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Seven ways to honor Martin Luther King Jr.

Teach your kids what the civil rights leader was all about over the 2012 holiday weekend.

As decades pass, it becomes ever clearer that the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is nothing short of monumental. Sure, teachers pass vital knowledge about King's life and works on to their students, but nothing beats taking one's hat off to greatness as a family. That's why we've rounded up seven fun, thought-provoking ways to commemorate the civil rights activist, and all he believed in and fought for, on the weekend that bears his name.

Family Art Project: Freedom Pillows
Crafters use Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as inspiration for this workshop. Using cloth, yarn and felt, children create a scene about their own freedom-themed dreams. Sat Jan 14, Sun Jan 15 10am--1pm. Wave Hill. Free with garden admission. Ages 5 and up.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Bash
Grade-schoolers (ages 6 and up) get inspired by the big ideas of historical giant Martin Luther King Jr. during a workshop that introduces them to the meaning and symbols of the civil rights movement. After brushing up on their history, participants take part in a National Day of Service project. Younger kids (ages 5 and under) explore peace and tolerance by learning about diverse cultures and making a hand wreath. On MLK Day itself, activist Yolanda Clark describes what it was like to take part in the 1963 March on Washington and listen to King's searing "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Sat Jan 14--Mon Jan 16. See brooklynkids.org for scheduling details. Brooklyn Children's Museum. Free with museum admission. All ages.

A Child Named Martin
Historians-in-training get schooled in the childhood and early life of Martin Luther King Jr. in this hour-long workshop at the new DiMenna Children's Museum, learning all about the maverick activist's family and upbringing. Sun Jan 15 11:30am--12:30pm. New-York Historical Society. Free with museum admission. Ages 5 and up.

MLK March with Manhattan Country School Students
Somewhat older kids are bound to catch the infectious history-mindedness of their peers, eighth-graders from Manhattan Country School, as the students march through Harlem on Martin Luther King Day. The marchers stop at significant sites like the Abyssinian Baptist Church to sing songs and give stirring speeches. Mon Jan 16 at 10am. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd between 135th and 136th Sts (212-348-0952, manhattancountryschool.org/news_events.html). Free. Ages 9 and up.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
The Children's Museum of Manhattan, normally closed on Mondays, opens its doors today in celebration of the holiday. Kids ages four and under create collages that reflect the diversity of their neighborhoods while older children take a pledge to make a difference in their communities. Two performances by the Harlem Gospel Choir (3, 4pm) are sure to lift young audience members' hearts. Mon Jan 16 10am--5pm. See website for exact schedule. Children's Museum of Manhattan. Free with museum admission. All ages.

26th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Novelist and social commentator Walter Mosley will read from his work, and the Persuasions and the Reverend Timothy Wright Memorial Choir of the Grace Tabernacle Christian Center C.O.G.I.C. will perform. Afterward, BAM Rose Cinemas screens the doc Neshoba: The Price of Freedom, about a racially divided Mississippi town, at no cost. Mon Jan 16 at 10:30am. BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. Free. Ages 5 and up.

Artists Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Each year on Martin Luther King Day, artists come together to give expression to the civil rights leader's belief in the human potential for compassion, equality and human rights. Among the participants tonight are Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Liz Lerman, two choreographers who have collaborated to create a dance inspired by King; Yiddish cabaret artist Daniel Kahn; and a slew of African-American and Jewish performers who'll celebrate the shared history of the two cultures with a performance of spiritual music. The documentary short "The Apollos," about the efforts of a high-school senior class to make MLK Day a nationally recognized holiday, follows. Mon Jan 16 6--9pm. Symphony Space. Free. All ages.

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