33 Things to do Outside in Lansing – Your Guide to Outdoor Play

boy_in_MSU_japanese_garden things to do outside

Lansing has Things to do Outside Year-Round!

Non-Michiganders ask all the time, “What do you do there?” “Isn’t it too cold to go outside much?” and “It is so hot in the summer right?” I love responding to these questions because if Michigan had a middle name it would be, “things to do outside!”

Outdoor fun is what Michiganders enjoy most, not to mention during all four seasons! And Lansing isn’t lacking in those fabulous year-round outside options!


You may also be interested in:

Things to do in Lansing // Summer Fun Hub // Ultimate Winter Guide // Things to do in Fall // Indoor Play


Four Seasons of Outside Fun in Lansing

Many of these activities can be done year-round! Others are so wonderfully seasonal. All in all, they’ll each have you falling more in love with Lansing and you may even start loving winter, too!

33 Things to do Outside in Lansing

01) Water Fun – Lansing has 29+ pools, beaches, and splash pads! Want more? Here are 50+ beaches to visit in Michigan. 


02) Walk or bike the path between the Michigan State Capitol and Michigan Justice Building.

03) Car and Bus Races at Speedway – Cheer the busses on or watch the crazy eights for a blast of a night. 

04) Uncle Johns Cider MillEnjoy watching cider being made, walking around the orchards, hayrides, bouncing pillow, bounce houses, and more!

Uncle Johns Cider Mill
8614 NORTH, US-127, St Johns, MI 48879

05) Nature Centers – Walk the trails or explore in the welcome centers and nature playgrounds! Don’t miss the Maple Syrup (Spring) and Apple Butter (Fall) Festivals held every year at Fenner!

06) The MSU Children’s Garden Center/Horticulture Center  Storytimes, walks through the beautiful gardens, butterflies in the spring, and Holiday events in the winter are a few things you’ll love about this place!

07) Farmers Markets are a great way to get outside, support local businesses, and have some fun all at the same time.

08) Outdoor events at The MSU Broad Art Museum Some of our favorite events during the summer happen outside at this gorgeous location. There are lots of stations for the kids during their “First Saturdays” and demonstrations that make this a great experience each time you visit.

The MSU Broad Art Museum
547 E Circle Dr, East Lansing, MI 48824
Eli and Edyth Broad Art Museum Drawing Marathon

09) Festivals

10) Go boating – Kayaking, canoeing, and SUP boarding are easy and fun in Lansing! There are lots of places where you can rent plus many docking spots if you’ve got your own.

River Town Adventures Grand River Downtown Lansing Kids Kayak Tandum under bridge

11) Biking – Hop on the river trail and trails all over the Greater Lansing area! Need a bike? You can rent them from several places around town like Rivertown Adventures, Riverfront cycle, MSU Bikes, and more.

12) Feed the Koi fish in their outdoor pond at Preuss Pets during the warmer months. Then visit all of the animals inside where you’ll find more fish to feed. This place is a dream. It’s so much fun to visit no matter the time frame to spend. You can also feed the koi fish at the Japanese gardens on LCC campus.

Preuss Pets
1127 N Cedar St, Lansing, MI 48906

13) Go Disk Golfing aka frisbee golf. This is SO MUCH FUN for the whole family. 

14) Play soccer at Beacon Field. If it’s not snowing, you can even play a game of soccer in the winter.

Beacon Field
401 N Walnut St, Lansing, MI 48933

15) Visit a garden:


16) Go Horseback riding:

17) Visit and feed the Horses at MSU. Rain or shine these beauties will always love a visit from you and your family. You can bring apples and carrots to feed them. It’s a relaxing and awesome experience for both kids and adults.

South Campus Animal Farm
3327 Collins Rd. Lansing, MI 48910

18) Go U-Picking. Fruit picking is pretty popular around here and for good reason –  it’s fun and delicious!

U-Pick-strawberries boy picking strawberries in Dewitt Lansing area farm

19) Go to Potter Park Zoo where year-round fun awaits! Plus, if you’re an Ingham County Resident or travel with someone who is, you can see the animals for FREE on non-holiday Mondays from 9 am-Noon.

Potter Park Zoo
1301 S Pennsylvania Ave, Lansing, MI 48912

20) Take a nature walk/hike:


21) Adventure to the Brenke Fish Ladder where you can visit flowing or frozen.

Brenke Fish Ladder
216 E Grand River Rd, Lansing, MI 48906

22) LCC Amphitheatre Performances These are such unique events to attend in the summer. There’s something really warm and special about sitting in Lansing’s city center during the warm summer nights and taking in a great performance.

 23) Catch a concert in the park. There’s nothing like hearing beautiful music outside with the wind and sky as the backdrop. Make a plan to attend a concert and you won’t be disappointed.

24) Watch outdoor movies in the park. This is one of the highlights of our summers! Bring a blanket, snacks, and cozy up with your family to spend some quality time in our community. Delicious food trucks sometimes line each location and every movie choice is great for the whole family viewing.

Movie in the Park Lansing

25) Drive to a Drive-In Movie I picture my childhood when I think of these. Whether it be in a movie or real life they are so dreamy. This is something your kids won’t forget.

26) Explore Lansing’s Parks and Playgrounds! You’ll find both hidden gems and local favorites.

27) Take your family tailgating or go to a Spartans football game.


28) Cheer on the Lugnuts at Cooley Stadium!

Cooley Stadium
505 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48912

29) Go on the Lansing Mural Crawl. See Lansing in a whole new way through the eyes of the artists.


30) Ski or snowboard at Mt. Brighton! I sometimes forget how close a ski trip is. Just 45 min to one of the coolest family adventure winter has to offer!

31) Try Snowshoeing or Cross Country Skiing. This is fun AND a workout! Take the family out for some fun QT at Fitzgerald Park and Lincoln Brick Park.

32) Ice Fish on Park Lake and if it’s not too cold out, play on the amazing three-story play structure at Wisswaser park across the street.

33) Sled and Go Tubing in Lansing and beyond! On this list, you’ll find places to go for free and also tubing hills with the works (goodies like snack bars, warming stations, and hot chocolate.) Want more ice fun? Find frozen waterfalls, an ice luge, and all sorts of winter fun, here!


Where do you Like to go Outside in Lansing?

Do you know of other fun things to do outside you’d like to share? Comment below with some of your findings and we will keep the ideas coming too!

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