Child on the swing.

Ah, spring. That sweet feeling of warmer days, the smell of rain in the morning, and finally, an excuse to get out your super cute rain boots! As the colder days start to fade, who doesn’t want to get outside and enjoy the nice weather? Getting out and doing family activities is a great way to practice applied behavioral analysis or ABA therapy in your everyday life. If you have no idea what to put on your calendar this spring, we’ve got some activities in the Metro Detroit, Michigan area that you and your family will adore doing together.

Top Four Spring Family Events in Metro Detroit

If you’re ready to get outside and enjoy some fresh air, check out these this spring!

1. Belle Isle Park

If you want to see an excellent view, you need to visit Belle Isle in the spring. It’s an island park located in Detroit, Michigan, and spans 982 acres. There are loads of attractions within the park, including:

  • Dossin Great Lakes Museum
  • Belle Isle Nature Center
  • Belle Isle Golf Course
  • Sunset Point

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum is located on a strand of Belle Isle. It displays the story of the Great Lakes of Michigan and Detroit’s role in the nation’s history. The museum also plays films for that family member who thinks museums are super boring. It has a variety of exhibits so everyone in your family will be happy with the trip. You can practice ABA therapy at the museum by bringing your child into a social setting and allowing them to interact and play with fun and interesting things. It’s open Thursday-Saturday from 10 am-5 pm and Sundays from 1-5 pm.

The Belle Isle Nature Center is fun for all ages! It’s an activity your kiddos will learn from while still having a blast and getting to play. They have a bunch of animals; toads, snakes, and turtles, oh my! On the third Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of every month, the nature center invites your little ones to join them for activities, crafts, and stories at their “Nature Tots” event. They also offer lots of field trips around Detroit and Michigan that your kids are sure to love. The field trips could be beneficial in practicing ABA therapy. From November to March, check out the nature center on Thursday-Sunday from 10 am – 4 pm. From April to October, it’s open seven days a week from 10 am – 5 pm.

Does your family love a little friendly competition?

The Belle Isle Golf Course in Detroit is a short, six-hole course, the perfect length for those in your family who weren’t born to be the next Tiger Woods. It’s a perfect way to use ABA therapy with your child by allowing them to have fun and play. They offer a golf practice facility if you’re looking to improve your skills. Forgot your clubs in the trunk? No need to make the long walk back to the car; you can rent clubs there for free! It’s open every day from 9 am until dusk during March-October.

Sunset Point is at the very tip of Belle Isle. Just like its name suggests, this location offers the most exquisite view of the Michigan sunset. We’re not the only ones that cry over the beauty of sunsets, right?! Bring a blanket or some picnic chairs and don’t forget the snacks. Visiting Sunset Point is a fantastic opportunity for your family to share some quality time and enjoy nature together. It’s also a time for your child to be able to practice ABA therapy and play therapy outside the home. An essential part of ABA therapy and having a child on the autism spectrum involves helping them learn how to be mindful. Check out our post on the link between mindfulness and autism to learn more about how they involve one another. Spending time admiring a sunset can give your child a chance to practice mindfulness and find a quiet moment in their day.

2. Lafayette Greens Urban Garden

If you’re determined to get your family to help you in the garden this spring, take them to Lafayette Greens in Detroit, Michigan. It’s an urban garden and green space in the middle of downtown Detroit. You can find a wide variety of things there, like:

  • heirloom apple orchard
  • lavender promenade
  • children’s garden
  • short orchard meadow

There are lots of benches around, making this an inviting space for lots of people to gather. You can use this opportunity to practice ABA therapy with your child by allowing them to socialize with new people and explore the garden. If you forgot to check the radar before heading out, you don’t have to worry because they have lots of benches with umbrellas to protect you from the rain or scorching hot temperatures. This great space also celebrates local music and art from Detroit, Michigan. If you visit the place and fall in love, you can get married there! If you love it, but maybe not that much, you can use it to hold meetings or take a guided tour with a group. It’s open from April to September, from 9 am – 7 pm.

Child picking an apple.

3. Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k in Detroit

If one of your goals is to kick your family into shape, you should all do the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k! It’s taking place in Detroit, Michigan, on April 21st, 2021, but it’s a virtual event. Your family can run in your neighborhood, a favorite park, or to the nearest ice cream shop for a reward after all your hard work. Your family can pick your comfort level since you have the option to sign up for 5k or 15k. Practicing play therapy outside the house is a beneficial ABA therapy technique and getting out and running around with the whole family can be a blast for kids. It costs $40.00 to register, but the proceeds go to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. In addition to the good feeling of knowing you donated to charity, you get a jacket and a finisher medal for participating. When you finish your journey, open up your medal, there might be a sweet surprise inside.

4. Michigan’s Bavarian Easter Celebration 

For some, the thought of spring comes along with visions of decorative eggs and giant bunny rabbits delivering baskets to their homes. The Bavarian Easter celebration occurs in Frankenmuth, Michigan, a little over an hour from Detroit, from March 19th – April 18th, 2021. The tradition of decorating Easter Fountains has been popular in Germany for over 200 years. Take a day trip with the family to see the festive Easter decorations and shop around town. If the thought of a getaway sounds like heaven, take your family to stay overnight in one of Frankenmuth’s incredible hotels. Like the Bavarian Inn and Zehnder’s Splash Village, some of the hotels have epic waterparks and arcades for your kids (well, who are we kidding, for you too)! There’s plenty of shops, restaurants, and activities to explore while you’re there. Use your trip to Frankenmuth to incorporate ABA therapy outside the house and allow your child to play, explore, and socialize with others.

Current COVID Restrictions and Guidelines

During unprecedented times, it’s essential to keep yourself and your family safe. It’s impossible to know what will happen from one day to the next, but it’s best to stay prepared. Currently, the CDC recommends wearing a mask in all public spaces and maintaining six feet of social distancing from people outside your household. So, if you can feel the stranger behind you breathing down your neck, feel free to ask them for six feet politely. The state of Michigan is currently recommending that all social events maintain social distancing and mask-wearing.

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