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.
There is no shortage of things to do on MLK Day, which is Monday, January 18, 2021, or over the holiday weekend.
We invite you to celebrate Dr. King’s memory through one of these activities or events.
You can also check our full events calendar for January 20th, but remember that some activities, like those hosted by the King Center, will start the week before the Monday holiday.
At the bottom of the post, you’ll find a calendar listing of general activities taking place over the MLK Day holiday weekend — including ice skating, drive-in movies, and more.
Things to do for MLK Day in 2021
MLK Day of Service
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.
You might also find MLK Day service projects in your own neighborhood through community newsletters, websites, Facebook groups, etc.
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
Open on Saturdays, including January 16th
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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
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
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
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 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
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 stem 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
Visit a National Park for FREE on MLK Day.
For the National Parks closest to Atlanta, click here.
MLK Day 5K
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 race course.
It starts at 8 a.m.
Virtual Tribute from Sandy Springs
Event info is still vague.
We’ll post more details as we find them.
Henry County MLK Day Celebration
This year’s celebratory events include a virtual prayer experience and a freedom parade march.
Activities take place from Jan. 16th to 18th.
Brookhaven’s MLK Day Celebration
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
Other activities and events happening over MLK Day weekend:
Friday, January 15, 2021
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Monday, January 18, 2021
Stone Mountain Park
Jennie T Anderson Theater
Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center
Lynwood Park Community Center (Brookhaven)