Thanksgiving Events and Activities in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

In November 2018, Macomb Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties are packed full of all kinds of Thanksgiving events to make your pre- and post-Turkey Day tons of fun.

thanksgiving events in metro detroit and ann arbor

Thanksgiving is the official kick-off of the holiday season – and while it can be stressful for families, it’s still the perfect time to head out to local events Detroit, Ann Arbor and other towns are hosting to make memories with your wee ones.

From huge parades to intimate events, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties are chockfull of things to do to fill your Turkey Day with serious fun. Metro Parent has all of the details to help you find one of these fests. So, dress for the weather and head out to one of these local Thanksgiving events.

Livonia Turkey Trot

Nov. 3, 2018

  • Address: Bicentennial Park, Seven Mile and Wayne roads, Livonia
  • Phone: 734-466-2200
  • Times: 8:30 a.m./check-in, 9:30 a.m./start
  • Cost: $15/person

This 13th annual walk/run returns. Proceeds go to benefit the Livonia Goodfellows.

A Michigan Thanksgiving at Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve

Nov. 4, 2018

  • Address: Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve, 333 N. Hill Circle, Rochester
  • Phone: 248-656-0999
  • Times: noon-4 p.m.
  • Cost: free
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Register in advance for this program, which will teach kids about the traditional Thanksgiving bird and Native American culture.

Thanksgiving Story Time and Craft at the Dexter District Library

Nov. 17, 2018

  • Address: Dexter District Library, 3255 Alpine St.
  • Time: 11 a.m.-noon
  • Phone: 734-426-4477
  • Cost: free

Enjoy a story and music to celebrate Thanksgiving. There’s a craft after the story, too. Geared at kids ages 6 and under.

Pilgrim People with Cowboy Alex in Royal Oak

Nov. 17, 2018

  • Address: Royal Oak Community and Senior Center, 3500 Marais Ave.
  • Phone: 248-246-3180
  • Time: 11 a.m.
  • Cost: $5/child

Yee-haw! Celebrate the upcoming holiday with this 45-minute show packed with stories, puppets, magic and more. Good for kids ages 3-8. Advanced registration required.

Thanksgiving Baskets at Kensington Church in Troy 

Nov. 17, 2018 

  • Address: Kensington Church, 1825 E. Square Lake Road, Troy
  • Phone: 248-786-0600
  • Time: call for details
  • Cost: free

Help the church pack and deliver baskets full of Thanksgiving food to needy families.

Thanksgiving Heritage at Wolcott Mill Metropark

Nov. 17-18, 2018

  • Address: Wolcott Mill Metropark, 64162 Kunstman Road, Ray
  • Phone: 586-749-5997
  • Times: 1 p.m.
  • Cost: $5/person, $10/vehicle entry

Kids will learn about the history of the Thanksgiving holiday, including the food shared by the Native Americans and Pilgrims – and more. There’s a make-and-take craft, too. Advanced registration is required.

Detroit Turkey Trot

Nov. 21, 2018

  • Address: Downtown Detroit area
  • Time: 7:30-8:30 a.m./start times
  • Phone: 313-247-4149
  • Cost: $29-$69; must register in advance

This annual offers a Mashed Potato Mile, the Stuffing Strut 5K and the Turkey Trot 10K – all before the big procession.

Free Days at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit 

Nov. 21 and 23, 2018 

  • Address: Michigan Science Center, 5020 John R. St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-577-8400
  • Time: 6-9 p.m.
  • Cost: Free/admission, $7/parking

This educational science hub is offering free admission in celebration of Thanksgiving.

Free Park Entry Day at Six Oakland County Parks 

Nov. 22, 2018 

  • Address: All 6 Oakland County Parks
  • Phone: 248-858-0906
  • Time: sunrise-sunset
  • Cost: free

Enjoy free admission to Addison Oaks, Highland Oaks, Independence Oaks, Lyon Oaks, Orion Oaks and Red Oaks County Parks in celebration of turkey day.

Thanksgiving Appreciation Day at 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks

Nov. 22, 2018

  • Address: All 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks in southeast Michigan
  • Phone: 800-47-PARKS
  • Times: 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Cost: free

Take advantage of free park entry at the 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks.

Ann Arbor Turkey Trot

Nov. 22, 2018

  • Address: Corner of East Liberty Street and Fourth Avenue, downtown Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 248-929-9027
  • Time: 8:15 a.m./tot trot (ages 10 and under), 8:30 a.m./all ages
  • Cost: Trot: $19/by noon on Nov. 20, $25/late registration; 5K: $44/by noon on Nov. 20, $50/late registration

Jog this untimed 5K race for adults, and 1K race for kids, wear your favorite holiday costume. Prizes go to the top three ugliest sweaters and the top three best holiday themed costume.

America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit

Nov. 22, 2018

  • Address: Woodward Avenue between Kirby and Congress streets, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-923-7400
  • Time: 8:50 a.m./step off, 10 a.m.-noon/TV time Thursday
  • Cost: free/general

Fans and families line Woodward Avenue to see their favorite floats, balloons, Big Head Corps and, of course, Santa at this 92nd annual.

Lions Football at Ford Field in Detroit

Nov. 22, 2018

  • Address: 2000 Brush St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-262-2011
  • Time: 12:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $94-$469/tickets

It’s another Thanksgiving tradition – and this year, the Detroit Lions take on the Chicago Bears.

Detroit Institute of Awesome: Thanksgiving Break at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Nov. 23, 2018 

  • Address: Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-833-7900
  • Time: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Cost: free with museum admission: free/Macomb, Oakland and Wayne residents, $6-$14/others

The museum offers a Gallery Adventures game in the Dutch galleries for kids to try in celebration of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving for Nature at the Farmington Hills Nature Center

Nov. 23, 2018

  • Address: Farmington Hills Nature Center, 24915 Farmington Road, Farmington Hills
  • Time: 2-4 p.m.
  • Phone: 248-473-1800
  • Cost: $3/person

Grab a list of clues and uncover all the reasons to be thankful for nature’s gifts in this self-guided scavenger hunt.

This post was originally published in 2016 and is updated regularly. 

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