Voyage to Vietnam: Celebrating the Tet Festival Reopens Oct. 6

After a two-year national tour with rave reviews in every city, the exhibition Voyage to Vietnam: Celebrating the Tet Festival returns home to Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose. The exhibit reopens October 6 and runs through May 12, 2019. Visitors can experience the beauty, sights and sounds of Vietnam through its most important celebration of the year, Tet.  The exhibit showcases traditions, customs and values exemplified by Tet to help visitors discover similarities and differences between their lives in the United States and the lives of children and families in Vietnam. 

Visitors will delight in trying on a giant lion dance mask, selecting traditional flowers and faux food items to prepare for the festivities, posing for a family photo by dressing up in customary Ao Dai, and creating a digital fireworks display to signal the coming of the New Year.

Voyage to Vietnam: Celebrating the Tet Festival was developed by Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose with the help of 10 community leaders who consulted on the two-year development to ensure cultural authenticity. The exhibition was made possible through a highly competitive national initiative by the Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series. After opening in San Jose in 2015 during Tet, the exhibition traveled to nine children's museums as part of a national tour to promote understanding of the Vietnamese culture.

“We’ve been so gratified at the stirring response the exhibition has received from museum visitors and educators across the country,” said Marilee Jennings, executive director of Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. “I’m proud of the role museums like ours play in uniting people through our celebrated traditions. We’re so grateful for the support from the Freeman Foundation that made it possible for us to share our commitment to helping create a welcoming, inclusive, and diverse world for all children.”

Visitors enter the exhibit through the New Year gateway and are immediately transported to the Tet Festival in modern-day Vietnam. Children can hop a Vespa and experience a common form of transportation in Vietnam, and role-play ordering different foods at a street-side cafe in the Marketplace to discover what children in Vietnam eat. Visitors will enjoy immersing themselves in the aspects and rituals of everyday life and learn how families honor their ancestors in the Home section.

Children can explore the sounds of South Vietnam first-hand with music that was recorded by a local Vietnamese musician. Musical instruments are on display along with photos showing how the instruments are played.

In the Courtyard, children explore rice-cake making and walk through the outdoor kitchen found in many Vietnamese homes. This provides a fun peek into how cooking is similar and different between their urban home and rural Vietnam. A highlight of any visit is the opportunity for children and adults to design their own digital fireworks display that bursts into the night sky signaling the coming of the New Year.

About Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose
With over 150 interactive exhibits and programs, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose is one of the largest museums of its kind in the nation. Since opening its doors in 1990, the museum has welcomed over 8.6 million visitors and has offered new exhibits each year that respond to children's diverse educational needs. The striking 52,000 square foot purple building was designed by Mexico City-based architect Ricardo Legorreta and is a beacon of discovery. Encompassing the broad themes of community, connections and creativity, hands-on exhibits invite self-directed, open-ended explorations.  For more information about the Museum, visit

About The Freeman Foundation
The Freeman Foundation was established in 1993.  This private foundation is committed to increasing and strengthening the understanding of nations in East Asia. A project timeline, an executive summary of Increasing U.S. Children and Families’ Understanding of Asian Cultures: A Final Report, and additional information about the initiative can be found on the ACM website,, under the Professional Development tab.

About Association of Children’s Museums (ACM)
Started in 1962, the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) is the world's foremost professional member service organization for the children’s museum field. With more than 400 members in 48 states and 20 countries, we leverage the collective knowledge of children's museums through convening, sharing, and dissemination. To learn more about ACM and to find an ACM-member children’s museum near you, visit