Usually, Mondays aren’t our friends. 9 out of 10 of us are on the struggle bus trying to make it through the day. So when we receive an extra Monday off, it’s a welcome relief - a chance to rest and get caught up. But this Monday, if your job allows you to have the day off in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., realize there are more opportunities than sleeping in and doing a load of laundry.

The city of Indianapolis each year comes together in January to celebrate the life and achievements of Dr. King. Our most cherished institutions offer free admission. Charitable organizations invite the community to make a difference right here in the Circle City. We are afforded opportunities to learn and grow, to invest and remember.

This year is no different. Don’t miss the amazing experiences happening on Indianapolis’ MLK Day 2019.

MLK Center

Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Begin the celebration a day early on Sunday, January 20 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields’ Speaking LOVE event. Patrons who donate canned goods (non-perishables), individually wrapped breakfast snacks, toiletries & personal care items (e.g. bath soap, lotion, toothbrushes, tooth paste, paper towels), or art supplies (e.g. paints, markers, crayons, colored pencils, construction paper, glue, scissors, pencil sharpeners, etc.) gain free admission. These items will be given to the Martin Luther King Community Center. From 12 pm to 4 pm enjoy special presentations of song from the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, dance from the Kenyetta Dance Company, interactive art creation opportunities, and much more. Check out the entire schedule; there’s not a dull minute to be found.

Indiana State Museum

Visitors receive free admission all day on Monday, January 21 at the Indiana State Museum. Look for special exhibits throughout the museum celebrating the work of Dr. King. Immerse yourself in his words by listening to iconic speeches. Help create a “Dream” mural with other museum goers. See a signed Emancipation Proclamation (1 of only 48 signed by Abraham Lincoln) and the Senate version of the 13th Amendment (1 of only 3 signed by Abraham Lincoln and senators). The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm.

Indianapolis Zoo

On Monday, January 21 from 9 am to 4 pm, a non-perishable food item donation for Gleaner’s Food Bank gets you in free to the Indianapolis Zoo. Visit the animals suited for cold weather like the sea lions, tigers, walrus, brown bears, and more. Or experience the Zoo’s indoor environments. Give back while experiencing the amazing animals of the world.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

A full slate of activities are planned for visitors of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on Monday, January 21. MLK Day is one of the featured free admission days at the museum every year. From a drum ensemble to storytelling of the courageous children of the Civil rights movement, from the Freetown Village singing troupe to interactive art experiences to help you express your dreams of peace, you’ll be certain to learn and play at the same time. The hours at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on this special day are also 10 am to 5 pm.

IMAX Theater in the Indiana State Museum

The IMAX Theater in the Indiana State Museum is partnering with the MLK Center to present the 2014 Oscar Winning film Selma. Tickets are free but must be picked up from the MLK Center in advance. No tickets will be on sale at the theater on the day of the screening. Also on Monday, January 21, the IMAX Theater will feature five screenings of Pandas: An IMAX Experience.

Indiana Historical Society

Participate in service opportunities, enjoy special programs, and gain free admittance to the Indiana Experience on Monday, January 21 at the Indiana Historical Society. While the Madam Walker Legacy Center undergoes renovations, IHS also plays host to its special programming from 10 am to noon. Don’t miss Local Speech, Global Reach - a special traveling exhibit exploring the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s death and Robert Kennedy’s speech created by IHS and the Kennedy King Memorial Initiative. Learn how to become an activist. And, serve the homeless of our community through special activities.

Dr. King Day of Service Make

Monday more than just a day off. Roll up your sleeves and serve in your community alongside the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Indiana Holiday Commission, the State of Indiana, the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, Indiana Black Expo, Inc. and AFSCME. Registration begins at 9 am on Monday, January 21 at Watkins Park Family Center for the Dr. King Day of Service. This is just a brief snapshot of the many ways you can choose to celebrate MLK Day in Indianapolis 2019. Making a difference just seems like the right thing to do on a holiday like this one.

Plan your day well and honor Dr. King’s dream.