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MLK weekend: Free parks, free e-book, free events

January 11, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial opened last year on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial opened last year on the National Mall… (Karen Bleier / AFP/Getty…)

If you have free time during the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, here's a perfect match: things to see and do that are free.

Freebie 1: The holiday weekend means free admission to national parks and national forests from Friday-Monday. Not all parks and forests charge fees, but those that do (for example, $20 a car at Yosemite and $15 a car at Joshua Tree national parks as well as $5 Adventure Pass day fee in the Angeles National Forest) will waive costs on those days. 

Freebie 2: Before you go anywhere, grab a guide. Starbucks replaces its Pick of the Week song with a free download of Lonely Planet's "Best in Travel 2012" e-book. Just snag one of the cards (no purchase required) that gives you a redemption code, which is good until April. The book usually costs $14.99 for a hard copy and $9.99 for the e-book, which lists the Top 10 places -- by country, region and cities, and even by soup slurping -- to visit this year. Cards will be distributed through Monday.

Freebie 3: Just do something, preferably something that underscores King's life and legacy. In Washington, D.C., visit the new Martin Luther King Memorial or go to the free "Let Freedom Ring" concert featuring Bobby McFerrin at 6 p.m. Monday at Washington's Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

In Southern California, the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra gives a free classical concert at 3:30 p.m. Sunday (SGI Auditorium), and the Kingdom Day Parade begins at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Western Avenue starting 11 a.m. Monday. LACMA too offers a free day Monday with bilingual tours and programs throughout the day.

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