Family Festivals Past Events
4th Annual Courtyard Kids Festival
The Courtyard Kaeru invites all families to return to the Japanese American National Museum to celebrate the meaning of friendship, sharing, and the National Museum's 10th Anniversary! This year we'll learn how special our friendships are and how important it is to continue to make new friends.
Friendship art with our Finding Family Stories Project Partners (California African American Museum, Chinese American Museum, and Self-Help Graphics)
Create tokens of friendship
Make origami dolls
A special activity for toddlers
Featured storytellers and short film screenings
Food, games & fun for the whole family!
Plus, see the new names added to the Courtyard from the past year!
Free admission for everyone!
Home Is Where the Heart Is
Join the National Museum for a Family Sunday exploring the meaning of "home". Is it your family? Is it a place—your house or apartment? Is it the country in which you were born or the country where you live? Or is it something you carry inside of you, no matter where you are?
Reading and Book Signing with Allen Say
Our very special guest will be Allen Say, who has himself moved 37 times! He will be signing his newest book, Home of the Brave, which was inspired by National Museum exhibitions on the World War II Japanese American camp experience. In this mythical journey through a haunting and familiar landscape, a man meets two children who are lost. He embarks on a mysterious personal journey as he tries to help them find their way home. A brief Q&A session will follow the reading. Allen Say's promotional book tour will take him to New York, Washington, D.C. and San Jose in April. For details, please see National Programs.
Hands-on Art Workshop: Constructing "Home" through Art
In this workshop, participants will have a chance to create a unique art project that symbolizes the meaning of their home. Participants are encouraged to bring small objects, or photocopies of family photographs, letters and/or postcards to incorporate into their projects.
Oshogatsu: New Year Family Celebration
Join us to celebrate the New Year with family and friends!
Mochitsuki (Rice Cake Pounding) Performance
Kodama Taiko will combine the age-old tradition of pounding mochi (rice cakes) with the sounds of taiko drums. Bring your friends and family to enjoy this energetic performance and taste the freshly-pounded mochi.
In conjunction with the current exhibition, Flo Oy Wong: Angel Island, Immigration and Family Stories, artist Flo Oy Wong will teach kids how to create drawings of Chinese characters using grains of rice. Flo Oy Wong will also lead a special tour of her exhibition before the workshop.
Participants will have a chance to taste traditional ozoni (mochi served in a special soup), provided by one of Little Tokyo's restaurants.
Make traditional Japanese New Year postcards, create your own daruma (good luck charm), and many more fun activities.
2ND SUNDAY FOR FAMILIES
Flavors from Home: Multicultural Holiday Foods and Recipes
Enrich your holidays with culinary traditions that originated in other lands. Celebrate the rich diversity of the holidays through the foods that are passed from one generation to another here in the United States. Join us as we savor and learn about traditional holiday foods from around the world.
- Toshi Koshi Soba - For hundred of years, the Japanese have enjoyed Toshi Koshi Soba as part of their New Year celebration. Experience how Japanese Americans make soba from scratch and cook them in many different ways today.
- Kwanzaa - Join Limbiko Tembu from the African American Cultural Center on a spiritual and joyous celebration of the oneness and goodness of life. Children will be able to make an authentic Kwanzaa dish!
- Hot Tamales and More - Join master Mexican bread maker Pepe Pena from La Morenita bakery in Cypress Park on a discovery of Mexican American holiday delicacies This program is co-sponsored by Self-Help Graphics and the California African American Museum.
2ND SUNDAY FOR FAMILIES
The Wonderful World of Children's Books
What makes a good children's book? How can parents, teachers and librarians introduce children to new and exciting worlds through reading? Join us for a fun and enlightening day that will help to inspire a life-long passion for reading!
* Can You Top That?: Illustrating Children's Books
With Hector Viveros Lee, author and illustrator of I Had a Hippopotamus and illustrator of Get Set! Swim! and Can You Top That? Following the discussion, Mr. Lee will teach his audience how to create their own drawings and illustrations!
- Can You Top That?: Illustrating Children's Books - With Hector Viveros Lee, author and illustrator of I Had a Hippopotamus and illustrator of Get Set! Swim! and Can You Top That? Following the discussion, Mr. Lee will teach his audience how to create their own drawings and illustrations!
- Flowers from Mariko Storytelling - Hear the story of Flowers from Mariko, a book about a girl who lifts her family's spirits as they make the tough transition back into society following their incarceration during World War II, co-authored by Rick Noguchi and his wife Deneen Jenks. Mr. Noguchi will talk about how he and his wife made their dream of writing a children's book a reality.
- What Makes a Good Children's Book? - Publisher Philip Lee of Lee & Low Books, a publishing company that specializes in multicultural literature for children, will discuss ways to create a love and appreciation for diverse cultures and interesting traditions through multicultural literature.
- Hands-on Craft Workshop
2ND SUNDAY FOR FAMILIES
Halloween SPOOKY Fun
Get ready for Halloween! Join us for a ghoulishly delightful afternoon of storytelling and art-making. Then, join us for a pre-Halloween trick-or-treat in Little Tokyo.
- Boo! Storytelling - Enjoy a reading of goblin stories by actor Rodney Kageyama.
- Make Your Own Mask - See masks from Japan, Korea, Africa and other countries and learn how to make a fun mask yourself.
- Trick-or-Treat in Little Tokyo - Go on a trick-or-treat parade in Little Tokyo wearing your new Halloween mask!
- Pumpkin Decorating - Make your own decorated pumpkin and bring it home with you.