Given the recent events at the Capitol, there is a Public Emergency Order in place until 1/21/21 which may impact in-person events. Stay safe & call ahead to confirm all in-person events are still happening as scheduled. If events are canceled, check out this list of virtual MLK events or consider a day of service from home using some of these ideas for giving back

This weekend we honor the late, great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. We’ve rounded up a number of ways to celebrate the man, from participating in a community service project to marching in a parade. You don’t need to venture out to kick off MLK day. We also found inspiring virtual events, like a write-your-own song workshop and a quilting lesson with the Freedom Quilting Bee to fill your holiday weekend. Scroll down for more things to do over this holiday break.

photo: Dinh Pham via Unsplash


Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. with Acts of Service
Honor the civil rights leader this holiday weekend by volunteering as a family. You can rid Rock Creek Park of invasive species or find another local opportunity on the National Service website. Activity details. 

Sign Up for a Pen Pal
Letter writing is a great way for kids of all ages to develop long-term writing skills. We rounded up 10 different programs (here) to make finding a pen pal easier. Activity details. 

Press Play on these Kid-Friendly Netflix Shows
Cuddle up for some serious family time with one of Netflix’s new movies or TV series. Grab the movie snacks and great ready to enjoy a classic, like Hook featuring Robin Williams or check out a Netflix original, like Charming. We rounded up the latest offerings here. Activity details. 


Make a Quilt in Honor of MLK
In 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited the Gee’s Bend Community in rural Alabama, and the Freedom Quilting Bee was established. Create your own out of bountiful squares of fabric scraps, honoring Dr. King’s birthday and the inspiring women quilters of Gee’s Bend. Sat. Event details. 

Write Your Own Song
Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement he led inspired songs promoting freedom and justice, including Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” and Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.” In this introductory workshop, join a museum educator on Zoom to write a song as a group. Participants will share ideas and write an original song inspired by the Civil Rights Movement. Sat. Event details. 

Create a Snow Collage
Get into some wintery, messy fun with snow collages to celebrate the winter season! Shaving cream, glue, collage objects and cardboard will form the basis of our winter wonderlands. Sat. Event details. 

Take in a Virtual Puppet Show
Fans of the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre can enjoy their puppets from the comforts of home. The City Parks Foundation’s website features a free digital program from Open House New York and the first ever family-friendly Puppet Slam, full puppet shows from the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, fun educational activities for kids to learn more about the Cottage and marionette puppetry, DIY puppet tutorials using household objects, and crafty coloring pages courtesy of the Cottage. Fri. Event details. 

Go on a Field Trip Online 
Join Fort Nisqually Factor’s House staff for a virtual walk through and holiday visit. View the house in 3-D and learn details about historical objects and museum collections. Walk room to room while listening to music from Fort Nisqually’s talented volunteer musicians. Fri. Event details. 

—Meghan Yudes Meyers