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Things to do on Martin Luther King Day

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

The observation of Martin Luther King Day on Monday (Jan 19) means that many people will be enjoying an extra day off this weekend. However, having the chance to sleep in on a weekday doesn't mean that you should let this federal holiday go to waste. Whether you're looking for volunteer opportunities or want to enjoy one of the city's cultural institutions, we've assembled a list of things to do as you commemorate the lasting impact of Dr. King's efforts to advance the civil rights movement.

Throughout the years, various civic leaders have suggesting using Martin Luther King Day as a national day of service. If you're looking for ways to give back to your community, you can find volunteer opportunities in your area via Chicago Cares and

Chicago Sinfonietta performs its annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Symphony Center, conducted by 17-year-old Jherrard Marseille Hardeman and featuring the Waubonsie Valley High School Mosaic Choir.

The DuSable Museum of African American History hosts its annual King Day, a celebration of Dr. King's life that welcomes community leaders, students and artists to speak and perform.

The Chicago History Museum's free Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration includes arts and crafts, a staging of the play The MLK Project: Fight for Civil Rights, a performance by the Chicago Chamber Choir and a reading of the "I Have a Dream" speech.

Illinois residents can enjoy free admission to the Art Institute, Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry and Intuit Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art.

Modern civil rights activists can follow in the footsteps of Martin Luther King, Jr. and take part in the 4-Mile March, a non-violent protest against police violence that will set out from the Historic Water Tower at noon on Monday.

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