Holiday Magic 2017
The holiday celebration continues at Mystic Seaport in the week between Christmas and New Year’s with the Holiday Magic schedule of activities.
The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 26-31, with the grounds closing at 5 p.m. each day. Every day includes three astronomy shows in the Treworgy Planetarium, two roleplaying presentations portraying Christmas in 1876, two magic shows starring Mr. Potter, a 19th-century magician, as well as a special tour of Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world.
“Every day at 11 a.m., we are offering a view of the Morgan from the child’s point of view,” says Barbara Jarnagin, associate director of programs for the museum’s education department. “We have such amazing source material here, photographs and first-person accounts, so we can tell the story of how families celebrated Christmas at sea. How did Santa find children at sea? How did he land the reindeer on a ship? How did they decorate the quarters for the holiday?”
The Families At Sea Tour of the Morgan begins at 11 a.m. and lasts about 40 minutes. It is suitable for all ages.
Jarnagin also recommends the Magic Workshop happening each day in the Campbell Room (the lower level of the Treworgy Planetarium), in which participants can learn a few magic tricks. This is a fun program for ages 4 and up, and Jarnagin is quick to note it’s not just for kids – “we can teach you a trick or two to liven up that New Year’s Eve party,” she says. “And if you know a trick we don’t – teach us!” The Magic Workshop starts at noon.
Actor Robert Olsen of Putnam, CT will bring his 19th-century magician Mr. Potter back to Greenmanville Church for two shows a day during the week – 1 and 3:15 p.m. Olsen has been performing magic at the Museum for more than 30 years and is a Holiday Magic favorite.
There are crafts and stories in the Children’s Museum every day for the younger children, and a “Learn a Sailor’s Skill” workshop for older children daily from 2-3:30 p.m. in the Campbell Room.
The two roleplaying presentations being offered during the week are “Christmas Ashore in 1876” in the Thomas Greenman House and “Christmas at Sea in 1876” in the Seamen’s Friend Society Reading Room. Both presentations are interactive, as the role players will acknowledge and talk with any “visitors” they may have. The 30-minute presentations are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
A third performance piece, ” ‘Sea’ Through My Eyes,” takes place every day at 2:15 p.m. in the R.J. Schaefer gallery, where the Contemporary American Marine Art: The 17th National Exhibition of the American Society of Marine Artists is on exhibit. Members of the Interpretation Department wrote monologues that express the inner thoughts, emotions, and perspective of some of the subjects of the works. The finished monologues give voice to some unexpected subjects: a Green-Lipped Mussel, London Bridge, the White Whale, an Island, the Beach, and the Operatic Bridge.
“Music and Stories of Sailortown,” daily at 10:30 a.m. in the Chandlery, offers a glimpse into the life of a 19th-century seafaring man through songs and stories performed by the Museum’s chanty staff. There is also “Music of the Holiday Season” is at 3 p.m., also in the Chandlery.