Lansing Family Fun

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Summer Things to Do – All Things Summer in and Around Lansing 2024 PLUS Printable Summer Bucket List

Lansing summer things to do, Lansing summer activities

Plan Your Lansing Summer Things to Do Bucket List

Welcome to your Lansing Summer Fun Hub!

Summer vibes are coming alive again in Lansing. The weather is warming up, the sun is shining more, and we are ready to take advantage of all the fun Lansing has to offer.

Splash pads, lakes, water parks, concerts, movies in the park, and festivals promise for an amazing summer 2024.

Create a bucket list for your family or plan a spur-of-the-moment trip with our big list of fun summer things to do in the Lansing area!

Kids walking on a log

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summer things to do

Head To LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, SEA LIFE Aquarium & Peppa Pig World Of Play

(248) 409-6001

💬“Great place to take the kiddos. Had a wonderful time. The staff is very friendly and helpful.” Google Review

Enjoy the ultimate day of Summer Fun with the family at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, SEA LIFE Aquarium and Peppa Pig World of Play in Auburn Hills, Michigan!

All three attractions are located at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets mall in Auburn Hills, right off I-75, and under 90 minutes from Lansing.

Outdoor Activities

Michigan summers are definitely something special.

After a long, hard winter of hibernating and a spring spent wondering if winter will ever be over, all things come to life again. Once even a glimpse of warm weather seems to be here to stay, most Michiganders are outdoors more than indoors until late September – and we love every second of it.

The much-awaited trails to explore, gardens to visit, parks and playgrounds to play at, and beaches and splash pads to cool off at call to us – and we answer!

lansing summer things to do - hawk island splash pad
Hawk Island Park Splash Pad in South Lansing, MI

Splash Around

1 – Splash Pads, Waterparks, and Local Swimming Beaches
Some places have just a pool or a splash pad or a beach while others have some combination of all three! Be sure to check your destination ahead of time to ensure it meets your family’s needs for the day – and make sure it’s open for 2024.

2 – Splash around at the beach or at the splash pad at Hawk Island Park.

3 – Go Swimming at Motz Park. This non-shade beach is plenty sandy. Back a beach blanket, sun block, and a picnic. Motz Park has bathrooms and a small, rentable pavilion. NOTE: There is no lifeguard.

Get Into Nature

Nature abounds in and around Lansing and summertime is a perfect time to explore it fully.

4 – Bike, hike, walk, skateboard, run, rollerblade, and whatever else you do on the trails!

FUN FACT: Most of our trails connect to each other, so the exploration of these trails spans the river, woods, urban city, and multiple cities amidst the Greater Lansing area.

summer things to do - kids-riding-bikes-through-trail
Delta Township Trail between Sharp Park and Horrocks in Waverly, Lansing, MI

5 – Visiting a nature center means indoor exhibits, outdoor trails, and natural playgrounds. Plus, many of these centers offer other activities such as zip lining, animal encounters, and special events.

Howell Nature Center in Howell, MI

6 – The MSU Children’s Garden Center/Horticulture Center is a great way to spend a day.

The MSU campus also has the river trail, gardens, greenhouses, and the arboretum. BONUS: Stop by the MSU Dairy Store for ice cream.

summer things to do: MSU-Butterfly-House-children's-garden-maze
MSU Children’s Gardens in East Lansing, MSU Campus

7 – The LCC Japanese Garden offers quiet tranquility while being tucked away in downtown Lansing at the Shigematsu Memorial Garden.

NOTE: The Shigematsu Japanese Garden is currently being renovated and is closed as of 03/04/24.

LCC Japanese Gardens in Downtown Lansing, MI

8 – The Ledges – Discover the beauty of the enchanting sandstone wonders across three parks in Grand Ledge. Each park offers something unique to explore. The most popular is Fitzgerald Park which boasts looped walking trails, a playground, large grassy areas to run around, plus spectacular views in all seasons.

Lincoln Brick Park is named for an old brick company that manufactured bricks on the grounds until 1949. In fact, you can still see remnants of the brick factory while exploring. Lincoln Brick Park also offers a playground, water play in a local stream, a playground, and hiking trails.

Hike and rock climb at Oak Park. NOTE: Rock climbing should only be done by those familiar with the sport. There are no spotters or equipment available. Climbing is at your own risk.

Oak Park GL rock climbing
The Ledges at Oak Park in Grand Ledge, MI

Be Active

There are so many options for how to get active outside during the summer.

9 – You don’t need to own a kayak or canoe to get out on the water in Lansing.

