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.

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.

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

Sept. 25, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 2018

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

Emagine Autism-Friendly Movies & Fun

Oct. 6 and 20, 2018

  • Address: Locations vary including Emagine Saline (1335 E. Michigan Ave.), Novi (44425 12 Mile Road), Rochester (200 Barclay Circle), and Woodhaven (21720 Allen Road)
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. Saturday
  • Cost: Contact for details

People with autism can see new flicks in a safe, understanding environment. On Sept. 22 see The House with a Clock in its Walls (rated PG), on Oct. 6 Smallfoot plays and on Oct. 20 Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween shows.

Sensory Storytime at the Ann Arbor District Library Westgate Branch 

Sept. 29, 2018

  • 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.

Awesome Autumn at Waterford Oaks County Park 

Oct. 5, 2018

  • Address: 1702 Scott Lake Road, Waterford
  • Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $10/participant, $5/caregiver

This event features accessible hayrides, dinner, music and dancing for people of all abilities. Registration required.

Saturday Sports Special at the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland County in Royal Oak 

Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2018

  • Address: 1545 E. Lincoln, Royal Oak
  • Time: 9:30-11 a.m.
  • Cost: Free

Kids ages 6-18 with disabilities are welcome to try their hand at some adaptive sporting events including parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, basketball and others. Registration required.

Adult and Teen Sensory Storytime at the Bloomfield Township Public Library

Oct. 8, 2018

  • Address: 1099 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Township
  • 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.

Special Education Fair at Macomb Intermediate School District Educational Service Center in Clinton Township

Oct. 20, 2018

  • Address: 44001 Garfield Road, Clinton Township
  • Time: 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

This fair is packed with information to help parents and staff understand complex special education issues including bullying, documenting student behavior and creating a culture of learning at school and home. Advance registration mandatory.

Halloween Happiness at the Southfield Civic Center 

Oct. 23, 2018

  • Address: 2600 Evergreen Road, Southfield
  • Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $10/participant, $5/caregiver

Grown-ups, ages 18-plus, with developmental disabilities are invited to a merry-not-scary Halloween party full of music, dancing and trick-or-treating. Costumes welcome. Registration required.

Experimental Art at the Macomb Township Recreation Center 

Oct. 31, 2018

  • Address: 20699 Macomb Drive, Macomb
  • Time: 10:30-11:15 a.m.
  • Cost: $15/person

Adults with special needs or developmental disabilities can explore different kinds of art media and create works of art to take home. All materials provided. Each participant must be accompanied by a caregiver. Registration required.

Hoedown at Novi Parks and Recreation Cultural Services 

Nov. 16, 2018

  • Address: 45175 W. 10 Mile Road, Novi
  • Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $5/caretaker, $10/participant

Those with developmental disabilities, ages 18-plus, are invited for a night of country dancing, pizza, salad and music. Registration required.

This post is updated regularly.