When You’re in Search of Animals & Outdoor Adventures
Westview Orchards & Adventure Farm
Kids can make new four-legged (and webbed) friends at the petting farm. Or make reservations for your elementary-school-aged child to go on the Bees & Blossoms tour.
Cranbrook Institute of Science
Dive into the life of nocturnal animals in the Bat Zone. Once you’re done with flying creatures, see a 360-degree show under the stars of the planetarium.
Spread over 125 acres, the zoo is where young eyes will see everything from black bears to polar bears. The newest exhibit, the Polk Penguin Conservation Center, features 80 penguins that swim all around you, including above you as you walk through a clear tunnel. Dance along with the animals and tunes from local bands, 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesdays, July through August.
Belle Isle Aquarium
Staring at the lime-green tiled ceiling and surrounded by tanks all around, this aquarium — the oldest one in the country, opened in 1904 — is sure to delight the children.
Outdoor Adventure Center
Camping indoors? You can do that at this Up North experience that’s right downtown. Simulated activities include shooting wild game, kayaking through a river and even catching a fish. (Be patient, they’re tricky.)
Wolcott Mill Metropark
Spot cows, sheep, miniature and draft horses, and goats at this 250-acre working farm that channels the late 20th century. Your family can even take a horse-drawn wagon ride through the fields on Saturdays and Sundays.
TreeRunner Adventure Park at West Bloomfield
If a forest climbing park is a concept somewhat new to you, just imagine the best zip line experience ever and multiply it by 100. Supervised and solo trails for ages 7 and up. Kids 5-6 can climb two trails with an adult.
Campus Martius Park
Sure, you could sit and relax at one of the tables out on the lawn area within this 2.5-acre public square — often there are live bands in the summer. The bigger draw for kids? The Woodward Fountain with more than 100 water jets or the beach on the park’s south side.