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Visitors to the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History will have a chance to shop for holiday gifts, take photos with Santa Claus and listen to holiday stories at the museum’s annual Holiday Happening event, scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7.
Local photographers from PartyPics will take photos of children with Santa Claus in front of a holiday-themed background, and photos will be available to download and purchase online after the event.
The complimentary community celebration also will feature storybook time with librarians from Pioneer Library System from 4 to 5 p.m., performances by the Crimson Chords from 5 to 6 p.m., and fun, kid-friendly music by the Norman-based one-man-band, Mike Hosty, from 6 to 7 p.m.
Throughout the event, members of the museum’s education department will help children decorate an ornament to adorn holiday trees in the museum lobby, create a take-home craft, and play “pin the carrot on the snowman” and ring toss. Members of the museum’s mammalogy department also will be on hand with a “Winter Is Coming: Mammals and Their Fur” touch table.
Special one-night-only discounts of 20 to 40 percent off all merchandise will be offered at Excavations, the museum store, to help visitors cross those last few items off their holiday shopping lists. Children of all ages also can participate in a scavenger hunt as they look for elves hidden throughout the museum galleries and can pick up their prize from Excavations as they exit the museum.
In the spirit of giving, the museum will accept donations of gifts for children and teens and non-perishable food items on behalf of Food and Shelter Inc. Food and Shelter is a Norman-based organization that has fed women, children and men who are hungry and housed families in crisis for over 30 years. Donations can be brought to the museum during regular hours from Nov. 27 through Dec. 7. Everyone who donates will be entered in a drawing to win a gift certificate to Excavations.
The museum offers plenty to keep families captivated during Holiday Happening and throughout the winter season. Children and young adults will enjoy learning about the evolution of life, from rapidly evolving viruses to whales that walked, in the “Explore Evolution” exhibit, on display until Dec. 31.
The museum also will act as a drop-off location for letters to Santa from Dec. 8-23.