Celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by taking advantage of special offerings in Downtown Indy on the holiday. FREE admission to Downtown’s top attractions, volunteer opportunities and more help make this year’s tribute to the iconic civil rights leader a fun, meaningful one for the family. To view all these events online, visit: www.downtownindy.org/event-collection/42/martin-luther-king-jr-day.
Tickets start at $26 – Saturday, Jan. 14, noon
The iconic Harlem Globetrotters come to Bankers Life Fieldhouse Saturday, Jan. 14 at noon. See incredible ball handling wizardry and enjoy some good laughs with the family.
Indianapolis Museum of Art
FREE admission with donation on Sunday, Jan. 15 from 1 – 4 p.m.
Spend the afternoon at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hear Indy poets, singers and artists speak of love. Practice mindfulness, relieve anxiety through a large group meditation, and engage with others through activities and random acts of kindness. Donations can include non-perishable food items, toiletries and school supplies for the MLK Community Center.
White River State Park
Receive FREE admission Monday, Jan. 16 with a donation of one non-perishable food item per person, per attraction for Gleaner’s Food Bank. The Park is also offering complimentary parking. Visitors may park in the underground garage located off Washington Street in front of the Indiana State Museum, in the surface parking lots at the Indianapolis Zoo and Victory Field and in the surface parking lot across from Victory Field next to the Park’s Visitor’s Center.
- Eiteljorg Museum: Enjoy the museum’s holiday exhibit, Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure and Titan of the West: The Adams Collection of Western and Native America Art. Be sure to check out the lunch specials at the Eiteljorg Museum Cafe.
- Indiana State Museum: Films, activities and performance art fill the museum in celebration of the life of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Indiana First Robotics Team from Southport High School will make a special appearance. The museum in its entirety is open to the public, and engages visitors in unique and meaningful ways that reflect the vision of MLK, Jr. Stay for lunch – the Farmer’s Market Café will be open.
- Eskenazi Health and the Indianapolis Indians will offer free health screenings at the Indiana State Museum. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., nurses will also be available to discuss the importance of primary and preventive care. Anyone who participates in the health screenings will receive a complimentary ticket to Opening Night at Victory Field on April 6 courtesy of the Indianapolis Indians. Plus, Rowdie, the Indians mascot, will stop by for autographs between 11 a.m. and noon.
- Indianapolis Zoo: Walk the grounds and see animals, especially the ones that love the cooler temperatures. Favorite activities will include petting sharks, looking eye-to-eye with orangutans and gazing at dolphins (12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.)
- NCAA Hall of Champions: Get your workout in at the NCAA Hall of Champions where current and former student athletes lead classes. Guests can participate in a scavenger hunt and register for hourly raffle prizes. At 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., watch the film “Game of Change,” involving the 1963 NCAA men’s basketball tournament regional semifinal. Mississippi State, an all-white team, sneaks out of town in the middle of the night despite protests from the governor and state police of Mississippi to play a Loyola team that features four black starters.
- IMAX Theatre: Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience, narrated by Brad Pitt, the film is a one-of-a-kind celebration of life and the grand history of the cosmos, transporting audiences into a vast yet up close and personal journey that spans the eons from Big Bang to the dinosaur age to our present human world. Shown for free as space permits at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. Make sure to get your IMAX tickets early that morning as there is limited seating capacity and tickets are typically gone before noon.
Indiana Historical Society
FREE admission on Monday, Jan. 16 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Head to Indiana Historical Society for performances, programs and service opportunities, as well as free admission to the award winning Indiana Experience. Watch a short play featuring Hoosier reactions to Robert F. Kennedy’s speech in Indianapolis the night Dr. King was assassinated. The theater will also be home to a special performance by the Griot Drum Ensemble at 1:30 and 4 p.m. This presentation will treat visitors to African folktales accompanied by traditional instruments. guests can fill in a dream cloud with words or pictures featuring their own hopes for the future. The IHS traveling exhibition Who is a Hoosier? will also be on display.
Guests are invited to help pack care packages to benefit HealthNet Homeless Initiative Program, with items provided by Target and the Gentle Dentist. HealthNet will also be collecting new or gently used cold-weather items – hats, gloves, socks, coats and hand warmers – for its Homeless Initiative Program in honor of Jill Buck and two of her children who were killed in a crash in 2015.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
FREE admission on Monday, Jan. 16 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
At The Children’s Museum, enjoy activities, storytelling by Portia Jackson about courageous children from the Civil Rights Movement (11:30 a.m., 12:30 & 1:30 p.m.) and performances by The Griot Drum Ensemble (10:30 & 11:45 a.m.) and the Freetown Village Singing Troupe (1 p.m.)
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra – Music of the Earth Festival
FREE performance, Monday, Jan. 16, noon at Eskenazi Hospital
Seven Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians, led by violinists Sherry Hong and Charles Morey, will take listeners on a poetic journey through an intimate performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. The performance takes place at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital: Eli Lilly and Company Foundation Concourse.
Day of Service at IUPUI
Monday, January 16 from 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Hundreds of students, faculty and guests will volunteer at various sites around Indianapolis for the IUPUI Day of Service – a tribute to Dr. King’s commitment to service and social justice. Participants meet at the IUPUI Campus Center.
Landmark for Peace Memorial
Of course, if you are headed to Downtown Indy, stop by Martin Luther King Park (1702 Broadway St.), the site where Robert Kennedy gave his memorable speech the night King was assassinated in 1968. The park is home to the Landmark for Peace memorial sculpture, designed and executed by Indiana artist Greg Perry. The sculpture – showcasing King and Kennedy reaching out to each other – honors the contributions of both leaders.