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
- 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:
- 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:
- 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:
- Grab a cup of coffee at a nearby shop. Try The Red Hook Detroit, The Commons or Anthology Coffee.
- Check out the Outdoor Adventure Center, which is great for the kiddos. It has exhibits, hands-on activities, simulators and more. There’s also a new quiet room for visitors who need a break from the action.
- Use our family guide to visit the Detroit Riverfront. There are so many great kid-friendly places here such as Gabriel Richard Park, Elliott Park, William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor, Robert C. Valade Park and Cullen Plaza.
- Grab a slice of Detroit-style pizza from PizzaPapalis of Rivertown. Not in the mood for pizza, try the wings, spinach feta bread, classic subs, pasta, ciabatta sandwiches, loaded potatoes or tater tots.
Follow Metro Parent on Instagram.