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MLK Day: Family events around the Seattle area

Seattle MLK Jr. Organizing Coalition

Updated for 2020:

If you are interested in social justice, protest or volunteering to help make your community a better place, Jan. 18-20 will be a busy weekend in Seattle.

Monday is the national holiday commemorating the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, so there are a variety of events celebrating King’s legacy as well as many opportunities to volunteer for the betterment of the community.

One thing to note, because of the recent wintry weather, Womxn's March organizers have rescheduled their event. This year, it will take place on International Women's Day, Sunday, March 8.

Here are some of the events this weekend:

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events

Saturday, January 18

Youth-Organized MLK March

Gather at Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Memorial Park, 2200 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way at 9 a.m. to hear teens, families and community members speak out against injustice. Teens will lead the march to Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. S. There will be food, live music and workshops.


Sunday, January 19

MLK Day Youth Celebration

Noon-5 p.m., Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Ave S. There will be a DJ and an open mic where young people can express what Dr. King means to them, in the art form of their choice. Food will be served.


Monday, January 20

MLK Day Rally and March

The events at Garfield High School, 400 23rd Ave., start at 8:30 a.m., with an opportunity fair. Workshops take place from 9:30 a.m. until 10:50 a.m. Then there’s a rally at 11 a.m. in the Garfield gym, followed by a march to Westlake Park, 401 Pine St., beginniing at 12:30 p.m. 


Beloved Community in Edmonds

Edmonds will honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision of a beloved community with a free event from 10 a.m.-noon at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave N. Performances include Kaleidoscope Dance Company, Northside Step Team and Youth Voices.  The program is family friendly and all are welcome. An evening event (7:30-9 p.m., same location) will feature song, spoken word and dance. Advance tickets $12 general, $5 for students.


Martin Luther King Jr Day at the Northwest African American Museum

11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 2300 S. Massachusetts St. Speakers, songs, children’s art activities, film screenings and a story time are all part of the programming at the Northwest African American Museum. Plus, there’s a pop-up café. The museum doesn’t charge admission on this day, but please do donate.


 MLK Celebration Washington State History Museum

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. The museum is open for free all day, and there’s a special exhibit, Men of Change: Power, Triumph, Truth, about African American men who have shaped our history. At 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., Tacoma Arts live presents “Get on the Bus,” an educational performance. Also enjoy art making throughout the day and a pop-up print shop. 


March for Peace and Kindness

At 10 a.m., people of all ages gather at the Bainbridge Island Library to write letters to leaders of their choices, thanking them for acts of kindness or asking them to work for peace. Bring banners or posters from home if you'd like. The event will culminate with a peaceful march to the post office to mail the letters. 


Womxn’s March rescheduled to March 8


MLK Weekend Service Events

There are many organizations running volunteer projects for MLK weekend. Most require pre-registration and some of them fill up, so do check in before going. Here are some places to look for ways to get out and help your community.


United Way of King County

Click on the rectangular blue “volunteer” button to find the United Way’s pages and pages of projects to choose from throughout the holiday weekend, including painting, sorting donations for homeless youth, and other ways of making a difference in the community. Last year, more than 3,100 volunteers completed 127 projects though the United Way’s MLK day of Service. Pick one or more and register as a group or individual. 


 Green Seattle Partnership

Green Seattle Partnership has more than 20 different work parties in public spaces around Seattle MLK weekend. They will set you up with tools. All ages welcome. Pre-registration required.



Earthcorps is running several different volunteer parties over the weekend. On Saturday, Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. they’ll be at West Seattle’s Solstice Park. On Monday, Jan. 20 at 10 a.m., they’ll be at Wilburton Hill Park in Bellevue and at Kubota Garden Natural Area in Seattle. Youth 14 and younger must come with an adult. Youth 18 and younger without an adult must bring a waiver. Pre-registration required.


Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust

Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust is having two projects at its nursery in Lake Sammamish State Park. On Saturday, Jan. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. they are going to be preparing the nursery for new plants. On Monday, Jan. 20, it’s time to put new native trees and shrubs in pots.  Volunteers under 14 must have an adult along. Pre-registration required.



Get Seattle's Child iOS App

Looking to switch up your weekend plans? Try our app and customize to fit your family. 
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