Tag Archives: Family Fun Northern Virginia

Where to Celebrate MLK Day Around the DC Area (2024)

 

Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kids about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., want to give back on the Day of Service, or hope to partake in another special activity to observe MLK Day, these ideas will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
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.  A good option for the whole gang is an outdoor volunteer clean-up at a local park, and there are a lot of them happening throughout the weekend. Check here, herehere, and here.

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 — whether on the actual day or at a later time inspired by the holiday. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

MLK Peace Walk, Parade  & Fair
Where: MLK Jr. Avenue | SE, DC
When: January 15
Admission: Free

Commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. with a Peace Walk and Parade along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave.  A Peace Rally begins at 9am, then the Peace Walk steps off at 10:45am from Shepherd Park and the Parade will commence at 11am at St. Elizabeth’s East with a Health and Community Fair in the parking lot at 2006 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. All ages are welcome to join.

The People’s Holiday: The Many Dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: January 15, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but be sure to RSVP

A visit to the National Museum of African American History & Culture is insightful and enriching anytime, but perhaps a bit more poignant on MLK Weekend. And there will be special activities on Monday to celebrate MLK: the Student artists from the Cinematic Arts & Media Production Department at Duke Ellington School of the Arts will perform original work that reimagines and reinterprets the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There will also be hands-on activities and pecan pie (MLK’s favorite) available at the Sweet Home Cafe. Of course, plan to tour the exhibits, too, but be sure to read the KFDC Guide to visiting the museum with kids before you go.

Shaping the Dream: a Community Clay Event
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: January 13-15, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but RSVP required

Join Annmarie Sculpture Garden for an uplifting community art event and exhibit inspired by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Each year on this weekend, Annmarie Sculpture Garden invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. This weekend, join visiting artist Claudette Taylor lto earn how to make a bas relief tile in air-dry clay and sculpt their your own unique and uplifting motif to display on the wall.  Be sure to RSVP!  Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden here.

MLK at the Library
Where: Libraries around the DC area
When: Through January 15
Admission: Free

Many public libraries are hosting MLK-inspired events and activities for both kids and adults.  There are crafts, story times, open mic poetry, take home reading challenges, and more.  The above link take you to DC Public Library website where you can find details.  And for quick links to see what’s happening at public libraries outside of the district, see this very early KFDC post (scroll all the way down for links).

It Starts with Me!
Where: MLK Jr. Memorial Library | Penn Quarter, DC
When: January 15, 1-5pm
Admission: Free
If there’s a library event to single out, it’s one that takes place at the MLK Jr. Memorial Library. In honor of the day, join DC Public Library for a day of celebration and reflection. Musical performers, spoken word artists, and more activities will take place to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Read more about the MLK Jr. Memorial Library here.

MLK Dare to Dream Day
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: January 15, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at one of the neatest art museums around. Along with the exhibits, enjoy open mic, art-making, music, dance, and more. And for this special day of remembrance, the museum will be open on a Monday, and all festivities (including museum admission) will be FREE!  Be sure to RSVP!

Not Just Another Day Off
Where: Folger Shakespeare Library | Capitol Hill, DC
When: January 15, 11am – 1pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday with this annual free and family-friendly event that’s back in the Folger after being closed for a few yeas’ removation. The day will feature music, contemporary poet Alexa Patrick, and actors Sara Barker, Fatima Quander, Greg Reid, and others reading historic speeches from Dr. King as well as their own poems.

MLK Service and Learning Day
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | Herndon, VA
When: January 15
Admission: $8

Introduce your young ones to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as we gather at the Frying Pan Farm Park Visitor Center to learn about Martin Luther King and the importance of giving back to our community. Rotate through stations to hear about the Civil Rights Movement, participate in a service project, and reflect on the power of community cooperation. All participants must be registered.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Tribute
Where: City Hall | College Park, MD
When: January 15, 9am, 10am, 1pm, & 2pm
Admission: Free

Join the City of College Park at a performances of two children-focused educational shows! The “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” show, offered at 9am ad 10am, will focus on the life and works of the famed civil rights leader, while the “Spirit to Overcome” show, at 1pm and 2pm, highlights the many contributions of African American women. Be sure to reserve a spot!

