Ten Things to Do at MSU (Without Having to Go to Class!)

Guest blogger Lori Lanspeary from the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau shares 10 fun things to do at Michigan State University without having to crack a book! 

Photo by Thomas Gennara Photography

Photo by Thomas Gennara Photography

Welcome to Spartan Country! Located in East Lansing, on the banks of the Red Cedar River, visitors can find a wealth of beauty and natural spaces on the sprawling campus of Michigan State University. While most people around the country know MSU by its mascot Sparty and its Big Ten sports teams, did you know that Michigan State University is currently recognized as a world leader in research? The school was founded in 1855 as the pioneer land-grant college in America and dedicated to the study of agriculture which explains the beautiful expansive campus. Today MSU has over 200 academic programs offered by 17 degree granting colleges.

BUT beyond the academics, visitors can find so many things to see and do on campus without having to sign up for a single class! Here’s the list of 10 things to do at MSU.

MSUMuseum-Dinosaur1. MSU Museum: Michigan’s first Smithsonian-affiliate, this museum is filled to the brim with research artifacts and natural wonders from around the world. And both the kids and adults love the dinosaurs!

2. W. J. Beal Botanical Gardens: The oldest continuously-operated garden of its type in the U.S. with over 2,700 species organized in economic, systematic landscape and ecological groupings. And the MSU Horticulture Gardens – A family of three adjoining gardens including research gardens, landscape arboretum and the delightful 4-H Children’s Garden.

3. Abrams Planetarium: Sit back and enjoy the wonders of the universe in the sky theatre.

MSU blog Pure Michigan4. Beaumont Tower: This is the iconic bell tower where carillonneurs play noontime recitals and legends tell of first kisses at midnight and engagements in the shadow of the tower.

5. MSU Farms: Colts racing, beef calves frolicking and mooing dairy cows waiting to be milked are a few of the sights to see when visiting the farms.

6. Wharton Center for Performing Arts: Catch the latest major touring Broadway blockbusters plus a great lineup of performing arts at Wharton.

7. MSU Dairy Store: It’s always hard to choose betwen the 32 flavors of some of the freshest ice cream you’ll ever taste. Or pick up some award-winning cheese varieties. Smiles guaranteed!

SONY DSC8. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum: This Zaha Hadid-designed art museum presents groundbreaking, international contemporary art across all media and is housed in a pleated stainless steel and glass multi-angled building that in itself is an architectural wonder.

9. Demmer Shooting Sports Education & Training Center: This training site for Michigan State University archery, rifle and pistol club teams is open to the public and promotes the safe use of firearms and archery equipment.

10. Big Ten Sporting Events:  Spartan football, basketball and hockey are among the favorite reasons for a visit to MSU. The resounding chants of Go Green! Go White! echo across campus. Make time for one last stop. Your visit won’t be complete without a photo taken in front of the bronze Spartan Statue near the stadium.

Have you visited East Lansing? What else would you add to the list? 

image001Need help planning your trip? Contact the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau or while visiting Michigan State University, stop by our East Lansing Visitor Center at 549 East Grand River Avenue located directly across from the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum.  Find maps, brochures and Visitor Guides or speak directly to one of our friendly information specialists happy to assist you during your visit.

From Our Community: The Best Ice Cream in Michigan

Ice cream is a staple treat in Pure Michigan during summer months. From dairy farms to local shops, there are plenty of ice cream options to satisfy any sweet tooth across the state.

With July being National Ice Cream Month, we thought it would be fun to ask our fans on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ “what’s your favorite place to get ice cream in Michigan and what’s your favorite flavor?” We learned that if there’s one treat that Michiganders know and love, it’s ice cream! If you’re looking for a yummy treat this summer, here are some fan favorites to check out.

House of Flavors, located on the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan in Ludington, is one of the clear fan favorites. Serving some of the finest made ice cream in the Midwest, it’s sure to please anyone who stops in this summer. Here’s what fans are saying:

“House of Flavors in Ludington, Michigan. My favorite flavor is Blue Moon. :)” – JoLynn ‘Tacktor’ Jones

“peanut butter cup ice cream at House of Flavors in Ludington” – Karin Dereske Rourke

“House of Flavors in Ludington, after a day at the beach! #icecream” – @beckykoepke

Cook’s Dairy Farm is another cherished ice cream stop for Michiganders. Locals and visitors make it a point to stop by this Ortonville gem. Here’s what people love about Cook’s:

“Ahhhhh Cook’s Dairy Farm is the best and tractor trails ice cream yum-o!!!” – Lisa Jakuszeski Terry

“Cook’s in Ortonville. Cook’s Butter Pecan is the best ever!!” – Dale Ramig

“Favorite place: easy – Cook’s Farm Dairy in Ortonville. Favorite flavor – now THAT’S the hard one to answer – butter pecan, strawberry, cowpuccino, chocolate raspberry torte, eggnog (the best eggnog ever, and then as ice cream – double heaven). I dare anyone to try their triple scoop.” – Karen Kohn

The Michigan State University Dairy Store isn’t just for students. The dairy complex at the university produces some of the freshest ice cream you’ll ever taste. Fans around the state love this East Lansing establishment:

“Hands down the best ice cream in MI is at the MSU Dairy Store. As far as I’m concerned, they only need one flavor: Sesquicentennial Swirl. Chocolate and vanilla with huge chunks of cake and ribbons of frosting running through it.” – Mandy Wakeman

“MSU Dairy Store! Love the butter pecan ice cream!” – Paula Causie

“I’m a u of m guy but I gotta say msu dairy store!” – Scott Moore

“MSU Dairy Store. The best…” – Mary-Jo Lacey

Jones Homemade Ice Cream, an old fashioned ice cream shop in downtown Baldwin, has been manufacturing delicious ice cream since 1942. Fans love this nostalgic, friendly shop:

“Jones Ice Cream in Baldwin is the best place. There are way too many flavors to pick a favorite, though.” – Kathy Nefsey

“Jones Ice cream Baldwin, Mi.. Butter Pecan!!!! The best and biggest cones ever!!!” – Cl Whitman

Moomers Homemade Ice Cream in Traverse City is another clear favorite among fans. Moomers makes over 120 different flavors, offering 20 daily to locals and visitors. Here’s what fans have to say about this family friendly shop:

“Moomers, Traverse City. Coffee toffee, yum!” – Karen Brenneman

“Moomers Traverse City….. Best Ever!” – Bob Stites

“Just went to Moomer’s in Traverse City a few days ago! AWESOME!!” – Dwight Billings

These are just a few of the many ice cream options around the state. View our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ posts to see what others’ favorite ice cream shops in Michigan are. If we left off your favorite, leave it in the comments section below!