Looking for family fun over the long weekend observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Champaign-Urbana? We’re here to help! Almost all schools, preschools, and even many daycares are closed in observance of MLK Jr. Day. Add the University of Illinois to that, and it’s a rare opportunity to enjoy some family time together.
So what should you do? We’ve provided you with some ideas for fun events that are close – and not too far. We’ve also provided a list of events related to Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.
If you’re looking for a fun and inexpensive day trip, check out our article about MLK Day in Indianapolis, where there are lots of attractions open for free. Many attractions and museums are free in Chicago as well.
Don’t forget to check out our “What is open, What is closed” article for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Local MLK Jr. Day observances are listed on our calendar, although many are not actually on Jan. 21 this year.
In addition to the events listed below, here are a few of our favorite ideas:
- Go to a new-to-you library. While Champaign, Urbana, and Tolono libraries are closed on the holiday, Mahomet Public Library, Allerton Public Library (Monticello) and Rantoul Public Libraries, among others may be open.
- Get on the bus, gus. Some families use bus transportation all the time; for others, taking the bus is a novelty. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is one of those holidays where the Champaign Urbana MTD has a regular schedule. We have a whole article about taking the family on the bus and how to use the system.
- Visit one of our favorite indoor play areas. But beware, some are closed, so call ahead when in doubt. Also, the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum, normally closed on Mondays, will be open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Take advantage of a Kids Eat Free deal.
Friday, January 18, 2019
1500 N. Lincoln, Urbana
Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The public is invited to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This free event includes hors d'oeuvres at 4 p.m. and a program starting at 5 p.m. The evening will feature an awards ceremony, a keynote address and musical entertainment.
Monday, January 21, 2019
1500 N. Lincoln, Urbana
Time: 8:30 am - 11:00 am
The 2019 Reverand Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Advocacy for Justice Committee and The Vineyard Church welcome community members to join in celebrating the birthday of America's preeminent advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history at the 34th annual Unity Breakfast. Former scholarship recipient,…read more…
University of Illinois Ice Arena
406 E. Armory, Champaign
Time: 11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Come skate with your family at the UI Ice Arena! Fees: Children ages 3 and under: FREE Youth ages 4 and up: $6 UI Students and Campus Rec members: FREE with valid i-card Skate Rental $2 For more information, visit http://www.campusrec.illinois.edu/skating/ or call (217) 333-2212.
1401 W Green Street, Urbana
Time: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
University students, faculty, staff, and community are invited to learn about the impact Dr. King had on the world. Participants will complete hands-on service projects, such as meal packaging, winter kits, school supply kits and more for many local organizations throughout Champaign-Urbana.
Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
950 N. Lombard St., Mahomet
Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Join Museum of the Grand Prairie as they explore the rich cultural heritage of the African American community in Champaign County on this Martin Luther King Day! We will learn about the life of Dr. King, celebrate his legacy and learn how we can keep his mission alive today. For all ages. FREE.
Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center
102 E. Michigan , Urbana
Time: 1:30 pm - 9:00 pm
School's Out Swim happens from 1:30-9pm! $6 per swimmer (kids through age 3 are free) or $3 for spectators.
University Primary School
51 Gerty Drive, Children's Research Center Building @ The University of Illinois, Champaign
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Free event! KOOP Adventure Play will offer a short, outdoor pop-up adventure play event on MLK Day! Get outta the house, enjoy the brisk weather and you may even find some hot chocolate! There will be lots of materials and a big outside space for kids to play their way!…read more…
Saturday, January 26, 2019
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
500 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana
Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
This free event features performances by International Prep Academy students and the University of Illinois theatre department. For all ages!
What did we miss? Add your suggestions in the comments below.