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.


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Adult and Teen Sensory Storytime at the Bloomfield Township Public Library

Jan. 14 and Feb. 11, 2019

  • 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.

PAWS for Reading at the Sterling Heights Public Library

Jan. 15, 22 and 29, 2019

  • 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.

Superhero Autism Activity Day at the Costick Center in Farmington Hills

Jan. 19, 2019

  • Address: Costick Activities Center, 28600 W. 11 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Kids who have autism can get their picture taken with their favorite superhero, try out an obstacle course, play in bounce houses and much more at this very special event. Advance registration required.

Saturday Sports Special at the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland and Macomb Counties

Jan. 19 and 26, 2019 

  • Address: 1545 E. Lincoln, Royal Oak
  • Time: 9:30-11 a.m.
  • Cost: $12/participant, $6/caregiver

Kids ages 6-18 with disabilities can try some parachute games, floor hockey kickball, basketball and other sports. Advance registration required.

Sensory-Friendly Film Showings at AMC Theatres 

Jan. 22 and 26, 2019

  • Address: Locations vary including AMC Forum 30 (44681 Mound Road, Sterling Heights), AMC Livonia 20 (19500 Haggerty Road, Livonia) and AMC Star Gratiot 15 (35705 S. Gratiot Ave., Clintion Township)
  • Time: Times vary. Check with your closest theatre
  • Cost: Contact for details

See an autism-friendly screening of Bumblebee (PG-13) on Jan. 8, Mary Poppins Returns (PG) on Jan. 12, Glass (PG-13) on Jan. 22 and A Dog’s Way Home (PG) on Jan. 26.

Adaptive Recreation Snowball at Fillmore Elementary School in Sterling Heights 

Jan. 25, 2019

  • Address: Fillmore Elementary, 8655 Irving Road, Sterling Heights
  • Time: 6:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $7.75-$10/residents, 10:75-$14/non-residents

Those with special needs who are 16 years old and older are invited for an evening of dancing to a live DJ, food and more. Advance registration requested.

Sensory Storytime at the Ann Arbor District Library Westgate Branch 

Jan. 26, 2019

  • 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.

Count Me In! Special Needs Storytime at the Canton Public Library

Jan. 26, 2019

  • Address: 1200 S. Canton Center Road, Canton
  • Time: 4-4:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Enjoy picture books, songs and simple sign language for all ages and levels of ability themed to trains in November and birthdays in December.

Rock & Roll ’50s Dance at the Royal Oak Senior Center 

Feb. 8, 2019

  • Address: 3500 Marais Ave., Royal Oak
  • Time: 6-8 p.m.
  • Cost: $6/person

Dress up in your favorite ’50s flair for an evening of dancing, music and food. Ages 16-26 welcome. Advance registration required.

Night to Shine 2019 at Life Bridge Church in Taylor 

Feb. 8, 2019

  • Address: Life Bridge Church, 24800 Eureka Road, Taylor
  • Time: 6-9 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

People with special needs and 1-3 of their friends can dress in their best and experience an unforgettable prom night with local churches. Pre-registration required.

This post is updated regularly.