Martin Luther King, Jr., the chief spokesperson for the civil rights movement, is memorialized annually on the third Monday of January. This floating holiday has evolved into just more than a day off from school. Now deemed as a National Day of Service, MLK Day encourages volunteers across the country to donate their time to make a difference. This day reminds us of hope, compassion and the ongoing potential of social change.
Many New Jersey towns are hosting local activities. Our list includes MLK celebrations, along with service activities. Make sure to visit your municipal and/or library calendars for additional events. For more information on the life and work of Dr. King, please visit The King Center.
The Newark Museum Family Day (Newark, NJ)
Visit the Newark Museum on Monday, January 18 between 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to celebrate the freedom and community, while learning about the life and legacy of Dr. King. During the day, the museum will host activities for all ages, including film screenings, performances and hands-on art and science programs. For more information, please call (973) 596-6550.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center Celebrates MLK Jr. (Newark, NJ)
On Saturday, January 16, NJPAC will host its annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. The 2016 event pays tribute to the life and legacy of one of the 20th century’s most inspiring leaders. For ticket information, please visit the NJPAC website.
Explore the Dream through Art at Express Yourself Studios (Maplewood, NJ)
Children ages 4-12 are invited to the annual Celebrate Dr. King: Explore the Dream through Art workshop on Monday, January 18. From 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., attendees will learn about Dr. King and the civil rights movement by exploring peace, equality and friendship in art.
Fanwood and Scotch Plains host Day On, Not a Day Off (various locations)
On Monday, January 18, the neighboring towns of Fanwood and Scotch Plains will host their Annual Martin Luther King Day of Service. Providing new and exciting volunteer opportunities to the entire family, this day will host more than 40 non-profit organizations from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Martin Luther King Day of Service 2016 at Rutgers University (Camden, NJ)
From 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Monday, January 18, the Rutgers-Camden campus will be hosting volunteer activities to celebrate the legacy of the man that reminds us “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve”!
Jersey Cares 2016 Day of Service (various New Jersey locations)
Jersey Cares carries a mission to “be the change.” On Monday, January 18, this organization has projects in all areas of the garden state. All events will run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. From sorting donated clothing items to painting murals, individuals and families can find activities that will pass on the spirit of MLK Jr.
Annual Princeton University Annual MLK Literary, Visual Arts and Video Contests (Princeton, NJ)
Princeton University will hold its annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on campus in Richardson Auditorium of Alexander Hall. This event is free and open to the public. The program includes live music, a keynote address and the presentation of the MLK Day Journey Award.
And if you're just looking for some fun:
MLK Day Skate & Play (Westville, NJ)
Spend MLK Day at Deptford Skating with 3 Great Sessions of Fun and Character Visits! Included in the admission price: Skating, Funzone, Inflatables, and Food. Call 856-845-7353 for more info.
If you are looking for additional family volunteer opportunities, check out our Holiday Volunteering post!
Photo courtesy of Newark Museum
Originally published 2012