There is no shortage of activities leading up to the holidays, but what’s on the schedule after? With Christmas on a Monday this year, that still leaves most families with two weeks of quality time before the kids head back to school. Luckily, our local museums have you covered! Read on to find some special exhibits that’ll entertain the whole family.
photo: California Academy of Sciences
California Academy of Sciences
As if there isn’t enough to see and do at the Cal Academy, their annual holiday exhibit “Tis the Season for Science explores all that Arctic and Antarctic animals do to thrive in snowy ecosystems. You can even see how *you* adapt to life in the ice with their new-this-year outdoor skating rink.
When: Through January 7, 2018
Cost: Ice Skating is $12 plus the cost of admission
Where: 55 Music Concourse Dr., San Francisco
photo: Gary Sexton
Contemporary Jewish Museum
December 25 is Community Free Day at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. This fun-for-all extravaganza has become an annual tradition for Bay Area families. Explore the galleries, create art in the Story Art Studios and move and groove to live music by Alison Faith Levy and her Big Time Tot Rock Band at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
When: December 25, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Where: 736 Mission St., San Francisco
Last year’s exhibition of mechanical sculptures was so popular, The Exploratorium is bringing it back! Curious Contraptions features the work of eleven artists from around the world and gives you a chance to interact firsthand with charming and often hilarious mechanical objects. You can even try to build your own!
When: Through January 18, 2018
Cost: Free with admission
Where: Pier 15 (Embarcadero at Green Street), San Francisco
Museum of American Heritage
For a totally kid-friendly museum experience, the MOAH in Palo Alto is your spot. Now through January 14, 2018 you can view the special LEGO exhibit set up by the Bay Area LEGO Users Group (or BayLUG). It’s a whole room full of cityscapes, trains and more all made out of LEGO bricks. The museum is free for visitors and the LEGO exhibit is $3/person. Make sure you allow some time to check out all the inventions that shaped America at the museum after you’ve spent some time with all the LEGO fun.
When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through January 14, 2018
Cost: MOAH admission is free, $3/person for the LEGO exhibit
Where: Museum of American Heritage, 351 Homer Ave., Palo Alto
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
You don’t have to head for the hills to get a taste of snow this year. Just go check out Peter Fischli and David Weiss’ frosty sculpture, Snowman at SFMOMA. Yes, it’s a real snowman, inside of a refrigerated case. You can find him chilling up on the third floor!
When: Through March 2018
Cost: Free with museum admission
Where: 151 Third St., San Francisco
Chabot Space and Science Center
Local artists, scientists and teachers collaborated with Chabot staff to bring Project Create to life. To say this is an interactive exhibit would be an understatement. You can explore science through a variety of hands-on activities including take-aparts, stop-motion film making, science and fashion, robotics, building and much more.
When: On-going (Opened December 1)
Cost: Free with admission
Where: 10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland
photo: Oakland Museum of California
Oakland Museum of California
Learn all about urban farming with OMCA’s new exhibit Take Root: Oakland Grows Food. The exhibition will include personal stories from farmers and growers on what motivations they have for growing food—including access to healthy and delicious ingredients. Interactive elements include opportunities to draw your own garden, a play space to find and hide vegetables within a mock garden and a photo contribution wall.
When: Through January 13, 2019
Cost: Free with regular admission
Where: 1000 Oak St., Oakland
Lawrence Hall of Science
The Winter Weeks Celebration is back this year at Lawrence Hall of Science. All of your favorite exhibits, activities, and labs—such as the Animal Discovery Room, Ingenuity Lab and Planetarium—are open every day during Winter Weeks. They’ll also be debuting a new film called Wonders of the Arctic 3D in the National Geographic 3D Theater.
When: Through January 1 (Closed December 25)
Cost: $4 + admission for the 3D movie
Where: 1 Centennial Dr., Berkeley
What are your plans for Winter Break? Share your scoop below!