MLK Day Events on the Main Line
Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's legacy with volunteer work and more.
The kids have off on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so seize the opportunity this year to help your kids understand King’s ideas — and the broader concept of helping others in his memory. Here are some family-friendly options around the Main Line and beyond.
January 21, various locations throughout Philadelphia and suburbs
No matter your neighborhood, age, or physical abilities, there is a service project for you. This very helpful website created for the Philadelphia region’s MLK Day of Service has a comprehensive database of all the service projects in the area, and you can constrain your search to specifically include kid-friendly projects. These take places all over, including various places of worship, community centers, and schools. Projects include everything from neighborhood cleanup to panel discussions to cooking and organizing donations for neighbors in need. Bonus: they also created a free printable MLK Day coloring book for kids!
January 18, 1 — 3 pm
Lower Merion High School Cafeteria, 315 E. Montgomery Ave., Ardmore
Service projects will include: Valentines for Veterans; Dream Flags; No-Sew Blankets for interventional radiology at CHOP; letter writing projects for Philabundance and children undergoing treatment at CHOP; a clothing, literature and school supply drive for students in Senegal and Gambia; a variety of kid-friendly arts & crafts; and more. The afternoon will also feature a voter registration drive by the League of Women Voters, live musical entertainment, and snacks available for purchase! Contact Amy Buckman at email@example.com for more information.
January 19, 2—3 pm
108 Ardmore Ave., Ardmore
Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and works with stories and crafts.
January 20, 1 — 3 pm
James A. Michener Art Museum, 138 S. Pine St., Doylestown
This family program is best for ages 5 and up. Learn about Dr. King’s legacy while exploring Hyder’s inspiration from around the world for his “Heads that Make Us Smile” exhibit before creating your own head, and sharing ideas on how to promote goodwill in your family, school, community, nation, or world. Participants are asked to bring new hygiene products for homeless shelters in Bucks County—you will hear from a representative of the Bucks County Housing Group, and decorate tote bags, which will be filled with donated toiletries and delivered to the Bucks County Housing Group Community Food Bank. The event is free, but pre-registration is required.
January 21, 10 am — 1 pm or 2 — 5 pm
1 Paoli Plaza, Paoli
HomeCooked is adding a service component to its regular school break camp. They will supply extra ingredients for everyone to use to make extra pans of Mexican Tortilla Lasagna and sides which will be donated to local families in need. Kids will also make a snack and a fun dessert to bring home! For ages 6.5-11.
This charity accepts donations year-round, but holds a special drive each January, with extra pickup spots on the MLK holiday. Families can volunteer at the organization’s Conshohocken Giving Factory, too. On January 21, volunteers ages 5 and up will build customized winter KidPacks filled with warm clothing, coats, hats, gloves and other winter essentials for local children living in poverty.
January 21, 10 am—4:30 pm
582 Upper Gulph Rd., Strafford
Families will have the chance to Adopt a Shelf. The library will assign you a shelf to clean and organize. You can choose any time between 10 am and 5 p—they ask for a minimum of a 30 minute commitment. Children ages 10-12 may work independently and children 9 and under need an adult to work with them. Online registration is required, and the library will contact you with a timeslot.
2910 Jolly Road, Plymouth Meeting
The community center is collecting non-perishable items to be packaged on MLK Day and distributed by the USO to troops around the world. New this year, they will also be creating Chemo Bag Scrolls and Cards of Encouragement for Lisa’s Army. If you are interested in donating or volunteering, contact Shawn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-277-6122.
January 21, 10 am—noon
25 Yearsley Mill Road, Media
Families can learn about Dr. King’s legacy, create valentines for local seniors, write cards to members of the military, crochet blankets for local animal shelters, and organize toiletry kits for women’s shelters. Register online to volunteer.
January 21, 10 am — 3:30 pm
1661 Harding Blvd., Norristown
Get $5 admission all day at Elmwood Park Zoo and attend special holiday animal greets.
January 21, 10 — 11:30 am
Radnor High School, 130 King of Prussia Road, Wayne
RTSD students and their parents are welcome to participate in the district’s second annual day of service. The event will feature hands-on service projects, donation drop-off, “Practicing Peace” mindfulness sessions, bake sale, hoops for helping, 50/50 raffle and more. Must be students, parents, or staff of RTSD to participate.
Photograph by Laura Swartz.