichigan #lansingmi #lansingfun #DisneysAladdinWharton #michigantravel #greatlakesstate #michiganstate #travelingmichigan #greatlakesstateofmind #puremittenpride #lovemichigan #michiganarts #performingarts

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4. Get Lunch at P.F. Chang in Lansing Michigan!

Where: 2425 Lake Lansing Rd, Lansing, MI 48912

P.F. Chang's is a must-stop lunch or dinner destination for us.  Chris and I always get a big bowl of their egg drop soup and a couple spring rolls to start. 

I adore their Buddha's feast or Ahi Poke Bowl. I dream about that poke bowl (shown above).  It is seriously a flavor explosion in your mouth!!  Chris adores the Crispy Honey Chicken.  If you haven't been there, GO! 

5. See Cute Animals, Ride a Camel at Potter Park Zoo!

Where: 1301 S Pennsylvania Ave, Lansing, MI 48912

At Potter Park Zoo, you can see lions, tigers, red pandas, kangaroos, black rhinos, elk, lemurs and so much more!  It's such a fun Michigan outdoor activity for families! 

Potter Park Zoo is more than a zoo, they offer events and activities for couples and families year-round. Potter Park Zoo is open every day of the year except for December 25th. During the winter, this Lansing Zoo has Zoo Nights, with Lights! which is a fun walk-through Christmas lights exhibit. 

6. Tour The Incredible Michigan State Capitol!

Where: 100 N. Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933

A must-see while visiting Lansing Michigan is the Michigan State Capitol!  Embark on a self-guided tour where you can see the inside of the incredible dome, watch the legislature meet for session, see nine acres of hand-painted decorative art, and learn about Michigan’s past. 

Over 115,000 tourists, schools and families tour the Michigan State Capitol.  Be sure to look way up into the famous dome and then way down at the floor tiles to see if you can find hidden shells!

Grab our Guide to the Michigan State Capitol!

7. Explore the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum - Michigan State University in Lansing Michigan

Where: 547 E Circle Dr., East Lansing, MI 48824

While exploring Lansing Michigan, be sure to see the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.  Parking was a challenge at first (no parking at the museum or on Circle Drive) but we circled around and discovered the Bailey Street and E. Grand River parking lot (not the garage) and we were thrilled.  Cheap (~$2), easy and centrally located. 

The museum has rotating exhibits so stop in to see what's new!  Plus it's FREE!! 

We were there about 30 minutes. Or stay longer and enjoy a cup of coffee and relax!

You can leave your vehicle parked at the Bailey St. lot and proceed to our last stop.  Enjoy a walk through the campus and marvel at all of the gorgeous buildings!

8. Go For a Nature Walk at Fenner Nature Center in Lansing Michigan

Where: 2020 E Mt Hope Ave, Lansing, MI 48910

If you need to clear your mind and stretch your legs, go for a walk within Fenner Nature Center's 134-acre property.  There's an environmental education site, visitor center, hands-on exhibits and four miles of self-guided trails. 

Chris and I loved walking through the peaceful maple groves and seeing live native reptiles and amphibians inside the Visitor Center.  There's also a viewing area where you might see songbirds, deer and turkeys. There's lots of hands-on exhibits for kids and families.

The trails are a combination of paved and dirt so we found it most comfortable to wear hiking shoes.  My friend and I were thrilled to see a beautiful deer during our walk!  You'll love the boardwalks and scenic views over the ponds. 

9. If You Love Playing Music, Visit Elderly Instruments

Where: 1100 N. Washington Ave., Lansing, MI 48906

Hey Musicians!! You gotta check this place out! Elderly Instruments is a world-renowned music store in Lansing's historic Old Town. This music store sells new, used & vintage musical instruments.

My friend Elizabeth plays several musical instruments so we HAD to stop into Elderly Instruments while we were exploring Lansing. She went nuts over the stringed and fretted instruments.  They also have a valuable full-service stringed instrument repair shop and offer lessons. 

10. See the North Lansing Dam

Where: Lansing River Trail, Lansing, MI 48906

While exploring Lansing, we happened across the North Lansing Dam. Pretty cool place to check out. There is a walk path and benches along the Grand River, so check it out!

11. Walk Michigan State Campus! The MSU Buildings are Beautiful

Enjoy a walked around the Michigan State University campus! It's all paved sidewalks that meanders by several gorgeous all brick MSU buildings.  It's scenic the entire way between museums!  Check out wire sculpture art, landscaping and intriguing buildings. 

12. See Dinosaurs at the MSU Museum!

409 W Circle Dr, East Lansing, MI 48824

The MSU museum in Lansing Michigan houses up close and personal dinosaur remains, taxidermy animals (don't miss the giant bear!!), very cool information about the fur trade and examples of general stores from years past. 

Plan to spend around an hour here.  There are restrooms and a couple levels to navigate.  Great for kids!  We hope you discovered a few fun things to do in Lansing Michigan!

13.  Mark Your Calendars for Silver Bells in the City!

The official kick-off of the Christmas holiday season is Silver Bells in the City which occurs in mid-November. This incredible free Christmas event is family-friendly and makes for a perfect date night idea.  Enjoy live entertainment, a famous electric parade, holiday market, Fireflies drone show, and outstanding fireworks at the Capitol building. This November Michigan event makes for incredible photos!

Did You Know There Are Several Diners, Drive-in's and Dives in Lansing!?  Check it out!

Michigan Diners, Drive-in's and DivesMichigan Diners, Drive-in's and Dives

Check out our Michigan Diner's, Drive-In's and Dives all across our incredible Mitten State!

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By: Sherry Trautman

Sherry Trautman Bio PictureAuthor: Sherry Trautman

 Author | Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "Travel-mi.com." A lifelong Michigander...read more about Sherry Trautman 

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Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in Lansing⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My friend Elizabeth and I took the day yesterday to bum around Lansing. We checked out cute critters at Preuss Pets, enjoyed crispy spring rolls at P.F. Chang, learned about our Michigan history at the Historical Center, poked ancient dinosaurs at the MSU museum and walked around the MSU campus. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It was one heck of a day! I mean, check out that glorious sky! That's how it was, I didn't do any fancy photoshopping!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #MSU #lansing #lansingmi #lansingmichigan #michigan #puremichigan #michiganhistorycenter #michiganart #artmuseum #greatlakesstate #travelingmichigan #michiganders #mittensmitten #michiganaddict #onlyinmichigan #mittenlove #thingstodoinmichigan #photooftheday #traveling #adventureislife #travel #travelphotography #welivetoexplore #colorful #familytravel

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Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

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We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "Travel-mi.com." A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of Travel-MI.com. This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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