Beckett on Board: Wilderness on the Riverfront

I had been observing some serious symptoms in B – I’m talking about that cabin-fever, stir crazy, “I need to get outside” stuff that manages to strike just before the weather changes.

Good news for us, the Department of Natural Resources had the antidote. Yep, believe it or not, we managed to find ourselves a little bit of that up north feel below the 45th parallel. Even better, it was in our very own Detroit!

The Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC), located right between Jefferson and the Riverfront, is the cure for anyone who is craving the outdoors but isn’t totally ready to commit to a potentially blustery day outside. 

Appropriately located in the renovated Globe Building, you can find anything from simulated RV and Kayak rides to forest trails and campfires. Naturally, we started our visit by bolting to the airplane where B pretended to fly me to warmest sandy beaches. Hesitantly, I continued to follow him over a netted suspension bridge (Heads up! NOT for the acrophobic), where we got up-close to some shiny propellers and stole a birds-eye view of the waterfall.

We also made our way past the floor-to-ceiling fish tank where we spotted some Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Perch, and Walleye. This mama even stole a moment to soak up some fast facts.


Did you know that Michigan’s fishing revenue contributes up to a whopping 4 billion to the state's economy annually?! AND, did you know that the Lake Sturgeon found in our lakes and rivers is a relic dating back from the DINOSAUR ages?!  Okay, okay... babble over.

Our time spent at the OAC was filled with both entertainment and education.

My nature-loving lil' guy was totally into the interactive activities, navigating the massive Oak Tree, and imagining summer sand dune climbs.  I also loved how the displays encouraged conversation about our ecosystem and how we can all make easy adjustments to improve our imprint on the environment. 

The visit encouraged me to give our homegrown edible garden another try this spring, too! 

You shouldn’t need another reason to visit the OAC, but in case you do, consider taking your family during the evening on the last Wednesday of every month -- It's FREE! Also, check out their special exhibits and offerings, like the Archery Program.

For more info visit their website at or follow them on social media #OACBlackBear.


K + B