The kids just got back in school, but another day off is on the horizon. The city (and the country) observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 15 this year. Celebrate, remember and relax with kids — the weekend before or the day of — at one of these events honoring American hero Dr. King. There’s something for everyone here, and options in every borough!
photo: via MCS Facebook page
Join a Commemorative March at Manhattan Country School
In 1966, the philosophies of Dr. King inspired the creation of an independent school where equality, social justice, and a diverse community would form the basis for children’s education. Every year on Martin Luther King Day, the MCS eighth graders lead a march of students, teachers, parents, alumni, friends and the general public on a route they create themselves, followed by speeches and the singing of freedom songs. This year’s parade, with the theme of “A New Revolution: Youth and Social Change,” will start at 10 a.m. at the Eleanor Roosevelt Monument (Riverside Park at 72nd Street) and end at 2 p.m. at the school t on 150 W. 85th Street. Follow the event’s developments on the dedicated Facebook page or the hashtag #MCSMLKMarch on Twitter!
Mon., Jan 15, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
490 Riverside Dr.
photo: via Mary Mary Facebook page
Celebrate the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with Gospel
Join three of the leading voices in gospel for a joyful celebration at NJPAC. Singers Mary Mary (Grammy-Award winning sister duo Tina and Erica Campbell) and Tasha Cobbs hit the stage to sing the priases of Dr. King and his work.
Fri., Jan. 12, 8 p.m.
NJPAC Prudential Hall
1 Center St.
photo: via CMOM Facebook page
Celebrate with special programs at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan
Stop by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan on, Saturday, Sunday or Monday for programs and events celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy. Honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Take part in the annual Martin’s Mosaic—a community art installation—and create a children’s book in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King. Join the call and response spoken-word that accompanies the fast foot movements of the Double Dutch Dreamz. Singer Lia Holman shares the history of African American Music from past to present through song in a musical performance. Finally, make art and build power as you explore activism and the role you can play when the Museum of Impact visits the Children’s Museum.
Jan. 13-15, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
212 W. 83rd St.
Upper West Side
photo: via MCNY Facebook page/Cindy Trinh
King in New York
The Museum of the City of New York is hosting a special family day at its exhibit, King in New York, which looks at the leader’s times in the city in the 1950s and 60s as he fought for racial freedom and equality.
To learn more about people fighting for change, check out the museum’s exhibit Activist New York to explore activists today centered on the Black Lives Matter Movement. Visitors can take inspiration from the Civil Rights Movement through today and create their own protest poster to inspire positive change on an issue.
Family programs are free with Museum admission and for members, geared to families with children ages 6-12 years old, and include a snack. Activities are designed for adults and children to complete together. Registration suggested but not required.
Mon., Jan 15, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Museum of the City of New York
1220 5th Ave. & 103rd St.
Online: mcny.org nyhistory.org
photo: Dimenna Children’s History Museum
MLK Jr. Day Storytime at Dimenna Children’s History Museum
In honor of the New-York Historical Society’s exhibition The Vietnam War: 1945–1975, the museum is holding a special MLK Day storytime. The event, recommend for kids ages eight and up, is a read-aloud of Walter Dean Myers’ children’s book Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam, which tells the story of a black soldier in Vietnam encountering, and rethinking, his enemy.
Mon., Jan. 15. 2 p.m.
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West at 77th St.
Upper West Side
photo: Schomburg Center for Research via Facebook
Attend the 6th Annual Black Comic Book Festival at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
For Martin Luther King Day, this Harlem branch of the New York Public Library is hosting a free, child-friendly Black Comic Book Festival on Friday, Jan. 12 and Saturday, Jan. 13 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Pre-register to enjoy exhibitions, panel discussions, demonstrations and meet premiere black comic book artists from across the country. Plus: Cosplay and lots of cool merch!
Jan. 12 & 13, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
515 Malcolm X Blvd.
photo: Wave Hill/Joshua Bright
Create a Freedom Quilt at Wave Hill
Though closed on the actual holiday, Wave Hill will be celebrating Dr. King on Saturday and Sunday, with the Family Art Project of creating personal Freedom Quilts.
In 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. visited the Gee’s Bend Community in rural Alabama and the Freedom Quilting Bee was established. These now-famous quilts would later go on to fund aspects of the community’s freedom. Create your own brilliant, improvisational compositions out of bountiful squares of donated fabric, just for the joy of it and to honor Dr. King’s birthday and the inspiring women quilters of Gee’s Bend.
Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.
Sat., Jan. 13 & Sun. Jan. 14, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
W 249th St. and Independence Ave.
photo: Matthew Hunt via Flickr
Celebrate with Stories and Songs at the Queens Library
The Queens Library is celebrating Dr. King with events such as games, crafts, and discussions at branches throughout the borough — click here to see what’s happening at the brand near you.
The Central Branch of the Queens Library will be holding a free educational celebration with the Freedom Fighters from the East Harlem Repertory Theatre.
Sat., Jan 13, 1 – 3 p.m.
89-11 Merrick Blvd.
photo: Amy N. via Yelp
Enjoy free admission at the Staten Island Children’s Museum
Free at last, free at last, thank God, almighty, the Staten Island Children’s Museum is free at last! (They won’t be charging admission on Mon., Jan. 15 when the kids are out of school.) Visitors can also celebrate the holiday by adding to the museum’s “Cloud Wall of Dreams” from 1 – 4 p.m.; pick up a timed ticket at the front desk.
1000 Richmond Terrace
photo: via Brooklyn Children’s Museum Facebook page
Create and Learn at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum
The museum’s MLK, Jr.: I Have a Dream Celebration is over three days of culture and fun. Activities include a children’s march, drag queen story hour, creating an interactive handprint mural, writing letters for change and lots more!
Jan. 13 – 15, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m
145 Brooklyn Ave.
photo: via Prospect Park Alliance Facebook page
Sing Freedom Songs and Be Active at Prospect Park
Join the Prospect Park Alliance on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for family-friendly activities. At the Audubon House from noon – 4 p.m, learn about nature, including local birds and park plants.
At 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., visit the Lefferts Historic House for Freedom Songs and Stories with Tammy Hall (free, but advance registration is required; suggested donation $3.)
Tammy Hall: Mon., Jan. 16, 2 & 3 p.m.
Lefferts Historical House
Nature Exploration at Prospect Park Audubon Center, Noon – 4 p.m.
How are you celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this year?
— Gretchen Kunz & Alina Adams