Fun for LA Kids this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Weekend

Family activities in Los Angeles: MLK Day Parades, Day of Service, Inauguration weekend
Mayor Garcetti with the Youth Council celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. at the 2016 Kingdom Day Parade. Photo courtesy of Eric Garcetti

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others?'" This weekend, families can join together to answer that question, by participating in the MLK Day of Service. A day spent giving back is just one way to honor Dr. King's memory. There are parades, celebrations, and concerts throughout the weekend to bring our families and communities together in honor of his legacy.

Little ones can learn from Dr. King's example as well, with a number of events this weekend particularly geared toward young children. Kids can listen to inspiring stories about African American women, celebrate the diversity our world has to offer, and share their dreams for a better world.

Inspiration can be found on other fronts with founding fathers, pacifist bulls, lone Jedi, neighborly cats, Arabian urchins, and medico moppets all serving as examples of what one can achieve. Now is a good time to ask our children: how do you try to make a difference? And where do you find your inspiration?

Keep reading for some of our most inspired picks for this weekend.

Luzia. Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil


Martin Luther King Celebration - Pasadena
The activities at Kidspace this weekend explore ways we can serve and include others to make our communities stronger.

Disney's Aladdin - Hollywood​
Disney's Aladdin takes a magic carpet ride to the Pantages Theater.

Return Engagement: Coco at the El Capitan - Hollywood
The El Capitan brings back fan favorite Coco for daily morning screenings. (Star Wars: The Last Jedi continues with showtimes throughout the remainder of the day.)

Cirque du Soleil: Luzia - Echo Park
Cirque's journey through imaginary Mexico goes by way of Dodger Stadium.

Doc McStuffins: The Exhibit - Sylmar
Time to get your checkup, and you'd better do it quick! This is your last weekend to catch the Doc McStuffins exhibit at Discovery Cube Los Angeles.

Photo by Susan Woolley courtesy of Monster Jam


MLK Peace and Unity Parade Celebration - Long Beach
The annual parade is followed by a celebration at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.
Annual City of Culver City Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration - Culver City
Culver City's annual celebration is a fun day with music, speakers, a panel discussion, dramatic performances, and a screening of the film Agents of Change.  This year's theme is "The Beloved Community: Justice, Faith, Hope."

Santa Monica Symphony - Santa Monica
The Santa Monica Symphony's January concert is a celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and features works by Duke Ellington, Giacomo Puccini, Joseph Schwantner, and Aaron Copland.

Ben Franklin's Electric Birthday Party - Carson
That clever whippersnapper Ben Franklin is turning 312, and the International Printing Museum is celebrating by throwing him a party. Expected guests include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other folks your kids might have learned about from the Hamilton soundtrack.

Saturday Mornings at The Opera - Downtown
Who Wants to be an Opera Singer? offers a fun and interactive introduction to the world of opera.
Vashti Harrison Author Talk & Book Signing - West LA
Author Vashti Harrison discusses her book Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History at Children's Book World.

Dr. King's Legacy - Carson
The life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is celebrated at the library branch named in his honor.

TSFY: Toyota Symphonies for Youth - Downtown
The Los Angeles Philharmonic performs a little magic, introducing young musical fans to Dvořák's Symphony No. 9.

AMC Theatres Sensory Friendly Films - Multiple Locations
Feel free to be you at a sensory friendly screening of Ferdinand.

Daniel Tiger Appearance at the La Habra Children's Museum - La Habra
​It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood: Daniel Tiger is coming for a visit!

Play in a Day Youth Theatre Workshop - San Gabriel
Kids between the ages of 12-17 can hone improvisation skills, work on acting chops, and create an ensemble performance in this special one day workshop.

Science Fair - Multiple Locations
All Lakeshore Learning Stores host a free science fair this Saturday, with hands-on activities and experiments.

Monster Jam - Anaheim
Monster trucks smash, crash, and battle their way through Angel Stadium.


Learn some new moves at the Wallis where you can get free dance lessons. Photo courtesy of the Wallis


Happy Birthday Marion - Santa Monica
That Marion Davies knew how to throw a party! The Annenberg Community Beach House continues the tradition in honor of her birthday.

Dance Sundays - Beverly Hills
Put on your dancing shoes: Debbie Allen is going to teach you to dance! (This month it's Flamenco.)

Steven Puppets' Aladdin - Beverly Hills
This free puppet show follows Aladdin from the streets to the royal palace and beyond.

Martin Luther King Day of Service - Costa Mesa
The Segerstrom offers kids opportunities to help other kids, by preparing a backpack for a child in the foster system, creating an encouraging card and more.

Free Day at USC Pacific Asia Museum - Pasadena
This free day is full of fun, including an animated film, storytime, and instruction in character design.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival - San Pedro​
The short films shown for this fest are totally wild.

Zimmer Sunday Family Programs - Mid-Wilshire
Kids can share their dreams for a better world in remembrance of the legacy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Listen to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speeches at the California African American Museum, which is easily accessible from the Metro Expo Line. Photo courtesy of California African American Museum 


Free Entrance Days in the National Parks - Multiple Locations
National Parks are open to the public with free admission in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Kingdom Day Parade - Los Angeles
One of the nation's largest events celebrating the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Kingdom Day Parade, generally attracts more than a million people.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration - Santa Monica
Santa Monica College SGI Auditorium is home to one of SoCal's largest celebrations of Dr. King's birthday.

Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration - Inglewood
Inglewood's celebration starts with a commemorative program at the Tabernacle, continues with a symbolic civil rights march, and ends with a family festival at the Forum.

Target Free Holiday Monday at LACMA Mid-Wilshire
LACMA is free for the MLK Day holiday.

Big Sunday’s 6th Annual MLK Day Clothing Collection & Community Breakfast - Hollywood
Through Monday morning, Big Sunday is collecting clothes to distribute to Angelenos in need. On MLK Day volunteers help to sort the donations. And eat breakfast.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration - Exposition Park
The California African American Museum celebrates the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

As always, there are more activities listed on our daily events calendar, and if you don't already receive this post as a weekly email, you should totally subscribe. Whatever you choose to do this weekend, we hope you have truly inspirational time!