The Eastside Lansing Neighborhoods A Best Kept Secret

I’ve come to know the Eastside Lansing Neighborhoods over the last 10 years. What I’ve discovered is an eclectic, charming and convenient community. It’s proximity, and housing costs comparable to surrounding areas, make it a winning combination for busy families.

The Eastside is filled with a mix of historic homes built from World War I on forward to newer builds, in the Groesbeck area. It is a diverse community that’s convenient to Michigan State University and also Lansing Community College. It’s also in close proximity to both Sparrow and McLaren hospitals, the Capitol and downtown Lansing. It provides easy access to Frandor and Eastwood Towne Center shopping corridors. Add in the River Trail running through it and being bounded by I-496 on one side and I-127 on the other and you’ve got easy access to anywhere and everywhere. It’s also popular among gardeners. It plays host to many community gardens and individual gardeners. It truly is the perfect Lansing community. 

The Heart of the Eastside Lansing Neighborhoods

One of the most influential locations in the neighborhood is Allen Neighborhood Center. The Allen Neighborhood Center has a heavy emphasis on promoting health and well-being. It also creates a strong sense of place, belonging and community. They offer classes for job and entrepreneurial activities. They work to create a safe and sustainable community. There are tons of programs of interest for families. Including veggie boxes (CSA boxes from producers in Lansing). The Farmers Market (offered year-round outdoors and indoors). Market Walk/ Moves (walking to earn money vouchers at the Allen Farmers Market). They also offer a wide variety of other programs for seniors and youth.

The Center is also currently undergoing redevelopment as the building becomes Allen Place, a comprehensive community space. It will feature 21 units of mixed-income housing along with commercial space. Among them will be the Ingham County Health Clinic and  The Eastside Lansing Food Co-op (ELFCO). Originally located in the East Lansing area, the food co-op started in 2017. They have just completed a crowd-funding campaign to open in the new Allen Place location. Allen Place is currently projected to open this fall.

The mileages provided below originate from the intersection of Shepard/Marshall St. and Michigan Ave. This is close to the center of the neighborhood. As you’ll see, most destinations are easily walkable.

Family Fun in the Neighborhood

  • Impressions 5 (1.2 miles)- a long stroller walk or short car drive with something for infants to big kids to explore.
  • Woldumar Nature Center (6.8 miles)- a great nature area for exploring. Offers a wide variety of programs including summer, winter break and spring break camps for kids.
  • Hawk Island Park (3.9 miles)- A sledding and snowboarding hill in winter. A splash pad and beach in the summer. A paved trail for walking and biking year round. All of that with a generously sized playground, it’s a year round family destination.
  • Potter Park Zoo (2.1 miles)- Accessible via the river trail for walking or bike riding or via Pennsylvania Ave. by car. This zoo boasts a good assortment of animals. It is also a nice footprint for a few hours of walking with kids in tow. Check out free passes that cover family admission and parking at any CADL library and you’re good to go!
  • Lansing Lugnuts at Jackson Field (1.0 miles)- the home of our minor league team and host to many special events throughout the year.
  • Foster Branch Library (CADL) (0.6 miles)- located in the Foster Community Center (once Foster School). This center has a cute playground outside. The library in the former kindergarten room on the basement level and meeting rooms available for classes, playgroups and other activities.
  • Breakout Escape Rooms (0.7 miles)- One of the new escape rooms in the area. A potential date night activity or a fun family activity with teens. Enjoy a meal at People’s Kitchen in the same building.

Eats in the Neighborhood

Here are just a few of the neighborhood favorite local eats with a flavor for just about everyone.

  • Tannin (0.0 miles)- a scratch kitchen featuring unique wines and Italian cuisine sourced from local producers
  • People’s Kitchen (0.7 miles)- Creative comfort food and industrial decor
  • Soup Spoon Cafe (0.2 miles)- Six handcrafted soups daily plus homestyle selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • El Oasis (0.6 miles)- A family-owned Mexican food truck with authentic cuisine.
  • Jerusalem Bakery (0.1 miles)- A family-owned Mediterranean restaurant known for their pitas and hummus.
  • Accelerator Kitchen (0.3 miles)- This project of the Allen Neighborhood Center offers new food businesses. A place to get their start after taking the classes they offer. The fare changes over time as new businesses graduate to their own space. Currently, the kitchen includes: Smoothie Queen Mr. Leslie’s Cheesecakes, Gogi 2 (Korean) and Tantay (Peruvian).

Outdoors in the Neighborhood

  • Hunter Park– 1400 E. Kalamazoo- (0.6 miles) boasts a fantastic garden house with classes offered in 3 seasons. Along with a yearly plant sale in May plus an edible park. The pool and splash pad are open afternoons and early evenings mid June to late August.
  • Post Oaks Elementary– 2320 Post Oaks Lane- (2.1 miles) a great place to play with equipment for bigs and babies plus a soccer field.
  • Foster Park– 2401 Foster Ave.- (0.7 miles) paved walking loops perfect for kids learning to bike ride and a bike pump and tools station.
  • Ranney Skate Park– 3201 E Michigan Ave- (1.2 miles)- park of a larger park complex, this is a popular hangout for teens.
  • Crego Park– 1600 Fidelity Road- (2.2 miles) 200-acre wooded park featuring river access for fishing, kayaking (with a kayak lift) & canoeing plus linkage to trails.
  • Lansing Bike Co-op– 1715 E. Kalamazoo- (0.3 miles)- Offering classes and a space to help people learn how to fix their own bikes. This community resource also hosts special events where they give away kids bike helmets.

    Another neighborhood gem is the Buy Nothing Eastside group. It’s been a great way for our family to get to know people in our community and save money at the same time.

    Whether you’re looking for a first time home or just a fun weekend in the city, I can’t recommend the Eastside enough.

Deonne Lindsey
Deonne lives in Lansing with her husband Tom and their daughter. She is a stay at home mom, runner, scrapbooker, and lover of all things genealogy. When she’s not reading to her daughter, you can find her tracking down chocolate hummus at Aldi, or coaching a weekly workshop at WW.


  1. Thank you for sharing. I have lived here for almost 40 years and involved with ENO about 35 yrs. We truly have a wonderful neighborhood


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