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15 ways to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. for kids

From speeches and walking tours to crafts and inauguration viewing parties, we found 15 great ways to honor Martin Luther King Jr. for kids.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day at DiMenna Children's History Museum

 (Photograph: Camilo José Vergara)
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Photograph: Camilo José Vergara

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at DiMenna Children's History Museum

 (Photograph: Joshua Bright)
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Photograph: Joshua Bright

Family Art Project: Freedom Pillows

 (Photograph: Courtesy of the Brooklyn Children's Museum)
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Photograph: Courtesy of the Brooklyn Children's Museum

MLK Day at Brooklyn Children's Museum

 (Photograph: Elena Olivo)
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Photograph: Elena Olivo

27th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 (Photograph: Courtesy of the Children's Museum of Manhattan)
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Photograph: Courtesy of the Children's Museum of Manhattan

Harlem Gospel Choir at CMOM

 (Photograph: Courtesy of Manhattan Country School)
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Photograph: Courtesy of Manhattan Country School

Annual MLK Day Commemorative March

 (Courtesy Romare Bearden Foundation)
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Courtesy Romare Bearden Foundation

Bearden Art Bonanza

Martin Luther King Jr. Day for kids is more than just a day off from school; it's the perfect occasion to promote core values like tolerance and freedom while honoring the legacy of the visionary civil rights leader. This year, there are lots of great ways to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. for kids. Little ones can settle in for story times and crafts centered around messages of love, peace and equality, while older kids can appreciate a civil rights–themed march, a scavenger hunt or a film screening lauding Martin Luther King Jr. and other illustrious African-Americans. This year, too, the holiday happens to coincide with President Barack Obama's inauguration. Catch a live screening of the ceremony at the Harlem Armory or at BAM as your family reflects on how far we've come in the 50 years since MLK delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech.

Conversations with Anne: Letters from Anne and Martin

To commemorate MLK Day, actors portraying Anne Frank and Martin Luther King Jr. engage in a dialogue on justice, freedom, antidiscrimination and the need to create a better tomorrow. The conversation is adapted from the text of Anne's famous WWII-era diary as well as Dr. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" (1963). Reservations essential; call to reserve your family's spot. All ages.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day at DiMenna Children's History Museum

Families can honor Martin Luther King Jr. throughout the long weekend at DiMenna. On Sunday, tots ages 4 to 7 will learn how MLK's simple ideas changed the world with a reading of Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport (11:30am). On MLK Day, author Tonya Bolden reads from her new children's book, Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty, and celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's famous decree (1pm). Meanwhile, kids can examine street art depictions of Martin Luther King in the New-York Historical Society's new exhibit, "The Dream Continues: Photographs of Martin Luther King Murals by Vergara," and take part in scavenger hunts where they'll learn about abolitionist James McCune Smith (Jan 19–21 10am–6pm). All ages.

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