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

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 look for his words etched in the stone at the top of the steps.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: January 15
Admission: Free

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, or enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Find even more national parks around the area and beyond. (PS: You can do your own trash cleanup while you’re there!)

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

This annual performance in honor of MLK Day is a DC tradition.  The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University host this musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This year the concert will feature Jordin Sparks, Nolan Williams Jr., and Cécile McLorin Salvant. 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.

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Filed under 2024, All ages, DC, Weekend, Winter

Indoor Action: Fun & Games Around the DC Area that Take Place Inside

Waterpark fun inside at the St. James

 

As we head into the thick of winter, you may be looking for more inside activities.  And sometimes you might want those activities to be active, or at least something more than a museum outing, that’s physically as well as mentally engaging or has a mission to it.  I wrote about indoor playgrounds for kids years ago, but here I’m talking about experiences that have more of a sport or gaming element to them (okay, a few of those original ideas are here, too, but the best ones).  So, if you’re looking to get your game on, whether to get out of the cold or rain or you just want to have some fun inside, here are some places to do just that.

Super, Awesome, and Amazing Fun
Where: The St. James | Springfield, VA
When: Thurs-Fri, 3-8pm | Sat-Sun, 9am – 8pm
Admission: Starting at $15/hour 

The Super, Awesome, and Amazing (that’s what it’s called) 30,000 square foot activity center in the St. Jame sports complex is filled with all kinds of climbing structures, trampolines, and obstacle courses. Kids can don harnesses and clip onto wires to climb, rappel, and navigate walkways 20 feet above the ground. They can bounce, flip, and execute acrobatic moves. They can swing from bars and on large platforms and crawl through tunnels. Essentially, every element in the space is conducive to active fun, and there is something for kids from toddler to tween ages to enjoy.

Pickle & Skate (and more!)
Where: Kraken | Penn Quarter & Bryant Street, DC
When: Ongoing
Admission: Varies by activities
Play some pickleball, go roller skating, maybe do some axe throwing, and even more at this one-stop shop for all those activities. Note that kids must be at least 13 to wield axes and go in the rage room. Pickleball starts at $15, skating at $8. Be sure to make reservations!

Ping Pong
Where: SPIN | Downtown DC
When: Tuesday – Saturday, times vary
Admission: Tables start at $49/hour

Head to the ping pong social club to, well, play ping pong! Reserve a table for a group of up to 10 people (rate is hourly) and enjoy some food while you’re there. Kids of all ages are welcome before 9pm.

Boardwalk Bar & Arcade
Where: Boardwalk Bar & Arcade | The Wharf, DC
When: Mon-Thurs, 11am-12am | Fri-Sat 11am-2am | Sun 11am-10pm
Admission: Free, but plan to spend on food and games 

As the name implies, this joint at The Wharf is inspired by beach-style amusement, with lots of arcade games, pinball, and shuffle board. The beach vibe goes for the food as much as the games — think pizza, hotdogs, sammies, jumbo pretzels. It’s kind of perfect for a cold or rainy day, and both kids and adults can enjoy the fun and fare.

Bowling & Bocce
Where: Pinstripes | Georgetown, DC & Rockville, MD
When: Daily
Admission: Bowling starts $16/person, bocce $9/person

Another restaurant where there are games to enjoy along with the food. You can dine then play after, or make bowling or bocce your main activity and eat at your lane. We’ve done both (and have even gone just for the meal)! Read more about it here.

Drive balls from the comfort of a sheltered bay at Top Golf

Tee Up
Where: Top Golf | National Harbor & Gaithersburg, MD
When:  Daily
Admission: Starts at $42/bay for two hours
Practice your swing, enjoy a bite, and have some indoor/outdoor fun.  At Top Golf, you drive balls from climate controlled (ie, heated) sheltered bays, so you can still enjoy fresh air and be comfy.   Plus, there ’s a full service restaurant and bar (for parents, obvi) to make a full experience of it.

