Need a Weekend Activity? Here’s a Fun (and Practical) To-Do List

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Thursday, May 30, 2019, 7:40 am
Jessy Gregg

Out and about: It's Opening Day at the Farmers Market on Sunday, time to be environmentally friendly on Saturday, opening weekend at the aquatic center, and open season on or near the water.

East Lansing feels quiet while MSU is on break and the East Lansing Public Schools are still in session but there’s actually a ton of things happening around town right now. Here are a few highlights from this weekend’s offerings.

1. Rid your living space of clutter, guilt free.

Take advantage of the opportunity to recycle many household items free of charge at Recycle! East Lansing. Collection will take place, rain or shine, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday at the Abbott Center, 1400-1500 Abbot Road. In order to participate, bring proof of East Lansing residency to the event.

Items that will be accepted free of charge include: air conditioners and dehumidifiers (BWL residential electric customers that recycle a working air conditioner or dehumidifier will receive a $25 rebate, with a limit of two each per household), small appliances, automotive batteries, bikes, books, boxboard, cans (tin, foil, steel and aluminum), cartons, cell phones, clothing/shoes, corrugated cardboard, eye glasses, freezers, usable furniture (no mattress, box springs or couches), glass bottles and jars, usable household items (i.e. utensils, pillows, blankets, toys, pictures, frames, lamps, etc.), lawn mowers, paper (newspaper, magazines, phone books, gift wrapping, paper bags, regular and junk mail, brochures, inserts, file folders and office paper), medications, plastics #1-#7, polystyrene (no packing peanuts and foam insulation), scrap metal, stoves, electronics, textiles and working vacuum cleaners.

Some items require a $20 drop-fee: printers, copiers, TVs, computers and monitors.

Other items that will be accepted for a fee include: tires, unusable items (refuse) and lumber.

More information at the event's dedicated page.

Interested in volunteering? Call (517) 337-9459, send an email to, or sign up online. All volunteers receive a t-shirt, food and beverages.

2. Shop for (and eat) locally grown and produced food while listening to great music at the first Farmers Market of the season.

Opening day for the East Lansing Farmers Market season begins at 10 a.m. this Sunday at Valley Court Park with a ceremonial ringing of the “market bell” by Mayor Mark Meadows.

Opening day activities include face-painting by Karen Miller, free cookies from Jenny’s Sweets & Treats, and musical performances by Pooh Stevenson and Marilyn Tennant. The first 150 visitors will receive a free, reusable ELFM shopping bag.

ELFM is a “growers-only” market, meaning that all vendors must grow (or produce) the products they sell at the market.

Vendors for this season include: The 517 Coffee Company, Applegarth Honey, Bavarian Inn Cluck Truck, Civil Ferments, Clyde’s Pit, Corrion Farms, The Country Mill, DavePops, Droscha Sugarbush, El Burrito Mexicano, Fire and Rice, The Fresh Lake Whitefish Company, From Scratch Food Truck, Guiding Light Garlic Farm, Hickory Knoll Farms Creamery, Jenny’s Sweets & Treats, MI Drinks, Mycophile’s Garden, Owosso Organics, Pregitzer Farm Market, Rust Belt Roastery, Sanctuary Pizza, Sapo De Solis, Steffey Farm/Para Para Creamery, Stone Circle Bakehouse, Tomac Pumpkin Patch, Trillium Wood Farm, Wernette Beef, Wildflower Eco Farm, Wooden Shoe Herb Farm and Zumo Eco Farm.

A new addition this year is the Farmers Market Coalition’s Power of Produce (POP) Club. For six weekends, POP will teach children about eating healthy, where their food originates and more. Participants will receive coupons to spend at the market on fresh fruits and vegetables. Parents will be able to sign up their children for POP at the market.

A grant from the Fair Food Network allows participating markets to “Double Up Food Bucks” (DUFB) by providing a dollar-for-dollar match for people redeeming SNAP/Bridge food assistance benefits at the market, up to $20 per market Sunday.

The market will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Sunday through the end of October.

3. Visit the Pinecrest School Carnival

Pinecrest’s year-end Carnival is Friday and it will feature lots of free and ticketed games and activities, plus concessions. There will be an inflatable slide and baseball game, a video game truck, a “bake walk,” tie dying, face painting, a slime station, and student favorite “Pie Face” where students purchase tickets for the opportunity to throw a shaving cream pie at their teacher.

4. Work on your base tan and wear out your kids at the same time.

The East Lansing Family Aquatic Center (ELFAC) opens its gates for the season on Saturday. Located a half-mile north of Lake Lansing Road at 6400 Chandler Road, ELFAC is an outdoor recreational water facility that includes a 190-foot tube water slide, 140-foot body water slide, splash park, drop slide, diving board, and several water-play features.

The Aquatic Center also includes a wet/dry sand play area, large sunbathing deck, zero-depth pool entry and concessions. It is accessible by bike from East Lansing’s recently resurfaced Northern Tier Trail.

More information on hours and rates, including combo passes, is available at the Aquatic Center's page.

5. Meet up your friends outside for drinks and noshes.

Now that warmer weather has settled in, the patio sections of many local restaurants are open for business. The roof deck is open at El Azteco and patios are open at HopCat, Black Cat Bistro, Dublin Square, Harper’s, FieldHouse, Punk Taco/The Cosmos, Reno's, Crunchy's, and the Peanut Barrel, where patrons can dine while enjoying sun (we hope) and fresh air.

Some coffee shops have open air seating as well, including Espresso Royale, Blue Owl, and Biggby's.

6. There are freshly refinished trails in East Lansing and Lansing.

The entire length of the East Lansing’s Northern Tier Trail system (almost five miles) was resurfaced last year and several bridges were either replaced or repaired. The path is now ready for residents to walk, run, bike or roll.

Improvements to the Lansing River Trail (above) near Potter Park Zoo have also been completed. These include an increased span for the bridge leading into Potter Park zoo (to reduce flooding) and resurfacing of the most degraded sections of asphalt.

Trail users in the Old Town Area can get a sneak peak at this year’s Art Path installations as some artists have already begun to assemble their creations.

7. Put a boat in the water. We have ideas!

If you’d prefer to be in the water instead of next to it check out Michael Townley’s article from a few years ago with some ideas of where you can launch your canoes and kayaks.

In addition to the ideas offered in that article, there’s also a kayak launch at the lake in Lansing’s Crego Park. This might be a good option for parents with younger paddlers since there are no currents in the lake.

And here's one more bonus option: Friday night from 6-8 pm is the opening reception for a new exhibit on South American politics at the Broad! Read more. © 2013-2020 East Lansing Info