Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is Monday, January 21. No school for this important holiday means your kids have a chance to honor and explore Dr. King’s inspiring legacy through family activities. Read on for the best MLK happenings in Chicago!

photo: Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry’s Black Creativity Innovation Studio
Celebrate science on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, with the Museum of Science and Industry’s newest exhibit, Black Creativity innovation Studio. Learn how African-Americans are remaking Chicago and inspiring the next generation by discovering scientists, engineers, tech professionals and healthcare leaders transforming our city. You’ll also have the chance to show your inventive genius when you turn everyday materials into solutions for bigger challenges using design thinking and the innovation process. Design your own prototype and test it out in the studio.

Jan. 21-Feb. 24; 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Included with museum admission
Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Hyde Park
Online: msichicago.org

photo: Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry’s Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition
Established in 1970, the Museum of Science and Industry’s Juried Art Exhibition is the nation’s longest-running exhibition of African-American Art, presenting more than 100 works of art from emerging and established African American artists. The exhibition is just one part of the Museum’s Black Creativity program which showcases achievements in scientific, artistic and technical fields by African-Americans.

Jan. 14-Feb. 24; 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Included with museum admission
Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Hyde Park
Online: msichicago.org

Chicago Sinfonietta’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert
Chicago Sinfonetta’s MLK Tribute Concert, a cherished Sinfonietta tradition since its founding in 1987, celebrates the life, legacy and vision of Dr. King through a diverse program featuring symphonic masterworks and gospel music. This year’s performance includes a spoken word performance of Dr. King speeches you won’t want to miss.

Jan. 20; 3 p.m.
Wentz Concert Hall
North Central College
171 E. Chicago Ave.
Naperville

Jan. 21; 7:30 p.m.
Orchestra Hall of Symphony Center
220 S. Michigan Ave.
Loop

Cost: $10-$75
Online: chicagosinfonietta.org

photo: courtesy of Rowland Scherman

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the Chicago History Museum
Commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Chicago History Museum’s day-long family event. The Writers Theatre will present The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights, see a performance by the Chicago Chamber Choir and little ones can learn more about Dr. King’s legacy of peace and justice with storytelling and crafts.

Jan. 21; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Included with admission, free admission for IL residents
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark St.
Lincoln Park
Online: chicagohistory.org

photo: Chicago History Museum via Maria Chambers

Chicago History Museum’s Remembering Dr. King
Remembering Dr. King is a collection of 25 photographs depicting key moments in Dr. King’s work during the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit places a special emphasis on his time in Chicago shedding light on the existence of discrimination and segregation. the abysmal state of housing and the realities of poverty in the north.

Ongoing through March 2020
Cost: Included with admission, free admission for IL residents
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark St.
Lincoln Park
Online: chicagohistory.org

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Night Coming Tenderly, Black
Find your way through the past and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on this special day at the Art Institute of Chicago. Visit the exhibition Night Coming Tenderly, Black featuring photographs by Chicago artist Dawoud Bey. Take an enlightening journey through the museum and explore the idea of freedom through creative art making and collaborative activities with artists, musicians, poets and families from across Chicago.

Jan. 21; 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Admission to Ryan Education Center and to the museum is always free for ages 14 & under
Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave.
Grant Park
Online: arctic.edu

photo: Chicago Children’s Museum

What Does It Mean, Dr. King? at the Chicago Children’s Museum
What Does It Mean, Dr. King? is a musical that invites families to investigate the Civil Rights movement. Little ones will be asked what they would have done if faced with some of the situations that took place during the Civil Rights Movement, including the Montgomery bus boycott, the integration of a New Orleans elementary school by six-year-old Ruby Bridges and the March on Washington where Dr. King delivered his iconic I Have a Dream speech. At the end of the 20-minute show, kids can write their own letter to King, sharing what they’ve learned and asking questions of their own.

Jan. 21; 11 a.m., 2 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Cost: Free with museum admission ($14.95/children & adults; free for ages 1 & under)
Chicago Children’s Museum
700 E. Grand Ave.
Navy Pier
Online: chicagochildrensmuseum.org

Celebration at DuSable Museum of African American History
Home to hundreds of artifacts from the Civil Rights Movement, Chicago’s DuSable Museum of African American History celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a day dedicated to his life and lasting impact. King Day 2019: Celebrating the Dream features music, lectures, performances and crafts for the entire family to enjoy.

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Jan. 21; 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Cost: Free
740 E. 56th Pl.
South Side
Online: dusablemuseum.org

— Amy Bizzarri