Let’s be real. It’s been a tough few months. With social distancing, precautions, restrictions, and safety measures, it can start to feel like being a bird in a cage. We’ve had to adapt, quite quickly, to make sure we all stay safe – but sometimes you just need to get out of the house. I’ve done everything to entertain myself at home, from reading to painting to binge-watching Netflix and trying to become a plant mom (and failing). It’s important to find a healthy balance between staying safe but also staying sane. It might be hard to travel right now, and even camping in Michigan is harder right now since everyone is reserving their spots. But, I have discovered some great ways to have fun right here in our local stomping grounds.
Take a hike! Visit our local parks.
Go for a hike at one of our local parks, or right in your own neighborhood! The easiest way to get outside is to take a walk. It’s such a small thing you can do to brighten your mood. Especially for those who are working from home, currently unemployed/looking for work, or just staying home to be safe. It’s important to get some fresh air and sunshine. Most of my workday is spent on Zoom or looking at a screen. Taking a walk in the morning or during the day helps me to relax and reset. Sometimes your neighborhood route can get old, so I suggest switching it up by taking a trip to our local parks! There are numerous parks in Lansing that have walking trails. A quick Google search will bring up tons of great options. I suggest checking out Hawk Island Park and Sleepy Hollow State Park if you’re looking for some longer trails. For shorter trails, I recommend Fenner Nature Center or Crego Park. There’s also a ton of local neighborhood parks with basketball hoops, soccer fields, and more – you just might have one in walking distance!
Pictured: Fenner Nature Center. Photo by Connor Mahoney.
Spend a day at Potter Park Zoo
As an animal lover, going to the zoo brings me so much joy! Potter Park Zoo is fun for all ages, and they’ve implemented a lot of safety precautions. They wanted to make sure you and your family are safe while still being able to enjoy the animals (I especially love the otters and the penguins, but they’re all wonderful). I recommend going on a nice day because most of the indoor viewing areas are closed for safety purposes, but the majority of the animals can be seen outside! Click here to learn more about what Potter Park Zoo is doing to keep everyone safe.
Go for a bike ride on the Lansing River Trail
I recently got a bike, and it’s been great checking out the trails. Lansing sidewalks can be super rough, and many of the roads don’t have bike paths, so I suggest getting on the Lansing River Trail for a smoother ride. A huge plus is that you’ll get some great nature and city views depending on where you hop on! Check out the River Trail’s map to check out the trail.
Get takeout and have a picnic
There are a lot of restaurants that are following social distancing and sanitation guidelines. Some have opened up outdoor patio seating to ensure that their reopening is safe, but one of my favorite things to do is get takeout and eat outside. You can get a small group of friends together at a park or just in your backyard/porch for a picnic. I could honestly write another blog post dedicated solely to my favorite local Lansing restaurants, but here are just a few for now. I highly recommend trying El Oasis, Amanecer, Soup Spoon, Eastside Fish Fry, and The People’s Kitchen. Now I’m hungry.
Pictured: El Oasis. Photo by Connor Mahoney.
Check out some locally owned shops or the farmers market
I love walking around Old Town or Reo Town in Lansing to pop into the stores. There are some great locally owned stores and boutiques that are super fun. A vintage store called Vintage Junkies just got a new store front in Reo Town, and they have beautiful vintage clothes and furniture and also some fun stationery, jewelry, stickers and more! Check their store out in Reo Town or follow them on Facebook or Instagram for updates. Additionally, farmers markets are a great option to get outside, check out local farmers and homemade goods, and buy fresh, locally sourced produce. Here’s a list of Lansing area farmers markets.
Go kayaking on the Red Cedar/Grand River
As a Holland, MI native that moved to Lansing years ago, I really miss being close to the water, especially during summertime. Nothing beats going to the beach. Since I’m now a Lansing resident, I get my local H2O fix by kayaking the Grand River or the Red Cedar River. If you don’t have kayaks or know anyone with kayaks you can borrow, here’s a great source I found that offers canoe and kayak rentals in Lansing.
Pictured: Red Cedar River in East Lansing. Photo by Connor Mahoney.
We are lucky to live in such a beautiful state that offers so much, and Lansing is perfectly positioned around it all! This blog post is just a few of the many Lansing area activities you can do to get out of the house. Be sure to take pictures while you’re out and tag us on Facebook! Be safe and have fun!