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Things to Do In and Around Lansing, MI

Posted by Chad Cushman
Oct 9, 2023 3:46:26 PM


As the state capital of Michigan and home to Michigan State University, the Lansing area is on the move and steeped in history, culture, and entertainment. From museums and science centers to arts and outdoor activities, you’ll discover adventures for all ages and all tastes. 

There is so much to see and enjoy in Lansing, you’ll need more than just a day. Residents take pride in their city and want you to share all that it has to offer. Once you start your adventure, you’ll understand how easy it is to “Love Lansing Like a Local."

Planning Your Visit

Where to begin your trip to Lansing? You can take tours, or you can create your own itinerary with all the things you can do in Lansing. If traveling as a group, charter an Indian Trails bus for your family and friends or buy a ticket on an Indian Trails bus to the area and discover all it has to offer. 
Lansing is chock full of places to go, things to learn, and activities to enjoy. Crafting a well-rounded itinerary can be as much fun as the actual trip. Here are a few ideas.

Michigan State Capitol

As Michigan’s state capital, the first visit on every itinerary should be to the beautiful Michigan State Capitol — a captivating experience that offers a deep dive into the state's rich history and political heritage. You can explore on your own or take a guided tour, which takes visitors through the grand legislative chambers adorned with ornate decor and historical artifacts.

Knowledgeable tour guides provide insightful commentary on Michigan's governance, highlighting significant events and personalities that have shaped the state's trajectory. A visit to the Michigan State Capitol is a memorable journey through both architectural splendor and civic heritage.



Music and Theatre

With venues and local stages highlighting an array of theatrical productions and live music genres, Lansing's entertainment landscape is spirited and diverse. Whether you're into classical compositions or indie rock melodies, comedy, tragedy, or musicals, the city's stages are alive with the harmonious blend of creativity that defines the Lansing area's music and theatre scene.

  • A visit to Lansing Community College Performing Arts is a journey into a world of artistic expression and creativity. With performances ranging from theatre productions to musical concerts, LCC serves as a hub for cultural enrichment and entertainment in the heart of the city. Audiences can enjoy a range of talented performers and thought-provoking productions, making this venue a destination that celebrates the performing arts and fosters a dynamic cultural scene.

  • Located on the campus of Michigan State University, The Wharton Center for Performing Arts offers arguably the best in Broadway shows, performing arts, theatre, and live events in Michigan. Wharton Center’s four unique stages (the Cobb Great Hall, Pasant Theatre, MSU Concert Auditorium and Fairchild Theatre) form Michigan’s largest performing arts venue and offers a myriad of entertaining options throughout each of its annual seasons.

  • The Lansing Symphony Orchestra brings to life a rich repertoire of symphonies, concertos, and timeless compositions that enchant audiences of all ages. With exceptional performances led by talented musicians and renowned conductors, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra is a cultural treasure within the city's musical landscape.

  • Exploring the Riverwalk Theatre promises an immersive journey into the world of live theatrical performances and artistic storytelling. As a dynamic community theater, the Riverwalk Theatre showcases a diverse range of plays, musicals, and dramatic productions that captivate audiences with their creativity and talent. With its intimate setting and engaging performances, this theater invites visitors to experience the power of live storytelling and the performing arts scene in Lansing.

  • Located in REO Town, The Robin Theatre, an intimate listening room and event space, hosts a diverse range of live performances, including music concerts, comedy shows, and spoken word events. This community-centered space captures the essence of Lansing's arts scene and provides a platform for both local and touring artists to showcase their talents.


Museums and Science Centers

Enriching experiences that blend education, exploration, and entertainment are just waiting for you. Immerse yourself in captivating exhibits, interactive displays, and engaging activities that make Lansing's history, culture and science a must-see for visitors of all ages.

  • Impression 5 Science Center is a hands-on learning hub that fuels curiosity through interactive exhibits and engaging activities. It invites visitors of all ages to dive into the world of science.

