August 30, 2023

In the heart of Detroit: Fun around campus

The Detroit Institute of Arts

Wayne State is proud to make its home in the heart of Detroit, a city of dreamers and doers. Below are some iconic Detroit institutes and traditions to help you explore and engage in the Motor City. 

Arts and culture

Tip: Use your Wayne State OneCard to check out books for free at the Detroit Public Library’s Main Library on Cass Avenue.

Tip: The DSO offers a Soundcard Student Membership that unlocks their entire season for just $25!

Parks and recreation

  • Ride DDOT or bike to Belle Isle Park (both free ways to access the 982-acre island park). The park is home to the Belle Isle Aquarium, Dossin Great Lakes Museum and Oudolf Garden Detroit, designed by renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf. Visitors can also swim — there is a beach! — fish, paddle and take in spectacular views of Detroit to the north and Canada to the south.
  • Hop on the QLine and head downtown to the Beach at Campus Martius Park, a sun-soaked oasis that welcomes visitors May through October. Worried about fitting everything in by October? Don’t! Downtown Detroit’s many parks  offer year-round programming, with an outdoor ice-skating rink in Campus Martius beginning in December.
  • Walk south from Campus Martius through the Woodward Esplanade to Hart Plaza and the Detroit Riverwalk. Head east to explore Milliken State Park and Harbor, the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre and Robert C. Valade Park, which features an expansive sandy beach and community barbeque pavilion in the summer and “sled shed” in the winter.

Local sports

When you’re not cheering on the Wayne State Warriors, Detroit is one of only a handful of U.S. cities with teams in each of the four major professional sports leagues.

  • The Lions (football) and Tigers (baseball) play downtown and the Pistons (basketball) and Red Wings (hockey) both play in Little Caesars Arena — right next to the Mike Ilitch School of Business. Stay tuned for discounted ticket opportunities, including WSU Night with the Tigers on Sept. 13.

Tip: The Motor City Cruise (part of the NBA G-League) is an affordable alternative to the Pistons; they play on campus in the Wayne State Fieldhouse.

  • Detroit City Football Club (soccer) games are also a great time; “Le Rouge,” as they are affectionately known in Detroit, play at Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck.

Community engagement

There are many nonprofit agencies and community groups doing important work in Detroit. Passionate about environmental justice or youth development? Interested in community mental health or human services? Experiential learning and community service are vital to our academic mission and Wayne State encourages students to participate in mutually beneficial relationships. Look for opportunities to engage through your school or college and Dean of Students Office at


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