In 2023 Martin Luther King Day falls on Monday, January 16th. Schools are out. Government offices and libraries are closed. We are collecting this year’s MLK day celebration opportunities as they are announced.
Events and Activities to Observe Martin Luther King Day
Monday, January 16, 2023:
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration
Powderhorn Recreation Center, 3400 15th Ave. S Minneapolis, MN 55407
Powderhorn neighborhood’s family-friendly, 2-hour artist showcase featuring storytellers, visual artists and performing artists, art activities, lunch and giveways. FREE event. 11am-2pm. Learn more here.
MLK Movie Night
Windom South Park, 5843 Wentworth Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55419
Kids ages 6-17 can watch footage on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., color one of his favorite pictures and have a snack. FREE. 2:30-4:30pm. Limited Openings. Register Here.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center, 4055 Nicollet Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55409
The annual presentation of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Living the Dream award. The celebration will be emceed by Chad Jackson of the Minnesota Twins and the keynote speaker will be Larry McKenzie with guest speaker Mary Merrill. This year’s entertainment will be a musical performances by Ray Covington, Jamyah Trueblood.” 6:30-8pm, FREE. Learn more here.
MLK Day Trivia
East Phillips Park, 2399 17th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Trivia for kids ages 5-12 relating to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and have a snack. FREE. 3-4pm. Call regarding registration: 612-370-4888.
MLK Day: Use Your Voice
East Phillips Park, 2399 17th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Kids ages 10-17 will learn to speak up, share their stories and use their voice for change and activism. FREE. 4:30-6:39pm. Register Here.
National Day of Racial Healing
Westwood Hills Nature Center, 8300 W. Franklin Ave., St. Louis Park
Children, teens and community members can gather to “get to know each other, cultivate trusting relationships and learn about diverse backgrounds, cultures, perspectives and lived experiences.” 4-7pm, FREE. Registration Required.
Martin Luther King Day At Your Own Pace:
MCTC Self-Guided Community Unity Vigil
A self-guided tour of Minneapolis building murals to reflect on the struggle for justice, change, equity and hope. Learn more on MCTC’s website.
Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery
1256 Penn Avenue N., Fourth Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55411
Regular Hours: Tues-Fri 1pm-5pm; Sat 10am–1pm
The permanent exhibit, UNBREAKABLE: Celebrating the Resilience of African Americans in Minnesota explores African American history in Minnesota from the settlers and pioneers through the world wars. Stop by the Children’s Reading section for a story break.
Did You Know?
Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55155
Sumner Library, 611 Van White Memorial Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55411
Minnesota Sculptor George Bassett has made two busts of Martin Luther King, Jr. that are on display in the Twin Cities? A smaller bust at Sumner Library and a larger one at the State Capitol. The Capitol offers free guided tours and also allows self-guided tours during open hours. Sumner Library hours and information can be found here.
Other Ways to Observe During the Week:
Friday, January 13, 2023:
Sounds of Blackness: Music for Martin
Ordway Center for Performing Arts, 345 Washington Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Incorporating jazz, blues, spirituals, rock & roll, R&B, gospel, hip hop and soul, Sounds of Blackness shares the music that fueled the Civil Rights Movement interwoven with excerpts from Reverend King’s great speeches. 7pm. Information and Tickets to Music for Martin.
Tuesday, January 17, 2023:
FULL: MLK Day Trivia and Pizza
Bottineau Field Park, 2000 2nd St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Hang out for some trivia and pizza. 4-6pm. Waiting List.
Wednesday, January 18, 2023:
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
Farview Park, 621 29th Ave N., Minneapolis, MN 55411
All ages celebration focusing on youth and youth groups honoring the vision of Dr. Martín Luther King, Jr., includes art activities, performances and dinner. 5:30-8pm. Learn More.
Friday, January 20, 2023:
FULL: MLK Community Day
Central Gym Park, 3416 S Fourth Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55408
Night honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., will have food, movie, and presentation. 5-8pm. Waiting List.
MLK Day of Service
Many families like to use the MLK Holiday as an excellent way to focus on promoting social justice and fighting poverty through volunteer opportunities.
- Gianna has gathered a list of family-friendly volunteer opportunities here.
- Gather up non-perishable food donations for the 12th annual “Feeding the Dream” Food Drive. Traditionally, families can drop off items at any MPRB Recreation Center through Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
- Our friends at Doing Good Together offered several ideas to Turn Family Movie Night into a Cozy Act of Kindness. You can find a list of family-friendly movies here.
At Home MLK Fun & Learning
- Listen to the “I Have A Dream” Speech.
- Minnesota Historical Society: Black History, Black Voices – YouTube videos of last year’s event explore the legacy of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement in our own community.
- Minnesota Children’s Museum has several suggestions for celebrating with kids here, including age-appropriate videos and reflection questions.
- Watch the animated digital reading of “Something Happened in our Town” that Children’s Theatre Company produced to help families discuss big issues like inequality, injustice and our goal of racial equity.
- Take advantage of your library card’s access to Bookflix and read/watch these pairings together:
- Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport and Martin Luther King Jr. by Kitson Jazynka.
- Coretta Scott by Ntozake Shang and Martin Luther King Jr Day by Kitson Jazynka.
Find Family Fun for the Long Weekend
For more things to do over Martin Luther King, Jr weekend jump over to our Weekend Guide.
Do you know of any other celebrations or fun activities that we missed? Leave us the information in the comments and we’ll share with the community.
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