Holidays Around the World

Discovery Place Kids | Huntersville

December is a month full of celebrations and traditions. 

This holiday season, take your family on a tour around the world with Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville. Kids can explore some favorite holiday traditions of cultures and countries around the globe through stories, crafts and fun activities.

Check out the trip itinerary:

Israel: Hanukkah – Join us as we celebrate Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, on Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10. We’ll be reading I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel by Caryn Yacowitz and then making a fun Hanukkah craft as we learn more about some of the traditions of this eight-day celebration. 

Germany: Gingerbread Workshop – Did you know that gingerbread houses originated in Germany during the 16th century? On Thursday, December 14, we’ll be reading The Gingerbread Man by Karen Schmidt and then making some doughy delights in the Town Market kitchen. 

Sweden: Santa Lucia Day – This festival of light is celebrated in Swedish homes and schools on one of the darkest and shortest days of the year, the Winter Solstice.  Join us on Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17, for a special Story Time reading of Lucia Morning in Sweden by Ewa Rydaker followed by a festive craft. 

Mexico: Poinsettia – On Saturday, December 23, find out how the poinsettia or “Flor de la Nochebuena” came to be a popular Christmas symbol. We’ll read Tomie de Paola’s story The Legend of the Poinsettia and then make a beautiful craft you can take home. 

Africa: Kwanzaa - The word Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning “first fruits,” in honor of African harvest festivals. On Saturday, December 30, join us for the reading of My First Kwanzaa by Karen Katz as we learn more about the holiday that celebrates family, community and culture of African Americans and Pan-Africans around the world. 

Latvia: Oh Christmas Tree - The city of Riga in Latvia claims to be the home of history’s first decorated Christmas tree, starting in 1510. Every Tuesday and Thursday this month, join us as we celebrate the Christmas tree tradition with a special Story Time reading of Monster Needs a Christmas Tree by Paul Czajak, and then make your own decorated Christmas tree craft to take home!

Ukraine & Iceland: An Old World Christmas – Have you heard of the old German tradition of hiding a pickle ornament on the Christmastree? What about Ukrainian legend of the Christmas spider? In Iceland, children find their shoes filled with treats on St. Nicholas Day. Learn more about some of these fun Christmas traditions from around the world and find out how many of these traditions began long ago. Join us every Wednesday and Friday this month for a reading of Cobweb Christmas by Shirley Climo as we explore these traditions and more.

On December 31, the whole world will welcome 2018 on New Year’s Eve. Little explorers don’t have to stay up late to celebrate. Join Discovery Place Kids for the annual New Years at Noon celebration at Town Center. The Museum will be opening early at 10:00 a.m. to prepare for the celebration. This is a popular event, so please plan to arrive early.

The Museum will be closed December 24 - 25 for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Enjoy extended hours Wednesday, December 26 - Friday, December 29, when the Museum will be open 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

All holiday activities are included with Museum admission.

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