Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events in Boston

Honor MLK's legacy at these events around town.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photo via AP

Memorial Breakfast

The nation’s longest-running event honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has speeches, food, and live music, plus a pretty swank guest list. Speeches will be given by such esteemed figures as Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Boston Governor Charlie Baker, and US Senator Elizabeth Warren, among others.

$50, Monday, January 18, 8 a.m., Boston Convention Center, 415 Summer St., Boston,

MFA Open House

Engage your artistic side and show your appreciation with free admission to the Museum of Fine Arts. An assortment of programs and activities are offered for visitors of all ages.

Free, Monday, January 18, 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m., Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, 617-267-9300,

Boston University MLK Celebrations

BU honors one of their most distinguished alumni in a commemoration featuring current U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, the university’s Inner Strength Gospel Choir, and other guests. Before the celebration, the university will begin their observance with a peace rally, where professors, students, and alumni will speak about Dr. King’s influence.

Free, Monday January 18, Rally: 1-1:30 p.m., Commemoration: 2-4 p.m., George Sherman Union at Boston University, 775 Commonwealth Ave,

Cambridge’s Annual Celebration at Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church

The church will hold their annual celebration featuring speeches and readings of Dr. King’s work. The Peace Commission’s Commemoration and Remembrance will followed by a luncheon. The church also invites attendees to join in on their annual day of service, sponsored by Many Helping Hands.

Free, Monday, January 18, 11 a.m., Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church, 838 Mass Ave., Cambridge,

Day of Service at the Isabella Student Gardner Museum

Families are invited to enjoy the museum’s beautiful gardens and galleries on a day focused on the theme of community service. A variety of special programs will be offered, as well as talks in the galleries and music in the courtyard.

Free, Monday, January 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Isabella Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston,

Benkandi Drum and Dance: African Journey

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Benkandi Drum and Dance group will perform dances showcasing traditional West African countries’ rhythms and movements.

Free, Monday, January 18, 10:30 a.m., John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Columbia Point, Boston, 617-514-1644,

Many Helping Hands 365 Day of Service

Another way to provide volunteer services in honor of Dr. King is available in Cambridge. With more than 2,600 people participating last year, volunteers of all ages and backgrounds came together to make Valentine’s Day cards for elders and veterans, restock food pantries, and make fleece blankets and scarves for the homeless.

Free, Monday, January 18, 2-5 p.m., City Hall, Cambridge Senior Center, and the YWCA Central Square, Cambridge,

African American Heritage Trail

Key figures in 19th and 20th century African American history are buried in the Mount Auburn cemetery, including authors, lawyers, journalists, and activists. Join volunteer docent Steve Pinkerton as he gives an indoor presentation and then leads a tour of the graves, telling the stories of 17 significant figures of the historical African American experience in Boston and elsewhere.

Free, Sunday, January 17, 1-2:30 p.m., Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge,

Berklee’s Weeklong Celebration

Berklee is hosting a series of events open to the public to commemorate Dr. King over the week, including a keynote speech by Beverly Morgan-Welch, performances, and cultural and musical celebrations.

Free-$8+, Wednesday January 27-February 27, Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston,

Museum of African American History & Boston Symphony Orchestra Day of Service and Celebration

The partnership’s day of service and celebration pays special tribute to Dr. King through a program of music and the spoken word. Guests include keynote speaker Topper Carew and the museum’s director, Marita Riviero.

Free, Monday, January 18, 1 p.m., Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston,

Joyful Noise Concert with Harlem Gospel Choir

Currently in its 10th year, the Joyful Noise concert once again welcomes back the Harlem Gospel Choir. The choir was created in 1986 by Allen Bailey after he was inspired by an event honoring Dr. King, and has since become one of the nation’s best-known gospel choirs.
$10+, Saturday, January 16, 7:30 p.m., Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, 45 Quincy St., Cambridge,