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Spring Into Belle Isle Family Day at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum Sunday, May 4


DETROIT -- Presented by the Detroit Historical Society in partnership with the Belle Isle Conservancy and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Spring into Belle Isle Family Day will feature free activities for the whole family at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and other great Belle Isle attractions on Sunday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Are you ready to visit a variety of interesting attractions and learn more about the past -- and present -- of Belle Isle Park? From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., attendees can participate in a Belle Isle Road Rally, meeting in the Dossin Museum's Gothic Room as home base. Families, couples, or small groups of friends can work together to solve clues related to key locations on Belle Isle. Then, they'll travel to the locations to find answers to a few questions. Unlike a scavenger hunt, the road rally is not timed and relies on earning points.  The road rally takes a minimum of one hour to complete. Groups will not be sent out after 2 p.m., but completed road rally information will be accepted until 4 p.m.  All teams that participate will earn a prize. Teams with a high number of points will be entered into a raffle.

The winner of the raffle will receive an exciting package of tickets and special behind the scenes experiences for some of the fastest sports on the planet. You will have the opportunity to see the Thunderbirds, the pride and precision of the US Air Force; attend the APBA Gold Cup, where Hydroplanes race at speeds near 200 miles per hour; and experience the racing excitement of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

The prize package includes:

  • Four tickets to see the Air Force Thunderbirds and VIP Fighter Club access at Willow Run Airport in August;
  • Four tickets to view the APBA Gold Cup in July in style at the Roostertail. This VIP experience includes Gold Circle VIP Window Seating, French champagne, drink tickets, afternoon barbecue, concierge service and two parking passes;
  • Four Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix tickets with VIP pit access.

Prizes for the raffle were donated by the Detroit River Regatta Association, the Roostertail and the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

Programming for children at the Dossin Museum will run all day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include activities, crafts and much more! Kids will be able to decode secret messages using signal flags. Once they decode a message clue, they must find it in the museum and answer a few questions.  Kids who complete the whole activity will win a prize! Kids can also learn about diving in the Great Lakes by comparing the similarities and difference between salt water and fresh water diving. They will also learn about diving to see shipwrecks in the Great Lakes.  Kids will then be able to make a Cartesian diver using plastic water bottles to learn about buoyancy.

At 1 p.m., Michael P. Deren, actor, musician and storyteller, will take on the persona of an 1875 Great Lakes schooner captain delivers passengers and cargo to ports from Buffalo to Duluth. Using a button accordion and concertina, he shares the songs, history and resources of the Great Lakes region. Get ready to be a part of the fun in this hands-on presentation. Michael has been presenting interpretive history programs throughout the Midwest and East since 1985 and is supported through the Michigan Humanities Council as one of their approved touring artists.

Hot dogs, nachos, chips and pop from Metro Beverage will be available all day for purchase in a tent outside the Dossin.

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum, located at 100 Strand Drive on Belle Isle, is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free for all, all the time. Permanent exhibits include Built by the River in the John A. and Marlene L. Boll Foundation Gallery, the Miss Pepsi vintage 1950s championship hydroplane, the Gothic Room from the City of Detroit III, a bow anchor from the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald, the pilothouse from the Great Lakes freighter S.S. William Clay Ford, and one of the largest known collections of scale model ships in the world.