Watson Adventures’ Scavenger Hunt
Where: Local museums | Around DC
When: Select dates
Admission: Starts at $18/kid, $23/adult

Watson Adventures’ scavenger hunts are a blast, the Harry Pottr-themed Wizard School hunt particularly great for the whole family.  They are really well done and engaging as you search for art and artifacts at Smithsonian museums, competing against other teams. It’s a new way to explore the museums you’ve probably been to dozens of times, and a super fun time in itself.  Read more about it in this KFDC post, and see all of the available hunts and dates here.

Great Escapes
Where: Escape the Room | Penn Quarter & Downtown, DC
When: Daily, various times
Admission: $35

Bring the whole crew to enjoy a challenge together! Experience a live-action adventure complete with mystery, hidden clues, and puzzles that help you escape dinosaur clones in DC, a spy situation, the depths of the earth, an Old West bank, a submarine, or a pandemic.

Bomb Mission
Where: Beat the Bomb | Ivy City, DC
When: Tuesday – Sunday
Admission: Games start at $45

A friend recently did this with her family and said it was a blast. According to the wbesite, it’s like a real-life video game, where teams of 4 to 6 suit up in hazmat gear, dodge lasers, and crack codes to disarm a giant Paint and Foam Bomb. You can do a one-hour experience or rent an immersive Game Bay where you can enjoy drinks and snacks from The Bomb Bar — sounds like a fun way to spend a dreary (or any) day! Note that it’s 21+ after 7:30pm.

Tennis, Anyone?
Where: East Potomac Tennis Center | East Potomac Park, DC
When: Daily
Admission: Court rentals $30-46/hour winter, $27/hour summer

Pickleball may be all the rage, but some of us still prefer old school tennis. You can practice your swings and serves (and volleys and overheads) indoors at East Potomac Tennis Center — a great place to go when the weather isn’t good for an outdoor game. Get a foursome together and reserve a court for some doubles play, or maybe even sign up for a lesson!

Dive in
Where: Several locations around the DC area
When: Ongoing
Admission: Free for DC and/or county residents
Indulge in an unseasonal activity: Swimming! There are a bunch of public indoor pools around the area where you can take a dip. Wilson Aquatic Center in NW is popular, Rumsey on Capitol Hill and Turkey Thicket in Brookland have kiddie pools, and Deanwood in NE even has a slide. In Maryland, Rollingcrest in PG County has a special preschool area, and there are several indoor aquatic facilities in Montgomery County. In Northern Virginia, Arlington County has a few indoor public pools, and there’s one in Alexandria, too. Be sure to check schedules for open swim hours and make sure there are no random closings, which happen occasionally.

Spring Time
Where: Flight Trampoline Park | Springfield, VA
When: Daily
Admission: Starts at $14

Kids of all ages can jump, play, even flip for joy at Flight Trampoline Park. The huge space resembles a skate park, with an industrial look of exposed pipes and cinder block walls sprayed with graffiti. But where you’d find ramps, rails, and concrete to facilitate skills and tricks, there are trampolines instead. Be sure to check the schedule for any special jumping times, and buy tickets/sign waivers in advance online to avoid a line there.

Climb High
Where: SportRock Climbing Centers | Locations in VA & MD
When: Daily
Admission: Day passes start at $20/child, $22/adult
Scale the walls at facilities in Alexandria, Sterling, and Gaitherburg. With open belay and open climb hours on weekends and weekdays, it’s a great way to stay active when the elements aren’t cooperating (or even when they are). All locations offer thousands of feet of climbing space, that include 30-foot overhangs, a bouldering stalactite, and challenging scaling spaces (plus areas for beginners, too). SportRock also offers classes for those who want to take their climbing to the next level. Rates vary depending on what you want to do, so check the website for details.

Reach New Heights
Where: ClimbZone | Laurel, MD
When: Daily, 10am – 8pm
Admission: $27.99/child, $18.99/age 2-4

The enormous facility is filled literally floor to ceiling with colorful themed climbing walls and moon bounces. Climbers can ascend Mt. Rushmore, reach the Jolly R.99oger on a pirate ship, conquer a game of Tetris, shimmy up a giant guitar, scale Jack’s bean stalk, negotiate a rope wall, and experience peak fun on a variety of other climbing areas. Read more about Flight in this KFDC post.

