Special Needs Events for Kids and Parents in Metro Detroit

Parents of children with special needs in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor can plan ahead for fun activities, sensory-friendly movie showings and more that are tailored to meet their needs.

Child with special needs playing with colorful toys

There are always plenty of fun activities going on around southeast Michigan for kids and families to enjoy. But sometimes it’s nice for children with special needs to have an event that’s designed just for them – from sensory-friendly movie showings to a chance to try something new in a more patient, supportive environment.

Parents can also benefit from workshops, support meetings and other events geared toward moms and dads of children with special needs.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list featuring some great upcoming special needs events for kids and their parents. Take a peek at these activities for people with special needs and their families.

Interested in adding an upcoming special needs event in southeast Michigan to this roundup – or to our calendar of upcoming events?

Just submit event details there, and we’ll see that it’s added to this list, as well.

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A word of advice: Some events may require pre-registration. Click on the calendar listing for the event and get details on pre-registering and how to contact the organizer for more details.

PAWS for Reading at the Sterling Heights Public Library

March 10, 2020

  • Address: 40255 Dodge Park Road, Sterling Heights
  • Time: 5:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Trained therapy dogs don’t judge or interrupt. That’s why they visit the library and sit with kids as they practice their reading skills.

PAC Special Needs Resource Fair at the Royal Oak Board Office

March 11, 2020 

  • Address: Royal Oak Board Office, 800 Devillen Ave., Royal Oak
  • Time: 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

This resource fair for parents and caregivers of people with special needs features a variety of organizations that offer services in Oakland county.

Sensory-Friendly Films at AMC Theatres

March 11, 14, 25 and 28, 2020

  • Address: AMC Forum 30 (44681 Mound Road, Sterling Heights), AMC Livonia 20 (19500 Haggerty Road, Livonia) and AMC Star Gratiot 15 (35705 S. Gratiot Ave., Clinton Township)
  • Time: Check with your local theater for showtimes
  • Cost: Standard ticket rates apply

See a screening of Onward (rated PG) on March 11 and 14, I Still Believe (rated PG) on March 25 and Mulan (rated PG-13) on March 28 in a safe, supportive and sensory-friendly setting.

Sensory-Friendly Saturday at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn

March 14, 2020

  • Address: Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost: $12.50-$16.25/members, $14.25-$19/non-members, free/kids 4 and under

Kids with autism or other sensory processing disorders enjoy a tour of the Ford Rouge Factory. Noise-cancelling headphones, earplugs and quiet areas available.

Saturday Sports Special at the Jack & Patti Salter Club in Royal Oak 

March 14, 21 and 28, 2020

  • Address: Jack & Patti Salter Club, 1545 E. Lincoln, Royal Oak
  • Time: 9:30-11 a.m.
  • Cost: Free

Kids and adults, ages 6-18, with disabilities are invited to play a variety of sports including floor hockey, kickball and basketball. Registration required. Select dates in April, too.

Spring Carnival at the Oak Park Community Center

March. 19, 2020

  • Address: Oak Park Community Center, 14300 Oak Park Blvd., Oak Park
  • Time: 6-8 p.m.
  • Cost: $10/participant, $5/caregiver

Enjoy a pizza and salad dinner and then dance the evening away in a safe and supportive environment. Ages 18-plus. Registration required.

Adult and Teen Sensory Storytime at the Bloomfield Township Public Library 

April 13, 2020

  • Address: 1099 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield
  • Time: 11 a.m.
  • Cost: Free

Adults and teens with special needs are invited for a story full of songs, movement and art. A support person is welcome to come and participate. Registration is not required.

Adaptive Umbrella at the Bloomfield Township Public Library

April 30, 2020

  • Address: Bloomfield Township Public Library, 1099 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Township
  • Time: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $25

This biennial workshop helps educators and caregivers better help people who have disabilities.

Sensory Storytime at the Ann Arbor District Library Westgate Branch

May 23, 2020

  • Address: 2503 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Time: 10-11 a.m.
  • Cost: Free

Kids ages 3-7 are welcome to enjoy an hour filled with interactive stories, rhymes and free play.

This post is updated regularly.