After more than a year of dealing with the coronavirus, we’re all itching to get out there and explore new places. With its many attractions and dedication to following the strictest safety protocols, a visit to the lovely Lansing area is a capital idea for a satisfying “safecation.”
Safety is top of mind for every parent, especially right now. Families can take comfort in the Greater Lansing Safe Pledge, in which hospitality venues promise to take every precaution against Covid-19. Participants pledge to develop a preparedness and response plan consistent with the latest official recommendations; increase facility cleaning and disinfecting; reduce occupancy to allow for social distancing; require face coverings by staff and customers; and take numerous other safety precautions.
Literally hundreds of businesses — from hotels to attractions — have taken the pledge in the Greater Lansing area’s commitment to being a safe choice for visitors. This means more fun for your family and less worry for you.
You can eat, play, even swim with confidence
Some local hotels are limiting time in the pool with a restricted number of people and sanitizing between uses, or even rationing the pool to a single guestroom for a half-hour block. (Be sure to ask the policy when you book or check-in.)
Many restaurants have outdoor dining, and some entertainment venues are taking reservations to limit crowds. You’ll find all the details at lansing.org, a treasure trove of travelers’ information presented by the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau.
With a central location that makes it a popular drive-to destination, Greater Lansing is known for “wide open spaces and plenty of chill places.”
For a super fun family safecation, here are some not-to-be-missed spots:
- Each year more than 100,000 people visit the ornate 1879 State Capitol Building, a designated National Historic Landmark, to marvel at its intricate beauty. Tours for groups of 10 or fewer are offered on the hour on weekdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., or you can drop by from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. to look around on your own. It’s currently closed on weekends.
- The Potter Park Zoo is a family favorite with its lush landscaping, colorful gardens and 400-plus animals, including a rare black rhino calf. Kids love the camel and pony rides and petting zoo, and the facility is Certified Sensory Inclusive to accommodate those with autism and/or sensory sensitivities. This zoo is filled with opportunities to learn and engage. Purchase your timed entry tickets in advance at potterparkzoo.org/ticket-sales.
- Beginners get a real taste for the intricacies of golf at the Little Hawk Putting Course, one of only a handful in the state that offer real grass, actual sand traps and waterfalls. Experienced duffers also enjoy the variety of hole layouts and impeccable grooming. Every member of the family will have fun here.
- All ages find something to enjoy along the Lansing River Trail, which connects parks, historic sites and other sites along 17 paved miles as it winds along the banks of the Grand and Red Cedar rivers. An ideal spot for strolling, biking and inline skating, the trail passes right through Lansing’s downtown and new urban beach at Rotary Park. Keep an eye out for creative installations that line the trail as part of the ARTpath project.
- Nearly 100 theme gardens and areas await exploration at the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens on the campus of Michigan State University. All the outdoor gardens are open from sunup to sundown every day, though the inside facility is currently closed due to COVID-19. You might just see some butterflies!
- Explore the area on the water via a kayak, canoe or paddleboard. River Town Adventures offers options for all skill levels, from hour-long self-guided journeys for beginners to five-hour excursions for those confident maneuvering around log jams and navigating varying currents. Paddling is a great way to get your fill of nature and take in the glorious sights, all in one activity.
As we all know too well, things can change on a moment’s notice during the pandemic.
The Greater Lansing CVB is staying right on top of it all, so be sure to check out its Know Before You Go section at lansing.org before hitting the road.
Learn more about Greater Lansing and the safe fun it holds at the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau at lansing.org.