Mix together a Fraser fir with holiday lights. Add music, memories and children’s faces all aglow, and you’ve got the recipe for December programs at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. Capture magical moments during the Capitol Tree-Lighting ceremony, and enjoy performances by the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble and the band Mappamundi.
Drop by for a lunchtime lecture about Christmas in the 1940s, and wind up the year at First Night Raleigh. All programs are free except First Night Raleigh. Parking is free on weekends.
*Time for Tots: Seasonal Symbols
Tuesday, Dec. 1 or Dec. 8
Ages 3-5 with adult
To register, call 919-807-7992.
From menorahs to Moravian stars, find out what different symbols of winter holidays mean. Make your own stenciled place mat to take home.
*History Corner: Christmas Trees
Thursday, Dec. 3
Ages 5-9 with adult
To register, call 919-807-7992.
Growing trees for the holiday season is one of North Carolina’s biggest industries. Find out how trees became a holiday symbol and create a decoration for your own tree. This program is presented with Cameron Village Regional Library.
Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble
Sunday, Dec. 6
Get into a seasonal mood with some cool jazz. With saxophones, trumpets, trombones, bass and other instruments, this group of talented young musicians from local high schools will perform a variety of holiday classics. John V. Brown Jr., director of jazz ensembles and jazz studies at Duke University, leads the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble.
History à la Carte: Christmas in the 1940s
Wednesday, Dec. 9
Bring your lunch; beverages provided.
Sandy Webbere, Associate Curator
During World War II, Christmas brought dreams of peace and wishes for normalcy in the midst of rationing and personal sacrifice. Learn about this memorable period in North Carolina’s past.
*Capitol Tree Lighting
Thursday, Dec. 10
5-7:30 p.m. (museum open)
6 p.m. (tree-lighting ceremony on the Capitol grounds)
A Fraser fir from North Carolina’s mountains will be a new addition to this annual event. Watch it light up the Capitol grounds during this special occasion. Listen to seasonal music performed by groups who will stroll through the Capitol grounds and Bicentennial Plaza, directly in front of the museum. Come to the museum to make paper chains to add to your tree!
*Music of the Carolinas: Mappamundi
Sunday, Dec. 13
A food drive will take place in conjunction with the event.
Mappamundi (“map of the world”) performs acoustic music from Europe, the British Isles, colonial America, and Latin America. The band features strong harmony vocals and plays a wide range of instruments. PineCone co-sponsors the performance.
Help others in need during the holiday season. Bring canned goods to the performance to contribute to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. A collection bin will be placed in the auditorium for donations. The food drive will take place all day Sunday.
*First Night Raleigh 2010
Thursday, Dec. 31
2-6 p.m. (children’s celebration)
7-11 p.m. (nighttime events)
First Night button required for entry.
The Museum of History will be at the heart of the children’s celebration at this annual New Year’s Eve festival of the arts. With a First Night pin or button, receive a $1 discount all day to the exhibit Knights of the Black Flag, which explores the legacy of pirates. The exhibit will be open until 10 p.m. For information, call Artsplosure at 919-990-1158 or visit artsplosure.org.
For more information, call 919-807-7900 or access ncmuseumofhistory.org.
* marks program of interest to children or families
The N.C. Museum of History’s hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The museum is part of the Division of State History Museums, Office of Archives and History, an agency of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. The department’s Web site is www.ncculture.com.