If you’re looking for fun, educational and inspirational activities for children of all ages in mid-Michigan, then look no further than Lansing. From playful zoos and gardens to fascinating programs at museums, libraries and science centers, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained. Here are our top choices for family activities in the capital city.
The Impression 5 Science Center was founded in 1972 with the aim of creating “an open and free environment for children and families to learn together.” Its name even refers to encouraging children to explore the world and make meaningful connections to science using their five senses. Its interactive exhibits and thoughtful programming balance education with play though, for an all-around great experience.
One of Michigan State University’s horticulture gardens has been created especially for children “to promote an understanding of plants and the role they play in our lives.” It has over 60 themed displays, including mazes, an alphabet garden, a tree house, a garden house, and an amphitheater. In the spring, there’s a butterfly house, and a monthly story hour takes place throughout the year.
The MSU Broad art museum hosts a free family day on the first Saturday of every month from 11 am–3 pm, when children can imagine, build and create at a variety of hands-on art-making stations. On top of that, there is a variety of regular events and programming designed for families.
On top of over 500 animal residents, including more than 160 different species, the Potter Park Zoo has fun and educational features for children, such as pony rides, a train ride, a bungee jump, and a petting zoo. As well as being a crowd-pleaser for children, the Potter Park Zoo does vital work for threatened and endangered creatures, so it’s well worth supporting.
As part of its promise to provide a “place where families [can] make discoveries and enjoy good times together,” the Michigan History Center runs special family programming on the second Saturday of every month. Learn how to make compasses and sundials, an insect-repellent bracelet, and even a pair of binoculars. Admission is free for children up to five years and only $2 for older kids.
Pet stores are always a winner for children, and Preuss Pets is even better than most. It regularly hosts events for families like storytime hours, art nights and parties, with competitions and more for kids to enjoy. On any normal day, there are plenty of animals, such as rescue kittens, to meet and staff who are committed to teaching about education and healthy human-animal relationships.
The Delta Township District Library has a popular kids area and all kinds of programming for children, including weekly and monthly events that promote the love of books and reading for kids of all ages. Alongside book groups and story hours, there are also craft projects, games, and competitions.