7 Ways to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Your Kids

Read next

On Monday, January 17, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. This year, there are plenty of ways to celebrate his legacy; from virtual family-friendly programs from PBS SoCal and L.A. Works to ways to give back to your community on this day of service right here in San Diego, we’ve all the details on how to get involved and inspire a new generation of activists to make the world a more just and fair place for all this MLK day.

WorldBeat Cultural Center's 33rd Annual MLK Day Celebration

Join the WorldBeat Cultural Center in its 33rd Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration celebrating unity in the San Diego community. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr, the free celebration a family-friendly festival with live music, dancing, vegan food, an outdoor cultural arts & craft vendors marketplace, and more. The event also includes multi-cultural performances and special guest speakers. 

Event details. 




Minecraft March on Washington: Virtual Exploration (MLK Day)

Minecraft to the rescue! Educate your little gamer about Martin Luther King Jr. and other current activists who are continuing his legacy today through a platform they know and love. Tour a virtual exhibit of the historic 1963 March on Washington and Little Rock 9 through the world of Minecraft to interact with Civil Rights leaders like Dr. King himself and activists who are continuing Dr. King's legacy today. Built by skilled volunteers, guests to Minecraft D.C. will be inspired by walking through historic landscape, meeting the present voices, and adding to this world and ours, by building within the game. Learn more on how to participate at LA Works.

Understanding Anti-Racism with PBS SoCal

It's never too early to start talking to your child about diversity and inclusivity. In 2020, the term anti-racism popped up everywhere. In order to fully educate children, they need to understand what anti-racism is, and what it means to be anti-racist. Martin Luther King Jr. used his voice to fight for others. Watch this video from PBS SoCal to help empower your little one to do the same or this one to dive into protests today compared to those during Martin Luther King Jr.'s time. For more educational resources from PBS SoCal that you can access at home click here.

Creating a More Humane World: MLK Day Critter Camp

Kids can learn so much through interacting with animals. Most importantly, they discover that all living beings deserve compassion and understanding––a lesson Martin Luther King Jr. fought every day to teach. This year, in honor of MLK Day, Critter Camp at Helen Woodward Animal Center is focused on creating a more humane world. Campers will interact with a goat, Madagascar hissing cockroach, chicken, snake and guinea pig while learning how to be compassionate to all animals. Learn more details about the camp here.

34th Annual All Peoples Celebration

Alliance San Diego is excited to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the 34th Annual All People's Celebration. The event will be held in person, however, tickets for the in-person event are sold out. You can join virtually through a live, dynamic program. There will be amazing performances and a powerful keynote from disabled rights activist Rebecca Cokley. 

Event details. 

14th Annual Interfaith Day of Service

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously proclaimed, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do… you have to keep moving forward.” This year, you and your family can partake in an event that brings people of different faiths and cultural backgrounds together for a wonderful morning of hands-on community service, fun and fellowship. Families are encouraged to participate together on this day of community work, suitable for all ages.

Event details. 

Create Your Own Day of Service

The holiday on January, 17, 2022, marks the 27th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. Americorps has been leading the charge for the last quarter century. Take time to visit their website with your child and learn more about how you can create your own event and encourage kids in your community to volunteer and be of service––because serving others has a profound positive benefit on those who volunteer. Need extra encouragement to kick off your day of service? Kids who volunteer are three times more likely to volunteer as adults, and steady volunteering (even one hour a week) reduces negative behaviors in kids. 

––Aimee Della Bitta

featured image: Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons


Black-Owned Family Businesses We Love

27 Books for Kids about Racism, Inequality & Injustice in America

22 Black Heroes Your Kids Should Know by Name