Are you looking to plan a summer vacation that’s both fun and educational? Look no further than our state’s capital.
The city of Lansing is just an hour and 20 minutes away from the Motor City, and it’s a great destination for families that want a quick and affordable summer getaway that keeps kids engaged and excited about learning.
“Lansing offers a variety of attractions and things to do for the whole family but it’s also a destination that can continue the education cycle once the kids are out of school for the summer,” Lori Lanspeary, manager of social media and leisure marketing for the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau, says.
And the key attractions in the city are located within five blocks from one another, making a trip to Lansing not only fun and educational, but convenient too.
“Lansing is the capital of the state, so we have the State Capitol Building, which offers (free) tours six days a week,” Lanspeary explains. “You can sit in and see laws being introduced and discussed, so it gives families a better concept of civics because you’re actually seeing where state laws are made and how the government works.”
A couple blocks away from the Capitol Building, families will run into the Michigan Historical Center, which houses the Michigan History Museum, the Library of Michigan and the State Archives.
“Most people like to focus on the Michigan History Museum because it features four floors of Michigan history,” Lanspeary says. For a nominal fee families can walk through a replica copper mine, a lumber baron’s house or a one-room schoolhouse.
“It covers the pre-historic era to the 1950s and ’60s so all the people my age, the grandparents are able to point out there’s the Motown era, there’s the war eras,” she adds. “It’s super informative and it’s a great state museum.”
And around the corner from the Michigan Historical Center is the Supreme Court Learning Center located in the Hall of Justice, which features a miniature courtroom and aims to teach all ages how the judicial branch of the government works.
“It’s very hands-on and a great learning option,” Lanspeary notes. “It’s free and open Monday through Friday.”
Of course, there’s more to the state capital than history and government lessons. Lansing also offers plenty of science fun at the Impression 5 Science Center, which is also downtown just off Michigan Avenue.
“It’s named after the five senses and offers multiple ways for kids to play, create and challenge their understanding of science,” Lanspeary says.
Among the exhibits is the “Pop!” bubble room, “Spectrum” light room, the two-story “Flow” water room and the First Impression Room for the littlest scientists birth to four years.
“The beauty of this museum is you can learn concepts of science as you’re playing and doing something different,” Lanspeary adds.
And that’s still not all. Lansing also offers the Cooley Law School Stadium, which hosts Midwest League baseball games by the Lansing Lugnuts along with USL League One Lansing Ignite professional soccer matches.
The city also puts on more than 60 festivals throughout the year – plus a ton of outdoor opportunities from urban kayaking on the Grand River to top notch miniature golf.
There’s also plenty of family-friendly restaurants and breweries throughout the downtown for families to check out.
“Lansing is a perfect destination for kids and kids at heart who like to have fun and go places,” Lanspeary says. “There are great attractions for families to take advantage of and there’s always something going on here in the heart of Michigan.”
To plan your families summer trip to Lansing, or to learn more about the offerings there, visit the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau online at lansing.org.