Smithsonian Events Week of 12/22-28: Photography, Zoo Lights, Star Spangled Banner

Feedloader (Clickability)

Monday, December 22: Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

If you haven't already seen this show, you only have until January 15 to catch it. Here on the Castle's walls is the creme de la creme of amateur photography that will hopefully open your eyes and broaden your perceptions of the world around you. And remember: when you take in pieces of eye candy, it never goes straight to your thighs. Free. Smithsonian Castle, 8:30-5:30.

Tuesday, December 23: Reruns

Nothing new today, but sometimes it's fun to revisit a tried-and-true favorite. Seasons of Light (previously covered here) and Zoo Lights (previously covered here) repeat today.

Wednesday, December 24: Broad Stripes, Bright Bars

Meet Mary Pickersgill—the savviest seamstress this side of Betsy Ross who stitched the Star Spangled Banner—and the other colorful characters involved with the flag that inspired our national anthem. Come learn the story of the flag—on display after a painstaking 8-year restoration—and help Mary piece a flag together. Free. National Museum of American History. 11:30-11:50. Repeats 12:30, 1:30, 2:00, 4:30

Thursday, December 25: Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Sorry, kids, this is the one day a year that the museums are closed. You can knock yourself out by standing out in the cold looking at the awesome exteriors of the museums, but that’s about it. It’s a good day to spend at home. Not that I’m biased, but might I suggest curling up with the latest issue of Smithsonian magazine? Or, if you’re still strapped for gift ideas, get that special someone our snazzy newsstand-exclusive issue on Abraham Lincoln.

Looking for non-partisan entertainment? Put Joyeux Noel on your NetFlix list. It’s a schmaltz-less film about the World War I Christmas Truce where German, French and Scottish troops converge on the front lines, set aside their differences and enjoy a few fleeting hours of camaraderie.

There! You have your educational fix for the day and we can all sleep soundly. Moving on…

Friday, December 26: Holiday Celebration at NMAI

It's a jam-packed day of festivities at the National Museum of the American Indian!

Father and Son Storytelling (3rd level, Resource Center, 11 AM and 1 PM)

Owen and Lyle James share Native present passed down through the generations.

Music and Dance Performance (1st level, Potomac Atrium, 12 Noon, 2 PM, and 3:30 PM)

Mele Kalikimaka one and all! (OK, so that's not bona-fide Hawaiian for "Merry Christmas"—but gosh darn it, it's fun to say!) Come out and see Halau O'Aulani perform classic and contemporary dances from the Hawaiian islands.

Films (Rasmuson Theater, 12:30 PM and 3:30 PM)

Christmas at Moose Factory explores the holiday traditions of an old settlement on the shore of James Bay through the eyes of a child.

Wapos Bay is a Canadian stop-motion animated television series set in Saskatchewan. In this episode, "A Time to Learn," young Talon must deal with piles of schoolwork and missing sled dogs before he can go out with his father to learn the family tradition of going out on the trapline.

All events are free. National Museum of the American Indian. Continues Dec. 27 & 28

Saturday, December 27: Kwanzaa Stories

The Honorable Baba C and Tomorrow's Voices will teach you about this seven day festival by way of storytelling and music. Free, but reservations are required. To make a reservation, call 202-633-4844. Anacostia Museum, 11:00.

Sunday, December 28: National Museum of Natural History—Extended Hours!

That's right—you get to hang out at one of the most popular museums on the mall for a few more hours! The Natural History Museum will be open from 10:00 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. through January 3.

Get the latest on what's happening At the Smithsonian in your inbox.