LANSING, Mich. — Lots of parks have playgrounds, trails and basketball courts.
But some parks in Lansing offer unique resources like a horseshoe pit, enclosed soccer fields and disc golf.
If you're looking to grab your soccer ball and score a goal Lansing has two enclosed soccer fields you can test out. They are called Beacon Field and located at Beacon Park on the south side and at Ferris Park near downtown.
The fields are open for free play and have lights so you can play longer into the evenings. And you don't have to worry about worn-out grass because they are turfed facilities.
"We've seen folks from all of the region coming to play the sport of soccer there at the Beacon Fields," Director of Parks and Recreation Brett Kaschinske said.
If you're interested in practicing, the best times to hit the fields would be in the morning because in the evenings it's game time for a lot of people.
"There's drop-in soccer going on every evening there and it's a first-come, first-served basis and we invite all ages to come out there. It's not a youth activity. It's not an adult activity. It is really a mix of that," Kaschinske.
You can try your luck at the horseshoe pits at Rudolph and Dorthy Wilson Park. The facility has multiple pits and is open to anyone who wants to try it out or play with friends.
The pits are filled with clay and covered when no one is using them. If it rains, your hands and horseshoes might get a little messy but it won't slow you down from dominating the game.
And if you want to take it to the next level there's also the Greater Lansing Area Horseshoe Club, which has tournaments and meets every Thursday at the park. They have distances for seniors and adult play. You can modify the game to move closer because you are throwing a weighted shoe.
"It's a very passive sport and there are distances for everybody. So you can move up to the distance that you're comfortable with to be able to make the shot," Kaschinske said.
If you like walking through the woods and throwing stuff, this unique park resource is for you. Ingham Park has a small nine-hole disc golf course set up for beginners.
It's a COVID friendly sport you can play by yourself or challenge your friends to see who is the top dog.
Wesley Shinevar has been playing the game since the beginning of 2016 and says he loves it.
"Disc golf is a game for everybody. If you're a kid or if you're older you are able to play," Shinevar said. "As long as you throw a disc, you can play disc golf. I see all sorts of young families out here playing. I see grandparents out here playing."
He says it typically when you are playing nine holes or a shorter course, it will take about 30 minutes. If you go to some of the bigger courses where there are 18 holes, it may take two to three hours.
You can find 18 hole courses at Grand Woods Park or Burchfield Park.
Shinevar is also a part of the Capital City Renegadesand invites anyone who wants to compete and learn more about the sport to join the club. They host summer tournaments and winter leagues throughout the winter from November through March. They also casually play on Sundays.
Ping Pong Tables
And if you're looking for a smaller setting you can challenge your friends to a ping pong game while enjoying the fresh air. Lansing has two public ping pong tables.
One is located on the city plaza. You can go inside City Hall to check out paddles and balls for free.
If you have your own gear, the other table is located at Moores Park near the pavilion and restroom facility.
Lansing has 111 parks and over 200 acres of parkland. For information on other parks and outdoor activities click here.
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