Passion for Lansing My top 5 favorite things (and quite a few more)


I can easily write pages of celebratory words about Lansing because I absolutely #LoveLansing! I’m always very honest about the fact that I haven’t always felt that way, but she slowly seeped in and I now she is as much a part of me as I am of her. I have a real love for this place; where I have dwelled for 31 years. Lansing is friendly, fun and full of so many amazingly creative people. There is just so much to see and do here that my calendar (and my heart) is always overflowing.

Old Town
Okay, I live here, so I am going to go on a bit, but I love it so much! I can walk to just about anything I need. From food, to a glass of wine or gifts for friends or myself, we’ve got it all. There are so many awesome businesses here and the female entrepreneurs are rocking it. Here’s just a few shops I frequent that are owned by amazing women: Old Town General Store, Katalyst Gallery and Boutique, Polka Dots, Absolute Gallery and the list goes on. There are more than 20 women-owned businesses in Old Town. There are also a lot of delicious places to eat; I especially love Pablo’s because they support my vegan lifestyle with lots of yummy options, they are super friendly and have great street-side dining in the summer. And last, but not at all least, is Bloom Coffee Roasters. They roast and brew fantastic coffee, provide excellent service and their ambiance and community spirit is the best. Oh, and Preuss Pets. They are the best pet store in probably the world.

REO Town
This up-and-coming neighborhood is hip, cool and growing fast. The businesses and the residents really wear their REO Town pride and it shows! REO Town is home to some of my favorite events, including the Lansing Beer Fest, Art Attack and the REO Town Thrift Store Gala and Burlesque Extravaganza. They also have some great businesses and places to eat, such as Blue Owl Café (they serve nitro cold brew coffee that is off the charts), Good Truckin’ Diner (tacos — lots and lots of tacos), REO Town Pub (beer and that “everybody knows your name” feeling) and lots of great vintage and resale shops. They also have a funky new salon called the Artisan Company, an art space named AA Corridor, salsa dancing and the Robin Theatre, which is bringing in brilliant acts from all over the country.

More than 50 festivals are produced in the greater Lansing area each year, and they are all fantastic. A few of my top pics are Capital City Film Festival, East Lansing Art Festival, Festival of the Moon and Sun, Art Feast, Old Town ScrapFest, Great Lakes Folk Fest, Women in the Arts, Lansing Beer Fest, Renegade Theatre Festival, Michigan BluesFest — I don’t even know where to stop.

The Art
If you haven’t heard of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing’s 517 ArtSearch app, you should check it out. It will take you to all of the public art, theatres, art galleries and museums in the metro area. There is so much art to enjoy and participate in. Some free things to check out that I love are Dance Lansing, LCC Summer Stage Under the Stars, the Broad Art Museum, Lansing Art Gallery’s summer Pop Up Project and Arts Night Out in Old Town, which is quirky, fun and art-filled. 

The Eats
There are lots of great opportunities to experience food and beverage in our region. One of my favorite ways to do that is at our plethora of local farmers markets. Some of my favorites are Allen Neighborhood Center in Lansing, Meridian Township and East Lansing. These are amazing communities built around the growing and sharing of food, and always include food trucks and vendors, live music and a bounty of fruits, vegetables, flowers, hand crafts and art. We also have a growing foodie culture in this area with new restaurants opening all of the time. Many delicious tried and true favorites have been feeding the region for years, so if you haven’t explored the food scene, now is the time. Take a drive, check out the Stadium District and the Michigan Corridor, go to REO Town, Old Town or even East Lansing and take a stroll. Get to know this city and her food.

The Love
So, as you can see, I have no problem celebrating Lansing. I love it here. The thing is, with a place, if you don’t go out and embrace it, and get to really know it and its people, you won’t feel that love. It’s not hard to find a community here, you just have to commit to doing a little work and the city is your oyster. So go Google all the things, give them a try and before you know it, you’ll be pouring all your love into this great region!


Dawn Gorman

Dawn Gorman is a writer, connector and creative who lives in Old Town, Lansing. She is the communications and events manager at the Arts Council of Greater Lansing and loves attending festivals and arts events. She jumps at any opportunity to talk about creative ideas.

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