Oh Tannenbaum, Oh Tannenbaum

Today we are highlighting the Federal Republic of Germany.

The tradition of decorating Christmas trees first began in 1419 in Freiburg, Germany. The custom was brought to North America by German-speaking immigrants in the 18th century. The German Christmas tree or Tannenbaum is traditionally decorated with straw stars, glass ornaments, wooden angels, nutcrackers, tinsel, candles and sweets.

DSC_4831 Germany 300x300.jpgThe Tannenbaum is usually decorated on Christmas Eve (December 24) and taken down on Three Kings’ Day (January 6), at which time children can raid the tree for the chocolate and marzipan treats.

Learn more about Winter Wonderland.

Winter Wonderland is open daily, from 10am – 5pm. Fernbank Museum will be closed Tuesday, December 25 for Christmas. On Monday, December 31, 2018, Fernbank Museum will open at 12:30pm due to the museum’s ticketed family event, Noon Year’s Eve. The Giant Screen Theater resumes its normal schedule at 1pm.

Lead support for cultural learning provided by Nissan Foundation.

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December 22, 2018 at 7:13 pm Leave a comment

A Little Bit of Argentina in Atlanta

Today’s Winter Wonderland highlight is a display representing Argentina.

In many places and cultures across the globe, Christmas is the time of year when family and friends gather. It is a time to give and share with one another and a time for love.

DSC_4797 Argentina 1280x720

The ornaments adorning this tree were hand-made by children from the Argentinian community of Atlanta. They were designed as a means of sharing their culture and traditions during this important holiday and as a way of celebrating their “Argentinity.”

Fun Fact: Fernbank’s Giants of the Mesozoic features two dinosaurs discovered in Patagonia, Argentina.

Lead support for cultural learning provided by Nissan Foundation.

December 20, 2018 at 6:10 pm Leave a comment

Winter Wonderland Exhibit Highlight

Today’s Winter Wonderland highlight is a display representing Israel.

The Hanukkiot or Menorah is a symbol of Hanukkah, also called Festival of Lights. Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in 164 BCE following the Jewish victory over the Greek-Macedonian army. The eight lights of the Hanukkiot represent the eight days the Temple’s flame stayed lit with only a drop of oil.

DSC_4840 Israel

A group of students from The Democratic School of Hadera created these Hanukkiot with the theme of “freedom of choice.” At this progressive public school, students and teachers work together as equals to enact the school’s rules, managing its daily operation and settling disputes between community members.

Visit us online for more information on Winter Wonderland and other holiday opportunities.

Want a break from winter? How about a trip to the Great Barrier Reef?

Lead support for cultural learning provided by Nissan Foundation.

December 18, 2018 at 7:18 pm Leave a comment

‘Tis the Season for Celebrations

Fernbank’s annual holiday-inspired exhibit, Winter Wonderland, features 25 decorated trees and displays highlighting the diversity of celebrations, holidays, traditions and events from around the world.

DSC_4792 Italy SquareToday’s highlighted display is from Italy. The Christmas season in Italy officially begins on December 8, the day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Throughout Italian cities decorations are placed on the streets as well as in homes. Huge Christmas trees can be found in the main piazza’s along with Christmas markets. The eight days before Christmas are known as the Novena and are filled with carolers singing traditional songs in their neighborhoods. Many Italians head to midnight mass after celebrating their family dinner. The official end to the season is January 6, the day of the Epiphany.

Winter Wonderland is on view daily through January 6, 2019.

Lead support for cultural learning provided by Nissan Foundation.

December 14, 2018 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

It’s Blooming Time in Fernbank Forest

Spring brings a sea of color to Fernbank Forest. This 65-acre old-growth forest with a high diversity of many types of plants, including dozens of different species of native wildflowers. The yearly display of wildflowers peaks in the spring, filling the forest with vibrant blooms of color in February and March, sunlight easily streams through the canopy while trees are still leafless, coaxing the ephemeral wildflowers up from beneath the surface of the soil.

They emerge quickly and bloom for just a few weeks, enjoying the longer days and abundant sunshine. Soon after blooming they (hopefully) get pollinated and set their seed, then vanish back to their roots, not to be seen again until next year.

