Free Kid-Friendly Events in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Searching for free things to do in southeast Michigan? Find great budget-friendly family fun in Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

With kids in tow, seeing the latest stage show or attending that super popular special event can put a real dent in the ol’ bank account. It’s great once in a while, but geez, where are all of the free southeast Michigan events this weekend?

Turns out, there are plenty of free events to choose from, and we’ve rounded up the best options happening this weekend in this convenient spot.

Every activity listed here will cost you absolutely nothing for admission. Zilch. Maybe you’ll have to splurge a few bucks for parking and a little for some activities within the event. But that’s it!

Want to try some events in Detroit that won’t cost you a fortune? Searching for online activities in Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties that won’t break the bank?

Then check back here regularly and mark your calendars so you don’t miss any of the free family fun happening over the next week or so.

Don’t see an event that fits your fam? Check out our online calendar for more fun events. 

Macomb

Spring Fling

May 14, 2022 

This annual event features live animals at a petting zoo outside the Fraser Public Library. Other family-friendly activities, too.

St. Clair Shores Memorial Day Parade 

May 29, 2022 

The parade starts at Ridgeway and finishes up at 11 Mile Road. It includes military and veteran groups, high school marching bands, public officials, clowns, motorcycles, Jeeps and more.

Sterling Heights Memorial Day Parade

May 30, 2022 

Hundreds gather for a solemn tribute to the fallen at this 43th-time event. There will be a parade to follow that kicks off from the City Center parking lot.

Center Line Festival

June 3-5 2022 

This annual fest will feature fireworks, petting farm, inflatables, Trackless train rides, music and more.

Bay-Rama Fishfly Festival

June 22-26, 2022 

The short-lived water bugs drive the theme of this fest, which has a carnival, fireworks, parade, kids activities, corn hole tournament and more. 

Dairy Day Festival

June 25, 2022 

See cows being milked, enjoy games, crafts, family photo opportunities and more. Also, free dairy products including cheese and ice cream treats.

Oakland

“Birds and Beasts” Exhibit by Painter Joan Sterling

Now-May 20, 2022 (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays)

Head to city hall to see Joan Sterling’s solo exhibit of colorful lions and cape buffalo, titled, “Birds and Beasts.”

Islam & its People – a Family Discovery Event

May 14, 2022 

Families are invited to join Franklin Public Library for a fun afternoon of calligraphy, story time, crafts, sweet treats and more.

Celebrate Birmingham Hometown Parade and Party

May 15, 2022 

The parade is a 40-year-old tradition that takes place in Birmingham. There will be a party in Shain Park afterwards.

Spring Palooza

May 20, 2022 

This carnival themed event features live entertainment, police and fire demonstrations, outdoor games, food and lots of family bonding.

Downtown Highland Founders Day Celebration 

May 21, 2022 

  • Address: Downtown Highland area

Kick off spring with a community celebration that features a parade and other family fun. See floats, bands, teams, community groups and more.

Memorial Day at Fuerst Park

May 25, 2022 

This Memorial Day event will feature a patriotic-themed concert, dinner for veterans and refreshments for the community.

Southfield Memorial Day Ceremony

May 27, 2022 

Join the city of Southfield for their Memorial Day ceremony at Southfield City Hall.

Asian Pacific American Cultural Celebration

May 28, 2022 

Meet at the patio and the meeting room at the Novi Public Library to celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month. There will be music, dancing, speakers, cultural displays, speakers and food.

Ferndale Wellness Fair

May 28, 2022 

There will be an on-site food truck with vegan tacos, sodas, coffee and other handmade items. Take a Yoga or Tai Chi class or get a massage or facial. Free book exchange, too. Registration required.

Greater Rochester Heritage Days Festival

May 28, 2022 

Enjoy this annual family-friendly festival that features a car festival, pancake breakfast, art show with handmade artwork, plant sale, food trucks, live performances and more.

Holly Memorial Day Ceremony

May 28, 2022 

Attend a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Great Lakes National Cemetery honoring deceased veterans. The VFW State Honor Guard will present the colors and perform a rifle salute during the ceremony. There will be patriotic music, too.

