Family Guide: Belle Isle State Park

Visit this 982-acre island park in Detroit for some nature-filled, family-friendly fun.

Belle Isle State Park, also known to many locals as just Belle Isle, is a great place for families to spend the day! It’s located in the middle of the Detroit River and has many attractions to enjoy while you’re there.

Quick details about Belle Isle

Photo credit: Belle Isle Conservancy

  • Address: 99 Pleasure Drive, Detroit
  • Hours: 5 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
  • Cost: $13/recreation passport for vehicles; Non-Michigan drivers: $11/day pass, $39/annual pass; free/walking, biking or public transportation onto the island
  • Getting there: You can drive, walk or bike across the bridge or take public transportation

Tips for families visiting Belle Isle:

Photo credit: Belle Isle Conservancy

  • Plan out your day beforehand by checking the map of Belle Isle. Days and hours vary for the facilities.
  • Also check ahead to see what attractions cost money. For instance, the slide costs $1 per ride.
  • Pack food and drinks because there are no restaurants on the island. Food trucks can be found throughout the island in the summer.

What to do and see at Belle Isle:

Photo credit: Belle Isle Conservancy

  • Belle Isle Aquarium is the oldest original aquarium in North America. You’ll be able to explore many species such as coral reef fish, electric eels, freshwater stingrays and others.
  • The Dossin Great Lakes Museum is a historical maritime museum devoted to sharing the story of the Great Lakes. It hosts one of the largest collections of model ships in the world. The museum has various permanent exhibits and also offers a variety of changing exhibits, attractions, lectures, films and other programs.
  • Belle Isle Nature Center is the perfect place to see amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates. It is run by the Detroit Zoo. Be sure to check out upcoming programs and the playground across the street, too.
  • Belle Isle Beach is a must while visiting in the warmer months. There are bathrooms and a changing area, which makes it convenient if you are spending the whole day on the island.
  • The giant slide on Belle Isle has been around for years! This 40-foot-tall slide has six lanes and you slide down on a potato sack. Individuals must be 48 inches tall to ride.
  • Make sure to take photos by the Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse, the James Scott Memorial Fountain and on Sunset Point.
  • The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory will be closed until 2024, due to major reservations.

What to do near Belle Isle:

Photo credit: Joe Gall

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Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Metro Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring metro Detroit with her son.


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