Lots of free, family-friendly and fun events are happening this Monday, Jan. 17, for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day!

The King Arts Complex is hosting a free MLK Day Open House Birthday Celebration from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Featuring music and live theater performances, film, and video all centered around the civil rights movement. There will also be the opportunity for kids to do hands-on art projects. The King Arts Complex is located at 867 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Columbus. To learn more call 645-KING.

Then you've got the MLK March! This year's theme is "Celebrate the Legacy: A Voice in the Crowd." The March steps off from City Hall at 4:45pm. All those involved will enjoy music, snacks, and drinks and are encouraged to dress warm and bring banners!

The March leads participants to the steps of Veterans Memorial where inside all are invited to enjoy the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day program. The event is free and packed with more music, singing by local choirs, and dances performed by BalletMet. There will also be a Youth Oratorical Contest as well as the Annual Martin Luther King Day Call for Artists.

And finally The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is offering free admission all day Monday, Jan. 17. This time of year you can truly appreciate the Polar Bear Exhibit! If actually feeling like you're at the Polar Frontier doesn't appeal to you, there are plenty of indoor exhibits to enjoy....and hot chocolate. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and there is a $5 parking fee.

-- Kristen Maetzold, contributing writer for Columbus Parent Magazine