Yippee for FREE! 47 FREE (or close to it) Things to Do in the Lansing Area
Three cheers for not spending a dime! These ideas, as Jenifer lopez would say, “don’t cost a thing!”
Impression 5 has Tadpole Storytime hosted by CADL Library. Bring your card and get free admissions that day. FREE
Play games, puzzles, do a puppet show, crafts, and more at any of these local libraries, FREE:
MSU Union Building has a bowling alley in the basement. After, walk through campus or walk upstairs to stop at the MSU Dairy Store located on the main floor. Under $5 for a game and shoes.
Go swimming Inside FREE
Go to a Nature Center to see the beauty in our city all year round. FREE
- Fenner Nature Center Walk the trails or play in their welcome center. Don’t miss the Maple Syrup Festival in Spring and Apple Butter Festivals in the Fall.
- Woldumar They have storytimes and areas to learn about nature in their welcome center. Read, color, explore! Then head outside for a great hike or play in their natural playground.
- Harris holds storytimes and cool adventures during late fall/winter.
- Howell – explore their gorgeous grounds.
Ranney Skate Park in Frandor is free to visit and skate. 3201 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48912
Go on a story-walk through Valley Farms Park leading to Granger Meadows Park. The story will change each season and is facilitated by the DeWitt Library. FREE
Go Swimming Outside FREE (or affordable)
- Hunter Park is staffed by the YMCA of Lansing lifeguards. Bring ID to sign in. 1400 E Kalamazoo St, Lansing, MI 48912
- Moores Park is staffed by the YMCA of Lansing lifeguards. Bring ID to sign in. 400 Moores River Drive
Lansing, MI 48910
- Motz Park in St. Johns 4630 N Dewitt Rd, St Johns, MI 48879
- Hawk Island Lake, Lifeguards present. 1601 E Cavanaugh Rd, Lansing, MI 48910
- Lake Lansing South Lake, lifeguards present. 1621 Pike St, Haslett, MI 48840
- Nixon Pool in Jackson is $4 and has a waterslide! 400 E. North St. Jackson, MI 49201
Water Fun – Pools, Beaches, and Splash Pads galore! FREE
Uncle Johns Cider Mill Enjoy watching cider being made, walking around the orchards, hayrides, bouncing pillow, bounce houses, and more! FREE during weekdays.
Beacon Fields play a game of soccer with friends or just drop by. FREE
Parks and Playgrounds Check out the epic parks in our area for swimming, sledding, and tubing! Year round fun awaits all over Greater Lansing.
Sled, Go Tubing/sledding during winter. FREE
Indoor Playgrounds at Restaurants – we recommend these locations:
- McDonald’s – Jolly/Dunckel Road is known for the tall. Located at 2530 E Jolly Rd, Lansing, MI 48911. FREE to play.
- Chick-Fil-A in Lansing and in Okemos
- McDonald’s – Grand Ledge
- Burger King – Frandor
The Mall Talk with friends as your kids play at the play areas in Lansing and Okemos. We like to grab a coffee at Barnes and Noble in the Lansing Mall before heading to the play area right outside the doors. Stop by the little free Library located next to the play area as well. FREE
Family Movie Festival at NCG Lansing. FREE
Family Movie Matinee See a movie each month on Saturday morning at the Downtown CADL. FREE
Delta District Library Pop in for their DIY craft every Thursday during the school year starting at 3 PM. FREE
Art Lab by the MSU Broad is open to the public all week long. Make crafts, or new projects they have available throughout the week. If you want to have a peaceful, fun, and inspiring creative time, this place is for you. FREE
Cheap Crafts – Michaels stores have various crafts on the weekend that often cost just a few dollars and also offer Make Breaks throughout the year that are FREE. Check out their stores in Lansing and Jackson.
Family Day at the Eli & Edyth Broad Art Museum is every first Saturday of the month and it’s a blast! FREE
Kids DIY Workshops at Home Depot, FREE
Walk-In-Wednesday’s at REACH Art Studio is donation based and has new fun art opportunities each week. 4:30 pm.
Habikids classes are fun, creative, and donation-based with a suggested donation of $5.
Stop By a Nature Center and hang out in their welcome centers where you’ll find animals and more! FREE
Take a guided or self-guided tour of the Michigan State Capitol, Michigan Justice Building, and Beaumont Tower. FREE
MSU Museum (Dino) Visit the Dino bones, grizzly bear, and much more! If it’s nice out take a walk to shops on Grand River Ave, or the MSU Dairy Store’s two locations! FREE, a Parking fee of $2 per car.
Preuss Pets Visit to see all kinds of awesome creatures. Feed the Koi fish in their indoor or outdoor (Opens in May) ponds, hear the parrots and birds, and say hi to the store counter/pet rat, alfredo. FREE to visit. $1 to feed the fish.
MSU Children’s Garden Center/Horticulture Center Here you’ll enjoy indoor and outdoor storytimes. Kids love to stroll through the greenhouses and outdoor children’s garden. FREE
Walk or bike the path between the Michigan State Capitol and Michigan Justice Building. FREE
Walk/Tour Greenhouses at Van Attas on the East Side, Horrocks on the West Side, Lansing Gardens on the Southside, and Cottage Gardens near Holt. FREE
Visit Animals at the MSU Farms. Horses, Sheep, Cows, and more. Milking procedures can be observed every afternoon. Bring some carrots or apples to feed the Horses. FREE
Michigan Historic Center Museum is FREE on Sundays. See the museum or attend the Fly-tying instruction event located in the special exhibit area on the first floor.
Visit a Farmers Market FREE to visit (but we can’t promise you won’t want to buy something amazing.)
Visit the wonder Horrocks plus they offer FREE coffee while you shop. #parentwin
Potter Park Zoo is FREE on Monday mornings till Noon on non-holidays for Ingham county residents. They also have storytimes each day through the summer months.
Visit a garden, FREE:
Be a Tourist in Your Own Town is held annually in June and is so much fun for the whole entire family. $1 gets you a passport to experience locations all over town. Use this guide (updated annually) to help navigate which events are family-friendly.
Concert Series and Movies in the Park – There’s nothing like hearing beautiful music outside with the wind and sky as the backdrop. Plan to attend, you won’t be disappointed. FREE
Festivals, FREE to Attend
LCC Amphitheatre Performances These are such special events to attend. Enjoy sitting in Lansing’s city center during the warm summer nights taking in a great performance. FREE
The Bug House at MSU has FREE open house times.
Art/Drawing Marathon at Eli & Edyth Broad Art Museum is one of my favorite events during the summer. There are lots of stations for the kids and demonstrations that make this a great experience. FREE
MSU Butterfly House Experience holding a butterfly in your hand. They will be open to the public until April 30. FREE
MSU Science Festival Families look forward to this massive event every year! It’s packed full of amazing opportunities for fun and learning. You’ll need to plan what you’d like to attend ahead of time. Here’s the guide to help you decide. The guide is updated each year.
Reciprocal Benefits with Impression 5:
Take a drive in May to get FREE entry to the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and in February to the Air Zoo with your Impressions 5 Membership Card. The Michigan Science Center in Detroit is FREE all year long to I5 cardholders because it’s more than 90 miles away!