Martin Luther King, Jr. Park

Originally called The Parade (and from 1896 to 1977 known as Humboldt Park), this 50-acre park was located near the center of the German population on the city’s East Side.

Designed: 1868 – 1870 by Olmsted and Vaux; Redesigned: 1895 by Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot  |  Location: Bordered by Northampton, Best, N. Parade, E. Parade and W. Parade Streets; Fillmore Avenue runs through the park

In the early days, MLK Jr. Park was intentionally designed for activities such as a field for military drills and sporting events, as well as a large children’s playground. The Parade House, a magnificent restaurant, beer hall, and dance hall designed by Vaux, opened here in 1876 and immediately became a popular attraction for all of Buffalo’s diverse population. In an age when immigrants were arriving daily, such places, Olmsted thought, fostered the spirit of democracy.

In 1895, the Olmsted firm redesigned the park, replacing the Parade grounds with a nearly five acre reflecting pool, a basin for water plants and large fountain. The revised park also became known for its floral displays. Significant features of the park include the Conservancy’s working greenhouse and the Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Plaza. Learn more about your Buffalo Olmsted Park System at the official map & guide.

The Making of a Monument Exhibit

In collaboration with the Buffalo African American Museum, the MLK Shelter House (beside the MLK Monument Plaza) is home to an exhibit about the MLK Jr. bust. View it online here.

Photo: Unveiling of the MLK Jr. bust at MLK Jr. Park, Oct 1, 1983

View exhibit online
Watch exhibit video series
MLK Jr Park Playground

KaBOOM! Playground

Thanks to the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, KaBOOM! and over 250 volunteers, we were able to build an inclusive playground at MLK Jr. Park, at the corner of North Parade and Fillmore Avenue. Click below to watch a timelapse video of the Community Build Day on September 20, 2019!

MLK Playground Sponsors
Watch video
MLK Greenhouse and Shelter

Self-guided Mobile Audio Tour of MLK Jr. Park

Learn about the stories and history behind MLK Jr. Park at the free self-guided mobile audio tour.

Learn more
MLK Splash Pad

Summer Perk: Enjoy the Sunshine & Splash Pad

The MLK Jr. Park Splash Pad is open over the summer through Labor Day, Monday to Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., weather dependent.

New social distancing and safety protocols will be implemented this year due to Covid-19.
– Entrances and Exits will each have a one-way location to assist with density levels
– Spray heads within the basin will operate 6ft. apart
– City attendants and security guards will be on site daily
– Footwear is required when in the Splash Pad
– Adult supervision is required for minors
– Use hand sanitizer before/after play
– Practice cough/sneeze etiquette
– Unwell? Stay home. If you have symptoms, call the Erie County Covid-19 hotline: 716-858-2929

More on splash pad rules

Ice-skating will not be available at MLK Jr. Park in 2021.

Ice-skating will NOT be available at MLK Jr. Park in 2021. For information on other ice rinks in the City of Buffalo, please click here.

Support Your Parks

Our members are the core of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. With your unrestricted gift to the annual fund, our dedicated team takes care of the 850 acres of Olmsted green spaces in Buffalo. We count on your financial support to keep the Olmsted Parks clean, open spaces where Buffalonians continue to play, exercise and enjoy nature together.

Planning Your Visit

[widget id=”tribe-mini-calendar-6″]


One giant splash pad/ice rink
(4) Tennis Courts
(2) Basketball Courts
(3) Playgrounds
Picnic Tables
(8) Picnic Shelters

Points of Interest

The Humboldt Basin (Splash Pad)
Cottage Garden
Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Plaza
The Casino
KaBOOM! Playground

Rental Information

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is responsible for the rental of the Parkside Lodge, the fenced picnic area next to the Parkside Lodge, croquet courts in Delaware Park, the Japanese Garden in Delaware Park and the Crotty Casino in Cazenovia Park.

The Marcy Casino and Rose Garden in Delaware Park is rented through Magnolia Events.


Photos of Martin Luther King, Jr. Park