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.

Special needs events little girl playing in paint

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.

Sensory-Friendly Films at Select AMC Theatres

May 28, 2019

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

Kids and adults with sensory processing disorders enjoy a movie screening in a safe, supportive and sensory-friendly environment. See John Wick: Chapter 3 (R) on May 28.

PAWS for Reading at the Sterling Heights Public Library

June 4 and 18, 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.

Sensory Storytime at the Ann Arbor District Library Westgate Branch

June 8, 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.

Adult and Teen Sensory Storytime at the Bloomfield Township Public Library

June 10, 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.

Special Needs Prom at the Kemeny Recreation Center in Detroit 

June 14, 2019

  • Address: Kemeny Recreation Center, 2260 S. Fort St., Detroit
  • Time: 6-9 p.m.
  • Cost: $25/by June 4, $40/after June 4

Young adults with special needs are invited to experience prom. Dress in your best for a night of dancing, food, photo ops and a party favor. Parents and caretakers are welcome to stay in a separate viewing room. Ages 16-26.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Swim Day at Rolling Hills Water Park in Ypsilanti 

June 15, 2019 

  • Address: 7660 Stony Creek Road, Ypsilanti
  • Time: 9-11 a.m.
  • Cost: $10-$13/adults, $8-$11/kids, free/kids under 36 inches, $6-$10/parking

Kids and adults with autism spectrum disorders enjoy slides, rides and splash areas in a less-stimulating environment. All ages welcome.

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

June 22, 2019

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

Enjoy picture books, songs and simple sign language themed to “Holy Cow! Is It Storytime Now!?” during the June installment of this monthly. Open to all ages and levels of ability.

Red, White & Blue Picnic at Clawson City Park

June 27, 2019

  • Address: 935 E. Custer St., Clawson
  • Time: 6-8 p.m.
  • Cost: $10/person, $5/caregiver

This event features music, dancing, dinner and other Fourth of July fun for adults with developmental disabilities. Advance registration required.

Special Needs Sensory-Friendly Jump at Sky Zone in Brighton

July 7, 2019

  • Address: Sky Zone Brighton, 8151 Movie Drive, Brighton
  • Time: 9-11 a.m.
  • Cost: $9.99-$13.99/hour

Kids with special needs can jump on wall-to-wall trampolines at this spot. The first hour will be sensory-friendly with no music. Music starts at 10 a.m. due to other programming.

Oakland County Fair Adaptive Day at Springfield Oaks County Park in Davisburg 

July 11, 2019

  • Address: Springfield Oaks County Park, 12451 Andersonville Road, Davisburg
  • Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Register in advance and enjoy a sensory- and special needs- friendly experience at Oakland county’s beloved fair tradition.

This post is updated regularly.