Discover East Lansing with your student

Now that you have a student at Michigan State University, it’s time to plan some great getaways that not only incorporate a visit with your child but also let you explore a bit of the campus and its surroundings.

First off, you’ll need a place to stay overnight. The Lansing area is home to over 35 hotels; however, the East Lansing Marriott is within walking distance of MSU and the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center is actually right on campus. Both are top-notch, full-service hotels. If you prefer a memorable B&B, try the nearby Wild Goose Inn on Albert Street where every suite has a private bath, fireplace and Jacuzzi. During peak seasons (like MSU graduation) hotels fill up quickly so be sure to book in advance or consider one of the many other lodging options listed at

You’ll be your kids’ biggest hero if you show up ready to take them and their new roommates out to eat. Some local favorites include burgers, fries and craft beers at Crunchy’s or HopCat East Lansing. Or if you like things spicy, sample local Mexican fare at Los Tres Amigos or El Azteco. For Sunday brunch, you can’t beat Beggar’s Banquet, celebrating 45 years as an alumni staple. Have a foodie in your family? Treat them to Red Haven for a fresh farm-to-fork experience or reserve a tatami table at San Su for fabulous sushi. Looking for an option on campus? Try the most unique cafeteria at MSU — Brody Square. Nine food stations offer everything from Homestyle meat and potatoes, to Tex-Mex, sushi, stir-fry and vegetarian options. Trust us, Brody is a win for everyone in your party.

After you’ve explored campus attractions such as the MSU Museum, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Abrams Planetarium and Big Ten sporting action, we encourage you to make the short three mile drive into Lansing where you’ll find the state Capitol, Michigan History Center and R.E. Olds Transportation Museum. Like to shop? Try Eastwood Towne Center, Meridian Mall or browse the unique boutiques in Old Town.

So the kids have evening plans? No need to rush back home to the empty nest. Since you have the room for the night why not take in a show at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts? At Wharton you can find touring Broadway shows like Disney’s Lion King, Finding Neverland, Waitress, and Gloria Estefan’s On Your Feet. Maybe sampling craft beer or cocktails is more your thing? Explore over 15 breweries, wineries and distilleries on the region’s Maker’s and Shakers Trail.

Before you head back home, be sure to pick up some great Spartan swag because you’re now officially a Spartan parent. There are plenty of stores to choose from both on campus and along Grand River Avenue. Lastly, you won’t want to miss a trip to the MSU Dairy Store. Those Spartan dairy cows contribute to some mighty delicious cheese and ice cream. The most popular flavors are Sesquicentennial Swirl, Buckeye Blitz and Dantonio’s Double Fudge Fake. Let’s just dub them “udderly delightful.”

Remember, this is a time of supporting from a distance and letting go, but also of connecting with your student in a whole new way as you explore their campus community. Plan your next trip at

Many thanks to the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau for these suggestions.