Outdoor Winter Fun – Where Safety Meets Tending to Mental Health in Lansing 2020/21

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15 Ways to Make the Most of 2020/21 Winter in Lansing

The whirlwind of 2020 has made outdoor fun our saving grace this winter.

In years past, I spent many winters in Lansing planning to move away because I couldn’t stand the cold. Eventually, I decided to stop fighting and began to see Michigan the way Tim Allen’s voice used to make it sound like –  dreamy cabin life.

We set out to experience it all in person and take on the winter adventures as a family. After much gallivanting, I was able to write this – 57 fun things to do in Lansing during the winter.

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Many on that list include outdoor activities and that’s coming in super handy right about now.

Let’s embrace, and this year truly get through, our cold months by enjoying some of Michigan’s best moments.

Snow and those shivery temps mean hot cocoa, rosy cheeks, and worn out kids after playing their little hearts out. (Spoiler alert, these ideas are fun for us adults, too.)

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Launch Entertainment Park

Launch Lansing is the premier family entertainment facility in Mid-Michigan. With attractions like, dodgeball, ninja course, battle beam, launch pad, 25+ arcade games, laser tag, and the Krave Cafe, we will provide you and your family smiles and memories that will last a lifetime.

1982 W. Grand River Ave (Meridian Mall), OkemosMI 48864

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 OUTDOOR WINTER FUN

Fun Activities Around Lansing to Enjoy Throughout the Winter Season:

We have no more need for kvetching about Lansing Winters. They come every year – and this year we have a plan!

Use this bucket and let’s see how many fun outdoor things we can check off before spring break.

*Note: as safety requirements continue to change, check with each location before you go.

Go Tubing or Sledding

01) Try the Best Tubing and Sledding Hills Around Lansing.

Tube down the snow hill or snowboard at Hawk Island and use their lift to get back up the hill. While you’re there, walk or hike the beautiful Riverwalk trails. A snack bar is also located on-site. As of this time, they plan to open in January 2021 and limit the amount of people on the hill at one time. Please check before you go just to be sure of the exact day’s offerings.

Sled at Birchfield Park on their two sledding hills. (One for littles and one for the more daring.) Cozy up by the two wood-burning fire pits and grab a cup of cocoa in their warming house.

Choose between the big and little hills at Granger Park. You’ll find these and more on the big list of sledding and tubing options in Lansing.

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Ski and Snowshoe

02) Ski at Mt. Brighton. It’s just a little under an hour east and is a nice hill.

03) Snowshoe or cross-country ski at Fitzgerald Park and Lincoln Brick Park. Rent or bring your own. You’ll be surprised how quiet and peaceful it is while also still quite a workout.

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Hike or Walk the Trails

04) Go on a walk or hike. Many of the locations listed here have paved areas that get plowed for winter adventurers.

05) Explore nature center grounds. Try to find their outdoor nature park where kids are encouraged to add to the creation and tromp through their trails. Learn about our area and it’s wildlife at Woldumar. Go to an evening story walk at Harris, plus many more fun activities at each of these locations.

06) Visit the Brenke Fish Ladder. Yes! Even in the winter! Especially in the winter…it’s really fun to see how the water moves through this structure during the colder months. Don’t forget to bundle up and wear proper footwear (it gets icy.)

07) Hike through Grand Woods and weather permitting go disk golfing in their trails along the Grand River.

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Tour and Explore

08) Visit Curwood Castle in Owosso and walk the suspension bridge. The castle is mini and such a fun little adventure. While you’re there, grab a coffee at Foster. You’ll have a warm bevy in hand and ready to see the park with warmth.

09) Walk MSU campus and explore their grounds and architecture through the winter lense.

Outside of Covid, this is a great option to put on your bucket list for the future: Climb to the top of MSU’s Beaumont Tower on a guided tour every Tuesday from 12 pm – 12:30. You may even get to play the Carillon located at the very top! This is an inside adventure, but it’s on our list because you have to walk to it to go inside. It’s tucked away in the center of a few buildings on MSU’s campus.

10) See the big tree at the Michigan Historical Center and Library. We’re all missing the museum this year, but we can still visit its beautiful grounds. You can access this area via both sides of the building up their large stairs.

11) Walk the Capitol Grounds. During December, this means seeing the lit tree. For the rest of winter, you can enjoy taking the walking path between the Capitol and the Justice Building. We love stopping on the bridge over Walnut Street.

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Visit Animals

12) See the animals at  Potter Park Zoo. It’s pretty fun visiting the animals at this time of year. For many of them, it’s the season where they thrive. Monday mornings from 9am-noon are FREE for city of Lansing and Ingham County residents.

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Play

13) Play a game of soccer at a Beacon Field in Ferris Park, Downtown Lansing, and the South Lansing location. (Weather permitting)

14) Parks aren’t just for warm weather. We’ve come to know this well lately as my siblings and I have been getting out for walks and playtime each day as a way to see each other and to give the kids a recess of sorts. It’s cold yes, but if bundled, the running, jumping, and creative imaginative play makes up for it.

Afterward, stop by your fav hot bevy place and you’ll round it out for a full-on adventure.

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Visit a Garden

15) Visit a Garden. During the winter, gardens may seem like they go dormant and for the most part, they do. But if water is involved, in some cases it’s still flowing.

The paths to walk through are just as peaceful and inviting as when it’s warm out, just in a different way. When you try out this idea, you may be surprised at how re-energizing it becomes for you.

MSU River trail and Gardens and Greenhouses and Japanese Garden nestled among the Arboretum.

LCC Japanese Garden is one of Downtown Lansing’s best-kept secrets. It’s a sweet little spot right in the heart of LCC downtown campus.

Not an option for 2020/21 – Hunter Park Greenhouse, You’ll enjoy workshops, plant starts and more.

Cooley Law School Garden Enjoying this garden in the winter is like playing in a winter snow fort! There are lots of bushes for the snow to get caught in.

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