There are many things that you can get out of the house and go do with your kids any time of year! Being a stay at home moms myself, I needed to find ways to entertain the kids that didn’t involve sitting in front of the TV everyday or playing with the same ole things day in and day out! My kids love adventure, so it was always a priority of mine to find fun things to go out and do on a weekly basis that they could look forward to. Now. I know COVID may be standing in the way of some of these things at the moment, but this won’t be forever and the fun activities listed below will still be here when all is back to normal!! In no particular order, these are some of our absolute favorite things to do in Lansing, MI with the kids!
Impressions 5 is probably one our most favorite places for fun activities of all! They have a variety of educational and fun learning activities for all ages! Have little ones under the age of 4yrs? No problem! Enjoy the First Impressions room with no worries about them being able roam, crawl, splash in the water table, climb the play structure all while in a comfortable and supportive environment for little ones! For your older kiddos, explore two full levels of endless fun! From bubbles, to ball launching, nature exhibits, the amazing giant light room board, building zones and so much more, there is bound to be something that every kiddo will enjoy!
Come for the day for just $8.50 per person ages 2yrs and up or purchase a full year membership for as little as $75/year and come as many times as you want! Its great with the yearly membership as you get discounts throughout the state from various other science centers and museums too! I know my kids love this place so much that we end up staying hours here just to explore each activity! Even jump in on their $3 workshops or sign up for their summer program with weekly fun and learning!
For more information on these STEM activates checkout Impressions 5.
Potter park is such a great way to get outside and go for a nice walk, enjoy nature and explore all of the amazing animals! Our all time favorites are feeding the birds in the birdhouse, going for pony rides, or even heading to the petting zoo where you can brush the cute little goats! It’s great if you live in Ingham County as admission is less at only $7/person! Children under the age of 3yrs old is always free!
My family always opts for the yearly membership as we get to go as many times as we want and it is definitely worth it! Another great tip is if you deliver a baby at McLaren Hospital Lansing, you get a full one year basic membership absolutely free! How cool is that!? We definitely took advantage of that when we had our second daughter last year! Grabbing a ice cream at Savanna Grill after eating a packed lunch is a must!! I know you will love this as much as my family does! And, it is a easy, COVID friendly activity to do to get the kiddos out of the house!!
For more information on this wonderful local zoo checkout Potter Park Zoo.
This may be a little out there and many may not even have thought to go to the Pruess Pets Pet shop! It is more than a pet store, but a great learning experience for the kiddos! We always have so much fun exploring all of the varieties of fish, walking through the bird area, looking at and feeding the koi fish in the pond for just $1 and looking at those reptiles that quite frankly, creep me out, but always seem to be the kid’s favorites! Such a nice little activity to do and save for a rainy day! Make it fun by bringing a scavenger hunt of things to find when you get there!! Your kids will love it!!
For more information on this wonderful pet store Pruess Pets.
We took our kids to the MSU children gardens on Michigan State campus for the first time this year! I had honestly never heard of them before, but I was so intrigued! We went during the month of July with the roses were all in bloom and everything was so full of life and gorgeous! From the beautifully built pergolas to the absolute beauty of the gardens, it all is a breath of fresh air! To get in is absolutely free, but you do have to pay for parking!
The kid friendly areas are just so cute, full of life and color! The kids love walking over the bridge, playing in the wooden twig houses, playing the musical instruments with their feet and just running around enjoying the outdoors! After you visit the children’s’ area, make sure to stroll on over to the fountains and see all of the pretty flowers along the way! Don’t forget to take a picture with the giant flower bird right up front! And of course when you’re done, don’t forget to grab a tasty cold treat at the MSU dairy store right down the street! It is a must! Buckeye Blitz may be my all-time favorite!
For more information on this wonderful park checkout MSU Children’s Garden.
Did someone say popcorn? Ummmm….me!!! Horrocks is located right in the heart of Lansing and is known for their amazing food and market like atmosphere. They have absolutely everything you could imagine! Take the kids to sample the array of popcorn flavors made on site, grab a bowl of freshly made gelato and stroll isle after isle of endless possibilities! It’s is even great idea for a mom and dad date night away! Grab a drink at their wine bar or pub and walk around! Shop their amazing infused oil or coffee roasting stations too! Such unique things you will find and every trip is just as exciting as we are always sure to find something new! I’ll let you in on a little secret, find their blueberry dipped yogurt pretzels! You can thank me later!! 😉
For more information on this wonderful store checkout Horrocks Farmers Market.
The aquatic center is a great place to visit in the summer time! East Lansing residents can get in for $7/person and non residents for $11/person. Or purchase a full season pass and go as many times as you would like! They feature a variety of water activities for all ages. Young kiddos can hang out in the splash park and zero depth pool area, while bigger kiddos can enjoy two different water slides and the large swimming pool areas!