There are many places to rent from that offer a variety of different adventures tailored to paddlers of all different skill levels.

On this list, you’ll also find tubing, canoeing, and SUP Board options as well as places to launch your own vessels.

places to Kayak-family kayaking on-the-grand-river-Lansing
Kayaking the Grand River with River Town Adventures in downtown Lansing, MI

10 – Get some bonding time in or get competitive with your adventure golf game at FunTyme Adventure Parks. Daily specials for kids 12 and under make this an affordable option.

11 – Try your hand at putting at Eagle Eye’s Little Hawk Putting Course‘s natural course (one of only three in Michigan) or at the DeWitt Golf Center.

Golfers playing putt-putt at FunTyme in Grand Ledge
FunTyme Adventure Parks in Grand Ledge, MI

12 – Grab a soccer ball and head to one of these local soccer fields:

  • Beacon Fields (Lansing) – a community-owned, free-play mini turf field. No reservations and no leagues. Join in and play pick-up soccer all the time.
  • DeWitt Sports Park (DeWitt)
  • Frances Park (Lansing)
  • Mt. Hope Park (Delta Township)
  • Nancy Moore Park (Okemos)

13 – Uncle John’s Cider Mill has grown from a simple apple orchard and cider mill to one of greater Lansing’s favorite family destinations.

Summer brings live music and open-air markets in addition to permanent activities. Although Uncle Johns boasts many free activities such as their Farm Trail and onsite playground, there are several activities that do cost money. Most summer activities open end of May.

Uncle John’s Cider Mill in St. John’s, MI

14 – Horseback Riding
No horse? Sundance Riding Stables and Northfork Farms & Outback offer horseback riding. Guided rides through beautiful meadows and woods. All riding abilities welcome.

15 – Biking
Biking with kids this summer is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors while staying active as a family. It offers a great opportunity for exploring new trails and creating lasting memories. No bikes? No problem. You can rent Bikes with River Town Adventure or MSU Bike Service Center.

16 – Pickleball
Grab your paddle and whiffle ball, and head to your nearest pickleball court. Public courts are available in Lansing, Dimondale, Haslett, DeWitt Township, and soon-to-be in East Lansing. Pickleball has surged in popularity, quickly becoming a favorite sport for people of all ages due to its accessibility and fun gameplay.

17 – Disc Golf
Lansing is home to a vibrant disc golf community. If you’ve never gone, it’s SO FUN for kids and parents alike! It’s an easy sport to pick up and players of all ages can play. This makes a great family outing.

disc golf course frisbee golf

18 – BMX Bike
Get out to the track at Capital City Family BMX or just watch all of the action and fun from Nip N’ Sip. PRO TIP: Bring cash for dinner at Nip N’ Sip. Also, their hours vary.

19 – Go Fish!
Fishing is a low-cost activity – all you need a pole and some bait. KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Some places are ‘catch and release’ meaning after you catch the fish, you must return it to the water.

20 – Radio-Controlled Race Car Fun
Great Lakes Quarter Scale Racers located at FunTyme Adventure Park in Grand Ledge offers racing on Saturdays with practice on Tuesdays. Grand Woods Park in Delta Township has a remote-controlled race car track and overlook deck.

21 – Parks and Playgrounds
Lansing offers a huge variety of parks and playgrounds. Some have play equipment or beaches while others have hiking trails and sports courts.

No matter what your family likes, there is sure to be a fun park or playground near you at all times.

Wiswasser Park at Park Lake in Bath, MI

Visit Animals

Getting up close and personal with animals is a perfect summer thing to do and Lansing has several cool options:

22 – Brenke Fish Ladder
Head to Old Town and watch for the fish, ducks, and turtles in the river. Watch the water rush through, climb the stairs, and wave to kayakers.

Lansing River Trail Downtown Kids Walking Brenke Fish Ladder
Brenke Fish Ladder on the Lansing River Trail in downtown, Lansing, MI

23 – Potter Park Zoo
See the lions, experience the petting zoo, and a whole lot more! FUN FACT: Admission is FREE for Ingham County residents on non-holiday Mondays from 9 AM – 12 PM.

24 – Horses and Cows
The MSU campus invites visitors to stop by the farms! Self-guided tours can be taken Monday – Friday between 8 AM – 4:30 PM and on Saturday and Sunday between 8 AM – 12 PM. Our favorite is to feed their horses at the MSU Horse Barns. 

25 – Get up close and personal with alpacas at Great Valley Longnecks. Schedule a farm tour, attend a special event (Baby Days is in June), or take a class.


