Presidents' Day Family Festival

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum will offer several family-oriented activities and programs throughout February vacation week, including our signature Presidents’ Day Family Festival featuring presidential storytelling, activities and performances.

Celebrate! with Shaw Pong Liu

Exploring China

Saturday, February 17, 2018
Lunar New Year
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Start off February vacation week by celebrating Lunar New Year. From the grasslands of Mongolia to the high mountains of Yunnan, master musician Shaw Pong Liu takes audiences on a dynamic musical journey weaving history, geography, the Mandarin language, and Chinese folk music.

Presidents’ Day Family Festival

Monday, February 19, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

In celebration of Presidents’ Day, the JFK Library will host its sixth annual Family Festival featuring presidential storytelling, creative activities, musical performances, and Museum tours and hands-on programs to bring the Library to life in new ways for all ages.

Meet Our Special Guests

10:15 am - 3:40 p.m.

Actors portraying Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses S. Grant as well as First Ladies Abigail Adams and Julia Grant will share stories and engage visitors in conversation.

Family-Friendly Tours and Hands-on Carts

11:30 am - 2:30 p.m.

Learn about President Kennedy and his legacy with interactive programs in the Museum galleries.

  • Race for Space Discovery Cart from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Stranded at Sea: JFK and the PT 109 from 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Jacqueline Kennedy: Hands-on Discovery Cart from 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Hands-on "Make and Take" Activities

10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Try out hands-on history crafts including the design of White House china, creating a space helmet, the building of Lincoln's log cabin and the making of tricorner or stovepipe hats to wear to meet our guest presidents. Participants can celebrate President Kennedy’s legacy by designing maritime scrimshaw or making origami sailboats and their own Kennedy campaign hat.

Enjoy Musical Performances

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Travel back in time over fifty years with pop-up performances of President Kennedy’s campaign songs presented by Harvard’s world-traveled a capella group. Join us for a closing concert of popular music from the 1960s and today.

  • Pop-up Performances in the Museum Galleries every 20 minutes from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Closing Performance in Smith Center from 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Special Festival Day activities are free with paid admission. Visitors ages 17 and under are admitted free of charge. EBT, military, and student discounts are available. For all other visitors, visit us on Facebook or Twitter for a special buzzword that will give you $2 off admission prices. The Family Festival is especially appropriate for ages 5 and up.

Celebrate! with Benkadi Drum and Dance

African Spirit

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
African American Heritage Month
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Join us for the return of the multicultural Benkadi Drum and Dance group as they showcase traditional West African rhythms and movements. Benkadi brings a folktale to life with vivid costumes, interpretive dance, and audience participation.

The Celebrate! series, appropriate for family audiences and children ages 5 and up, highlights America's rich cultural diversity through the arts. This program reflects President and Mrs. Kennedy's concern for and support of the arts and culture as important components of a democratic society. In order to optimize your comfort and enjoyment, reservations are required for all visitors to this free program.