Perhaps Atlanta’s proudest claim to fame is that it’s the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Yes, MLK Day is a day off work and school for most (let freedom ring!), but it’s also a time to remember the iconic Civil Rights leader, reflect and serve—even for the small set. Here’s how to commemorate the life and work of Dr. King right here in his home town.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
Hands On Atlanta hosts an annual day of service devoted to Martin Luther King, Jr. Visit their website or call to find out service opportunities that may be appropriate for kids and families. Projects range from cleaning up parks and public spaces to delivering meals for Open Hand.
Multiple locations throughout the city, 404-979-2800
Hop Skip & Serve’s Families Day of Service
For the fifth year, this east Atlanta service organization invites kids and families to attend a day of service making sandwiches and collecting clothes and other items for the homeless. Sandwiches and donations will go to Safe House, Salvation Army and other homeless support service providers. Check out their website or Facebook page for more details and how you can help.
Charles R. Drew Charter School, 301 East Lake Blvd SE, 404-687-0001
Attend a Service:
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service
This service, held at Ebenezer Baptist Church located near The King Center, is the hallmark of the King Holiday Observance. The annual church service incorporates members of various religious traditions, and state national and international governments. You follow the service with a visit to the King Center. The Center will also be offering other special activities and events throughout the week.
Ebenezer Baptist Church, 407 Auburn Ave. NE, 404-688-7300, 10 a.m.
Visit a Museum:
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
Located next door to the King Center, the National Historic Site is operated by the National Park Service and offers exhibits and programs related to Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. You can visit the historic old sanctuary of Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King once preached, as well as his boyhood home. Admission is free. Home tours are limited and offered on a first-come, first-serve basis, so arrive early if you’d like to participate.
Children’s Museum of Atlanta
If your kids are a bit young for many MLK Day activities, consider spending some time at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta for their annual birthday celebration for Dr. King. Make a wall hanging and participate in other crafts and catch special programs related to King’s legacy.
Run a Race:
MLK Day 5K Run
Run to the beat of a drum line in this unique 5K through Piedmont Park. It’s open to all ages and proceeds benefit non-profits across Atlanta. There’s music and dancing before the race and a big post-race party to celebrate.
How will your family celebrate MLK day this year? Tell us below!