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Roundup of MLK Jr. Day Events in Southeast Michigan

Honor this African-American activist on Jan. 20, 2014 with a day of commemorative family events in Detroit, Ann Arbor and more

On Jan. 20, 2014, southeast Michigan families will honor civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. In celebration of this visionary, kids and parents can enjoy an array of activities – like performances, craft activities and inspiring speeches – at local spots from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit to the Farmington Hills Library. We've rounded up a number of activities for families to take part in on this special day – and one special program just days before the main event. Take a peek at the list below for something near your area.

Max M. Fisher Music Center

Jan. 17, 2014

  • Address: 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-576-5111
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: $10/program, $65/program and strolling lunch, free/parking

Wayne State University hosts a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tribute, which features keynote speaker Dr. Mae C. Jemison – NASA astronaut and the first African-American woman to go into space.

Village Theater at Cherry Hill

  • Address: 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton
  • Phone: 734-394-5460
  • Time: 5:30 p.m. (reception), 6 p.m. (program)
  • Cost: $2

This tribute, titled Canton Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., includes a pre-program reception featuring light refreshments, a presentation of King's life in dramatic form and musical performances. This year's keynote speaker is retired Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson with the Detroit Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen – America's first black military airmen.

Hill Auditorium

  • Address: 825 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-763-3333
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: free

Harry Belafonte – singer, songwriter, actor, producer and social activist –delivers the keynote memorial lecture at this 28th annual symposium in honor of this incredible activist. This year's theme is "Power – Justice – Love: Heal the Divide."

Painting with a Twist

  • Address: 200 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
  • Phone: 248-850-7182
  • Time: 1-3 p.m.
  • Cost: $25/seat

Get in touch with your inner artist at this Ferndale art spot, where you can celebrate MLK Day in a colorful way. Children of all ages can create their own "I Have a Dream" painting to commemorate King's message of unity and peace.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

  • Address: 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-494-5800
  • Time: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. (kicks off with commemorative breakfast 8-9 a.m.)
  • Cost: free with museum admission ($8/ages 13-61, $5/kids ages 3-12 and seniors 62-plus, free/under 3), $35/breakfast

This historical hotspot's busiest day of the year kicks off with a commemorative breakfast. Doors open at 7 a.m., followed by breakfast at 8 a.m. Once you've eaten, kids can do arts and crafts, listen to storytellers, watch video tributes and more. New this year: Check out the Point of View: African American Masters from the Elliot and Kimberly Perry Collection exhibit.

Troy Athens High School

  • Address: 4333 John R St., Troy
  • Phone: 248-524-1147
  • Time: 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Cost: free; donations accepted

All are welcome to join Athens High School as it hosts a multi-activity event, titled Celebration of Freedom, in honor of MLK Jr.

Flint Cultural Center

  • Address: 1310 E. Kearsley St., Flint
  • Phone: 810-237-7333
  • Time: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. library, noon-6 p.m. cultural center
  • Cost: free

The Flint Institute of Arts partners with the Flint Public Library, giving you and your family free admission to this event that includes drop-in crafts, a reenactment of King's I Have a Dream speech and performances by the Gamma Delta Kudos and the Kappa Leadership League.

 

Farmington Community Library, Main Branch

  • Address: 32727 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Phone: 248-553-0300
  • Time: 10:15 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Cost: free

The O.E. Dunckel Middle School Choir kicks off the library's events at 10:15 a.m., followed by a story time for toddlers at 10:30 a.m. Illustrator Bryan Collier discusses the African-American Pullman porters (former slaves hired to assist passengers on trains in the late 1800s/early 1900s) at 10:45 a.m., followed by poet Ber-Henda Williams, founder of Poetry, Pages & Scribes, who presents her poetry. The Rev. Robert B. Jones Sr. presents traditional music and stories. Plus, enjoy a dance performance by the Harrison High School Dance Company.

University of Michigan, Detroit Center

  • Address: 3663 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-593-3584
  • Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Cost: free

If you can't make it to Ann Arbor to catch Harry Belafonte deliver the keynote memorial lecture at Hill Auditorium, you can watch a simulcast at the U-M Detroit Center. A complimentary lunch and afternoon panel discussion follow the address.

Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School

  • Address: 3200 E. Lafayette St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-494-7373
  • Time: 9 a.m. (tours and exhibits open), 10 a.m. (walk begins), 11:30 a.m. (program)
  • Cost: free

It is quite fitting to remember King's greatness at a high school that was named in his honor. So take your family out to the Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School's fifth annual MLK tribute, "Our Legacy United in Peace." A legacy walk, performances and exhibit tours are all included.

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

  • Address: 220 E. Ann St., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-995-5439
  • Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (special activities will run until 4 p.m.)
  • Cost: $4/person, free/under age 2

The ScienceFest: Science of Toys event takes place from Jan. 18 until Jan. 20. On MLK day, the AAHOM offers a reduced admission rate and tons of fun discovery. Kids will use toys to explore physics, test perceptions on how the world works and more.

Detroit Zoo

  • Address: 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak
  • Phone: 248-541-5717
  • Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: $12/adults, $8/senior citizens (ages 62-plus), $8/ages 2-14, free/under age 2 (all ticket rates represent $2 off)

Spend some time – and your day off from work and school – at the Detroit Zoo, which is offering a $2 discount on regular admission prices in honor of MLK Day. You must print out the coupon from the Detroit Zoo's homepage in order to receive the discount.

Power Center for the Performing Arts

  • Address: 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-764-0583
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Cost: free

Catch performances by the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance that reflect MLK Jr.'s life and legacy.

DPS MLK Alumni Day of Service

  • Address: various locales, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-873-8976
  • Time: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Cost: free

This event, hosted by Detroit Public Schools Foundation and Detroit Public Schools, welcomes DPS alumni and volunteers to assist with enrichment and beautification projects for the school district. Volunteer venues vary, and you can find more information – and reserve your space – by checking out the Eventbrite ticket website.

Furstenberg Nature Area

  • Address: 2728 Fuller Road, Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-794-6627
  • Time: 1-3 p.m.
  • Cost: free

Natural Area Preservation, an organization that works to protect nature spaces in Ann Arbor, welcomes you to volunteer on this day-of-service in honor of MLK Jr. Volunteers will be cutting back buckthorn and honeysuckle to help preserve the area.

Farmington Hills Nature Center, Heritage Park

  • Address: 24915 Farmington Road, Farmington Hills
  • Phone: 248-477-1135
  • Time: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Cost: residents: $5/adult, $3/child; nonresidents: $8/adult, $5/child

Make your own paint, create prints from nature items and craft your own paper at this family-fun event on MLK Day. For kids age 6-plus. An adult must be present during this event. Note: Registration is required by Jan. 16.

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