Connect with nature in the heart of the city!

By: Lauren Corbat | March 20, 2023
The Detroit Outdoor Adventure Center

The Detroit Outdoor Adventure Center is nestled along the Detroit River Walk where the River Walk and Dequindre Cut meet. This hidden gem helps bring nature and outdoor activities to the city. Operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, this facility offers a wide range of events and activities for the whole family!

Head there during public visiting hours to check out their exhibits such as the beaver lodge, campsite setup, pine forest, and even a river and waterfall! Try your hand at snowmobiling and kayaking with their simulators and see what it’s like to sleep in a yurt. For those who love to dip into the science behind the scenery, there is a “Nature in Your Neighborhood” exhibit to help recognize plants and animals in your own backyard. 

One of the center’s biggest programs is in the archery range. Classes are available for children through adults to learn bow and arrow skills and perfect their aim. Never tried archery before? The “Try-it” days are perfect introductory courses for beginners. Additionally, being directly on the river allows for multiple fishing events throughout the year. The Detroit Outdoor Adventure Center also hosts family hikes, a summer campout, a running club, and birding for adults. 

If you are looking for activities specifically for kids, the Adventure Center has plenty! There are reptile and mammal shows, field trips, scout outings, and summer camps. Specifically for senior citizens, there are senior strolls. Folks can also learn about area activities such as water trails in Metro Detroit, boating safety, and a whole host of other events. 

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One of the Detroit Outdoor Adventure Center’s best features is that they have all the equipment needed to try all these new activities. There is no need to buy fishing rods, archery bows, etc. on your first visit. All you have to do is show up in appropriate clothing for the activity and have fun! 

Check out the Outdoor Adventure Center’s school year hours below. Additionally, the first Sunday of every month is FREE entry into the center as well as free entry during their sensory-friendly days. Check out their website for the most updated hours and event information. Have fun and get outside!

Hours (school year):

Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m

Thursday: Groups by Reservation Only

Friday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday: noon – 3 p.m