Farmington Memorial Day Parade

May 30, 2022 

  • Address:  Grand River Ave., between Orchard Lake Road and downtown Farmington

The parade starts off on Grand River Avenue, between Orchard Lake Road and downtown Farmington. The event ends with a ceremony at Memorial Park at Grand River Avenue & Oakland Street, followed by a free community luncheon.

Memorial Day Parade in Milford

May 30, 2022 

All veterans and active military are invited to march in Milford’s annual parade for Memorial Day. 

Royal Oak Memorial Parade & Ceremony

May 30, 2022 

Honor fallen veterans at this annual procession that takes place in downtown Royal Oak. The parade begins at Washington and Lincoln and proceeds north to S. Sherman Drive. Ceremony to follow.

South Lyon Memorial Day Parade

May 30, 2022 

This procession steps off at Barlett Elementary and heads through downtown to the cemetery for a ceremony honoring the sacrifices of our veterans.

Walled Lake Memorial Day Parade

May 30, 2022 

The parade will take place downtown Walled Lake. They will be passing out candy along the way so make sure to bring a bag to collect it in.

Art on the Grand

June 4-5, 2022 

Fine artists and crafters from around the country are featured and have booths in a variety of disciplines and price ranges. Different artistic categories include: painting, pottery, photography, jewelry, mixed media, wood, wearable art, glass, leather, sculpture and more.

Ferndale Pride

June 4, 2022 

Celebrate the area’s LGBTQIA community. Find vendors, activities, entertainment, a kid’s area, food trucks and more. Pets are allowed to attend.

International Kite Festival

June 4-5, 2022 

Kids receive a free kite to decorate (while supplies last) and fly it with your fam. There will also be professional kite flying demos, live music, food trucks, inflatables, magic show, face painting and more.

M1 Concourse Cars & Coffee | Euro Day

June 4, 2022 

Join M1 Concourse on the first Saturday of each month for the largest Cars & Coffee event in Michigan! Share this massive monthly tradition with your fellow auto-enthusiasts to showcase their vehicles. This is a kid-friendly event.

Pride Festival

June 4, 2022 

There will be a parade, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, speakers, kids games, movie and more.

Pride Trivia Night

June 8, 2022 

Join the library for some fun LGBTQ+ themed trivia and game show style games to celebrate Pride Month! For ages 12 and up.

Berkley Art Bash

June 11, 2022 

Families can enjoy art displays from 150 vendors and makers, face painting, food trucks and stands, kids activities, live music and more.

The Art of Fire

June 11-12, 2022 

This fair showcases over 100 artists who work with clay, glass and metal. Metal working and live glass blowing, too. Food and drink specials are available at Royal Oak restaurants as well as concessions on site.

Pirate Treasure Hunt

June 13, 2022 

Kids in grades 2-5 will be able to become a pirate for a day and hunt for buried treasure. Registration required.

Celebrate Father’s Day

June 14, 2022 

Kids can create their own Thank You card for their father and hear a story at the Pontiac Public Library. Refreshments will be given. Registration required.

Riverview Summerfest

June 16, 2022 

This festival will include carnival rides, a children’s pony ranch, live music, classic car show, face painting, fireworks and more.

Summer Stadium Community Cookout 

June 16, 2022 

Join the Hawk at the football stadium for tailgating games, music, inflatables and bouncers. Hot dogs, chips and drinks can be purchased at the event. Great for all ages.

Opa! Fest

June 17-19, 2022 

At this Greek fest there will be activities for adults and kids. Participate in Greek dancing, cooking demonstrations, live music, cultural exhibits and more.

Grosse Pointe Pride 2022

June 18, 2022 

Families can enjoy a walk around downtown Grosse Pointe. There will be Pride-themed activities around the area. Dogs are welcome.

Madison Heights Juneteenth Celebration

June 18, 2022 

Celebrate Juneteenth with craft activities, face painting, petting zoo, bounce houses and live music, vendors, food trucks and more.

Unity in the Community Juneteenth Celebration and Slows Bar BQ Food Truck

June 18, 2022 

Ages 12 and up will be able to join the library for a traveling black history museum, presentations, music, step show, steel pan instrumental, free Harlem burritos from Cornbread Restaurant and more. Enjoy food from Slows Bar BQ food truck featuring their signature dishes of chicken, pulled pork, Mac and cheese, vegetarian options and more.

Downtown Auburn Hills Summerfest

June 24-25, 2022 

Start summer with music, dancing, maker’s market, classic car show, a pet parade, food, contests and more.

Red, White & Blues Fireworks Festival

June 25, 2022 

Enjoy a firework show at this annual along with live music, vendors, kid’s activities, food and more. For all ages.

Festival of the Hills

June 29, 2022 

Michigan’s second-largest fireworks display is the big draw, plus enjoy plenty of family games and live entertainment.

South Lyon LGBT+ Pride Event

July 9, 2022 

Bring your family out and enjoy lots of fun outside activities in the park. There will be music, vendors, face painting, art activities, entertainment, food trucks, drag queen story time and more. Childrens Rainbow Run sponsored by British Swim School.

Yeti Fest Art Day – Bigfoot & Sasquatch Soiree

July 9, 2022 

This event offers unique artists with painting, sculpture and jewelry mediums featuring Bigfoot. There are also art activities for kids and other believers. You will be able to create a sasquatch of your own! Great for all ages.

Washtenaw

Rummage Sale

May 12-13, 2022 

Join Old St. Pat’s Church as they host a community rummage sale in the parish center. Come find unique pieces and some treasures.

Milan Community Fair

June 2-4, 2022 

Find an art market, live music and rides galore. There will be a parade on Thursday, fireworks are scheduled on Friday and kid’s events occur Saturday.

Sounds & Sights on Thursday Nights

June 2, 9, 16, 23, 20, 2022 

Entertainment, arts and musical acts are performed at various and separate stages through historical downtown Chelsea every Thursday evening. For kids, there will be face painters, balloon artists, circus acts, jugglers, magicians, ‘How to Chalk’ themed art stage and more.

Ann Arbor African American Festival

June 4, 2022 

This annual fest features live music, balloon twisting, dance performances, face painting, crafting station and more. 

Ann Arbor Summer Festival

June 10-July 3, 2022 

  • Address: Various venues in Ann Arbor

This annual features more than 200 events in nearly four weeks. Outdoor shows are free. Kid-friendly options include a screening of Encanto on June 12 and Pokémon Detective Pikachu on June 16. Check out the KidZone for more.

Chelsea Painters Art Fair

June 11-12, 2022 

Peruse a collection of fine art created by local talents at this 47th annual. It will feature acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, pastel, oil and more.

Wayne

Saturday in the Park on Hines Drive

Now-Sept. 24, 2022 (Saturdays)

  • Address: Ann Arbor Trail to Outer Drive, Westland

Hines Drive will be closed from Ann Arbor Trail to Outer Drive for families to run, walk or bike safely without vehicle traffic. 

Saturday Storytime

Now-Dec. 31, 2023 (Saturdays)

Join 27th Letter Books for their weekly story offering, made bilingual in Spanish & English.  Following the reading, you will be invited to stay and explore the book themes through art studio time or an interactive activity

Story Time with Mr. Jim

Now-Dec. 29, 2022 (Thursdays)

Caroline Kennedy Library offers simple stories, music, crafts, bubbles and fun for little ones and their caregivers every Thursday. Recommended for ages 2-3, but all ages are welcome.

Bike With The Mayor

May 15, 2022 

Join Mayor Abdullah H. Hammoud and his Executive Team for the First Annual Mayor’s Bike Ride through the city.

Nature Fest

May 21, 2022 

This nature-oriented event will feature live entertainment, nature crafts and games, live animals and canoeing. Ages 17 and younger can participate in a fishing contest. Fishing poles and bait are limited, so bring your own if you have one. No registration required. 

Technology Fair

May 21, 2022 

Local schools and technology groups from around Southeast Michigan will showcase their technology talent with drones, robots, 3-D printing and much more. There will be demonstrations and classes for kids and teens ages 5-17. No registration is required.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration

May 28, 2022 

The DIA celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a program of music and dance performances by community cultural groups including Chinese, Korean, Indian and Taiwanese.

Dearborn Memorial Day Parade

May 30, 2022 

  • Address: Downtown Dearborn

This 96th annual event brings local bands, businesses and organizations together to honor our fallen heroes.

Grosse Pointe Memorial Day Service

May 30, 2022 

Honor the sacrifice our fallen soldiers made at this annual service. Pre-registration is required

Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear on Belle Isle

June 3, 2022 

This annual auto series race features high-intensity IndyCar series races and high-speed trucks. Also, live music, games, interactive displays, food and more.

