7 Ways to Honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day Around Chicago

Martin Luther King Jr. Ways to Celebrate in Chicago National Park Service
National Park Service

On the third Monday in January, we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the influential civil rights leader. Here are some ways you can celebrate his legacy around Chicago, or at home with family. 

1. Attend a commemoration celebration

The University of Chicago will honor Martin Luther King Jr. during a commemoration celebration with Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr. and Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 6pm. Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 South Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago 

2. Honor his legacy at a local museum

On Jan. 20, stop by the DuSable Museum of African American History for “King Day 2020: Focused on Freedom.” The program will have music, crafts, lectures and films in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 740 East 56th Place, Chicago

3. Read a book together

Martin Luther King Jr Day: "March On!" by Christine King Farris
Scholastic Inc

NPR’s GPB Media complied a great list of picture books for children that will help them learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement.

4. Attend a storytelling at the Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum Martin Luther King Jr Day Celebration
Chicago History Museum

This family-friendly event at the Chicago History Museum includes a production of “The MLK Project: The Fight for Civil Rights” by Writers Theatre, a performance by the Chicago Chamber Choir, and storytelling and crafts. 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago

5. Give Back in Harmony on MLK Day

Martin Luther King Jr Day: The Volunteer Center
The Volunteer Center

Bring the family to The Volunteer Center and the Winnetka Youth Organization’s Day of Service on Jan. 20 at the Community House in Winnetka. You can drop in between 1-4 p.m. and give back to 12 local nonprofits by making blankets for the homeless, dog toys for shelter pets, cards for veterans, and more. In addition to the hands-on projects, all ages and abilities are also invited to sing or play appropriate music to honor Dr. King’s legacy of peace and equality. Reserve a time slot to perform, [email protected]. More details at The Volunteer Center. 620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka

6. Listen to his speeches during a tribute concert

Martin Luther King Jr Day: Chicago Sinfonietta Tribute Concert
Chicago Sinfonietta

Chicago Sinfonietta presents its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tribute concert with Chicago Sinfonietta Assistant Conductor Jonathan Rush and “The Voice” semi-finalist Kymberli Joye performing Patty Griffin’s “Up to the Mountain” and the Chicago premiere of “The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed” by Joel Thompson. Jan. 19: Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville; Jan. 20: Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

7. Attend an interactive program at the Chicago Children’s Museum

MLK Jr Day Activities Chicago Children's Museum
Chicago Children’s Museum

The Chicago Children’s Museum will hold multiple performances of “What Does It Mean, Dr. King?” on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20. The performance will take a journey back in time and help children learn about freedom and Dr. King’s work through interactive musical drama. Sun. Jan 19 at 2:30 p.m. Monday Jan. 20 at 10:45 am, 11:45 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm. 700 East Grand Avenue, Suite 127, Chicago