On the heels of returning to school from a long holiday break comes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—yet another holiday and another day off work and school for many (let freedom ring!). Instead of hanging at home or spending the day plugged in, remember the iconic civil rights leader by reflecting and serving. Read on for 10 ways to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. King, guaranteed to inspire your kids and you, too.

northwest african american museum

photo: Northwest African American Museum Facebook page

1. Take the fam to the Northwest African American Museum to learn about the legacy of Dr. King and his “I Have a Dream” speech.

2. Garfield High School will host a slew of events honoring Dr. King. Enjoy family workshops, guest speakers and a rally and participate in a march to the Federal Building.

3. Did someone say free admission? In celebration of Dr. King’s legacy, the Washington State History Museum is offering free admission all day and a special MLK program with the artists from the Onyx Fine Art Collective.

Washinton State History Museum

photo: Jeff C. via Yelp

4. Take the kids to the Seattle Children’s Museum to learn about the legacy of Dr. King through special activities and a MLK story time.

5. Join hundreds of other families at the City of Tacoma’s signature event – the 28th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration – to celebrate Jan. 18 as a day on, not a day off. The event will include music, dance, poetry, guest speakers and a community service award ceremony.

6. Volunteer with the Nature Consortium and help restore an important habitat in West Seattle while enjoying live music.


 photo: USACE HQ via flickr Creative Commons

7. Celebrates Dr. King’s role in the environmental justice movement by exploring one of our state’s three National Parks for free!

8. If you can’t make it to a National Park, enjoy a Washington State park for free. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Discover Passes will not be required to visit.

9. Help spruce up Tacoma’s parks alongside other volunteers and give back to the community through a day of service. After, head over to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to check out the many indoor exhibits.

urban forest restoration

photo: Brietta Tatro

10. Start your morning off with the 4th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast. Hear from Dr. John Perkins and the award-winning University Presbyterian Church Gospel and find out who will win this year’s Mountaintop Awards.

How do you and your family plan to celebrate MLK Day? Tell us in the Comments below. 

— Kristina Moy