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Best Bay Area Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations For The Family

Rev. Martin Luther King
Rev. Martin Luther King (Photo by National Archives/Newsmakers)

Reflective, educational, uplifting or physical—here are the best ways to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Bay Area this year.

Paramount Theater
2025 Broadway
Oakland, CA, 94612
Phone: (510) 893-2300
Date: January 15, 2012
Time: 7 p.m.
Price: Adults - $18; Children under 12 - $8

Take in some music with "In The Name of Love, The 10th Annual Musical Tribute Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." The tribute will feature Mavis Staples, Gospel Grammy Award Winner, PopLyfe, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and the Oakland Children's Community Choir. This entertaining event is great for the entire family.

28th Annual Freedom Train
Date: January 16, 2012
Hours: 9:30 a.m.
Price: $10

Train rides were established by Martin Luther King Jr.'s wife, Coretta Scott King, after he was assassinated in 1968. Rides began in the Bay Area in the early 1980s and are currently celebrating its 28th year. The Freedom Train has four stops, the Rod Diridon Train Station, 65 Cahill Street, San Jose and California 95110. A Freedom Train Ticket is a round trip ticket that allows you to take any train back from San Francisco on the day of the Freedom Train only.

Alcatraz Gardens Restoration
Pier 33
1398 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone: (415) 561-3077
Date: Jan, 16th, 2012
Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Join your neighbors for another historic Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Volunteer in the Golden Gate National Parks and help grow and restore these cherished national parklands. It's fun, it's healthy, and it makes a difference. Help re-establish the historic Alcatraz gardens by weeding and pruning and improving our compost area. Through the project, volunteers will be introduced to the stories of the gardens and have the opportunity to visit some areas not accessible to the public.

Teens on Trails
USS San Francisco Memorial Site
401 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 863-8371
Date: Jan. 16th, 2012
Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 12: 30 p.m.

Help with trail work near the Mile Rock staircase and enhance native plant habitat and historic landscapes at Lands End. This project is just for teens so come with friends, classmates, or your school club.

3601 Lyon St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone: (415) 561-0360
Hours: Tues to Sun - 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.;
Jan. 16. 2012 - 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Celebrate this important holiday at the Exploratorium, San Francisco's popular museum of science, art and human perception. Add your portrait to our Freedom Bus in the art studio, and purchase tickets to hear a heartfelt performance by the acappella ensemble SoVoSó. Quotes from his writing and speeches will be mounted throughout the Museum. During this special holiday drop-in, honor the memory and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. by creating your own dream jar, the perfect space to hold your dreams, hopes, and New Year wishes.

Related: Remembering Marting Luther King (photos)

Jennifer Azevedo is a writer living in San Francisco. Her work can be found at

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