My kids had a half day on Friday to kick off spring break. I did what every other family is doing: I took my kids to the beach.
Instead of joining the throngs on I-75 all the way from Michigan to Florida, we took a quick trip to Downtown Detroit where the Library Street Collective is hosting a temporary exhibit by Snarkitecture. The Beach Detroit is an immersive sensory experience for the whole family.
Filled with anti-microbial balls and inflatable pool toys, The Beach Detroit mimics the beach experience without the hassle of wet clothes or sand in crevices you didn’t know you even had.
As with sandy beaches, The Beach Detroit starts with a zero depth entry in the shallow end. The deep end drop off begins on the other side of the pool ropes. While the deep end was still shallow enough that I and my older children could easily stand (my middle son is 11 and he was most comfortable in the deep end,) it’s not as easy to walk through the balls as it is to walk through the same depth of water. So in addition to the fun of this larger-than-life ball pit we were getting a bit of a workout!
The entire installation is white: the balls, the lounge chairs, even the lifeguard stand. Wear bright clothes. YOU are the art! We enjoyed the visual contrast of us against the monochromatic background.
It is not a large room, but the mirrors on both sides provide a bigger feel. However the small room and the controlled number of “swimmers” means that you can easily keep an eye on your children.
A few things to note:
- To control the crowds, they offer timed entry reservations for the 45 minute “swim.” All reservations have been claimed, but they also offer some stand by tickets. Go earlier for shorter standby lines. We didn’t have reservations, showed up shortly after 1 pm, and were able to sign the waiver and walk right in to the 1 pm swim which had just begun.
- The Beach Detroit is located off Campus Martius. If you have a favourite downtown parking spot, park there. (And please tell me! I paid a ridiculous price for our parking. However, since there is no fee for The Beach Detroit, I figured the cost of parking balanced out with the free fun.)
- Make sure to remove any loose items and stash them in the lockers with your shoes. If you drop anything you will not be able to retrieve it until after the exhibit ends.
- Speaking of the end — The Beach Detroit closes April 14th. So hurry!
We LOVED The Beach Detroit! If you live in or near Metro Detroit you must make it to the Beach before it closes.