The Delaware Museum of Natural History will celebrate the holiday season with special programming, including local choir performances in the galleries, and a festive breakfast with Mrs. Claus.
The celebration begins on Dec. 7, with "Merry Munchies at the Museum," where visitors can have breakfast with Mrs. Claus, enjoy a visit from Santa, and learn about polar animals. On Dec. 8, the museum will have harpist Deb Mackie performing from 1 to 3 p.m. and celebrate a Festival of Lights in Nature highlighting animals that bioluminesce, or make their own light.
On Dec. 14, the museum hosts a day of "Savings & Songs" with member discounts in the museum store, and the Hopewell Elementary School choir performing throughout the galleries. In addition, visitors can participate in a dinosaur-themed wreath-making activity. This event will also kick off a week of holiday musical performances:
Hopewell Elementary School, Saturday, Dec. 14, 1 to 3:30 p.m.
Cathedral Choir School of Delaware, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2 to 3 p.m.
Caravel Academy, Thursday, Dec. 19, 10 a.m. to noon.
On Dec. 15, visitors can celebrate "Winter at the Museum" with hikes on the Larry F. Scott Nature Trail beginning at 1 p.m.; The Cathedral Choir School of Delaware from 2 to 3 p.m.; and a Winter Sky program from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., with interpretation from Greg Lee of the Delaware Astronomical Society.
On Dec. 19, Caravel Academy will perform from 10 a.m. to noon. Then, on Dec. 21, the museum will celebrate the Winter Solstice with crafts and a "plant-a-wish" activity. On Dec. 22, the museum's education division will host a dinosaur-themed wreath-making activity outside of the Nature Nook. The Nook will stay open on Dec. 30 to accommodate holiday visitors.
The holiday season is capped off at a new Dino Days presented on Dec. 27 and 28. Bird expert Phung Luu and his team at Animal Behavior & Conservation Connections, LLC, will lead a bird show at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day, with hawks, owls, falcons, and other birds of prey flying untethered in the museum's Skylight Atrium. Visitors will learn about Archaeopteryx, a prehistoric ancestor of modern birds, and how dinosaurs and birds are related.
In addition, visitors to Dino Days can check out Haddy the Hadrosaurus, on loan from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia, get up close with real fossils from the Delaware Valley Paleontological Society, enjoy a puppet show, explore the “Ice Age Imperials” special exhibit, step outside on the museum's patio for some hot chocolate and other treats, and participate in various dinosaur-related crafts and activities.
The Delaware Museum of Natural History is at 4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Del. Admission prices vary. Visit www.delmnh.org or call 302-658-9111.