Among the many benefits to having a nationally recognized holiday for the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is the day off school that it brings. This aspect of the holiday is probably the best as far as Indianapolis children are concerned; they didn’t live through the atrocities, struggles, and heroism of the civil rights movement, so to them Martin Luther King Jr. is just a name. Likely your child will spend their precious Monday off in front of the television, playing video games. But why let them grow roots listening to the squawk box when you could take them to six major Indianapolis attractions absolutely free? That’s right, White River State Park is hosting a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration with a slew of special events at all six Indy landmarks on Monday, December 17, 2011. Who knows? Your kids might even learn something about one of the United States‘ most famous civil rights leaders in the process.
|Video of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech; this speech and others will be playing at the Indiana State Museum as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration in Indianapolis|
Alright, so admission to the White River State Park attractions isn’t completely free. However, you don’t have to organize a hunger strike to get in: all you have to do is bring a canned food donation to each attraction you’d like to visit, and viola! you’ve gained free access (and free parking!) to six premiere Indianapolis attractions. All donations go to Gleaners Food Bank, so your canned food is going to a good cause in addition to bringing you museum access. In case you didn’t already know, the six major attractions at White River State Park are the Indianapolis Zoo, the Indiana State Museum, Victory Field, the Eiteljorg Museum, the NCAA Hall of Champions, and the IMAX Theater in the Indiana State Museum. Each of these locations has special events and incentives happening during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration.
Normally the Indianapolis Zoo is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays in the first months of the year, but the zoo opens its doors for free on January 17, 2011 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This is your chance to take advantage of all the Indianapolis Zoo’s great exhibits, including polar bears, butterflies, and more, at a price you’ll never get during the rest of the year. The Eiteljorg Museum will also have free admission on Monday; now’s your chance to let your kids take in Arte en la Charreria, the winter Sidewalk Sale, and all the other exhibits at the museum. Free admission is also available at the NCAA Hall of Champions and Victory Field; the home of the Indianapolis Indians will also be hosting free Indianapolis health screenings throughout Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Indiana State Museum has perhaps the most comprehensive Martin Luther King Jr. Day program of all the attractions at White River State Park, or at least the most educational. A number of documentaries will be shown throughout January 17 in the Indianapolis museum‘s Legacy Theater, including speeches by Martin Luther King, while presentations will take place throughout the day in the Dean and Barbara White Auditorium. Presentation topics include Marshall “Major” Taylor, an Indianapolis sports legend who was the first black person to become a world champion bicyclist, Civil War soldier Ransom Warfield, the segregated Gold and Glory Sweepstakes auto race that used to take place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in the 30′s, and Indy’s own Madame C. J. Walker, for whom the Madame Walker Theater on Indiana Avenue is named.
If you haven’t yet explored the myriad attractions available at the most famous Indianapolis park, Monday, January 17, 2011 will be a day to remember. White River State Park’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration allows you and your family access to the Indianapolis Zoo, Victory Field, the NCAA Hall of Champions, the Eiteljorg Museum, Indiana State Museum, and the IMAX Theater with nothing more than a canned food donation. Regular museum hours are in effect for most of the attractions, so plan your day accordingly. Your kids probably don’t realize the impact Martin Luther King Jr. had on America and the world; Monday, January 17, 2011 is your chance to educate them, save a buck, and have a lot of fun in the process.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at White River State Park
Monday, January 17, 2011, All Day
Tickets: FREE with canned food donation (one can per person, per attraction)
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art
500 W Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46204