Tag Archives: January 2021

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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Filed under 2021, All ages, Annual, Art, Black Lives Matter, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Educational, Free, Holidays, Maryland, Seasonal, Social Distancing, Special Event, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Five Things for Today: January 14, 2021


The National Arboretum is a fave for getting outdoors in the city


1. It’s going to be 50s and sunny today, a perfect time to highlight The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids.


2. Washingtonian shares what you need to know about DC Inauguration Day threats and other Capitol insurrection fallout. In addition, Metro is closing 13 stations near the Capitol and National Mall for a week starting Friday.


3. In this unsettling time, journaling can be a good way to help ease anxieties. NPR has tips on how to get started.


4. TV can also be a good distractor right now. We finally watched The Queen’s Gambit, and it is as good as everyone says.  I also recently binged The Flight Attendant, and it was a fun, quirky thriller ala Dead to Me.  Hearing good things about Bridgerton, too! (All recs for adults…maybe teens, too.)


5. Of course, the Holdernesses have a song for 2021 (so far).


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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Outdoor, Social Distancing, Virginia, Winter

Five Things for Today: January 13, 2021

A view down East Cap, the Capitol dome visible through the leafless trees


1. The National Portrait Gallery ‘s programs for children that used to be offered in person are available online.  Introducing…  is essentially the new Portrait Story Days, highlighting some of our country’s historymakers and their portraits in the museum’s collection. Today at 11am they will be Introducing… Abraham Lincoln.  Young Portrait Explorers takes place monthly via Zoom, also on Wednesdays 11-11:30am and 3-3:30pm, and explores portraits of astronauts and activists, scientists and star athletes along with the stories behind them. Free registration is required.


2. Weekdays are a great time to visit Great Falls, when you can enjoy some of the most scenic nature in the area without the weekend crowds.  Whether you opt for the Maryland or Virginia side, you really can’t go wrong. Take in spectacular views of the falls and rapids from several overlooks and hike easy trails along the river or through the woods.  Open 7am to 30 minutes after sunset. Admission is $20/vehicle. (You can also opt to hike there from Riverbend Park, where admission is free.)


3. Are you looking for a way to celebrate and honor MLK? Join Rock Creek Conservancy’s MLK Weekend of Service. Register to help with trash clean-up and invasive removal throughout Rock Creek Park — there are opportunities to volunteer on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.


4. AOC speaks about the attack on the Capitol (long but worth the watch/listen).


5. Such a powerful, human moment.


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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Social Distancing, Virginia, Virtual Programs, Winter

Five Things for Today: January 12, 2021


Take a call box tour downtown


1.  The Wander Women Project, a travel blog that celebrates women’s creations and follows female legacy, landmarks, and heritage trails, has a fun way to explore downtown and learn about some pioneering women.  Follow a map to find old fire call boxes where several notable women are commemorated (and refer to their website to learn more about them). It’s a fun, safe, free, and educational activity!


2. Did you know there’s a new national park in the region? New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is just over four hours from DC in southeastern West Virginia and offers a bounty of outdoor recreation.  It’s best known for white water rafting and climbing, but hiking, biking, and camping opportunities abound, too.


3. Calling all artists!  The National Cherry Blossom Festival is partnering with Amazon to present “Art in Bloom,” a premier 2021 project to celebrate the visual arts and showcase the whimsy and creativity of the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the nation’s Capital.  To bring Art in Bloom alive, 25 oversized cherry blossom sculptures will be painted by local and national artists and installed at a variety of outdoor locations across the DC area starting March 20, the first day of this year’s Festival. Artists interested in contributing to the project are invited to apply through January 22.


4. All 179 Tayor Swift songs, ranked.  Do you agree?  Do you care?


5. Feeling this.


PS: All kinds of ideas for activities around DC this winter.


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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Social Distancing, Winter

Five Things for Today: January 11, 2021


A nature break in DC at Roosevelt Island


1. When I did a search for the best local places to hike with a dog, Roosevelt Island topped many a list.  We’ve always loved the park in the Potomac for human hikes, and Teddy had a blast this weekend walking the trails and boardwalk and meeting lots of other pups along the way.  It’s a great locale to keep in mind if you’re looking for a nature break in DC — with or without a furry friend.  Read more about it and get details for visiting here.


2. A stroll through historic Kensington, MD, will offer families a self-guided, socially distanced outing to read the book The Mitten by Jan Brett in store windows. Everyday through the end of the month, the Ktown StoryWalk by the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation starts at Frankly…Pizza! (10417 Armory Avenue) and features pages from the wintry children’s book spread out over 15 storefronts — see a map of the .3-mile route.  On Saturdays and Sundays, 9am – 4pm, a free craft kit tied into the book will be available for pick-up in a box outside the Noyes Library for Young Children (10237 Carroll Place).   Families are encouraged to share a photo of the walk, a selfie at Noyes, and/or a photo of the completed craft on the Noyes Children’s Library Foundation Facebook page or post to Facebook or Instagram and tag @makemorenoyes.


3.  The latest on DC Statehood, from WAMU’s 51st podcast.


4.  I love that The Mom Edit has no qualms about expressing views on more than fashion.  This post and this one are good, thought-provoking reads.


5. Alex Trebeck’s final Jeopardy! message.



Teddy & Teddy!


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Filed under 2021, All ages, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Winter