Thanksgiving Family Events in Southeast Michigan

In November 2015, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties are packed full of all kinds of events to make your pre- and post-Turkey Day tons of fun.

Thanksgiving Events

Thanksgiving is the official kick-off of the holiday season – and while it can be hectic for families, it’s still the perfect time to head out to local events and make memories with your wee ones. From huge parades to intimate events, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties are chockfull of events to fill your Turkey Day with serious fun. Metro Parent has all of the details to help you find one of these fests, so dress for the weather and head out to one of these local attractions.


Livonia Turkey Trot

Nov. 7, 2015

  • Address: Bicentennial Park, Seven Mile and Wayne roads, Livonia
  • Phone: 734-466-2410
  • Times: 9 a.m./check-in, 9:30 a.m./start
  • Cost: $10/person

This 10th annual walk/run returns along a 5K route. Day-of registration starts at 9 a.m. Includes drink and snack. Bring canned food donation to be entered in raffle.

Our Thanksgiving Heritage at Wolcott Mill Metropark

Nov. 14, 2015

  • Address: 65775 Wolcott Road, Ray
  • Phone: 586-752-5932
  • Times: 2 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: $5/person, $7/vehicle entry

Kids will learn about the history of the Thanksgiving holiday, including the food shared by the Native Americans and Pilgrims – and more. There’s a make-and-take craft, too. Advanced registration is required.

Tiny Turkey Trot at Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve

Nov. 14, 2015

  • Address: Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve, 333 N. Hill Circle, Rochester
  • Phone: 248-656-0999
  • Times: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sunday
  • Cost: $5/members, $6/nonmembers (be sure to pre-register in advance)

Spaces are filling up fast for this all ages program. You’ll learn about turkey, head out on a trail for an adventure course, then play games and have the chance to win prizes.

Thanksgiving Story Time and Craft at Dexter District Library

Nov. 14, 2015

  • Address: Dexter District Library, 3255 Alpine St.
  • Time: 11 a.m.-noon Saturday
  • Phone: 734-426-4477
  • Cost: free

Enjoy a story and some songs to celebrate Thanksgiving. There’s a craft after the story time, too. Geared at kids ages 6 and under.

Thanksgiving Special at Sterling Heights Public Library

Nov. 16, 2015

  • Address: 40255 Dodge Park Road, Sterling Heights
  • Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday
  • Phone: 586-446-2665
  • Cost: free

Kiddies will watch Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving at the library, followed by a craft.

Stories with the Animals at the Sterling Heights Nature Center

Nov. 18, 2015

  • Address: Sterling Heights Nature Center, 42700 Utica Road
  • Phone: 586-446-2710
  • Time: 10 a.m. Wednesday
  • Cost: $2/resident, $3.50/non-residents

Hear a nature-related story around the “snake pit,” followed up by a turkey-themed activity and craft. Good for kids ages 3-5. Be sure to register in advance.

The Little Kids’ Table Story Time at Barnes and Noble, Ann Arbor

Nov. 21, 2015

  • Address: Huron Village, 3235 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-973-0846
  • Time: 11 a.m. Saturday
  • Cost: free

This Thanksgiving-themed story time features the author of The Little Kids’ Table series, Mary Ann Riehle, and Thanksgiving activities after the story.

Indian Discovery at Indian Springs Metropark

Nov. 21, 2015

  • Address: 5200 Indian Trail, White Lake
  • Phone: 248-625-6640
  • Times: 10 a.m. Saturday
  • Cost: $6/person, $7/vehicle entry

Learn what life was like for a Native American by learning to use a pump drill, how to start a fire, build shelter and make a simple noisemaker.

Gobble Gobble Story Time and Crafts with Cowboy Alex, Royal Oak

Nov. 21, 2015

  • Address: Royal Oak Community/Senior Center, 3500 Marais Ave.
  • Phone: 248-246-3180
  • Time: 11-11:45 a.m. Saturday
  • Cost: $5/child

Yee-haw! Celebrate the upcoming holiday with this 45-minute show packed with stories, puppets, magic and more. Good for kids ages 3-8.


Thanksgiving for Nature at the Farmington Hills Nature Center

Nov. 21, 2015

  • Address: 24915 Farmington Road, Farmington Hills
  • Time: 1-3 p.m. Saturday
  • Phone: 248-477-1135
  • Cost: $5/per person, $15/family of four

Grab a list of clues and uncover all the reasons to be thankful for nature’s gifts in this self-guided scavenger hunt. Includes a craft and campfire.

Pre-Thanksgiving Harvest Market, Canton

Nov. 22, 2015

  • Address: Summit on the Park, 46000 Summit Parkway, Canton
  • Phone: 734-394-5460
  • Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday
  • Cost: Free/entry, fees vary/wares

Stop by this special market with the kids to stock up on food and goodies for your big Thanksgiving Day feast.

