Best Cheap and Free Family March Events in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor are jam-packed with family fun for those on a budget all year round. Here are some of our favorite cheap and free family events happening in March.

Free and cheap events in March for families

What are the best cheap and free family events happening this month? Looking for things to do with kids that won’t break the bank? We’ve got you covered.

Metro Parent is partnering with WDET 101.9 FM to offer southeast Michigan families a roundup of some of the best cheap (under $20 for a family of four) and free weekend events and activities each month.

In March, families can don their green garb and hit up not one but two St. Patrick’s Day parades, head out to the sugarbush for some maple sugaring festivities, check out summer camp offerings with Metro Parent and much more!

It’s a month full of fun and you don’t want to miss out, so bundle up and hit up some of these awesome cheap and free family events in March.

For the weekend of March 1-3

The 70s: Heavy, Hip and Happenin’ 

Feb. 27-May 4, 2019 

  • Address: Lorenzo Cultural Center, 44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township
  • Time: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing 
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This groovy exhibit introduces kids to the ’70s and covers everything from the Watergate scandal to technological advances and beyond. Admission is free.

Northwest Detroit Coin Club Show

March 3, 2019

Coin collectors and enthusiasts find displays of rare currency from around the world during this expo. Admission is free.

Metro Parent Camp Expo

March 3, 2019 

  • Address: Bloomfield Hills High School, 4200 Andover Road, Bloomfield Hills
  • Time: 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing 

Metro Parent teams up with a variety of local organizations that offer summer camps and experiences for kids. Join us to learn about options. Admission is free. Advance registration required.

For the weekend of March 8-10

Saturday Recycling Crafts: Plastics Recycling & Looking for Nature

March 9, 2019

  • Address: Ann Arbor District Library Westgate Branch, 2503 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Time: 10 a.m.-noon
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Kids learn the importance of recycling and use their creativity to turn an old plastic container into a feeder for backyard wildlife. Admission is free. Registration required.

Old-Time Maple Sugar Festival

March 9, 2019 

Families start their day by watching a film about the process of maple sugaring. After, they check out some historical sugaring tools, learn how to boil sap down into syrup and get to purchase sweet treats. Admission to the event is free but an $11 Recreation Passport is required to enter the park.

March Mammal Madness

March 9, 2019 

Do you know if a weasel could win in a fight with a bear? Find out by studying Michigan’s mammals and then pairing up predators and prey to determine who is at the top of our food chain. Registration required. Admission is $5/person. Parking is $5/residents and $12/nonresidents.

Cat VideoFest 2019 

March 9-10, 2019 

  • Address: Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 12:30, 3 and 5 p.m. Saturday, 12:30 and 3 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Check out 80 minutes of the best cat videos on the Internet. General admission is $9.50/person and $7.50/seniors.

Detroit St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 10, 2019 

Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day during this annual procession, which features floats, bagpipers and green galore. Admission is free.

For the weekend of March 15-17

Novi Boat Show

March 14-17, 2019

  • Address: Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi
  • Time: 2-9 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

This boating expo features meet-and-greets with a mermaid princess and aqua hero for kids; plus boating and fishing simulators, boat vendors and more. Admission is $11/adults and free for kids 12 and under.

Royal Oak St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 16, 2019 

This annual rolls down Washington Avenue in Royal Oak. Dress in green and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by watching it pass by. Admission is free.

Maple Syrup Festival

March 16, 2019 

  • Address: Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center, 4101 River Bends Drive, Shelby Township
  • Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (tours leave at 11 a.m., noon, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.)
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Take a walk into the forest to lean how to pick the perfect sugaring tree and how to tap the tree once you find it. After, gather around the fire to watch the boiling process and, once it’s all over, have a maple syrup treat. Admission is $3/person. Registration required.

St. Patrick’s Family Fun Day

March 16, 2019 

From 1 to 5 p.m., families gather for an afternoon of Irish dancing and crafts. After 5 p.m., the heated tent turns into an Irish pub full of beer, music and lawn games for grown-ups. Admission is free.

For the weekend of March 22-24

Jigsaw Puzzle Race

March 23, 2019

  • Address: Waterford Township Public Library, 5168 Civic Center Drive, Waterford
  • Time: 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing 

Teams compete against one another to complete a 750-piece puzzle the quickest. Teams have three hours to complete their puzzle. Fastest team gets a prize. Registration required.

Story Time and Crafts with Cowboy Alex

March 23, 2019

Cowboy Alex entertains kids ages 3-8 with stories about peas and carrots, jokes, puppets and magic tricks. Crafts follow the show. Admission is $5/person. Registration required.

Marche du Nain Rouge in Detroit

March 24, 2019

The Nain Rouge is Detroit’s own little troublemaker, and this parade features floats, music and costuming to scare him away. Steps off at Canfield and Second streets; heads to the Masonic Temple. Admission is free.

For the weekend of March 29-31

Family Spring Carnival 

March 30, 2019

This festival features seed planting, visits with the Easter Bunny, inflatables, a petting zoo, puppet performances and more. Admission is free.

Babies, Babies Everywhere 

March 30-April 7, 2019

  • Address: Wolcott Mill Metropark Farm Center, 65775 Wolcott Road, Ray Township
  • Time: 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing 

Families can visit with some of the farm’s new spring babies, take picture with them and ask questions about them. Admission is $3/child and $5/adult. Parking is $10/car.


March 31, 2019 

The snot otter, aka the mudpuppy, is a native aquatic salamander that lives in the Detroit River. Learn about them and make crafts inspired by them at this annual conservation event. Admission is free but an $11 Recreation Passport is required to enter the park.

Events are subject to change. Please be sure to verify dates and times before heading out – and if you’re looking for more cheap and free family events this month and beyond, visit the Metro Parent calendar

This post is updated monthly.