Feb 23, 2016

DNR Outdoor Adventure Center

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger Theresa Walker - BeachBody Coach




Down town Detroit has a new gem for adventurers and nature lovers!  The DNR Outdoor Adventure Center brings "Up North, Downtown".  This family friendly Detroit destination features Michigan's woods, water and wildlife inside a three story 40,000 square foot building formerly known as the Globe Building.  The facility provides hands-on recreational experiences for all ages through a variety of activities and exhibits that engage the senses.  Opening in July of 2015 this unique gem is gaining in popularity through word of mouth from all who go and enjoy their time.  



Each level is a treasure-trove of things to explore.  Some points of interest include the large fresh water aquarium with 154 different species of fish including whitefish, sturgeon, bass, perch and walleye.  After that step into the fishing boat and "reel in" a big fish or sit in a kayak and venture along Detroit rivers. 



Next up, step into the "great outdoors" where you can go camping, sit under a waterfall while fish and amphibians swim in the water below, or go through an underground cave and learn about Michigan's geology.  The atmosphere alone is breath-taking.  And with so much to see and do the kids are entertained for hours. 



There's even more simulators including ATV's, snow mobiles, duck hunting and a DNR airplane to navigate!  The kids couldn't get enough of it.  Among these fun adventures there's plenty of opportunities to learn with a video on fighting real wild fires and preventing them.  You can also learn about Michigan's forests and their history, learn about sand dunes, check out a beaver lodge and learn about wetlands or guess which animal's tracks you are looking at.  At all of these area's there is DNR staff to assist or answer questions.




 One of the kids favorite parts was the 35ft tree house/playscape.  The kids of course loved the slide and being able to climb up to the second story and cross the suspension bridge.  They can also peek into the bear den and learn about black bears.  This area gave kids a chance to burn off a little energy with climbing and was a nice break.  However, if you have younger children or those you may worry about wandering off, I'd suggest warning them beforehand to not cross the bridge and to just come back down directly, or not let them climb up at all.  This area was a tough spot to watch the kids as it was busy, and once they are climbing up the inside of the tree you can't keep track of them.  My only suggestion would have been to block off the top so the kids can't get access to the bridge which leads to the large entire second floor.



 I liked that there was also a "Nature in your Neighborhood" exhibit, which was a small home set up with learning opportunities.  See how small, everyday living changes, like reducing your water and electricity use and recycling, can benefit you and the environment. Discover how kitchen waste and rainwater contribute to a healthier backyard environment for your family and neighborhood wildlife and how to attract birds and bats to your backyard.





Overall my family was hugely impressed with the Outdoor Adventure Center and we plan to be back soon!  I highly recommend it, it was easy to find off of the freeway and park, parking was free.  Across the street was the end of the Riverwalk, and a small pier you can walk out along and a lighthouse.  It was also certainly one of our cheaper adventures, which we can appreciate.  The OAC also hosts Cub Scout badge workshops, school programs and DNR certification classes. 

Outdoor Adventure Center
1801 Atwater St.,
Detroit, MI 48207
1-844-622-6367

HOURS: {at time of publication}
Mon & Tues- Closed
Wed-Fri- 10am-3pm
Saturday- 10am-5pm
Sunday- noon-5pm

Prices: {at time of publication}
Adults (13-51): $5
Children (2-12): $3
Children under 2: Free
Seniors (62+): $3
*Special prices available for groups that preregister

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