This weekend starts with superstition and ends with inspiration. Friday is the 13th, but it’s a lucky one that brings us a long weekend in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition to peace and unity celebrations all weekend long, there are also lots of diverse things to explore: from monster trucks to princesses on stage, a pedal punk circus to Ben Franklin’s birthday and even sleeping with the fishes (in the safest, possible way!).

06 Pedal Punk5_Cirque Mechanics_(c)Zach Mahone

Downtown

Toyota Symphonies for Youth: The Planets
Discover the inspiring parallels between music and science as the LA Phil takes kids on a journey through the solar system with Gustav Holst’s musical portraits of the planets. Sat. Event details.

Kingdom Day Parade
This is the largest parade in the country honoring the late Dr. King with over 150 floats (more than the Rose Parade!) as well as marching bands, military units, dance groups and horses. After the parade you can join a day-long festival. This year’s theme is “Now More Than Ever, We All Must Work Together.” Mon. Event details.

Mid-City

LACMA Free Day
Celebrate MLK Day at the museum with live flamenco music, free bilingual tours, programs and family sketching activities. Mon. Event details.

San Gabriel Valley

Unity Days at Kidspace
Celebrate the message of Martin Luther King, Jr. by building multi-cultural sculptures, add handprints to a giant peace mural, sharing hope for the world on “dream boards” and creating a giant unity chain. Sat.-Mon. Event details.

Bookworms in the Garden
Enjoy plant & nature stories and a take-home craft under the story tree in the Arboretum. This month’s topic is What’s Underground: Roots. Sat. Event details.

Westside

Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punks
This show is a steampunk-inspired acrobatic whirlwind where cycling is the escape from technology obsessed society, as a zany bike shop mechanic helps cyclists repair more than broken bikes. Fri. Event details.

South Bay

Ben Franklin’s Electric Birthday
It’s Ben Franklin’s birthday, and you can learn all about his life and inventions with a live show and activities (like using the antique printing press and making an almanac). And cake! Sat. Event details.

Fujiyama Ichiban Festival
Catch a Japanese style super hero show, movie and meet & greet. Sun. Event details.

Long Beach

Sleepover at the Aquarium
Sleep with the fishes! Grab sleeping bags for an overnight adventure at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Discover bioluminescence, touch marine animals, have a scavenger hunt and take a tour of the aquarium in the dark, using special lights. Fri.-Sat. Event details.

San Fernando Valley

Snow White on Stage
This fast-talking, funny adaptation uses puppets, magic, and sword-fighting to tell the famous tale of a beautiful girl who fights the powers of a Wicked Queen. Sun. Event details.

Worth the Drive

A Monster Jam with Monster Trucks
The Monster Jam is a high-flying, car-crushing explosive event of demolition, speed and stunts that make an awesome spectacle of dirt-flying, high-energy fun for those that like cars (or destruction!). Sat. Event details.

Take A Scenic Train Ride
All aboard for a ride on a real working train that stops in historic downtown Santa Paula. Sat. Event details.

What are you doing with your long weekend? We’d love to know! And if you’re looking for more ways to celebrate MLK Day, look no further.

—Meghan Rose