Things to Do on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Weekend

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Looking for something to do on the upcoming long weekend that includes a day off from school to honor a civil rights leader? Upstate kids and (some) parents have a long weekend coming up, giving families time to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. If you are looking for ways to honor his legacy, we have found several family-friendly options.

We’ve also included some added special events that can make the long weekend fun for everyone!

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr Through Community Service

Pick-up litter with Friends of The Reedy River on Monday, January 16th, 2023 starting from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Children are welcome (just be sure that they are old enough to stay out of the road, at least seven to eight).
FoRR will provide all other necessary items, such as gloves, vests, trash grabbers, trash bags, tools, etc. The pick-up efforts will be around the Nicholtown and Brutontown Communities. You will receive a confirmation email with your assigned check-in location after you register.

MLK Day of Service Greenville County Wide Litter Cleanup will be all day on January 16th, 2023. Participants can sign up to pick up litter at multiple sites around Greenville that need attention.

The City of Spartanburg and The United Way will celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during Unity Week in 2023 with different live-streamed, virtual events and volunteer opportunities. Activities include creating care packages, donating blood, cleaning up parks, and more. The entire list of community service activities planned can be found on the United Way Website.

For more info on how you can serve the community in honor of MLK day, there are several national websites to check:

If you’d like more information about places to volunteer in the Upstate, don’t miss our Volunteering Guide.

Learn About The Civil Rights Movement With Help From The Library

The Spartanburg and Greenville Library systems are closed on Monday in observance. The library is the best place to stock up on great books to teach your kids the importance of Martin Luther King, Jr, and the Civil Rights Movement. Here are a couple of excellent book lists to get you started from “What Do We Do All Day?”

Here are a few other books to add to your reading list, for the next trip to the library!

Attend An Event Honoring The MLK Legacy

January 16, 2023: Magic Moment: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with TCMU: Join The Children’s Museum of the Upstate – Greenville in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

January 16th, 2023: MLK Jr. Day of Celebration – Greer: Speaker James Felder will speak at the celebration luncheon at the event hall at Greer City Park. Tickets are $5.

Take A Day Trip for Some Hands On Learning

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park | Atlanta, GA
In 1980, The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park was established to preserve the places where Martin Luther King, Jr. was born, lived, worked, worshiped, and buried. Each year the 38-acre park hosts nearly a quarter-million guests while sharing the significance of one of the most influential Americans in modern history. Entrance to the park is always free. Learn More About The Martin Luther King and The Black History of Atlanta

The Friendship Nine Lunch Counter | York County, SC
In 1961, 10 College students staged a sit-in at the local McCrory’s Lunch Counter to protest segregation. The men were arrested, and 9 of them refused to pay the fine for these charges, choosing instead to sit in jail for 30 days. The McCrory’s is still there, and you can see the original lunch counter and stools from 1961. The Friendship Nine and their story is an important part of the civil rights movement. Learn More About The Friendship Nine and York County

Things To Do On a Day Off From School In The Winter

Fun In Spartanburg, SC

  • Check out a kit from the Spark Space Maker Space at the Headquarters Library over the weekend. They have all kinds of fun kits you can check out to learn to do something new over the weekend!
  • Hit the slopes and try out these places to go sledding.

Fun In Greenville, SC

  • Bring kids ages 12 and under to Family Fun Gym time at Acrosmith Gymnastics on Monday, January 16, 2023 at 9 am or 10:15 am. Cost is $6/child and you have to pre-register online.
  • Ice on Main‘s last day for the season is Monday, January 16th, 2023.
  • Hiking in the winter is great for many reasons – the first probably being that there aren’t any bugs! See our big hiking guide for some suggestions of fun trails.
  • If the weather is mild, you can check out this list of Greenville’s Favorite Playgrounds

For more ideas on cheap and inexpensive things to do during winter, Head To The Kidding Around Big List of Winter Fun.

Fun Near The Upstate

  • Want to go snow tubing or skiing over the long weekend? See our best places to ski and tube near Greenville story.
  • If you’d like to see some gorgeous waterfalls, see our Winter Waterfall Driving Tour (you may get lucky and even see from frozen falls!).
  • Day trips are also a way to have fun together on the long weekend. We’ve got a huge Travel page for you to browse for ideas. Charleston is full of places to visit and reflect on the things that Martin Luther King Jr. fought to change.
About the Author
Melanie is a native New Yorker, who landed in the Upstate by way of Florida. She is the mom of two awesome kids, and the three of them love going on adventures!

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