Ways to Show Bay Area Kids The Meaning Of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Monday, January 16th is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, celebrating the life and achievements of one of the most influential American civil rights leaders. There are many enriching ways to commemorate Dr. King's legacy including marches, celebrations, volunteering opportunities, camps and classes, and various museum events.

* All events occur on Monday, January 16th unless noted otherwise.


Free Entrance Days in the National Parks

SFJAZZ Center Anniversary Celebration, 11am, 2pm, & 5pm, free, listen to exciting live music in the beautiful Miner Auditorium, and find out more about America’s art form, jazz. Join the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars Big Band, and the Jazz Mafia Brass Band led by multi instrumentalist Adam Theis for a musical day of fun, children’s activities, a digital music sandbox, instrument petting zoo, and exploration of the amazing SFJAZZ Center!

Free Admission to MoAD, 11am-5pm, learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through film, art, and musical performances, reflect on the importance of free speech and diverse communities, Family Drop-in Art Activity, Sidewalk chalk art and music from Marcus Shelby, San Francisco.

Children's Creativity Museum, 11am-3pm, design a square for the peace quilt, collaborate on  peace sign mural, and more, San Francisco.

MLK Freedom March and Celebration at Yerba Buena Gardens, 9am, Join thousands in honoring the Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama marches and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by experiencing the MLK2016 commemorative march/parade from San Francisco's Caltrain Station to Yerba Buena Gardens. Children’s Discovery Hunt young celebrants participate in a fun and engaging quest about Dr. King throughout Yerba Buena and receive free prizes at completion.

MLK Health and Wellness Festival, bringing together the region’s health providers for a day event of free services and exciting activities during the MLK celebration. The goal is to promote health, wellness, sustainability, and preparedness as essential elements of fair, just, and vibrant communities, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Music Festival, Enjoy an afternoon of live music and poetry on the Esplanade Stage in Yerba Buena Gardens.  Grammy nominated Andre Thierry and his zydeco band, along with the lively sounds of Samba Funk, and vocals of Lakai, and the Martin Luther King Singers will feature this year.  

Bringing the Noise for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 7pm, There is no better way to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King than through the voices of young poets and writers, Youth Speaks, Nourse Theater, San Francisco.

Drop-In Art Studio: Flags for Justice, 11am-3pm, The Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Annual Black Comix Arts Festival, January 15 & 16, children's comix, games, and interactive events give kids the opportunity to engage in comic and animation activities, Yerba Buena Gardens & MOAD.

Transportation to and from the San Francisco MLK Jr. celebration:


Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, 9am – 12pm, all ages, work together to spruce up landscaped areas at the Marin County Civic Center. All skills levels are welcome and no previous experience is necessary. Meet at the Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael.  For more information call Kirk Schroeder at (415) 763-2977.

MLK Day of Service, Muir Beach, 10am-1pm, ages 10+, Improve vital habitat for the coho salmon and other wildlife through planting and weeding projects.

MLK Day of Service, Rodeo Beach, 10am-1pm, ages 10+, all ages welcome. 

MLK Day of Service Debris Clean-up Project at Stinson Beach, 1-3:30pm, all ages welcome. NOTE: This is on Sunday, January 15th.

MLK Day of Service Tsunami Debris Clean-up Project at Ocean Beach, 10am-12pm, all ages welcome.

Volunteer at Golden Gate Maintenance, East Beach at Crissy Field, The Presidio, San Francisco.

Presidio Stewardship, 9am-12:30pm, A variety of projects will be available to choose from. Help with habitat restoration, campground care, landscaping and gardening, or forest maintenance.

Aquatic Park Clean Up, 10am-1pm, Hosted by Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco. NOTE: This is on Saturday, January 14th.

East Bay Regional Park District, restore Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Grove and marshes by cleaning and removing invasive plants in order to support and care for wildlife and their natural habitat.

Milagra Ridge Stewardship, 10am-1pm, Plant native seedlings along the newly restored Connemara Trail at Milagra Ridge, San Mateo.



Bay Area Discovery Museum, 9am-2pm, extended care 2-4pm, Ages 4 – 8, Sausalito.

Andrew's Camps, 9am-5pm, extended hours available, Grades 1 - 8, Corte Madera.

Studio4Art Drop-In Classes, 10am-3pm, three-hour drop off's, Ages: 5+ Years old in Novato & Mill Valley.

MVCode Camps, 9am-3pm:

No Limits Day Camp, for a day full of fitness and FUN, Neil Cummins Elementary School, Corte Madera.

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Information is subject to change. Do you know any other great events during Martin Luther King, Jr. Day?