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The health and safety of our guests, colleagues, and community are our highest priority. We are monitoring the situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) closely. In keeping with CDC recommendations of social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, we are moving our Independence Day First Friday to the website!

From Howl’s Moving Castle to Ponyo to Spirited Away, share your love of Studio Ghibli films with other fans without leaving your house! We’ll be diving into the wonder and science of these films with trivia, opportunities to interact, and more. We’ll also celebrate the magic of filmmaking with a feature presentation of the Saint Louis Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Festival winners.

This is a virtual event.


Know before you go:

Please arrive early and plan ahead. Make sure you have your snacks and internet fired up and ready to go!

Free parking will be available in your own driveway, street or garage.


What is First Friday?

Pre-First Friday Activities

Looking for a fun activity to do with the whole family? Check out these simple projects:

Make your own soot sprites: http://japanlover.me/kawaii/kawaii-fun/diy-fuzzy-and-fluffy-soot-sprites-tutorial-by-chichi/

Easy Totoro origami: http://www.pinkstripeysocks.com/2016/12/super-easy-origami-totoro-how-to-fold.html

Full September 4 Schedule

6:00 PM, Welcome Video

Check out this welcome video from our Manager of Adult Programs.


6:15 PM, Studio Ghibli Movie Guide

Never seen a Studio Ghibli film and not sure where to start? Check out this article and find your new favorite!

Launch Movie Guide


6:30 PM, Saint Louis Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Fest

Have you checked out the virtual Saint Louis Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Festival yet? Check out the finalists here and tune in for the 7:30pm awards ceremony and Q&A with local filmmakers.

Launch Festival


6:45 PM, Trivia Time!

How good are you at recognizing a Studio Ghibli movie from just one image? Try out our trivia at the link below and let us know how you did in the comments on Facebook!

Launch Trivia


7:00 PM, Poll Time!

How many Studio Ghibli movies have you seen?
12 Vote
13 Vote
4 Vote
2 Vote
2 Vote


7:15 PM, Show off your Studio Ghibli Creations

Join us on Facebook to show off your Studio Ghibli cosplay or craft project! Post a picture of it in the comments.


7:30 PM, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Film Fest: Filmmaking Q&A and Awards Ceremony

Check it out on Youtube!

Launch YouTube


7:45 PM, Poll Time 2

Which is your favorite movie?
Spirited Away
6 Vote
My Neighbor Totoro
4 Vote
Howl’s Moving Castle
2 Vote
Kiki’s Delivery Service
4 Vote
Princess Mononoke
2 Vote
My favorite isn’t listed!
2 Vote


8:00 PM, UMSL activity – The Science of Flight

Watch this video from UMSL about “The Wind Rises” from 2013.


8:15 PM, First Friday Partners

Check out our First Friday partners, offering Studio Ghibli-themed art and handmade items.

A Little Bit of Japanhttp://www.alittlebitofjapan.com
Handmade pillows and face masks featuring Japanese anime, including pillows featuring My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away and Ponyo.

Antiquarian Couturehttps://antiquarian-couture.square.site/
Jewelry inspired by the worlds of Studio Ghibli films.

Studio Ghibli themed art, both originals and prints. Also live streaming a painting demo!

Everything’s Shiny Creationswww.facebook.com/everythingsshinycreations
Unique and custom hand-stamped jewelry and accessories.

Geekitup Creationswww.facebook.com/geekitupcreations
Vinyl art work and other home décor.

Oh Dang Crochetwww.Instagram.com/ohdangcrochet
Handmade crocheted Studio Ghibli dolls, including Totoro and No Face

Plot Twist Threadswww.plottwistthreads.com
Accessories and apparel items.

Starbird Creationswww.facebook.com/starbirdcreationsstl
Fantasy-inspired Amigurumi (crochet soft sculptures).

Stevie Draws Dinoshttp://www.steviedrawsdinos.com
Various crocheted Ghibli characters, including soot sprites.

8:30 PM, Staff Picks!

Thank you for joining us tonight! Close out your evening with one of our staff’s picks for their favorite Studio Ghibli production.

Callie, Visitor Services Supervisor
Mary and the Witch’s FlowerWatch on NetflixM
Watch on YouTube – $3.99

Lacey, Special Exhibits Assistant
Howl’s Moving Castle

This movie teaches us that love is about more than being attracted to someone. Sophie is a normal hat maker who takes things as they are and when she gets turned into an old woman, she simply leaves without telling anyone. Howl is childish and impulsive and gets everything he wants because he is beautiful. This unlikely pair is put under the same roof, but start to change and bring out the best in each other. Sophie stands up for herself more and Howl becomes more forgiving and understanding of others. The message is truly sweet and it’s one of my absolute favorites!

Watch on Vuduu – $11.99

Christina, Adult Programs Manager
Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter

This 2017 animated series from Studio Ghibli is based on the book by Astrid Lindgren (author of Pippi Longstocking). It follows the adventures of Ronja, who grapples with the knowledge that her family is a band of robbers when she befriends a rival robber’s son. But it’s the beautiful setting of and animation of this series that make it worth watching, with adventures taking place in the mountains and forests of Medieval Scandinavia. Ronja is available on Amazon Prime streaming.

Amazon Prime
Vudu – $24.99


Have a question? Have a comment? Let us know!


Interested in becoming a First Friday vendor?

Apply Now!


Price: First Fridays at Home are free!
Parking: Free parking is available in your own driveway, street or garage.

Ages: All ages are welcome!


September 4
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm


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