Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit, totally worth the trip!

A couple weeks back a good friend of mine texted me about taking the kiddos to a new place in Detroit. I figured what the heck; I am always up for an adventure! Besides, I will let you in on a little secret; I always have a backup plan. This time my backup plan was to take the kiddos to the Hands on Museum in Ann Arbor if this Outdoor Adventure Center place was a total bust. So, needless to say, my expectations going into this Outdoor Adventure Center were extremely low. But I am happy to say there was no need for a backup plan. In fact I just have one word for Detroit, BRAVO!!!

As we entered the Outdoor Adventure Center my mind was officially blown! Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources totally nailed it! There was so much amazing hands-on, interactive, imaginary, outdoor play inside that my kids are already begging to go back. And what I really appreciated, from a parent’s perspective, was the fact that the children weren’t only having fun but learning so much about the beautiful state of Michigan, including some history…like the fact that the building we stood in was where Henry Ford was employed as a young apprentice way back in the 1860, talk about some rich history!

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A little history on the former Globe Building: The industrial complex began life in the late 1860s as the Dry Dock Engine Works, which employed a young Henry Ford as an apprentice. It was there that Ford apparently first became familiar with combustion engines. At the turn of the 20th century, the company was absorbed by the Detroit Shipbuilding Co. When the Detroit Shipbuilding Co. dissolved in the late 1920s, the former engine building plant was used by a stove manufacturer, the Detroit Edison Co., for appliance repair and finally the Globe Trading Company – a wholesale machinery firm.  It sat vacant for decades until work began transforming the building into the OAC. Source

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Michigan has 11,000 inland lakes, more freshwater shoreline than any other state in the nation, tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams, and more than 3,000 miles of water trails – all yours to enjoy! Discover how as you step into a fishing boat, reel in a big fish and learn about Michigan’s world-class fishing opportunities – by boat, pier or shore, on the Detroit River, throughout the Great Lakes and across our inland waters. Next, paddle down a river in our kayaking simulator and discover the adventures that await on Michigan’s waters, from paddle boards, canoes and kayaks to motorized boats and wave runners. Source  

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Walk behind and touch an indoor waterfall to get a glimpse of what it’s like to visit one of Michigan’s 150 waterfalls. Then cross a pond over stones, spot the fish beneath and discover small amphibians. As you travel through an underground cave, learn about our state’s geology, the valuable natural resources that are under the ground, and Michigan mining – its history and importance to our economy. Source

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Experience the 35-foot-tall bur oak tree from top to bottom. Explore what lies under, and slide down, giant tree roots and look through a lightning-strike fissure. Peek into a bear den and learn about Michigan’s black bears. Then climb to the second story and check out the inside of the tree trunk, the net climb and a suspension bridge. Learn about the importance of trees as a source of food and shelter for all kinds of wildlife and as a renewable resource used to create a variety of products we use every day, making forests an important part of Michigan’s economy. Source

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Discover the possibilities along Michigan trails! Hop on one of the simulators and experience what it’s like to ride a snowmobile, off-road vehicle or mountain bike. With more than 13,000 miles of trails in Michigan, some in urban areas, there’s something for everyone – from hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing to snowmobiling and off-road vehicle riding. Learn about all the opportunities to hit the trail and enjoy nature while exploring Michigan’s communities. Source 

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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. Source  

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You know how in most places they frown upon people bringing in outside food, not at the Outdoor Adventure Center! They have a cafeteria where you can eat your packed lunch, awesome, right! I know most of us are on a tight budget so anytime I can pack food instead of spend I am a happy momma!!

ADDRESS: 1801 Atwater St, Detroit, MI 48207

WEBSITE: https://www.michigan.gov/oac

PHONE: (844) 622-6367


Closed Monday & Tuesday

Wednesday- Friday 10am-3pm

Saturday 10am-5pm



Adults (age 13-61) $5

Seniors (age 62 and older) $3

Children (ages 2-12) $3

Children under age 2 FREE

Plan your trip today!

There was so much to see & do, I know my kiddos wanted to linger longer in some areas so we are totally going back!! Huge thank you goes out to my amazing friend Ashleigh (mom to 4 beautiful little girls, well, one towers over her now but as an added bonus they can now share shoes!! Lol! ). And again, BRAVO and thank you to Detroit & Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, you totally nailed it!!

Additional Resources:

Restaurants in the Area

10 Things to do in Detroit

10 Things to do with Kids in Detroit

50 Things to do with Kids in Detroit before they Grow up

13 thoughts on “Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit, totally worth the trip!

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