Calendar of Exhibitions and Events: December 2019


"Winter Weekend" at the National Museum of American History
Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8; 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The museum will share in the holiday spirit with musical performances, cooking demonstrations, films and more. For a full schedule, visit Among the weekend events are:

Cooking Up History: Conquering Julia Child's Croquembouche
Guest Chef: Lynne Just, Sur La Table
Dec. 7; 1 p.m.
Wallace H Coulter Plaza Demonstration Kitchen
First Floor, West

Chef Lynne Just of Sur La Table and Smithsonian Food Historian Ashley Rose Young will showcase how to make Julia Child’s croquembouche. This traditional French dessert is made by building a conical tower of profiteroles and coating it in delicate layers of caramelized sugar.
Mars Heritage Chocolate “From Bean to Bar” Program and Tasting
Dec. 7 and 8; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Please visit the Welcome Center on the Second Floor for times and location

Audiences will be able to explore the history of chocolate through demonstrations and tastings of chocolate from American Heritage, a division of Mars Wrigley Confectionery.


White Christmas
Dec. 7; 3:30 p.m.
Warner Bros. Theater
First Floor, Center
Purchase tickets here:
The holiday classic motion picture White Christmas will be screened in the Warner Bros. Theater. For more information, please visit:
It's a Wonderful Life
Dec. 8; 3:30 p.m.
Warner Bros. Theater
First Floor, Center
Purchase tickets here:
The holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life will be screened in the Warner Bros. Theater. For more information, please visit:


"Sounds of Faith": Holiday Traditions Concerts
Dec. 8; 12:15 - 3 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza
First Floor, West

• Orfeia: Holiday Songs from Bulgaria and Eastern Europe
Dec. 8; 12:30 – 1 p.m.
Orfeia is a women’s vocal ensemble dedicated to preserving and sharing traditional music from Bulgaria and Eastern Europe, presenting traditional and sacred Christmas and pre-Christian pagan pieces dating from the Middle Ages to modern day.
• Cantor Arianne Brown and her band: Hanukkah Songs and Stories
Dec. 8; 1:30 – 2 p.m.

Local Cantor and singer Arianne Brown will perform traditional Hanukkah songs and share stories about the origins and traditions of the holiday. Brown is the Cantor at synagogue Adas Israel in Washington, D.C.
• Afro Blue: A Gospel Jazz Christmas
Dec. 8; 2:30 – 3 p.m.

Afro Blue, Howard University's premier vocal jazz ensemble, will present jazz and gospel renditions of Christmas favorites.

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
"Islam and Modern Jazz"
Dec. 8; 7 p.m.
Wallace H Coulter Performance Plaza
First Floor, West
Ticket purchase required:
Alongside early converts such as William Evans (Yusef Lateef), Frederick Russell Jones (Ahmad Jamal), Leo Morris (Idris Muhammad) and Art Blakey (Abdullah Ibn Buhaina), many jazz musicians discovered a spiritual foundation through Islam. The SJMO, the Big Band in residence at the National Museum of American History, will present a program of jazz created and inspired by practitioners of Islam. A pre-concert talk will be led by Hussein Rashid, lecturer at The New School in New York City. For tickets, please visit:
This concert is part of the Sounds of Faith series, examining the religious roots of American musical traditions.


"Innovative Lives" with Kathryn Sullivan, author of Handprints on Hubble
Dec. 4; 6:30 p.m.
Wallace H Coulter Performance Plaza
First Floor, West
RSVP required; please visit
Kathryn Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space and author of Handprints on Hubble, will describe her life as part of the NASA team who launched, rescued, repaired and maintained the Hubble Space Telescope. A book signing will follow the discussion.

History Alive! Theater Programs

Daily theater programs for visitors are free of charge with no tickets needed. Visitors should check with the Welcome desks for the daily schedule.
Women’s History Theater Programs are part of the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative, #BecauseofHerStory
Justice Must be Done
"Within These Walls" exhibition
Second Floor, West

Attend an 1840 meeting of the Ipswich Female Anti-Slavery Society in abolitionist Lucy Caldwell’s Ipswich, Massachusetts home.
Meet the Wheelwoman
First Floor, West

Meet wheelwoman Louise Gibson as she takes her bicycle on a journey to discover opportunities for women in the 1890s.
Votes for Women
Second Floor, West

Join a Silent Sentinel Suffragist on her way to the 1917 White House protests.
Join the Student Sit-Ins
Wallace H. Coulter Unity Square
Second Floor, West

Centered on the Greensboro Lunch Counter display, this program trains visitors in the practice of nonviolent direct action.
Third Floor, West

Sing along with “ring shouts”— which originated from 19th century enslaved African Americans—and inspired new forms of religious and secular music.


"Wegmans Wonderplace"
Open daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; closed Tuesdays
First Floor, West

The museum’s early learning gallery for children 0–6 connects important themes of the museum’s collections with children’s play and learning. Wonderplace provides young children with open-ended play opportunities that allow them to explore and learn at their own pace and interest level. For more information, please visit:

"Draper Spark!Lab"
Open daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; closed Tuesdays
First Floor, West

Draper Spark!Lab reveals the real story behind inventors’ work through hands-on activities infused with historical content that help kids ages 6-12 explore the history and process of invention. Hosted by the museum’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Spark!Lab’s interdisciplinary activities appeal to varied learning styles and abilities and combine traditional STEM with art and creativity. For more details about current Spark!Lab activities, please visit
Interactive Carts
Daily; 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Throughout museum
Interactive carts throughout the Museum allow visitors to interact with history and learn more about our collections. Carts are available most days; daily schedules are available at the museum's Welcome Center on the second floor and the Information Desk on the first floor. More information on daily programs and events is available at

Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. It helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. The museum is located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th streets, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For more information, visit For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.


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