Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day: A Storytime Party for the Whole Family

Marking a national holiday, like Martin Luther King Day, with a family gathering is a wonderful way to honor its meaning. Especially if you make it a storytime party! That way, the kids learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the cause he fought for through a fun family event. See our ideas for planning this party—from a children’s storybook to bring the theme to life, to well-loved food, drinks, and dessert ideas from the South, Dr. King’s birthplace. (*this post contains affiliate links)

Food and Drinks Ideas for MLK Day

Here is the perfect excuse to indulge in those iconic Southern dishes. You can always claim that it’s “educational” as part of the MLK Day celebration!

Celebrating Martin Luther King: Storytime Party  Food from Fried Chicken to Sweet Potatoes

The must-have main dish would be Southern fried chicken (1), of course, with its signature coating that’s spicy and deliciously crispy! Then, offer a selection of sides that typically go with it—Southern fried okra (2) with a crunch of its own thanks to its cornmeal coating; Southern potato salad (3) that’s a fave staple; candied sweet potatoes (4) made with orange juice, brown sugar, and maple syrup; and Southern collard greens (5) made extra flavorful with pork, chicken, and bacon.

Recipe sources: 1 – Paula Deen / 2 – Lodge Cast Iron / 3 – Shope’s IGA / 4 – Weightwatchers / 5 – Keith Lorren

Refreshing Drinks Ideas from the South

Iced tea drinks for a Southern-inspired MLK celebration.

No drink could be more iconic of the South than sweet tea! So why not set up an iced tea station at the party to keep adults and kids alike nice and refreshed? You can have several pitchers or 2 to 3 beverage dispensers offering a choice of different tea flavors. Plus fresh fruit like oranges, peaches, and grapefruit to add as garnish.

For guests who may be watching their sugar intake, perhaps prepare a low-sugar version of the sweet tea, using Stevia or honey.

Well-Loved Southern Desserts

Southern-inspired Desserts like pecan pie and peach cobbler for celebrating MLK day.

To complete the menu—and give more nods to Dr. King’s birthplace—prepare a selection of desserts that are unmistakably Southern. Among them must be the tart and tangy key lime pie (1), the classic Georgia pecan pie (2), peach cobbler (3) served with sweetened whipped cream; old-fashioned Southern tea cakes (4), and the popular hummingbird cake (5) with pineapple filling and cream cheese frosting!

Recipe sources: 1 – Keebler / 2 – Lane Southern Orchards / 3 – Pillsbury / 4 – Lana’s Cooking / 5 – Wilton

MLK Day Party Activities for the Family

Celebrating Martin Luther King: Storytime Party Activities and Books for the Whole Family

As this is planned as a storytime party, the main activity for all to share would story-telling by the adults and/or reading aloud by the little ones. Choose an age-appropriate picture book (1) on the life and dreams of Dr. King. Then, display a poster of him (2) and a homemade sign of his most famous quote (3) to focus an impromptu Q&A on why he is honored with a national holiday. Have a basket of hand-shaped cookies to serve on the side, as well.

Extend this to craft projects the whole family can complete together, like this “I Have a Dream” mini poster (4) and “Shades of People” handprint wreath (5). Entertaining and educational in one!

Sources: 1 – Book.- via Amazon / 2 – Poster – via Amazon / 3 – A Full Classroom / 4 – The Crafty Crow / 5 – Kitchen Floor Crafts

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