Boulder On
Where: Bouldering Project | Eckington, DC
When: Daily
Admission: Day passes start at $22/youth, $30/adult

You can also climb in the city at the District’s only indoor climbing facility. Their aim is to challenge the mind as much as the body, according to the website, and the walls are designed with all styles and abilities in mind. Kids are welcome, and there are classes and camps (and birthday parties) just for them. If you think you’d go a few times, check out the membership options.

An O-So-Cool Adventure
Where: Mansion on O Street | Dupont Circle
When: Daily, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Starts at $30

Locate secret doors, see outrageously fabulous themed rooms, and browse a trove of secondhand treasures on a tour of one of the coolest spots in DC: The Mansion on O Street. The Dupont Circle landmark is a mansion, museum, secondhand store, and hotel all in one — and visitors are welcome to explore it all.  Plus, it’s a unique adventure in a truly stunning space.

Movie & A Meal
Where: The Alamo | Northeast DC & Crystal City, VA
When: Daily
Admission: $13/adult, $11/child, $12/senior
After 4pm – $15/adult, $13/child, $14/senior

The action here occurs on screen, but catching a flick is a great option on foul weather days (or anytime), even better when you can enjoy a meal with your movie, too. The Alamo is the only theater in the city where you can do that — and it’s a good one! The theaters are nice, the seating is comfortable, and the food is tasty. See , what’s playing there now.

 

Do you have a favorite place for indoor fun and games that you don’t see listed here?  Let us know in the comments!

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Filed under DC, Indoor Play, Maryland, Virginia

Ways to Celebrate MLK Day Around the DC Area (2023)

 

Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kids about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, or hope to partake in another special activity to observe the holiday, these ideas will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: Throughout the weekend
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.  A good option for the whole gang is anoutdoor volunteer clean-ups at a local park, and there are a lot fo them happening throughout the weekend.

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 — whether on the actual day or at a later time inspired by the holiday. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

MLK Peace Walk, Parade  & Fair
Where: MLK Jr. Avenue | SE, DC
When: January 16
Admission: Free

Commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. with a Peace Walk and Parade along Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. The Peace Walk begins at 10:45am from Sheperd Park and the Parade will commence at 11am at St. Elizabeth’s East with a Health and Community Fair in the parking lot at 2006 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. All ages are welcome to join.

MLK at the Library
Where: Libraries around the DMV
When: Through January 16
Admission: Free

Many public libraries are hosting MLK-inspired events and activities for both kids and adults.  There are crafts, story times, open mic poetry, take home reading challenges, and more.  The above link take you to DC Public Library website where you can find details.  And for quick links to see what’s happening at public libraries outside of the district, see this very early KFDC post (scroll all the way down for links).

Not Just Another Day Off
Where: MLK Jr. Memorial Library | Penn Quarter, DC
When: January 16
Admission: Free
If there’s a library event to single out, it’s one that takes place at the MLK Jr. Memorial Library. In honor of the day, join DC Public Library and the Folger Shakespeare Library for readings in honor of Dr. King. The tribute will combine poetry with historical speeches from Dr. King, Gandhi, Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, James Baldwin, and others. Readers include James Johnson, Fatima Quander, Naomi Ayala, Truth Thomas, and others. (Note: This one likely will appeal more to older tweens and teens.). Read more about the MLK Jr. Memorial Library here.

MLK Dare to Dream
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: Monday, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free
Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at one of the neatest art museums around. For this special day of remembrance, the museum will be open on a Monday, and all festivities (including museum admission) will be FREE! Visit the website to see special activities being offered. Be sure to RSVP!

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: January 14-16, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but RSVP required

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with community art activities. Each year on this weekend, Annmarie Sculpture Garden invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. This weekend, join visiting artist Sharon Robinson, and create a mixed media collage and journal entry to be added to an ever growing artwork in the gallery. Be sure to RSVP!  Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden here.

Visit Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: January 17 (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 look for his words etched in the stone at the top of the steps.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: January 16
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, or enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Find even more national parks around the area and beyond. (PS: You can do your own trash cleanup while you’re there!)

African American History & Culture
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: Ongoing, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free, but timed entry passes required

A visit to the National Museum of African American History & Culture is insightful and enriching anytime, but perhaps a bit more poignant on MLK Weekend. There currently are plenty of tickets available for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. It’s a huge museum with a lot of exhibits to navigate, some of them very heavy and somber, so be sure to read the KFDC Guide to visiting the museum with kids before you go.

