Celebrating Juneteenth With Kids

Juneteenth falls on June 19 and celebrates the abolition of slavery in America.

On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston, Texas, with the news that the Union had won the Civil War and that all enslaved people were now free, Juneteenth.com reports.

While America still has a long way to go in creating equality for Black people, the whole world celebrates this historical moment each year on June 19, which is now known as Juneteenth, or Freedom Day.

There are many ways to teach our kids about Juneteenth and celebrate the holiday. Here, we’ve rounded up some Juneteenth family events and books for your family to explore this year.


Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor are full of events geared toward those looking for ways to celebrate Black culture, commemorate the day and teach kids a bit about our nation’s history.

Here are a few local options.

Juneteenth in Detroit Festival

June 19, 2021

Enjoy food, music, a lip sync battle, games, essay and art contest and more. Blankets and chairs are encouraged for a day of family fun.

Miss Juneteenth Movie Night

June 19, 2021

Watch an outdoor showing of Miss Juneteenth on the lawn. Families are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs and picnic with snacks.

Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom Art Expo

June 19, 2021

Celebrate Juneteenth with an art exhibition of amazing local artists and artisans. This will be an indoor/outdoor event to help ensure the safety of all patrons and the gallery will follow all current safety protocols.

Juneteenth Mobility Stroll and Roll

June 19, 2021

Grab a bike, vespa, skateboard, scooter or walk to celebrate Juneteenth. The route represents the difficult mobility for African Americans to move between levels in society. The Jim Crow laws of the South that gave rise to the Great Migration to northern cities prompted citizens to search for better opportunities by car, train, bus or on foot.

The route will begin at Michigan Avenue and Schaefer and end at City Hall Park. Several stops are planned along the route. The Stroll and Roll will also have an array of fun activities geared toward all ages including a Kid’s Zone and a Mobility Zone as part of the attractions.

Juneteenth Painting with Darts

June 19, 2021

Create abstract and street art on a 16×20 canvas to celebrate Juneteenth. Goggles, shoe coverings and gown provided, as well as unlimited barbecue, a live DJ and drinks for adults.

Unity in the Community: A Juneteenth Celebration

June 19, 2021

Families are invited to Lathrup Village’s first-ever Juneteenth Celebration with entertainment, music, panel discussion and food trucks. Entertainment includes storytelling, music and more. Kids activities include a bounce house and obstacle course. A panel discussion will be held with key community leaders including Rep. Kyra Bolden, Rep. Tyrone Carter, Judge Shelia Johnson and Yusef Shakur.

My Life and Voice Matters Too

June 19, 2021

Families can view a teen black and white photography exhibit created by local youth. This presentation is run in conjunction with the Ypsilanti Chapter of Jack and Jill of America.

Virtual Juneteenth Jubilee Freedom Weekend

June 17-20, 2021

  • Cost: Free, registration required for most activities
  • Hosted by: The Wright Museum

Celebrate Juneteenth with a weekend of activities including film screenings, live music, a treasure hunt and more. Due to precautions around COVID-19, this commemoration of freedom will take place primarily online, with some in-person elements across the city.

Find even more Juneteenth events in our online calendar.


Juneteenth is an important holiday to discuss as a family as we continue to raise anti-racist kids. Here are some Juneteenth books below to add to your family home library.

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson

Photo credit: Amazon
  • Best for ages: 5-9

All Different Now tells the story of the first Juneteenth celebration with beautiful illustrations and through a perspective of a young girl.

Juneteenth for Mazie, by Floyd Cooper

Photo credit: Amazon
  • Best for ages: 6-9

Mazie is celebrating Freedom Day and while she’s tried hearing “no” from her father, he explains to her how her great-great-grandpa Mose heard no even more until he was finally free from slavery.

Juneteenth, by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Drew Nelson

Photo credit: Amazon
  • Best for ages: 7-10

Why was June 19, 1865 such a significant day for enslaved people in Texas? This picture book explains the significance of the Texas event and how it became a holiday celebrated nationally.

Juneteeth Jamboree, by Carole Boston Weatherford

Photo credit: Amazon
  • Best for ages: 8-12

Cassie joins her family to a Juneteenth celebration in their community. There, she learns more about the Texas tradition and why it took so long for enslaved people in the state to hear the news of the Emancipation Proclamation.

This post was originally published in 2020 and is updated regularly.

Follow Metro Parent on Instagram.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -


Family Fun Things to Do This Weekend in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Looking for some family fun? Check out our list of events and other things to do this weekend.

Metro Parent’s Top Posts of the Week

MetroParent.com is loaded with great info for parents. Here, we've listed the best of the best posted this week for you to thumb through at your convenience.

How to Handle Parenting When One Parent Undermines the Other

Parenting is hard enough without your partner contradicting what you do. Find out how undermining your child's other parent can hurt your kid and how to handle it if it happens to you.

Celebrating Juneteenth With Kids

Juneteenth — aka Freedom Day — falls on June 19 and celebrates the abolition of slavery in America. Here are some ways you can celebrate Juneteenth with kids.

- Advertisement -