Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Family Festivals Past Events


Saturday, June 11, 2016
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

JANM Free Family Days: Celebrating Family



In conjunction with the Mixed Remixed Festival, JANM presents a day of activities that explore the meaning of family.



  • Construct a mobile to show what each member of your family means to you.

  • Create a family out of finger puppets.

  • Make a Father’s Day card at Ruthie’s Origami Corner.

  • Use our Instax camera to snap instant photos of you with your family or friends. Take these home, or use them in our 3 p.m. Family Scrapbooking Workshop!

  • Let off some steam inside our always-popular bounce house.


    11 a.m.–3 p.m.: Name Art Souvenirs
    Names often hold fun or important family stories. Let one of our artists make a souvenir artwork out of your family name or given name, which you can then take home.

    11:30 a.m.: Reading by Maria Leonard Olsen
    In collaboration with the Mixed Remixed Festival, JANM hosts author Maria Leonard Olsen, who will read from her book, Mommy, Why’s Your Skin So Brown? The book was written for her bi-racial children as a response to people’s confusion over her skin being darker than theirs.

    1 p.m.: Reading by Katrina Goldsaito
    In collaboration with the Mixed Remixed Festival, JANM hosts author Katrina Goldsaito, who will read from The Sound of Silence, her forthcoming book about a child’s experiences with the many sounds that can be heard in the bustling city of Tokyo.

    2:15 p.m.: Luce Puppet Co. Presents The Wizard of Oz
    Enjoy a puppet version of this classic story about a girl who finds herself in a faraway land and then comes home to learn the real meaning of family.

    3 p.m.: Family Scrapbooking Workshop
    It’s time to get going on that scrapbook of family memories! Bring your own family photographs or mementos and we’ll help you decorate a starter page.


    Sponsored by 


    Saturday, May 14, 2016
    11:00 AM—4:00 PM

    JANM Free Family Days: Fantastic Photography



    Strike a pose, take a selfie, or snap a shot! This day is all about photography.



  • In a special activity inspired by the photographers of Making Waves, make a photogram using light-sensitive paper.

  • Visit Nerdbot’s retro photo booth and pose for a short series of impromptu shots with your family and friends.

  • Complete your collection of travel photography by snapping your selfies at our stations designed to represent locales around the world.

  • Get a novelty balloon that’s shaped like a camera! One per child, while supplies last. Line ends at 3:30 p.m. or when supplies run out.

  • Fold your own origami camera at Ruthie’s Origami Corner.

  • Decorate a picture frame and take it home to hold a favorite photo.


    11 a.m.–3 p.m.: Making Waves Photo Contest
    With the images in Making Waves as inspiration, create your own abstract photos using materials that we will have available at the end of the exhibition. Visit our printing station to take home a copy of your best composition and enter it in our contest to win a special prize at the end of the day. Prize courtesy of Bandai.

    12 p.m. and 2 p.m.: Photography 101
    Bring your favorite picture-taking device (camera, phone, tablet) and learn the basics of photo composition from JANM’s knowledgeable volunteer photographers. Children only, maximum 10 kids per session, must be accompanied by an adult.

    Sponsored by 


    NOTE: In addition to street closures in the area, there is a large event in Little Tokyo on the evening of May 14 which may impact parking availability throughout the day. We encourage visitors to the JANM Free Family Day to consider public transportation and/or allow additional time to locate parking.


    Saturday, April 9, 2016
    11:00 AM—4:00 PM

    JANM Free Family Days: Protect Our Planet



    Join us for a day of fun activities to encourage everyone to “think green.”



  • Make a Green Pledge stating what you can do to help the environment. Take home an instant photo of you and your pledge to help you remember it throughout the year.

  • Create your own biodegradable planter, then plant a seed and take it home to watch it grow.

  • Learn to fold paper cranes with recycled paper at Ruthie’s Origami Corner.

  • Decorate your own reusable shopping bag. For children only; first come, first served.


    11 a.m.–3:30 p.m.: From Trash to Trees with reDiscover
    reDiscover Center, a nonprofit organization that promotes creative conservation through material reuse, presents an art activity for all ages. Using upcycled materials from households and industry, participants will craft tabletop models of the trees that dot our urban landscape. Each child or group will make a tree to add to a miniature forest, and then take home their creation at the end of the day.

    11:30 a.m. / 2:30 p.m.: Bird Feeder Workshop
    Make and decorate a bird feeder out of recycled milk cartons. Seeds will be provided. Limited to 20 children; must be accompanied by an adult. Sign up at the Survey Table.

    1 p.m.: Art Workshop with My Papel Picado
    My Papel Picado, a family organization dedicated to preserving the Mexican folk art of papel picado (cut paper), presents a fun and educational activity for children. Using recycled materials and brightly colored tissue paper, create your own decorative papel picado. Limited to 20 children; must be accompanied by an adult. Sign up at the Survey Table.