March and April are often the highlight of spring wildflower season, but Fernbank Forest generally has at least one species blooming from February through November—so keep your eyes on the ground throughout the year and you’re likely to see something new each visit.

Early Spring Wildflowerswildflowers copy
Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis
Spicebush Lindera benzoin
Spring beauty Claytonia virginica
Violets Viola spp.
Trout lily Erythronium spp.
Toothwort Cardamine angustata
Sweet betsy trillium Trillium cuneatum
Wild geranium Geranium maculatum

Mid-Spring Wildflowers
Oconee bells Shortia galacifolia
Redbud Cercis canadensis
Yellow trillium Trillium luteum
Star chickweed Stellaria pubera
Nodding trillium Trillium rugelii
Sweetshrub Calycanthus floridus
Foamflower Tiarella cordifolia
Pawpaw Asimina parviflora
Pale yellow trillium Trillium discolor
Doll’s eyes Actaea pachypoda

Late Spring Wildflowers
Tuliptree Liriodendron tulipifera
Umbrella magnolia Magnolia tripetala
Rain lily Zephyranthes atamasca
Solomon’s seal Polygonatum biflorum
Partridgeberry Mitchella repens
Indian Pink Spigelia marilandica

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for photos of this year’s wildflowers.

Guided tours of Fernbank Forest are offered regularly. Visit our calendar of events for details.

March 15, 2018 at 1:16 pm Leave a comment

Solar Eclipse Activities

Today’s Schedule of Events

Monday, August 21, 2017

Happy Eclipse Day! We are happy to announce the following special programming:

Special Giveaway: The first 300 people to purchase a Value Pass at the Box Office will receive a FREE social eclipse viewer.*

NASA Eclipse Live Feedfile-5
Noon – 4pm, Francis Wood Wilson Foundation Theater – Lower Level
Watch the live stream from NASA as the solar eclipse moves across the country.
Please note the live stream could be affected by overwhelming demand on the NASA server.

Solar Eclipse Viewing
1pm – 4pm, Dinosaur Plaza
View the solar eclipse with your own NASA-approved glasses or watch on our Sun Gun (pictured) viewing screen.
1:05 Partial Eclipse Begins | 2:36 Maximum Eclipse | 4:01 Partial Eclipse Ends
Weather dependent: Clouds affect Sun Gun view-ability.

Pinhole Viewers
10am – 4pm, Greeter Station and 1-4pm Dinosaur Plaza
Fernbank will distribute pinhole cards, which allow guests to watch the eclipse indirectly and safely without special solar lenses. Available while supplies last!

Learn more about ways to safely view the eclipse
Become a Fernbank Museum member
More fun and educational programming at Fernbank

*Giveaway limited to the first 300 Value Passes purchased. Valid for in-person purchases at the Box Office only. Not valid with phone or online orders. While supplies last only. Value Pass tickets are $26 for adults, $24 for seniors, $22 for children and $8 for members. Solar viewers may not be purchased separately; our Museum Store is completely sold out of its stock of solar glasses and viewers.

August 21, 2017 at 2:44 pm Leave a comment

Amphibian Surveying in Fernbank Forest

Fernbank Museum scientists have been participating in the Metro Atlanta Amphibian Monitoring Program, hosted by the Atlanta Botanical Garden. This program is meant to gather a baseline and monitor amphibian populations throughout the Metro Atlanta area as a long term study of wetland health and to identify areas in need of restoration. Each month, scientists spend several hours in Fernbank Forest looking for and counting salamanders and frogs as well as listening for frog calls after sunset.



Learn more about Fernbank Forest.

Come face-to-face with a variety of amphibians and reptiles at Fernbank’s annual Reptile Day on Saturday, July 8.

May 30, 2017 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

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About

At Fernbank Museum, there’s much more than dinosaurs and giant-screen films. Even with our website, e-newsletters, Facebook pages and Twitter updates, there’s still a lot we’d like to share with you. This blog is an opportunity for the people that keep Fernbank running and constantly expanding, to share stories from their point of view. We hope you’ll enjoy these first-hand, behind-the-scenes glimpses of what goes into keeping a world-class natural history museum running. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on these stories, to hear your personal experiences and hear any suggestions for topics. Happy reading!