activities · introductions

Hey Sports Fans!

Today, just up the street from Ford Field and Comerica Park, the Ilitch organization cut the ribbon on Little Caesers Arena.  This is where the Red Wings and Pistons are going to be playing.  So that means Detroit is the only city anywhere that has the four professional major sports teams within 4 blocks of each other!  Pretty cool!

So, can we say that Detroit is the only city to have the five most inspirational sports within 4 blocks of each other?  Football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and FIRST!!

Good thing they moved the Championship to Detroit – might not be able to get in to this great set of venues at some later date!

Go Red Wings and Pistons!

[update Dec 7, 2017]  We hear that there is an effort to get a Major League Soccer (MLS) team in Detroit.  Supposedly four cities (including Detroit) are still in the running, and MLS will be deciding by the end of the year.  MLS likes for teams to have their own stadiums, but we understand that the Detroit proposal that went forward had Ford Field as the venue.  This matters to FRC because apparently the MLS season starts in the spring (which we all know is FRC competition season too!).  Thats one more thing on the calendar to look out for…



Michigan DNR Adventure Center

Here is a very good activity idea for your team, if your students are interested in nature and outdoor activities including canoeing, hiking, fishing, and hunting.  The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has an Adventure Center located in downtown Detroit, just off the Riverwalk and next to William G. Milliken State Park.  It is 0.8 miles from the RenCen to the Outdoor Adventure Center.

The Michigan DNR Outdoor Adventure Center offers indoor activities which highlight the many natural and recreational activities that us Michiganders love.

Youtube link showing what the OAC is all about.

Michigan DNR Outdoor Adventure Center, 1801 Atwater St, Detroit, MI, 48207.  (844)622-6367.  Open Wednesday thru Friday, 10am-3pm.  Saturday 10am-5pm.  Sunday 12-5pm.


activities · must do · restaurants

Must Do – Supernatural Brewing & Spirits

Can you do the mental experiment where there was an area where the FIRST connections were so deep, that there was even a restaurant/bar run by FIRSTers?  Do you think that’s possible?  Well, it is!

Supernatural Brewing & Spirits opened on November 15th, and we have confirmed that the beer being brewed by these super-talented FIRSTers is outstanding.  The food is great – it is familiar, but creative and tasty.  And, they have some … interesting … stuff hanging on the walls!

Check out their Facebook page for the latest information.




Detroit Tigers Baseball Game

‘Nuff said.  Just take your whole FIRST team, and go.  Hopefully Cy-ber Young will throw a pitch or two :).  Although Justin Verlander would get more strikeouts, we think.  Umm, sure, our hero JV would get more strikeouts, but we think he will be in Houston, not Detroit <sigh>.  2018 is gonna be a rebuilding year, folks.

Not sure what the Detroit Tigers schedule will be during FIRST Championship week.  Just go.  Your team can have a fun activity in a great baseball town in a great ballpark.  It is likely to be chilly – so bring your coats, hats, and gloves, ok?  Leave your big bags of crap somewhere else, bags will be searched on the way in (this should not surprise you :P).

Comerica Park is where the Tigers play.  It is right next to Ford Field.  So you can easily walk there from Cobo or Ford Field.

Make sure you contact the park to get your team welcomed on the scoreboard.  Cost is $100, we think.

In this picture (from May 2017) you can see that it is chilly, and that Ford Field is right next door…


activities · restaurants


OK, so some people aren’t even going to read this post.  Their loss.

Detroit may be the bowling capital of the world.  Just don’t ask people from Milwaukee if that’s true…

We can tell you that a fun thing to do with your team is to go bowling.  Even if you suck at bowling, you will have fun.  Adults and kids, you can bring everyone.  And the Detroit area has a ton of very well run bowling alleys.  We will try to add some more good ones to this post after doing some more research (you see, we like bowling, but we are admittedly not experts :)).

Some great bowling alleys:

Merri-Bowl, Livonia.  30950 5Mile Rd, Livonia, MI, 48154.  (734)327-2900

The Garden Bowl, Detroit.  4140 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI, 48201.  (313)833-9700

Lucky Strike, Novi.  44325 W 12Mile Rd, Novi, MI, 48377.  (248)374-3420

If you do decide to go bowling, when you make your reservation, ask the following questions:  Is it smoky in your bowling alley?  What kind of food do you have for my FIRST students?

If you hear that Thunderbird Lanes in Troy is a great place, your info is old.  They closed.  They were a great place though!

OK, so you read through the bowling post, now its time for a couple Easter Eggs.  Further proof that Detroit has superior bowling chops:

Fowling:  bowling with footballs.  These crazy people have built a bar around the idea of tossing footballs at bowling pins.  Seriously.  We have tried it, and it was a blast.  The place is basically a bar at one end of a warehouse, with many fowling courts (alleys? fields?).  Bring your own food.  Reservations needed, and it will likely be full.  It is 21 and over only, except for daytime on Saturdays and Sundays.  The neighborhood is sketchy – make sure you know where you are going.  Parking is in an enclosed lot so that’s not a problem, as long as you avoid the potholes.  Can they handle a bus?  We don’t know, but we think yes – the place is basically a warehouse in a warehouse district.  The Fowling Warehouse, 3901 Christopher St, Detroit, MI, 48211.

Oh, and if someone in the lane next to you knocks over some pins, they count!

Fowling Warehouse


Feather Bowling:  On the east side of Detroit, there is a bar called the Cadieux Cafe, where they have a great selection of Belgian imports.  Most of them are beers.  But one of them is a sport.  Think of it as a combination of bocce and bowling, played on a formed dirt lane.  The ball (puck? slug? stone?) reminds us of that Canadian object used in curling – except you roll it.  We have tried it, and its a total blast.  The place is not very big, so if you have a large group they might have to play in stages.  Reservations absolutely required.  We think this place is 21 and over only.  Cadieux Cafe, 4300 Cadieux Rd, Detroit, MI, 48224.  (313)882-8560.

Cadieux Cafe Feather Bowling