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 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.
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, with performances 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 MA
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 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.
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
George Russell Jr. and Company: Clap Your Hands - 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 musical performances by El Sistema and the World Percussion Ensemble, as well as readings by winners of the town student essay contest. This year, the Somerville Human Rights Commission will be recognizing the work of the late Mr. Ralph Hergert, former director of Human Services for the City of Somerville who helped create the town's Human Rights Commission as well as the annual MLK Day celebration.
Originally published Jan 2012; Updated 1/13, 1/14, 1/15, 1/16, 1/17, 1/18