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 events calendar? We’d love to know! Just email us all the details to calendar@metroparent.com or submit the event on our calendar page.

Just 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

March 20, 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.

The Social Club at Living and Learning in Northville

March 20, 2018

  • Address: 150 Mary Alexander Ct., Northville
  • Time: 7:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays
  • Cost: $140/four weeks

This program is offered for men and women who are 18 years or older who have moderate to severe Down Syndrome, autism or anxiety disorders.

Teen and Adult Hangout (Special Needs) at Living and Learning in Northville

March 24, 2018

  • Address: 150 Mary Alexander Ct., Northville
  • Time: 6 p.m. Saturdays
  • Cost: $50 per session

This is a unique three-hour interactive social skills experience. Teens and adults who are on the autism spectrum are invited to meet with trained mentors at the center to make friends and build social and job skills through team building activities, art projects and field trips.

The Dude Zone at Living and Learning in Northville

March 24, 2018

  • Address: 150 Mary Alexander Ct., Northville
  • Time: 10-11 a.m. Saturdays
  • Cost: $30 per session

This program is for boys in 1st-8th grade to engage in peer-to-peer support to create and build upon their friendship-making skills.

Emagine Sensory-Friendly Movies: A Wrinkle in Time

March 24, 2018

  • Address: Various locations; check website in advance
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. Saturday
  • Cost: Call ahead for pricing

These movie showings make going to the movies a more enjoyable and accessible experience for families, children and teens on the autism spectrum. Today, see A Wrinkle in Time.

AMC Sensory-Friendly Films: A Wrinkle in Time

March 24, 2018

  • Address: Forum 30 (44681 Mound, Sterling Heights), Star Gratiot 21 (35705 South Gratiot, Clinton Township), Livonia 20 (19500 Haggerty Road, Livonia)
  • Time: Saturday; Contact theater for times
  • Cost: Ticket prices vary

People with autism can get up, talk and move during these movies. Today, see A Wrinkle in Time.

SENSEational Story Time at the Bloomfield Township Public Library

March 24, 2018

  • Address: 1099 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Township
  • Time: 11 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Saturday
  • Cost: Free

This sensory story time is geared to differently-able children ages 3-10 years who have a hard time in large groups, are on the autism spectrum or have other developmental delays and/or sensitivity to sensory overload. Siblings are welcome.

Special Needs Bingo at the Macomb Township Recreation Center

April 10, 2018

  • Address: Various locations; check website in advance
  • Time: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday
  • Cost: $12

Enjoy a social morning full of bingo fun and prizes. All participants must be ages 18+ and have a caregiver who participates. No charge for caregivers. Must pre-register with Macomb Township Parks and Recreation.

Children’s Concert with Robert Chappell at Varner Recital Hall at Oakland University in Rochester

April 13, 2018

  • Address: 371 Varner Drive, Rochester
  • Time: 10 a.m. Friday
  • Cost: $6/general, free/under 2

In this fun-filled educational performance, students will learn about a wide range of percussion traditions, from xylophones of East Africa to tassa drums of the Caribbean.

Superhero Autism Activity Day at Crowell Community Center in Detroit

April 21, 2018

  • Address: 16630 Lahser Road, Detroit
  • Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: Free

Take pictures with superheroes, run around obstacle courses, get your face painted and more.

Brickworld Michigan 2018 – LEGO® Exposition Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi

Sept. 22-23, 2018

  • Address: Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi
  • Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
  • Cost: $13, general, $12.50/cash discount at the door only, free/ages 3 and under

Enjoy interactive activities, such as the LEGO and DUPLO play brick areas, fighting robots, seek and finds and more.