Michigan is a huge state and, with Lansing as it’s capital, you can bet the city promises a fun time. Sights to see include the cast iron domed State Capital Building, the 5 Science Center, the classic Oldsmobiles at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museums and the Potter Park Zoo.
If you’re planning to visit Lansing at Christmas time, you can bet that these landmarks will be lit up in all their holiday finery and that several other activities will be planned to bring the holiday cheer. Here are some festive attractions you will want to check out.
Silver Bells in the City
Silver Bells is a Lansing tradition that started in 1984 with 2500 luminaries in Washington Square Mall and a community sing along led by the mayor. The event has grown over the years and now includes ice sculptures, carriage rides and local venues open free of charge.
In 1995, the Santa Parade was introduced which quickly grew into an Electric Light Parade that dazzled onlookers. Santa made his first appearance at Lansing City Market in 2000 and in 2001, fireworks lit up the sky near the capital building. In 2003, roof lights were added to several downtown buildings.
In 2010, the Silver Bells Village made its debut. Located on Allegan St., the neighborhood turned into a market offering unique goods, artist wares and terrific food.
During Silver Bells, several cultural institutions and venues are open to the public free of charge offering live performances, special exhibits and complementary treats.
It all kicks off with a live concert, brunch with Santa and a 5K run. Then head over to the Christmas tree lighting on Capital Lawn.
Wonderland of Lights at Potter Park Zoo
Every holiday season, Potter Park Zoo lights up with thousands of lights creating animals and holiday displays. The zoo also offers treats, craft activities and animal encounters for the children to enjoy. Santa will be on hand for meet and greets. Be sure to check out the gift shop for some terrific souvenirs or have a festive meal at one of the many restaurants on site.
Mason Holidays Celebration and Lights Parade
The Mason Holiday Celebration is a Lansing Tradition. It kicks off with a tree lighting in which the winner of the 5th grade poster contest gets a chance to flick the switch. Then the parade marches through the downtown area awash in a holiday glow. Spectators will also be given a light stick to join in on the cheer. The parade is free and open to the public.
Ten Pound Fiddle Holiday Sing
The Ten Pound Fiddle is a folk music venue servicing the Lansing area. Every year, a guest musician comes in to host a holiday sing along that is open to children 3-13 years old. Song sheets and percussive instruments are provided. Bring your child down so they can join in the fun.
East Lansing’s Winter Glow
This outdoor winter festival takes place in early December at Ann Street Plaza, Fountain Square and inside the East Lansing Marriot. Features and activities include ice carving, horse and carriage rides, a heated music tent, an outdoor farmers market and photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus inside the Marriot.
There are also family friendly games, winter photo scenes and marshmallow roastings. Roasted nuts and chocolate are available in exchange for a donation to the East Lansing Art Festival.
The Winter Glow event happens in conjunction with Green Friday inviting shoppers downtown to take advantage of holiday sales and get some much-needed shopping done.
DAOM Heavy Metal Holiday Meltdown at The Avenue Café
If you are a fan of heavy metal, you won’t want to miss this event hosted by the Dark Arts of Michigan. It includes live music, burlesque and drag performances, live painting and two floors of Dark Art vendors. It’s a great place to find unique gifts.
Scrooge Scramble and Holiday Hullabaloo in Old Town
Old Town Lansing is located at the northern end of the city and overlooks the Grand River and its winding bike trail. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the North Lansing Historic Commercial District and was established in the mid-19th стагоддзя.
The neighborhood is lovely to check out when it’s lit up with holiday lights, and if you’re looking for a reason to visit, the Scrooge Scramble and Holiday Hullabaloo provide the perfect opportunity.
The Scrooge Scramble is a 5 K run that starts at the Fish Ladder and winds through Burchard Park down River Trail. Over 400 runners participate annually.
If you are not into running, you can still come down to enjoy the shops and restaurants in the area that will be hosting special activities in honor of the event.
Contra and Square Dance at Central United Methodist Church
If you’re looking to let loose for the holiday season, why not cut the rug at the Central United Methodist Church? Drop in for a quick worship and then look forward to participating in square dancing and contra dancing (a form of line folk dancing similar to square dancing). Dances are easy and no experience is necessary.
REO Town Neighborhood Holiday Pop Up
The REO Town Marketplace pops up on and off throughout the year and it’s a great place to find unique items. Check it out around Christmastime to find goods like roasted coffee, holiday decorations and knitted apparel.
New Year’s Eve Salsa Party at Urban Beat
If you are still in Lansing for New Year’s there is sure to be a wide variety of activities to choose from. For instance, you can swing by Urban Beat for a terrific meal and salsa lessons. Then dance the night away applying what you have just learned while enjoying a champagne toast at midnight.
Lansing provides so much to see and do at holiday time. The recommendations are sure to get you making the most of the festivities. How will you be celebrating?