Thursday, August 18, 2022

Michigan-native authors ‘100 things to do in Lansing before you die’

July 15, 2022
<p>Photo courtesy of Amy Piper.</p>

Photo courtesy of Amy Piper.

Amy Piper had a ticket to London in her pocket when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States.

Piper, a travel blogger, writes about the most note-worthy experiences in all of the 41 countries she has visited. When the pandemic confined her to Lansing, she decided to shift her focus to shining a light on all of the hidden gems right at home. 

“If I can't travel the world,” Piper said. “Then I'm going to make the best of the pandemic and write a book about my hometown.”

From there, her book “100 Things To Do In Lansing Before You Die” was born. 

“When I hear people say that there’s nothing to do in Lansing or that they’ve done it all, I have a hard time believing that’s even possible,” Piper wrote in her book. 

The book is split into five different categories: food and drink, music and entertainment, sports and recreation, history and culture and shopping and fashion. 

For the foodies, Piper recommends experiences like the Tatami room at SanSu Sushi, having a drink at Red Cedar Spirits Distillery or trying “out of this world” pizza at The Cosmos. She gives various options for the historians, such as the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, the Women’s History Museum and the Turner-Dodge House. Nature-lovers are suggested to visit places like the Ledges at Fitzgerald Park or the Wouldemar Nature Center. 

East Lansing and Michigan State University favorites also make an appearance in the book: with entries dedicated to the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival, the Abrams Planetarium and the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden.

Having lived in Lansing her entire life, finding 100 things to list in her book turned out to be a task that wasn’t very difficult. Piper loves Lansing because it has a “big city atmosphere” paired with a “small town feel”. 


“It’s very easy to navigate, but yet you have a lot of the advantages and the benefits of the bigger towns,” Piper said. “We have the Midwest friendly people, you know? There’s a lot to be said about the ‘Midwest nice’… some places you go, people are just not as friendly.”

‘100 Things to do in Lansing Before You Die’ can be more than just a good read — it can also serve as a scrapbook for your adventures. According to Piper, it can easily become a “memory-maker,” if you write in the pages as you visit the different attractions. 

“There's room in the book to write a memory so that it becomes so much more than just a book,” Piper said. “A lot of people are using it with their kids in that way and trying to cross off everything.”

In the back of the book, you can find several itineraries, with suggested lists of activities including date nights, sensory-friendly experiences and free — or almost free — fun. 

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