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Ways to celebrate MLK Day in Indianapolis

Posted at 12:55 PM, Jan 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-11 17:25:41-05

INDIANAPOLIS — If you are looking to celebrate the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this year on MLK Day, look no further. Indianapolis is filled with events to honor his legacy and many of them won't cost you a dime.

Free Events:

Landmark for Peace Memorial

Located at Martin Luther King Park at 1702 Broadway St, the Landmark for Peace Memorial is a free attraction that is available to visit all year around. The famous memorial created by Indiana artist Greg Perry marks the site where Robert Kennedy gave his memorable speech the night that Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. If you are looking for a quiet and introspective way to honor Dr. King, consider making a stop here.

41st Annual MLK Day of Celebration at the Madame Walker Legacy Center

The Madame Walker Legacy Center is hosting their 41st Annual Day of Celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King on Monday, Jan.16 at noon.

This year the event will feature speaker Tamika D, Mallory, Time 100’s award winning social justice leader and movement strategist. Tamika was also featured on Fortune’s list of the World’s Greatest Leaders. She served as the youngest ever Executive Director of the National Action Network and made history when she helped shepherd the largest single day demonstration, the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, serving as one of its four national co-chairs.

Tickets for the event are free, but registration is required here.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Indiana Historical Society

The Indiana Historical Society plan to spend MLK day helping Hoosiers celebrate Dr. King’s legacy and give back to the local community.

Visitors can enjoy storytelling, participate in a service activity, and enjoy the musical melodies and beats of Keisha Ballinger and the University United Methodist Church Praise Team. Visitors are also invited to bring new children’s clothes, books or cash donations for Charity Cares Early Academy.

Free admission will be offered to all who attend. Learn more here.

Conner Prairie

Conner Prairie is celebrating Dr. King with a day of events including a blood drive, collaborative art, performances and more. Admission will be free.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum will offer free admission in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Guests are invited to visit the Museum and are encouraged to explore the exhibition, “Sleek: The Art of the Helmet,” before it closes on January 22. “Sleek” was guest curated by local artist Amiah Mims and features the work of nine local artists who designed and created racing helmets in addition to a collection of historic and current driver helmets.

The Museum will be open from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Tickets may be reserved online using the promo code MLK23 at imsmuseum.org [imsmuseum.org].

Indiana State Museum

The Indiana State Museum will celebrate MLK Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.

Visit to celebrate Dr. King’s dream and explore the ongoing struggle for civil rights and equity in America. Videos will highlight Dr. King’s most iconic speeches, and activities and performances will explore civil and human rights. Reflect on what you can do to ensure the dream lives on.

Eiteljorg Museum

Enjoy free admission on Monday with access to all exhibits and see the last day of the Jingle Rails exhibit.

The Children’s Museum

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. families can celebrate the life, achievements, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with special activities and performances. The museum will offer free admission, but some special events may require advance tickets. Ticket will be available at 9 a.m. Jan. 6 on their website.

The Indianapolis Zoo

Although the zoo is usually closed on Mondays, the gates will be open to celebrate MLK Day. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. visitors can enjoy free admission with a donation to Gleaner's Food Bank. Monetary or food pantry items are accepted.


Franklin College will celebrate MLK Day with several activities throughout the day.

  • 2 p.m. – Chapel Service, Richardson Chapel: The service will provide time for centering and reflection about the connection between faith and action. It will be guided by the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself as we ask ourselves what it means to pursue lives of service and justice in a tumultuous world. The service will include prayer, video clips and music.
  • 2:45 p.m. – MLK Day Commemorative March: The march will begin west of the B.F. Hamilton Library at the Indiana Alpha Gazebo and end at the Richardson Chapel. The purpose of the march is to honor those who marched before to win the freedoms known today and with those who still struggle to have their freedoms recognized. NOTE: This event is limited to the campus community only.
  • 4 p.m. – MLK Day Convocation Lecture, Richardson Chapel: Dr. Nyle Fort, “Where Do We Go from Here? Dr. King’s Legacy and the Crisis of American Democracy.

Other Attractions:

Harlem Globetrotters

A more exciting way to celebrate the holiday is to attend the acclaimed Harlem Globetrotters game. The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that combine athleticism, theatre, and comedy to create an unforgettable experience to audiences. The Globetrotters will play at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Sunday, Jan.15 at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Buy tickets here.

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