Let Freedom Ring!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: January 16, 6pm
Admission: Free

This annual performance in honor of MLK Day is back!  The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University host theis musical celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This year the concert will  Leslie Odom, Jr. along with the Let Freedom Ring Choir led by Music Director Rev. Nolan Williams Jr. 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.

 

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Filed under 2023, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Virginia

Ways to Celebrate MLK Day Around the DC Area (2022)

 

Whether you’re looking for ways to teach kids about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, or hope to partake in another special activity to observe the holiday, these recommendations will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: January 17
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. And during this Covid time, outdoor volunteer clean-ups are a good option — here are some taking place around the area:
Roaches Run River Cleanup | Arlington, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Jones Point Park Cleanup | Alexandria, VA | January 15, 10am – 2pm
Four Mile Run Cleanup | Alexandria, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Turkey Run Cleanup | McLean, VA | January 15, 10am – 12pm
Mount Vernon Trail | Alexandria, VA | January 17, 10am – 12pm
Stream & Park Cleanups | MoCo, MD | January 15-22 (several opportunities)
Clean Waterways Cleanup | Southeast DC | January 17, 10am – 1pm
Rock Creek Park | Northwest DC | January 15-17 (several opportunities)

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 — whether on the actual day or at a later time inspired by the holiday. All of the organizations listed welcome kids to help out, though some have age requirements, so be sure to note them.

African American History & Culture
Where: NMAAHC | National Mall, DC
When: January 17, 10am – 5:30pm
Admission: Free, but timed entry passes required

Tickets to the National Museum of African American History & Culture can be some of toughest to get in DC. But this weekend, the museum, which is usually closed on Mondays, will be open an extra day in honor of MLK Day. Currently, there are lots of tickets available for many time slots, but they’ll likely go quickly. Reserve them here.

FUTURES We Dream Family Day
Where: Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building | National Mall, DC
When: January 16, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free

The recently opened Arts & Industries Building is hosting an in-person, Covid-safe event to honor MLK.  Celebrate the spirit of his dream with a day full of hope, justice seeking, and collaboration. Learn about the Smithsonian’s 175 years of changemaking and reckoning with its history on the SI Story wall. Join family-friendly guided tours exploring social justice and more equitable futures (10:30am and 2pm). Take inspiration from Dr. King’s speeches and many other future thinkers to craft your inspirational messages for the future you dream in drop-in workshops (11am and 1pm). Pop in for hands-on activities for the youngest future makers throughout the day. Get a glimpse of the museum’s fascinating FUTURES exhibit here.

Peace Walk
Where: Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge | Southeast DC
When: January 17, 9:30am
Admission: Free

The annual MLK Day Peace Walk is on this year and taking place at the recently opened beautiful Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge that spans from Anacostia to the Navy Yard. Notable DC peops are always in attendance — who will it be this year? Register to join the event, and note that the annual parade is NOT taking place due to Covid.
 

Artsy MLK Days
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: January 15-17, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but reservations required

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with community art activities. Each year on this weekend, Annmarie Sculpture Garden invites guests of all ages to help create a community art installation in honor of a dream. Join visiting artist, Sarah Matthews, for a project is inspired by Dr. King’s quote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  Learn how to create your own stamps to design and print uplifting posters to hang in your community. Make two posters, one to leave here and one to hang in your favorite gathering spot. Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden here.

Free Parking
Where: National Parks
When: January 17
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, or enjoy hiking and history at Harpers Ferry. Find even more national parks around the area and beyond. (PS: You can do your own trash cleanup while you’re there!)

Visit Memorials
Where: National Mall & Tidal Basin, DC
When: January 17 (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 look for his words etched in the stone at the top of the steps.

All Ages Virtual Art Class: I Have a Dream
Where: Art Jamz Online
When: January 16
Admission: $12.50

The whole family can join Art Jamz online for this live painting class.  In honor of MLK Day, they are donating 50% of all proceeds directly to Martha’s Table.  During the Live Virtual Paint Session, they encourage the creation of original art under the guidance of a talented local artist. Need art materials? Purchase an ArtJamz® At-Home Paint Kit — they’ll even throw in a novelty artist mustache.

