Things to Do on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2011 with Kids in Queens NY

January 17 marks the 25th anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Yes, it is a day off, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to introduce your kids to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It’s never too early for children to become familiar with the concepts of non-violence, equality, and community service. Whether you spend the day volunteering, visiting a library, or simply talking to your kids, there are a variety of local opportunities to make this day fun and meaningful.

Volunteer Opportunities


MLK Serve-a-thon

MLK Day presents the perfect opportunity to volunteer with your family. On January 17th the New York City Coalition Against Hunger is holding it’s annual Serve-a-Thon , in which hundreds of New Yorkers volunteer their time by working at food pantries and soup kitchens throughout the City. There are several opportunities in Queens. Visit NYCCAH’s volunteer page  for more information.

Museums and Libraries


MLK Day Celebration at the Queens Central Library

Although all public libraries will be closed on Monday, January 17th, this Saturday the Central Library will be holding a MLK Day Celebration. This event is appropriate for Children between the ages of 6-11, and will include storytelling and songs, a reception, and a documentary film. Visit the Queens Library events page  for more information.

The Museum of the Moving Image

Monday is “Free Family Day” at the Museum of the Moving Image. There will be a screening of Coraline at 1pm (you can rent 3-D glasses for $3). In honor of MLK Day there will be a screening and live event of the film King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis at 3pm. Visit the museum’s events page for more information

The Queens Museum of Art  and the New York Hall of Science 

These museums will also be open on Monday (The Queens Museum of Art is free from 11am-3pm). Although neither is holding any events specifically geared towards MLK Day, it’s yet another opportunity to get out of the house and spend some quality time with your family.


Other Ideas


The Young Chef’s Academy

The staff at the YCA in Forest Hills will be celebrating MLK Day on Monday with workshops and special events exploring Southern Hospitality and food. Click here  for more details

Read with your children

If you are looking to stay home on Monday, don’t miss the chance to talk about the significance of the MLK holiday with your children. Check out some books from your local library; visit Barnes and Noble; read through King’s “I Have a Dream” speech , or watch it online.

By Sarah Chang of The Stroller Ballet