Free Kid-Friendly Events in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Searching for free things to do in southeast Michigan? Find great budget-friendly family fun in Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

People marching in a St. Patrick's Day parade
Photo via the Detroit St. Patrick’s Day Parade Facebook page

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.

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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

Let’s Play! Toys, Games and Culture at the Lorenzo Cultural Center in Clinton Township

Now-May 2, 2020

  • Address: Lorenzo Cultural Center, 44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township
  • Time: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Learn the history behind popular games and see how toys and games influence society.

Weird Scince at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library Main Branch in Clinton Township

March 13, 2020

  • Address: Clinton-Macomb Public Library, 40900 Romeo Plank Road, Clinton Township
  • Time: 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Kids in grades 6-12 try out some pretty awesome experiments during this cool event.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the Sterling Heights Nature Center

March 14, 2020

  • Address: Sterling Heights Nature Center, 42700 Utica Road, Sterling Heights
  • Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Find green games, a scavenger hunt, a maze, crafts and much more.

SatARTdays at the Anton Art Center in Mount Clemens 

March 14, 2020

Explore the art of music with the Detroit Children’s Choir during the March installment of this monthly.

CMPL Comic Con at the Clinton Macomb Public Library Main Branch

March 28, 2020

  • Address: Macomb Public Library Main Branch, 40900 Romeo Plank Road, Clinton Township
  • Time: 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

This 4th annual event features artist panels, comic workshops, games, crafts and much more.

Oakland County

Nature at Night: All About Bats at the Novi Civic Center

March 13, 2020

Learn about nine species of bats, including where they live and how they communicate. Registration required.

Beat the Buzzer at Lyon Oaks Golf Course in Wixom

March 20, 2020 

This game show-style event features brain busters, contests, prizes and more.

MASCO Free First Friday at the Cranbrook Institute of Science

April 3, 2020

  • Address: Cranbrook Institute of Science, 39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills
  • Time: 5-10 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

The MASCO Corporation Foundation covers evening admission to the museum so families can enjoy the wonders inside, free of charge.

Spring Festival at Kensington Metropark in Milford

April 18-19, 2020

This two-day event centers on shearing the farm’s flock of sheep. See the farm’s spring babies, Rosco the Clown, other family-friendly demonstrations and activities and take a hayride. Note: Admission to this event is free but there is a $10 fee to park at any Huron-Clinton Metropark.

Washtenaw County

Old-Time Maple Sugar Festival at the Eddy Discovery Center in Chelsea

March 14, 2020

Learn how maple sugaring is done, see historical sugaring tools, learn to boil sap into syrup and more.

Storytime at the University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor

March 21, 2020

  • Address: University of Michigan Museum of Art, 525 S. State St., Ann Arbor
  • Time: 11:15 a.m.-noon
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Explore the artwork on display in the museum galleries and here a story based on it, too.

Women in Science Day at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History in Ann Arbor

March 22, 2020 

  • Address: University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, 1105 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Meet some of the women scientists from the University of Michigan and sit in on presentations and other activities. Donations welcome.

Kerry Tales: March Along with Mother Goose at Kerrytown Market and Shops in Ann Arbor 

April 5, 2020

Trudy Bulkley, aka Mother Goose, entertains kids with themed-stories and rhymes.

Wayne County

Thrilling Thursdays at the Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit

March 19, 2020

Families enjoy free admission to this nature hub the last Thursday of every month.

Mudpuppypalooza at the Belle Isle Nature Center in Detroit

March 29, 2020

Learn about the “Snot Otter” as it’s called at this annual educational event. Note: an $11 recreation passport is required to enter Belle Isle.

Marshmallow Drop at Elizabeth Park in Trenton

April 10, 2020

The Easter Bunny arrives in his private helicopter and drops 20,000 marshmallows for kids to collect. Grab one and get a prize. Ages 12 and under. The event happens in Westland from 11 a.m.-noon, too.

Livingston County 

Willy Wonka Jr. at the Cromaine District Library in Hartland

March 14-15, 2020

  • Address: Cromaine District Library, 3688 N. Hartland Road, Hartland
  • Time: 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Enjoy a performance of this classic story about a boy and a chocolate factory, performed by the Encore Youth Theater.

Pop-Tart Taste Test Challenge at the Brighton District Library

March 31, 2020

Teens take a blind taste of different pop-tarts and declare the best-tasting one. Pre-registration required.

This post is updated regularly.