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Where to Go for Free Admission on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Indy

“The time is always right to do what is right.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January officially ushers in winter, the start of a new school semester and – in honor of his January 15th birthday – the opportunity to reflect on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As a federal holiday signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, many schools follow suit by offering the third Monday of the month off from classes too.

To honor Dr. King and his enduring fight for equality, many museums and organizations will open their doors for free on January 18.

It’s the perfect opportunity to spend a fun day with the family while remembering the powerful life that Dr. King led.

Indianapolis Zoo

The zoo is typically closed on Mondays, but will opens its doors for and MLK Celebration sponsored by Honda Manufacturing of Indiana that includes both free admission and parking. This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, in lieu of canned goods, the Zoo is asking for monetary donations to benefit Gleaner’s Food Bank. Click here to reserve a time for your visit.

When: January 18, 9:00am – 4:00pm
Where: 1200 W. Washington St, Indianapolis

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

According to The Children’s Museum website, due to the limited number of free tickets available, this event is sold out.

Conner Prairie

Conner Prairie will once again open for MLK Day with free admission. Tickets will need to be reserved in advance for specific time windows. For those who prefer to stay home, Conner Prairie will also offer a number of free online activities and exhibits for learners of all ages to access from anywhere.

When: January 18, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Where: 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers

Eiteljorg Museum

Enjoy FREE admission to the Eiteljorg Museum on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Pre-reserved timed tickets are available to see the final day of  Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, as well as general admission to see other exhibits at the museum. Timed tickets are required and limited based upon capacity. Reserve yours here.

When: January 18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Where: 500 West Washington St, downtown Indianapolis

Indiana State Museum

Visitors will be able to watch some of Dr. King’s famous speeches, participate in a letter writing campaign helping ease the loneliness of someone in isolation, listen into story time highlighting diverse voices and more. To ensure capacities are kept at safe levels, visitors are invited to attend from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., or 3 to 5 p.m. Pre-registration is not required; admission is first-come, first-served. Canned food will no be collected this year; donations are welcome on-site via credit/debit cards with all proceeds benefiting Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana.

When: January 18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Where: 650 West Washington St, Indianapolis

Indiana Historical Society

Take a trip back in time to explore music and civil rights in the time of Madam C.J. Walker, the Indianapolis Centennial and the heyday of Gennett Records. Learn how IHS is continuing to preserve stories of marches and demonstrations through Project Take a Stand, and find out how you can learn more about civil rights. Advance tickets are required for entry. Free tickets can be reserved here.

When: January 18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Where: 450 West Ohio St, Indianapolis

NCAA Hall of Champions

Once again, the NCAA will open it’s doors for free to celebrate Dr. King. Experience all 24 NCAA sports through interactive exhibits including a 1930s replica gymnasium, sports simulators, trivia challenges, a scavenger hunt and more. Visitors can make their reservation, here.

When: January 18, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Where: 700 West Washington St, Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Join Newfields Sunday, January 17 to celebrate MLK Day for an afternoon of sharing and reflecting through art. Come together in spirit to remember Dr. King’s words while moving beyond our comfort zones and exploring new perspectives in the IMA Galleries at Newfields and from your home. Click here to reserve free tickets.

When: January 17, 12:00 – 4:00pm
Where: 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Park and Landmark for Peace Memorial

Feel like sticking to outdoor venues? Your family can visit the park in Indianapolis dedicated to Dr. King’s legacy. See the historic statue celebrating the contributions of MLK and Robert F. Kennedy. Indianapolis Parks & Recreation will also host a number of other special events for the day including a Marvelous MLK Mural at Broad Ripple Park, a MLK Day Self-Guided Hike at Eagle Creek Park, and a special MLK Day Virtual Craft and Play Kit ($3 per person) available for pick up at Broad Ripple Park. Visit the links above for registration details and times.

When: Open dawn to dusk daily
Where: 1702 Broadway St., Indianapolis

National Parks

In honor of the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., National Park Service sites planned free admission for everyone on Monday, January 18, 2021, as the first fee free day of the year. Commemorated on the third Monday of January, it is also a day of service when hundreds of volunteers participate in service projects at parks across the country. Find a park to visit here!


Do you know of a location with free admission on MLK Day that we missed?
Let us know and we’ll add it to the list! [email protected]

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