I love to travel and explore new places. A great thing about Michigan is there are so many great towns and cities like Lansing that all have something different to offer. So when I am feeling adventurous, day trips are my perfect solution to cure my travel bug. And bonus, you don’t have to pack for what seems like the apocalypse (A.K.A. an overnight trip with kids)!
Lansing, 0ur state’s capital, is not too far down the road! Besides the fact that is where I grew up, it’s one of our favorite places to visit for the day.
We recently made a day trip to Lansing to visit the Impression 5 Science Center. With more than 150 hands on exhibits, there is lots of fun to be had all while learning and exploring different sciences!
You can make slime in the Chemistry Lab, stand inside a giant bubble, build with giant blocks in the Build Zone, design a masterpiece on the life size Light Mosaic, and so, so much more.
Many of the exhibits are generally suitable for kids 5-12 years. However, they do have a wonderful space called the “First Impression Room” that is specifically for kids birth to age 4. My daughter loves coming here and just this room can entertain her for hours. There is a separate water table in this area that is always a big hit with the toddlers.
The Curious George: Let’s Get Curious! exhibit is also visiting until May 7th and is included in admission! So if you have any George fans, you won’t want to miss this!
Open Tue.-Sat. 10am-5pm, Sun. noon-5pm. $8.50 adults and children 2+, $7 seniors and military family members, children 1 year and under free.
Other indoor destinations to consider visiting on a Day Trip to Lansing:
- Tour the State Capital Building – You can explore the public areas of the capital and the House and Senate galleries on a self guided tour. Or you can get the inside scoop during a daily guided tour. You can learn so much about our capital from the guides! It is a pretty amazing thing to see. Open to tours Mon.-Fri. 9am-4pm, Sat. 10am-3pm. Tours conducted every 1/2 hour. FREE.
- R.E. Olds Transportation Museum – Over 60 vehicles including the first Oldsmobile built in 1897 are on display along with lots of other memorabilia showcasing Lansing’s rich history in the automobile industry. Open Tues.-Sat. 10am-5pm, Sun, noon-5pm. Adults $7, students and seniors $5.
- Preuss Pets – Totally a pet store, but definitely not your average pet store! They even do birthday parties here. Talk to the exotic birds or feed the huge koi fish that are swimming in the pond right inside the store! Lots and lots of tropical fish, reptiles and rodents to see. Open Mon.-Sat. 10am-9pm, Sun. 11am-6pm. FREE.
Outdoor Day Trip Destinations in Lansing
- Catch a Lansing Lugnuts Baseball Game at Cooley Law School Stadium. They have Kids Day’s on Sundays with lots of fun activities and they’ll even get to play catch on the field and run the bases before the game! Visit here for ticket and schedule information.
- Visit Michigan’s oldest zoo, Potter Park Zoo. The zoo is home to over 500 animals. Visit here for current hours and pricing.
- Stroll through the beautiful Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden at MSU. Lots here for kids to learn about and explore. Open April-October, dawn to dusk. FREE. Metered parking Mon.-Fri. 8am-6pm.
- Splash around at Hawk Island. There is a small beach and also a great splash pad. They have a large playground, volleyball courts, boat rentals, fishing docks, and nice paved trails that connect to the Lansing River Trail. Open daily 8am-dusk. $5 parking.
- Spend the Day at Lake Lansing. With the beach, large playground, paddle boat rentals, and a unique tricycle track this is the perfect spot for some outdoor fun. Open daily 8am-dusk. $5 parking.
Treats & Eats
- Whipped Bakery – Stop in for a decadent cupcake, cookie, cake pop, or whatever else makes your mouth water!
- Scoops Ice Cream in Old Town – They serve hand dipped ice cream from the MSU Dairy Store along with other ice cream treats. You can also grab a burger, hot dog or walking taco for lunch! Open seasonally.
- Sugar Shack – Specializes in extra large gourmet cupcakes, colossal cookies and brownies. Surely enough to satisfy your sweet tooth!
- For Crepe Sake – Sweet & savory crepes, salads and wraps. Also, many specialty coffee beverages to choose from.
- The Soup Spoon Cafe – A casual vibe and an awesome weekend brunch menu.
- Nuthouse Sports Grill – A great “Little League” menu for the kids, lots of TV’s to catch the sports games and a full bar for the grown-ups.
Do you have a favorite Lansing destination? I’d love to hear about it below! Have fun exploring Michigan’s Capital City!