Dr. 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

The park is on a flat 56-acre slightly “L”-shaped site on one of the highest points in the City of Buffalo. Olmsted’s 1871 intent for the park was a place where soldiers could practice marching. By 1895, however, the Park Commissioners decided to ask the Olmsted firm to prepare a new design and one they felt to be aligned with community’s needs.

The redesigned park had a huge wading pool of more than 500 feet in diameter.

Significant features of the park include: the brick Shelter House, 1903, restored 2016; Buffalo Museum of Science building, 1929; and the Casino, 1925;  the Cottage Garden and John E. Brent designed iron gates 1936; the Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Plaza, 1983; the Greenhouse 1909, restoration begun in 2023. “The Kaboom! Playground,” built in 2019, is located at the corner of North Parade and Fillmore Avenue this universal access playground is fun for all ages.

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.

  • 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
MLK Jr Park Playground

KaBOOM! Playground

Thanks to the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield 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!

Watch video

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 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

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


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