Indiana attractions offering free entry for MLK day

Some of the locations offer free access, while others ask for a monetary donation to benefit the Gleaners Food Bank.

INDIANAPOLIS – A number of attractions in central Indiana are offering free entry to visitors on Monday, Jan. 17 for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Indianapolis Children’s Museum

The Indianapolis Children’s Museum, located at 3000 N. Meridian St. in Indianapolis, will once again celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with free admission.

The celebrations will include shows and activities. There will also be interactive galleries and exhibits celebrating King’s life and black history.

The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and due to capacity restrictions related to COVID-19, people will need to make reservations before their visit. A reservation can be made by click here or call 317-334-4000.

Some of the events include:

  • Performance of the Griot drum set: Enjoy energetic and engaging percussion music as the Griot Drum Ensemble performs authentic traditional percussion from West Africa and the Diaspora.
  • Guest artist Deonna Craig: Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, explore the importance of equality and togetherness in art with guest artist Deonna Craig.
  • Figures of the civil rights movement: Join storyteller Portia Jackson as she tells stories of brave children of the civil rights movement.
  • Up close and personal: Discover the women who are changing the world in Barbie ™ You Can Be Anything ™: The Experience. Join us to get closer to some extremely inspiring female models!
  • Making WAVES – Social justice in action: Use the power of WORDS, ACTION, VOICES and EDUCATION to take a stand for a cause of social justice. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
  • Ruby Sound and Light Show: See how Ruby Bridges faced the unimaginable in a five-minute film that features aspects of her story in The power of children exhibition area.
  • Stories from our community: The art of protest: Explore the exhibit which focuses on the August 2020 creation – and subsequent vandalism – of a public artwork in Indianapolis by 18 local artists in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

RELATED: Children’s Museum to Celebrate Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Free Entry

Conner Prairie

Conner Prairie, located at 13400 Allisonville Road in Fishers, will offer free entry to its Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on Monday, January 17.

The Fishermen’s Living History Museum said the celebration offers something for all ages.

Among the history of the civil rights movement and King’s life there will be a live mural and a speaking poet.

In addition, new this year, Conner Prairie will partner with community organizations to offer a blood drive, COVID-19 vaccinations and flu shots, a food drive and on-site voter registration.

Click here to get a free ticket to the Conner Prairie MLK Day celebration.

RELATED: Conner Prairie Offering Free MLK Jr. Day Experience Including Blood Drive and COVID Vaccinations

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

Visit Indianapolis Park dedicated to King’s legacy. See the historic statue celebrating the contributions of the King and Robert F. Kennedy.

Indianapolis Parks & Recreation will also host a number of other special events for the day. The park is located at 1702 Broadway St. in Indianapolis.


Visitors are invited to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Eiteljorg, located at 500 W. Washington St. in Indianapolis.

It will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on January 17 with free admission.

Visitors can immerse themselves in Native American and Western cultures while enjoying the last day of Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure.

Guests can also explore the activities in the new Nina Mason Pulliam Education Center.

For more information, Click here.

Indiana State Museum

Admission is free Jan. 17 at the Indiana State Museum, located at 650 W. Washington St. in Indianapolis.

Guests will be able to celebrate King’s Dream from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a performance from the Meraki Dance Company, videos of some of King’s most iconic speeches, and activities that reflect what you can do to keep the dream alive for the future generations.

The museum will also have its copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment on display at the Legacy Theater. A curator will be on site from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. to answer questions.

For more information, Click here.

Indianapolis Zoo

The Indianapolis Zoo will be offering free admission with a cash donation to the Gleaners Food Bank on January 17.

The zoo will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at 1200 W. Washington St. in Indianapolis. Parking is free.

Weather permitting, the zoo will be home to the hardiest animals, including arctic foxes, sea lions, tigers, brown bears, walruses and more.

The zoo’s indoor exhibits will also be open: Oceans, Dolphin Dome, Deserts Dome and Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center.

For more information, Click here.

Hall of NCAA Champions

Guests will be able to tour for free the NCAA Hall of Champions, located at 700 W. Washington St. in Indianapolis, on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day.

It will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and feature an exhibit reflecting some of NCAA’s defining moments, exciting clashes and memorable football games.

Guests can participate in a scavenger hunt and register for hourly raffle prizes for official NCAA merchandise.

There will also be photo ops with replicas of the 2022 men’s and women’s basketball trophies.

For more information, Click here.

Rhythm! Discovery center

Rhythm! Discovery Center, located at 110 West Washington St. in Indianapolis, offers free admission Jan. 17.

There’s a ton of history inside but just as many opportunities to get your hands on some of the instruments.

Get your free tickets for the MLK day at this link.

RELATED: rhythm! Discovery center offering free entry for the MLK day

White River State Park

White River State Park, located at 801 W. Washington St. in Indianapolis, will offer free admission and parking to visitors in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 17.

White River State Park and Gleaners Food Bank will collect cash donations. Credit card donations of $ 5 can be made in dip pots located throughout the park. In the interest of health and safety, no food will be collected.

Click here to donate online.

Indiana Historical Society

The Indian Historical Society honors and celebrates King’s efforts for his community with free admission Monday, January 17.

The historical society will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in Indianapolis.

Visitors can participate in arts and crafts projects for the whole family and explore the “Indiana Experience” exhibit.

The theater program is as follows on January 17:

  • 11:00 a.m. – Reading children’s books
  • 1:00 p.m. – Making Dr. King’s vacation come true: Indiana Rep Katie Hall leads the charge
  • 2 p.m. – Musical performance by Thomas & La Situation
  • 3 p.m. – Community conversation with GANGGANG

Visitors are also encouraged to bring new packages of child-friendly socks and underwear to collect and donate to Charity Cares Early Academy. New sock and underwear packs can be brought to the IHS Visitor Center.

Click here for more information.

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