Thanksgiving Family Events in Southeast Michigan


Thanksgiving is the official kick-off of the holiday season – and while it can be hectic 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 attractions.

Livonia Turkey Trot

Nov. 5, 2016

  • 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 11th annual walk/run returns. Includes drink and snack. Bring canned food donation to be entered in raffle.

Thanksgiving Story Time and Craft at Dexter District Library

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Nov. 11, 2016

  • Address: Dexter District Library, 3255 Alpine St.
  • Time: 10:30-11 a.m. Friday
  • 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.

Tiny Turkey Trot at Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve

Nov. 12, 2016

  • Address: Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve, 333 N. Hill Circle, Rochester
  • Phone: 248-656-0999
  • Times: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: $5/members, $6/nonmembers (be sure to pre-register in advance)

Spaces are filling up fast for this all ages program. You’ll learn about turkey, head out on a trail for an adventure course, then play games and have the chance to win prizes.

Our Thanksgiving Heritage at Wolcott Mill Metropark

Nov. 13, 2016

  • Address: Wolcott Mill Metropark, 64162 Kunstman Road, Ray
  • Phone: 586-749-5997
  • Times: 2 p.m. Sunday
  • 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.

Thanksgiving Story Time at Barnes & Noble

Nov. 19, 2016

  • Address: Barnes & Noble, Huron Village, 3235 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-973-0846
  • Time: 11 a.m. Saturday
  • Cost: free

Gather ’round for a reading of the kids’ books There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey and The Great Thanksgiving Escape – followed by a coloring activity.

Tasty Turkey with Cowboy Alex in Royal Oak

Nov. 19, 2016

  • Address: Royal Oak Community and Senior Center, 3500 Marais Ave.
  • Phone: 248-246-3180
  • Time: 11-11:45 a.m. Saturday
  • 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 for Nature at the Farmington Hills Nature Center

Nov. 19, 2016

  • Address: Farmington Hills Nature Center, 24915 Farmington Road, Farmington Hills
  • Time: 1-3 p.m. Saturday
  • Phone: 248-473-1800
  • Cost: $5/person, free/ages 2 and under

Grab a list of clues and uncover all the reasons to be thankful for nature’s gifts in this self-guided scavenger hunt. Includes a craft, special guests, games and more.

Stories ‘n Such at Sterling Heights Public Library

Nov. 21, 2016

  • Address: Sterling Heights Public Library, 40255 Dodge Park Road, Sterling Heights
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. Monday
  • Phone: 586-446-2665
  • Cost: free

Features stories, crafts, finger plays and other activities with a Thanksgiving theme.

Turkey Shoot at the Costick Center

Nov. 21, 2016

  • Address: Costick Center, 28600 W. 11 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Phone: 248-473-1800
  • Time: 7-9 p.m. Monday
  • Cost: $5/residents, $10/non-residents

You must register in advance for this basketball free throw competition, which gives one lucky winner the chance to win a frozen Turkey for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Appreciation Day at 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks

Nov. 24, 2016

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

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

Detroit Turkey Trot

Nov. 24, 2016

  • Address: Griswold and Fort streets, Detroit
  • Time: 7:30-8:30 a.m./start times Thursday
  • Phone: 313-247-4149
  • Cost: $28-$63; must register by Sunday, Nov. 23

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

Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast and Benefit, Detroit

Nov. 24, 2016

  • Address: Ecumenical Theological Seminary, 2930 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursday
  • Phone: 313-831-5200
  • Cost: $15/kids ages 13 and under, $40/adults

For the past 15 years, Ecumenical Theological Seminary has provided a prime location to view the Thanksgiving Day Parade and participate in the festivities. If you’re looking for the best spot to see the parade, and eat some yummy pancakes, join ETS this Thanksgiving.

Ann Arbor Turkey Trot

Nov. 24, 2016

  • Address: Corner of East Liberty Street and South Fifth Avenue, downtown Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 248-437-4524
  • Time: 8:15 a.m./tot trot (ages 3-10), 8:30 a.m./all ages Thursday
  • Cost: Trot: $44/by noon Nov. 22, $55/Nov. 23-24; Tots: $19/by noon Nov. 22, $25/Nov. 23-24

Jog this untimed 5K race for adults, and 1K race for kids, wear your favorite holiday costume and pose for a pic with Tom Turkey and Santa Claus.

America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Detroit

Nov. 24, 2016

  • 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, $35-$60/grandstand seating

Fans and families line Woodward Avenue to see their favorite floats, balloons, Big Head Corps and, of course, Santa at this 90th annual.

Lions Football at Ford Field, Detroit

Nov. 24, 2016

  • Address: 2000 Brush St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-262-2011
  • Time: 12:30 p.m. Thursday
  • Cost: $75-$329/tickets

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

Holly Dickens Festival

Nov. 25-27, Dec. 3-4, and 10-11, 2016

  • Address: Downtown area, Holly
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays
  • Phone: 248-431-1894
  • Cost: free

It’s the annual celebration of Charles Dickens’ classic tale A Christmas Carol in the downtown village of Holly! Your family can take a trip back in time complete with old-fashioned entertainment, food and more.

Santa’s Arctic Landing at Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn

Nov. 25-Dec. 24, 2016

  • Address: Henry Ford Museum, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Phone: 313-982-6001
  • Times: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; closed Christmas Day
  • Cost: $21/ages 12-plus, $15.75/3-11, free/2 and under; $6/parking

Take a journey to the North Pole to learn about the early days of aviation, take a picture with Santa and more. Be sure to check out Greenfield Village, which is decked out for the holidays, too.

Thanksgiving All-You-Can-Play Event at Zap Zone

Nov. 26, 2016

  • Addresses: 31506 Grand River Ave., Farmington; 4177 Carpenter Road, Ypsilanti; 41953 Ford Road, Canton; 9751 Telegraph Road, Taylor; 43680 Van Dyke Ave., Sterling Heights; 1490 N. Oakland Blvd., Waterford
  • Phones: Farmington: 248-471-6777; Ypsilanti: 734-930-6670; Canton: 734-844-7746; Taylor: 313-299-9690; Sterling Heights: 586-323-0030; Waterford: 248-706-7777
  • Time: 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday
  • Cost: $20/person

It’s an all-night laser tag party in celebration of the Thanksgiving season.

Winter Fantasyland, Lincoln Park

Nov. 26-Dec. 24, 2016

  • Address: Kennedy Memorial, 3240 Ferris Ave., Lincoln Park
  • Phone: 313-386-0140
  • Times: 5-8 p.m. Nov. 26, 4-8 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 2-8 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, closed Mondays-Tuesdays; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Christmas Eve
  • Cost: $1/admission, $3/photo with Santa, $5/two photos

See a menagerie of classic and new holiday displays and visit with Santa, who will be here most days – occasionally joined by Mrs. Claus.