Free Summer Programs in Southeast Michigan

Who says nothing in life is free? Check out these great programs for kids that are offered at no charge, happening in summer 2017.

Any parent who has researched summer camps and activities knows it can be an expensive endeavor. That’s especially true if you need full-time care during the summer, but even a one-day or week-long camp session here and there can really add up. Fortunately, there are some free summer programs available in southeast Michigan for parents to consider.

If none of these activities work for you, keep in mind that some summer programs offer financial aid for families who need assistance. Plan ahead for next year since you may need to apply well in advance.

Know of another free summer activity for kids? Tell us about it in the comments!

1. Summer Camps at Bass Pro Shops

  • Address: Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, 4500 Baldwin Road, Auburn Hills
  • Phone: 248-209-4200

A free Family Summer Camp is offered noon-3 p.m. every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, June 24-July 23, 2017. Activities include workshops on archery, fishing, bird watching, kayaking, backyard adventures, canoeing and more. A catch-and-release pond, crafts and free food sampling are also offered.

2. Home Depot Kids Workshops

  • Address: Locations across metro Detroit
  • Phone: 800-466-3337

Home Depot locations in the area offer free workshops for kids on Thursdays and Saturdays in throughout 2017. Workshops are designed for children ages 5-12 and include projects like a how to build bottle cap game.

3. Green Box Playground Program for Wyandotte Residents

  • Address: Various park locations in Wyandotte
  • Phone: 734-324-7295

This free program invites kids to have fun at local parks 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Thursday June 26-July 27 (except July 3 and 4), 2017, with the supervision of high school students who lead children in crafts and games like Simon Says. Participants also receive a free bagged lunch. The come-and-go program is geared at children ages 5-12 and is for Wyandotte resident children only.

4. Camp Africa at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

  • Address: 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-494-5800

Camp Africa is a free, one-week summer camp experience for children ages 7-12 exploring STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities. Four one-week sessions are offered July 10-Aug. 7, 2017. Also offers Saturday children’s programming including free workshops and activities.

5. Metro Parent and Michigan Science Center’s Virtual Summer Camp

  • Address: Online
  • Phone: 248-398-3400

Metro Parent and the Michigan Science Center have teamed up to bring your child free science fun all summer long! Logon every other Friday starting June 23 for free DIY projects, science experiments, quizzes and more for you and your child to try all summer long. Best of all, one lucky kid that participates will win $1000 for his or her college education.

This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2017 by Jenna Daniel 

  • Thank you for the Summer Camp information. It was very helpful.

  • I’m trying to find a camp by me that don’t cost to much . We don’t have lot money .

  • Looking for no cost overnight summer camps for my adopted granddaughters. Thanks so much for any help!

  • Hi good morning I’m trying to see if u guys have any more space for 2

  • Trying to find free of cost summer camp program during weekday for over the age of 12 in metro-detroit area. Please help. Thanks!

  • My son is 13, live downriver, YMCA still expensive despite subsidy-any suggestions?too much idle time.

  • Carl’s Golfland has some free summer golf workshops too. Also, don’t forget to check out the Kids Bowl Free and Kids Skate Free programs. While they aren’t camps they do offer low or no cost options to entertain kids and some of the programs allow participation up to age 15.
    You might also want to check out the Boys and Girls Club if there is one in your area.

  • Hi! I’m looking for a 1-2+ weeks overnight camp for free or one that I can apply for financial aid for. Im a single mom of twin 13 year old boys.


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