The Missouri History Museum in Forest Park is bidding farewell to the year with its annual Winter Getaway program, which runs now through December 31. Each day starts at 10:30 a.m. and is filled with fun, free activities designed to engage the whole family.
Throughout Winter Getaway families can enjoy live music performances, a puppet show, and make-and-take workshops where kids can get creative with art projects inspired by the Museum’s special exhibits Panoramas of the City and #1 in Civil Rights: The African American Freedom Struggle in St. Louis. Hands-on projects include crafting miniature quilts that celebrate diversity, using 2D cameras to tell stories, and making buttons that show support for a cause.
On Thursday, December 28, at 10:30am and 11:30am, families are invited to participate in a movement workshop called Boas & Bowties: A Roaring ’20s New Year’s Eve Party. There, kids will don party attire and learn dances from the 1920s, including the black bottom and the Lindy hop. The workshops are led by Lisa Gage. Better known as Mama Lisa, she is the president, founder, and artistic director of Fundisha Enterprises, an organization that empowers the community through the preservation of African culture and the celebration of performing arts traditions from the diaspora. For the past ten years Mama Lisa has entertained audiences of all ages at the Museum through storytelling, movement workshops, and performances, and we’re very excited to have her back for this special event.
On Friday, December 29, families are invited to join the St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature Initiative to celebrate The Snowy Day. Written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats, this classic picture book was one of the first in the 20th century to have an African American child as the main character, and just this year the US Postal Service released stamps that feature Peter in his cuddly red snowsuit. Julius Anthony, president of the St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature Initiative, says it’s important for St. Louis families to know that they can access books by African American authors from right here in our community. On this special day, seven local authors, including Julius Anthony himself, will present The Snowy Day as well as their own books. While they’re here, families can play in buckets of snow, warm up with cocoa and cookies, write a Snowy Day-stamped letter, and make snowflakes and snowballs that won’t melt in their pockets.
The end of the year is often a time for celebration and contemplation. Saturday, December 30, is Resolution Day. Families can drop into the New Year’s Resolution Lab anytime from 10:30am to 2:30pm to make photo albums and picture frames to store their favorite memories from 2017. As they reflect on the passing year, they’ll be encouraged to start making plans for 2018. Kids will be asked to think about how they picture themselves in the new year, what goals they want to set, and what adventures they want to embark on. Before or after visiting the Resolution Lab, families can participate in up to three different resolution workshops to explore how to make some simple changes to improve themselves and the community.
Local educator Tabari Coleman will facilitate a Youth Activism and Engagement Workshop where students in grades 2 through 5 and their caregivers can learn how to stand up for something they believe in. Kids will have the opportunity to learn more about the activities and qualities of activists, identify and explore famous and everyday activists, and create their own posters with personal messages for the community. In a second workshop led by St. Louis Earth Day, families can also learn about recycling, conserving resources, and reimagining new uses for ordinary items. In addition to honing skills for activism and keeping our planet clean, healthy habits are the focus of a third workshop hosted by HealthWorks! Kids’ Museum St. Louis.
The grand finale of the Winter Getaway series is a Noon Year’s Eve party from 10:30am to 12:30pm on Sunday, December 31. Kids can make New Year’s hats and their very own miniature ball drop crafts. Live music by Fire Dog will fill the Museum, and you won’t want to miss it when the clock strikes noon: A balloon drop and large amounts of confetti, noisemakers, and high energy are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.
We hope your family can make a trip to the Missouri History Museum and enjoy some time together as we celebrate the end of 2017. Be sure to check www.mohistory.org/wintergetaway for a fully updated schedule of activities for each day.
Lindsay Newton is Youth and Family Programs manager at Missouri History Museum.