Ages- 3-10 (any older, diminishing returns for older kids)
Location- 1801 Atwater St, Detroit, MI 48207
Phone- (844) 622-6367
Parking- Free in next door lot
Places to eat nearby- Atwater Brewery, Rattlesnake Club, Andrews on the Corner, Andiamos Riverfront in Ren Cen, Snack Shop on Riverfront
Why to go there: The DNR Outdoor Adventure Center has stations for your kids to experience archery (on Saturdays), to get into a canoe, to fish, to shoot guns, to ride ATVs, and to climb trees. It has a Cabela’s feel, without having to busy something unnecessary. Just outside of the Adventure Center is a lighthouse, some big hills for running down, and beautiful vistas of the river.
The OAC itself is an hour, tops. It seems best paired with a walk down the Riverfront, through the Milliken Park (to check out some swamp land wild life) and down to the Renaissance Center. In summer, they have great walk through fountains, cool down on a hot day.
Once at the Ren Cen, check out Hart Plaza, Joe Louis’s Fist, and the Spirit of Detroit.
Inside the Ren Cen, take a GM Ren Cen Tour at 12 PM or 2 PM.
For a quick tour of downtown, take the People Mover (75 cents per person) from the Ren Cen. I’d recommend taking the kids off at Greektown and checking out the Belt, a culturally refined public alley.
Be careful: Check weather first, needs to be a nice day. Bring cash for people mover and snacks.
Summary: Cities are a must see for kids, and Detroit is in transition and has a lot to do for an inexpensive cost. The mix of the shared public and outdoor space along the riverfront, with a unique downtown, makes this trip an annual pilgrimage for our family.