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. Monday is also a day on, a day of service when kids and adults are encouraged to help out in their communities and find ways to show kindness to others.
Boston offers families numerous ways to commemorate Dr. King’s legacy throughout the holiday weekend:
Joyful Noise Concert - Sanders Theatre, Cambridge
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.
Big Dreams for MLK Day - Belmont
Young children pack and decorate toiletry bags to donate to Horizons for Homeless Children and make a dream-themed craft to take home. There are also interactive songs and stories about Martin Luther King Jr. from musician Scott Kepnes.
Day of Service and Celebration - Faneuil Hall, Boston
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 concert that pays tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. FREE
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service - Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
Families are welcome to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by exploring the majestic gardens and legendary galleries of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum focused on the theme of community service. FREE
The Harlem Gospel Choir is performing in the annual Joyful Noise Concert at Harvard.
Annual Cambridge MLK Day of Service - City Hall, Cambridge Senior Center, and the YWCA Central Square, Cambridge MA
Cambridge families can volunteer at the 6th 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. FREE
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert - Jordan Hall, Boston
In partnership with New England Conservatory, Boston Children’s Chorus celebrates the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday with a raw acoustic performance paying tribute to King’s work and reflecting on the challenges we still face as a society. SOLD OUT
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Open House - MFA, Boston
The Museum of Fine Arts offers free admission, films, performances, and art activities in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. FREE
Benkadi Drum and Dance: African Journey - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston
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. FREE
MLK Family Day - Spellman Museum, Weston
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.
Celebrate Martin Luther King Day - Children’s Museum in Easton
Children and families celebrate diversity and participate in service-learning activities commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Free with museum admission
Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration: “One Somerville” - Somerville
This annual event features a keynote address by Tufts University’s Provost and Senior Vice President David R. Harris, presentations by winners of a student essay contest, a presentation of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words and photos, and performances by several groups from Somerville High School.
Photo © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Activities during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Open House at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Originally published Jan 2012; Updated 1/13, 1/14, 1/15, 1/16, 1/17