Renowned architect Elijah E. Myers designed the Michigan State Capitol building. Erected in 1879, it holds a unique spot in history as one of the first capitol buildings in America to feature a cast iron dome. The building underwent an extensive renovation process in 1992 and received its designation as a National Historic Landmark in the same year.
The exterior of the capitol building received a makeover in 2015. Upwards of 115,000 people tour Michigan's capitol building every year. Guests can walk through the building on their own or join an informative guided tour.
100 N. Capitol Avenue
Lansing, MI 48933
More than 160 species of animals live at The Potter Park Zoo in downtown Lansing. The 20-acre zoo is divided up into exhibits with mammals, reptiles, and birds. The zoo is known for its dedication to preserving endangered species. Amur Tigers, Red Pandas, Snow Leopards, and Tamarin Monkeys are some of the unique animals that the Potter Park Zoo protects.
The zoo also runs a robust wildlife education program that helps visitors learn about wildlife through entertaining events and classes. The zoo also hosts summer camps, overnight campouts, and field trip programs for young people. Potter Park Zoo is open daily year round.
1301 S. Pennsylvania Avenue
Lansing, MI 48912
The Michigan History Center is filled with unique exhibits that detail Michigan's past. The museum has a gallery dedicated to the early European explorers who explored and founded Michigan, and there is a Civil War exhibit that contains all sorts of mementos from the 19th century conflict. Michigan's role in the Underground Railroad and the anti-slavery movement is also displayed through artifacts, written works, and paintings.
In the 1950s gallery, guests can learn all about Michigan's claim to fame as the nation's hub for automobile manufacturing. Lastly, visitors can stop by the atrium to see a three-story tall topographical map of Michigan. In some parts of the Michigan History Center there are costumed interpreters available to teach young visitors about Michigan's interesting past.
702 West Kalamazoo Street
Lansing, MI 48915
Impression 5 Science Center is an interactive science education facility for families. Opened in 1972, the center receives more than 120,000 visitors each year. Exhibits at Impression 5 are meant to engage each of the five senses. The 25,000-square-foot exhibit area contains more than a dozen stations where guests can benefit from hands-on science experiences.
There is also a chemistry lab where trained employees present entertaining workshops. Staff members at Impression 5 regularly work with school groups through tours, summer camps, and overnight programs. Parts of the science center can be rented out for birthday parties and other types of special events.
200 Museum Drive
Lansing, MI 48933
The R.E. Olds Transportation Museum is filled with unique exhibits regarding the Oldsmobile, an iconic American car that began as the Oldsmobile Steam Carriage. The museum contains thousands of authentic items from 1886 on, including more than 60 Oldsmobile vehicles. R.E. Olds, an accomplished inventor and designer, also came up with plans for an engine that was eventually used in lawnmowers.
Visitors can learn about his engine design by checking out the Lansing and Lawnmowers exhibit at the transportation museum. At the on-site store, guests can buy all sorts of Oldsmobile memorabilia, including books, apparel, DVDs, and posters. Next read: Michigan beaches
240 Museum Drive
Lansing, MI 48933
A meat-lover’s dream dining destination, Meat Southern BBQ and Carnivore Cuisine cooks up some of the best-loved barbecue in all of Lansing. Opt for one of its meat plates of either pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked turkey, Texas hot link sausage or wings, and pair with sides like BBQ pit beans, spicy cream corn, jalapeño and cilantro slaw. Otherwise, go for one of its hearty sandwiches, appropriately dubbed ‘meatwiches.’ They have a range of fancy fries too, parmesan-garlic and chili bacon included, and made-to-order mac ‘n’ cheese that diners can personalize with toppings like bacon, caramelized onion and roasted red pepper.
1224 Turner Street
A cozy breakfast, lunch and dinner spot in the heart of Lansing, Soup Spoon Café is, as its name might suggest, famous for its wholesome homemade soups, and serves six handcrafted varieties each day, including traditional choices like French onion and seafood chowder, alongside varying seasonal and vegan offerings. But there’s more to Soup Spoon Café than its tasty broths, its hearty breakfast fare includes the likes of smoked salmon Benedict and gourmet omelets, while in the evening guests can pair dishes like Maryland blue crab cakes and braised lamb shank with a range of rotating Michigan-brewed craft beers.
1419 East Michigan Avenue
Lansing, Michigan, 48912
A chef-driven restaurant specializing in wood-fired pizzas, The Cosmos has been wowing local diners with its delicious signature pies since first opening its doors in early 2015. It’s a fun space with a sci-fi inspired interior that matches its name, a 120-seat outdoor patio and arcade tables where guests can play retro games while they wait for food. Chef Dan Konopnicki’s creativity results in inventive, gourmet pizzas like the roasted pumpkin with chorizo, red onions, arugula and feta, or the runny egg with pancetta, spinach, oven-dried tomato and mozzarella. Bruschetta and shareable dishes are served as well, alongside classic cocktails, wine, and craft beer.
611 East Grand River Avenue
Perpetually busy, Golden Harvest is undoubtedly one of Lansing’s best-loved restaurants with guests often queuing up outside for up to an hour to get their hands on its delicious grub (and rumor has it, it’s worth the wait). Although Golden Harvest has been around for over 60 years, it was in 2004 when current owner Zane Vicknair took over and revived it into the great hit it is today, a kitsch, unfussy diner serving some of the tastiest brunch and lunch fare in town. Indulge in omelets, scrambles and waffles, or a delicious daily special like golden beet and portobello mushroom hash with beef brisket, crispy shallots and ale gravy.
1625 Turner Rd
Lansing, Michigan, 48906
Located just outside Lansing in the suburb of Okemos, Dusty’s Cellar is a retail store-cum-restaurant and a favorite fixture on the local dining scene since first opening its doors over 30 years ago. Casual fine dining and bistro-style ambience are the focus at Dusty’s Wine Bar, where dishes like guava-glazed roasted half-duckling with creamy truffled grits and spiced rack of lamb with sweet potato mash and cherry mustard are teamed with selections from Dusty’s award-winning wine list. Meanwhile, Dusty’s Tap Room offers a traditional pub atmosphere with plenty of craft brews and tasty bar eats like burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and pizzas.
1839 West Grand River Avenue
Okemos, Michigan, 48864
Okemos Public Schools
4406 Okemos RD
Okemos, MI 48864