• Martin Luther King Day Activity Guide

    10 ideas for celebrating MLK in NYC

    By Elizabeth Moroney

    Commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy as a family with one of these local events.

    Lynda Blackmon Lowery at the New-York Historical Society
    Saturday, January 18

    Come hear Lynda Blackmon Lowery, the youngest participant in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march, share her experiences in the protest as recounted in her book Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom. 

    The New York Historical Society will also host a civil rights-themed scavenger hunt  all weekend long to help kid 8 and up delve into the current special exhibit, “Freedom Journey 1965: Photos of the Selma to Montgomery March,” created by Stephen Somerstein. Free with museum admission, 170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street), nyhistory.org

    ConstructionKids “I Have a Dream” Day
    Monday, January 19


    A Stephen Somerstein photograph from the New-York Historical Society exhibit “Freedom Journey 1965.”

    Join ConstructionKids on Martin Luther King Day for a project that incorporates the Lincoln Memorial as well as elements of Dr. King’s most famous speech. This fun day of creative, educational building is appropriate for both new and experienced builders. Ages pre-K-4. $140, BLDG 92, at 63 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn constructionkids.com

    Martin Luther King March with Manhattan Country School
    Monday, January 19

    Join the 8th graders of the Manhattan County Day School as they lead a march from Harlem to the Upper East Side. Students will stop at designated points and give speeches on current social justice issues as a way to commemorate MLK. Free, begins at 2351 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard, manhattancountryschool.org

    The 29th Annual Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. at BAM
    Monday, January 19

    Join Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York Brooklyn at BAM for NYC’s largest public celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. There will be a keynote address by Dr. Cornel West, as well as live music, a free community film screening, and a free art exhibition. Free, 30 Lafayette Avenue, bam.org

    Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan 
    Monday, January 19

    Join CMOM for a day-long celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Make your own children’s book honoring Dr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King (5 and up); help create a mosaic of Dr. King’s portrait; and help CMOM and their Upper West Side neighbor Mugi Studio decorate fun and educational ceramic tiles to decorate CMOM’s partner outreach locations. Free with museum admission, 212 West 83rd Street, cmom.org

     Harlem Gospel Choir MLK Matinee
    Monday, January 19
    Doors open at 11:30am; show at 12:30pm

    Catch the world-famous Harlem Gospel Choir at BB King Blues Club on Monday for an MLK Matinee. $22 in advance, $26 day of show; 237 West 42nd Street, bbkingblues.com

    Brooklyn Children’s Museum
    Monday, January 19

    The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is hosting a variety of celebratory MLK activities on Monday. Workshops include  “Let’s Join Hands” for children 5 and under, which will teach kids about diversity and tolerance through storytelling and song, and “Let’s March!” for children 4 and up, who will watch footage of the March on Washington and create posters for peace and justice. Plus, don’t miss performances by Crown Heights’ own Berean Community Drumline (at 1:30 & 2:30pm). Free with museum admission, 145 Brooklyn Avenue, brooklynkids.org

    Seneca Village Tour in the Upper East Side
    Monday, January 19

    Dive into local NYC history during the Seneca Village Tour and learn the history of the city’s first known African-American property owners, who owned  land that would become part of Central Park. The tour will last for an hour and fifteen minutes and requires walking up some inclines.  $15, Central Park at 85th Street and Central Park West, centralparkNYC.org

    Big Onion Walking Tour: Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Historic Harlem
    Monday, January 19

    Learn about Harlem as an African American cultural center during Big Onion’s Walking Tour. The guides will take you through the vast history of the area, starting as it’s foundation at a Dutch colony in the 1600s through its transformation into a hub of African American business, politics, arts, and culture. . Attendees should meet in the front of the Schomburg Center. $20 for adults, $15 for students; 135th Street and Lenox (Malcolm X) Avenue, bigonion.com

    Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Lefferts House 
    Monday, January 19
    2 & 3pm

    The Lefferts House will host an afternoon of storytelling and song led by Tammy Hall to celebrate MLK’s work. Hall will incorporate stories and songs from around the world based on the theme of freedom. Admission is free and all ages are welcome. 452 Flatbush Avenue, prospectpark.org


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