University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology


photos of kids and crafts

PHILADELPHIA. PA 2017 — Smile and get into the holiday spirit—international-style—at the Penn Museum! Gather family and friends and head to the free 22nd annual Celebrations around the World holiday celebration Sunday, December 3, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Guests receive Museum “passports” with “itineraries” to visit various countries and discover festive holiday traditions such as Diwali, the Dragon-Boat Festival, Eid-al-Fitr, Ramadan and the Mid-Autumn Festival. Drum workshops, craft-making, Indian dance, sari wrapping, rangoli, Arabic writing and Islamic culture, storytelling, and live musical performances—plus elegant face painting and joyful balloon art—are all part of the festive day, held throughout the Museum's galleries.

“This joyful and distinctively international celebration is the Penn Museum’s holiday ‘gift’ to our community,” said Dr. Julian Siggers, Williams Director of the Penn Museum. “We open our doors in the spirit of cultural understanding and in the hope we all have for a world at peace.”

Passport to the World

Celebrations around the World begins as guests claim their “passports” upon entering the Museum, before “departing” on their world tour throughout the galleries from 12:00 noon to 3:30 pm. This year, guests can discover the cultural and holiday traditions of multiple countries, including, China, Kenya, the Netherlands, and India, along with the holiday traditions of Islam. Along the way, presenters share aspects of their countries’ holiday festivals, history, cuisine, and international traditions—and stamp guest passports. Passports stamped with four or more countries are entered in a raffle to win a family membership!

Activities Galore

Children from the Bharatiya Vidyalaya Cultural Center perform traditional dances from India at 12:30 pm. Michele Belluomini, from Bluedeer Storytelling: Magical Stories from Around the World, shares legends from various cultures at 1:00 pm. Music keeps the international theme lively with Joe Tayoun’s hands-on World Drumming Workshops, at 11:30 am and 2:00 pm. Penn Flutes—an all flute ensemble led by Michele Kelly—perform a selection of winter and holiday favorites, including songs from the Nutcracker and Vivaldi’s Winter, at 2:30 pm. Everyone is invited to travel around the world in song, with a children’s world music program by Daria at 3:30 pm.

Throughout the event, guests can stop by at a holiday craft make-and-take station to create paper suncatchers. From 1:00 to 3:30 pm, balloon artists from Family Fun Entertainment and face painters from Peanutbutter Inc, work their special magic for guests. Holiday treats for children are available at 1:30 pm, courtesy of CxRA (Catering by Restaurant Associates) at the Penn Museum, while supplies last!

In the Museum Shop

Just in time for holiday shopping, all visitors receive 10% off purchases in the Museum Shop on Sunday, December 3. Explore the Museum Shop to find jewelry, clothing and accessories, crafts, games, books, and more from around the world.

Schedule for the Day


  • 11:30 am: Instructional Drum Circle Workshop with acclaimed world-percussionist Joe Tayoun
  • 12:30 pm: Children’s Indian dance performance from the Bharatiya Vidyalaya Cultural Center
  • 1:00 pm: Storytelling presented by Michele Belluomini of Blue Deer Storytelling
  • 2:00 pm: Instructional Drum Circle Workshop with acclaimed world-percussionist Joe Tayoun
  • 2:30 pm: Holiday and winter music by Penn Flutes
  • 3:30 pm: Daria’s World Music for Children

Other Activites

  • 11:00 am - 4:00 pm: Get hands-on with craft activities for kids and families, and shop for gifts at the Penn Museum Shop, and from local vendors
  • 12:00 - 3:00 pm: Visit international and cultural stations to earn stamps for the Passport to Cultures
    • The Netherlands
    • India
    • China
    • Kenya
    • Judaism
    • Islam
  • 1:00 - 3:30 pm: Balloon animals by Family Fun Entertainment
  • 1:00 - 3:30 pm: Facepainting by Peanutbutter, Inc.
  • Free treats for children provided by CxRA (while supplies last)

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Discover a multitude of holiday traditions at the @pennmuseum’s FREE Celebrations around the World, Sun. Dec 3:

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Looking for a fun, many-cultured way to get into the holiday spirit? The Penn Museum offers a FREE "Celebrations around the World" holiday event Sunday, December 3, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, with music, dance, face painting, and holiday traditions from around the world.

The Penn Museum (the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 300 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage.

The Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (on Penn's campus, across from Franklin Field). Public transportation to the Museum is available via SEPTA's Regional Rail Line at University City Station; the Market-Frankford Subway Line at 34th Street Station; trolley routes 11, 13, 34, and 36; and bus routes 21, 30, 40, and 42. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and first Wednesdays of each month until 8:00 pm, with P.M. @ PENN MUSEUM evening programs offered. Closed Mondays and holidays. Admission donation is $15 for adults; $13 for senior citizens (65 and above); free for U.S. Military; $10 for children and full-time students with ID; free to Members, PennCard holders, and children 5 and younger.

Hot and cold meals and light refreshments are offered to visitors with or without Museum admission in The Pepper Mill Café; the Museum Shop offers a wide selection of gifts, books, games, clothing and jewelry. Penn Museum can be found on the web at For general information call 215.898.4000. For group tour information call 215.746.8183.

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