My family and I finally had a Sunday with no plans so we decided to head down to the (relatively) new DNR Outdoor Adventure Center located east of downtown along the Riverwalk. What a great place to spend a few hours – especially on a cold/snowy day when there aren’t as many outdoor options available.
Once inside the building, you feel like you are outside – there’s lots of sunlight coming in from the windows and the outdoor displays are fantastic! One of the main features is a multi-story waterfall with a pond, including some stones to walk (or jump/run in the case of my kids!) across.
Another favorite part is the hanging bridge. It wobbles just enough to add some excitement, but not too much to make it scary. My 8 year old went across it many times.
My 10 year old enjoyed the simulators – there are many – snowmobile, ATV, mountain bike, kayak, fishing boat…plus a laser shot simulator to get a little taste of hunting (I was pretty good at squirrel hunting!).
There is also a multi-level tree to climb up and slide down. Even my 10 year old still enjoyed this feature and I bet the younger kids could play in it for hours.
The Outdoor Center is also equipped with an indoor archery range and my kids got the opportunity to participate in a free 30 minute archery lesson. They learned how to properly hold the bow and shoot and then each kid got to take 3 shots at a target. The instructors told us that they would start hosting regular archery lessons as well (in addition to the free introductory lesson).
We ended our afternoon on the third floor where you can pretend to fly like an eagle and then have a photo op in an eagle’s nest. (You type in your email address and the photo gets emailed to you instantly!)
All in all, we had a great 2 hours at the DNR Outdoor Center and highly recommend it to any families looking for an easy outing in the D. Here’s some additional information to help you plan your trip!
Location: 1801 Atwater Street in Detroit
Parking: FREE SECURE lot located adjacent to the Center
Cost: $3 for kids, $5 for adults
Favorite thing to do: Sam (10 yo) says: The simulators!; Abby (8 yo) says: playing in the tree fort; Timm (the dad!) says: exploring the third floor (where the eagle’s nest and a eagle flying simulator is); and I (the mom!) says: finding a place to go on a snowy day where everyone has fun and doesn’t fight!