Archive for December, 2018

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.


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


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!