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 in wheelchair smiling at snowman

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.

Martial Arts at GUTS Training Center in Ferndale 

Jan. 18 and 25, 2020 

  • Address: GUTS Training Center, 1008 Orchard St., Ferndale
  • Time: 9-11 a.m.
  • Cost: Free, registration required

Those with special needs who would like to try their hand at martial arts can during this beginners class. Experienced instructors are on-hand to meet each student’s needs.

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

Jan. 18 and 25, 2020

  • Address: 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 February, March and April, too.

PAWS for Reading at the Sterling Heights Public Library

Jan. 21 and 28, 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.

Special Needs Art Class at the Plymouth Art & Recreation Complex

Jan. 22, 2020

  • Address: PARC, 650 Church St., Plymouth
  • Time: 5-6 p.m.
  • Cost: $15/person

Kids ages 4-plus who have special needs explore texture rubbings during the January installment of this event. Registration required.

Sensory-Friendly Films at AMC Theatres 

Jan. 22 and 25, 2020

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

Kids and grown-ups with special needs enjoy a screening of Dolittle (PG) in a safe and supportive environment that allows for talking and movement.

Adaptive Storytime at the Sterling Heights Public Library

Feb. 1, 2020

  • Address: Plymouth Arts & Recreation Complex, 650 Church St., Plymouth
  • Time: 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Cost: Free

Kids with autism or other sensory processing disorders enjoy a morning full of stories and movement. Aimed at ages 3-10. Kids must be accompanied by a caregiver. Registration required.

Night to Shine 2020 at Life Bridge Church in Taylor 

Feb. 7, 2020

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

Teens and young adults with special needs enjoy a safe and supportive prom night.

Sensory Storytime at the Ann Arbor District Library Westgate Branch

Feb. 8, 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.

Adult and Teen Sensory Storytime at the Bloomfield Township Public Library 

Feb. 10, 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.

This post is updated regularly. 

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