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.

Three people wearing rainbows at Ferndale Pride
Photo via Ferndale Pride, Facebook

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

River Day Celebration at the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center in Shelby Township 

June 1, 2019

  • Address: Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center, 4101 River Bends Drive, Shelby Township
  • Time: 11 a.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Learn about the Clinton River and the important role it plays in the environment. Then take a walk along the river to see local animal and plant life.

SatARTdays at the Anton Art Center in Mount Clemens 

June 8, 2019

Explore Community Arts Day with the Live Coal Gallery during the June installment of this monthly.

Tons O’ Trucks & Wheeled Wonders at Seneca Middle School in Macomb

June 22, 2019

Kids get an up-close look with more then 65 vehicles including tractors, monster trucks and police cars. There’s inflatables, face painting and train rides, too.

Exotic Zoo at the Fraser Public Library

June 22, 2019

See a variety of non-native critters up close and personal. Advance registration required.

Log Cabin Day at the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center in Shelby Township

June 23, 2019

  • Address: Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center, 4101 River Bends Drive, Shelby Township
  • Time: 1-3 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Check out historic artifacts and take a walk through the replica of a log cabin.

Oakland County

Ferndale Pride in Downtown Ferndale

June 1, 2019

Celebrate and support the LGBT community with live music, stage performances, vendors and fun for all.

Art on the Grand in Farmington

June 1-2, 2019

This annual art fair features displays of photography, paintings, drawings and other pieces of art.

MASCO Free First Friday at the Cranbrook Institute of Science 

June 7, 2019 

  • 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 the entry fees to this local gem so families can experience the wonders within.

The Art of Fire in Royal Oak

June 8-9, 2019

See live glass blowing demonstrations, learn about metal working and peruse a variety of clay, glass and metal artwork.

Peacefest at L.A. Café & Java in Waterford 

June 8-9, 2019

  • Address: L.A. Café & Java, 5815 Dixie Highway, Waterford
  • Time: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

This music fest features more than 12 bands and artwork by 100-plus artists.

Washtenaw County

African American Downtown Festival in Ann Arbor 

June 1, 2019

Find African-inspired music and dance performances, vendors, art displays and much more at this 24th annual.

Saturday Recycling Crafts: Summer Celebrations without Single Use Items at the Ann Arbor District Library Westgate Branch

June 1, 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 about the importance of recycling and then create recycled party decorations to take home. Registration required.

Kerry Tales: Plant Some Seeds with Mother Goose at Kerrytown Market and Shops in Ann Arbor 

June 2, 2019

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

Chelsea Painters Art Fair at the Chelsea Community Fairgrounds

June 8-9, 2019

  • Address: Chelsea Community Fairgrounds,  20501 W. Old US Highway 12, Chelsea
  • Time: 10 a.m.-5p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

This 46th sale features work by artists from Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

Green Fair in Downtown Ann Arbor 

June 14, 2019

Celebrate the community’s work toward environmental sustainability with this 19th annual’s theme “Envisioning a Sustainable Ann Arbor.”

Wayne County

Palmer Park Art Fair in Detroit 

June 1-2, 2019

This free annual art fair features artwork by talented artists from across the country, meet-and-greet with authors, family games and more.

Nursery School Olympics at Elizabeth Park in Trenton 

June 6, 2019

Pint-sized players compete in age-appropriate, olympic-style games like the marshmallow shot put and the Big Wheel Grand Prix.

Arts & Acts Festival in Downtown Northville 

June 21-23, 2019 

  • Address: Downtown Northville area
  • Time: 3-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Find musical entertainment, kids’ activities, the chalk festival, Maker’s Mart and more.

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

June 22, 2019

Kids can listen to a picture book being read in both English and Arabic. Games and crafts follow. Aimed at ages 2-6. Registration required.

Ford Fireworks in Detroit 

June 24, 2019

This 61st annual display celebrates Independence Day with a huge display of fireworks and music.

Livingston County 

Summer Launch Party at the Cromaine District Library in Hartland 

June 8, 2019

Kids enjoy free ice cream sundaes as they build and launch paper rockets, explore fire and garbage trucks and sign up for the library’s summer reading program.

Springfest at the Brighton District Library

June 9, 2019

The library kicks off the 2019 summer reading program with jump rope performances, giant bubbles, stilt walkers, juggling, a petting farm, live princesses and more.

This post is updated regularly.