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 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.

Looking for even more fun things to do with your kids this weekend and beyond? Check out our online calendar for even more family fun! 

Local events

Little girl with paint on her hands
Photo credit: iStock

Looking for a fun event that is designed for your child’s needs? We’ve got you covered with art programming, movie nights, dances and other fun activities made for kids with sensory processing disorders and other special needs.

Sensory Sensitive Sundays 

May 1-Dec. 4, 2022

  • Address: Select Chuck E. Cheese locations
  • Cost: Free

Kids who have sensory processing disorders enjoy two hours of sensory-friendly open play on the first Sunday of each month.

Adaptive Judo

May 3-Dec. 27, 2022

Every Tuesday, people with special needs can enjoy a Judo class taught by a certified USJF black belt. Wear long sleeve sweats tops and bottoms.

Adaptive Yoga

July 5-Aug. 16, 2022 (no class on Aug. 9)

The class will involve yoga poses, deep relaxation, breathing exercises and interactive games to promote social interaction. Wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring your own yoga mat. For ages 13-plus.

Adaptive Mixed Style Dance Class

July 11-Aug. 15, 2022

Join Ms. Erica for an adaptive mixed style fun class. This class will be a combination of line dancing, hip hop, jazz and more.

Movie Night Out

July 20 & Aug. 10, 2022

Teens with special needs enjoy an evening of movies at this once-monthly event at Emagine Rochester Hills. Movies and theater times are based on the current theater schedule. Pre-registration required. Spots are limited. For ages 14-plus.

Introduction to Theatre

July 25, 2022

Learn about acting, singing and dancing during with a class that will be taught by Open Spot Theatre. It’s designed for people with disabilities. Registration required.

Diner’s Club

Aug. 1, 2022

  • Address: Locations TBD; check website
  • Cost: $6/evening

On one Monday a month, persons with special needs will be able to enjoy a meal with friends at various local restaurants. Participants will pay for their own meal, beverage and tip at the restaurant. Spots are very limited, so make sure to pre-register early. For ages 14 and up.

Friendship Circle of Michigan’s Walk4Friendship

Aug. 28, 2022

This annual family walk raises crucial funds and community awareness for Friendship Circle and individuals with special needs. This year’s Walk4Friendship theme is “Built on Friendship.” The walk will celebrate the belief that everyone deserves friendship and belonging.

Family support and information

Photo credit: Marcos Elihu Castillo Ramirez

Raising a kid with special needs comes with a different set of challenges for families. Find support and get much-needed information to help you meet your child’s needs at these local events.

  • Are you looking for support in raising your child with autism? The Autism Alliance of Michigan showcases workshops on topics like ableism, peer support and much more on their website.
  • The Macomb-Oakland Regional Center offers tons of fun activities for kids with special needs alongside support groups and informational sessions. Check out their list of events for more.

More activities

Kid playing on a toy indoors
Photo credit: iStock

Not sure you want to leave the house? Have some fun at home, instead! Check out the sensory-friendly activities listed in our roundups below. They’re perfect fun for kids with special needs.

  • Keep your kids entertained with an engaging sensory bin. Check out this list of easy, cheap and fun sensory bin ideas to find one that your child will love.
  • Fun activities to try at home? Yes, please! From a family cook-off to crafts or a dance party, these 8 indoor activities has kids of all abilities covered.
  • Coloring is great fun for everyone and there are plenty of free coloring sheets for all interests. Download options from Detroit Parks, The Detroit Zoo, Crayola, Disney on Ice, MLB and more.
  • Kids have a lot of fun at their local playground, but not every playground meets every child needs. Kids with limited physical mobility or special needs find traditional playground fun at these local barrier-free spots.
  • Want to visit your favorite local attraction with your kids? Get details on museums, playgrounds and other spots that reserve time for guests with sensory processing disorders.

This post is updated regularly.

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