Weekend Events: ZooLights, Art Workshop and Hands-On Activities!

Winter Sunset (no. 209) by Werner Drewes. Image courtesy of the American Art Museum.

The Smithsonian Institution has announced a snow emergency and has closed all its museums, the Zoo, as well as the Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia on Saturday, December 19 and Sunday, December 20.

Friday, December 11: ZooLights

That’s right kids—ZooLights is back once again! For children of all ages, a menagerie of LED light sculptures modeled after critters at the zoo will be on display. Tickets are required for visitors aged 2 and older and can be purchased at any National Zoo store, at the door (unless that day’s worth of tickets are sold out), or through Ticketmaster. This event runs from Friday through Sunday until December 13; between December 18 and January 2; but the Zoo occasionally closes for inclement weather. (Snow expected Saturday!) ZooLights occurs every night except December 24, 25 and 31. Tickets are $8 general admission; FONZ $5. National Zoo, 6-8:30 PM.

Saturday, December 12: Facing History: Be the Artist

Patricia Horing merges painting, text and collage in her portraits, one of which is featured in the 2009 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery. In this two-hour art class, enjoy a guided tour of the exhibition and get to know the ideas and themes present in the Horing piece on display before heading to the studio to create an artwork of your own. Ideal for persons ages 10-14 accompanied by an adult. Free, but registration is required. Please call 202-633-8501. National Portrait Gallery, 12:00-2:00 PM. This event repeats at 3:30 and is geared to persons ages 5-10.

Sunday, December 13: Art a la Carte

By and large, art galleries have a very strict "look but don't touch" policy. And let's face it, the last thing anyone wants is to have an irritated security guard on your back because you got too close to the artwork. Well, it's time to make a teensy break with convention by way of hands-on interactive carts scattered throughout the gallery. Come get a sense of what it's like to work in an artist studio by getting your mitts on paintbrushes, palettes, bison hide, quilt squares and other odds and ends. Ideal for persons ages 7-12. Free. American Art Museum, 1:00-4:00 PM.

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