Smithsonian 2014 Holiday Festival this Weekend Dec. 6-7


From an email:

“The Smithsonian will host a two-day holiday festival, Saturday, December 6, and Sunday, December 7, at the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Castle. The festival will include concerts by the U.S. Air Force’s Max Impact, Silver Wings, and Celtic Aire, seasonal films (including The Muppet Christmas Carol), Mars Chocolate demonstrations, family holiday photo opportunities, trunk shows featuring apparel, jewelry and art, book signings, festive food and hours of additional family-friendly entertainment.

There will also be gift-wrapping at the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History and National Museum of Natural History. The Smithsonian Holiday Shuttle will loop the National Mall every 10 minutes, transporting festival-goers to the holiday festival locations. For full details, visit the event webpage.”

One Comment

  • Frankly this was terribly disappointing.

    One of the events was titled “puppet show”, with a description “Visitors can play with the puppets using the stage. ”
    What it actually was, was a puppet theater for sale at the gift store, and many Muppets puppets for sale at the gift store, and the opportunity to play with the theater and puppets yourself in the store. That is if you were at least 5″00, because the theater was placed too high for younger children to use.

    Families streamed through into the store, disappointed at the absence of an actual puppet show (after being disappointed at how *I* sucked as a puppeteer in the 3 minutes I attempted to give a puppet show to my own children and passers-by mistook me for the actual show). The store employees basically called us stupid by saying that if we’d bothered to click on the title link in the schedule we would have seen it wasn’t a puppet show. I did click on the title, and I interpreted it as a puppet show with an interactive component ( “Visitors can play with the puppets using the stage. “)

    The “show” was scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday, but somehow was erased from the Sunday schedule minutes before the museum opened on Sunday, which was pretty impressive, having staff available to change a website early on Sunday morning.

    The “Holiday photo op” didn’t have any actual holiday decor or a santa/elf/grinch costumed person there. It was simply their usual green screen background. Asking at the photo op counter about the holiday photo, you were served, time-share style, with a 5-minutes extensive description of their entire price schedule, starting with the $60 package option down to the $10 4×6 photo with a holiday background photoshopped into it and without so much as a cardboard envelope to frame the photo.

    The chocolate sampling event included 4-5 sequential stands you had to wait in line to visit, in their exact order, to hear about how chocolate was made. You couldn’t skip one. Once you had taken the 15-20 minute lesson series, you were treated, by their cashier selling boxes of chocolate, to a plastic cup of about 1 floz (smaller than a Teavana sample) of hot cocoa. My preschooler children would have never waited that long, and the presentations were clearly not going to be age-appropriate for them.

    I heard one song from the band on stage at the American History museum, and it was definitely not holiday music, but rather karaoke bar songlist (Mellencamp’s Jack and Diane).

    I actually didn’t see a single christmas tree in their main lobby. There were a few poinsettias.

    The only promise they actually delivered on was the 1992 full feature movie. But if I was going to sit my small kids in front of a Christmas movie from the 90ies, I’d do it at home.

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