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 playing on a sensory playground

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

July 16 and 30, 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-Friendly Films at Select AMC Theatres

July 23 and 27, 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 The Lion King (PG) on July 23 and 27.

Sensory-Friendly Touch-A-Truck at Greenmead Historical Park in Livonia

July 27, 2019 

  • Address: Greenmead Historical Park, 20501 Newburgh Road, Livonia
  • Time: 9-10 a.m.
  • Cost: $1/parking donation

Kids can get up close and personal with a variety of working vehicles, including ambulances, police cars and fire engines. Special quiet hours for kids with sensory processing issues run one hour prior to the open event.

Sensory Storytime at the Ann Arbor District Library Westgate Branch

July 27, 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.

Summer Daze at Independence Oaks County Park in Clarkston 

Aug. 3, 2019

  • Address: Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston
  • Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Individuals of all ages who have developmental or physical disabilities are invited to enjoy barrier-free boat rides, dancing, music and good. Registration is required.

Centria Autism Sports Day at The Corner Ballpark in Detroit

Aug. 9, 2019

  • Address: The Corner Ballpark, 1680 Michigan Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 9 a.m.-noon
  • Cost: Free

Kids with autism try soccer, football, tee ball and other sports at this sensory-friendly clinic. Bounce houses, face painting and a quiet area full of games and activities included. Registration required.

Friday Frolic at the Troy Community Center

Aug. 9, 2019

  • Address: Troy Community Center, 3179 Livernois Road, Troy
  • Time: 7-9 p.m.
  • Cost: $7/person

Those who have disabilities enjoy a fun evening of music and dancing. Ages 16-plus.

Adult and Teen Sensory Storytime at the Bloomfield Township Public Library

Sept. 9, 2019

  • Address: 1099 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Township
  • Time: 11 a.m.-12 p.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.

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

Sept. 21, 2019

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

Enjoy picture books, songs and simple sign language during this monthly. Open to all ages and levels of ability.

Sensory-Friendly Jump at Sky Zone Brighton 

Oct. 6, 2019

  • Address: 8151 Movie Drive, Brighton
  • Time: 9-11 a.m.
  • Cost: $9.99/hour in advance, $13.99/hour at the door

This trampoline park offers low-sensory jump time for patrons who have autism or other sensory processing disorders. First hour features no music.

This post is updated regularly.