This year, MLK Day commemorations will coincide with the Presidential Inauguration. It was 150 years ago when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery, and 50 years ago when Dr. King delivered his “I Had a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. President Obama will see that monument at his inauguration.
The President is asking all citizens to join him in participating in a National Day of Service in honor of Dr. King on Saturday, January 19.
In 1994, Congress designated the holiday a day of service, asking Americans to observe it as a “day on–not a day off” in honor of King’s words, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”
Locally, Montclair schools are doing wonderful acts of service in honor of Dr. Kin. Check out the details on the district’s website.
You can find ways to serve on the Day of Service website here, and we have put together more ways your family can celebrate and/or serve on, or before, MLK day:
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
Who: All ages.
What: Be inspired by the life and work of one of the twentieth century’s most inspiring leaders at NJPAC’s annual musical celebration. This season’s event puts the spotlight on contemporary gospel with two of the music’s hottest stars: Marvin Sapp, whose rousing 2007 album, Thirsty, topped the gospel charts for 27 consecutive weeks; and Kim Burrell, whose unique sound combines traditional gospel with elements of jazz.
Where: NJPAC, Prudential Hall, 1 Center Street, Newark, NJ.
When: Sunday, January 18 at 7:00 pm.
Cost: $29-$69. Click here to purchase tickets online
Martin Luther King Day Weekend
Who: All ages.
What: Join the staff of Morristown NHP on Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend for free tours of the Ford Mansion and special programs throughout the park. Call or visit the website for a schedule of events.
Where: Morristown National Historical Park, 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ.
When: Saturday through Monday, January 19 through 21 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm each day.
Cost: Free. For more information call 973-539-2016×210 or email Justin Monetti at Justin_Monetti@nps.gov.
Imagine That! Asks “What’s Your Dream?”
Who: All ages.
What: Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. with craft activities on either Saturday, January 19 and Sunday, January 20 at Imagine That! in Florham Park. From 10am until 5:30pm, your little one can create a personalized picture that answers “What’s Your Dream?”
Where: Imagine That!, 4 Vreeland Road, Florham Park, NJ.
When: Saturday, January 19 and Sunday, January 20 from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.
Cost: $9.95 per child and $7.95 per adult. For more information call (973) 966-8000.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration: What Does Freedom Mean To You?
Who: All ages.
What: Commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation with art and science workshops that teach about slavery and freedom.
Where: Newark Museum, 49 Washington Street, Newark, NJ.
When: Monday, January 21 from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm.
Cost: Free. For more information please call 973-596-6550.
Celebrate Dr. King: Explore the Dream Through Art
Who: Children ages 4-12.
What: Express Yourself Studios; located at 1877 Springfield Avenue in Maplewood will host its 5th annual “Celebrate Dr. King: Explore the Dream Through Art” workshop, January 21st . Children ages 4-12 are welcome to learn about Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement through art. Children will create art exploring the themes of Peace, Equality and Friendship.
Where: Express Yourself Studios, 1877 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood, NJ.
When: Monday, January 21 from 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.
Cost: $15. In addition, all participants are asked to bring a canned or boxed non-perishable food item to be donated to the Wallace Chapel Food Pantry (a service of Wallace Chapel Church) in Summit, NJ. For more information, click here.
Who: Ages 7 to 14.
What: “Tomorrow’s Leaders” is for children ages 7 to 14. Participants will go on a winter hike and discuss good environmental stewardship practices as well as how to “lead” others on the trail. Warm up by the campfire with stories and hot chocolate.
Where: Essex County Environmental Center, 621B Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland, NJ.
When: Monday, January 21 at 10:30 am.
Cost: Cost is $6 per child. Advance registration required. For information, call 973-228-8776.
Children’s Museum of Manhattan on MLK Day
Who: Little kids.
What: CMOM will offer fun Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. projects all day to celebrate: Make a Difference Pledge, do self-portraits for a mural, and more!
Where: CMOM, The Tisch Building, 212 West 83rd Street, NYC.
When: Monday, January 21 from 10 am – 5 pm.
Cost: Admission for children over 12 months old and adults is $11.
Jersey Cares Day of Service Activities
Who: Ages 4 and up.
What: Jersey Cares carries a mission to “be the change.” On Monday, January 21, this organization has more than 50 volunteer opportunities in all areas of the garden state. All events will run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. From sorting donated clothing items to painting murals, individuals and families can find activities that will pass on the spirit of MLK Jr. Volunteers ages 4+ are welcome to participate at select sites. Some sites have different age limits, please check before registering. Volunteers under the age of 18 must have a youth waiver signed by their parent or guardian in order to participate.
Where: Various New Jersey Locations.
When: Monday, January 21 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.
Cost: Free. For more information click here or call (973)424-1091.
The 24th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Scholarship Breakfast
Who: All ages
What: Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson will speak at this annual Montclair event in honor of Dr. King.
Where: George Inness Annex of Montclair High School, 100 Chestnut Street, Montclair, NJ, 07042
When: Monday, January 21, from 7:30 to 9:30 am.
Cost: Tickets are $30 for adults; $10 for students and are available at the door. For more details contact: Stanley White, 973-746-2826.
Community Soup Kitchen in Morristown Day of Service For Families
What: Bring donations of food and help decorate and pack”breakfast bags” and “winter meals” for donation to the Community Soup Kitchen in Morristown, NJ.
Where: The Community House, 25 Cook Avenue, Madison, NJ
When: Monday, January 21 from 10 am – 12:30 pm
Cost: Free. Contact Jennifer Tanner here for more information.