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.

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

Sept. 25, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 2018 (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.

Paper Mache Pumpkins at the Roseville Public Library 

Oct. 8, 2018 

The library provides pre-made paper mache pumpkins for kids to decorate. Kids under 5 need an adult helper. Registration required.

Sterling Frights at Dodge Park in Sterling Heights 

Oct. 20, 2018

There’s a corn maze, hayrides and live music at this annual. Good for ages 12 and under.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Scavenger Hunt in Clinton Township 

Oct. 20-27, 2018

  • Address: Clinton-Macomb Public Library Main Branch, 35679 S. Gratiot Ave., Clinton Township
  • Time: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Head to the library and search for items that made an appearance in the first 12 books of this series.

Monstrous Outdoor Movie Night at the Shelby Township Municipal Grounds 

Oct. 26, 2018 

  • Address: Shelby Township Municipal Grounds, 52700 Van Dyke Ave., Shelby Township
  • Time: 6:45 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Register in advance and see Hocus Pocus (rated PG) on a giant outdoor screen. Costumes are encouraged.

Oakland County

Metro Parent Ed Expo at the Cranbrook Institute of Science in West Bloomfield 

Sept. 30,  2018

Metro Parent puts on this annual so that families can learn about local schools and extracurricular activities.

Hay Day at Heritage Park in Farmington Hills 

Oct. 2, 2018

Find hayrides, bounce houses and plenty of fall treats over a campfire.

Pinkalicious and Peterrific Party at the Royal Oak Public Library 

Oct. 2, 2018

The library hosts a party to celebrate the story of a little girl and her obsession with the color pink. Registration required.

OktoBeer Festival in Downtown Ferndale 

Oct. 5-7, 2018

  • Address: Downtown Ferndale area
  • Time: 4 p.m.-midnight Friday, noon-midnight Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Find tasty barbecue eats, beer, lawn games and more.

Pumpkinfest at Tollgate Farm in Novi 

Oct. 6-7, 2018 

Take a wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch to pick your favorite, visit with farm animals and more.

Washtenaw County

Saline’s Oktoberfest 

Sept. 28-29, 2018

Learn about Saline’s relationship with Lindenberg, Germany, and experience German culture through food, dance, music and kid’s entertainment.

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

Sept. 29 and Oct. 27, 2018

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

Kids enjoy an art-inspired movie with the art that inspired it.

Harvest Fest at the Campus Farm at Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor 

Oct. 7, 2018

This fall celebration offers food music and more, courtesty of the Supporters of the University of Michigan Sustainable Food Program.

Kerry Tales: Simple Simon and Mother Goose at Kerrytown Market and Shops in Ann Arbor 

Oct. 7, 2018

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

Ypsi Glow in Downtown Ypsilanti 

Oct. 26, 2018

Glowing costumes and luminaries light up the streets at this Halloween event. Find music and dancing too.

Wayne County

Scarecrow Festival in Trenton 

Sept. 29-30, 2018

  • Address: Downtown Trenton area
  • Time: 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5:45 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Welcome fall to town with this fest’s display of scarecrows. There’s vendors and live entertainment, too.

Wilson Barn Pumpkin Fest in Livonia 

Oct. 1-30, 2018

  • Address: Wilson Barn, 29350 W. Chicago, Livonia
  • Time: 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Find pumpkins and corn stalks for sale during the week and hayrides, pony rides and a haunted barn on the weekends.

Huron Township Applefest 

Oct. 6-7, 2018

  • Address: Downtown Huron Township area
  • Time: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Enjoy a wide variety of apple treats, a craft show, live entertainment and more.

Halloween Festival at Nankin Mills Park in Westland 

Oct. 13, 2018

There’ll be Halloween games, live entertainment, hayrides, candy and more.

HarvestFest Detroit in the Dequindre Cut Greenway Area in Detroit 

Oct. 27, 2018

Find roving princesses and superheroes, outdoor movie screenings, inflatables, hayrides and more.

Livingston County 

LEGO Bricks Build It Challenge at the Brighton District Library  

Sept. 29, 2018

Work alone or with a team to build some out-of-this-world Lego creations, which will be on display at the library until Oct. 29. All ages welcome. Registration required.

Legend of Sleepy Howell in Downtown Howell 

Oct. 27, 2018

Dress up in this year’s Halloween costume and experience this 16th annual, which features trick-or-treating, a 5, hayrides and other fall fun.

This post is updated regularly.