December 1-31, 2020
All five of the Springfield Museums and more!
The Springfield Museums cannot wait to share Grinchmas with visitors this year! The Museums are offering a number of holiday adventures—from games, crafts and exhibits to costume characters. December 1-31, A Grinchmas Game for the Tall and the Small presents a series of Grinch-themed puzzles to solve that will bring visitors all over the campus (like an escape room). The gingerbread exhibit—which is open November 27, 2020-January 3, 2021—offers an immersive gallery experience with Gingerbread in Wonderland. And Beep and Greet with the Grinch and with Santa—December 11 and 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm—shares hearty hellos from beloved characters while visitors drive by in their cars. This year especially, the Springfield Museums hope each and all of us feel our hearts grow three sizes!
“Our Grinchmas is all about JOY!” said Family Engagement Coordinator Jenny Powers. Powers and her team have been hard at work crafting a unique Grinchy game. “We created a game families can play together over one day or several days, exploring our five museums and all the wonder-filled things inside the galleries, all knit together with a Grinch theme,” she said. “So get out your How the Grinch Stole Christmas books! You’ll need to know your facts!”
And while the Family Engagement team is challenging visitors with escape-room-like puzzles, Laura Sutter, The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Program Coordinator, is festooning every Seussian space with Grinchy decorations, themes, crafts, and activities. “December is all Grinchmas at the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss!” Sutter said. “I really love this time of year!”
Staff enthusiasm doesn’t stop within the walls of the Museums, the Family Engagement Team is offering a Beep and Greet experience in the parking lot on Edwards Street. This is an opportunity for families in cars to wave from a social distance to the Grinch and to Santa. “We figure this is an excellent way to share Grinchy joy while also keeping safe,” Powers said. Each family receives one free book per car and one Grinch-themed craft per child. Children will also have an opportunity to drop off a letter to Santa. Hot chocolate and popcorn will be available for a fee. “And maybe folks will go from visiting the Grinch to Bright Nights,” Powers added, referring to the popular holiday lights event in Forest Park put on annually by the Spirit of Springfield.
The Beep and Greet will run for Friday, December 11 and Saturday, December 12, from 5:30-7:30 pm. We are sorry that the Museums will have to turn cars away after 7:15 pm.
And the icing of the cake, so to speak, is Gingerbread in Wonderland, the Museums’ annual gingerbread exhibit. There will be 25 gingerbread creations—many of which are inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and many with a traditional holiday theme—constructed by local bakeries, schools, adults and kids.
In addition to viewing the exhibit, visitors will have a chance to vote for their favorites, said Larissa Murray, Director of Education and coordinator of the gingerbread exhibit. Voting for the visitors’ choice awards will continue throughout the run of the exhibit. “In January, we will announce the first, second and third place winners and mail out prizes provided in part by our generous sponsor, Tea Guys – a perfect fit for our tea party theme!” Murray said.
The Museums are also ready to help all who are remote learning with a Grinch-themed, digital program. Perfect for families as well as teachers, the Museums’ educational and interactive “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” program pack is a Google Slides-based lesson that includes literacy and art activities, all while embracing the fun of The Grinch!
And for those who want to extend their visit to the Museums or those who are not quite ready yet to go out, the Family Engagement Team offers a variety of at-home activity kits by mail, available for sale on our online store. The Grinchmas Activity Kit is filled with official Dr. Seuss merchandise in addition to craft supplies and instructions.
“It meant a lot to the Springfield Museums staff to offer an engaging holiday celebration,” said Kay Simpson, President and CEO of the Museums. “We are so grateful to our visitors for bringing us all such joy!”
Beep and Greet sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of Springfield.