Ways to Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. With Boston Kids

At a recent MLK Day at MFA, interactive artwork was designed by Artists For Humanity. Photo courtesy of Helene Norton Russell via Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Things to Do with Kids on MLK Day in Boston

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day off from school, when families can explore the life, legacy, and lessons of the iconic civil rights leader (and take a break from schedules a bit). But Monday is also a day on: when kids and adults are encouraged to help out in their communities and find ways to show kindness to others in gestures of service. Boston offers families plenty of ways to commemorate and learn more about Dr. King’s legacy throughout the holiday weekend.

Joyful Noise ConcertSanders Theatre, Cambridge
Saturday, January 19, 2019 
The annual gospel concert honoring the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. features the Harlem Gospel Choir, sharing its message of peace, hope and love. 

Day of Service and Celebration Tribute ConcertGeorge Sherman Union, Boston
Monday, January 21, 2019
The Boston Youth Symphony, in association with the Museum of African American History and the Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events, presents a free, family-friendly concert that pays tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. FREE

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of ServiceIsabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
Monday, January 21, 2019
Families are welcome to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by exploring the majestic gardens and legendary galleries of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, with performances focused on the theme of community service. FREE


The Harlem Gospel Choir is performing in the annual Joyful Noise Concert in Cambridge.

Annual Cambridge MLK Day of ServiceCity Hall, Cambridge MA
Monday, January 21, 2019 
Cambridge families can volunteer at the 8th Annual Cambridge Day of Service (organized by Many Helping Hands 365) to celebrate Martin Luther King Day and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with activities like making fleece blankets for the homeless and valentines for seniors. FREE

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute ConcertJordan Hall, Boston
Monday, January 21, 2019 
In partnership with New England Conservatory, Boston Children’s Chorus celebrates the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday with performances paying tribute to King’s work and reflecting on the challenges we still face as a society. This year's theme is "She Persisted," focusing on women's role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Open HouseMuseum of Fine Arts, Boston
Monday, January 21, 2019 
The MFA offers free admission, films, performances, and art activities in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. FREE

Benkadi Drum and Dance: African FreedomJohn F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston
Monday, January 21, 2019
Families can join the JFK Library and Museum as the multicultural Benkadi Drum and Dance group returns to perform new dances that showcase the traditional rhythms and movements from West African countries. Reservations required; call or register via the website. Be sure to check FREE

Photo courtesy of Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History

Celebrate Martin Luther King Day Family DaySpellman Museum, Weston
Monday, January 21, 2019
Kids can learn about Dr. King's life and participate in various stamp activities, like making their own free collection of US stamps from the Black Heritage US stamp series.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day CelebrationSomerville
Monday, January 21, 2019
This annual event features musical performances by El Sistema and the World Percussion Ensemble, as well as readings by winners of the town student essay contest.  A keynote address will be given by Aba Taylor, a social justice educator, facilitator and organizer. This year, the Somerville Human Rights Commission will hold a Winter Clothing Drive during the event, so consider bringing new or gently worn winter clothes suitable for school-aged children.

Originally published Jan 2012; Updated 1/13, 1/14, 1/15, 1/16, 1/17, 1/18, 1/19