Be a Tourist in Your Own Town 2017
Be a Tourist in Your Own Town has a little something for everyone: families with children, nature lovers, sports fanatics, foodies, and art lovers. The event is designed to familiarize residents with all that Lansing has to offer. Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year, according to Lori Lanspeary from the Greater Lansing Visitors and Convention Bureau (GLVCB), over 90 venues will participate in the event. That’s more than 90 attractions for just a dollar! Passports go on sale the first week of May at the GLVCB and other locations throughout the community.
The GLVCB partnered with CATA for your transportation needs, including dedicated bus routes to Old Town, MSU, and Potter Park Zoo. A bus ride costs fifty cents, then pick-up a transfer to receive transportation for the entire day for that same fifty cents. The pass covers the majority of the attractions but doesn’t go to some of the outlying areas. Participants may also use their own transportation.
While Be a Tourist in Your Town is a one-day annual event, you can continue to collect passport stamps from designated locations throughout the month of June; however, standard admission prices may apply. Participants that submit passports with 15 or more stamps will be entered in drawings for prizes ranging from hotel overnights and dining gift certificates to the grand prize: a $1,500 airline voucher from Capital Regional International Airport.
The event isn’t just for families. It’s open to all ages and has something for everyone, no matter what your interests.
Families with children can explore the educational displays at the MSU Bug House. For the brave, there’ll be live bugs to handle. At Potter Park Zoo, celebrate International Migratory Bird Day with hands-on activities. See baby birds hatching, live birds of prey, and walk through the “Wings Down Under” exhibit. At the Meridian Mall, check out the Tinkrlab. It provides an opportunity to take things apart and create new inventions, build robots, and discover 3-D printing. Tinkrlab is an excellent opportunity for hands-on activities. Lastly take the kids to climb to the second story overlook at the Lansing Model Railroad Club to view model trains in action.
Nature lovers will enjoy Beal Botanical Garden, the oldest continuously operated university botanical garden of its kind in the United States. Two presentations will be available: Edible Plants in and for the Yard at 10:15 a.m. and Plants Toxic to Family and Pets at 2 p.m. In addition to the nature activities at Woldumar Nature Center, visit Harris Nature Center and connect with the great outdoors in the Nature Exploration Area. Discover the Michigan Fossil Dig where amateur paleontologists can dig for fossils and use signs to identify their finds. Celebrate National Trails Day. Pick up a map and a snack then hike some of the 20 miles of trails.
Sports fanatics can play Bubble Soccer on the Capital Lawn or check out Battleball Lansing’s new Battle Darts. The Lansing Sailing Club is offering free sailboat rides at Lake Lansing Park. Ships ahoy! Visit City Limits Bowling Center and get one free game of bowling per person or play a free game of adventure golf at Funtyme Adventure Park.
Foodies will appreciate the cheese tasting from Hills Cheese (while supplies last) at the Lansing City Market. Tour the kitchens at the Allen Market Place, a multi-functional food hub and learn about their gardening and health programs. Buy some produce to whip up a fresh meal at home. American Fifth Spirits is giving tours of Lansing’s first distillery. Learn how they make handcrafted spirits and sample some of their offerings.
Art lovers will want to tour the BWL John Dye Water Conditioning Plant. The building is a beautiful Art Deco structure located on South Cedar Street. Here you can see the murals created by Frank Cassara and Charles Pollack depicting water. The WPA commissioned the murals to employ out of work artists during the depression. Visit Absolute Gallery to construct a kids’ art project and check out the art gallery. Lansing Art Gallery’s free Art Encounter will encourage families to explore art through an interactive self-guided activity.
Some attractions will only be open for a limited time; for example, the Cooley Law School Stadium will give tours from noon to 5:00 p.m. – so check your passport for specific attractions.
Sample New Activities for 2017
Lansing Maker’s Network on St. Joe Highway joined the event this year. Tour the facility, see the tools and get your free customized laser cut. At the Capitol Region International Airport, take a behind-the-scenes tour of LAN, including a look at the facility, maintenance equipment, fire trucks, and even inside the cockpit of a plane. A free long-term parking coupon will be available. In Meridian Township at the HOMTV Studios tour, you can visit the television station and get in front of their Bluescreen, sit behind the news desk and learn how the magic happens.
With over 90 participating locations this year, Be a Tourist in Your Own Town does have something for everyone. For a complete list of passport selling locations, participating attractions, maps and more details, please visit www.lansing.org/batyot.
Greater Lansing Visitors and Convention Bureau
500 E. Michigan Ave, Suite 180
Lansing, MI 48912