Turkey Shoot at the Costick Center

Nov. 23, 2015

  • Address: Costick Center, Dublin Gym, 28600 W. 11 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Phone: 248-473-1800
  • Time: 7-9 p.m. Monday
  • Cost: $10

You must register in advance for this basketball free throw competition, which gives one lucky winner the chance to win a frozen Turkey for Thanksgiving. Three age groups: 8-9, 10-11 and 12-13.

Detroit Turkey Trot

Nov. 26, 2015

  • Address: West Woodward Avenue and Congress, Detroit
  • Time: 7:30-8:30 a.m./start times Thursday
  • Phone: 313-247-4149
  • Cost: $43-$48/10K and 5K, $28/1-mile; no registration on race day – must register by Sunday, Nov. 22

Enjoy a 5K and 10K race, the “Mashed Potato Mile,” costume contest and more, all before the big parade

Thanksgiving Appreciation Day at 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks

Nov. 26, 2015

  • Address: All 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks in southeast Michigan
  • Phone: 800-47-PARKS
  • Times: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday
  • Cost: free

Take advantage of free park entry at the 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks.

America’s Thanksgiving Parade, Detroit

Nov. 26, 2015

  • Address: Kirby and Woodward Avenue to Congress Street, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-923-7400
  • Time: 8:50 a.m./step off, 10 a.m.-noon/TV time Thursday
  • Cost: free/general, $35-$50/grandstand seating

Fans and families line Woodward Avenue to see their favorite floats, balloons, Big Head Corps and, of course, Santa at this 89th annual. This year’s grand marshal is Tim Allen.

Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast and Benefit, Detroit

Nov. 26, 2015

  • Address: Ecumenical Theological Seminary, 2930 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursday
  • Phone: 313-831-5200
  • Cost: $15/kids ages 13 and under, $40/adults

For the past 14 years, Ecumenical Theological Seminary has provided a prime location to view the Thanksgiving Day Parade and participate in the festivities. If you’re looking for the best spot to see the parade, and eat some yummy pancakes, join ETS this Thanksgiving.

Ann Arbor Turkey Trot

Nov. 26, 2015

  • Address: Corner of East Liberty Street and South Fifth Avenue, Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 248-437-4524
  • Time: 8:15 a.m./tot trot (ages 3-10), 8:45 a.m./all ages Thursday
  • Cost: $30/trot, $15/tots, free/2 and under; online registration closes at midnight on Nov. 19

This 10th annual lets you jog an untimed, almost-5K and have plenty of hot chocolate before your big feast. There’s also a costume contest – or wear your “ugliest” sweater for a crack at winning a yummy pie. Tom Turkey and Santa make an appearance, too.

Lions Football at Ford Field, Detroit

Nov. 26, 2015

  • Address: 2000 Brush St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-262-2011
  • Time: 12:30 p.m. Thursday
  • Cost: $75-$315/tickets

It’s another Thanksgiving tradition – and this year, the Detroit Lions take on the Philadelphia Eagles.

Thanksgiving All-You-Can-Play Event at Zap Zone

Nov. 27, 2015

It’s an all-night laser tag party in celebration of the Thanksgiving season.

Holidays in Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn

Nov. 27, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016

  • Address: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Phone: 313-982-6001
  • Times: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; closed on Christmas Day
  • Cost: $20/adults, $15/ages 5-12, free/4 and under; $6/parking

The Dearborn landmark welcomes families to check out the Lego and Lionel train displays, giant decorated Christmas trees and more. Kids can write a letter to Santa and visit with him, too. Note: Closed Christmas Day, but continues through Jan. 3, 2016.

Holly Dickens Festival

Nov. 27-29, Dec. 5-6, and 12-13, 2015

  • Address: Downtown area, Holly
  • Time: 6 p.m. (7:30 p.m./lighted parade) Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays
  • Phone: 248-431-1894
  • Cost: free

It’s the annual celebration of Charles Dickens’ classic tale A Christmas Carol in the downtown village of Holly! Your family can take a trip back in time complete with old-fashioned entertainment, food and more.

Winter Fantasyland, Lincoln Park

Nov. 28-Dec. 24, 2015

  • Address: Kennedy Memorial, 3240 Ferris Ave., Lincoln Park
  • Phone: 313-386-0140
  • Times: 5-8 p.m. Nov. 28, 4-8 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 2-8 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays through Christmas Eve, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Christmas Eve
  • Cost: $1/admission, $3/photo with Santa, $5/two photos

See a menagerie of classic and new holiday displays and visit with Santa, who will be here most days – occasionally joined by Mrs. Claus.



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