MLK Day Freebies & Deals – Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is Monday, January 18, 2021. Of course, in the United States, we celebrate Martin Luther King Day on the third Monday in January. MLK Day is a National Holiday that celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He was a leader in the movement to end racial segregation in the United States.
MLK’s “I Have a Dream” is probably something that you automatically connect with the civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Because, his most famous address was the “I Have A Dream” speech.
While we’ve included a big list of events below, be sure to check your local area for MLK Events near you. Typically, there may be parades, breakfast events, walkathons/runs, and much more.With the pandemic, this year may look very different.
List of MLK Day Freebies
Nationwide MLK Day Freebies
- 30th Annual MLK Celebration – January 14, 2021, 10 am (virtual)
On January 14, 2021, Florida International University’s Office of Multicultural Programs and Services will host its 30th Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Celebration to honor one of the world’s greatest leaders. Today, the MLK Commemorative Celebration, the university’s premier event, is a world-class community celebration attracting local dignitaries and students from various schools to pay homage to Dr. King’s life and legacy.
- 39th Annual MLK Celebration – January 18, 2021, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CST (virtual)
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration commemorates the legacy of Dr. King and allows the Oregon State community to reflect on his work in today’s context through engaging workshops, presentations and service opportunities. In its 39th year, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is Oregon State University’s longest running annual event focused on social justice and transformative change. Registration is required. Held on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while honoring members of the Oregon State community who carry his message and work forward in the present.
- Arboretums and Botanical Gardens – check with those in your area for any special offers
- Museums – as you can see from the specific list below, many museums will offer free admission on MLK day. Check with your local museum to see if they’re offering free entry
- Free Admission to National Parks – Open parks, and parks that charge admission, will waive fees on MLK Day.
- Hundreds more events nationwide can be found on Google.
MLK Day FREE Admission & Events by State
- Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice, located in Montgomery, Alabama. So, don’t miss their feature, The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration. The museum is situated on a site in Montgomery where enslaved people were once warehoused. Additionally, it is located one block from one of the most prominent slave auction spaces in America. And, the Legacy Museum is steps away from an Alabama dock and rail station where tens of thousands of Black people were trafficked during the 19th century.
- The Mark Twain House & Museum, located in Hartford, Connecticut, offers Free tours of the historic house on Martin Luther King Jr. Day from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. However, they are closed due to the pandemic.
- Adler Planetarium,
Illinois residents that have ID will get free general admission.Unfortunately the Adler is closed until further notice.
- Shedd Aquarium,
Free admission for Illinois residents on 1/18/, 1/19 and 1/20.Also closed, however their virtual programs are available!
- The Field Museum,
Free admission for Illinois residents 1/20/20.Also closed until further notice.
- Indiana Historical Society free admission on January 18, 2021, 9 am – 4 pm.FREE ADMISSION (Advance Tickets Required)Pause and reflect as we remember Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. through the power of music. Come enjoy the sounds, and raise your voice as we learn about the anthems of the marches and demonstrations of the Civil Rights era. From spirituals to ballads, these songs are the soundtrack to celebrate the vibrant and resilient heritage of Black Americans.
- The Museum of Fine Arts, located in Boston. Free admission on January 18, 2020, from 5-6 pm. (virtual)
Join us online to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by surrounding yourself with art, culture, and community. Citizens has sponsored the MFA’s MLK Day community celebration for 19 consecutive years—allowing the Museum to welcome more than 120,000 visitors into our galleries to enjoy free performances, tours, talks, art-making activities, and more. This year’s virtual celebration, streaming here and on Facebook and YouTube, is on Monday, January 18.
- Detroit Institute of Arts located in Detroit is open! General admission is always free for residents of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. However, no specific events are planned for MLK day.
- Flint Institute of Arts, located in Detroit.FIA is open, but also has a number of free resources on their website. Nothing specific is planned at this time.
- Henry Ford Museum is open, however, no specific events are planned.
Minnesota MLK Day Freebies
- Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, located St. Paul, Minnesota. While the Ordway is not currently open, they do have a great video Visionaries Who Matter. In other words, every year for the past 27 years, the Ordway has honored members of Minnesota’s artistic community with Sally Awards, which recognize and celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of artists, educators, volunteers, philanthropists, and leaders who strengthen and enrich our state with their commitment to the arts. This year we are unable to gather in person to recognize another group of outstanding Minnesota artists, but at this particular moment in time, we feel the celebration of the arts have never been more vital to the health of our community.
- Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, located in Jackson. Explore the movement that changed the nation. Discover stories of Mississippians like Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer and Vernon Dahmer—as well as those who traveled many miles to stand beside them, come what may, in the name of equal rights for all. Sunday, January 10, noon–4 p.m. Free Sundays at the Two Mississippi Museums. Admission to the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is free every Sunday.
