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

March 20 and 27, 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.

Spring Carnival at the Warren Community Center

March 24, 2018 

This annual offers inflatables, live animals, Easter Bunny visits and more.

Anything Goes Craft at the St. Clair Shores Public Library  

April 6, 2018

  • Address: St. Clair Shores Public Library, 22500 E Eleven Mile Road, St Clair Shores
  • Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Craft a one-of-a-kind piece of art at this drop-in workshop.

Owl Festival at Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township 

April 7, 2018 

  • Address: Lake St. Clair Metropark, 31300 Metro Parkway, Harrison Township
  • Time: 1-4 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Swing by the park to check out the Great Horned Owls that have been nesting in the park for the last 27 years. Note: a $10 parking fee applies to enter the park. 

Spring Science Fun at the Shelby Township Library 

April 14, 2018

  • Address: Shelby Township Library, 51680 Van Dyke Ave., Shelby Township
  • Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Elementary school kids try their hand at some STEM challenges and science experiments that revolve around spring. Registration required.

Oakland County

Sushi Seder at Oakland Community College in Bloomfield Hills 

March 28, 2018

  • Address: Oakland Community College, 2480 Opdyke Road, Bloomfield Hills
  • Time: noon-2 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Experience a Passover Seder that features sushi.

Metro Detroit College Fair at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi 

March 28-29, 2018

  • Address: Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi
  • Time: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Thursday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Teens gather to meet with college representatives, learn about financial aid and what different colleges have to offer.

Fairy Tale Week at the Southfield Public Library 

April 1-7, 2018

  • Address: Southfield Public Library, 26300 Evergreen Road, Southfield
  • Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Explore your favorite fairy tales like you never have before.

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

April 6, 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.

Earth Day Celebration at The Nature Room at West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation 

April 20, 2018

  • Address: The Nature Room at West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation, 4640 Walnut Lake Road
  • Time: 3-6 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

There will be an outdoor guided hike, recycled crafts, nature play and more. Registration is required.

Washtenaw County

Compost Up Close & Planting Pots at County Farm Park in Ann Arbor 

April 7, 2018

Learn what composting is and how it benefits the planet. You’ll also get a compostable pot and seedling to take home. Registration required.

Make and Take Craft at the Dexter District Library 

April 7, 2018

Bring an old t-shirt to turn into a one-of-a-kind tote bag.

Kerry Tales: Sing a Song of Sixpence with Mother Goose at Kerrytown Market and Shops in Ann Arbor 

April 8, 2018

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

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

April 14, 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

If your kid digs art, head to the museum for a story in the galleries.

Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival at the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor 

April 22, 2018

  • Address: Leslie Science and Nature Center, 1831 Traver Road, Ann Arbor
  • Time: noon-4 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Local environmental groups set up shop to explain how you can help clean and protect the earth. Find live animal demonstrations, hands-on activities and entertainment, too.

Wayne County

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

March. 24, 2018

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

Wild Over Wednesday at the Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit

March. 28, 2018

This monthly introduces kids to the wonders of nature through hands-on fun, informational sessions, games and more.

Marshmallow Drop at Elizabeth Park in Trenton and Nankin Mills Park in Westland 

March 30, 2018

  • Address: Elizabeth Park, Trenton and Nankin Mills Park, Westland
  • Time: 9 a.m./Trenton, 11 a.m./Westland
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

The Easter Bunny takes to the skies to drop hundreds of thousands of marshmallows to the kids below. Collect one to win a prize.

Mudpuppypalooza at the Belle Isle Nature Center in Detroit 

April 8, 2018

Mudpuppies, aka slime dogs and snot otters, are the focal point during this celebration. Find crafts and games, too. Note: an $11 recreation passport is required to enter Belle Isle. 

Green Day at the Belle Isle Nature Center in Detroit 

April 21, 2018

Earth-friendly crafts, green games, stories, zookeeper talks and more are in store. Note: You must have an $11 recreation passport to enter Belle Isle. 

Livingston County

Moana Beach Party at the Cromaine District Library in Hartland 

March 28, 2018

Channel your inner island princess at this indoor beach party, which features Moana-themed crafts, games, temporary tattoos and more. Ages 4-plus. Registration required.

Pirates and Princesses at the Brighton District Library 

April 7, 2018

Dress up as your favorite salty seadog or lovely lady and head to the library for pirate games, princess stories, a treasure hunt and more. Aimed at ages 5-8. Registration required.