Overcast   62.0F  |  Forecast »

Belle Isle Aquarium in Detroit Reopens for Family Fun

The beloved island jewel is back starting Sept. 15, 2012 and continuing on Saturdays every month. Bring the kids to explore this historic gem!

OK, so maybe you can't literally delve deep underwater. But you can catch the sight of some fascinating finned creatures populating the tanks of the Belle Isle Aquarium on Belle Isle in Detroit.

The aquarium, which closed its doors in 2005, officially reopens at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 and will be free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday following that.

The tanks will be filled with Giant Gourami, catfish, eels, turtles, frogs and local species of fish, says Vance Patrick of the Belle Isle Conservancy. There will even be six of seven species of Garfish at the aquarium, making it the only place in the United States where you can see that many in one tank, Patrick says.

Some of the aquarium's 60 tanks aren't filled with fish. Rather, they're teeming with local art and photography, Patrick says.

Patrick, who first became involved with the Belle Isle Aquarium as a volunteer with the Friends of Belle Isle in 2005, said he has been a "driving force" to get the aquarium open again because he grew up going there and wanted it reopened for all kids – including his own.

The 108-year-old aquarium was designed by Albert Kahn and was "the oldest continually-operating aquarium in North America" when it closed, according to the Belle Isle Conservancy website.

Parking is free, and cameras are welcome in the aquarium, the Belle Isle Conservancy notes in a press release. Patrick says the aquarium has stroller and wheelchair access, and there will be games, sidewalk chalk and more for the kids on opening day.

There are many reasons families should visit the aquarium and Belle Isle, Patrick says, adding that the island is a place to spend time with kids – and do so for free!

Why not check out the other features and attractions the island has to offer while you're visiting? Patrick recommends the Belle Isle Nature Zoo at the east end of the island, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory or the Dossin Great Lakes Museum.

Note: Because there are no concession stands on the island, the Belle Isle Conservancy encourages visitors to bring their own food and drinks.

For more information on the Sept. 15 grand opening – and what's going on at the aquarium – visit the Belle Isle Aquarium Facebook page.

See the Metro Parent listing for the 2012 reopening of the Belle Isle Aquarium in Detroit for more information.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Michigan Education Improves, Poverty Grows, Kids Count Says

Michigan Education Improves, Poverty Grows, Kids Count Says

The 2014 Annie E. Casey Foundation study finds promising trends for preschool attendance and high-school graduation, but notes struggles with child poverty.

Zucchini Recipes: Ways to Incorporate Veggies Into Your Diet

Zucchini Recipes: Ways to Incorporate Veggies Into Your Diet

Is your garden overflowing with this vegetable? Try making cheesy zucchini bites, zucchini fries or any of these recipes.

Beach Towel and Picnic Blanket Caddy Craft

Beach Towel and Picnic Blanket Caddy Craft

Looking for an easy, compact way to tote those summer necessities? You're in luck! This simple sewing project makes carting your fabric accessories a breeze.

Socialite Returns Adopted Child to Orphanage for Crying

Socialite Returns Adopted Child to Orphanage for Crying

After only one night in, Romanian socialite Monica Gabor took her adopted son back to the orphanage because the child was too distressed.

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Recent findings published in Pediatrics show that nearly 40 percent of parents make measuring errors for their kid's medicine. Why is this happening and what can you do to prevent it?

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Beat vacation boredom with these four cool ideas from blogs, including Popsicle holders, printable sewing cards, jellyfish handprint bookmarks and more.

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

From picking out ingredients to concocting their own culinary creations, here are a few ways to encourage your children to help out in the kitchen.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement