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MLK Day Activities & Events for Kids

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Monday, January 20, 2020 is a day of remembering and celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s also a day off for most school-aged kids. Let the learning continue, even on their day off, by going to a march, visiting a museum or finding a way to give back. If you want to stay close to home, we included some popular books on Dr. King and his message.



United We Walk @ West Bloomfield High School – SUNDAY, JANUARY 19

To celebrate annually the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by embracing the continuing influence and impact of Dr. King’s dream of creating a beloved community that values diversity, promotes unity, and underscores the worth of every person.


Detroit MLK Day Rally and March @ St. Matthew’s St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, Detroit

MLK Day Detroit is an annual rally, march, lunch, and cultural event that happens on Martin Luther King Day in Detroit! March begins at 1:30pm, following the rally.


Celebrate MLK @ Charles H Wright Museum of African American History

FREE Museum-wide family activities take place for the rest of the day, with activities including face painting, a live artist, moderated youth discussions, educational films and a lot more!


FREE Admission @ The Henry Ford Museum

Explore The Henry Ford for FREE! Admission includes free parking, activities and dramatic presentations. Sit in the Rosa Parks Bus, and hear the story of Mrs. Parks’ courageous act. Participate in and be captivated by the highly praised 30-minute show “Minds on Freedom,” which celebrates the contributions of Dr. King, Mrs. Parks and other civil rights champions such as Fannie Lou Hamer, Gloria Rackley and the Freedom Riders. Sing, carry a protest sign and interact with the performers. You, too, can make history.


Special Monday MLK Day @ Detroit Institute of Arts

Families of all ages are invited to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with family programs starting at 11am, including gallery adventures, games and a special drop-in art making workshop.


MLK Day @ Ann Arbor Hands On Museum

This year on Martin Luther King Jr day, we invite you join us for a discounted day in the museum to explore the many people in our community who invent, create, and make our lives better! Join the museum as we celebrate the contributions of black scientists and those who were brave enough to break barriers through a series of hands-on activities throughout the museum galleries.


FREE Admission @ Detroit Historical Museum

Celebrate the life and labor of Martin Luther King, Jr. “Beyond the Dream” at the Detroit Historical Museum, hosted in partnership with the Black Historic Sites Committee. This annual program will feature dynamic programs throughout the day, including special guided tours of the internationally acclaimed exhibition, Detroit 67: Perspectives, live footage of Dr. King’s speeches, an activity book building craft, “Dream Drip”, a workshop for older youth who will have the opportunity to create their very own rap song inspired by the words of Dr. King, wonderful live performances and more!


MLK Unity Day Crafts & Movie @ Novi Public Library

Children ages 5-10 will gather in the Youth Activity Room to make unity crafts, enjoy a Martin Luther King Jr. (kid-friendly) movie, and a breakfast treat.


Kids N’ Crafts @ Dearborn Historical Museum

The Dearborn Historical Museum is starting a new kids event series this Martin Luther King Day with a group story and a craft making session where participants will be able to make dream mobiles. This fun afternoon activity will be happening at the McFadden Ross House at noon. Due to the cost of materials, admission to the event will be $2 per child.


Canton Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. @ Canton Village Theatre

The Unauthorized Biography Series is a musical project that celebrates the world’s greatest cultural icons through biographical hip hop songs. Each chapter of the series captures the legacy of a positive and influential iconic figure in a documentary-style music video. This engagement is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Crane Group. Approximate run time: 2 hrs. Rated PG.


MLK Day @ Cranbrook

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day learn about the world around us. Cranbrook Institute of Science will be open from 10am – 5pm, and we’re hosting a special *story time in our Science Shop at 11:30am and 2:30pm*, perfect for preschool and elementary school kids. Story time is FREE with general admission, and free stickers and coloring sheets will be provided.




Join in on a local Day of Service event or create your own. Bake cookies and bring them to a senior center, write cards for kids at Children’s hospital, go on a special shopping trip and put together car packages for the homeless.


MLK Service Day @ Royal Oak High School

The event will begin at 8 am at Berkley High School with a light breakfast, followed by a short program in the auditorium where guests will hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and students recite the I Have a Dream Speech.  Beginning around 9 am following the morning program, various on- and off-site volunteer opportunities are available for participants.


Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration @ Auburn Hills Senior Services

Join us for a community-wide celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Enjoy a continental breakfast and hear special remarks from our guest speakers and city officials. Afterwards, we will gather in the gymnasium to make flannel tie blankets for those in need for donation to Grace Centers of Hope homeless shelter.


MLK Day of Service @ University of Michigan Dearborn

Volunteers from across campus and the surrounding community will come together on Monday, January 21, to lend a helping hand and inspire long lasting and positive change throughout the Metro Detroit area. Volunteers will be dispersed throughout the metropolitan Detroit area to support local community agencies in fulfilling their valuable missions.


Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service @ Macomb Community College

The MLK Day of Service is the college’s largest volunteer event. Each year, several hundred faculty, staff and students choose to “make it a day on, not a day off” by volunteering in their communities on this national day of service through the opportunities provided by Macomb Community College.



I Am Martin Luther King Jr. by Brad Meltzer

Fans of PBS’new show Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum will love the books that inspired the series. Find out how an ‘ordinary’ person like Martin Luther King Jr. helped change the world.


Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport

This picture-book biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world’s most influential leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Doreen Rappaport weaves the immortal words of Dr. King into a captivating narrative to tell the story of his life.


Be A King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford

Featuring a dual narrative of the key moments of Dr. King’s life alongside a modern class as the students learn about him, Carole Weatherford’s poetic text encapsulates the moments that readers today can reenact in their own lives.


Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Six Guiding Beliefs by Angela Farris Watkins

Drawing from experiences and episodes both personal and well-known, Dr. Watkins artfully details the guiding beliefs of one of the greatest men in history. Including “have courage” and “love your enemies,” these six hallmarks of virtue and nonviolence reinforce the truth that “the universe honors love” and will inspire readers of all ages.


Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson

In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak.Facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world.


As Good As Anybody by Richard Michelson

Martin Luther King, Jr.grew up in a loving family in the American South, at a time when this country was plagued by racial discrimination. Abraham Joshua Heschelgrew up in a loving family many years earlier, in a Europe that did not welcome Jews. Here is the story of two icons for social justice, how they formed a remarkable friendship and turned their personal experiences of discrimination into a message of love and equality for all.




About Carrie Budzinski

Carrie Budzinski is the Vice President of LittleGuide Detroit. She grew up in Livonia and Detroit and continues to live life in both cities. Carrie loves exploring the city and finding hidden gems in the suburbs..

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