Schools are closed Monday, January 18 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and it’s a great opportunity to plan family activities. The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lives on in Atlanta, the city in which the famous minister and scholar led the American Civil Rights Movement.  Check the list below to plan your family’s day to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Restore The Dream. Repair The World.” Virtual Event

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All Cobb County Government offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 18, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Although Cobb County’s annual celebration of his life and works will look different this year, you can enjoy the virtual event, in partnership with the Cobb NAACP. It will be held live on the county’s Facebook page,, at 10 a.m., Monday, Jan. 18. For more information, click here.


MLK Day of Service

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Did you know that MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service?
If you want to volunteer for a project designed to improve your community, you can find an MLK Day of Service project at this clearinghouse site. Just enter your zip code and use “MLK” as your search keyword. Examples of service projects include cleaning up a park, delivering meals, planting flowers, painting murals, and more. You can get more info on the Day of Service Facebook page. There is a very long list of MLK Day service activities on the Hands on Atlanta site, ranging from Jan. 14th to 18th.


The APEX Museum

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The APEX Museum is currently only open on Saturdays, and you must reserve a timed ticket online in advance. For $8 you can browse museum galleries that celebrate black heritage. Exhibits include Sweet Auburn, Women in STEM, The Georgia Negro, and more. The mission of the African-American Panoramic Experience (APEX) Museum is to accurately interpret and present history from an African-American perspective. The APEX Museum is located at 135 Auburn Avenue in downtown Atlanta.


Children’s Museum of Atlanta

MLK Day Celebration
Monday, Jan. 18th, 2021
3 timed entry sessions, beginning at 9:30, 12:30, and 3:30

Enjoy scheduled activities that celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Learn about Dr. King’s life and his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on stage, then explore his legacy through activities in the Creativity Café.


Atlanta History Center

MLK Day virtual programming
Unfortunately, the History Center is not offering its usual FREE admission day in honor of Martin Luther King Day in 2021. Instead, you can explore the legacy of the great civil rights leader from home. Use the link above to see the program contents, including live talks that you must register for.


Martin Luther King Birth Home & Visitor Center

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The FREE Tours have been suspended during the pandemic.
However, according to the website, park Rangers will be stationed outside the Visitor Center and the Birth Home of Martin Luther King, Jr.every Monday and Tuesday to provide visitor orientation and information. Want to schedule a virtual, ranger-led tour for your group or organization? Find info here.


The King Center & Tomb

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In 2021, the King Center offers seven days of virtual programming, from Jan. 11th to 18th, 2021, to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr.

Currently, Freedom Hall is closed to the public and all in-person events have been suspended.
The King Center Bookstore is now open Friday from 12 to 4 and Saturday from 11 to 4.
Visitors can still stop by the tomb of Reverend and Mrs. King, with its eternal flame.
The MLK  World Peace Rose Garden is also open, although there’s not much in bloom in January.


Ebenezer Baptist Church

Local Events Planned To Celebrate Martin Luther King Day 1

The church service will take place virtually this year, as a televised event.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service has been the hallmark of the King holiday observance. In 2021, the service will take place without an audience in attendance, starting at 10 a.m. on Monday, January 18th, service on FOX5Atanta. The service will be followed by a wreath laying ceremony.

The MLK Annual Commemorative Service is an ecumenical endeavor, engaging members of various religious traditions, as well as state, national, and international governments. On this day, the King Center encourages the world to engage in volunteer service as a way to celebrate the work and life of Dr. King.


Center for Civil and Human Rights

This museum shows, through exhibits, how the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s-1960s connects with the global human rights movements of today.
It is operating during limited hours, and you must purchase a timed ticket for entry.
Thursday & Friday: noon to 5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: noon to 5 p.m.
Last entry at 4 p.m. each day.
Or, take a virtual tour of the Center


Woodruff Arts Center

MLK Day Performance and Talkback

This is a staged reading that honors the legacy of Dr. King and other civil rights advocates. It is 45 minutes long, and will be followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer talkback.
It takes place at the Rich Theatre, inside the Woodruff Arts Center.
When: Monday, January 18, 2021 at 2:30 p.m.
Registration online for FREE


Webinar & Virtual Film Festival

January 15th thru 18th
FREE with registration

Honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. through this documentary film festival and webinar, which address the global freedom struggle that stems from MLK’s unanswered question, “Where do we go from here?” The four-day film festival and webinar are FREE, but you must register for access.
Complete info and film listing here


National Parks

Visit a National Park for FREE on MLK Day.
For the National Parks closest to Atlanta, click here.


MLK Day 5K

Let Freedom Run

This event is taking place at Stone Mountain Park this year, rather than at Piedmont Park. Park admission is FREE with registration for the race, which costs $35.
The run is famous for the 3-mile drumline all along the racecourse. It starts at 8 a.m.
Register here


Brookhaven’s MLK Day Celebration

Local Events Planned To Celebrate Martin Luther King Day

Drive-in Dinner & Celebration at the Brookhaven MARTA Station
January 18, 2021
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Brookhaven will host its fifth annual MLK Day Dinner and Program. Visit the Facebook event page. This year it takes place in the Apple Valley Road parking lot of the Brookhaven MARTA station, located at 1268 Apple Valley Road NE. It is a drive-in event, featuring “dinner in a bag” and speakers on a stage.
Order tickets online for $10 each