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What is Closed on Martin Luther King Jr Day?

By , January 12th, 2018 | 2 Comments »

Open Closed MLK Day
The third Monday in January has been designated as a federal holiday to honor Martin Luther King Jr. In 2018, this day falls on Monday, January 15. ¬†Like many other holidays that are recognized as “federal holidays” in the United States, it can be confusing as to what is open and what is not. This is because usually these holidays only apply to federal employees and not to everyone else in the country (necessarily). Private business, local and state governments and some other organizations are allowed to decide for themselves whether they will give their employees the day off. This leads to some confusion as to what is and what is closed on Martin Luther King Jr Day.

Retail Stores

Retail stores are open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. All major retail stores will be open on January 15. In fact, many stores will be promoting sales to coincide with the event. Since there are large portions of consumers who have the day off, stores see the holiday as a way to increase store traffic and sales to begin the year off on the right foot.

Grocery Stores

Grocery stores are open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Most grocery stores will be open for business for their regular Monday hours on January 15. If you frequent a small, independent grocery store, you will want to confirm if they are open before going just in case.


Restaurants will be open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Most large chain restaurants will be open for business on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so there should not be any issue finding a place to eat if you’re out and about for the holiday. Independent restaurants will in most cases be open if they are typically open on Mondays (many restaurants close on Monday as their day off during the week), but it’s best to call ahead to make sure.

Gasoline Stations

Gas stations are open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For those traveling, there should be no issue finding gas an open gas station. The service area of the stations may or may not be open, so if you need work done on your car, call to confirm.

The Stock Markets

The stock markets are closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ composite both observe Martin Luther King Jr¬†Day, and they’ll close for the day. There won’t be any stock trading on January 15. It’s one of the¬†stock market holidays in 2018.¬†Download a printable stock market holiday schedule.¬†

Community Libraries

Public libraries are closed Martin Luther King Jr. Day. If you were hoping to check out some books, you won’t be able to do that on January 15, as they will be closed to observe the holiday. Most libraries are also closed on Sundays, so you need to make a trip on Saturday if you want reading material over the long weekend.


Schools are closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Both public and private schools will have the day off to observe the holiday. School classes will resume on Tuesday, January 16, in most cases.

National Parks

National Parks are open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Even though national parks are part of the government, they remain open on federal holidays like MLK Day. In fact, not only are they open, they offer free entrance on January 15. There are over 100 national parks which offer free entrance to celebrate the holiday.

Garbage Pickup

Garbage pickup may be rescheduled. If you usually have your garbage picked up on Monday, it may be changed to another day. This varies from town to town, and some will have served as usual on the 17th. It’s best to contact your local garbage company to confirm the schedule if you’re unsure.

Federal Government

Government offices are closed Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As a federal holiday, all federal employees get the day off on January 15 with a few exceptions. Those federal workers who are considered essential, such as federal law enforcement and air traffic controllers, will still work, but the vast majority of government offices will be closed for the day.

State and Local Governments

State and local government offices are closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This is one of the holidays when most state and local governments follow the lead of the federal government and observe the day by giving their employees the day off. You can expect to find most state and local government offices closed for the day.

Banks and Credit Unions

Banks and credit unions are closed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Most banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions observe the holiday and close on Monday. There are a few exceptions, such as TD Bank, which will remain open, but most banks close for the day.

Mail Service

The US post office is closed, but FedEx and UPS are open on MLK. Day. If you head to your local post office on January 15,¬†it will be closed. You also won’t be getting any mail that day as the post office is part of the federal government and observes the holiday. Private mail carriers like FedEx and UPS will be open and operate as usual on Monday.

Photo: Flickr: U.S. Embassy New Delhi

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