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MUSEUM’S 78TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD AND HOLIDAYS OF LIGHT EXHIBITS HIGHLIGHT MORE THAN 40 COUNTRIES AND CULTURES

CHICAGO (November 13, 2020)—The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago’s (MSI) Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibits return November 13, highlighting the rich customs of more than 40 countries and cultures. Explore trees and displays decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s diverse communities and learn about holidays from across the globe. Daily capacity is limited, and timed-entry tickets are required for this 78th annual tradition. 

Trees and displays are more spread out than ever before inside the Museum to ensure physically distancing. Guests can enjoy the comfort and space MSI has to offer through its nearly half million square feet all while learning about the traditional holiday celebrations from around the world, and new offerings including:

• Traditional Outfits: New displays feature six traditional outfits shared with MSI by volunteer groups representing Kenya, Norway, Scotland, Hungary, Japan and Ecuador. 

• Member Holiday Mornings: Every Saturday from November 14 - January 2, 2021, MSI Members can explore Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light before the Museum opens to the public.

• Tree-topper Stars: Star sculptures stand at the base of MSI’s Grand Tree honoring the volunteers that were not able to participate in this year’s exhibits due to the ongoing pandemic. 

• Holiday Store: Full of great gifts and festive trinkets for family and friends, including unique ornaments representing cultures from around the world. Some items also available for purchase online. 

Holidays of Light also offers rich histories of celebrations honoring light and enlightenment, including Lunar New Year, Diwali, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Hanukkah, and St. Lucia Day. At the center of these exhibits stands the 45-foot-tall, floor-to-ceiling Grand Tree decorated with more than 30,000 lights, offering a perfect photo opp with loved ones.

Established in 1942, Christmas Around the World began with a single tree to show solidarity with fellow Allied nations during WWII, symbolizing that there is more that unites us than divides us. For the past 78 years this exhibit has become a Chicago tradition, connecting guests through the spirit of the holiday season and the sharing of each other’s heritages.   

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light are included in Museum Entry. Advance ticket reservations are required, book tickets online at msichicago.org/holidays. Face coverings are required for all staff and guests ages 2 and older. New visit procedures and safety details can be found at msichicago.org/welcome. MSI is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

About the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI)

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI), one of the largest science museums in the world, offers world-class and uniquely interactive experiences that inspire inventive genius and foster curiosity. From groundbreaking and award-winning exhibits that can’t be found anywhere else, to hands-on opportunities that make you the scientist—a visit to MSI is where fun and learning mix. Through its Welcome to Science Initiative, the Museum offers a variety of student, teacher and family programs that make a difference in communities and contribute to MSI’s larger vision: to inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering. Come visit and find your inspiration! The Museum is grateful for the support of its donors and guests, who make its work possible. MSI is also supported in part by the people of Chicago through the Chicago Park District. For more information, visit msichicago.org or call (773) 684-1414.

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Trees and displays are decorated by volunteers from the Chicagoland area.

The 45-foot-tall Grand Tree has more than 30,000 lights.

Holidays of Light contain symbolic objects that showcase celebrations honoring light and enlightenment, including Lunar New Year, Diwali, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Hanukkah, and St. Lucia Day. 

Images presented here are for the express use for promoting the Museum of Science and Industry. All images must be properly credited. Images may not be reproduced by third parties without express written permission from the Museum of Science and Industry.