  • Explore our state’s rich history through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and displays at the Michigan History Center. This engaging institution offers visitors a deeper understanding of Michigan's past, highlighting its cultural heritage, pivotal events, and the stories that have shaped the region.

  • R.E. Olds Transportation Museum is an homage to the pioneering spirit of Ransom Eli Olds, highlighting a collection of vehicles that trace the evolution of transportation and offering a journey through time, highlighting the innovations and contributions that have shaped the automotive landscape.



Art and Cultural Institutions

Embarking on a journey to explore the art and cultural institutions of the Lansing area unveils a captivating tapestry of creativity, history, and diversity. Institutions offer a kaleidoscope of perspectives that celebrate the city's heritage and artistic ingenuity that highlights the cultural landscape of the area.

  • A visit to the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center promises an exciting journey into the world of contemporary art and creativity. Nestled in the heart of the city, this gallery invites exhibitions and educational programs. Discover the evolving landscape of visual arts and its significance within the community.

  • Michigan State University’s Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum is a can’t-miss contemporary art museum with a stated mission of exploring global contemporary culture and ideas through art. The museum’s unique design and thematic exhibitions featuring contemporary art set it apart from the expected and ordinary.

  • Stepping into the Turner-Dodge House & Heritage Center is like stepping back in time to experience the history of Lansing and its inhabitants. This beautifully preserved historic house provides a glimpse into the lives of the Turner and Dodge families, offering visitors an authentic window into the past through its period furnishings and architectural charm. Guided tours and events hosted within the center's historic walls provide an opportunity to connect with Lansing's heritage and the stories that have shaped it.


The Lansing area is a haven for sports enthusiasts with a variety of distinctive local sports teams and leagues. The area is a destination that caters to both avid fans and casual spectators.

  • Michigan State University is home to a wide spectrum of Division 1, college sports. Whether its major sports like football, basketball or hockey, or volleyball, track and golf, the university is just your ticket to cheering on student athletes.

  • Lansing City Futsal is Lansing’s representative in a league that plays an indoor soccer-like game played at a fast pace on a hardwood surface. Soccer lovers can enjoy cheering on Lansing’s own futsal team in any weather.

  • Lansing Common is a community-owned soccer team out of Lansing Eastern Sports Complex.

  • Lansing Community College Stars sports nine intercollegiate teams, including basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, track and field, and cross country.

  • Lansing Lugnuts is the city’s minor league baseball team at Jackson Field.

  • Lansing Roller Derby is always ready to whip it and win it as they light up the track and electrify crowds.


If you love a good festival, the Lansing area offers a colorful array of celebrations that capture the city's spirit and culture, highlighting its creativity, diversity, and community bonds. Embark on a journey through parades, activities, and mouthwatering cuisine. Discover the heart and soul of the area's festival scene.

  • Lansing Beer Fest is an annual gathering of local breweries and beer enthusiasts for a day of tastings, entertainment, and camaraderie in celebration of craft beer culture. Attendees can explore a variety of unique and flavorful brews while enjoying live music and a festive atmosphere in this popular community event.

  • Lansing JazzFest is an annual celebration of jazz music that brings together renowned musicians and local talent, creating an engaging musical experience for attendees. With its diverse lineup, energetic performances, and lively atmosphere, the festival has become a highlight of the city's cultural calendar.

  • Lansing Juneteenth Celebration commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and celebrates Black culture and heritage through music, art, educational activities, and community engagement. This event provides a platform for reflection, learning, and unity, fostering a sense of togetherness and progress in the spirit of Juneteenth.

  • Michigan Pride Festival celebrates and advocates for the LGBTQ+ community through a colorful parade, live entertainment, educational exhibits, and a supportive atmosphere. This festival promotes inclusivity, equality, and diversity, while fostering a sense of unity and pride within the community and its allies.

  • Old Town Oktoberfest is a celebration of German culture in the historic Old Town district, featuring live music, traditional food, and beer. Attendees can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the festival while partaking in classic Oktoberfest activities and savoring authentic German cuisine and beverages.

