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!

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

June 20, 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.

 Utica Riverwalk Festival in Downtown Utica 

June 22-25, 2017 

  • Address: downtown Utica area
  • Time: Noon-11 p.m. Thursday-Friday, noon-midnight Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Sunday.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing 

This year marks the city’s bicentennial! Celebrate with a massive carnival, fireworks, face painting, fun on the river, food, crafts, roller derby girls, live entertainment and more. Proceeds benefit the Utica Lions Club. (Fees apply for rides)

Tons O’ Trucks at Seneca Middle School in Macomb Township

June 24, 2017 

Kiddo crazy for cars? Let ’em climb into the front seats of 65 trucks that belong to fire and police department, hospitals and more. There’s also face painting, train rides and inflatables.

Laugh it Up with Rosco at the Macomb Township Recreation Center 

June 27, 2017 

Join Rosco the Clown for an afternoon of comedy and magic aimed at families. Every kid gets a clown nose.

Rosco the Clown at Lake St. Clair Metropark

July 5, 2017

  • Address: Lake St. Clair Metropark, 31300 Metro Parkway, Harrison Township
  • Time: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Every Macomb county families’ favorite wacky clown performs magic, music and more. Note: $10 parking fee applies. 

Oakland County

Bubble Soccer at the Salem-South Lyon District Library in South Lyon 

June 20, 2017 

Kids in grades 5-12 play a game of soccer – with a twist. They’ll play inside giant inflatable bubbles!

Summer Family Fun Nights at Sibley Park in Wixom 

June 22, and 29, 2017 

Find kid-friendly crafts in the Michigan Recreation tent June 15, bike decorating and a downtown ride June 22 – and a big old fireworks display June 29.

Auburn Hills Summerfest in Downtown Auburn Hills 

June 23-24, 2017

Kick off summer with an ice cream social, the Color Me Extraordinary 5K run, live music, a car show, arts and crafts fair, games and more.

Log Cabin Day at Fish Hatchery Park in Waterford 

June 25, 2017

Take a step back in the past with the Waterford Historical Society at this annual event with strawberry shortcake, living history encampments, traditional craft demos and more.

Piratepalooza: Family Fun at the Highland Township Public Library

July 5, 2017 

  • Address: Highland Township Public Library, 444 Beach Farm Circle, Highland
  • Time: 1:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Bring your salty seadogs and scallywags for pirate-themed crafts, games and other activities at the library. Registration required.

Washtenaw County

Ann Arbor Japan Week at Various Location in Downtown Ann Arbor 

Now-June 24, 2017 

Immerse yourself in Japanese culture at this family-friendly event with taiko drumming performances, shibori dyeing, sushi making, a film festival and more.

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.

Big Truck and Emergency Vehicle Day at the Dexter District Library 

June 30, 2017 

Kids can climb into trucks and emergency vehicles, talk to the owners and take photos with the vehicles and a Minion character roaming around as the special guest.

My Turn for ASD Families at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural Art 

July 9, 2017 

  • Address: University of Michigan Museum of Art, 525 S. State St., Ann Arbor
  • Time: 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Families with kids on the autism spectrum are invited to explore the galleries at this Washtenaw county spot in a crowd-free, sensory-friendly and supportive environment. There’s even a quiet room if families need to step back for a moment.

Fridays After Five at University of Michigan Museum of Art

July 21, 2017 

  • Address: University of Michigan Museum of Art, 525 S. State St., Ann Arbor
  • Time: 5-8 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

On select Fridays, families can experience the wonders of this museum after typical hours. Donations welcome, but not required.

Wayne County

Trenton Summer Festival in Downtown Trenton 

June 23-24, 2017

  • Address: downtown Trenton area
  • Time: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

This annual boasts as being the event “where summer begins” and celebrates with live performances, kids’ activities, crafts, vendors and more.

Colonial Days at the Historic Fort Wayne in Detroit 

June 24-25, 2017 

  • Address: Historic Fort Wayne, 6325 W Jefferson Ave, Detroit
  • Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Celebrate America’s Colonial period with live military and weapons demos, historical presentations and displays, tours of the fort and more. Parking is $5.

Uncle Sam Jam at Civic Center Park in Woodhaven 

July 6-9, 2017 

  • Address: Civic Center Park, 24135 Hall Rd, Woodhaven
  • Time: 4-11 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m.-midnight Friday, noon-midnight Saturday, noon-11 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Enjoy four days of free concerts by Ratt, Uncle Kracker, Your Generation and others – plus a carnival, petting zoo, monster trucks and fireworks. Fees apply for rides.

Art in the Park in Downtown Plymouth

July 7-9, 2017

  • Address: downtown Plymouth area
  • Time: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Michigan’s second largest art show celebrates 36 years with 400-plus U.S. painters, sculptors, musicians and more. Find face painting, “Sandy Candy” art, candle making and henna for the kids.

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

July 9, 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

Swamp Creatures at Cromaine District Library

June 26, 2017 

Kids will learn all about critters that live in the muck of Michigan’s swamplands and meet them up close, too. Registration required.

Cake Wars: Fairy Tale Edition at Brighton District Library

July 20, 2017

Teens, bring an unfrosted cake to the library and compete with other teenage bakers to see who can decorate the best fairytale-themed cake. Good for ages 7-12. Registration required.

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

  • 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


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