Indianapolis annually offers free admission to popular attractions on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Check with each attraction you plan to visit to see whether timed tickets or other requirements are in place
Every year, most Indianapolis attractions offer free admission and themed programs for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
If you’re thinking of traveling for an educational day trip, be sure to plan ahead as space is limited.
Many, if not all, of our favorite Indianapolis family-friendly venues are FREE to the public on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. While we write often about free museum days in Chicago, free museum days at Indianapolis attractions are much more rare.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the best known of those free days. Not only are these attractions free, most of them have special events and content aligned with Dr. King’s life and legacy.
– Even though admission may be free, advance reservations are recommended by many of these locations (but not all).
– Remember, Indianapolis is in the Eastern time zone. An early start to your day is the best way to maximize your time there.
– Save even more money by packing your own lunch and snacks.
– Parking is mostly free for these venues, but not always.
– We base the savings on a family of four — two adults and two paying kids. Every location has a different definition of a “kid.”
Here’s the scoop on what’s free in Indianapolis for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
The museum opens its doors with free admission to all children and families to celebrate the life, achievements, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. You need to get tickets (available now) to be able to visit the museum for free. Enjoy a special performance by the Griot Drum Ensemble on this day. An older review of a visit to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum is available here.
AVERAGE SAVINGS FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR: $72 to $90 (no, that is not a typo!)
Throughout the day, Conner Prairie (in Fishers, IN) will have activities, music, and discussions that will focus on the 1950s and 1960s Civil Rights movement and the social justice issues of today. The Lilly Theater will host a spoken word poetry session at noon and 3 p.m., featuring Kelsey Johnson and Manon Voice. A reflection of Civil Rights speeches will inspire guests throughout the day. Performance by musician Allison Victoria at 1:30 p.m.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
AVERAGE SAVINGS FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR: $36
In celebration of his life and legacy, guests are invited each year to join the Indianapolis Zoo to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Along with its other partners in White River State Park, parking and admission to the Zoo and its attractions are free on this day.
In the spirit of service and community, visitors are encouraged to make monetary donations to Gleaners Food Bank. Dip jar donations will be collected throughout the park.
Zoo is open weather permitting, so if it is in question, call. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Our review of a visit to the Indianapolis Zoo is here.
AVERAGE SAVINGS FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR: $48
Let’s face it, the name of this museum makes it sound b-o-r-i-n-g. But our kids had a blast there a few years ago. Admission is free; monetary donations for Gleaners Food Bank are appreciated.
Parking is free in the White River State Park underground garage. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
See some of Dr. King’s most iconic speeches, experience activities that explore civil and human rights, and reflect on what you can do to ensure Dr. King’s dream lives on for future generations.
AVERAGE SAVINGS FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR: $58
Enjoy free admission to the Eiteljorg Museum on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the final day of Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure. Monetary donations for Gleaners Food Bank are appreciated.
Advance ticket reservation is encouraged; click here to reserve tickets. Parking is free in the White River State Park underground garage.
AVERAGE SAVINGS FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR: $46
Newfields is closed on Mondays, so it does its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration and program on Sunday. Called “SPEAKING LOVE,” the program emphasizes sharing and reflecting through poetry, song, dance, and more. Click here to reserve free tickets (In 2021, they went quickly!)
AVERAGE SAVINGS FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR: $56
Guests can participate in a scavenger hunt and register for hourly raffle prizes for official NCAA merchandise. There will also be photo opportunities with replicas of the 2022 men’s and women’s basketball national championship trophies. Admission is free; monetary donations for Gleaners Food Bank are appreciated. Parking is free. Open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
AVERAGE SAVINGS FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR: $16
(Looking for ways to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day without leaving home? We’ve got a list of Champaign-Urbana Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations and events here.)
Find everything related to winter in Champaign-Urbana:
- Presidents Day in Indianapolis: Free Museums and More
- Midwest Indoor Waterparks Within a Few Hours of Champaign-Urbana
- Valentine’s Day Events and Activities for Families in Champaign-Urbana
- Winter Fun in Chicago: Free Days at the Best Museums
- Winter Road Trip: Visiting Ice Castles at Lake Geneva, Wis.
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Indianapolis: Free Museums, Zoo and More
- Where to Ice Skate in Central Illinois and Beyond (Indoor and Outdoor)
- Have the Ultimate Outdoor Winter in the Champaign-Urbana Area
- Best Sledding in Champaign-Urbana
- Slide on your Snowshoes and Hit Trails Near You Around Central Illinois