Best Cheap and Free Family Events in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor this May

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 May.

Girl and her mom playing with a pinwheel

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 May, families can celebrate all mom does for the family during a sweet Mother’s Day soiree, hit up an annual May festival or commemorate our fallen soldiers during a Memorial Day event.

It’s a month full of fun and you don’t want to miss out, so dress for the weather and hit up some of these awesome cheap and free family events this May.

For the weekend of May 3-5

Bomber Buffing 

May 4, 2019

  • Address: Willow Run Airport, Hangar 1, 801 Kirk Profit Drive, Ypsilanti
  • Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing
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Get up close and personal with historic aircraft and help get them show-ready by polishing them before they leave off on a country tour.

Koi Festival 

May 4, 2019

  • Address: Belle Isle Aquarium, 3 Inselruhe Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free/admission, $11/recreation passport
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Participate in traditional Japanese games, enjoy Japanese music and taste Japanese-inspired food at this outdoor fest.

Free Comic Book Day

May 4, 2019 

  • Address: Various comic book shops in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor
  • Time: Check with your local comic book shop
  • Cost: Free
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing 

Select comic book shops across the country band together to celebrate comic culture by giving away a free book to patrons. Check with your local shop for details.

St. Florian Strawberry Festival 

May 4-5, 2019 

  • Address: St. Florian Parish, 2626 Poland St., Hamtramck
  • Time: 4-11 p.m. Saturday, 1-10 p.m. Sunday
  • Cost: Free/admission and parking. Fees apply for some activities
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

This annual festival offers polka, polish food and lots of strawberry treats.

Cinco de Mayo Celebration

May 5, 2019 

Families gather for the annual “5 de Mayo” parade from noon-3 p.m. in Southwest Detroit. After, head to Beacon Park for Mexican eats, live music and an unveiling of the new “Los Trompos” exhibit.

For the weekend of May 10-12

Flower & Art Fair 

May 10-11, 2019

  • Address: Downtown Lake Orion area
  • Time: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: Free/admission, fees/items on sale
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Peruse a wide variety of handmade artwork and beautiful flowers during this 19th annual show and sale.

Art Birmingham 

May 11-12, 2019 

  • Address: Shain Park, 270 W. Merrill St., Birmingham
  • Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
  • Cost: Free/admission, fees/items on sale
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

This annual art show features an art activity tent for kids, food trucks, art displays and much more.

Walk-A-Mom

May 12, 2019 

  • Address: Stony Creek Metropark Nature Center, 4300 Main Park Road, Shelby Township
  • Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free/admission, $10/vehicle entry
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Treat mom to a hike along the nature trails during this more than 25-year-old tradition. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Moms and grandmas get a free flower to plant at the end of the walk.

For the weekend of May 17-19

Spring Palooza 

May 17, 2019

Novi’s “Groovin’ Spring Palooza” features a community open house, live entertainment by local groups and police and fire department demonstrations.

Highland Founders Day Parade and Festival 

May 18, 2019 

This annual features a parade and festival to celebrate the community and all of the people in it.

Spring Fling

May 18, 2019 

  • Address: Fraser Public Library, 16330 E. 14 Mile Road Fraser
  • Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Enjoy crafts and stories in the library. Plus, live animals, face painting and more.

Nature Fest 

May 18, 2019 

Explore a touch table full of pelts and nests, visit with live amphibians and reptiles, try a bit of canoeing, participate in a fishing contest or scavenger hunt and more. There are crafts and games too.

Greater Rochester Heritage Days

May 18-19, 2019 

  • Address: Rochester Municipal Park, 400 Sixth St., Rochester
  • Time: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
  • Cost: Free
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Every year, the city of Rochester celebrates its history during this annual event. Come in 2019 for car and craft shows, historical displays, Civil War demonstrations, food and fun.

Michigan Vintage Volkswagen Car Show

May 19, 2019 

Check out classic, original and custom Volkswagen cars – plus hot rods, dune buggies and race cars – during this 32nd annual show.

For the weekend of May 24-27

St. Mary’s Polish Country Fair 

May 24-27, 2019

  • Address: St. Mary’s Preparatory Campus, 3535 Commerce Road, Orchard Lake
  • Time: 5-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday
  • Cost: $5/person, $20/family (up to 6 people), free/ages 3 and under; additional fees for games and rides
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing 

This annual festival offers more than 45 midway rides, plenty of Polish food, dancing and musical entertainment.

Sensory-Friendly Saturday

May 25, 2019

Kids with sensory-processing disorders enjoy a hands-on petting zoo to learn about brass instruments. After, they watch a sensory-friendly performance by the Brass Quintet.

Memorial Day Parades 

May 27, 2019

  • Address: Downtown Plymouth and Farmington areas
  • Time: 9 a.m./Plymouth, 10 a.m./Farmington
  • Cost: Free
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

This Memorial Day, the cities of Plymouth and Farmington offer their annual processions to commemorate our fallen soldiers. Check our the Metro Parent roundup of Memorial Day events for more.

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. 

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