December 2017 Programs at the American Museum of Natural History main content.

December 2017 Programs at the American Museum of Natural History

by AMNH on

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The holidays are here, and you’re invited to celebrate with us here at the Museum!

See our Origami Holiday Tree, on view this year in a new location in the Astor Turret, just off the Hall of Primitive Mammals on the fourth floor. The spectacular 13-foot display features models inspired by our newest exhibition Our Senses: An Immersive Experience, including optical illusions, balancing figures, eyes, bats, and more.

Visitors 7 years old and above can meet scientist Nisa Beceriklisoy in the Discovery Room on Saturday, December 2, to learn how the Museum’s Ambrose Monell Cryo Collection of frozen tissues helps to preserve important genetic information from many species, from bald eagles to humpback whales.

Want to learn the scientific secrets of magic? Join master illusionist Apollo Robbins and neuroscientists Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde to find out firsthand how your senses can be fooled in a special presentation on Tuesday, December 5

And before the year ends, join us on Saturday, December 30, for the Museum’s annual Kwanzaa 2017 celebration. This year’s event will feature a performance by the gospel-infused a cappella group The Persuasions, and a marketplace showcasing local artisans. 


See what else is coming up at the Museum this December:

Origami Holiday Tree: Unfolding the Senses

Through Sunday, January 7

*Free for Members or with Museum admission

The Origami Holiday Tree returns, this year on the fourth floor with models inspired by the new special exhibition, Our Senses.  Learn more >


Weekend Drop-In Sessions in the Sackler Educational Lab

Saturday and Sunday afternoons

*Free for Members or with Museum admission

Talk to a scientist, handle fossil casts, and more in this hands-on space in the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins.  Learn more >


Meet the Scientist

Saturday, December 2

*Free for Members or with Museum admission

Bring children ages 7 and up to a fascinating encounter in the Discovery Room with Nisa Beceriklisoy of the Museum's frozen-tissue lab.  Learn more >


Hall Tour: Hidden Treasures

Saturday, December 2

*Members Only


On this guided tour, learn how the Museum acquired some of its rarest and most beloved treasures.  Learn more >




Member Double Discount Days

Sunday, December 3–Saturday, December 9

*Members Only

Save 20 percent on purchases in Museum stores and the online shop, and get ahead on holiday shopping!  Learn more >



Secrets from the Ocean: How Ancient Fossils Help Us Understand Climate Change

Saturday, December 3

Join other 10- to 13-year-olds, accompanied by a guardian, for an afternoon of socializing, snacks, and hanging out with Museum researcher James Witts.  Learn more >



Origami Fun Folding Sessions

Sunday, December 3

*Discounted for Members

Choose from classes at all levels and learn the art of paper folding from highly skilled teachers from OrigamiUSA.  Learn more >


Master's Program in Teaching Earth Science: Open House

Sunday, December 3, and Saturday, January 6

Find out all about the Museum's 15-month paid Master of Arts in Teaching program and how to apply. Includes meeting faculty and a behind-the-scenes tour.  Learn more >


Gateway Storytime

Mondays, December 4, 11, and 18

*Free for Members or with Museum admission

Treat children ages 2 to 5 to an enchanting story hour in the Discovery Room.  Learn more >


The Neuroscience of Illusion

Tuesday, December 5

*Discounted for Members


Explore perception versus reality with master illusionist Apollo Robbins and neuroscientists Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde.  Learn more >


Frontiers Lecture: The Zoomable Universe

Wednesday, December 6

Enjoy cocktails and conversation with curator Joel Cracraft as he draws from his experiences in tropical forests to outline challenges ahead.  Learn more >


A Night at the Museum Sleepover for Grown-ups

Saturday, December 9

*Discounted for Members

Enjoy a champagne reception, after-hours access to the popular exhibition Our Senses: An Immersive Experience, and more at this sleepover for grown-ups.  Learn more >


Celebrating Cephalopods

Sunday, December 10

*Free for Members or with Museum admission

Learn about these marine marvels through performances, presentations, and live animal encounters.  Learn more >


Frontiers Lecture: Demystifying Black Holes

Monday, December 11

*Discounted for Members


Physicists Steven Gubser and Frans Pretorius use creative thought experiments to explain the fantastical properties of black holes. Book signing follows.  Learn more >


Discovery Room: Holiday Hours

Tuesday, December 26–Saturday, December 30

*Free for Members or with Museum admission

Bring children of all ages to these hands-on environment mornings, as well as afternoons, during the public-school holiday break.  Learn more >


Astronomy Live: Astronomical Calendar

Tuesday, December 26

*Discounted for Members

Hear Ted Williams and Irene Pease share the anticipated celestial highlights of 2018.  Learn more >


Kwanzaa 2017

Saturday, December 30

*Discounted for Members

Celebrate the day with live musical performances, an overview of Kwanzaa principles, a marketplace showcasing local artisans, and more.  Learn more >


Walk on the Wild Side

Wednesdays, January 10—February 28

*Members Only

Enjoy a brisk morning walk through Museum halls, followed by breakfast in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals.  Learn more >


A Night at the Museum Sleepover

Friday, January 5

Looking for the perfect gift? Treat children ages 6 to 13 to a sleepover at the Museum!  Learn more >