Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Events in Southeast Michigan

In honor of this African-American activist, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties offer family-friendly Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events celebrating his life.

On Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, our nation honors perhaps the greatest civil rights activist: Martin Luther King Jr. And in southeast Michigan, local spots do their part by offering plenty of family-friendly Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events in celebration of this man and all he accomplished.

Here, you will find a list of inspiring speeches, craft activities, exhibits and more in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, and beyond to commemorate Dr. King. Search the list and find the right way to teach your kids about the Civil Rights movement, and bring up conversations about race, this MLK Day.  Note that events are listed roughly in date/time order.

MLK Day at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-494-5800
  • Time: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free with museum admission: $8/ages 13-61, $5/ages 3-12, free/under 3

Today is the busiest day of the year for this historical hotspot because they celebrate the iconic civil rights leader’s life with kids workshops, musical performances, educational presentations, stories, artifacts and so much more. Museum exhibits are open for viewing, too.

MLK Peace Walk Celebration in Southfield

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: Hope United Methodist Church and Southfield Pavilion (addresses in description below)
  • Time 9:30 a.m./walk, 11 a.m./program
  • Cost: Free

Families gather at Hope United Methodist Church (26275 Northwestern Highway) for this 33-year-old walk commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., sponsored by Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force, Inc. The program afterward happens at the Southfield Pavilion (26000 Evergreen Road).

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Henry Ford Museum

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Phone: 313-982-6001
  • Time: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Celebrate MLK’s life with live music, hands-on activities and crafts.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the University of Michigan Detroit Center

Jan. 15, 2018

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

This annual MLK Day symposium is one of the largest local celebrations of Dr. King’s life and is full of keynote speakers, panel discussions and more.

MLK Jr.: Bring the Dream to Life at the Detroit Historical Museum

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-833-7935
  • Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free; parking fees apply

The museum offers a wide variety of activities, crafts and performances that let families of all backgrounds play together, and learn of King’s life and legacy, in honor of what would have been his 89th birthday.

MLK Jr. Day at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 220 E. Ann St., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-995-5439
  • Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost: $6/ages 2-plus (special pricing)

On MLK Jr. Day, the AAHOM offers a reduced admission rate and tons of fun.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Michigan Science Center 

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 5020 John R. St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-577-8400
  • Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

In celebration of MLK Day, the museum is offering free general admission. Head to the D and experience more than 250 hands-on exhibits, live stage shows, galleries, 4-D theater shows and more. Pre-registration required.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-833-7900
  • Time: 11 a.m./art workshop, 1 p.m./presentation
  • Cost: free with museum admission: free/Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, free/kids 5 and under and members; others: $14/adults, $9/seniors, $8/college students, $6/ages 6-17

The 1970s documentary King: A Filmed Record … Montgomery to Memphis, follows the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and plays today at 1 p.m. You’ll also find MLK-inspired crafts starting at 11 a.m.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the Huntington Woods Library 

Jan. 15, 2018 

  • Address: 26415 Scotia Rd, Huntington Woods
  • Phone: 248-543-9720
  • Time: 11 a.m.-1.45 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Gwen Lewis will teach kids who Dr. King was and what he did through the art of storytelling. And after, kids will get to make some protest signs and participate in a children’s peace march. Registration required.

Mary J. Grant as Sojourner Truth at the Roseville Public Library

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 29777 Gratiot Ave., Roseville
  • Phone: 586-445-5407
  • Time: 1-2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Sojourner Truth was a woman born into slavery who fought her way out of her chains to become one of the most highly influential abolitionists and suffragists. Learn her story in honor of MLK Day.

MLK Family Day at Painting with a Twist in Ferndale

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 200 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
  • Phone: 248-397-5856
  • Time: 1-3 p.m.
  • Cost: $25

Create your own MLK Day masterpiece at this Ferndale spot. Choose from a custom family tree or a family anchor. Good for ages 7-plus. Adult-only MLK-inspired options available later in the day. Registration required.

MLK Day of Service at Barton Nature Area in Ann Arbor 

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 1010 W Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-794-6230
  • Time: 1-3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Do as Dr. King would do and your day off to do some good in the local community. Head out to the nature center to help clean it up. Warm clothes and closed-toed shoes required and so is pre-registration.

Celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday at the Community Library Main Branch

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 32737 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Phone: 248-848-4307
  • Time: 1-7 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Kids enjoy crafts and fun to commemorate the life of this civil rights leader.

MLK Jr. Day at the Flint Public Library

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 1026 E. Kearsley St., Flint
  • Phone: 810-232-7111
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

This annual event celebrates the life of MLK Jr. with a presentation of his “I Have a Dream” speech, the Gamma Delta Kudos and more.

MLK Day Event at the Ann Arbor District Library, Downtown Branch

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-327-4200
  • Time: 2-3 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

This interactive presentation in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. features global drumming and music from West Africa, Cuba, the Caribbean, Brazil and more, performed by Rhythm Life Collective. Registration required.

MLK Jr. Day at the Ypsilanti District Library Michigan Branch

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 229 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti
  • Phone: 734-482-4110 x 1325
  • Time: 2-3:30 and 6:30-9 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Kick of the day during a fun interactive story session with Ivory D. Williams at 2 p.m. and finish it with an MLK-inspired art project.

Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the Baldwin Public Library

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 300 W. Merrill St., Birmingham
  • Phone: 248-647-1700
  • Time: 3-4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Miz Rosie entertains kids of all ages by bringing Rosa Parks and her story to life – all in celebration of MLK Day. Registration required.

Canton Celebrates Dr. King at the Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton
  • Phone: 734-394-5460
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Cost: $2/person or one canned food donation

This tribute, titled Canton Celebrates Dr. King, celebrates his legacy with music, keynote presentations, a punch social and more.

MLK Day Celebration: Hidden Figures at the Chelsea District Library

Jan. 15, 2018 

  • Address: 221 S. Main St., Chelsea
  • Phone: 734-475-8732
  • Time: 6-8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Learn the story of the African-American women and mathematicians that helped the U.S. beat Russia during the space race in celebration of MLK Day. Registration required.

MLK Remembrance Concert at the Walgreen Drama Center in Ann Arbor

Jan. 17, 2018

  • Address: 1226 Murfin Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-764-0583
  • Time: 8 p.m. Wednesday
  • Cost: Free

Celebrate MLK Day with music by Grammy-nominated quintet Imani Winds and local students.

This post was originally published in 2016 and is updated regularly. 

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