Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar
JANM Free Family Days

Past Events


Saturday, Nov 10, 2018

Family Festivals

JANM Free Family Days: Superheroes!


This full day of crafts, performances, and other activities will be inspired by real-life heroes as well as the fictional characters of Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys.


  • Superhero Capes: Attention all crime-fighting kids and their grown-up sidekicks! Make your own superhero cape and unleash your hidden powers.

  • Superhero Masks: Keep your secret identity under wraps with a handcrafted hero- or kaiju-inspired mask.

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Fold an Ultraman superhero!

  • Superhero Selfies: Grab your cape and mask, strike a powerful pose, and snap a selfie in your new super outfit! Selfie sticks provided by JANM for this activity.

  • Save a Life with A3M: Become a real hero by seeing if you’re a bone marrow donor match. Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M) focuses on recruiting marrow donors in ethnic communities because the odds of finding a match is much more likely within one’s own racial or ethnic group.

  • Veterans Day Letters: Write a letter of appreciation to a veteran, to be delivered by Operation Gratitude. It only takes a few minutes to write a letter, but it will bring lasting joy to the person who receives it!


    11:30 a.m.–12 p.m.: Ukuleles for Little Tokyo Performance
    U4LT engages Japanese and Japanese American seniors while providing free ukulele instruction in Japanese and English. Reserved seating for members.

    11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.: Superhero Training
    Our friends from Terasaki Budokan will help kids transform basketball fun into fantastical feats of physical fitness worthy of free prizes. Run at the speed of light, fly to slam dunk, make jaw-dropping no-look passes, and sink amazing far-away shots.

    12 p.m.–12:45 p.m. and 1:15 p.m.–2 p.m.: Superhero Drawing Workshop:
    Any mild-mannered child can transform into a fantastic superhero by joining artist and art educator Sylvia Lopez for this interactive workshop. Learn how to quickly sketch and draw a basic human form to create your very own hero character. All levels welcome! Reserved seating for members.

    12 p.m.–3 p.m.: Superhero Caricatures
    Watch yourself be turned into a superhero with a caricature drawn by an artist from Taylor Entertainment. For children only. Line ends at 2:30 p.m. Express line for members.

    12:30 p.m.–1 p.m.: Sho Tokyo Kendo Demonstration
    Sho Tokyo Kendo of LA Minobusan Beikoku Betsuin will deliver a captivating demonstration of kendo, a traditional Japanese martial art that utilizes bamboo swords and protective armor. Reserved seating for members.

    3 p.m.–3:15 p.m.: Kizuna Taiko Performance
    Enjoy a performance from Kizuna Taiko, a group made up of children and adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities and their parents and siblings from the Japanese Speaking Parents Association of Children with Challenges (JSPACC). Reserved seating for members.

    3:30 p.m.–3:45 p.m.: WizStars Performance
    Check out WizStars, a hip-hop dance ensemble featuring individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities and their parents or siblings from the JSPACC. Reserved seating for members.

    Please check back for updates.

    Sponsored by Dwight Stuart Youth Fund.

    11:00 AM


    Saturday, Aug 18, 2018

    Family Festivals

    Natsumatsuri Family Festival


    Please note new date!

    Join us for our annual summer celebration featuring Japanese and Japanese American performances, crafts, and activities.

  • Performances by TAIKOPROJECT, San Fernando Valley Taiko, The Grateful 4, Kaulana Ka Hale Kula O Na Pua O Ka Aina, and Asia America Youth Symphony Jazz Quartet

  • Free souvenir photos at our summer-themed photo booth, face painting, and bubble fun

  • Free samples of saataa andaagii (Okinawan deep-fried pastries)

  • Traditional Japanese tea ceremony

  • Basic taiko drumming and bon odori dance lessons

  • Fun crafts including origami and the ever-popular Natsumatsuri paper hats

  • JANM Members Only reserved seating and express lines

  • Free admission all day to see – 15 years of the hapa project and Common Ground: The Heart of Community.

  • …and more!

    Visit for complete schedule of performances, activities, and crafts.

    Supported by Los Angeles County Arts Commission; Dwight Stuart Youth Fund; Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; and The Nissan Foundation.

    11:00 AM


    Saturday, May 12, 2018

    Family Festivals

    JANM Free Family Days: Identity, My-dentity


    Join us for a celebration of Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month and JANM’s exhibition, – 15 years of the hapa project. Crafts, performances, storytelling, and other activities will explore themes of identity and personal heritage.


  • Koinobori Kite: Color and put together a koinobori (carp kite), a traditional symbol of Kodomo no hi—Children’s Day in Japan.

  • Kabuto (Samurai Hat): Fold a samurai hat—another symbol of Children’s Day—out of newspaper.

  • Identity Bento: Make your own colorful bento box by drawing in foods that are part of your culture or just among your favorites.

  • Diorama: Make a tiny self-portrait diorama that is all about you.

  • Button Making: Design a small button to show off your individuality.

  • Ruthie’s Origami Corner: Fold a paper heart to share with someone.


    11:15 a.m.–12 p.m.: Storytelling Theater
    Multicultural theater troupe We Tell Stories performs Proud to Be Me, a series of interactive stories geared toward reinforcing self-esteem. Reserved seating for members.

    12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m.: Poetry Writing Workshop
    Spoken word artists and community organizers Stephanie Sajor and Eddy M. Gana, together known as Steady, will help you learn to express yourself through poetry. Space is limited; please sign up at the information table.

    1 p.m.–2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.: Amy Tangerine Scrapbook Workshop
    Create colorful pages that save and share your memories in this scrapbooking workshop with Amy Tangerine. Bringing photos from home is optional. Mini booklets will be supplied. Space is limited; please sign up at the information table. Reserved seating for members.

    2 p.m.–2:30 p.m.: Improv with Cold Tofu
    Enjoy a performance by Cold Tofu as they improvise scenes and games based on audience suggestions. Reserved seating for members.

    3 p.m.–3:30 p.m.: Infinite Flow Dance
    Infinite Flow – An Inclusive Dance Company and Infinite Flow Kids will perform and invite families to dance along with them. Reserved seating for members.

    JANM Free Family Day: Identity, My-dentity is presented in partnership with Kizuna. American Sign Language interpreters will be present for select performances.

    11:00 AM


    Sunday, Jan 7, 2018

    Family Festivals

    2018 Oshogatsu Family Festival - Year of the Dog


    Ring in the new year and celebrate the Year of the Dog with fun arts and crafts, food, cultural activities, and exciting performances!

  • Traditional mochitsuki (Japanese rice pounding ritual) performance by Kodama Taiko

  • Drawing demonstration and book signing by Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai

  • Dog candy sculptures by Shan the Candyman

  • Foster/adopt a dog with Dogs Without Borders

  • Osechi-ryori (Japanese New Year traditional foods) tasting

  • Fun Oshogatsu and Year of the Dog-inspired crafts, origami, and coloring activities

  • JANM Members Only reserved seating and express lines

  • Contested Histories: Art and Artifacts from the Allen Hendershott Eaton Collection special display (continuing through April 8, 2018, check link for hours)

  • …and so much more!

    Visit for complete schedule of activities.

    Sponsored by Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

    11:00 AM


    See 2017 events from this series.



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