Schools are closed Monday, January 15 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and it’s a great opportunity to plan family activities. From commemorative events to special happenings and free admission to area attractions, there is plenty to do in the greater Cleveland/Akron region. Check the list below to plan your family’s day.
Special Events to Remember Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 14 & 15
Cleveland Orchestra MLK Celebration Concert & Community Open House
At the free Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration concert, at 7 p.m. on Sunday, January 14, Music Director Franz Welser-Möst will lead The Cleveland Orchestra in a program celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During the Community Open House on Monday, January 15, visitors are invited to Severance Hall for a free day of music and community engagement. Performances and family activities take place throughout the day. clevelandorchestra.com
Akron Museum of Art Free Family Day
Celebrate King’s vision by recharging your imagination with hands-on art activities, games and storytelling paired with artists from the museum’s contemporary collection. 1 S. High St., akronartmuseum.org/calendar
City Year Cleveland: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
Each year, AmeriCorps members and other volunteers head out into local communities and work on service projects. This year’s annual MLK Day of Service will take place at Cleveland’s Glenville Recreation Center, located at 680 E. 113th St., from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Click here for details. cityyear.org
Cleveland Public Library Commemorative Celebration
The Cleveland Public Library’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration is held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Branch (1962 Stokes Blvd., Cleveland), which houses a robust collection related to African-American history and the Civil Rights Movement. Various other branches within the CPL system also host MLK-dedicated programming. Check the library calendar of events for details.
Cleveland Museum of Art MLK Day Celebration
Celebrate King’s legacy with performances and art-inspired experiences centered around his nonviolent philosophy. 11150 East Blvd., clevelandart.org
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast Celebration
The 18th annual breakfast features a keynote from Bishop F. Josephus Johnson, II, pastor at The House of the Lord, and recognition of the 2018 Class of MLK Holiday Scholars. The event begins at 7:30 a.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cleveland Downtown, 1111 Lakeside Ave. kingbreakfast.org/breakfast.htm
Greater Cleveland Aquarium Fund- and Friend-Raiser
The Greater Cleveland Aquarium and the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland Inc. (UBF) are teaming up for a community fund- and friend-raiser. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m., anyone who chooses to donate $1 or more to UBF, a grant-making organization that provides financial assistance to agencies that both empower and address challenges facing Greater Cleveland’s African-American community, receives same-day discounted $10 Aquarium admission. 2000 Sycamore St., Cleveland, greaterclevelandaquarium.com
Karamu House MLK Day of Service
The life and legacy of Dr. King’s service to the community will be honored with a day of service to Karamu House. Volunteers will receive a hands-on, behind-the-scenes look at theatre operations while assisting with the renovation of the theatrical stage properties (props) room. Karamu House, 2355 E. 89th St., Cleveland, karamuhouse.org
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Special Event
Not only is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame offering free admission during regular hours, but visitors can also expect a variety of special activities and features — including film screenings; educational programs about the music that shaped the Civil Rights movement and Cleveland’s rich soul/R&B history; and the ability to make protest signs in conjunction with Upcycle Part Shop. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. rockhall.com
Free Admissions: Monday Jan. 15
Akron Zoo, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cleveland History Center, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Great Lakes Science Center, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
International Women’s Air & Space Museum, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
University Circle Inc. Free Shuttle
University Circle Inc. will provide a free shuttle bus to take visitors to all MLK Day participating organizations in University Circle. The shuttle will run from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and will stop at the following locations: Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Severance Hall (The Cleveland Orchestra), and MOCA Cleveland.
Other Events Taking Place on Monday, January 15
Ice Fest at North Coast Harbor
Come see live carving demos, Meet & Greet the “Snow Sisters,” enjoy complimentary face painting, watch LED light performers and view 20+ majestic ice creations from world renowned icecarvers at this free, family-friendly event in Cleveland’s North Coast Harbor. 10 a.m. through dusk. Event takes place along the lake between the Great Lakes Science Center and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. northcoastharbor.org
January Fun Day Monday
Enjoy indoor and outdoor scavenger hunts, a simple nature craft, X-Plorer packs filled with hands-on seasonal activities, animal encounters from the Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center, and much more. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Penitentiary Glen Nature Center, 8668 Kirtland Chardon Road, Willoughby, lakemetroparks.com
Kids Clay Owl Class
Make a cute owl-shaped container out of clay! Use it as a planter, to hold pencils, or for decoration. Decorate your owl using beans and other natural items. Two sessions: 10 a.m.-noon or 1-3 p.m. Brecksville Nature Center, 9000 Chippewa Creek Drive, clevelandmetroparks.com
MLK Off School Kids Day
Join Lorain County Metro Parks for crafts, activities, games and swimming. Kids ages 6-12 can bring a brown bag lunch, towel, swimsuit and goggles (optional). 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Splash Zone, 95 W. Hamilton St., Oberlin, metroparks.cc
School’s Out Cookout
Bring your own hot dogs and buns to cook over an open fire; drinks and condiments will be provided. Enjoy nature trivia while cooking and eating your lunch. 11 a.m.-noon. Liberty Park Nature Center, 9999 Liberty Road, Twinsburg, summitmetroparks.org
Winter Fest at Lock 3
Enjoy the Huntington Bank Ice Skating Rink, Ohio’s largest seasonal rink. Other attractions include Reindeer Run, a 150-foot all-season polymer coated slide; and nine holes of indoor golf at Akron Polar Putt-Putt. 200 S. Main St., Akron, lock3live.com