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Bonsai Fest!

May 11, 2019 at 10:00 am to May 12, 2019 at 4:00 pm


Join us on World Bonsai Day / Mother’s Day weekend (May 11-12, 2019) at our 2nd Annual Bonsai Fest!

May is a spectacular month to visit the Museum. It’s typically ‘peak-bloom’ time for azaleas and other flowering bonsai in our collection. And so we celebrate all the splendor of spring, World Bonsai Day, moms everywhere, and our wonderful community at a weekend-long event we call Bonsai Fest!

This year, Bonsai Fest! is full of fun stuff, offering something for everyone.

View the full weekend Schedule-at-Glance.

All the details:

Puget Sound Bonsai Association (PBSA) Annual Spring Show
In the Pavilion (all weekend)
PSBA club members display dozens of their best bonsai and vie for Best in Show. Club members’ will demonstrate how they make bonsai and will answer general questions about their artworks and practices.

Visitors can vote on their favorite bonsai to win the ‘People’s Choice Award.’ Voting ends at 3 pm Sunday, May 12.

PSBA member Eric Ridgeway will do a bonsai-making demonstration on Sunday, May 12 from 12 to 2pm.

Opening Day of ‘Living Art of Bonsai: Principles of Design‘ Special Exhibit
In the main display area (exhibit runs through September 29)

This exhibit picks up where our 2018 exhibit, Elements of Design, left off. One-by-one, the exhibit breaks-down design elements and principles used by bonsai artists to make extraordinary works of art. A curated subset of the Museum’s collection demonstrates each design element and principle and shows how these are found in trees and in other works of art. As visitors explore the exhibit, they will gain a deeper appreciation for and understanding of bonsai and unlock the keys to designing stunning works of living art.

Opening Day of ‘Gnarly: The Dan Robinson Retrospective‘ Special Exhibit
In the Pinwheel display area (exhibit runs through September 29)

Gnarly‘ honors a lifetime of work by local, international legend Dan Robinson, proprietor of Elandan Gardens, Bremerton, WA. As Robinson turns 80-years-old, Pacific Bonsai Museum looks back on his still-flourishing career as an American bonsai renegade who pioneered unorthodox techniques and champions the gnarly, twisted forms of aged trees in nature. From his days with the ‘Bonsai Bums’–who helped establish the Pacific Northwest bonsai scene–to the groundbreaking of his unique local attraction, Elandan Gardens, see a slice of Robinson’s world displayed in installations of bonsai, rock, and wood representing each decade of his career.

Dan Robinson will demonstrate the unique style of deadwood carving that he has developed over his whole career which gives his bonsai that ancient, gnarly look. Saturday, May 11 from 12 to 2 pm near his exhibit.

Dan Robinson and Will Hiltz will be signing their book “Gnarly Branches, Ancient Trees” at 2:30 pm, Saturday, May 11 and 2:30 pm, Sunday, May 12. This book will be for sale at our pop-up shop.

Gifts for Mom: KusaMama Kits (on sale all weekend, with demonstrations on 5/12 (Mother’s Day)
For Mother’s Day, we are offering kits to make ‘KusaMama’–Kusamono for moms. Kusamono (translated as ‘grass thing’) are small, informal, potted compositions displayed alone or as an accent planting in bonsai presentations. DYI-KusaMama-kits will be on sale and at 11:30 to 1:00 pm on Sunday, May 12 Assistant Curator Scarlet Gore will demonstrate how to make these beautiful gifts.

Food & Beverages
May 11 & 12 / 11am – 4pm
Sirius Wood Fired Pizza’s truck will be serving something for everyone. Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten Free options available.

May 11 & 12 / 11am – 4pm
Bliss Small Batch Creamery will be scooping their delicious locally-made ice cream.

May 11 / 11am – 3:30pm
Wine & Beer Garden: Join us in a special beer, wine & picnicking space. 21+ only.

May 12 / 10am – 4pm
Parisian Picnic Boxes: Treat yourself! Pick up a special picnic lunch of sandwiches and sweets from Ma Boulangerie–perfect to enjoy for Mother’s Day. Non-alcoholic signature mocktails also for sale. Vegetarian and GF box options are available. Pre-order now through May 9 and pick up on May 12 from 10am to 4pm. More details and link to order here.

More Fun Activities

Art Station (May 11 and 12, 10am -4pm)
Make a card for Mom

Mother’s Day Selfie-Station (May 12, 10am-4pm)
Take your photo with a bonsai and a flowery backdrop to share on Mother’s Day.

Exhibit Tours (May 11 & 12, starting at 12 noon and 2pm)
Meet at the Welcome Table for a ~45 min docent-led tour.

Poetic Presence (May 11 & 12, 12 noon to 3pm)
Poet Alexandria Beget-Manalo will write a complimentary poem for a special mom in your life.

Trail Walks (May 11 & 12, 10am to 4pm)
Pick up a map of nearby trails and take yourself on a rejuvenating walk in the woods.

Enter to Win (May 11 & 12, 10am to 4pm)
Drawing to win a complimentary Bonsai Basics Course and a Complimentary Membership to Pacific Bonsai Museum. Enter at the Welcome Table

Pop-Up Shopping (May 11 & 12, 10am to 4pm)
Books and gifts for nature and art lovers.


May 11, 2019 at 10:00 am
May 12, 2019 at 4:00 pm


Pacific Bonsai Museum
2515 S 336th Street
Federal Way, WA 98001 United States
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