How do we have a long weekend again already? Actually, it’s perfect timing, as you’ve been missing those little stinkers now that they’re back at school and daycare. And since it’s MLK Day, the weekend is filled with parades, story times and activities that promote diversity, community and peace. It’s also Ben Franklin’s Birthday, there’s the “prospect” of an opera for kids, a new town for toddlers and a monster truck jam.

Toddler Town Market


There’s Opera Gold in The Prospector
Turns out, even very young kids aren’t too young for opera.  At least, not when it’s an LA Opera production for kids, like The Prospector, which is a rousing tale of California Gold Rush pioneers based on Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West. Sat., 10 a.m. Downtown. $15. Ages 4 & up. Event details.

Kingdom Day Parade
This is the largest parade in the country honoring the late Dr. King. There will be over 150 floats, bands, military units, dance groups and horses. After the parade you can join a festival with music, dancing, food and performances. Mon., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Exposition Park. Free. All ages. Event details.

Griffith Park

Visit Disney’s Barn
The Carolwood Barn was Walt Disney’s own “thinking place” and was moved from his Bel Air home to Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad.  It’s a (free!) little piece of Disney magic, right in the heart of LA, and it’s open the third Sunday of each month. Sun., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Griffith Park. Free. All ages. Event details.


LACMA Free Holiday-Day
Celebrate the holiday with a free day at LACMA that includes bilingual gallery tours, family sketching activities and live music & dancing by The California Feetwarmers. Mon., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Miracle Mile. Free. All ages. Event details.

San Gabriel Valley

Diversity Days at Kidspace
Celebrate a variety of cultures with performances and activities from all over the world: make Russian nesting dolls, participate in a Brazilian carnival procession, get messy in the grape stomping pool, decorate arms with Indian henna and more. Sat-Mon., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $11. Ages 1-10. Event details.


Hammer Time: Write Your Own Adventure
Imagine taking a trip to the Arctic or to the northern shores of Lake Superior. What would that look like? Writer Summer Block takes kids on a writing journey with landscape paintings by Lawren Harris. Sun., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Westwood. Free. Ages 5 & up. Event details.

South Bay

Toddler Town Opens at AdventurePlex
This healthy new play zone includes an interactive toddler-sized farm, market and beach house-each specially crafted to help introduce young ones to the organic farm-to-table nutrition cycle through imaginative play. It’s opening day, so there are lots of fun surprises and it’s all free. Sat., 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Manhattan Beach. Free. Ages 1-5. Event details.

Ben’s Electric B-Day
Celebrate Ben Franklin’s birthday with a show about his life, then learn to make an Almanac “the 18th century way” or hand print a Colonial keepsake using antique type and printing presses. Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Carson. $10-$12. Ages 4 & up. Event details.

Long Beach

The Peace and Unity Parade
Grab a curbside seat for display of floats and marching bands, then head to the park for loads of live music and a visit to Dreamland, an area dedicated to teaching kids to uphold the legacy of Dr. King, where there will be free carnival rides, arts & crafts and an entertainment stage just for kids. Sat., 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Long Beach. Free. All ages. Event details.

Orange County

Monster Truck Jam
Kids love trucks. Big trucks. Monster trucks. So take them to see a massive collection of the world’s best monster trucks battling it out in an awesome spectacle packed with dirt-flying, high-energy fun. Sat., 7 p.m. Anaheim. $10 & up. All ages. Event details.

If you’re looking for more ways to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we’ve got a whole host of ideas. Then share your peace and love filled pictures on Instagram!

—Meghan Rose

Photo credits: Toddler Town at AdventurePlex and the Hammer Museum