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If Santa’s scary, kids can visit with the museum mouse at Deck the Old City Hall

Visit with Wally the Museum Mouse from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays Dec. 2 and Dec. 9 as part of Deck the Old City Hall. Admission is by donation.
Visit with Wally the Museum Mouse from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays Dec. 2 and Dec. 9 as part of Deck the Old City Hall. Admission is by donation. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

If you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit, look no further than Whatcom Museum’s Deck the Old City Hall. From Nov. 24 to Dec. 31, Old City Hall will be decked for the holidays for its fifth annual celebration. More than 20 decorated trees will be on display, along with garlands, wreaths and more. There will be a variety of events to participate in as well, such as a holiday cocktail party and visits with Santa.

Admission to Deck the Old City Hall is by donation (regular admission applies to the Museum’s Lightcatcher building). The museum offers admission by donation as a seasonal gift to the community, so there’s no need to worry if your wallet is a little slim from holiday shopping. Proceeds from donations benefit museum programs and exhibitions.

Families interested in visiting with Santa can see him from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, and Sundays Nov. 26 and Dec. 3, in the Rotunda Room at Old City Hall. Visitors can take photos with Santa by the big holiday tree, and bring their wish lists to find out if they’ve been naughty or nice. This event is included with donation.

To kick off the month of December, the museum will host the Deck the Old City Hall Holiday Cocktail Party, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1. Guests can dress up for the evening and enjoy wine and appetizers, peruse the decorated building, and dance to the beats from the DJ’s playlist. The event is 21 and over, and tickets are $50 per person, available online at: brownpapertickets.com/event/3139702.

Lori Clough, Museum Advocates co-chair and a co-sponsor of the cocktail party said, “Many people come back (after the party) and bring their families the following week. That makes me feel like we are doing our part by showing off this iconic historical masterpiece that keeps our history and artifacts safe.” Lori adds that this will be her fourth year as a sponsor and she feels she and her husband are “making a difference one party at a time.”

A few other family-friendly activities include a children’s holiday tree for decorating, and visits with Wally the Museum Mouse, the beloved museum mascot. Take photos with this big, friendly mouse by the big holiday tree in the Rotunda Room from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays Dec. 2 or 9. This event is also included with donation.

The museum invites everyone from the community to visit Old City Hall, enjoy the decorations and exhibits, and get into the holiday spirit. Deck the Old City Hall is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays, Nov. 24 to Dec. 31, at Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. Admission is by donation.

Support the Whatcom Museum: The Whatcom Museum is a joint partnership between the non-profit Whatcom Museum Foundation and the City of Bellingham. Many of the exhibitions and programs, such as Deck the Old City Hall, are supported through the foundation, as well as from generous community support. The museum is participating in #GivingTuesday on Tuesday, Nov. 28. Donations can be made online at whatcommuseum.org/donate-now.

Colton Redtfeldt is Whatcom Museum’s marketing assistant.

Whatcom Museum

The non-profit Whatcom Museum is operated by the Whatcom Museum Foundation and the city of Bellingham. The Old City Hall building at 121 Prospect St. and the Lightcatcher Building at 250 Flora St. are open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays. The Family Interactive Gallery, located inside the Lightcatcher, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission, good for all sites in a day, is $10 general, $8 youth (6-17 years) and student, senior or military, $5 children (2-5 years). Memberships start at $50 and include free museum admission.

The museum offers a variety of programs and exhibitions about art, nature and Northwest history. Its collections contain more than 200,000 artifacts and art of regional importance, including a photographic archive. The museum is accredited nationally by the American Alliance of Museums and is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate.

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