Huron River Day Review

Today my daughter and I attended Huron River Day for the first time.

Huron River Day - Sign

Huron River Day River Activities

One of the biggest activity draws for Huron River Day is discounted boat rental. When we left, my daughter said she definitely wanted to take out a boat. Boat rentals are just $5 on Huron River Day. There are several options for families – two-person kayaks, canoes, paddleboat, and rowboats. There is a minimum age of 1 for boat passengers. At 12, my daughter took a kayak out by herself. I stayed on the dock with our phones and other valuables watching and taking pictures. My daughter loved kayaking and spent 30 minutes on Gallup Pond.

Huron River Day - Kayaking

During Huron River Days, Ann Arbor Parks offers free trial sessions of Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). While my daughter kayaked, I watched several people trying SUP including some younger tweens and a younger elementary child with a parent. When my daughter finished kayaking, I asked her if she wanted to try stand up paddle boarding. Her reply was an incredulous “You’d let me?” She started kneeling on the paddleboard to push back from the dock. She ended up back on her knees after one wobbly attempt to get to her feet. Her second attempt to stand was more successful. She paddled around the pond for about 10 minutes.

Huron River Day - Stand Up Paddleboarding

My daughter loved kayaking and paddle boarding. She definitely wants to do both again. The paddle boarding was her favorite! We are definitely going to look for more activities where she can go kayaking or paddle boarding. She is already excited for trick or treat on the river.


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We also took some time to participate in the Youth Fishing area on the island. Bamboo poles with fishing line and live bait were provided. My daughter didn’t catch any fish. She gave up after the boy next to her tangled his line with hers and then she got hooked on a log.

Huron River Day - Fishing

Other Huron River Day Activities

Also in the livery area were live animals from Leslie Science Center and an erosion table by the UM Museum of Natural History. My daughter loved the erosion table.

Huron River Day - Erosion Table

The front parking lot area of Gallup Park featured a music tent and several tents with information and hands-on activities from local conservation and governmental organizations. Kids can collect stamps from various activities at the tables in the Kids Enviro Challenge to win a prize.

Huron River Day - Making a Seed Packet


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My daughter loved the butterfly house.

Huron River Day - Butterfly House

Food was also available at Huron River Day. Pilar’s Tamales was selling food. We stopped at Petey’s Donuts for a snack on our way out of Gallup Park. We also saw a few people with ice cream sandwiches from the snack bar at the livery.

Huron River Day - Donuts

Huron River Day Logistics

This year Huron River Day moved to May from it’s traditional July date. Personally, I am a big fan of the date change. We never made it in July because we were out of town or the weather was too hot or there were storms predicted. The weather today was almost perfect – just a few sprinkles of rain. The weather was on the cooler side, but my daughter and I were still comfortables in shorts and capris.


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Parking is always a challenge for a big event. We found parking in front of the Huron High School baseball fields (we were directed to park there by Give365 Volunteers. Don’t park in the grass without direction). There was parking at Gallup if you drove past the tent areas, but I preferred the easier escape of parking at Huron High School.

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Anna Mae

Anna Mae owns & operates Ann Arbor with Kids, a website dedicated to Family Activities in Ann Arbor. My husband and I moved to Ann Arbor in 2003 and our daughter joined the family in 2006.

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