Make sure to pack a lunch or grab a bite at the concession stand and bring snacks as we always stay for at least a half of the day, if not longer! My best word of advice, get there early!! Arrive before they open and hop in line. They do have a limit of the number of individuals who can be in the water park, so you want to make sure you are able to get in. especially if you want to snag an ideal shaded spot underneath those huge umbrellas!!
For more information on this awesome local water park checkout East Lansing Aquatic Center.
Play is an eco-friendly, 2,600 square foot indoor playground for little ones and their parents in East Lansing, Michigan. Drop in to play any day of the week, join a class, or even plan an amazing birthday party! Families are required to purchase a membership to join their exclusive play areas! You can check out more membership details and perks here. https://www.playeastlansing.com/membership.html
The library is a great resource for some free fun and learning! Join in on a variety of weekly events from baby time, story time or toddler time during specific days and times during the week! The library features an amazing kid zone and offers an amazing variety of books, tablets, and imaginative play toys for continued learning! You can learn more about what times they offer here.
The Dewitt Library, although smaller that East Lansing, offers just as many educational programs and books for children! Sign up for their story time or movement classes to get your children in on the fun! They have a great imaginary play area equipped with a kitchen and play food, guaranteed to keep the kids busy for a while! When they need a break, jump over on a computer for some more interactive learning games! One of our absolute favorites at the Dewitt Library, is their activity backpacks! Each backpack is themed and checked out for a week to learn about a specific topic! My kids are always so thrilled to see what they get to learn and play with every week! Find additional information on Dewitt Library kids activities here.
One of our favorite things to do when warm weather is around, is to visit the variety of different parks all throughout Lansing! There are so many to visit with all offering different fun activities and play structures!
Crego Park is great for going on long walks along the Red Cedar River in Lansing! Explore nature with the family, take a walk or bring your bikes where you will find beautiful water areas, old railroad tracks, and beautiful colors everywhere!
Fenner Nature Center is another one of our favorite hiking areas! It is great for the kids to get outside and enjoy nature and just run free and burn off energy! The visitor center has great learning experiences for children of all ages. Be sure to check out their variety of education programs or summer camps for kids and and even the monarch conservation area in the summer time! Endless learning possibilities here that will keep your kids entertained for hours!!
Wanting to find another fun, COVID safe activity to do with the kids outdoors!? Look no further! The ledges in Grand Ledge, MI are something you have never seen before! 78 acres of fun, 3 miles of nature trails, playgrounds, volleyball nets, disc golf and so much more! You definitely do not need to drive way up north to see some amazing rock formations! About 25 minutes from the Lansing area and just an hour from Grand Rapids, the ledges will surely entertain your family for hours of hiking, exploring, and a fun-filled day your kids will never forget! Grab your backpack and fill it with some snacks and water or pack a lunch for a picnic in nature! Admission is just $5 per car! Don’t forget those Fall colors are an absolute must to see too!!
Granger Park is located in Lansing and is completely free! Unlike some parks, they offer year round activities for the entire family! The 76 acre park includes trails, paved walking paths, basketball courts/softball fields, koi ponds, a playground, and picnic pavilion areas! Middle of winter? No worries! Head on over to hit the slopes with the 70’ high sledding hill with three different slopes, a skating pond and even cross country skiing. It is sure to keep your family and kids active all year round, even in those winter months!
Hawk Island is always a great place to take the kids for some water fun! Splash around in the splash pad or head over to the beach for some amazing fun!
John M. Patriarche Park in East Lansing, is probably my kid’s absolute favorite! I think because it is so fresh and new, there is hours of fun to be had here on their extremely large play structures! Don’t worry if you have little ones, as there is a dedicated area and play structure for them to use!
Lake Lansing Park South in Haslett, MI is always a great park to go to! I don’t know if its the old wooden play structure that is so different and fun for the kids to play on or because they have actually concession stands with food to grab a snack! And if your kids are anything like mine, they are always hungry! When you are done playing, you can head on over to the beach to cool off or even bring a picnic lunch for the wide open lawn areas! There is a parking fee of $5 for non residents and $3 for Ingham county residents. Or, purchase a yearly Ingham County Park membership and go as many times as you would like!
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For the Love of Photography is an East Lansing, Michigan based family photographer. Amanda specializes in newborn, baby milestone, maternity, family, and motherhood fine art photography. Serving the greater Lansing area: Dewitt, Grand Ledge, Okemos, Lansing, Williamston, Haslett, Howell, Brighton, Novi, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and surrounding areas
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