26 – Schedule a block of time to visit with the cats and kittens at Constellation Cat Café. All of the cats at the café are available for adoption through local shelters and volunteer groups. INSIDER TIP: Watch the Constellation Cat Cafe’s Facebook page for special events.

Eat In the Open Air

Summer is a great time to savor delicious foods throughout Greater Lansing. Pick your own fruit, visit a farmers market, dine on a patio, or cool off with ice cream. Whatever your taste buds are craving, Lansing has you covered.

MP Social Patio March to your own Beet Downtown Lansing Riverfront
MP Social in downtown Lansing, MI

27 – Patio dining with kids is fantastic, especially when the weather warms up, and there are over 20 restaurants in the Lansing area offering outdoor dining options with a variety of vibes and delicious food. INSIDER TIP: East Lansing’s Albert EL Fresco returns this summer. With larger-than-life games, live music, and patio dining at several restaurants in the area, this makes for a fun and family-friendly dining experience.

28 – U Pick Fruit
Picking your own fruit at local farms and orchards is a popular summer activity, offering options like strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and raspberries.

PRO TIP: Dress in play clothes and carry cash. There are a few farms in our area that only accept cash payment.

Huhn Strawberry Farm in Eagle, MI

29 – Farmers Markets
If picking fruit isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy farm-fresh produce by shopping at a local farmers market.

Greater Lansing offers over a dozen markets, offering a variety of locally grown fruits, vegetables, and artisanal products for you to explore and enjoy. BONUS: Many of these farmers markets have theme days or other special events.

Farmers-Markets Lansing-Feature

30 – Grab a Scoop at a Local Ice Cream Shop
A mid-Michigan summer and ice cream just go together. Whether it’s Superman, Mackinac Island Fudge, or anything in between, visiting an ice cream shop is a treasured summertime activity.

From the MSU Dairy Store to Mooville, wherever your family travels this summer, your taste buds will thank you.


Fairs & Festivals

31 – Mid-Michigan is brimming with fairs and festivals, offering enough entertainment to fill every weekend if you’re up for it! Some of our top picks include:

Chalk of the TownJune 1, 2024Old Town Lansing
Lansing FiestaJune 7, 2024Lansing
The Lansing Juneteenth CelebrationJune 8, 2024
June 13 – 15, 2024
Summer Solstice Jazz FestivalJune 21 & 22, 2024East Lansing
Eaton County FairJuly 8 -14, 2024Charlotte
Old Town ScrapfestJuly 12 & 13, 2024Old Town Lansing
Faster Horses FestivalJuly 19 – 21, 2024Brooklyn
Ingham County FairJuly 29 – August 3, 2024Mason
Island Art FairAugust 3, 2024Grand Ledge
St. Johns Mint FestivalAugust 9 – 11, 2024St. Johns
DeWitt Ox RoastAugust 16 – 18, 2024DeWitt
A Festival of OdditiesAugust 31 – September 1, 2024Charlotte

And who can forget our nation’s birthday celebration, more commonly called the Fourth of July. Area celebrations are being added as they roll in so be sure to check back.

Music Festival in REO Town Lansing, MI

Summer Camps for Kids

32 – Summer camp holds a special place in many families’ hearts as a cherished pastime. With a variety of offerings ranging from sports and nature to STEAM, art, and literacy, Lansing provides numerous opportunities for kids to enjoy an enriching summer adventure.

Summer Camp Guide Lansing Michigan 2024 feature kids smiling

Indoor Fun

Sometimes it rains or there is inclement weather that moves our summer fun indoors. No worries, we have you covered.

33 – Get hands on at the Impression 5 Science Center (I5) in Lansing. I5 is where visitors can learn and express themselves freely. Each exhibit is tailored to individuals of all ages and stages of life. Both toddlers and grandparents can enjoy themselves equally. Plus, they create all their exhibits in-house! BONUS: I5 has a First Impressions room where even the littlest scientist can play and explore.

34 – Did you know the Michigan State Capitol building is located in downtown Lansing? Self-guided tours take place 8 AM – 5 PM Monday through Friday. Simply check in to the desk located in the lobby.

35 – Free admission all-year round. Yes please! The Eli & Edythe Broad Museum welcomes visitors of all ages to explore the museum freely. PRO TIP: The museum hosts First Saturdays once a month where hands-on art creation is expected and encouraged.

