Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King with educational, meaningful activities for kids

Some non-school days are more meaningful than others. For many Seattle families, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a time to honor and celebrate a civil rights activist and leader and a day to lift up Black lives. Make this a memorable one with your family at local events that underscore Dr. King’s commitment to social, environmental, and economic justice. From volunteer opportunities and nearby rallies to celebrations and performances, here’s where Seattle families can honor and serve on MLK Day in 2023.

MLK monument with a cloudy blue sky in the background
Elizabeth Villalta via unsplash

1. The Northwest African American Museum is hosting King Day 2023 as part of its grand reopening. What a day it's going to be. Expect to enjoy music, movies, motivational social justice speakers, and activities everyone in your fam can participate in. This year's theme—All, Here, and Now will be at the heart of the celebration. You won't wan to miss it.  Jan. 16, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Event details

2. Enjoy free admission to the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma for their annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration. This year, families can watch Tacoma Arts Live perform 11 Days in the Life of Dr. King, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., a collection of vignettes that will keep your kids engaged with spoken word, music, dance, and even shadow play. Then at 3 p.m. Living Voices will put on a production focused on the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Jan. 16, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Event details 

3. Families can also reserve a spot with Delridge Neighborhood Development Association's Pigeon Point Work Party to put the environment at the center of their MLK Day celebration. This hands-on activity includes removing invasive plants, planting new ones, and mulching too. All you need to do is register in advance and dress for the weather. They provide all the tools you need. Don't forget to bring a snack and water with you to this popular community service event. Jan. 16, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Free. Event details

4. Families can also volunteer with the United Way of King County on January 16. There are a few family-friendly events (hint: choose this filter to see them) happening around the city you can sign up for. Jan. 16. Free. Event details

5. Make Good Trouble and commemorate the 40th year King County residents have carried Dr. King's mission forward when you join the Seattle MLK Day Coalition for their annual rally and march from Garfield High School. They also host workshops, an opportunity fair, and a youth event as part of this inspiring programming. Jan. 10-16, 11 a.m. Free. Event details

Related: 13 Places Kids Can Learn about Black History in Seattle

Unseen Histories via unsplash

6. Ferry over to Bainbridge Island for Bainbridge Island Museum of Art's Community Celebration of MLK Day. Speakers, art, music, and activities are all part of the inclusive celebration hosted at the Museum. Jan. 15. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. Event details

7. Spend the day in service when you and the kids work alongside other volunteers at a local park. Register to work at one of three parks in Kirkland with the kids. Mulching, weeding, planting, and removing invasive species are all part of this experience. Sign up soon if you want to join in. Jan. 16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Event details

8. Celebrate Dr. King’s role in the environmental justice movement by exploring one of our state's three national parks for free. Jan. 16. Free. Event details

9. If you can't make it to a national park, enjoy a Washington State Park for free. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, you won't need your Discover Passes to visit. Jan. 16. Free. Event details

Related: 25 Black-Owned Family-Friendly Businesses We Love

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