Field trips return to Michigan Capitol, zoos, museums

LANSING — It’s not uncommon to hear laughter in the Capitol these days — and not from state legislators.

For the first time in years, school groups are returning in significant numbers to tour the building, their voices long absent as COVID-19 took hold in Michigan.

With cases down and schools back in-person, field trips are resuming at many of mid-Michigan’s popular destinations, including Potter Park Zoo, Impression 5 Science Center, the Michigan History Museum and 4th-grade staple the Capitol.

“We’re literally going gangbusters right now,” said Michigan Capitol Education Director Matt VanAcker.

The Capitol schedule is currently filled with classes coming to visit the historic building, with tours running nearly every day, VanAcker said.

“We’ve missed the heck out of the kids during the brunt of COVID,” he said. “Seeing the building in person is an experience not to be missed.”

Even at the height of the pandemic, the Capitol welcomed small tours of 10 or fewer people and offered virtual tours. But visitor numbers were significantly low, with many schools operating remotely.

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