Eyeballs, Fruitcake and Confetti Fill Up December at Richmond’s Quirkiest Museum
Science Museum of Virginia Celebrates the Holidays by Launching Things in the Name of Science
The Science Museum of Virginia’s December events have something in common: all include launching something in the name of science.
On Friday, Dec. 15, the Museum hosts the last Science After Dark of 2017. To summarize the year of science, innovation and fun, and in honor of Ralphie’s epic shot from the 1983 classic holiday film "A Christmas Story," the Museum is breaking out eye-themed activities and demonstrations. Guests can watch Museum educators dissect cow eyes, create "A Christmas Story"-themed crafts and try to win prizes by catching ping pong balls launched across the rotunda during the Bernoulli Blower Ping Pong Ball Extravaganza. Weather permitting, the Richmond Astronomical Society will be on the front lawn with telescopes letting guests use their eyeballs to stargaze at the cosmos.
Special all-live Cosmic Expeditions recapping the year in space news will happen at 6:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. "A Christmas Story" is showing in The Dome at 8 p.m. Admission to Science After Dark is $10, which includes Museum exhibits and one Dome Feature (either a Cosmic Expedition or "A Christmas Story"). Additional Dome features are $5. Food and drinks, including craft beer, are available for purchase in the Periodic Table Café.
Continuing the tradition of the Museum conducting quirky experiments on fruitcake each December for nearly a decade, Fruitcake Science returns Dec. 26–30. During that week, daily demonstrations will take place on the holiday treat everyone loves to hate. Museum educators will freeze fruitcake with liquid nitrogen, burn it with a blow torch, shock it with electricity and drop it down a zip line. Plus, guests can see the Museum’s special fruitcake collection which includes a fruitcake that launched to space and back, one that traveled directly from Buckingham Palace and new this year, a Virginia-shaped fruitcake recently baked by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Fruitcake Science demonstrations happen throughout the day each of the five days following Christmas in the Museum’s lab spaces. Guests can check the schedule posted on the Museum’s website for the exact times each day. Fruitcake Science is included with Museum admission.
Lastly the Museum is sending 2017 out with a bang with the family-favorite Noon Year’s Eve. On Sunday, Dec. 31, guests who can’t (or don’t want to) stay up until midnight are invited to ring in the new year early. The Museum opens at 9:30 a.m. so guests can count down to noon with an unconventional ball drop. Starting at 10 a.m., guests can make wearable decorations and noisemakers to prepare for the noon-time celebration. There will be a dance party, a marshmallow structure building station, a wish wand craft area and a huge banner for writing resolutions.
At noon, dropped from several stories above the crowd, 2,018 bouncy balls along with tons of paper streamers will bring the Museum’s rotunda to life. Then the excited crowd can celebrate the (almost) beginning of 2018 with an apple juice toast. To conclude the event, there is a liquid nitrogen ping pong ball explosion science demonstration on the front lawn at 1 p.m. Noon Year’s Eve is included with Museum admission.
To find out how you can catch some of the fun this December, visit smv.org.
About the Science Museum of Virginia
The mission of the Science Museum of Virginia is to inspire Virginians to enrich their lives through science. Through hundreds of experiential exhibits, awe-inspiring artifacts and interactive technologies, the Museum presents dynamic science programming to hundreds of thousands of guests each year. The Richmond-based museum is home to three floors of interactive exhibits, The Dome theater – the largest movie screen in Virginia – and proudly hosts dynamic traveling exhibitions from around the world. Learn more at www.smv.org.
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