Celebrate & Serve: 13 MLK Day Activities Around Seattle

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is just around the corner. If you’re looking to make this day off a Day On for your family, we’ve got everything you need to make it happen. From volunteer opportunities at local parks and nearby rallies, to celebrations and performances, here’s where Seattle families can honor the life and work of this prominent civil rights activist and leader in 2021.

photo: By Rowland Scherman; restored by Adam Cuerden – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain

1. The Northwest African American Museum is hosting its celebration virtually this year, with special activities for kids and families, like story time and family-based trivia. Couple your viewing experience with NAAM’s Drive-Thru Books & Balls Giveaway to make your day complete. Mon., Jan. 18. Event details.

2. Join the Washington State History Museum, Tacoma Arts Live, Write 253 and Valencia Carroll to celebrate the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Families will find virtual activities and performances, including Get on the Bus and Ruby Bridges, online throughout the day, starting at 11 a.m. Mon., Jan. 18. Event details.

3. To honor MLK’s legacy, continue the journey of being an anti-racist family when you participate in this three part series for parents and caregivers that dives into why it’s important to talk to kids about race and racism. Presented by King County Libraries. Registration required. Sat., Jan. 16, 23 & 30. Event details.

4. Spend your day off as a day on when you join one of DNDA’s three work parties at Pigeon Point Park, Camp Long or the Delridge Wetlands. Volunteers can lend a hand planting native trees and plants and removing invasive species, with a nod to Dr. King’s environmental justice work.

photo: Seattle Parks and Recreation via flickr

5. Families can also reserve a spot on one of Green Seattle’s work parties to put the environment at the center of their MLK Day celebration. Fri.-Mon., Jan. 15-18. Event details.

6. Make Good Trouble when you join the Seattle MLK Day Coalition for their annual rally and march from Garfield High School. They’ll also be hosting a youth event and a number of workshops throughout the week leading up to MLK Day. Mon., Jan. 18. Event details.

7. The city of Tacoma will be celebrating Collective Voices/Collective Hope during their 33rd annual birthday celebration for Dr. King. Tune in to check out the new kid’s show, developed by Peace Bus creator Kwabi Amoah-Forson and his pal Simon, and hear from other inspirational speakers. Mon., Jan. 18. Event details.

 photo: United Way of King County’s website

8. Celebrate one of our country’s greatest orators when you take the kids on a walk at Lake Sammamish State Park. Signs that pay tribute to Dr. King’s life and leadership through his most well-known (and still relevant) quotes are on display at the park. Jan. 3-18. Event details.

9. Celebrate Dr. King’s role in the environmental justice movement by exploring one of our state’s three national parks for free.

10. 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.

photo: Project 290 via unsplash

11. Spend the day harvesting fresh beets for Food Lifeline in a field surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Morning and afternoon shifts are available at this day honoring Dr. King’s legacy. Mon., Jan. 18. Event details.

12. Tune in to a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. that includes performances by the Northside Step Team, gospel-jazz vocalist Josephine Howell and musician Al Prince. Mon., Jan 18. Event details.

13. The 5th Avenue Theatre and the Kent Valley School District invite families from around the Sound to remember Dr. King’s work and the continuing struggle for liberty and justice for all people at their Rally for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fri., Jan. 15. Event details.


—Allison Sutcliffe & Kate Loweth


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