Weekend Fun: Hello Titanosaur, Thunderbird Dance Fest, MLK Day Celebrations

Best Martin Luther King Day Weekend Events for New York City Kids and Families

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which means a three-day weekend for many NYC families with school-age kids. Whether you choose to commemorate the civil rights leader's life with one of the city's many terrific MLK Day events, take a quick trip out of town, hit the slopes or spend quality time with your kids right here in NYC, we've got plenty of ideas on how to enjoy the long weekend.

Check out the American Museum of Natural History as it unveils a massive new dinosaur, get your geek on at the fourth annual Black Comic Book Festival, catch a family flick at MoMA, head to Flushing for a Thunderbird American Indian dance fest or Lincoln Center with your preschooler for a special sing-along.

These are just a few of the great things going on this Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. All of our picks are below. You can find additional options in our Event Calendar and our Winter Fun Guide.

All Weekend

The Titanosaur — Upper West Side
The American Museum of Natural History welcomes its largest dinosaur to date on Friday, January 15: the Titanosaur! This recently discovered herbivore is about 19-feet high and 122-feet long. It is so long, in fact, that its neck and head will be the first things you see as you enter the museum's fourth-floor dinosaur floor! Wow your budding paleontologists by heading to opening weekend. Its reveal also kicks off the Natural History museum's yearlong celebration of the prehistoric creatures. Free with museum admission.

Living History Days: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Weekend Upper West Side
Rally around the 26th New York Regiment U.S. Colored Troops at the New-York Historical Society all weekend. Find out what it was like to fight for racial equality during the Civil War. Get an up close-up look at the soldier's clothing and gear and learn how they trained. Free with paid admission.

Saturday, January 16

The Joshua Show — Upper West Side
Learn to appreciate our differences and find happiness in the little things with Joshua Holden and his soul-mate sock puppet Mr. Nicholas in a music and dance filled puppet show at Symphony Space this weekend.

Legend Has It — Fort Greene, Brooklyn
In this live-action fantasy adventure the hero is plucked from the audience. The fantastical world in Legend Has It is brought to life via sound effects, props, evocative costumes and commedia dell'arte masks and is never the same show twice.

Watching the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers will make the whole family want to dance. Courtesy Flushing Town Hall.

Thunderbird American Indian Dance Concert and Workshop Flushing
Enjoy dances, stories and music from the Iroquois and native people of the Southwest and Great Plains regions at Flushing Town Hall. Families can also join in a pre-show workshop and learn the steps to the Iroquois Nation's Robin Dance.

The Nuts: Sing and Dance in Your Polka Dot Pants — Upper West Side
Enjoy an interactive sing-along and storytime with author and musician Eric Litwin (of Pete the Cat series fame) as he brings his guitar, harmonicas and his new book, The Nuts: Sing and Dance in Your Polka Dot Pants, to the David Rubenstein Atrium. FREE

Destination of Saturn by Stacey Robinson at the Black Comic Book Festival. Photo provided courtesy the festival.

Black Comic Book Festival Harlem
Meet noted comic book artists and authors, attend panels and workshops, and watch kid-friendly shorts and cartoons at the Schomburg Center's fourth annual fest. Online pre-registration required and all activities are first come, first served. FREE

A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — Jamaica
Celebrate the civil rights icon at Queens' Children’s Library Discovery Center with storyteller Joy Kelly Smith, who met Dr. King and Rosa Parks back in the day after becoming the first African-American student at her school. FREE

Changes, Changes, 1973, by Gene Deitch is one of the family films at MoMA. Photo courtesy Weston Woods.

MoMA Family Films: Shape Shifting Midtown West
The Museum of Modern Art's family film selection this month features a slate of abstract shorts on shapes and lines. After the films, stay and explore the museum. FREE but tickets distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

See all Saturday events.

Sunday, January 17

The Big Family Quiz Thing — Astoria
Do your kids love sharing random facts? Put their knowledge to the test at this annual quiz for families. The six fast and funny rounds of multimedia trivia run the gamut from sports to pop culture to history. Plus: Prizes for the winners!

Winter Seals and Waterbirds EcoCruise — South Street Seaport
Explore New York Harbor with naturalist Gabriel Willow as you search for harbor seals, wintering birds and other flora and fauna from the deck of a New York Water Taxi. Read our review of an Audubon Cruise a few winters ago to know what to expect. 

See all Sunday events.

Monday, January 18

There are many ways for families to honor Martin Luther King Jr. today including peace marches, enriching museum programs and kid-friendly volunteer opportunities. Read our in-depth MLK Day post for the full list of NYC events.

Bonus Monday options:

Cool School Holiday — Staten Island
Spend the day playing at the Staten Island Children's Museum, which offers no-cost admission in honor of the holiday. FREE

Dinosaurs and Fossils — Staten Island
Budding paleontologists can explore fossils and get up close to live prehistoric reptiles and animal descendants of dinosaurs at the Staten Island Zoo. Free with admission.

See all Monday events.

Top photo courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History.