Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

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

Martin Luther King Jr. Day events

On Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, our nation honors perhaps the greatest civil rights activist: Martin Luther King Jr.

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.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

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Jan. 19 and 21, 2019 

  • Address: Various locations in Macomb and Wayne counties
  • Phone: 586-445-7999
  • Time: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-noon Monday
  • Cost: Free

Honor the life and legacy of Dr. King by volunteering at a local community organization like Forgotten Harvest, Gleaners Food Bank, Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Windemere Park and others. Registration required.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Freedom Walk and Ceremony in Westland

Jan. 21, 2019

  • Address: Westland City Hall, 36300 Warren Road, Westland
  • Phone: 734-467-3200
  • Time: 9 a.m./walk, 10 a.m./ceremony
  • Cost: Free

Gather at City Hall and take a walk to honor those that marched with Dr. King more than 50 years ago. After, enjoy light refreshments and a keynote address by WDIV-TV Local 4 meteorologist and reporter, Andrew Humphrey.

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

Jan. 21, 2019

  • Address: 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-494-5800
  • Time: 9 a.m.-5 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 Jr. Day at the Ypsilanti District Library Michigan Branch

Jan. 21, 2019

  • Address: 229 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti
  • Phone: 734-482-4110
  • Time: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

Find special MLK Day events, including musical presentations about the Underground Railroad and stories, throughout the day.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Jan. 21, 2019

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

Celebrate MLK’s life with free admission to the museum, historical presentations, artifacts and hands-on fun.

MLK Peace Walk Celebration in Southfield

Jan. 21, 2019

  • Address: Hope United Methodist Church and Southfield Pavilion (addresses in description below)
  • Time 9:45 a.m./walk, 11:30 a.m./program
  • Cost: Free

Families gather at Hope United Methodist Church (26275 Northwestern Highway) for this 34-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).

MLK Day Eye on Detroit at the University of Michigan Detroit Center

Jan. 21, 2019

  • Address: 3663 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-593-3584
  • Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.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. This year, the discussion is all about “fake news” and how to tell what’s real from what’s not.

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

Jan. 21, 2019

  • 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 90th birthday.

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

Jan. 21, 2019

  • 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.

MLK Day at the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills 

Jan. 21, 2019 

  • Address: 39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills
  • Phone: 248-645-3200
  • Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Cost: $9.50-$13/person

Find planetarium and exploreLAB programs in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Martin Luther King Day at the Motown Museum in Detroit 

Jan. 21, 2019 

  • Address: 2648 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-875-2264
  • Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free for youth ages 17 and under with paid adult

This historical music hotspot is offering free admission to celebrate MLK Day; plus special programming including a video message from Rev. Jesse Jackson, musical performances, raffles and more.

MLK Day Family Fun! Gallery Adventures at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Jan. 21, 2019

  • Address: 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-833-7900
  • Time: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Cost: Free with museum admission: free/residents of Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties, $6-$14/others

Learn about the Civil Rights leader through fun games and engaging activities in the African American galleries.

MLK Day at the Walgreen Drama Center in Ann Arbor

Jan. 21, 2019

  • Address: 1226 Murfin Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-764-0583
  • Time: Noon
  • Cost: Free

Celebrate MLK Day with carillon music by black composers and keynote speeches about Dr. King.

MLK Family Day at Painting with a Twist in Ferndale

Jan. 21, 2019

  • 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. 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. 21, 2019

  • 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. Fr. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday at the Farmington Community Library Main Branch

Jan. 15, 2018

  • Address: 32737 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Phone: 248-848-4307
  • Time: 1-4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

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

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Ann Arbor District Library, Malletts Creek Branch

Jan. 21, 2019

  • Address: 3090 E Eisenhower Parkway, 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.

The Storytellers Tribute to Dr. King at the Huntington Woods Library 

Jan. 21, 2019

  • Address: 26415 Scotia Rd, Huntington Woods
  • Phone: 248-543-9720
  • Time: 3-3:45 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

This tribute offers music and stories to honor the late Dr. King. Registration required.

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

Jan. 21, 2019

  • 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 Harriet Tubman and her story to life – all in celebration of MLK Day. Registration required.

MLK Day Ceremony and Candlelight Walk at The Roeper School 

Jan. 21, 2019 

  • Address: 41190 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills
  • Phone: 248-203-7303
  • Time: 4 p.m.
  • Cost: Free

This MLK Day event features a student panel discussion on the Civil and Human Rights Movement, a light meal, music and a candlelit walk.

Canton Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. at the Village Theater at Cherry Hill in Canton

Jan. 21, 2019

  • Address: 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton
  • Phone: 734-394-5460
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Cost: $2/person, $5/family

This tribute celebrates the legacy of Dr. King with music, keynote presentations, snacks and more.

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

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