For more information about these events and other festivals, you can visit Choose Lansing.


The Lansing area is home to a captivating blend of urban life and natural beauty. Nestled within this lively cityscape is an array of picturesque natural attractions that invite both residents and visitors to connect with nature and interact with wildlife. From the serene banks of the Grand River to the tranquil trails of local parks, the area provides a harmonious balance between urban convenience and the rejuvenating embrace of its surrounding natural landscapes.

  • Potter Park Zoo is a destination that brings together wildlife and education. The zoo offers an opportunity for visitors to experience the wonders of nature up close. Its commitment to conservation and environmental awareness entertains, but also educates, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for nature.

  • Lansing River Trail is a scenic pathway that winds through the heart of Lansing to the Michigan State University campus, offering a serene escape into nature amidst the urban surroundings. Stretching along the banks of the Grand River, this multi-use trail provides opportunities for walking, jogging, biking, and enjoying picturesque views of the waterway and the city. With its connections to parks, cultural landmarks, and recreational areas, the Lansing River Trail is a beloved resource that seamlessly merges outdoor recreation with the charm of the area's landscape.

  • Fenner Nature Center is a natural haven that welcomes individuals to explore and connect with the outdoors. With its diverse ecosystems — including woodlands, wetlands and prairies — the center offers an enriching environment for nature enthusiasts, families, and educators alike. Through its trails, educational programs and hands-on experiences, the center encourages a deeper understanding of ecological processes and fosters a sense of stewardship for the local environment.

  • Hawk Island Park is a recreational destination that caters to both relaxation and outdoor adventure. The park's centerpiece is its scenic lake, offering opportunities for swimming and fishing. With amenities like picnic areas, splash pad, a sandy beach, and walking trails, the park provides a serene escape where visitors can unwind, play and immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.




The Lansing area offers a variety of fun and interactive ways to tour the city and visit sites of historical significance and architectural landmarks and enjoy the local attractions. Visitors can explore the diverse facets of the area through informative and engaging experiences.

  • The Michigan Princess is an elegant riverboat that offers a unique dining and entertainment experience on the Grand River. With its luxurious interior, delicious cuisine, and scenic cruises, it provides a memorable way to enjoy the beauty of the river and the city.

  • The Pedal Saloon offers a unique and lively way to explore the city, combining socializing and pedaling on a mobile bar. With its interactive and fun concept, it provides a memorable experience for groups looking to explore Lansing while exercising and enjoying each other's company.

  • River Town Adventures offers outdoor enthusiasts and visitors an exciting, unique way to explore the nature, architecture and culture of Lansing and the Grand River through kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals.

Lansing Online Experience Passes

There are two distinct passes that are both free and do not require any app downloads. They provide access to deals and discounts, but the best part is that you can check in, accumulate points and win fun prizes.

  • The Lansing Experience Pass is a curated ticket that provides access to a variety of attractions, activities, and cultural sites in Lansing. It offers visitors the opportunity to explore the city's diverse offerings, from museums and galleries to outdoor adventures, all at a discounted rate. The pass encourages a well-rounded exploration of Lansing's highlights. Check in, gather points, earn swag!

  • For “liquid lovers,” the Lansing Craft Beverage Pass focuses on the best craft breweries, artisan distilleries, and boutique wineries. This pass highlights the city's diverse craft beverage culture, allowing patrons to savor delightful tasting experiences while supporting local businesses and artisans. Redeem points for prizes after visiting just three locations!

Getting There

A journey on an Indian Trails bus is a convenient, affordable, premium ride offering amenities, such as heat and air conditioning, headrests and footrests, restroom, charging ports and Wi-Fi. Your journey will be as pleasant as your destination.

Indian Trails has regular bus routes to and from Lansing. If you’re traveling with a group, you can charter a bus and travel comfortably at your own pace.

Still have questions about what to do in Lansing? Please visit Choose Lansing for more ideas — and let Indian Trails take you there.

Topics: Lansing

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