Day trip with a toddler – Detroit

My mom and sister have come to US to visit us and so these days, we are taking them to important and beautiful places near our city. We prefer short day trips more than long vacations because of two reasons. One, my mom has motion sickness and second, long hours of travel could be tedious for my baby. So on the last weekend of March, we decided to check out the important places in and around Detroit.

The entrance of Belle Isle Nature Center. She became so excited the moment we entered the park!!

With a toddler who needs to be engaged all the time and who gets bored easily, we had to plan our trip making her our priority. With toddlers and babies, it is impossible to stick to our time schedule all the time but it is always important to make a tentative plan and have detailed idea about the places you are going to visit. I tell you, you are going to start at least an hour later than you had planned.

I prepared lunch for all of us, the previous night. We always carry lunch and other snacks with us for day trips because, it saves you a lot of time and money. Plus, I don’t have to worry about my baby’s food through out the trip. We planned to start from home in the morning around 10 and check out the Henry Ford Museum first and then visit the Belle Isle Park.

We spotted these birds when we were on our way to deer-feeding event. Aren’t they cute?
Everything you want to know about bees!!

You know, with toddlers, it is almost impossible to go by your travel agenda exactly the way you wanted. She slept really late that Friday and she woke up at 11 am on Saturday. We still managed to leave the home in an hour and we just checked out the Belle Isle Park. It was almost 2 hours drive from our place. It is an island park located in the Detroit River between Michigan and Ontario. The drive into the Belle Isle Nature Park was breathtakingly beautiful. We were so glad we were able to make it. The weather was not bad, so we patiently checked every detail on the park. Most importantly, my daughter was really fascinated to see all the animals and birds in the park.

There was a small, neat play-area for kids. My daughter loved it , had so much fun that she didn’t want to leave!
The aquarium in the Belle Isle park. It was so interesting to see so many varieties of aquatic animals. Even the adults were engrossed.
The aquarium displays the model of one of the oldest fish in the planet, sturgeon fish.
Alligator Snapping Turtle – I would say in a heart beat that this is the most interesting species in the aquarium. I was actually amazed by God’s creativity when I read about this.
The inside of the turtle’s mouth is camouflaged, and it possesses a vermiform appendage on the tip of its tongue , which is used to attract fish. The turtle hunts by lying motionless in the water with its mouth wide open. The vermiform tongue imitates the movements of a worm, luring prey to the turtle’s mouth. The mouth is then closed with great speed and force, completing the ambush.

The major attractions include a Nature Center, where you can feed deer, exhibits of few reptiles like snakes and turtles. The park also has an aquarium which is wonderful and well-maintained, it has a museum and a conservatory which was actually closed for construction when we were there. The park is a great place for children to learn from nature understand nature. The most amazing thing is that, admission to the park is free.

Every adult and kid seemed to enjoy the park and the learning it was offering. My daughter did not feel bored even for a bit and she was so captivated. If you are planning for short day trips with kids, I suggest you go to such nature parks for enriching experiences. On the way back, we drove into the city of Detroit and we were so entranced by the architectures. I realized every city is stunning and inviting in its own way and the detailing in the buildings were so gorgeous.

Can you spot the Guardian Building?
Another architectural beauty in the city.

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