MUSEUM’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD AND HOLIDAYS OF LIGHT EXHIBITS CELEBRATE MORE THAN 50 COUNTRIES AND CULTURES
CHICAGO (November 14, 2019) –The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago’s (MSI) Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light return this November, highlighting the rich customs of more than 50 countries and cultures, and inviting friends and family to come holiday together at MSI. Guests can connect with their heritage as they explore dozens of trees and displays meticulously decorated with hand-crafted ornaments, all while learning about traditions that are celebrated across the globe.
Hundreds of volunteers from Chicago’s diverse communities decorate the nearly 60 trees and displays that line the Museum’s Main Floor with handmade décor and personal mementos. Guests will learn why silver spiders are good luck, find out which country has the distinction of celebrating the world’s longest Christmas season, view intricate origami ornaments, and so much more. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a photo with the Grand Tree—a 45-foot-tall, floor-to-ceiling tree featuring more than 45,000 lights. Guests can also enjoy “snow” falling every half hour inside the Museum’s Main Floor.
In addition to the decorated trees, families can explore Holidays of Light, which offers vitrines that contain symbolic objects that showcase celebrations honoring light and enlightenment, including Chinese New Year, Diwali, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Visakha Puja Day, and St. Lucia Day. Holidays of Light is located among the trees throughout the Museum’s Main Floor.
Holiday Events + Performances
MSI After Hours: Naughty or Nice (21+)
Ticket purchase required
This 21-and-over holiday party is back for a third year, giving guests the chance to visit Chicago's most beloved tradition with an adults-only twist. Sip on festive drinks while exploring Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light. Listen to a live DJ, and let Santa Claus and Krampus decide if you’ve been naughty or nice. Belt out your favorite holiday tunes in the Giant Dome Theater during “carolaoke,” and win a prize for completing a Museum-wide scavenger hunt. For tickets, visit msichicago.org/afterhours.
A Night at The Museum
Ticket purchase required
For a second year in a row, MSI is proud to partner with Chance the Rapper’s charity SocialWorks for A Night at The Museum on Thursday, December 19. The event benefits SocialWorks’ Warmest Winter initiative that focuses on providing direct support to people experiencing homelessness in Chicago. Throughout the night, thousands of guests, who are asked to donate a warming item, will enjoy access to MSI's exhibits and experiences, live performances, giveaways and fun surprises, and a speaking appearance from Chance the Rapper. SocialWorks hopes that this year’s event can exceed last year’s total donation of 18,000 warming items, which benefited 15 shelters throughout Chicago. To learn more, head to socialworkschi.org; @socialworkschi on Facebook; @socialworks_chi on Instagram; and @socialworks on Twitter.
Weekend Cultural Performances + Santa Claus
Catch lively performances from all corners of the globe on weekend dates during Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light. More than 50 local cultural groups will perform live cultural music and dances in the Museum’s Main Auditorium inside the West Pavilion. Families will also be able to create a snow-filled ornaments, and snack on holiday treats. Plus, MSI’s Santa experience is back! With an additional advanced ticket purchase, get a photo session with Santa on select dates throughout November and December. A full cultural performance and Santa schedule will be posted online at msichicago.org/holiday.
Special Exhibits and Holiday Offerings
MSI-Custom Stan’s Donut
For a limited time, MSI guests can enjoy a custom holiday donut created exclusively for the Museum by Stan's Donuts. This cinnamon-flavored donut will only be available at MSI.
Makers United Ornament Workshop
Ticket purchase required
MSI’s Maker’s United experience is getting the holiday edit. Reconnect with your inner maker and build a color-changing ornament you can only get at MSI. This beginner-friendly guided workshop teaches guests about circuit-building, and how to find your place in the maker movement with suggestions on how to continue creating in the forms you enjoy most. (Additional ticket purchase required.)
Free Day and Extended Hours
On November 18 Illinois residents receive free Museum Entry, giving them an opportunity to experience Christmas Around the World, Holidays of Light and more than a dozen other exhibits at no charge. On December 21-22 and 26-30, MSI will offer extended hours and keep its doors open from 9:30 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light are included in Museum Entry, as are all cultural performances. A separate ticket is required for SocialWorks’ A Night at The Museum. MSI is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light is supported by Molex.