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Connections and Coffee

New Book Details 100 Things to Do in Lansing

How well do you know Greater Lansing?

A new book by a local author may put your knowledge to the test — as well as provide you with a wealth of ideas for a fun, area outing.

100 Things to Do in Lansing Before You Die” by Amy Piper compiles a comprehensive list celebrating the top ways to connect with the city and nearby surroundings with exciting and unique activities. Readers and regional explorers can find out how to take on the “ultimate carnivore food challenge,” where to find pieces from world-renowned artists and how you can reach tranquility in the serenity of a Japanese garden.

Piper, a native Lansingite and current resident of south Lansing, spoke with 517 Magazine about her chronicle and companion to all things Capital City.

Why do you think locals and visitors alike will love your book?

As locals, we think we can get out and go anytime, so we tend to think we’ll do it later. Using the book as a passport will challenge us to get out there and be a tourist in our own town. It provides a lot of local history and details that even locals may not know.

Tourists can use it as a definitive list of must-do things in the area. So, if you have a short time, you don’t have to do as much research. Instead, you can find a place in one of the sections, check their website and go.

What is your favorite place to frequent in Lansing?

It is impossible to pick a favorite, but I spend a lot of time in Old Town — especially for the restaurants and Old Town General store, where they sell all Michigan-based products.

I will say that I have been to the Broad Art Museum several times in the last year because they have been celebrating their 10th anniversary. They have had several special exhibits that kept me coming back.

Remember that just because you’ve been to an attraction once doesn’t mean there’s nothing more to discover. I find it amusing when people tell me they’ve already been to an attraction as if there’s no need to return. You’ll always find something new to discover. For example, the Capitol is about 145 years old, but they have a brand-new Heritage Hall that is less than 1-year-old. It’s worth a return visit.

Anything else you’d like to add?

The book offers five sections — food and drink, music and entertainment, sports and recreation, history and culture, and shopping and fashion. It makes a great passport to memories. As you check off the items in the book, have the venue initial the page, write the date and you can record some specific memories that your family experienced at that stop. So, it becomes more than a book, but a summary of your family’s experiences.


“100 Things to Do in Lansing Before You Die” is published through Reedy Press. The book is available at A Novel Concept, #Herstory and Old Town General Store in Lansing; Barnes & Noble in Lansing, Battle Creek and Grand Rapids; Hooked Book Store and the Wharton Center in East Lansing; Adornmint Gifts and Oh Mi Organics in St. Johns, Barrett’s Books in Williamston; Bestsellers Books and Coffee in Mason; Bookshelf in Holt; Great Harvest Bread in Okemos; and Schuler’s Books in Okemos, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor.