Free Southeast Michigan Events for Families

Searching for free things to do in southeast Michigan? Find loads of great budget-friendly family fun in Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

With kids in tow, seeing the latest stage show or attending that super popular special event can put a real dent in the ol’ bank account. It’s great once in a while, but geez, where are all of the free southeast Michigan events this weekend?

Actually, there are plenty if you know where to look! Every activity listed here will cost you absolutely nothing for admission. Zilch. Maybe you’ll have to splurge a buck or two for parking. But that’s it!

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Want to attend events in Detroit that won’t cost you a fortune? Searching for activities in Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties that won’t break the bank? Then check back here regularly and mark your calendars so you don’t miss any of the free family fun happening over the next week or so.

Note: Things change. We try our best to update details, but be sure to call ahead before attending just in case. Also, some events may require pre-registration. When noted, contact the organizer for more details.

Macomb County

PAWS for Reading at the Sterling Heights Public Library

Aug. 22 2017 (Tuesdays) 

  • Address: Sterling Heights Public Library, 40255 Dodge Park Road, Sterling Heights
  • Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Kids can practice reading to trained therapy dogs at the library.

Warren Birthday Bash at Warren City Square 

Aug. 24-27, 2017 

  • Address: Warren City Square, S. Civic Center Blvd., Warren
  • Time: 4-10 p.m. Thursday-Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Party with a midway full of games and rides, live concerts, a laser light show, fireworks, live animals and more. Note: fees apply for rides. 

Slovak Festival 2017 at S.s. Cyril and Methodist Slovak Catholic Church in Sterling Heights 

Aug. 25-27, 2017 

  • Address: S.s. Cyril and Methodist Slovak Catholic Church, 41233 Ryan Road, Sterling Heights
  • Time: 6-11 p.m. Friday, 1-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Celebrate Slovak culture and history with Slovak dance, food and beer; plus kids activities, live entertainment and more at this annual shindig.

Chesterfield Arts & Music Festival at BrandenBurg Park in Chesterfield 

Aug. 26-27, 2017

  • Address: Brandenburg Park, 50050 Jefferson, Chesterfield
  • Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Scope out work by 65-plus local artists and crafters; plus food, music and a kids corner packed with art-related activities.

New Baltimore Art on the Bay at Walter & Mary Burke Park 

Sept. 2-3, 2017 

  • Address: Walter & Mary Burke Park, 36300 Front St, New Baltimore
  • Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

A variety of artwork, music and food are in store for families at this annual.

Oakland County

Summer Sundays in the Village at Waterford Historical Society 

Aug. 20 and Sept. 17, 2017 

Get serious about historical fun on select Sundays throughout the summer.

Dragon on the Lake in Downtown Lake Orion 

Aug. 24-27, 2017 

  • Address: downtown Lake Orion
  • Time: 3-10 p.m. Thursday (21-plus only after 6 p.m.) 6-9 p.m. Friday (with a lighted boat parade at 8:30 p.m.), 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Legend has it that Lake Orion used to be the home of massive, terrifying dragon. That legend inspired this festival, which features kids activities, a lighted boat parade, chalk and foam parties and, of course, dragon boat races. Admission is free but fees apply for the foam party and Friday night party.

Haven Hill Festival at the Highland State Recreation Area in White Lake

Aug. 26, 2017

  • Address: Highland State Recreation Ares, 5200 Highland Rd, White Lake
  • Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Take a step back in time and explore this historic estate of Edsel and Eleanor Ford, which includes a Model A car display, vintage baseball games, an antique sale, kids activities and more. The fest is free, but an $11 recreation passport is required to enter the park. 

Open House & Air Show at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford

Aug. 27, 2017 

  • Address: Oakland County International Airport, 6500 Patterson Parkway, Waterford
  • Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Your kids will ooh and ahh over the aerobatics, parachute demos and vintage aircraft that dominate the skies.

Eat to the Beat at City Centre Plaza in Southfield

Sept. 14, 2017

Try some local food trucks to grab some grub (or pack a lunch) and enjoy the weather as you listen to tunes by The George Brothers Band.

Washtenaw County

Sounds & Sights on Thursday Nights in Downtown Chelsea

Now-Aug. 17, 2017 (Thursdays) 

Tap your toes to great local music and treat yourself to art, comedy and family entertainment and this series continues.

Story Time at the Museum at the University of Michigan Museum of Art

Aug. 19, 2017 

  • Address: University of Michigan Museum of Art, 525 S. State St., Ann Arbor
  • Time: 11:15 a.m.-noon
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Kids ages 3-6 are invited to the museum to listen to a story in the galleries and explore the art on display, too.

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti 

Aug. 25-27, 2017 

Celebrate Ypsi’s beginnings with art, music, kids’ activities and more. No minors will be admitted without an adult. Admission is free but fees apply for some activities.

Kerry Tales: School Starts with Mother Goose at Kerrytown Market and Shops in Ann Arbor 

Sept. 3, 2017 

Trudy Bulkley, aka Mother Goose, entertains kids with themed-stories and rhymes. And in September, we’re heading back to school with her.

Dawn Farm Jamboree at Dawn Farm in Ypsilanti 

Sept. 10, 2017 

This 44th go-around celebrates the founding of this Washtenaw County treatment center with hayrides, music, live entertainment, farm animals, kids’ activities and more.

Wayne County

African World Festival at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit

Aug. 18-20 2017 

  • Address: 315 E Warren Ave, Detroit
  • Time: 5 p.m.-midnight Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

African culture is honored through stories, music, food, art dance and more at this 35th annual.

Woodward Dream Cruise through Eight Cities in Metro Detroit 

Aug. 19, 2017

  • Address: along Woodward through Woodward through Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Huntington Woods, Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township and Pontiac
  • Time: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Line the Woodward to see 40,000-plus vintage, muscle, custom and collector rides.

Lincoln Park Days at Youth Center Park

Aug. 25-27, 2017

  • Address: Youth Center Park, Lincoln Park
  • Time: 4-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Live entertainment, adult drinks, a Vegas tent, kiddie carnival food and more are in store here. Fees apply for rides and some activities. 

Detroit Jazz Festival in Downtown Detroit

Sept. 1-4, 2017 

  • Address: Hart Plaza and Detroit Riverwalk Area, Detroit
  • Time: 7 p.m. Friday-1:30 a.m. Saturday, 11:30 a.m. Saturday- 12:15 a.m. Sunday, 12:15 a.m. Sunday-12:15 a.m. Monday, 12:15 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Introduce your kiddos to the smooth music of some seriously cool cats at this annual.

DTE Energy Foundation Free Second Sunday at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Sept. 10, 2017

  • Address: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Eve., Detroit
  • Time: 1-5 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Experience all of the wonders of the museum, along with tons of kid-friendly programming during this monthly event, courtesy of DTE Energy.

Livingston County

Howell Melon Festival in Downtown Howell 

Aug. 18-20, 2017

  • Address: downtown Howell area
  • Time: Festival tent: 5 p.m.-midnight Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Kids carnival: 6-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Watermelon, honey melon, cantaloupe, oh my! Celebrate these and all the other sweet melons you’ve come to love through food, games and other activities at this 57th.

Eclipse Party at Cromaine District Library in Hartland 

Aug. 21, 2017 

The library will supply free eclipse-viewing kits and this drop-in event for kids to view and learn about what happens during an eclipse.

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Comments
  • It would be nice if Livingston County were included in your newsletters. Nice job on your daily!

    Reply
  • In Oakland County:

    Free Advent Festival
    Crafts, Carols, Cookies and fun for all ages.
    Friday December 2nd
    6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
    At Ferndale First United Methodist Church
    22331 Woodward Avenue
    Ferndale, Michigan 48220

    Reply

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