4 Kid-Friendly Activities to Do in Metro Detroit this MLK Day

Museum exhibitions, arts and crafts, and educational film showings fit for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. day — a time to remember the advances that the Atlanta native, reverend, activist and leader contributed to the Civil Rights Movement. And while it might incite some time off of work, and for children, school, there’s more than a few ways for you to spend today, off the couch and out of the home, getting a glimpse at why MLK Jr. merits a holiday.

Motown Museum

Motown Museum will be open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, offering free admission to visitors 17 and under, when accompanied by a paid adult. Special performances and giveaways will be taking place throughout the day, as well. As part of the celebration, there will be a video message from Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. about the connection between Motown and Dr. King. Also scheduled are performances of original pieces by winners of the Motown MIC: The Spoken Word poetry competition in tribute to Dr. King. 2648 W Grand Blvd, Detroit; 313-875-2264; motownmuseum.org

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History 

The Detroit historical foundation will be celebrating the civil rights leader with a number of activities hosted throughout the day. While face painting and a photo booth has been arranged for younger museum visitors, African-American cultural storytelling and movies, including a showing of the 2018 film, The Hate U Give, which follows Starr Carter after she witnesses her life-long friend die at the hands of the police, is suited for more mature audiences. The Hands Together Around the World program is prepared for younger children, ages 5 and up, to make freedom bells and fill out MLK day coloring books. There will also be a number of local craft vendors at the site, and free Starbucks coffee offered. 315 E Warren Ave., Detroit; 313-494-5800; thewright.org

Henry Ford Museum of Innovation

In remembrance of Dr. King, the museum will offer free admission to all patrons. One of the most prized possessions on display is the Rosa Parks bus. Tour guides will recount how Parks’ bravery to remain seated upfront, despite being demanded to move, became a historic moment. Also scheduled is the “Mind on Freedom” presentation, a 30-minute performance that chronicles the contributions of Dr. King Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, Gloria Rackley, and the Freedom Riders to the Civil Rights Movement. 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn; 313-982-6001; thehenryford.org

Detroit Institute of Art 

The DIA has a special agenda in place for the holiday — a long list of family-fun activities are being offered throughout the day. The MLK Day Drop-In Art Making Shop promotes giving back to those in need, as kids can craft pamphlet stitch notebooks, which will be donated to local schools. In the museum’s Gallery Adventures, there will be pop-up tours and engagement activities for children of all ages. A showing of the Oscar-nominated film King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis will also be shown at the Detroit Film Theatre. For residents of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties, there is no cost general admission. 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900; dia.org

How are you celebrating MLK day? Let us know in the comments below.

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