Planning a vacation — or a staycation trip across Michigan, for that matter — can be stressful when accessibility issues are a factor for your family. Now, you can take all of that stress out of the equation when visiting the Greater Lansing region thanks to the Able Eyes Accessible Cities program. Here, accessible travel is within your family’s reach and there are so many fun things to do.
The newly launched program, created by Able Eyes, a local Michigan business, provides a vital service to all visitors and guests to the Lansing area through virtual walk-thru tours of the inside of public spaces. The virtual tour hosting site gives guests the opportunity to get basic information regarding accessibility needs and accommodations — removing the stress of the unknown when visiting new areas or attractions.
Plan for fun without the stress
“Exploring these sites ahead of time with the virtual tour hosting site relieves the stress and anxiety when traveling, not just for people with disabilities, but for everyone,” according to Able Eyes CEO and co-founder Meegan Winters.
The Greater Lansing area takes great pride in being the first city to be certified in the Able Eyes Accessible Cities program, and strives to provide the best — and most accommodating — experiences for travelers of all needs.
The Greater Lansing area has a bevy of sensory-friendly options for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), sensory processing disorder, developmental disorders and other neurodiverse conditions, along with their families. In fact, many hotel and attractions have employees who have undergone specialized front-line training through Residential Options, Inc., Michigan State University, and the Mid-Michigan Autism Association to better understand and meet the needs of neurodiverse guests.
Families can look forward to sensory-friendly hours at popular attractions, personalized assistance provided by a Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau Certified Autism Travel Professional, as well as sensory-friendly events and activities. Families may even request special accommodations in advance at a number of attractions including the Fenner Nature Center and the State Capitol Building (which also offers American Sign Language tours!)
So many accessible travel options in Lansing
Whether you are planning a few stops at accessible family-friendly attractions like the East Lansing City Limits Bowling Center, time at Grand Woods Park for the kids to burn off some energy, or maybe a fun and educational trip to the Potter Park Zoo, you’ll definitely need a few tasty stops for some good grub to refuel for your next adventure at any number of ADA-compliant and Handicapped-accessible eateries in the Greater Lansing area.
In the mood for a caffeine kick or a relaxing cup of tea? Check out the Blue Owl Coffee REO Town, featuring coffee cocktails, dairy-free and vegan options, as well as a menu including deli sandwiches and sweet treats sure to please your entire family. The location is ADA-compliant, of course.
Or maybe your group is ready to pop in for some fun at Cravings Gourmet Popcorn and Soda Pop Market? Located in Historic Old Town Lansing, the local favorite serves up a variety of high-quality, freshly-made popcorn flavors inspired by their loyal customers.
Seeking some world-class pizza? The extensive pizza menu at Pizza House Pizzeria Bar & Grill is so extensive, you’ll want to try every type available. Try the southwestern BBQ pizza, the Philly cheesesteak pizza or the classic Margherita. In the mood for a burger or pasta creation instead? No worries. This accessible East Lansing eatery has it all, plus custom shakes and malts, too! Yum.
Easy places to stay
The sky’s the limit when it comes to accessible places to stay in the Greater Lansing area fit for any budget. And don’t worry about leaving Fido at home, since there are a number of pet-friendly hotels, like Courtyard by Marriott-Lansing, Country Inn & Suites and Hilton Garden Inn, just ready to welcome your entire family (including your four-legged best friend). Remember to pack your leash and food bowl!
Families looking for accessible campgrounds for camping or RV relaxation also have a few options. Sleepy Hollow State Park even features cabins with two bedrooms, living and dining spaces, showers and bathrooms. Enjoy activities like hiking and tubing while the fireflies light up the night for a slower-paced and relaxing family vacation.