UPDATED FOR 2017
Schools and government offices will be closed on Monday, January 16 in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day. Most other places are open. If you are looking for something to do with the kiddos or a way to share Dr. King’s legacy with your children, read on for some ideas!
Get free admission to all National Parks on MLK Day. Or, head to a Washington State Park free of charge, with no Discover Pass needed on Sunday, January 15 or Monday, January 16. In the South Sound, Saltwater State Park and Dash Point State Park are two fun choices.
The Point Defiance Zoo is open on MLK Day from 9:30am-4:00pm.
Catch a Ball Game
Starting at 9:00am, you can watch various local high school teams compete at the King Showcase Basketball Tournament in Kent. Rodney Stuckey of the Pistons came out of Kentwood, so you could be watching a future star! Tickets are only $5-$10.
Indoor Fun for the Littles
Pump it Up in Tacoma has special Open Jump Sessions all day. Check out our South Sound Bounce House List for other places to jump your heart out. Be sure to call ahead and confirm space and availability. One note-Bounce E House has changed hands since this list was last updated, and we haven’t had an updated review since. Let us know if you’ve been lately!
The Children’s Museum of Tacoma has a special Monday opening to the public on MLK Day. Admission is pay as you will. The museum will be offering a special craft in Becka’s Studio in honor of MLK. Use a wet on wet watercolor technique to create a star painting to capture your dreams and hopes for the world.
WiggleWorks in Puyallup is open on MLK Day, with a special discount for Meet Up Mondays.
Scoot on over to the Schools Out Skate at Tiffany’s Skate Inn in Puyallup from 1:00pm-5:00pm. Admission is $7/skater; rentals extra
Be Socially Active
The Washington State History Museum is offering free admission on this special open day. At 1:00pm, artists from Onyx Fine Art Collective will be on hand to demonstrate art techniques, and afterwards visitors are encouraged to create art of their own. At 3PM there is a performance from the Northwest Tap Collective.
Bates Techincal College in Tacoma hosts their annual Martin Luther King Day March. Join Bates staff, students and community in a march on MLK Day from the downtown campus to the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, followed by a community celebration (details below).
The City of Tacoma celebrates the 28th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration from 11:00am-1:00pm at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. Speakers and performances
Participate in a Day of Caring with Metro Parks Tacoma in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr Day. From 9:00am-12:00pm, you can help spruce up Tacoma parks and give back to the community through a day of service.
Get even more ideas for volunteering on our post about Volunteering with Kiddos in the South Sound.
If you want to do something special without leaving home, consider printing out some MLK coloring pictures and discussing with your kiddos what Dr. King means to Americans and all citizens of the world. Consider reading out loud to your children the famed “I have a Dream Speech” and encourage your children to share what kinds of dreams they have for positive change in the world. You can view the written speech in its entirety here. It’s rather lengthy, so you may not want to read the whole thing. You could also show them the most memorable part of the speech, found on You Tube.
As always, there are hundreds of other ideas to explore here at the site. If you know of an event for MLK day we missed, leave a comment or drop us a line!