Winter Events, Activities, Holiday Shopping and Courses

As the weather gets colder and holidays are fast approaching, check out the following opportunities on campus or in the Greater Lansing area. Many events require registration, so be sure to click the links to learn more.

Campus Events

December 3 Alton Brown Live: Beyond The Eats – The Holiday Variant: See the Food Network and Netflix star cook and experiment live at the Wharton Center.

December 7 Night of a Thousand Donuts (free): Enjoy coffee and donuts in the Main Library and Gast Business Library.

December 15 International Employee Resource Group: Potluck Lunch (free): Share your favorite food and recipe card with other international employees at Linton Hall. 

Family-Friendly Activities

Starts December 1 Lansing Holiday Light Show: Enjoy dozens of dazzling, larger-than-life holiday themed displays to delight the entire family.

Starts December 2 Season of Light: Visit the Abrams Planetarium to learn how familiar traditions have an astronomical connection.

Starts December 4George and Oatmeal Save Santa: Celebrate the winter season at the Abrams Planetarium with this fun show.

December 10 Cocoa and Collection (free): Bring the whole family to the MSU Broad Art Museum to warm up with hot cocoa and art-making activities inspired by wintery works of art.

December 17 Kids Cookie Decorating Class w/ Michigan Made Treats: Brink the kids to this cookie decorating class at the Allen Neighborhood Center.


December 10 MSU Federal Credit Union Showcase Series: Telling the Story: Christmas Oratorios by Bach & Saint-Saens: Listen to inspiring and uplifting holiday sounds from the MSU Choral Union, University Chorale and State Singers with the MSU Symphony Orchestra.

December 11 Holiday Pops: Seasons Greetings: Listen to American Idol finalist, LaKisha Jones, sing your favorite holiday tunes and traditional carols. 

December 17 MSU Federal Credit Union Showcase Series: A Jazzy Little Christmas: Enjoy a performance of festive favorites from MSU Professors of Jazz with special guests.

Holiday Shopping

Starts December 1 Michigan Made Holiday Art Exhibition: Showcasing established and emerging artists, enjoy holiday shopping and opportunities to support makers in the local economy.

December 3 Holiday Art/Craft/Farmers Market: Enjoy the annual South Lansing holiday market featuring holiday gifts from a variety of vendors. 

Learning Opportunities

Starts December 6 MSU Grief and Loss Support Group (free): Learn about available resources and connect with other grieving community members every Tuesday. 

Starts December 8 Deepening Your Essential Skills (free): Connect with others in the MSU community to ask questions and raise topics.

Starts December 12Understanding Shame and Building Shame Resilience (free): Gain skills to understand shame and build skills to bounce back from it every Monday.

December 13 Family Employee Resource Group: Safe Infant Sleep (free): Learn how to create a safe sleep environment for your infant(s) from the Infant Safe Sleep Program Coordinator, Colleen Nelson. 

December 21 Explorations in Eating (free): Learn from an MSU Health4U registered dietician for a conversation about nutrition.

December 29 Adult Caregivers Employee Resource Group: Caring for the Caregiver (free): Connect with other adult caregivers to discuss how to take care of yourself.

Winter Events, Activities, Holiday Shopping, and Courses

As the colder weather sets in and the holidays approach, take note of the following opportunities on campus or in the surrounding area for you and your family. Please note: the events below are subject to change at any time. Please confirm event details, safety policies, etc. directly with each event listed.

Family/Kid Friendly

  • Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – MSU Abrams Planetarium Family Shows: In November, check out Violent Universe: Catastrophes of the Cosmos and The Little Star That Could. They also offer sensory friendly shows on the third Sunday of the month.
  • Nov. 6 – Family Day: Perspective: Make creative connections with our exhibitions through free hands-on and interactive family fun throughout the museum. All ages are welcome. See all upcoming events at the MSU Broad Art Museum here.
  • Nov. 19 – Silver Bells in the City: Millions of lights. Thousands of people. One very special guest. Lansing’s premiere holiday event.
  • Starts Nov. 20 – Wonderland of Lights at Potter Park Zoo: Tour grounds with friends and family as thousands of lights and decorations transform the zoo into a holiday spectacle.
  • Nov. 21 – CADL-Downtown Branch Sensory Friendly Movies: Join in on the 3rd Sunday of the month for sensory-friendly family-friendly movies when we turn the lights up and turn the sound down. Feel free to get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! Snacks provided.

Holiday Shopping

  • Nov. 4 – Dec. 23 (every Thursday, Friday and Saturday) – Michigan Made Holiday Art Exhibition: Showcasing established and emerging artists, enjoy holiday shopping and opportunities to support makers in the local economy.
  • Nov. 5 – 2021 MSU Houseplant & Succulent Sale: All sales from this fundraiser help support the gardens, including funding for garden maintenance, educational programming, and support for our undergraduate student employees.
  • Nov. 5 – Arts Night Out: Shops host a special sale, exhibits, arts and crafts demo, live performances.
  • Second Friday of the Month – Second Friday Shop Hop in Old Town: Hop around to multiple participating businesses for specials, make and takes, pop up shops, local artist, and more.


Performance and Art

  • Nov. 3 – Whose Live Anyway? 90 minutes of hilarious improvised comedy and song all based on audience suggestions.
  • Nov. 14 – Print Club!: Print Club! is a LGBTQ+ affirming social club founded by Lansing artist Randi Richards (they/them/she/her) dedicated to making space for those that love ink to work together, share, and build skills without financial barriers.

Personal/Professional Development Opportunities


  • Nov. 20 – Silver Bells 5K: Participants will be able to run/walk the 5K marked course in downtown Lansing or from home virtually.
  • Nov. 25 – Lansing Turkey Trot (in-person or virtual): Proceeds from the race go to support High School and Middle School Cross Country and Track programs, and Youth Running Clubs through the Michigan Running Foundation grant program.