Kids create at the Broad Museum in East Lansing

36 – When summer rains pour down, take your kids to the bowling alley, turning a gloomy day into a playful indoor adventure. Several area bowling alleys participate in the Kids Bowl Free initiative making this a budget-friendly activity.

37 – Indoor arcades like Zap Zone XL, Chuck E. Cheese, and Pinball Pete’s offer an escape filled with games and excitement, providing a thrilling experience for both kids and adults alike, rain or shine. BONUS: Zap Zone XL recently opened their new indoor expanded play space at the Lansing Mall. New attractions include bowling, interactive trampolines, zip line, and go karts.

38 – Offering more than just books and movies these days, local libraries have become the “it” place to be on rainy days. Many local libraries offer summer reading programs and activities that can help break up the bad weather day blues. A few suggestions to check out include CADL-Lansing, Delta Township District Library, East Lansing Public Library, and Grand Ledge Area District Library.

39 – Summer is the perfect time to take in a movie. Many area theaters offer discount days, summer film festivals, “bring the baby” days, and sensory-friendly movie showings.

An ’80s Summer

Throw it back old school and step into a slower and more simple way of life. Try out a 1980s summer which will be sure to bring some nostalgia and relaxation!

Here’s a big bucket list of old school summer fun ideas for families – to keep you going all summer long.

40 – Make (and eat) homemade popsicles.

41 – Fly a kite.

42 – Play with bubbles in the backyard.

43 – Make your own pinwheels.

44 – Sleep under the stars. Catch fireflies in a jar and make s’mores.

45 – Family car wash. Wash the family vehicles and don’t worry if everyone ends up soaked (adults included).

46 – Backyard water balloon fight. Don’t forget to use the hose, set-up the sprinkler, and splash around in the kiddie pool.

47 – Put up a lemonade stand.

48 – Play a game of tag with your friends or neighbors. Melting Candle or Freeze Tag. What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?

49 – Chalk a stained-glass window on the driveway.

Road Trip Ideas

Want to get out of town for a bit? Here are some of our go-to options and recommendations:

50 – Take a drive to the beach – Get in your car and point your compass toward either due East or West. Heck, you could even head North in our state and still reach the water!

Explore some of the 50 amazing Lake Michigan beaches our state has to offer! Nothing is more “pure Michigan” than spending a day with the fam building sandcastles and splashing in the waves at one of these beautiful beaches.

A family favorite is St. Joseph where you’ll enjoy the beach, a splash pad, and more! Our other go-to spots are Tunnel Park in Holland, Port Austin’s Turnip Rock, and South Haven Beach for one of the prettiest sunsets you’ll see.

Lake Huron, MI

51 – Go Camping or Glamping:
Have you even had a Michigan summer without camping at least once?! I think not! We’ve got so many to choose from.

And for those who aren’t quite into the camping scene, Michigan has you covered with glamping. Glamping offers a luxurious camping experience with modern amenities and comforts.

52 – Spend a Weekend in Detroit:
Go on a bike ride through Dequindre Cut and land at the splash pad in front of the Renaissance Center to cool off. Cross the bridge to Belle Isle to swim at the beach. Take in a Tigers’ game, a Broadway show, other special event.

Detroit Riverfront
Detroit Riverfront Trail

53 – Spend a Weekend in Grand Rapids:
There’s always something going on all summer long, and our sister site Grand Rapids Kids has everything you need to plan a great trip!

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum in downtown Grand Rapids, MI

54 – Take a Day Trip to Kalamazoo:
We love exploring in KZOO! They have really unique fun adventures like feeding the fish at the fish hatchery, visiting the dinosaur park, exploring the free Kalamazoo Valley museum, exploring the nature center, and of course the Air Zoo!

Air Zoo Kalamazoo Kids
The Air Zoo in Portage, MI

55 – Explore Ann Arbor
This is a Michigan city worth putting on the travel calendar! There are lots of fun and artistic opportunities for kids and amazing entertainment.

Or just plan a day to explore downtown Ann Arbor – either way, it’s a guaranteed great time.

Nickels Arcade in Downtown Ann Arbor, MI

Summer Bucket List

Keep track of fun summer activities with this bucket list!

Click on it to access a copy on Canva with clickable links to our articles with lists of zoos, parks, museums and more to help guide your adventures!

You can get a copy with clickable links here.

Have a Blast With Your Family This Summer, Lansing!

No matter what you do this summer – whether it’s quiet days at home, bike rides through the city, trips up north, or days at the beach, we wish you the very best memories with your family!

P.S. Don’t forget to pack the sunscreen and bug spray!

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