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.

Photo by Lauren Jeziorski

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.

- Advertisement -

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

Artists’ Choice Group Show at the Anton Art Center 

Now-Feb. 20, 2020

  • Address: Anton Art Center, 125 Macomb Place, Mount Clemens
  • Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday and Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

See artwork by the Lakeside Palette Club of St. Clair Shores, the Mount Clemens Art Association, the Romeo Guild of Art and the Warren Tri-County Fine Arts Association at this show.

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

Feb. 25-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.

Oakland County

Metro Parent Camp Expo at Bloomfield Hills High School in Bloomfield Township

Feb. 23, 2020 

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

Check out some of the top local camps for kids of all ages at Metro Parent’s annual event.

A Visit from the Tooth Fairy at the Royal Oak Public Library

Feb. 25, 2020

The Tooth Fairy makes a stop at the library to teach kids how to take care of their smiles. Registration required.

Winter Fest at the Southfield Pavilion

March 1, 2020

Enjoy all kinds of outdoor fun including ice skating, marshmallow roasting, and horse-drawn carriage rides. Games, crafts and inflatables, too.

MASCO Free First Friday at the Cranbrook Institute of Science

March 6, 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.

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.

Washtenaw County

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

Feb. 22, 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.

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

March 1, 2020

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

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.

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.

Wayne County

February Flicks at Beacon Park in Detroit 

Feb. 22 and 29, 2020

Every Saturday in February, families gather for an outdoor family-friendly flick including Aquaman on Feb. 15, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World on Feb. 22 and Avengers: Endgame on Feb. 29.

Black History Month Program at the Romulus Public Library

Feb. 25, 2020

See an African drumming performance and listen to African stories during this Black History Month program.

African American History Day at the Detroit Historical Museum 

Feb. 29, 2020

Explore the urban agricultural movement in Detroit through panel discussions, crafts, vendors and more.

Northwest Detroit Coin Club Show at the Livonia Senior Center

March 1, 2020

  • Address: Livonia Senior Center, 15218 Farmington Road, Livonia
  • Time: 9:30 a.m.03:30 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

This show features rare coins from the U.S. and beyond.

Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade in Corktown

March 15, 2020 

The streets fill with shamrock floats and other Irish swag during this 62nd annual.

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.