Do you have an event you’d like us to consider including in a future article? Please email with the details.

Winter Is Here, but Have No Fear! Home and Auto Tips for the Wintertime.

Colder temperatures and snowfall are among us. Have you taken steps to ensure your comfort and safety this winter season? With just a few suggested adjustments, including home and auto insurance coverage through Liberty Mutual and MetLife, you’ll be prepared to handle any weather that comes your way.

Winter Driving Tips:

Have you ever been in a slippery situation? Wintertime driving can leave us feeling like we’re on thin ice—literally! Poor driving conditions account for almost half a million car accidents during the winter months (Federal Highway Administration, 2018). Adjusting your driving in the event of inclement weather can not only save you money, but more importantly your life. Here are five winter driving tips to help keep your money and yourself safe this snowy season:

  1. Make sure your vehicle is insured. MSU offers eligible employees auto insurance plans through Liberty Mutual and MetLife. Enjoy the convenience of having your auto insurance payroll deducted.
  2. Accelerate and decelerate slowly. This can help to prevent your vehicle from losing traction and you losing control of your vehicle in potentially slippery conditions.
  3. Maintain a following distance. During winter months, increase your following distance about eight to 10 seconds, as driving further back allows for additional stopping time. 
  4. Invest in winter tires. Different from your standard tires, winter tires are designed for increased traction on ice and snow. The average cost is about $120; however, that is a small fraction of what you would spend in the event of an accident.
  5. Leave early and drive slowly. One of the key factors of driving safe during the winter season is simply just to slow your driving down entirely. Plan to leave your home much earlier for work and other events to ensure ample time for a safe drive.

Winter Cost Saving Energy Tips for the Home:

It’s no secret that a much colder season is upon us and it can have chilling effects on our wallets. With winter in full swing, we tend to adapt our everyday lives to ensure optimum comfortability. However, a change in the weather does not have to mean a change in the cost of maintaining your home. Here are five winter cost saving energy tips for the home:

  1. Take advantage of homeowner’s insurance. MSU offers eligible employees home insurance plans through Liberty Mutual and MetLife. Enjoy the convenience of having your home insurance payroll deducted.
  2. Utilize the sun. There isn’t nearly as much daylight during the winter season; however, warmth from sunlight can drastically change the temperature of your home. Open the curtains on the south-facing windows of your home to let in some natural light and warmth.
  3. Find and seal any drafts. Common areas such as the cracks around doors and windows let cool air in, making it harder to keep your home warm. Sealing drafts in could lower annual energy costs up to 30% (U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2019).
  4. Use ceiling fans to circulate air. Place your ceiling fan on its lowest setting to circulate the warm air that rises, leaving your home feeling much warmer.
  5. Make sure all vents are open and uncovered. Do a quick check of every room to ensure there aren’t any items blocking your vents. This allows for maximum heat flow, preventing increased costs to heat your home.

For more information on home and auto insurance through Liberty Mutual or MetLife, visit MSU Benefits Plus. You can get a free quote by contacting Liberty Mutual at 888-860-0316 or MetLife at 877-619-5604.

Beat Cabin Fever

With temperatures crawling below zero, it can be easy to feel stir crazy during winter’s most brutal months. Luckily, there are many activities that you can do in order to defeat the dreaded symptoms of cabin fever.

Although the weather is chilling, campus venues, such as Abrams planetarium, provide an escape.
Although the weather is chilling, campus venues, such as Abrams planetarium, provide an escape.

Get lost in space at the Abrams Planetarium. 

The Abrams Planetarium plays shows featuring the Digistar 5 Project. The planetarium is open to the public on Friday and Saturday evenings as well as Sunday afternoons. All tickets are $4 or less, however, electronic payment is not accepted. Stop by to marvel at One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure or Ice Worlds.

Enjoy live entertainment at the Wharton Center.

The Wharton Center is a beautiful venue that hosts a wealth of interesting acts. Performances are eclectic and include plays, dance and concerts. Watch the Phantom of the Opera, The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet or 2 Cellos, among other talent.

Learn how to cook, relax and more with MSU Health4U classes.

What better way to spend a chilling day than to improve your skills? Health4U can teach you how to make breakfast for dinner or show you the calming nature of acoustic flamenco music.

Enhance your professional skills using elevateU.

Available in EBS for all faculty and staff, the elevateU platform offers a sweeping array of classes for your benefit.

Drink in some culture at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.

The Broad is a wonderful museum specializing in modern and contemporary art. Take advantage of the free admission and view stunning exhibitions including modern art from China and an artful display about student loan debt.

Take the edge off at the State Room.

The Kellogg Center’s State Room often has events, such as wine tastings, that are sure to entice you to leave the house. Keep up-to-date with the latest events.

Environmental Tips for the Winter Season

With the help from Be Spartan Green, we’ve put together a video of environmental tips for this cold winter season. Here are some of the following ways you can save money and energy this season and help protect our environment, especially when you’ll be leaving the office for holiday breaks.

Top Tips:

-Turn off all unneeded electronic equipment. Unplug all electronics or turn off the surge protector so they don’t use stand-by energy.

-Use plug control equipment such as the Smart Strip available at University Stores.

-Take the time to clean out and defrost refrigerators and freezers to make them more energy efficient.

-Dial down thermostats, especially at night and when you aren’t there. Dress in layers to feel warmer wherever you go.

-Laboratories should keep fume hood sashes closed for energy saving and safety reasons.

To share these tips to your friends and family, you can email or print this flyer.

Other useful links:

Office of Campus Sustainability

Green Certification Information