Lansing is located in the south central section of the Lower Peninsula of the US state of Michigan. That puts the state capital city halfway between the bustling cities of Detroit and Grand Rapids. It is at the junction of three major highways – Interstate 69, Interstate 96, and US Route 127. All of that help to make Lansing a convenient location to visit within Michigan.
Readers of my recent posts will see that Ann Arbor is renowned for being the home to the University of Michigan and its world class museums. So, while Ann Arbor has the University of Michigan, Lansing has Michigan State University which houses a number of compelling attractions you won’t want to miss out on for things to do in Lansing, MI.
The MSU Museum is located on West Circle Drive on university campus. This is one of the earliest established museums in the United States, having opened in 1857. This museum is concerned with natural and cultural history. Here are some of the exhibits you can expect to see at the museum.
The first one is Habitat Hall. Dinosaur skeleton casts and life-sized biome dioramas are the main stars in this exhibit. The dinosaurs represented within this exhibit include the Jurassic type dinosaurs, Allosaurus and Stegosaurus. The life-sized dioramas represent the diverse biomes of North and Central America including forests, grasslands, deserts, tropics, and the tundra.
They show how hoofed mammals and other animals adopt to the different biomes. Heritage Hall is the second exhibit. It focuses on the economic history of Michigan from the 1780’s to the 1940’s. The exhibit is represented by three buildings that were found in Michigan during that time period – a fur trader’s cabin, a 19th century printing shop, and a turn of the century general store.
The Hall of World Cultures exhibit is exactly what it sounds like. It explores the different cultures found in the world. It covers the topics of social, economic, political, religious, and technology innovations. Admission into the museum is technically free although donations of $5 for adults are suggested. There is also an onsite gift shop at the museum.
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum
The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum is located on East Circle Drive on university campus. This museum features works of contemporary art. The museum’s most notable art collections include Greek and Roman antiquities, pre-Columbian sculptures and vessels, and North American and European sculptures, prints, photographs, and paintings.
There are also notable works of art showcased at the museum that represents different cultures from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. There are currently eight exhibits to explore at the museum. They include Interstates of Mind, Who is a Citizen, Curricular Connections: Festivity and Democracy In Action, Acts of Care, 2020 Master of Fine Arts, Visual Citizenship, and John Lucas and Claudia Rankine: Situations.
The museum admission is free for everybody. Also, a cafe and a gift shop are housed inside the museum.
The Abrams Planetarium is located on Science Road on university campus. This is the place for you if you are into stars, telescopes, and outer space. The highlight of this planetarium is the Sky Theater. This is a domed theater where you can go and see cool shows featuring stars and planets. The shows are done using the state of the art Digistar 5 Projector which shoots the shows up onto the dome for deep immersion.
Aside from the star shows, there is a lobby area known as Exhibition Hall. This area serves as an exhibit area while you are waiting to enter the Sky Theater for the star shows. It feature displays of pictures, telescopes, and Earth and Moon globes. There is also the Blacklight Gallery. This area of the museum is home to beautiful imagery of planets, stars, and other space objects using fluorescent painting and ultraviolet lighting.
The ticket prices for the shows are $4.50 for adults, $4 for students and seniors, and $3.50 for children aged 12 and under. There is also a gift shop inside the planetarium.
Beal Botanical Garden
Nature lovers will want to visit the Beal Botanical Garden. It is located on West Circle Drive on university campus. The botanical garden was established in 1873. That makes this the oldest continually running university botanical garden in the United States. The botanical garden is home to nearly two thousand plant taxa neatly placed in a beautiful setting.
The botanical garden is divided into around 27 distinct areas. So, I will mention a few of them here. The first is Box Woodland. It is home to a mixed woodland consisting of silver maple, white ash, basswood, sugar maple, sycamore, and oak. The Elsesser East Woodland is home to a mixed age stand made up largely of sugar maple with some basswood, butternut, beech, red oak, and prickly-ash also in the mix.
The area also contains a small pond. The Bear Lake Natural Area contains a forest/bog resembling that found in northern Michigan. Located within this area are six zones of vegetations. They are the Chamaedaphne-Decodon mat, mature bog forest remnants, high shrub zone, Betula-Larix zone, marginal fosse, and north fence clearing. There is free admission for everybody to explore the beauty of this botanical garden.
These are the things to do in Lansing, MI throughout the beautiful Michigan State University campus. The campus is located in East Lansing which neighbors Lansing to the east across US Route 127.
Seeing that Lansing is the capital of Michigan, you will want to make sure to check out the beautiful Michigan State Capitol. The Michigan capital city also boast a number of attractions that explores the rich history of the city and state.
Should you be in need of a hotel to stay overnight at in Lansing, I have got you covered here. Here is a hotel I would suggest for you.
Hampton Inn East Lansing
This hotel is located around five minutes drive north of Michigan State University on Coolidge Road. There is free breakfast available at the hotel. Should you get hungry, a few nearby restaurants include Mitchell’s Fish Market, P.F. Chang’s, and Bravo! Italian Kitchen. There is an indoor heated swimming pool and fitness available at the hotel.
All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with coffee makers, microwaves, and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $112 to $173. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.
What are your thoughts? Have you visited any of the attractions at Michigan State University before? Feel free to leave a comment below.