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.
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.
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
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 2023 theme is “MLK HIStory: Our Legacy.” The silent march begins at 9 a.m., bell ringing at 10:45 a.m., program at 12:15 p.m. and parade at 2 p.m.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave)features live performances, read-alouds, crafts and more. Free to attend. 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration with the Norman Philharmonic at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church (419 S University Blvd, Norman) 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.
Local events happening over the weekend:
Through Jan. 15
Edmond Ice Rink at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond). $14 with skate rental, $10 without, kids (under 5), $10. 3-9 p.m.; Friday, 3-10 p.m.; Saturday, noon-10 p.m.; Sunday, noon-9 p.m.
Through Jan. 29
Devon Ice Rink at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). $14, $9 without skates; members, $9. Friday, 3-11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Monday, Jan. 16, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
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. See website for schedule.
Oklahoma Bead & Jewelry Show at State Fair Park (3213 Wichita Walk) features fine jewelry, fashion jewelry, beads, beading supplies, findings, pearls, silver, designer cabochons, minerals and tools. $5. Friday & Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
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.
FREE See You Saturdays at Oklahoma Hall of Fame (1400 Classen Dr) features complimentary museum admission, crafts, games and more. During the first hour, guests can take part in a sensory-friendly experience from 9-10 a.m. Lights will be lowered and music will be played softly. 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
AT&T Sundays at First Americans Museum (659 First Americans Blvd). Kids ages 4-12 receive free admission to the museum galleries. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.