    3:30 p.m.: Eco-Friendly Tunes and Stories with Claire Mills
    Children’s entertainment specialist Claire Mills will present her unique, interactive mix of music and storytelling, with a thematic focus on the sun and its power.


    Sponsored by 


    Saturday, February 13, 2016
    11:00 AM—4:00 PM

    JANM Free Family Days: Making Music



    Celebrate the joy of music with us, as we present a variety of musical performances and music-themed crafts and activities for the whole family.



  • Build a kazoo and make some noise!

  • Shake things up by constructing a pair of maracas.

  • Learn to fold a paper piano at Ruthie’s Origami Corner.

  • Hang out in our Jam Space, where kids can play with an array of toys and instruments.

  • Indulge in some virtual fun inside the Big Game Trailer, a custom-built mobile gaming theater with six large screens that can accommodate 24 gamers simultaneously. Featured will be music-themed video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band.


    11:30 a.m.–12 p.m.: Children’s Tunes
    Michal “Peanut” Karmi performs original children’s tunes like “Ooey Gooey Mud” and “Six Little Pickles” on her ukulele.

    12:15 p.m.–1 p.m.: Drum Circle
    Visitors of all ages are invited to join an invigorating drum circle led by Drumtime.

    1:15 p.m.–2 p.m.: Story Time with Violin
    Enjoy a reading of Chieri Uegaki’s delightful children’s book, Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin, with musical accompaniment by violinist Megan Shung Smith. A solo performance by Smith will follow. The book is available for purchase at the JANM Store and

    2 p.m.–2:30 p.m.: UniverSOUL Hip Hop
    UniverSOUL Hip Hop, a community-based K–12 cultural education group, will conduct an interactive deejaying and dancing demonstration.

    2:45 p.m.–3:15 p.m.: Mariachi Music
    Listen to traditional mariachi sounds with a modern twist from Grupo Bella, an all-female mariachi band from Los Angeles.

    3:30 p.m.–3:45 p.m.: Taiko Drumming
    USC Kazan Taiko, the collegiate taiko drumming ensemble of the University of Southern California, brings the day to an end with a dynamic performance.


    Supported by 
    Sunday, January 3, 2016
    11:00 AM—5:00 PM

    2016 Oshogatsu Family Festival - Year of the Monkey



    Ring in the Year of the Monkey with food, crafts, cultural activities, and performances!

  • Watch Kodama Taiko pound fresh New Year mochi for you
  • Enjoy a Japanese-style lion dance and hip hop dance performances
  • Monkey around in the Curious George Bounce House
  • Sample a variety of traditional Japanese New Year foods
  • See Shan the Candyman create amazing monkey candy sculptures, which will be raffled off throughout the day
  • Join the Giant Robot Biennale 4 scavenger hunt and win a sticker
  • Get crafty at our puppet making, origami, coloring, and sketchbook customizing stations
  • Pick up a fukubukuro (lucky grab bag) at the JANM Store
  • …and so much more!

    For a complete schedule, visit


    Supported by Los Angeles County Arts Commission

    Saturday, December 12, 2015
    11:00 AM—4:00 PM

    JANM Free Family Days: Mele Kalikimaka



    Celebrate the holidays island-style, as our friends at KoAloha Ukulele lead performances, workshops, craft activities, and other holiday-inspired fun.



  • Decorate a miniature paper palm tree.

  • Build a Hawaiian-style snowman.

  • Make a festive paper Japanese lantern at Ruthie’s Origami Corner.


    11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. / 1:30 p.m.–3 p.m.: Make holiday and island-themed postcards in woodblock printing workshops led by KoAloha Ukulele. Musicians Ryo and Ryan will be available to sign cards.

    11:15 a.m.–12 p.m. / 12:15 p.m.–1 p.m. / 1:15 p.m.–2 p.m. / 2:15 p.m.–3 p.m.: Bring your own ukulele for free lessons in basic playing techniques, presented by KoAloha Ukulele’s artist partners.

    11:30 a.m.–12 p.m. / 12 p.m.–12:30 p.m. / 1 p.m.–1:30 p.m. / 1:30 p.m.–2 p.m. / 2:30 p.m.–3 p.m. / 3 p.m.–3:30 p.m.: An exciting array of ukulele performances are scheduled throughout the day, featuring KoAloha Ukulele’s local and international artist partners.

    12 p.m.–3 p.m.: Have your photo taken with Asian American Santa in Nerdbot’s Hawaiian-style photo booth. A JANM holiday tradition!

    3:30 p.m.: Close out the day with a spectacular all-star jam finale featuring Kalyn Aolani, Ryo and Ryan, Mike Sullivan, and Torrance Ukulele Group.


    Supported by 



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