Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Cleveland

Whether you have the day off work, school or you’re just looking for a different way to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Cleveland has plenty culturally-rich options to choose from. On January 21, 2013, many museums and institutions in Cleveland offer free admission or special activities and programs in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Celebrate with music while honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by visiting the Rock Hall, listening to the Cleveland Orchestra or watching a performance at the Cleveland Public Library.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum free of charge in celebration of Dr. King as well as community spirit and civic pride. The Rock Hall is devoted to history and culture of all different genres of music. While you’re there, check out different exhibits ranging from ‘The Roots of Rock and Roll: Blues, Gospel, Country/Folk/Bluegrass and R&B’ to ‘Cleveland Rocks’ an exhibit celebrating Cleveland’s musically rich history.

Cleveland Orchestra Open House at Severance Hall  

Founded in 1918 by a group of local citizens, the Cleveland Orchestra is one of the most sought after performing groups in the world. Enjoy an afternoon listening to performances at Severance Hall, the home of The Cleveland Orchestra, celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Performances begin at noon, admission is free and no tickets are required.

Commemorative Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Program at the Cleveland Public Library

The “Drum Majors for Change” at the Cleveland Public Library strives to commemorate Dr. King’s call for change. The program begins at 1pm and will be followed by a community reception.

The Music Settlement

Join The Music Settlement for a special Martin Luther King Memorial Concert featuring jazz, blues, gospel and classical music performed by Settlement faculty, students, and guest performers. This special concert takes places Sunday, January 20th at 3pm in Glick Recital Hall and is free and open to the public. 


Need a little brushing up on history and culture? Visit one of the many Cleveland museums offering free admission or special programming and activities on MLK Day. Take a stroll through time as you view paintings by Monet at the Cleveland Museum of Art, dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum or get hands-on with the interactive displays at the Cleveland Children’s Museum.

Maltz Museum of Jewish History

What better way to celebrate equality and understanding than to visit a museum devoted to promoting diversity and tolerance? The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage strives to promote understanding of Jewish history as well as promote appreciation and understanding of other cultures and religions.  The museum is open from 11am to 5pm and admission is free on January 21st. Special programming includes a special musical presentation followed by A Conversation After a Funeral, a new one-act play by Cleveland playwright Dr. Mary Weems.

Cleveland Natural History Museum

Step back through time at the Cleveland Natural History Museum in University Circle. The Natural History Museum is perfect for children of all ages and features everything from rare jewels to dinosaurs to the ‘Birds of America’. Admission is free to the Smead Discovery Center, open from 10am to 4pm, and visitors are invited to make craft projects, meet Cleveland’s neighborhood wildlife in special live animal presentations, museum curators, scientists and students from Case Western Reserve University and see a mini-planetarium show for only $1.

Western Reserve Historical Society

A museum filled to the brim with Cleveland history, the Western Reserve Historical Society provides information dating back to Native Americans to contemporary immigrants. Find collections ranging from the history of buildings and properties in Cleveland to the one of the largest collections of costumes and textiles in the United States. Admission is free on MLK Day and the Western Reserve Historical Society is open from 10am to 4pm.

Cleveland Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum offers interactive and educational exhibits for children to learn and play. Guests of the museum are invited to add to the peace mural from 11am to 4pm. Admission is half price on MLK Day.

Cleveland Botanical Garden

Take a stroll through the beautiful botanical gardens to take a break from the chilly winter weather in Cleveland. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Garden is open from 10am-5pm. Children can make a craft with Garden admission from 1pm-4pm.

Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art in University Circle is one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the city. It is the only major museum in the United States to offer free admission to the permanent collections such as Monet and Dali. The museum is open from 9:30am-5pm (typically closed on Mondays) and admission is free (as always!).

-MaryKate McHugh

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About PositivelyCleveland

Positively Cleveland is the destination marketing organization that has been promoting business and leisure tourism to Cleveland for more than 75 years.

One response to “Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Cleveland”

  1. Joe Jancsurak says :

    We love the Cleveland Zoo. Too bad it’s not offering free admission in honor of MLK.

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