The Museum of Idaho announced a new lineup of "Christmas at the Museum" events Friday, replacing the Olde-Fashioned Christmas and Winter Festivals exhibit the museum has hosted for the past 10 years.
This exhibit has been canceled due to construction at the museum, which is blocking the loading dock used to bring large exhibit items in and out, the museum said in a news release. Declining attendance and lost revenue from hosting a month-long free event were also factors, the museum said. Museum staff is discussing how to commemorate the holidays in future years.
“We have been honored to host Olde-Fashioned Christmas and Winter Festivals as a free community event for 10 years, thanks to a generous sponsorship from Chesbro Music Company,” said museum spokesman Jeff Carr. “However, we all believe this year off is a good opportunity for us to look ahead to new and creative ways to celebrate the holidays.”
This year's new events begin Dec. 8 and run through Dec. 31.
"Christmas Past" activities, where actors from the Northwest Living History Association will teach visitors about 18th- and 19th-century holiday traditions as well as the origins of modern ones, and allowing people to make old-fashioned tree ornaments, will be held on Dec. 8, 15 and 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Santa Claus will be at the museum on Dec. 15 and 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Grinch will visit intermittently throughout the month. Holiday scavenger hunts will be held all day from Dec. 8 to Dec. 31.
The museum hopes to bring back elements of Olde-Fashioned Christmas in the future.
“While we enjoyed hosting the event for many years, it has simply become too cost prohibitive to continue offering museum admission for free," said museum Executive Director Karen Baker. "We are grateful for the opportunity and the support, but we have to implement sustainable programs in order to continue to bring new ideas and experiences to East Idaho.”
Alongside the Christmas activities, the Discover Steampunk exhibit will be there through Jan. 6. The new traveling exhibit, "Arhcimedes: Science and Innovations," opens on Jan. 25.