Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is Monday, January 20. 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 Family Day
To celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the start of MSI’s Black Creativity programming, Super Heroic CEO and co-founder Jason Mayden will be a part of Family Day on January 20, a free day for Illinois residents. Super Heroic’s mission is to ensure children believe in their abilities, and Mayden will lead kids in making their own superhero identity as they create superhero origin stories and leave with capes.

Jan. 20; 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., Hyde Park
Online: msichicago.org

Museum of Science and Industry’s Black Creativity: 50 Years
MSI is introducing Black Creativity: 50 Years, a new exhibit that tells the story of the program’s significant moments and Chicagoans whose work pushed boundaries, including Charles Harrison, the designer of the View-Master, and Black Creativity founding collaborators Chicago Defender photographer Robert (Bobby) A. Sengstacke and artist Douglas A. Williams.

Jan. 20-Mar. 1.; 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
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. 20-Mar. 1.; 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., Hyde Park
Online: msichicago.org

Dr. King: a Celebration of Unity & Peace
In honor of the birth and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Watoto Whiz has created an educational and fun workshop. Take your whiz kid to learn about Dr. King and participate in activities promoting unity, peace and working together.

Jan. 11; 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Hall Library, 4801 S. Michigan Ave., Grand Boulevard
Online: eventbrite.com

photo: Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry’s Black Creativity Innovation Studio
Use design thinking to build an invention that helps a superhero! On weekdays, school groups are invited to learn how to create a prototype and get hands-on to invent their own devices. The Innovation Studio also spotlights African-American leaders in STEM fields who are transforming Chicago. Open to the public on weekends.

Jan. 20-Mar. 1; Sat. & Sun., 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., Hyde Park
Online: msichicago.org

Chicago Sinfonietta’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert
Leading the nation in programming works by women and diverse, under-represented composers, Chicago Sinfonietta, the nation’s most diverse orchestra, presents its annual MLK Tribute Concert, celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through family, equity and the encouragement to execute positive change.

Jan. 19; 3 p.m.
Wentz Concert Hall, North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville

Jan. 20; 7:30 p.m.
Orchestra Hall of Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Loop
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. 20; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park
Online: chicagohistory.org

Cradles to Crayons Donation Drive
Cradles to Crayons invites Chicagoland families to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day by donating new or gently-used children’s items at one of their more than 25 pop-up drop-off locations. The nonprofit organization provides essentials such as clothing, coats, books and toys to ensure all children, regardless of their socio-economic status, have what they need to feel safe, warm and valued.

Jan. 20; 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Various drop-off locations
Online: cradlestocrayons.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
Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park
Online: chicagohistory.org

photo: Chicago Children’s Museum

What Does It Mean, Dr. King? at the Chicago Children’s Museum
What was the civil rights movement and what does it mean for kids today? Take a journey back in time and learn about freedom through interactive theater and songs.

Jan. 20; 10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.
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 2020: Focused on Freedom features music, lectures, performances and arts & crafts for the entire family to enjoy.

Jan. 20; 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
DuSable Museum, 740 E. 56th Pl.. South Side
Online: dusablemuseum.org

— Amy Bizzarri & Maria Chambers

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