Insider’s Guide to Lansing’s “Be a Tourist in Your Own Town” – with Kids

A Parent’s Guide to Lansing’s “Be A Tourist in Your Own Town”

We rock, Lansing! After going through this year’s Be a Tourist in Your Own Town (BATYOT) passport I couldn’t help but be so proud of Lansing. Look at what we’ve done together!

Date: June 2, 2018 from 10 am – 5 pm.

If you haven’t been to BATYOT, it’s an event where you get to experience over 90 Greater Lansing locations with a $1 passport. You’ll definitely want to get your family out for this fantastic community event.

Most of the places participating are local businesses. Local residents have created and local residents have supported this growing event.

CATA Transportation Center Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

Say Hello to Your $1 Staycation

It’s exciting to see our city to-do-list getting some buzz. The Greater Lansing Visitors Bureau has done a fabulous job of coordinating The 24th Annual Be a Tourist In Your Own Town.  This event puts Lansing on the map, gets businesses noticed, and gives the community a $1 staycation. 

I can’t wait to get my passport stamped over and over at #BATYOT2018. But first- where to go first and what’s kid-friendly!?

Preuss Pets Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

How to do a Kid-Friendly BATYOT

This year I promise I’ll buy my  BATYOT passports before the event. Otherwise, I spend the morning rushing around and wasting a good half hour or more scouring through the book and trying to figure out the best route. We only have a 7-hour window to cram as much fun as we can, right?!

Plus, I will use this parent’s guide – right along with you – in planning out my day to find the best route for our family.

*Note: You must show your passport at each location. See your passport for times, addresses, and additional offers.

Read on for a list of activities and events geared toward families. Everything is categorized. Pick a few from each category to make your own personalized, family-friendly route.

BATYOT Activities and Projects for Kids

Choose from this list to find stops where your kids can create and get hands-on with their imaginations.

Potter Park Zoo Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

BATYOT Active Adventures

Choose from this list of move-your-body choices perfect for kids of all ages.

Model T Rides Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

BATYOT Novelty and Sights

You’ve seen Lansing but have you really seen Lansing? Get behind-the-scenes access to our community treasures, old and new.

Chalk of the Town Kids Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

BATYOT FREE Prizes & Discounts

Everybody loves a freebie, me included! Use this list to find who’s giving out what, where. (Scoops Ice Cream, here I come!)

Rivertown Adventures Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

Pick Up Your Passport At These Locations

Have you gotten your passports yet? Find one at these locations:
AL!VE: Your Community Well-being Place
CATA Transportation Center
Celebration! Cinema
Greater Lansing Visitor Center–Lansing
Greater Lansing Visitor Center–East Lansing
Impression 5 Science Center
Lansing Art Gallery
NCG Eastwood Cinema
Potter Park Zoo
Preuss Pets
Studio C!
Van Atta’s Greenhouse & Flower Shop
Zap Zone

Checklist and Tips For a Day On the Town In Lansing

Model T Rides Car Historic Center Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

Pack Snacks and water.

We’ll be burning calories with all that walking. Stay hydrated and eat some snacks along the way to prevent being “hangry”. I know this all too well. Snacks help lower stress when navigating crowd traffic jams.

Plan ahead for lunch.

Packing a picnic or stopping at one of the great places listed in the passport? Either way, remember it can be very packed and busy. Planning ahead for when we’ll be hungry can help a lot.

Stroller or baby carrier.

You’ll be hands free and walk-ready. When engaging in crafts or activities being hands-free is a game changer. My go-to city plan is always a backpack, and a banana stroller with a pouch. Boom – ready to play!


Long fun days in the city and sun tend to make time get away from us. Setting alarms to re-apply sunscreen can also help us remember to take more water breaks.

Group Travel

Take the stress out of packed environments by remembering that everyone travels at their own pace. Our big family knows this well. We have a few fast walkers and a few stragglers. Keeping in communication and setting rendezvous points is key. This helps everyone experience the same route without pressure.

Will You Be A Tourist In Your Own Town?

Van Atta's Greenhoues FREE Herbs Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

Does your family have a venue you would like recommend to others? Let us know and we will spread the word. One of my favorites each year is Van Attas Greenhouses in Haslett. The herbs we received with each passport last year kept my food tasting great all summer long!

Have fun Lansing, maybe we will see you out there!


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  1. Lauren Nunn June 2, 2018 at 9:09 am - Reply

    This is SO helpful! The little packet always overwhelms me, so your breakdown made it way easier to plan what we’re going to do. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time!

    • Carla Brooks June 2, 2018 at 9:19 am - Reply

      That is so wonderful Lauren! Thank YOU for taking the time to let us know it helped. Let me know how your day ends up with the new plan? I just made my list too and excited to get more in this year. =) – Carla

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