Smithsonian Events Week of 12/29/08-1/4/09: Kwanzaa celebrations; Eleanor Roosevelt goes sky-high

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Monday, December 29: Kwanzaa: A Musical Tribute

The sounds of the holiday season are many and multifaceted, so come hear The Sounds of Awareness put on a Kwanzaa mini-concert. Free, but reservations required. Call 202-633-4844 to reserve your spot. Anacostia Community Museum, 11:00 AM.

Tuesday, December 30: Reruns

Happy Holidays! American Popular Holiday Songs, 1941-1945 repeats (previously covered here) repeats today. Free, American History Museum, 11 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM and 4 PM.

ZooLights (previously covered here) also repeats. Tickets required. See past blog post for rates. National Zoo, 6-8:30 PM.

Wednesday, December 31: Kwanzaa Family Workshop

Artist Wanda Aikens is on deck to teach you how to make scented and edible items for the holiday as a means to learn about the principle of Kuumba (creativity). Free, but reservations are required. Call 202-633-4844 to reserve your spot. Anacostia Museum, 10:00 AM.

Thursday, January 1: Happy New Year!

Nothing special is scheduled for today, but the museums (and gift shops) are open and waiting for you!

Friday, January 2: Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride

Before Thelma and Louise, there was Amelia and Eleanor. That’s right. Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt. Based on a little-known event, these two strong-willed women slip away from a formal dinner party for some good, clean, high-flying fun. After a reading of Amelia and Eleanor Go For a Ride, kids will be able to participate in an art activity. Free. Air and Space Museum, 11 AM.

And as if I need to state the obvious: an airplane can clear a canyon MUCH better than a 1966 Thunderbird convertible.

Saturday, January 3: Anansi Does the Impossible! An Ashanti Tale

When I was a kid, one of my absolute favorite picture books was A Story A Story, which told the tale of how Anansi the Spider Man performs feats of death-defying skill in order to win back the stories the Sky God stole from his people. That said, I am very pleased to see that this story lives on in this latest retelling by Verna Aardema, which will be read aloud for young and eager ears. Free. National Museum of African Art, 11 AM-12 Noon.

Sunday, January 4: Art a la Cart

You know you want to touch the artworks on the museum walls. (Heck, one time I accidentally set off the alarms at SAAM because I couldn’t tell where the floor ended and the art installation began.) People just like to interact with pretty things, right? If you’re between the ages 7 and 12, come out to the American Art Museum for some hands-on fun that will curb your curiosities in a socially acceptable manner. Hands-on activities are available for your eager mitts, allowing you to explore the world of art on a whole new level. For everyone outside of this age bracket, go elsewhere and take a pottery class. Free. Repeats the first Sunday of every month. American Art Museum, 1-4 PM.

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