This weekend is a long one in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebrate the life of Dr. King in grand style at the Kingdom Parade on Saturday. Be entertained and dazzled when you watch a myriad of cultures from the Middle East come together to make beautiful music, or by a larger-than-life dragon show. Get out in the sunshine and build a sand snowman, or go out at night for some mountain star gazing. You can even try your hand at panning for gold or celebrate the birthday of one of our most inventive founding fathers in an “electric” way. And be sure to check out our extra tips below for cool ways to spend your Monday holiday!

Los Angeles

Kingdom Day Parade
The Kingdom Day Parade is the largest in the country honoring the late Dr. King, with over 150 floats (more than the Rose Parade!) as well as marching bands, military units, dance groups and horses. After the parade you can join the all day festival with music, dancing, delicious food and performances. Sat., 10:15 am – 1:00 pm. South Central. Free. All ages. Event details.

World City: Middle East Music & Dance
If one of your resolutions was to introduce the kids to more cultures and traditions from around the world then this concert, featuring Arabic, Jewish and Christian performers is educational, inspirational and a definite must-see. Sat., 11:00 am & 12:30 pm. Downtown. Free. All ages. Event details.


Build a Sand Snowman
We may not get snow, but Los Angeles is never without sand!  Spend a day at the beach building “snowmen” out of sand while learning about beach ecology. Sat., 11:00 am – 12:30 pm. Malibu. Free. All ages. Event details.


Pan for Gold
Everyone knows the Gold Rush started up north… or did it? Learn all about gold; gold’s properties, how it got to Earth, gold mining techniques and if gold was ever found around here. Sun., 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm. Pasadena. $7, plus museum admission. Ages 5-10. Event details.


Winter Sky Star Party
It’s a family-friendly astronomy presentation and a constellation tour, where kids can view night sky objects through telescopes – not to mention keeping warm by dancing to a little music and enjoying some cocoa. Sat., 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Agoura Hills. Free. All ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive

How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular
Dragons and Vikings and acrobats – oh my! State-of-the-art animatronic dragons interact, Viking warriors and world-class circus acrobats transport kids into a mythical world of fire-breathing dragons who soar overhead. Fri.-Sun., Various times. Anaheim. $25.50-$75.50. Ages 3+. Event details.

Ben Franklin’s Electric Birthday
Celebrate Founding Father Ben Franklin’s Birthday with cake, printing activities and a family show about the inventive Mr. F. Sat., 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Carson. $7-$8. Ages 4+. Event details.

And don’t forget the Monday holiday! School is out, work is closed, and you just might be looking for a special way to celebrate as a family. Some of our favorite museums have special events, so you can head for history and celebration at the California African American Museum, art and music at LACMA’s free day, or kid-centric fun at either of the two best kids museums around: Kidspace or Pretend City. Have a wonderful holiday.

How are you spending the long weekend? Let us know – get talking in the comments below.

— Meghan Rose