Things to Do in Detroit for Kids: After-School and Extracurricular Programs

There are fun things to do in Detroit, especially for kids looking for after-school and extracurricular Detroit activities. Find programs listed here.

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Southeast Michigan is full of learning opportunities and experiences for the little ones. Take Detroit, for example. Kids who live in the city can sign up for many Detroit youth programs and various hands-on activities, including after-school groups and extracurriculars. Detroit students will have a hard time running out of fun things to do in Detroit – or fun places in Detroit to visit. Here, we list some of the D’s programs and offerings for kids. Plus, the activities and programs included have an educational bent. From music to fitness and theater to history, there are always awesome things to do in Detroit for kids. And hey: They might not even realize how much they’re learning!

Some of these Detroit activities are free, while others have costs. There are also certain participation requirements. Check ahead to make sure none of the details for the program in which you’re interested have changed.

Boll Family YMCA

  • Address: 1401 Broadway St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-309-9622
  • Cost: Fees vary; call for details

Have an active, sporty kid? This 100,000-square-foot facility is geared toward kids and the community, and features two indoor swimming pools. Plus, you’ll find a wellness center, gymnasium with squash and racquetball courts, group exercise studios, a climbing wall and more.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan

  • Addresses: Bloomer-Munger Club, 5525 Marting St., Detroit (313-894-3320), Dick & Sandy Dauch Campus, 16500 Tireman St., Detroit (313-523-4540), Lloyd H. Diehl Club, 4242 Collingwood Ave., Detroit (313-931-7190), Richard & Patricia Donahey Club at Edgemont Elementary, 125 S. Edgemont St., Belleville (734-697-8863), Fauver Martin Club, 24 Ferris Ave., Highland Park (313-868-8450), James & Lynelle Holden Club, 20100 Schoenherr Road, Detroit (313-372-9550), Romulus Club at Wick Elementary, 36900 Wick Road., Romulus (734-641-3382), Matilda R. Wilson Club, 220 S. Squirrel Road., Auburn Hills (248-852-1336), Vic & Lucille Wertz Club, 14975 21 Mile Road., Shelby Township (586-566-5516), Huron Valley Club at Chapelle Elementary, 111 S. Wallace Blvd., Ypsilanti (734-481-0266)
  • Cost: $50/year (individual membership fee). Scholarships available for youth in need.

This group’s after-school programs and activities are designed to help students achieve academically, embrace a healthy lifestyle and develop good character. Programs, which are offered for boys and girls ages 6-18 enrolled in grades 1-12, range from the arts, character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, and sports, fitness and recreation. Hours vary by location.

Central Detroit Christian Community Development Corporation

  • Addresses: 8840 Second Ave., Detroit; programs held at the CDC Main Office, 1550 Taylor St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-873-0064
  • Cost: Free/most programs

Check out the Breakthrough Enrichment BTE youth development classes for kids in preschool-middle school, karate for kids 8-plus, as well as health, nutrition and safety classes, tutoring and more. Days of the week and times of programs vary.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

  • Address: 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-494-5800
  • Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
  • Cost: $8/ages 13-61, $5/ages 3-12, free/members and children under 3.

Celebrate African-American history through exhibits, programs and events. Has free children’s programming weekly including storytelling and STEM activities, plus free admission during DTE Energy Foundation Free Second Sundays.

College for Creative Studies Second Saturdays

  • Address: Detroit campuses: 201 E. Kirby St.; 485 W. Milwaukee St.
  • Phone: 313-664-7458
  • Cost: Vary

The popular Second Saturdays is a series of one-day workshops for kids and teens ages 8-15 focusing on a different art/design discipline each month. Find other youth courses, summer programs and pre-college programs for older kids, too.

DAPCEP (Detroit Area Prep College Engineering Program)

  • Address: 2111 Woodward Ave., Suite 506-1, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-831-3050
  • Cost: free/6-week program for ages 4-12,  $25/application fee. $100/8-week program for PK-3), free/application fee. Scholarships available.

It’s all about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) here, where there’s programming revolving around those subjects for youth of all ages.

Detroit Children’s Choir

  • Address: 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-444-7821
  • Cost: Call or visit the website for details; scholarships available

Choral music education experiences aim to enrich the lives of metro Detroit’s youth and communities. They’ve got seven different choirs in schools and neighborhoods and two auditioned children’s ensembles. The program is community-wide, and an inclusive program for kids ages 8-14.

Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation Youth Program

  • Address: 1211 Trumbull St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-967-4880
  • Cost: Contact for details

Kids can also get involved with the Urban Arts Academy, which exposes students to silk-screening, graffiti art, graphic design, music/video production and robotics, and ranges from entrepreneurship strategies to creative self-expression; plus summer programs for ages 11-18 and more.

