Children's Museum of Manhattan Celebrates the HolidaysNew York, N.Y. - Come celebrate the holidays this December at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM)! Explore how countries from around the world celebrate the holidays through tradition and the act of gift-giving. For more information, please visit

Chinese Culture: Ping An Ye (Peaceful Evening)

Did you know that in Asia, specifically in China or Mandarin-speaking countries, giving apples on Christmas Eve is a common tradition? Since the pronunciation for the words “peace” and “apple” in Chinese are similar, apples have become associated with this holiday and are said to bring peace for the new year. Join us as we sculpt apples out of mixed media materials in honor of this wholesome custom!

Friday – Sunday, December 1 – 3 | 10:30 am – 4:30 pm | All ages | 1st Floor|

Greek Culture: Pomegranate Sculptures 

The pomegranate has been a symbol of fortune, fertility and prosperity in Greece and Greek mythology for thousands of years. During Christmas holidays, pomegranates are used as decorations or hung on the doors of houses. Join us, as we sculpt clay pomegranates to fill with seeds of joy and good fortune!

Friday – Sunday, December 1 – 3 | 11 am – 12:30 pm & 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm | Ages 5 & under | 3rd Floor

Italian Culture: La Befana Paper Stockings!

Legend has it that Befana was an Italian woman who wanted to bring gifts to Baby Jesus but got lost on her way. Since then, she has been trying to find her way to Bethlehem each year, flying her broom from one house to another. Traditionally, children leave their socks out to be filled with goodies. Join us as we create our paper socks!

Saturday & Sunday, December 16 – 17 | 10:15 am – 4:30 pm | All ages | 1st Floor

French Culture: Postcards from Père Noël

Letters from French children to Father Christmas always receive a response from Santa. Since 1962, France has had a law that stipulates any letter to Santa must be responded to in the form of a postcard. Join us as we get into the Christmas spirit and design our own postcards!

Saturday & Sunday, December 16 – 17 | 11 am – 12:30 pm & 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm | Ages 5 & under | 3rd Floor 

Norwegian Culture: Julekurver (Heart-Shaped Woven Basket)

The heart shape has become essential for Norwegian decorating during Christmastime. Tree decoration is usually set aside to be done on December 23rd (also known as Lille Julaften or Little Christmas Eve). Join us as we create heart shaped baskets to adorn CMOM’s Christmas tree or to give to a loved one this holiday season!

Tuesday – Thursday, December 19 – 21 | 10:30 am – 12:45 pm & 2 pm – 4:30 pm | All ages | 1st Floor 

Guatemalan Culture: Chinchines (Maracas)

The sonajas or maracas take on a different name in Guatemala, they are called chinchines! Join us, as we create our own version in multiple colors with textile patterns!

Tuesday – Thursday, December 19 – 21 | 11 am – 12:30 pm & 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm | Ages 5 & under | 3rd Floor

Scottish Culture: Tartan Accessories 

In Scottish tradition, tartan cloth accessories are woven in patterns of plaid. Tartan is often given as gifts and is synonymous with the symbol of clan kinship. Create an original, wearable tartan piece to give to a friend!

Friday – Sunday, December 22 – 24 | 10:30 am – 12:45 pm & 2 pm – 4:30 pm | All ages | 1st Floor

Ukrainian Culture: Vertep Christmas Stars

Did you know that December 25th is now a public holiday in western Ukraine? In celebration of the traditional Vertep, a portable puppet theatre which presents the nativity scene and other mystery plays, we will be designing a Christmas star! The Christmas star is held by children (star bearers) as a symbol of hope and joy!

Friday – Sunday, December 22 – 24 | 11 am – 12:30 pm & 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm | Ages 5 & under | 3rd Floor

Mexican Culture: Beeswax Candles

Many families in Mexico light candles and make wishes while eating 12 grapes at midnight for good luck. Join us as we make our own candles and enjoy grapes while sharing what we look forward to in the new year!

Friday & Saturday, December 29 – 30 | 10:30 am – 12:30 pm & 2 pm – 4:30 pm | All ages | 1st Floor

Latinx Culture: Lucky Luggage

Running around the room with an empty suitcase on New Year’s Eve is popular in Latin American countries, hoping to bring opportunities to travel in the coming year. Make a tiny luggage box, fill it with goals for the new year and bring out the wanderlust in you!

Friday & Saturday, December 29 – 30 |11 am – 12:30 pm & 2 pm – 3:45 pm | Ages 5 & under | 3rd Floor 

Filipino Culture: Polka Dot New Year’s Eve Hats

Wearing polka dots is thought to bring prosperity in the Philippines. Explore the endless fun of polka dots with a wearable dotted hat to ring in the new year!

Sunday, December 31 | 11 am – 12:30 pm & 2 pm – 3:45 pm | All ages | 3rd Floor 

*Programs subject to change

Public Programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation and The Nissan Foundation.

Children's Museum of Manhattan

The Tisch Building, 212 West 83rd Street, New York, NY 10024

The Childrens Museum of Manhattan is a steward of early childhood, helping all children grow and develop into their best selves. Through our programs on-site, online, and around the five boroughs, CMOM nurtures the next generation of creative global citizens as they learn through exploration and play. CMOM encourages empathy across difference by elevating and providing insight into diverse perspectives and inviting visitors of all backgrounds to join our intentionally welcoming community and create and learn alongside each other. The museum’s program reflects the rich cultural diversity, energy, and resilience of New York City itself and has a special focus on ensuring that its program is available to those families who might not otherwise have access.

Founded in 1973 as a neighborhood organization, CMOM has grown over the years into a beloved destination and resource for children, families, and educators from across the five boroughs and from around the world. The museum welcomes 350,000 visitors each year to its Upper West Side location and engages hundreds of thousands more through its outreach programs in partnership with schools, libraries, shelters, and Head Start centers throughout New York City; its touring exhibitions; and its online tools and curricula.


Photos are available for download at:

Press Contact: Michelle Tabnick, 646-765-4773,