Dream Day! MLK Day Activities for Families in Atlanta

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is Monday, January 18, and there’s no better place to honor and explore Dr. King’s legacy than in his birthplace—Atlanta! And, with school officially cancelled for this important holiday, your family can explore our city’s Civil Rights landmarks, engage in activities at home, and find ways to be of service. Keep reading for the best MLK happenings in Atlanta.

photo: iStock

Visit The National Center for Civil & Human Rights

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights believes in justice and dignity for all, and the power of people to make this idea real. They inspire visitors with immersive exhibitions, dynamic events and conversations, and engagement and education/training programs. Be sure to download their  “Across Generations” intergenerational conversation starter for you to use on your visit. 

100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. NW
Atlanta, GA
Online: civilandhumanrights.org

Hours: Thurs., Fri., & Sun. 12–5 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Admission: $16 per person


photo: iStock

Visit the MLK National Historical Park

What do you know about the Civil Rights Movement? Learn something new about the people from the past—famous and not so famous— who played a part in the movement. The Visitor Center, Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, and Freedom Hall are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The Birth Home is open for ranger-led tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Fire Station No. 6 is staffed by park volunteers and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. when volunteers are available. All sites are free to the public.

450 Auburn Ave., NE
Atlanta, Ga

Online: nps.gov

Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Note: In accordance with guidance from the CDC and recommendations from public health authorities, all buildings within the park are temporarily closed. Visitors are welcomed to park and take a self-guided tour of our campus until further notice. Click here for more details.

Admission: Free

photo: iStock

Head to a National Park for Free on MLK Park Day

Experience the national parks for free on Jan. 18 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Day, including these Georgia parks that normally charge an entrance fee: Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Cumberland Island National Seashore, Fort Pulaski National Monument, and Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

Multiple locations.
Online: nps.gov

Hours: Varies by park

Admission: Free

photo: iStock

Participate in MLK Day of Service

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 18, 2021, marks the 26th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. 

Multiple locations.
Online: handsonatlanta.org

photo: iStock

MLK Celebration at The Children's Museum

Join Children’s Museum of Atlanta, in collaboration with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, in a celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Explore his life and legacy on the Stage, at the Science Bar, and in the Creativity Café. The theme this year is Dreams for a Better World.

275 Centennial Olympic Park Dr. NW
Atlanta, GA
Online: childrensmuseumatlanta.org

Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, closed Wed.

Admission: $18.95 per person over age 1

MLK 5K & Drum Run at Stone Mountain 

Celebrate Martin Luther King Day in the spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood with fellowship and fitness.This 5K walk/run will take place entirely in Stone Mountain Park, with a 3.1 mile drumline all along the race course. The party starts at 8am. Let Freedom Run from Stone Mountain Georgia!

1000 Robert E Lee Blvd.
Stone Mountain, GA
Online: mlkday5k.com

Hours: Drum Run Starts: 9 a.m. with wave starts until 9:40 a.m.

Price: $35 runner registration; includes admission to Stone Mountain Park

Featured image via iStock.

—Shelley Massey


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