Detroit Historical Museum

  • Address: 5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-833-1805
  • Cost: free

The Detroit Historical Society welcomes visitors to experience exhibits detailing Detroit’s dynamic history. Signature exhibits include The Streets of Old Detroit, America’s Motor City, The Allesee Gallery of Culture, Detroit: The Arsenal of Democracy, Doorway to Freedom – Detroit and the Underground Railroad and the Gallery of Innovation. Open 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Detroit Institute of Arts

  • Address: 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-833-7900
  • Cost: Admission: free/residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties; otherwise $14/adults, $6/ages 6-17. Most programs free with museum admission.

Aside from the fun and education the museum itself has to offer, the DIA features drop-in art-making activities every weekend, drawing in the galleries for all ages and family tours and programs.

Detroit Martial Arts Institute’s Mind, Body, Spirit Martial Arts Program

Address: 13030 W. Seven Mile Road, Detroit
Phone: 313-416-7000
Cost: Contact for details

Kids can master the art of karate with dedicated instructors. Little Dragons is for ages 3-5 and Beginners for 6-11. Both help develop a positive attitude, improved concentration, conflict resolution strategies and self-confidence.

Detroit PAL

  • Address: 111 W. Willis St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-833-1600
  • Cost: $45-$150/based on program and time of registration.

Open to girls and boys ages 4-19, these year-round recreational programs for soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball, and T-ball, football, cheer, track and field, basketball and golf are a great way to get active in the city. Most programs last two to three months at various Detroit locations. The coaches are volunteers trained by Detroit PAL.

Detroit Public Library HYPE Makerspace

  • Address: Main library: 5201 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-481-1300
  • Cost: free for Detroit residents and students enrolled at a Detroit school with a Detroit Public Library card.

Visit a branch near you and check online for various programs and activities. At the main library, find the HYPE Makerspace (Helping Young People Excel) at the Detroit Public Library Teen Center, a space just for teens with weekly workshops that will help teens learn about a variety of different skills.

Development Centers BrightStars

  • Addresses: 17321 Telegraph Road, Northwest Detroit
  • Phone: 313-531-2500
  • Cost: free

BrightStars offers free parent-child playgroups for children birth to age 5 (five days a week at three locations) plus family events, parent workshops, community resources and more.

Dossin Great Lakes Museum

  • Address: 100 Strand Drive, Belle Isle, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-833-5583
  • Cost: free

Experience displays detailing the relationship between Detroit and the river that shares its name. Signature exhibits include Built by the River, the Gothic Room, Miss Pepsi, Outdoor Treasures and the William Clay Ford Pilot House. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program

  • Address: 6445 E. Vernor Highway, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-209-3029
  • Cost: free; must have full participation in academic and community service programming.

In addition to boxing, DBG provides on-site tutoring and the chance to volunteer through neighborhood cleanups, soup kitchens and more. The program is only for Detroit students ages 7-18.

Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan

  • Address: 42800 Garfield, Clinton Township, 1333 Brewery Park Blvd., Suite 100, Detroit, 8545 Highland Road, White Lake
  • Phone: 800-482-6734
  • Cost: $25/year

This local chapter facilitates the Girl Scout Leadership Experience – a premier development program for girls. Adult volunteers are mentors and role models. Open to grades K-12.

Heritage Works

  • Address: 1927 Rosa Parks Blvd., Suite 130, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-496-4000
  • Cost: free/program participation, students responsible for dance supplies

Since 2000, programs here have celebrated the beauty and humanity of African and world cultures through music, movement and folklore. Heritage Works’ mission is to promote youth and community development through traditions, arts and education.

InsideOut Literary Arts Project’s Citywide Poets

  • Address: Wayne State University, State Hall, 5143 Cass Ave., Room 225, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-577-4601
  • Cost: free

This after-school teen performance poetry troupe offers mentorship by adult poets with strong publication and performance credentials. Youth perform at venues, see their work in an anthology and compete to attend a national youth poetry slam.

Leaps and Bounds Family Services

  • Address: 8129 Packard St.., Warren
  • Phone: 586-759-3895
  • Cost: Contact for details

Provides learning through play groups for parents and caregivers and is designed to foster early literacy. Home visits for families with children birth-age 5. Plus, offers training for child care providers, assistance for Great Start to Quality child care providers and assists parents in selecting a Great Start to Quality child care site.

Living Arts

  • Addresses: 8701 W. Vernor Hwy., Suite 301, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-841-4765
  • Cost: Contact for details

 

Offers year-round classes and workshops in visual, performing and literary arts for kids 3 months-18 years; plus a “Teatro Chico” or “Little Theater” program

Michigan Science Center

  • Address: 5020 John R St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-577-8400, option 5
  • Cost: General admission: $14/adults, $11/kids 2-12 and seniors, free/members.