- Museum of Mississippi History, is also located in Jackson. So, you can explore 15,000 years of history and learn how our shared past influences our future together. Sunday, January 10, noon–4 p.m. Free Sundays at the Two Mississippi Museums. Additionally, admission to the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum is free every Sunday.
- Saratoga Automobile Museum– open, but nothing currently planned.
- MLK Saratoga’s 6th Annual Dr. King Celebration Weekend, Friday, January 15, 2021 through Monday, January 18, 2021. This year’s theme is “Let’s Talk Saratoga! – Changing the Conversation.” The event lineup includes a series of conversations moderated by community leaders, clergy, activists, and experts. These thought-provoking discussions will include topics such as The Impact of Art in Activism, Systemic Racism & Our Saratoga Springs Police Department, and Protest.
- Levine Museum of the New South, located Charlotte, NC. Although they have interactive things to do on their website, no specific plans for MLK day have been announced.
Ohio MLK Day Free Events
- Akron Art Museum, located in Akron, Ohio. They are temporarily closed.
- Akron Zoo, located in Akron. Free admission for all guests on MLK day. Parking is $3.Tickets must be reserved online (see link). No tickets will be available at the door. To avoid overcrowding, tickets are available via time ticketing. The time selected for your tickets is the time you must enter the park.All guests, ages 10 and older, are required to wear a mask at all times when in the Akron Zoo.
- Baseball Heritage Museum, located in Cleveland. Unfortunately, the museum is closed until further notice.
- Cleveland Botanical Garden, located in Cleveland.Don’t miss their virtual Black Botanist Week, a Twitter campaign that took place in July 2020, “to promote, encourage, create a safe space for, and find more Black people who love plants.” This campaign went viral, reaching thousands of viewers and attracting Black Botanists from around the globe. The participants received an outpouring of support and requests for collaboration through their newly created #BlackBotanistsWeek Twitter account and website . Media coverage of this movement included such outlets as WNYC news, Cape Talk Radio, Newzroom Afrika and The Daily Item. The organizing committee strives to leverage these collaborations to fund a Black Botanists Week Scholarship to support underrepresented groups in pursuing botanical fields.
- Cleveland Museum of Art, located in Cleveland.
Martin Luther King Day Program: Becoming a Beloved CommunityMonday, January 18, 2021, 6:00 p.m. (virtual)
- Cleveland Museum of Natural History, located in Cleveland. Museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday through January 31. As a result, they have no specific plans for MLK celebrations.
- Great Lakes Science Center located in Cleveland is open. But, they have nothing planned specifically for MLK.
- Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is located in Beachwood. While they’re closed until further notice, they are sponsoring a Stop the Hate contest! And, they have free classroom materials to help teachers Stop the Hate.
$100,000 ESSAY CONTEST for Northeast Ohio 6-12th Graders!
Because, you have the power to make a positive difference in the world.
Share what you’ve learned through your life experiences and tell how you’ll apply that knowledge in helping to create a brighter future.
Grades 6-10 ESSAYS DUE MAR. 19, 2021, 11:59pm
Grades 11 & 12 ESSAYS DUE MAR. 26, 2021, 11:59pm
- Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, located in Cleveland. They are not open. However, don’t miss their virtual exhibit “It’s Been Said All Along: Rage, Hope, Empowerment”. In every generation, musicians have responded in song and action to promote social justice and equality. What the world is seeing today, as injustices are called out and protesters are finding their voices, is not new. And, neither are the musical responses. For example, words and music and passion converging to create something much bigger that cuts deep into the rage, gives hope and radiates empowerment.
- Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – open for curbside pickup, but no events planned.
- Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, located in Pittsburgh. Not open.
- National Civil Rights Museum, located in Memphis.
VIRTUAL KING DAY EVENT
Monday, January 18 • 12:00pm and 6:00pm central
Museum closed for visits due to covid restrictions
The National Civil Rights Museum will remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Because he’s one of the most prolific humanitarians and leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement. Of course, the focus of the celebration is community service and social justice in honor of Dr. King’s impact on the global society.
- Northwest African American Museum, located in Seattle. Although they’re temporarily closed, they have a number of virtual programs available on their website.
MLK Day Discounts & Deals
- Bed, Bath and Beyond save up to 50% on clearance items
- Bloomingdales save up to 40% on clearance items
- Container Store save up to 30% on select items
- Crate and Barrel save 20% on linens and bedding
- Macy’s save up to 70% on jackets, shoes and other select items
- Nordstrom save up to 50% on shoes
- Old Navy save up to 60% storewide
- Target get up to 25% on home item
- Ulta save up to 50% on Skincare, hair products and makeup