What to do and see in Lansing, Michigan (MI): The Best Things to do

December 8, 2021 Viva Honore

The birthplace of the Oldsmobile and Michigan's automotive center, Lansing offers visitors a number of car-related sites like plant tours and automobile museums, but there are other forces driving this capital city. On the political side, there's the award-winning State Capitol Building, completely restored in 1992, where tourists are wowed by the glass-floor rotunda and acres of decorative handpainted surfaces. The Michigan Historical Museum, which boasts a great collection of items from Michigan's past, including a recreated copper mine, will please history buffs. Children and families will enjoy taking a camel ride at the Potter Park Zoo or spending the day biking through Sleepy Hollow State Park. On the cultural side, the nearby campus of Michigan State University is a must-see for the Kresge Museum and for the beautiful campus itself. Entertaining and educational attractions, great shopping, fabulous restaurants and a variety of affordable accommodations make Lansing worth the ride.
Restaurants in Lansing

1. Michigan State Capitol

Capitol Avenue at Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48906 +1 517-373-2353 http://capitol.michigan.gov/Tours/
Excellent
65%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 339 reviews

Michigan State Capitol

Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1992, this building has served as Michigan's seat of state government since its completion in 1879.

Reviewed By Disneybus - Pittsgrove, United States

We did a self tour of this magnificent capitol. You enter on the ground floor which is very much like a basement providing little hint of the splendors above. The capitol is done with Victorian elegance and opulence. There are magnificent chandeliers, and the rotunda and inner dome are beautifully decorated with elaborate hand-painted designs, as are the walls and ceilings throughout the Capitol. As a cost saving measure almost all the wood trim appears to be walnut but most of it is inexpensive woods, carefully hand painted to mimic walnut. The impressive grandiose House of Representatives and Senate Chambers are located on the third floor and are accessible to the public. We particularly liked the glass coats-of-arms for each state in the chamber ceiling. We've toured several state capitols, and this one is certainly impressive and well represents Michigan. Of note - there is no capitol parking lot - it's all street!

2. Michigan History Center

702 W Kalamazoo St, Lansing, MI 48915-1609 +1 517-335-2573 [email protected] http://www.michigan.gov/mhc
Excellent
68%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 221 reviews

Michigan History Center

***Due to the COVID-19 situation, the Archives of Michigan and the museums and historic sites in the Michigan History Museum System are closed to the public until further notice.*** The Michigan History Center fosters curiosity, enjoyment and inspiration rooted in Michigan's stories. Home to both the Archives of Michigan and the Michigan History Museum, the Michigan History Center offers experiences for visitors of all ages and interests. There is no admission charge for the museum on Sundays. There is no admission charge for the Archives of Michigan. The Archives are open 1:00 - 5:00 pm Monday-Friday, and 10:00 am - 4:00 pm on Saturday.

Reviewed By 350randyc - Austin, United States

One of the very best state museums in the country. We visited on a Sunday when admission is free and guests are few. Avoid during school trip visits. I recommend two hours. There is a rich history in Michigan.

3. River Trail

Lansing, MI 48912 ‎ http://lansingrivertrail.org/map/node
Excellent
54%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 94 reviews

River Trail

Reviewed By Chelz1111 - Lansing, United States

I love walking the rivertrail all through town, love to bring my dog with me and look at all the cool art all along the trail. The trail is huge so you can get to it from all sorts of spots. Great for biking and rollerblading too

4. Impression 5 Science Center

200 Museum Dr, Lansing, MI 48933-1914 +1 517-485-8116 http://www.impression5.org/
Excellent
66%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 209 reviews

Impression 5 Science Center

Interactive museum engages all five senses in the exploration, understanding and appreciation of the wonders of physical science.

Reviewed By bunnyyoop - Bluffton, United States

My 3 yr old granddaughter was invited to a birthday party here and what a great time. So much to see and touch and interact with. It’s well run and clean and full of interesting exhibits. A great place to come with the family.

5. R.E. Olds Transportation Museum

240 Museum Dr, Lansing, MI 48933-1905 +1 517-372-0529 [email protected] http://reoldsmuseum.org/
Excellent
61%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 165 reviews

R.E. Olds Transportation Museum

From rare vehicles like REO, Star, Durant, and Viking to classic Oldsmobiles, buggies, bicycles, aviation endeavors, trucks and engines- enjoy the excitement of transportation history! See why we are rated one of "The Ten Best Automobile Museums in the United States" exhibiting a small collection, by Car Collector Magazine.

Reviewed By SilverFZ

A terrific way to spend a few hours if industrial history is your interest. We'll worth the admission of $7 . If you're a car buff or an engine fan this will be worth your time. Easy parking .

6. Cooley Law School Stadium

505 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48912-1148 +1 517-485-0463 http://www.lansinglugnuts.com
Excellent
68%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 114 reviews

Cooley Law School Stadium

7. Hawk Island Park

1601 E Cavanaugh Rd, Lansing, MI 48910-3615 +1 517-676-2233 http://pk.ingham.org/ThingstoDo/SnowTubingatHawkIsland.aspx
Excellent
65%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
3%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 37 reviews

Hawk Island Park

8. Potter Park Zoo

1301 S Pennsylvania Ave, Lansing, MI 48912-1646 +1 517-483-4222 http://www.potterparkzoo.org/
Excellent
45%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
4%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.0 based on 422 reviews

Potter Park Zoo

Visit more than 100 species of animals, many of which are endangered, including Black Rhinos, Siberian Tigers, Red Pandas and Snow Leopards.

Reviewed By rebeccasI2111LT

This sweet little zoo is great for families and small children. It has a petting area and a wide variety of animals. There are pony and camel rides. We usually take 1-2 hours to see the animals and take pictures. There are also picnic grounds and play areas outside the zoo. Highly recommend.

9. Old Town

201 E Grand River Ave, Lansing, MI 48906-4329 http://www.iloveoldtown.org
Excellent
46%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.0 based on 147 reviews

Old Town

Reviewed By ShelbyR14568

Hello travelers! Old town is an amazing place to stop both old and young, both by your self or with family! We have tons of amazing stores and amazing food! We have a river trail that extends throughout our town that makes it possible to explore our town by the river and by the fish ladder! We have yearly festivals that produce hundreds of people each year, and amazing music! We have our own art committee and have our very own gallery! We are also known for our huge murals! Theres so much to explore in Old-town and you should definitely do your research on coming here! Find information on the ILoveOldtown website and come and join the fun!!!!!

10. The Michigan Princess

Grand River Park, Lansing, MI 48917 +1 517-627-2154 [email protected] http://www.michiganprincess.com/
Excellent
49%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
6%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.0 based on 35 reviews

The Michigan Princess

The Michigan Princess offers a wide variety of entertainment and meals all while cruising the beautiful grand river. We feature salsa dancing, blues cruise, disco, inter active murder mystery dinner just to name a few. You can purchase just one ticket for one of our public events or rent the whole boat! We also host private events including: weddings, class reunions, proms, corporate outings, anniversary's, and baby showers just to name a few.

Reviewed By timmy026

We were welcomed aboard on the lunch cruise by the chef, met the captain, had an amazing & hot turkey dinner. . .vegetarians would have been pleased by the meal. The banjo band asked for requests from each person at the tables & knew songs from the 40's to the present. . .they were unbelievable! The captain shared a history of the boat and company. ..very interesting and humorous. The cruise was multi-generational . . .a great way to spend the afternoon. Would recommend this to anyone wanting to kick back, relax & enjoy the river.

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