 

 

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Filed under 2022, All ages, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Special Event, Virginia, Winter

Ways to Celebrate MLK Day 2021

 

Perhaps now more than ever is the time to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his dream of equality and justice — and continue the work to achieve it. Even during this unique time,  you can do just that, both virtually and in-person.   If you’re looking for ways to teach kids about MLK, want to give back on the Day of Service, or hope to join a special event — online or IRL — to celebrate his legacy, these recommendations will have you covered.

Day of Service
Where: Various locations around the DMV
When: January 18
Admission: Just your time

The Biden-Harris Inauguration Festivities honor MLK by including the annual Day of Service.  If you want to volunteer or be part of it by giving back, there are many ways and some places around the area where you can do, both virtually and in person. Start here to find opportunities that suit your family. (And see a specific one below.)

Weekend of Service
Where: Rock Creek Park | DC & MD
When: Throughout the long weekend
Admission: Just your time!

Through Rock Creek Conservancy’s MLK Weekend of Service, you can register to help with trash clean-up and invasive plant removal throughout Rock Creek Park. There are opportunities for all ages to volunteer on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

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

For more places to volunteer 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. (Also note that some of places do not have volunteer ops rights now due to Covid, but it’s worth checking.)

Free Parking
Where: National Parks around the region
When: January 18
Admission: Free!

In honor of MLK Day, it’s the first fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no cost for entry where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and the day off from school. Some ideas: Hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, explore Prince William Forest Park, go to Fort McHenry, or visit Harpers Ferry.

Be the Light — Celebrating the Legacy of MLK Jr.
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: January 16-17
Admission: $17.95/ages 1+, free for members

Join Port Discovery in celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy during their “Be the Light” event. Experience the strength of celebrating differences and stories in our community, take part in interactive programs and virtual performances designed to educate, inspire and help children understand the positive impact that their dreams and creativity can have on the world around them, inspired by Dr. King’s message.

MLK Virtual Peace Parade
Where: Online
When: January 18, 12pm
Admission: Free

The annual MLK Parade & Peace walk is going virtual this year with a rally, but you can still commemorate the life of MLK, Jr. with a festive experience. Tune into YouTube at noon on Monday, and be sure to follow on on YouTubeFacebookTwitter, and Instagram @mlkholidaydc115 for any update.  The parade will also be viewable on mlkholidaydc.org; and the Washington Informer website.

Artsy MLK Days: A Virtual Community Event
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Online
When: January 16-18, 11am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Though the pandemic has forced Annmarie to change the format of this annual event, they’ve reinvented all the elements to create a virtual at-home experience to keep everyone safe, connected, and ready to honor the dream with creative activities! Dr. King left us with a wealth of wisdom on how to create a more just, humane, and peaceful world — and they celebrate his legacy with art-inspired experiences centered around his nonviolent philosophy. Visit the website to see how you can tour an art exhibit  and make inspired artwork with their visiting artist from the comfort of home. Read more about the wonderful Annmarie Sculpture Garden in this KFDC post.

MLK Virtual Dare to Dream Day
Where: American Visionary Art Museum | Online
When: January 20, 11am
Admission: Free

Join in a free celebration honoring one of history’s greatest visionaries. Now accepting submissions for the Open Mic and Poetry Slam. Enjoy an artist talk with Kyle Yearwood, poetry slam and open mic, and a musical performance by Landis Expandis — all from the comfort of home. Read more about the fantastic AVAM here.

The People’s Holiday
Where: NMAAHC | Online
When: January 18, 4-5:30pm
Admission: Free

Tune into the National Museum of African American History & Culture its annual community program that honors Dr. Kings’ commitment to racial equality, justice, and service. Enjoy a digital performance by six-time Grammy award-winning bassist, composer, and educator Christian McBride inspired by his social justice-focused album entitled, The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons. The 45-minute concert of jazz and poetry will also feature performances of students from The Julliard School and a poetry reading by award winning poet, Evie Shockley. The program will conclude with a conversation between Christian McBride and Dr. Dwandalyn Reece, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs | Curator of Music and Performing Arts.

 

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