July 15, 2022
Looking to have fun this summer, and drastically reduce your screen time? Check out this list of fun Detroit attractions that allow you to take that break and enjoy the nice outdoors downtown Detroit has to offer!
You could catch me on the Fourth of July two years ago taking a stroll along this 3.5-mile walkway. Enjoy the view of the Detroit River, catch a boat tour of the fanciest, most expensive houses along the coast, or just enjoy the simplicity of walking the entire stretch of this walkway and breathing in the fresh air. The Riverwalk is a nice place to get away and take a break. And, if you work nearby, what better way is there to take a breather from your office than the Detroit Riverfront? Bonus points: walk in the mornings when no one is there for the ultimate serene experience.
First and foremost, here’s a shout-out to the Belle Isle Conservancy for celebrating its ten-year anniversary this year. My many, many experiences growing up included day camp field trips to the Belle Isle Nature Center, checking out the wonderous Nemo “look alike” fish at the aquarium and gazing at the garden that’s known to host numerous weddings at the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. Besides the many attractions available to the public at Belle Isle, you are free to simply graze the isle, toss a frisbee around, and reminisce on the ways Belle Isle has changed. P.S. Giant slide, we miss you!
The Michigan Science Center was not only where my 10th birthday party was hosted; it was also where hundreds of field trips were held for metro Detroiters over the years. But it’s not limited to being a place for only field trips. If you have a niece, nephew, younger sibling, or are a godparent, take a trip there and experience all of the educational and creative activities visitors have the choose from. My favorite, and I think it’s an overall visitor favorite, is the DTE Energy Sparks Theater, where you learn about static electricity through the most hands-on exercise.
Just east of Campus Martius, and opening again this summer, is the outdoor sports and entertainment center known as The Monroe Street Midway. Originally developed by Bedrock, this outdoor space features a colorful outdoor roller rink, (owned and operated by the oldest Black-owned roller rink in the country – RollerCade), a 9-hole mini-golf course, food trucks, a basketball court, live music, and so many other activities to have the summer of your dreams. I was not able to make it out to the roller rink last summer but heard so many good things about it – trust that it’s on my list! I just have to learn how to roller skate first!
I love the Outdoor Adventure Center. Similar to the Michigan Science Center, this would be a nice place to take any of the kids in your life or enjoy a date (if you go early enough!) The Center has many fun exhibits that bring the outdoors inside! For example, there is an indoor kayaking simulator, snowmobile simulator, waterfall and underground mine, and the Department of Natural Resource’s airplane. Go to the Outdoor Adventure Center to learn, have fun, and enjoy the privilege that comes with having AC while enjoying the outdoors. It’s a must-visit.
Right next to the Outdoor Adventure Center is this 2-mile-long greenway that features graffiti art, a bike path, and stops alongside your favorite areas on the east side of the city. If you’re traveling the entire path, you can expect to see an outdoor performance stage (free concerts!), the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Fit Park, a glimpse of the Detroit Riverfront, and, of course, Eastern Market. This path travels from Gratiot Avenue to Mack Avenue with six entrances along the path. I enjoyed biking along the path last summer, enjoying the vibrancy that came with it. Don’t have a bike? Find out how you can rent one at wheelhousedetroit.com.
Honestly, since becoming a college student, so much has changed in downtown Detroit. I tell my friends this all the time, but I feel like a tourist every time I am home and get a chance to come downtown. From the party buses to the pedal bars, the artwork and swings displayed in the middle strip of Woodward Ave., to the new businesses and hip new restaurants opening up – it is such a sight to see. Strolling through downtown, especially along Woodward, it’s hard not to spot a difference since leaving for college. So, take some time and take it all in, enjoy the sights, and appreciate the innovation taking place downtown!
Written by Ejiro Enajero, Spring 2022 Let’s Detroit Campus Ambassador
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