Waiting for spring is a test of patience and endurance like no other. It just comes when it comes and there's nothing you can do about it. Waiting for the pizza guy when you're super hungry? No fun, but tolerable. Waiting for a movie to come out that you are way excited to see? Mild anxiety at best. To me, nothing compares to that time in mid to late March when everyday you're watching the thermometer and peeking out the window in the morning to see if you'll need a coat, or to scrape frost off the windshield.

Kid Attractions in Lansing- Butterfly Garden

Butterflies are beautiful and delicate ambassadors of spring. Get up close with them at the MSU Butterfly House.

What if you could do something about it? What if you didn't have to just sit and wait for spring? I have an inside scoop for you. There is a time machine on the campus of Michigan state University. How much does it cost? Maybe a couple bucks for parking, tops. When you enter, it immediately takes you a leap forward in time into warmer weather and all the good things that brings. Where and how, you're asking? Pay a visit to the Greater Lansing area, specifically the Children's Butterfly Garden at Michigan State University for a time-leaping sneak peek of spring. Yup, jump four or 5 weeks ahead easily as you step into the warmth of these university run greenhouses full of plants, flowers and of course a bunch of beautiful butterflies in various stages of development. It's like jumping ahead a couple of chapters in a mystery novel. You feel like you're beating the system a little bit doing it, but it feels too good to not enjoy the spoils, even for just a little while. Inside the butterfly house you get the sounds of running water, the warmth of the sun and best of all the smell of grass and flowers.

Leave your winter coat in the car as you head into the building and take your time exploring with your kids or a loved one the beauty of nature. You can watch butterflies growing, developing, eating, flying and often landing gently on your shoulder or finger. Don't worry, butterflies don't bite! While you're there do the butterfly scavenger hunt, the kids are sure to love it and its a sure bet your whole party will love beating the system and jumping ahead in time into the heart of spring.

Here's the website for details on parking, open times, important butterfly etiquette and more!