Find hands-on exhibits, the Chrysler IMAX Dome Theatre (Michigan’s only dome IMAX), live stage shows and activities, and a planetarium transporting kids to a virtual universe at this fun, dynamic hands-on museum. The museum touts offering programs that inspire children and their families to discover, explore and appreciate science, technology, engineering and math.

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit

  • Address: 2251 Antietam Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-872-6910
  • Cost: Contact for details

Year-round theater and vocal music training for artists ages 7-18. General auditions for Mosaic run May and June.

MSU Community Music School-Detroit

  • Address: 3408 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-578-9716
  • Cost: Costs vary, financial aid available; contact for details

Kids of all ages can enjoy high-quality, affordable music lessons at CMS-Detroit in Midtown.

Northwest Detroit Youth Coalition

  • Address: 19800 Pembroke Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 248-262-6848
  • Cost: Prices and age requirements vary by program

Organization puts students in touch with different programs, such as summer camps and leadership opportunities, in the northwest Detroit region.

Pewabic

  • Address: 10125 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-626-2000
  • Cost: Contact for details

Offers a variety of learning experiences that nurture curiosity and self-expression, from half-day hand-building workshops and week-long summer camp sessions to a full semester of wheel-throwing classes. The Education Studio offers science, ceramic technology and math-based classes for those who plan to study and pursue careers in math, science, technology or engineering.

Southwest Counseling Solution’s Early Learning Communities

  • Address: 5675 Larkins St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-285-9323
  • Cost: free

Has play groups for kids ages 0-5, family literacy events and a lending library of toys and books. Free child care during workshops. Classes are offered in Spanish, too.

St. Vincent & Sarah Fisher Center

  • Address: 16800 Trinity St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-535-9200
  • Cost: free

Kids are assessed in reading and math levels upon enrollment so coaches can create personalized education plans. After-school programs open to grades 1-5. Core focus on improving math, reading, comprehension and vocabulary, and an introduction to STEM studies.

The Carr Center

  • Address: 311 E. Grand River Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-965-8430
  • Cost: Contact for details

The Carr Center Arts Academy consists of both academic year and summer programs, providing challenging educational and training experiences in the fine and performing arts across multiple disciplines: visual arts, dance, theater and jazz music. The academic year programs operate on Saturdays and serve as feeders for the more intense and larger summer program.

The Greening of Detroit’s Our LAND

  • Address: 13000 W. McNichols, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-237-8733
  • Cost: Contact for details

Kids and families of all ages can volunteer to plant trees and improve green spaces in the city; plus get job training and learn about urban agriculture, too.

The Midnight Golf Program

  • Addresses: 30100 Telegraph Road, Suite 478, Bingham Farms; programs offered at local schools and colleges
  • Phone: 248-792-9438
  • Cost: Apply online, contact for details

Here, students do more than just learn to golf. They will learn how to successfully transition from high school to college and then into a professional career through career skill training, mentor programs, emotional support and more.

Urban Neighborhood Initiatives

  • Address: 8300 Longworth St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-841-4447
  • Cost: Must live in 48209 ZIP code. Costs vary based on program and/or household income.

After-school programs here aim at building strong and healthy neighborhoods through programs like the Southwest Urban Arts Mural Project, Urban Forestry Apprenticeship Program, youth employment and leadership programs and more. Also offers homework help and an earn-a-bike program.

Urban Stringz Youth Ensemble

  • Addresses: P.O. Box 6555, Detroit; various venues throughout school year
  • Contact: urbanstringz@gmail.com
  • Cost: Minimal costs; contact for details.

Advanced students who have experience playing string instruments can join and play with a group of kids and teens at various venues throughout the school year. During the summer, there’s a two-week summer camp at Wayne State University. For ages 8-18.

West Seven Rams Youth Club

  • Address: P.O. Box 35466, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-443-5834
  • Cost: Prices and registration fees vary

Have a sporty kid? This group offers football and cheerleading programs to kids ages 5-14.

YouthVille Detroit

  • Address: 7375 Woodward Ave., Suite 2800, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-869-2200
  • Cost: Contact for details

Offers programs for tweens to young adults, including digital and cultural art, sports programs such as basketball and martial arts, and a beat-making program.

Youth Works-Detroit

  • Address: P.O. Box 06650, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-831-1533
  • Cost: free

Here, students ages 14-17 can get involved with the six-week Street Team program. Students must be from Detroit. The program includes mentoring, job training, leadership development and more. The Bezalel Project is an after-school program that engages kids in arts and crafts – plus an entrepreneurial portion for middle schoolers.

Zen Play & Movement Class

  • Address: Currently searching for a location; call to book a class at your home or business
  • Phone: 313-879-5400
  • Cost: Contact for details

Educational fitness to improve flexibility, focus, concentration, attention and learning. Kids get to learn youth-level tai chi and playful, creative movement, which promotes calmness and confidence.

This guide was originally published in 2015 and is updated regularly. 

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