What’s Bell Isle..?

As a family, we had never been to bell Isle… I know, right. Natives to Michigan, we have simply never really ventured to that side of Detroit. However, last week, we where invited to accompany with some family friends, and we drug our kids along; Good ol’ FFF (Forced Family Fun).

The announcement of this little adventure was meet with slight grumbles, after all it was a hot and humid Michigan summer day.  I think I was asked by more than one child, “What’s Bell Isle, what do we do there?”

To which I replied, “well…there’s a museum, and an aquarium, and a conservatory…”
“Wait…what’s a conservatory?”
“It’s a place where they have plants and flowers?”
“Like a greenhouse?”
“Kind of like that, yes, but…”
“UUUGGGGG, Noooo, it’s going to be so hot…”

So…after some convincing…and some threats, we had everyone ready, and in the car. We meet up with our accompanying family at the corner gas station to begin our caravan. Both families fueled up, and played a quick game of car seat shuffle, and we where off.

Interesting bit of information, Michigan LOVES road construction, I think there is a state statute that stipulates something along the lines of like 80% of the roads need to be under construction at all times, except for the roads that really need it, and those will be ignored. needles to say, the drive to Bell Isle was interesting, and the kids got a nice tour of downtown Detroit, so really it was like to adventures in one.

After making our way through Detroit, we crossed the Bell Isle bridge, and made our way around to the parking for the Aquarium. However upon paking, we realized that the Dossin Great Lakes Museum was right next to our parking spot so we went in. It’s a pretty cool  museum, it covered some of the early ways settlers traveled on the great lakes. it also had a section that covered Boblo Island, a theme park located on an island in Lake Erie that I went to a lot as a kid, but sadly no longer exists. the museum also had some pretty cool lighthouse lenses, and some hands on activities, However the jewel attraction of this museum had to have been the cabin taken off a tanker, and placed on the back half of the building. It looked out over the water, and was really cool. the kids could touch all the buttons, knobs, and wheels.




Outside of the museum, since the building was right next to the water, and there where some large ship anchors, what better time than this for a family pictures.

After pictures, we ventured back to the cars to gap some snacks, all the while keeping an eye on the flock of seagulls, hoping they wouldn’t descend and attack us. After snacks, we walked about a block to the aquarium. The aquarium was small, and hot…like really hot. but it was neat, they had a lot of interesting fish. The building is the original building built in 1904, and the architecture is really cool. just look at the detail on the entrance.

After the aquarium, we walked to the Conservatory, which was right next door. The conservatory was amazing, they had some really cool plants, from all kinds of climates.

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Next we made our way back to the cars so we could drive to the other side of the island where the Nature Center and light house where located. We also made it to the waters edge, and the kids had fun playing on the shore.

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We managed to make it to our cars to head home seconds before the heavens opened and rain poured down all around us, but as FFF goes this was a good one. No one complained on the way home for ‘making’ them go, which is almost as good as a ‘Thanks for taking us’.