MLK Jr Day in LA: 2017


Each year, it seems more and better events crop up at which you can celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day around town. With a long weekend on the docket, it’s nice to have something to do that represents the spirit of the holiday.

EXPLORE: Here is a well-curated list of activities for young kids from Red Tricycle. We particularly like the idea of heading to the California African American Museum (next to the CA Science Center) for their Community Celebration Monday, January 16 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Seize the MLK moment to visit this cool museum; there are several interesting exhibits that will close in February, so take a look around – and don’t miss the show about race in the Berlin Olympics (another look at the 1936 Olympics featured in the bestselling book, Boys in the Boat).

Identity at The Annenberg Space for Photography

Older kids might be interested in visiting the Annenberg Space for Photography, where the stunning portraits by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders of African Americans, Latinos, and other minority groups will help you tee up conversation about diversity in society right now. Here’s our story about the show. 

SERVE: Perhaps the most appropriate way to commemorating the birthday of the great civil rights leader is to spend at least some of the day in service. Here are a few organized options that look worthy to us.

Help LGBTQ Homeless Youth Downtown with Human Rights Campaign on Monday, January 16 at Children’s Hospital.

LA Works is listing a service opportunities on Monday (1/16) to revitalize and beautify the campus of Dorsey High School, a Title I high schools in Mid-City, Los Angeles. At this Title I school, 60% of the students receive free lunch and come from families that are low-income.


LEARN: Watching the film Selma with tweens and teens is also an excellent activity. Common Sense recommends the film for 13+ , and we love everything about the movie. Other films from this year that are relevant are Loving, Hidden Figures, and Moonlight.  Selma, Loving and Hidden Figures all received the Common Sense Seal (good for family viewing); Moonlight is recommended for 17+ because of more intense themes.

Martin’s Big Words

For younger kids, we like this Caldecott Award-winning picture book by Doreen Rappaport, Martin’s Big Words: The Life and Times of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Time Magazine recently published a good list of books to read to expand your knowledge of Dr. King’s life.