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.

Free things to do in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

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.


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Macomb County

The 70s” Heavy, Hip and Happenin’ at the Lorenzo Cultural Center in Clinton Township 

Now-May 4, 2019

  • Address: Lorenzo Cultural Center, 44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township
  • Time: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

This groovy exhibit introduces kids to the ’70s and covers everything from the Watergate scandal to technological advances and beyond.

World of Raptors at the Fraser Public Library 

March 23, 2019

Meet and learn about hawks, falcons, owls and other birds of prey during this interactive event. Registration required.

Family Spring Carnival at the Warren Community Center 

March 30, 2019

This fest features inflatables, a petting zoo, puppet shows, and visits with the Easter Bunny.

Spring 2019 Convention & Coin Show at Macomb Community College South Campus in Warren 

April 12-14, 2019

  • Address: Macomb Community College South Campus, Building P, 14500 E. 12 Mile Road, Warren
  • Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Coin collectors see rare and unique coins from around the world at this expo. Saturday features a presentation for kids.

Egg-citing Easter at the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center in Shelby Township

April 14, 2019

  • Address: Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center, 4101 River Bends Drive, Shelby Township
  • Time: 1-4 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Kids ages 3 and up can decorate an Easter bag, search for eggs and visit with the Easter Bunny. Registration required.

Oakland County

Jigsaw Puzzle Race at the Waterford Township Public Library

March 23, 2019

  • Address: Waterford Township Public Library, 5168 Civic Center Dr., Waterford
  • Time: 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Teams compete against one another to complete a 750-piece puzzle the quickest. Teams have three hours to complete their puzzle. Fastest team gets a price. Registration required.

MASCO Free First Friday at the Cranbrook Institute of Science 

April 5, 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.

Festival of the Arts at the Costick Center in Farmington Hills 

April 11-13, 2019

  • Address: Costick Center, 28600 W. 11 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Time: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

This annual art party features the work of around 200 local artists, live entertainment and workshops. A special day for families closes out the event. Note: General admission is free but there is a $10-$15 ticket fee for the Friday reception. 

Earth Day Celebration at the West Bloomfield Recreation Activities Center

April 18, 2019

  • Address: West Bloomfield Recreation Activities Center, 4640 Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield
  • Time: 4-7 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Kids and grown-ups celebrate Mother Earth with a variety of outdoorsy activities including nature hikes and live animal presentations. There are recycled crafts too.

All Day Egg Hunt at Canterbury Village in Lake Orion 

April 20, 2019

Kids pick up a hunt sheet from the Made in Michigan Market and then look for hidden eggs around the village. Take the eggs you find to the shops with the corresponding colors for a prize.

Washtenaw County

Movie and Popcorn for Kids at the Dexter District Library

April 1, 2019

Kids get a complimentary snack to enjoy while they watch Mary Poppins Returns (PG).

FoolMoon and FestiFools in Downtown Ann Arbor 

April 5 and 7, 2019

  • Address: Ann Arbor Farmers Market and Main Street areas, Ann Arbor
  • Time: Dusk-10 p.m. Friday, 4-5 p.m. Sunday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Find a parade of lighted sculptures on Friday and a papier-mâché puppet procession on Sunday.

Kerry Tales: Rain Showers and Mother Goose at Kerrytown Market and Shops in Ann Arbor 

April 7, 2019

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

Saturday Recycling Crafts: Plastics Recycling & Looking for Nature at the Ann Arbor District Library Westgate Branch 

April 13, 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 composting and use their creativity to make a handcrafted pot to plant a seedling in. Registration required.

U-M Museum of Natural History Grand Opening in Ann Arbor 

April 14 2019

  • Address: University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, 1105 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History has moved to a new home and is opening its new doors to the public for the first time. Donations welcome

Wayne County

Marche du Nain Rough in Detroit 

March 24, 2019

Come in costume and help the city scare off the dreaded Nain Rouge during this annual parade.

Spring Craft & Treasure Bazaar at the Dearborn Historical Museum 

March 30, 2019

This annual art sale features awesome artwork on sale and other art-related fun. Note: Admission is free but fees do apply for items on sale. 

World Space Party at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit

April 12, 2019 

Explore space travel and commemorate Yuri Gagarin, the first person to go into outer space, with hands-on activities, sky tours and much more. Registration required.

Earth Day at Nankin Mills Park in Westland 

April 13, 2019

Families enjoy live animal presentations, educational programming, recycled crafts and other Earth-friendly fun.

Spring into Belle Isle in Detroit

April 27, 2019

This sixth annual features all kinds of free family fun including make-and-take crafts, museum and nature zoo visits, a road rally and much more. An $11 recreation passport is required for all vehicles entering the park.

Livingston County 

Indoor Egg Hunt at the Cromaine District Library in Hartland 

April 19-20, 2019

  • Address: Cromaine District Library, 3688 Hartland Road, Hartland
  • Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday
  • Contact and details: See the Metro Parent listing

Drop by the library to hunt for hidden eggs. There are five different colors to find. The first 30 participants get a wicker basket to take home.

National Superhero Day at the Brighton District Library

April 29, 2019

There’s make-and-take superhero gear and other fun for kids 4-8. Registration required.

This post is updated regularly.