Where to Celebrate MLK Day 2018



Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kiddos about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, enjoy live entertainment that pays tribute to his legacy, or join a special event to observe the occasion, these recommendations will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: January 15
Admission: Just your time

If you want to volunteer on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service, there are many ways and places you can do so around the area. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family.

ConSERVE DC
Where: Anacostia Park | Southeast DC
When: January 15, 9am – 12pm
Admission: Just your time

Join the Student Conservation Association as they gather to ConSERVE DC this MLK Day by mobilizing the next generation of community stewards to help restore our public lands. Join hundreds of volunteers for a massive cleanup of the Anacostia River and to honor the legacy of Dr. King and connect the issues of social and environmental justice as we help to improve the health of DC’s urban waterfront. We joined this event last year, and it was a great experience for all of us! And Monday’s event will kick-off the Year of the Anacostia, celebrating Anacostia Park’s 100th anniversary on the waterfront.

More Family Volunteer Ops
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Ongoing
Admission: Just your time

For more places to volunteer as a family that aren’t included in the official MLK Day of Service database, this KFDC post has suggestions. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

MLK Day Celebration
Where: Woodridge Library | Woodridge, DC
When: January 15
Admission: Free

Children aged 2-12 are and families are invited to join DC Public Libraries for a day-long celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and lasting work. They’ll be showing Our Friend, Martin at 10:30am and Separate Is Never Equal at 2:30pm in the Children’s Nook. Guests will also receive a seed starting kit (supplies limited).

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Gardens | Dowell, MD
When: January 13-15, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with community art activities. Each year on this weekend, Annmarie invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. The 2018 MLK Days project is a mixed media painting led by visiting artist Dawn Tree based off the image of Martin Luther King Jr. Inspiration will come from Dr. King as well as the children’s book “Walking with the King,” written by Tree’s mother Jocelyn Scales, who marched with King while attending college in the 60’s. There will also be coloring and more art activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Visit Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: January 15 (and ongoing)
Admission: Free

Pay tribute to Dr. King at places that honor his legacy. Visit the MLK Memorial, a powerful and poignant site along the Tidal Basin. From there, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and see if you can find his words etched in the stone there. For a guided walking tour that includes those locations, check out DC by Foot, which offers name-your-own-price tour options.

I Have a Dream Weekend Celebration
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: January 13-15
Admission: $15.95/ages 2 & up

Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy through hands-on educational activities exploring African-American history and heritage during Port Discovery’s “I Have a Dream Weekend.” Join in a variety of interactive programs designed to educate, inspire and help children of all ages to understand the impact Martin Luther King, Jr. made on America and the world. Learn about the history of Afircan Amrican in baseball with the Negro League Baseball, create quilt squares with the Baltimore African-American Quilters Guild, make a birthday card, enjoy a birthday tribute by The Kindersinger, and more fun festivities. See the website for a schedule of activities.

MLK Dare to Dream Day
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: January 15, 10am -6pm
Admission: Free

It’s a celebration in honor of the life and dreams of one of the greatest visionaries in America’s history. Join for guided tours, birthday cake, music, workshops, and special performances at this FREE, fun-filled day! See the latest exhibition, The Great Mystery Show and tour the entire wonderland campus. Read more about the wonderful AVAM here.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Tribute & Celebration
Where: Strathmore | Bethesda, MD
When: January 16, 3:30pm
Admission: Free, but tickets are required

Montgomery County celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s life through dramatic readings, music, and dance performances. This will be the first time in many years the holiday falls on his actual birthday, making this program particularly significant, with very special entertainment including a choral performance by the civil rights iconic Carlton Reese Memorial Unity Choir from Birmingham, Alabama. Free tickets are required for this event, and will be distributed onsite the day of the performance. Limit four tickets per household.

KanKouran West African Dance Company
Where: Dance Place | Brookland, DC
When: January 13, 8pm & January 14, 4pm
Admission: $15-30 (1 child free with adult paid ticket)

KanKouran West African Dance Company returns to Dance Place for their annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., presenting its new work BOLO, which means “Bridge of Togetherness” in Wolof. The performance will take audiences on a breathtaking journey into the influence that African dance and culture has had on contemporary dance styles and how today’s choreographers are now reaching back to bring an African influence into their work.

MLK Parade, Peace Walk, & Fair
Where: Throughout SE & SW DC
When: January 15
Admission: Free

Commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. on a peace walk and parade along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. The Peace Walk begins at 10am at 2500 MLK Ave SE and ends at the Barry Farm Recreation Center. The MLK Parade will commence at noon from Good Hope Road near the Anacostia Park entrance and continue up MLK Avenue to the Barry Farm Recreation Center, where the MLK Holiday DC Health & Community Fair will be underway will be underway. All ages are welcome to join.

Let Freedom Ring!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: January 15, 6pm
Admission: Free

At this annual performance in honor of MLK Day, the Kennedy Center and Georgetown University host a musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This year the concert will feature a special concert by Vanessa Williams and the Let Freedom Ring Choir. Free tickets will be given away up to two per person in line in the Hall of Nations starting at 4:30pm on a first-come, first-served basis.


Leave a Comment

Filed under 2018, All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Holidays, Indoor Play, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Park, Special Event, Virginia, Volunteer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *