5 Martin Luther King Day Events For Kids

Milwaukee is one of the only cities in America – along with Atlanta, GA – that has celebrated Martin Luther King’s birthday every year since 1984.

Next weekend, families across the city have the opportunity to honor the man and the movement together, at the following special events:

1. A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Free!)

Monday, Jan. 20th, 2020 at 12:00 p.m.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center

1531 West Vliet Street, MilwaukeeWebsite

Celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King with presentations of music, spoken word, and dance, along with thoughts from guest speaker, Rev. Joseph Ellwanger, a civil rights advocate who was influenced by and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

2. 33rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration (Free!)

Sunday, January 19th, 2020

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts


Always taking place in the month of January, this event focuses on keeping the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alive. The program highlights the youth in the community who interpret Dr. King’s words through art, speech, and writing contests. In addition, various cultural arts organizations take center stage in Uihlein Hall. The event concludes with the Paulette Y. Copeland Reception in the Atrium.

3. Martin Luther King Day Celebration at the Library (Free!)

Martin Luther King Library (Community Room)

Monday, January 20th, 2020

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


For the past ten years, Milwaukee Public Library has hosted a full day of activities honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with poetry, music, dance, crafts, games and community services.

Morning activities this year include Change Agent Art with Katrina Hunt, LEGO Brick Communities, Seeds of Change Photo Display, Craft Stations, Buttom Making, and Interview a Change Agent.

Afternoon programs include student performers, Ton Ko Thi tribal drums, Ex Fabula Storytelling, Live Painting, Spoken Word, and more!

End the day with a slice of cake in honor of Dr. King’s birthday (while supplies last).

4. Allied In The Fight – Community Free Day

Jewish Museum Milwaukee


Celebrate the Civil Rights Movement on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s traveling exhibit, Allied in the Fight: Jews, Black and the Struggle for Civil Rights.

Allied in the Fight explores the partnership between Jewish and African American leaders in confronting systematic racism in the United States. The exhibit addresses Black-Jewish collaboration within the Civil Rights Movement and the complicated nature of Jewish contributions to the Civil Rights movement through archival materials and information from a national perspective. ON DISPLAY FOR ONE DAY ONLY!

5. Meet the Watson Family at the Milwaukee Public Museum

January 18 – 26th from 11:00 – 3:00


Interact with the true story of Sully and Susanna Watson, a couple who played a vital role in establishing Milwaukee’s black middle class. Experience a replica of the Watson House in the Streets of Old Milwaukee and explore their family history through images and objects that illustrate this vibrant era in the city’s black heritage. Free with admission.

Talking to kids about Martin Luther King Jr.

Recognizing a federal holiday affords the perfect opportunity to talk with kids about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy. Check out “Talking To Children About Racial Bias“, watch Dr. King’s full “I Have A Dream” speech a the March on Washington, and listen to his “I Have Been To The Mountaintop” speech.t you can use as a springboard for a discussion.

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