Top Things to Do on Martin Luther King Day in Houston

Neil deGrasse Tyson comes to Jones Hall on MLK Day | Courtesy of FOX

Explore closing exhibitions, festivals, food events, movie screenings and more with our picks for things to do on Martin Luther King Day, January 17, 2022.

The annual holiday honoring the Reverend Doctor brings a national day of service and an opportunity to give back and explore your community on the third Monday of January.

While many popular spots will be quiet on this day, there’s still things to do that can be found across the city. We’ve gathered ten of them, including closing exhibitions, an annual food extravaganza, family activities, guest speakers and more.

If you’re looking for celebrations, parades and ceremonies that honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., then check out our guide to those virtual and in-person events taking place throughout the weekend.

Top 10 Things to Do on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Houston

  • MLK Festival at Houston City Hall | FREE – Right after the conclusion of the 44th Annual Original MLK Day Parade, this all-day festival will kick off and feature live music, DJ tunes, kid-friendly activities, art and craft vendors, food trucks and more. 10am to 5pm.
  • Time No Longer by Anri Sala at the Cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park – Closing on MLK Day, the immersive and otherworldly installation by contemporary artist Anri Sala plunges visitors into an eerie soundscape and mesmerizing visuals within the cavernous cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park. $12 for ages 9 and up (no children under the age of 9 are permitted). Times available from 10am to 5pm.
  • Galveston Restaurant Week – The culinary bonanza returns to the island for another year of breakfast, lunch and dinner menus at attractive price points from more than 40 restaurants. From beach-side Gulf dining and upscale steakhouses to messy burgers and hearty gumbos, Galveston has plenty to offer during Restaurant Weeks, which runs to Sunday, February 13. $20 to $45 for dinners; $10 to $20 for breakfasts, brunches and lunches. Times vary.
  • Afro-Atlantic Histories & Georgia O’ Keefe, Photographer at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston – Both exhibitions will close on Martin Luther King Day, offering one last chance to see the rarely explored photography of a Modern Art giant, as well as the history and legacy of the transatlantic slave trade. $19; $12 for students and ages 13 to 18; free for ages 12 and under. 11am to 5pm.
  • Wellness Walks with Urban Paths at Levy Park | FREE – The twice monthly event invites people from all body types, abilities, ages and fitness levels to walk through Levy Park with a focus on finding mental clarity and community. Noon.
  • Pixar Putt at Discovery Green – Swing for par with your favorite Pixar characters at this 18-hole winter-time event at Downtown’s centerpiece greenspace. $30.50; $25.50 for ages under 12. Tee off times available from 3pm to 8:30pm.
  • Family Full Moon Hike at Houston Arboretum & Nature Center – Take to the trails that wind around the Arboretum and catch the rising of this month’s full moon, while you take in the nighttime habits of the Nature Center’s inhabitants. $10. 5:30pm to 7pm.
  • Andrew Yang at Houston Improv – The former presidential and New York City mayoral candidate comes to the Improv stage in West Houston for a discussion of his new book, Forward. $70 for a table of 2, to $210 for a table of 6. 7pm.
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson: Astronomy Bizarre at Jones Hall – The world renown astronomer and television personality heads to Downtown to talk all things cosmos, from black holes and dark matter to worm holes and multiverses. $44 and up. 7:30pm.
  • Across the Universe Movie Screening at Axelrad | No Cover – If you’re still riding the high of Beatle Mania from the recent documentary, then catch a screening of the 2007 musical romance film, Across the Universe, and sing along to your favorite Beatles songs while you sip on offerings from Axelrad. 7:30pm.

Find More Things to Do in Houston All Year Long

You can find more fun in our interactive event calendar and 365 Weekend Guides.

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A longtime Houstonian, Justin Jerkins keeps an eye out for all sorts of happenings in H-Town, including breweries, sports, concerts, must-see destinations and much more while serving as Editor-in-Chief of 365 Things to Do in Houston.