Martin Luther King, Jr. gave us many reasons to celebrate. Oklahoma City boasts several special events to honor the incredible historical figure. Below, find a list of parades and celebrations hosted in his honor. Then, find a list of other special activities for families to do on the school holiday.
Another great way to spend time before, after or on MLK Jr. Day is volunteering. We have outlined several incredible volunteer opportunities for families here.
If you’re interested in spending the three-day weekend away from home, be sure to check out these 3 Adventures for Your 3-Day Weekend or our list of 10 kid-friendly day trips. Every destination listed is within 100 miles of the Oklahoma City metro! For even more family fun away from home, see these exciting family travel destinations throughout the state. Also, explore these socially distant Oklahoma road trips ideas.
Ways to celebrate MLK Jr. Day at home:
Viewed by many as “a day on, not off” or a day of service, find a way to give back to those around you. Pick up trash on a walk around your neighborhood, do something kind for someone in need, fill up a nearby food pantry or write a letter to a local leader about a cause that is important to you.
Watch the MLK Holiday Parade in Washington DC. The 2022 parade can be watched via YouTube Live beginning at 11 a.m. CST.
Listen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s iconic “I Have A Dream” speech delivered during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on Aug. 28, 1963.
Read a book about Dr. King’s legacy such as:
- I Have A Dream with paintings by Kadir Nelson
- Enough! 20 Protestors Who Changed America by Emily Easton
- Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson; illustrated by Frank Morrison
- My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King III; illustrated by A.G. Ford
Take part in the BAMkids Heroes of Color HQ virtual workshop based on David Heredia’s Heroes of Color web series and books. Learn about underrepresented historical figures, including —artists, scientists, and activists.
Events celebrating MLK Jr. Day in the metro:
FREE Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration features a silent march, bell ringing, holiday program, parade and job fair. The 2022 theme is “Resilent and Relentless.” The silent march begins at 9 a.m., bell ringing at 11 a.m., holiday program at 12:15 p.m. and parade at 2 p.m. Preregister to get viewing details.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave)features a morning of live performances and crafts with local black artists and speakers who will feature their work in honor of Dr. King’s historic message. After the event, head to Walker Ave for the MLK Jr. Day Parade at 2 p.m. Free to attend. 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
FREE MLK Day Celebration at North Church (1601 W Memorial Rd) features guest speakers, artists and performers from the Oklahoma City community. The event will be in-person and live streaming online. 10 a.m. – noon.
FREE MLK Day of Service Community Clean Up at Norman Parks (various locations). Help clean neighborhood and community parks across Norman. Volunteer at any of the parks in Norman. All ages welcome.
Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration with the Norman Philharmonic features a special performance to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Adults, $15; kids (16 & under), $7. 7:30 p.m.
Events celebrating MLK Jr. Day outside the metro:
FREE Martin Luther King Jr. Day March & Celebration in Stillwater (various locations) features a celebration with speakers and a unity march. See website for schedule of events.
FREE Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade in Tulsa (Detroit & John Hope Franklin Blvd, Tulsa) features a parade organized by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Society of Tulsa. Themed floats, music and marchers will honor a legend and celebrate freedom with the community. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Day Camps and activities on Jan. 17
School’s Out Break Camps at the Oklahoma City Zoo (2101 NE 50th St). Kids ages 4 – 11 can explore how animals keep warm in the winter. Preregister. Members, $45; nonmembers, $50. 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Hot Dog Skate at SkateGalaxyOKC (5800 NW 36th St). Includes basic skate rental, hotdog & drink. All ages welcome. $6. 1-4 p.m.
Local events happening over the weekend:
Through Jan. 30
Devon Ice Rink at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features outdoor skating. $14, $9 without skates; members, $9. Monday-Thursday, 3 – 9 p.m.; Friday, 3-11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Monday, Jan. 17, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Dear Evan Hansen at Civic Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features a deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it. Best suited for ages 12 & up. $52 & up. See website for showtimes.
Jan. 13 – 16
International Finals Rodeo at Lazy E Arena (9600 Lazy E Dr, Guthrie) features professional rodeo action as cowboys and cowgirls compete for the title of World Champion in eight different events. $20 & up. Friday & Saturday, 7:30pm; Saturday & Sunday, 1:30 p.m.
FREE LIVE on the Plaza in the Plaza District (1700 block of NW 16th) features featured artists, live music, special events, local shopping and more. 6-10 p.m.
FREE Hooked on Fishing Lessons at Edwards Park (2917 NE 14th St). Kids ages 5-15 will be taught basic fishing skills including casting, and knot tying. Hands-on instruction with actual fishing time. Rods, reels, and bait will be provided. Preregister. 10 a.m.-noon.
Winter Garden Potpourri at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). Learn how to use staple ingredients from the kitchen and found items from a nature walk to make garden potpourri mixtures. Best suited for ages 6-10. Preregister. Member, $8; nonmember,$12. 10-11 a.m.
Tattoo Artist in Residence: Richard Curtis at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features Artist in Residence Richard Curtis. Watch as he tattoos a living canvas and then explore the galleries and exhibitions at your own pace. Free with admission. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Family Skate Night at SkateGalaxyOKC (5800 NW 36th St). The family special package includes admission, skate rental, pizza and drinks for up to 5 family members. $29. 6-8 p.m.