Free Southeast Michigan Events for Families

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


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.

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

PAWS for Reading at the Sterling Heights Public Library

Dec. 12, 2017 (Tuesdays) 

  • Address: Sterling Heights Public Library, 40255 Dodge Park Road, Sterling Heights
  • Time: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Kids can practice reading to trained therapy dogs at the library.

Escape Room at the Clinton-Macomb Library Main Branch in Clinton Township

Dec. 27 2017 

  • Address: Clinton-Macomb Library Main Branch, 40900 Romeo Plank Road, Clinton Township
  • Time: 2-2:45 and 3-3:45 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Fourth and fifth graders test their problem-solving skills, figuring out clues and trying to make it out of the library.

Warren Cold Rush at Warren City Square

Jan. 13, 2018 

Warm up with ice skating, putt-putt golf, ice carving demos, live animals and more at this annual.

Mary J. Grant as Sojourner Truth at the Roseville Public Library

Jan. 15, 2018

Storyteller Mary J. Grant tells the stories of Sojourner Truth, a woman born into slavery but overcame that to become a highly influential abolitionist and suffragist.

Car Day at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library Main Branch

Jan. 18, 2018 

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

Kids ages 2-6 can play with matchbox cars along “roads” set up in the library. Registration required.

Oakland County

The Big, Bright Light Show in Downtown Rochester 

Now-Jan. 7, 2018

Millions of lights adorn the buildings in downtown Rochester during this annual. Show up on day one or day two for the “Lagniappe,” which features, music, visits with Santa and more.

Star Wars Day at the Highland Township Public Library

Dec. 27, 2017 

  • Address: Highland Township Public Library, 444 Beach Farm Circle, Highland Township
  • Time: 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Come dressed as your favorite Sith or Jedi master for an afternoon of Star Wars-themed games, crafts and more. Costumes welcome!

Free First Friday at the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills

Jan. 5, 2018

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

Thanks to the folks at the MASCO Corporation Foundation, families enjoy free evening admission to the museum the first Friday of every month. Planetarium shows available for a charge.

Metro Parent’s Kids Comic Con at Orchard Mall in West Bloomfield 

Jan. 13, 2018

Wear your favorite costume and meet some superheroes, enjoy games, make a craft and more.

Oakland County Fire & Ice Festival in Rochester

Jan. 19-21, 2018

  • Address: Downtown Rochester area
  • Time: 5-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Oakland County, Oakland County Parks and the city of Rochester come together to offer local communities outdoor wintertime fun including a rock climbing tower, an inflatable sports court, ice skating, sledding and more.

Washtenaw County

Live Reindeer and Holiday Crafts at the Dexter District Library

Dec. 16, 2017 

Live reindeer hang out outside of the library while kids gather inside to make a craft.

Happy Noon Year Party at the Dexter District Library 

Dec. 29, 2017 

Launch the festivities a tad early with games and winter crafts, music, a countdown to noon and a surprise visit from a special snowman. All Ages.

Kerry Tales: Over the Moon with Mother Goose at Kerrytown Market and Shops in Ann Arbor 

Jan. 7, 2018

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

Kuungana Drum and Dance at the Chelsea District Library

Jan. 24, 2018

See a presentation of West African music, dance and drumming. Registration required.

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

Jan. 27, 2018

  • Address:University of Michigan Museum of Art, 525 S. State St., Ann Arbor
  • Time: 11:15 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Pint-sized patrons visit the museum today to listen to a story about the art and participate in a short activity responding to it. Ages 3-6.

Wayne County

Holiday Fun at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit

Dec. 26, 2017

Celebrate the science center’s fifth birthday with free admission and tons of fun.

Plymouth Ice Festival in Downtown Plymouth

Jan. 12-14, 2018

  • Address: Downtown Plymouth area
  • Time: 5-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Find beautifully carved ice sculptures on display, an ice playground, a Michigan market, carving competitions and more.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation 

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, 20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn
  • Time: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Enjoy free admission to the museum in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Meridian Winter Blast at Campus Martius Park in Detroit 

Jan. 26-28, 2018

  • Address: Campus Martius area, Detroit
  • Time: 4-11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

This family favorite offers ice skating, an ice maze, a zipline, live music and more winter fun.

English-Arabic Storytime at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn

Jan. 27, 2018

Kids ages 2-6 are invited to the museum to listen to a story told in both English and Arabic.

Livingston County

How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Cromaine District Library in Hartland 

Dec. 13-14, 2017 

2017 marks the 60th anniversary of this beloved holiday classic. Listen to the tale, play some games and make some grinch-y crafts, too.  Registration required.

Escape of the Locks Escape Room: Star Wars Edition at the Brighton District Library 

Dec. 16 2017

  • Address: Brighton District Library, 100 Library Drive, Brighton
  • Time: 11-11:45 a.m. and 2-2:45 p.m. (ages 9-12), 12:15-1 and 3:14-4 p.m. (ages 13-18)
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Kids ages 9-18 get 45 minutes a piece to help droid R5-D4 solve clues and unlock locks to save the galaxy. Registration required.

Fun festivals, bright lights and dazzling stage shows.  

Find it all in your FREE Holiday Family Fun Guide