Rock County Historical Society offers break from hectic holidays
JANESVILLE As if life isn't hectic enough, the holidays can make it even crazier.
That's why the Rock County Historical Society will provide a day of relaxing activities Saturday, Dec. 8, at its North Jackson Street campus, said Michael Reuter, executive director.
Programming will be in the historic Lincoln-Tallman House, 440 N. Jackson St., as well as in the Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center, 426 N. Jackson St., he said.
Those who attend may participate in one or all of the diverse activities, Reuter said.
"They are not required to come to all," he said.
Here's what's happening:
1. Maestro Mouse: This Beloit Janesville Symphony mascot will welcome visitors between 10 a.m. and noon at museum.
2. Gingerbread Challenge. This event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. will kick off the day's festivities and invites families and youth groups to build gingerbread houses on tables set up in the lower level of the museum while holiday music plays.
Participants should pick up a registration form that outlines the contest rules before Saturday and bring their gingerbread kit with them to the challenge.
Up to 25 groups can compete with a chance to win $25 and $50 gift certificates to Chuck E Cheese. Entries will be displayed in the museum, and winners will be announced at 1 p.m.
"It's a way to bring more families and children to our campus and all about families working together to do something fun," Reuter said.
3. "Snowmen" film showings. The historical society and Beloit International Film Festival have teamed up to show "Snowmen" at 3 and 5 p.m. in the lower gallery of the museum, which has seats for 70. The film is a funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story about three unlikely heroes and the winter that changed their lives forever.
Admission is $3 for adults and free for children and historical society members. Refreshments will be available to buy.
"The events are very low priced or free for families to get the kids away from the house and to do something relaxing together," Reuter said.
4. Expanded Twilight Tours of the Lincoln-Tallman House. Tours at 4 and 7 p.m. cost $10 for adults, $5 for children 6 to 18 and are free for historical society members.
Volunteers will be present at nine different stations in the mansion to demonstrate Victorian crafts and holiday customs, which are new this year, Reuter said.
5. Storyteller Rob Tomaro. The Beloit Janesville Symphony conductor will share stories of Christmases past in the Lincoln-Tallman House.
"He's a great storyteller and will be narrating traditional holiday stories," Reuter said.
Admission for these self-guided tours cost $10 for adults and $5 for children 6 to 18, including historical society members.
6. Holiday station. Guests can have pictures taken with Father Christmas or alone in Santa's sleigh in the upper gallery of the museum.
There also will be a custom gift-wrapping and holiday card station where you can get gifts wrapped and cards made.
"We're trying to insert a day of activities when families can break away from the hectic nature of putting up a tree and shopping," Reuter said. "It's the calm before the storm of a bunch of family coming into town."