Spring Break and Family Fun in the D

Outdoor Adventure Center
With spring upon us, warmer-weather activities like biking, boating and outdoor events start to populate Detroiters’ to-do lists. As you start scribbling down ideas on your what-to-do-while-in-The-D itinerary, scan our suggestions of some of the city’s best “spring things."
One Week

Sports & Recreation


Downtown Detroit, Dearborn/Wayne, Greater Novi, Macomb, Oakland

Visit the Zoo, the Aquarium, and the Animals
  • No better place to start celebrating spring than at the new penguin exhibit at the Detroit Zoo. The Polk Penguin Conservation Center opened in 2016. Home to more than 80 penguins of four species – gentoo, macaroni, rockhopper and king – the arctic dwelling has a chilled, 326,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic area where visitors can watch penguins above and below as they explore their new digs and deep-dive.
  • Sea Life Michigan Aquarium in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets is still as exciting as ever, presenting aquatic exhibits such as the Interactive Touchpool Exhibit. Here you can see and touch the creepy crawly things that live in the ocean along with the sharks and stingrays.
  • While you’re at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, be sure to stop by Legoland Discovery Center Michigan, a truly massive Lego experience for kids and adults who like to play with the infamous interlocking blocks. Build like a Lego Master, hop on the Lego ride and experience the awesome Miniland.
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Sports Games and Thomas the Train
  • The Henry Ford‘s Greenfield Village reopens every year in April. Make sure to take the kids to see Thomas the Train of book and TV fame as he makes his annual chug through the village. See the available Day Out with Thomas dates.
  • Get your tickets for the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Pistons for their final seasons at The Joe and The Palace, respectively, before they both move to Little Caesars Arena.
  • It’s also time to start singing about peanuts and Cracker Jack. We love when the Detroit Tigers come back to Comerica Park, but the metro area is also opening a new baseball stadium in Utica for semi-pro ball. Jimmy John’s Stadium is home to the Utica Unicorns as part of the United Shore Professional Baseball League. The venue also holds concerts and other outdoor events.

And no matter if you decide on sports or Greenfield Village, if it’s warm enough outside, add dining al fresco to your daily menu. Check out some of our favorite restaurants with patio and outdoor seating.

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Exercise on the Riverfront or Park it for a Picnic

If you find yourself in downtown Detroit, there are plenty of things to spring you into the warmer weather.

  • Want to get some exercise? Bike, blade or run along the Detroit riverfront. Sit and enjoy the view when you jump on the People Mover, ride the carousel on the RiverWalk or go for a ride on the Detroit Princess Riverboat. P.S.: Add biking or walking the Dequindre Cut to your list.
  • Newer to the downtown to-do docket is the Outdoor Adventure Center, always a fun and exciting trip for the kids. Or you can go traditional and head to Belle Isle. Stop by the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, fish off the pier or visit the Belle Isle Nature Zoo.
  • And when it comes to parks and picnics, you’re never hurting for options in metro Detroit. Just search out our 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks.
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Science Museums and Comic Book Characters
  • If you’ve gotta take it inside this spring, we suggest investigating the Spark!Lab at Michigan Science Center. This invention space encourages out-of-the-box thinking for the younger generation.
  • The Henry Ford‘s theater reopened and was renamed the Giant Screen Experience, featuring state-of-the-art 4K digital projection, sound and seating. The lineup of films is sure to be just as giant in scope and entertainment value.
  • Not toting kids but always the kid at heart, feel free to dress up like your favorite comic book character or superhero at the annual Motor City Comic Con at the Suburban Collection Showplace.


Save 20 percent or more on some of Detroit’s best attractions, many of which are featured above. All you have to do is print off The D Discount Pass or download the digital barcode from Visit Detroit and present it upon admission to a participating member.

Photo Credits: Polk Penguin Conservation Center and Michigan Science Center by Bill Bowen; Cownose Rays courtesy of Sea Life Aquarium, Legoland courtesy of Legoland Discovery Center; Comerica Park and Detroit International RiverWalk by Vito Palmisano

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues
  1. Detroit Zoo
    8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067248-541-5717 Highlight on map | More Details
  2. Sea Life Michigan Aquarium
    4316 Baldwin Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48326866-622-0605 Highlight on map | More Details
  3. Legoland Discovery Center Michigan
    4240 Baldwin Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48326866-622-0605 Highlight on map | More Details
  4. The Henry Ford
    20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124313-982-6001 Highlight on map | More Details
  5. Joe Louis Arena
    More Details
  6. Comerica Park
    2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201313-471-2283 Highlight on map | More Details
  7. The Palace of Auburn Hills
    6 Championship Drive, Auburn Hills, MI, United States Highlight on map | More Details
  8. Detroit International RiverWalk
    1340 Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207313-566-8200 Highlight on map | More Details
  9. Outdoor Adventure Center
    1801 Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207313-396-6890 Highlight on map | More Details
  10. Belle Isle State Park
    2 Inselruhe Ave., Detroit, MI 48207313-821-9844 Highlight on map | More Details
  11. Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory
    Belle Isle State Park, 900 Inselruhe Ave., Detroit, MI 48207313-821-5428 Highlight on map | More Details
  12. Belle Isle Nature Center
    Belle Isle State Park, 176 Lakeside Drive, Detroit, MI 48207313-852-4056 Highlight on map | More Details
  13. Huron-Clinton Metroparks
    13000 High Ridge Drive, Brighton, MI 48114810-227-2757 Highlight on map | More Details