Living in the DMV means extra-special opportunities and ways to celebrate Martin Luther King Day (January 21). Here in the District the whole family can get involved in events, acts of service and edutainment that is fun for tiny tykes and grown ups alike. Here are our top picks on commemorating MLK day in 2019.

6314757763_ee34a931a3_zPhoto: Mark Haller via Flickr

“Let Freedom Ring” Concert

Get ready to sing and dance with your toe-tapping happy tyke. The Kennedy Center is proud to present its annual free concert that is open to everyone, any age. Find your seat with your plus two (two tickets per person) with Tony, Grammy and Oscar-nominated stars Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra McDonald as they take the Millennium Stage on the evening of January 21, 2019.

When: Jan. 21, 4:30 pm for tickets and show begins at 6 pm

Peace Walk & Parade
Everyone loves a parade and on January 21, the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade starts its annual peace walk on MLK avenue and Milwaukee Place. This Anacostia parade is a tradition that started in 1968 and is still going strong today. Register to be in the event or simply sit on the side lines and take in the message, the moments and the Ballou Marching Band as well as community representatives displaying musical acts, dancers and a display of groups still fighting for equal rights.

Martin Luther King Jr. Parade
When: Jan. 21, 9 am-3 pm

MLK Day of Service
What started in 1994 continues today with the city’s eight wards participating in over 1300 acts of service to honor Dr. King’s legacy as a civil rights activist and leader. From Serve D.C., to Volunteer Fairfax and more there are events throughout the city, Maryland and Virginia that invite you and your tiny tots to work for the greater good. Find one near you or create your own event with your loved ones during the MLK weekend.

Day of Service


Photo: Anna via flickr

Annual Birthday Celebration and Tribute

Who doesn’t love a good birthday celebration? Head over to the Strathmore for music, theatrical performances, audiovisual elements and more with this fun for all ages event. Tickets are available at the door and are all general admission. Go early to nab a great seat.

Birthday Tribute & Celebration
When: Jan. 21, 3 pm
Strathmore Music Center
5301 Tuckerman Ln. (North Bethesda, MD)

National Parks Free Days
If you are an adventure loving family and you love FREE then head to the national parks. MLK day marks the first day of entrance fee-free days to National Parks. Bonus: There are a slew of them in the DMV.

When: Jan. 21, all day

Photo: Frank Tellez via flickr

Baltimore Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade
Whether Baltimore is a closer drive or you’re looking for something slightly out of town, check out Baltimore’s parade. More than 50 different bands, dance squads, civic organizations and more gather to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. along the streets of Baltimore.

When: Jan. 21, parade begins at 12 p.m.

A Tribute to Dr. King
Songs and stories come together in this celebration of King’s legacy which ends with everyone assembled making a mutual commitment to reconciliation. While not necessarily a great choice for little-little ones, the stories, songs, and theme of reconciliation offer important perspective for older kids, and for yourself.

When: Jan. 20 at 4 p.m.
National Cathedral
3101 Wisconsin Ave., NW

Volunteer Fairfax
Start them young. It is one of the best ways to teach wee ones about the values of volunteering and giving back to their community. Volunteer Fairfax does just that with their “day on, not a day off” mentality on MLK Day. This teachable opportunity gives families the chance to work on service projects with the preschool and elementary set that are both hands-on and fun.

When: Jan. 21


—Victoria Mason