DETROIT — Complementing the already popular downtown Detroit destination for running, biking, fishing, and more, the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy is adding new amenities for residents and visitors to enjoy throughout the summer season. A beach volleyball court, along with oversized lawn games, beach toys, and more than 100 pieces of beach-type furniture, will be featured along the stretch of riverwalk from the G.M. Renaissance Center to Rivard Plaza & Pavilion now through the end of September. The amenities are part of a citywide “placemaking” effort designed to enhance the community’s experience throughout downtown and highlight a number of destinations, including the Detroit riverfront.
“Throughout the last decade, the Conservancy has been working to not only continuously develop and provide public access to Detroit’s riverfront, but to also offer a wide range of activities and amenities that help create a greater sense of community,” said Faye Nelson, president & CEO, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. “We are excited to join other popular downtown destinations, such as Campus Martius, Belle Isle, Grand Circus Park, Capital Park, and more, in adding new and unique opportunities to gather and recreate this summer.”
The regulation-sized beach volleyball court, located adjacent to Rivard Plaza, will serve as a place for visitors to not only enjoy a game of volleyball, but also to lounge and relax in a beach-like setting, surrounded by sling beach chairs and beach toys for children. The volleyball court will be open for play from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday and Thursday evenings. Volunteers will be onsite during that time to assist with volleyball checkout, which guests can secure through a driver’s license or valid I.D. The court will have a one-hour time limit if other visitors are waiting to play. Guests can also bring their own volleyball for “open play” from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
Lounging areas, featuring adirondack chairs, gliders, picnic tables, sling beach chairs, and more, will be open to visitors during the riverwalk’s normal hours of operation from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day of the week. In addition, four soon-to-be added mini “take-one-leave-one” libraries will be placed along the RiverWalk and in the Rivard Plaza Play Park for visitors to borrow a book to read on the honor system, as well as to donate a book for others to enjoy. Initial book selections will be provided through donation drop boxes in the Renaissance Center made possible by General Motors.
The RiverWalk Café will host a “Family Fun Night” from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday evenings through the end of September that will feature specials on food and beverages and games for children and adults. Families are also encouraged to bring their favorite games, from checkers to cards, to enjoy along the riverfront. Later this summer, the Café from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. will host a happy hour on Monday and Thursday evenings to complement the beach volleyball nights and amenities.
The official launch of the Conservancy’s summertime amenities will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Monday at the sand beach volleyball area adjacent to Rivard Plaza. From 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., the public is welcome to join the Conservancy and its partners to watch a volleyball tournament presented by ComePlayDetroit. Visitors will also be able to enjoy music, relax along the river in the new lounge chairs, or play oversized lawn games, such as Checkers, Connect Four, and Tic Tac Toe. In addition, the RiverWalk Café will have beer and wine available for purchase and offer a number of food specials.
For additional information on these new activities, visit the Conservancy’s website at detroitriverfront.org.