Grosse Ile Islandfest

June 3-5, 2022 

Highlights include a carnival and petting zoo every day, parade and fireworks on Saturday and live music every night.

Palmer Park Art Fair

June 4-5, 2022 

Check out artwork by artists from all over the country, meet authors, enjoy music, eat at specialty food booths and enjoy family activities at this annual.

Celebrate Juneteenth with American Girl Addy

June 7, 2022 

Hear a story about Juneteenth, play a game, make a craft and enjoy a snack.  For children ages 6 and up. Registration required.

New York International Children’s Film Festival: Kid Flicks One 

June 11, 2022 

This event features the winners from the 2021 New York International Children’s Film Festival is North America’s largest film festival for children and teens ages 3-18.

Canton Liberty Fest

June 16-18, 2022 

This 28th-time festival serves up three days of food, music and fun, including a big carnival. Fireworks will take place on Friday evening.

Arts & Acts Festival

June 17-19, 2022 

The festival includes the juried fine art show, musical entertainment, children’s activities, plus Northville Art House Chalk Festival and a large variety of food and drink.

Annual Juneteenth Community Celebration

June 18, 2022 

Celebrate The Healing Harvest’s 3rd Annual Juneteenth event with Black-owned food trucks, Black-owned vendors, live music, kid’s activities, scholarship giveaways and more.

Juneteenth Celebration at Leanna Hicks Public Library

June 18, 2022 

Head to the library to join in on square dancing lessons, horses and rodeo demonstration, country-style food, information on Juneteenth and more.

Juneteenth Community Celebration

June 18, 2022 

This family-friendly event will have African drumming, African dancing, a mental health speaker, food, DJ, musical performances, vendors, kids zone and more.

Juneteenth Jubilee Freedom Weekend

June 18-19, 2022 

Celebrate Juneteenth with a weekend of activities including film screenings, live music, a treasure hunt and more.

Juneteenth Mobility Stroll and Roll

June 18, 2022 

Join the route, which will begin at Michigan Avenue and Schaefer and end at City Hall Park. Several stops are planned along the route. There will also be fun activities geared toward all ages including a Kid’s Zone and a Mobility Zone as part of the attractions. Registration required.

Annual Dearborn Heights Juneteenth Festival

June 19, 2022 

Celebrate the heritage, freedom and excellence of African Americans with a day of live entertainment, food trucks, hustle workshops, bounce houses and more.

Juneteenth Fun, Food and Family Marketplace Celebration 

June 19, 2022 

Celebrate Juneteenth and Father’s Day with music, food trucks, vendor marketplace, kid activities, card games, contests, corn hole, history tours and more.

Fun Comedy Magic Show with Gordon the Magician at the Fred C. Fisher Library

June 21, 2022 

Gordon and his sidekick, George the Raccoon, will bring his unique brand of illusion right to the Fred C. Fisher Library. Be ready for him to pick on you to volunteer. You can even bring a “pick me” sign with you.

Livonia Spree

June 21-26, 2022

This fest celebrates the city’s 70th birthday with food, rides, games, music and fireworks the final night.

Taylor Summer Festival

June 23-26, 2022

This fest features live music, fair food, carnival rides, fireworks and more.

Trenton Summer Festival

June 24-26, 2022

This annual festival features live performances, vendors, crafts, kids corner, beer tent and tons of family fun.

Ford Fireworks

June 27, 2022 

This event is recognized as one of America’s largest and most magnificent fireworks displays. It’s a spectacular summer tradition in the city and is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of spectators. The fireworks are shot off from three barges on the Detroit River. 

Fun Comedy Magic Show with Gordon the Magician at the Hamtramck Library

July 13, 2022

Gather the kids and head to Hamtramck Library for a fun, comedy magic show with Gordon the Magician along with his sidekick, George the Raccoon. Create a “pick me” sign because Gordon will ask for volunteers.

Ann Arbor Art Fair 2022

July 21-23, 2022 

Check out the largest juried art fair in the nation, which features nearly 1,000 artists, which spans over three days. Offers a wide selection of media including drawing, painting, sculpture, glass, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media and more. There will also be live music, sidewalk sales and culinary treats.

This post is updated regularly. 


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