What kind of events can you help me host at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum?

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum is the perfect place to host weddings, corporate events, birthday celebrations and more!  We are able to accommodate 25 to 2,000 guests.  Let our event specialists help you determine how much space you need.

Can I rent the Museum during normal business hours?

In many cases, you can host your event during regular hours.  Ask our events planner if your event qualifies.

For how many hours can I rent space?

Events are typically four hours in length, with an hour and half beforehand for set-up and an hour afterward for clean-up.  If you need more time, please inquire about the fee for additional hours.  Please note that evening events must end by midnight.

Is there a fee to access Belle Isle State Park?

Starting February 1, the Michigan DNR has informed the Detroit Historical Society that the Recreation Passport will be strictly enforced for every vehicle entering Belle Isle Park.  If any guests attending an event at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum do not have a Passport, they can be purchased on the island.

In the short term, there will be a temporary trailer located at the entrance to the park after you cross the bridge on the right.  All vehicles will be stopped there and checked for a Recreation Passport. The Passport can be purchased there if needed. Vehicles not possessing the passport would not be allowed to proceed to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum or enter the island.

Pricing for the Recreation Passport is as follows:

  • Michigan registered vehicles - $11;
  • Out of state vehicles - $9 for a day pass or $31 for an annual pass;
  • Commercial vehicles - $16 for an annual pass, including buses and limos.

More information on the Recreation Passport can be found online at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport, however, only out-of-state residents can purchase Passports online. Residents can purchase the Passport at any State Park or when renewing their license tabs annually.   

By April 1, a permanent two-lane booth is expected to be installed at the entrance to Belle Isle. One lane is expected to be used for cars with a Recreation Passport designation on their license plate that can be scanned without stopping. Until this booth with the “scan lane” is installed, every vehicle will be stopped before entering the island from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The DNR has advised us that, if a bridge back up occurs, drivers will be let on the island without being checked. DNR rangers will then be checking parking lots to ensure vehicles have the Passport.  If they spot a vehicle without it, a violation notice will be placed on the windshield.  The vehicle owner will have 14 days to purchase the Passport, presumably at the park entrance. If the Passport is not purchased after 14 days, the notice then becomes a ticket

For more information regarding entrance to Belle Isle and Recreation Passports, contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources at 1-844-BELLE-PK (1-844-235-5375).

Is smoking allowed in the Museum?

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum is a smoke-free environment.

Is parking available for my guests?

The parking lot adjacent to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum is neither owned nor managed by the Society, please inquire about parking options with Belle Isle.

What audio/visual equipment is available at the Museum?

The basic audio/visual package includes a microphone and podium, while the advanced audio/visual package includes (in addition) a wireless microphone, laptop, screen, and projector.

May I bring my own caterer?

You are welcome to use any licensed caterer of your choice.  Ask our event specialist to show you our list of suggested caterers.

Does the Detroit Historical Society have a liquor license?

Although we do not hold a liquor license, you may serve adult beverages at your event as long as your caterer has all appropriate licensing and insurance.

Is security available?

Two or more of our associates will be on hand to help you manage any matters of concern.

What is included with my event rental?

The Society can provide the use of our on-site tables and chairs at no additional cost for indoor events.  Ask our event specialist what types are available for your use.  Access to Museum exhibits for your guests is also included at no additional cost.  Linens, décor, food and beverages must be provided by an outside vendor.

More questions?

Just ask! We’re flexible and excited to help you make history with your next event. Please call 313.833.1733 to speak with our events planner.