While we may be celebrating the season differently this year, there are plenty of exhibits to get us into the holiday spirit.

From Norman Rockwell’s vacation-themed Saturday Evening Post covers to “Decking the Halls” at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, there are a variety of exhibits across the region that will do the trick.

Norman Rockwell Museum
Stockbridge, Massachusetts

From heartwarming scenes of homecoming to comedic scenes of children discovering Santa’s secret, no one has captured the holidays like illustrator Norman Rockwell. Some of the classic images of Rockwell will be available in the “323 Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post” covers at the museum.

The museum will also be home to its Stockbridge Miniature Winter Village and Toy Train, with over 20 small-scale replicas of the architecturally remarkable buildings in downtown Stockbridge, which Rockwell has portrayed. The illustrator’s original painting on Main Street will be on display and a video tour is available through the museum’s app.

Visitors are also encouraged to view the wishing tree on the front terrace of the museum and write a wish to hang on the tree. To visit and purchase tickets in advance, visit nrm.org.

Albany Institute of History and Art

This long-standing museum is starting a new tradition and carrying on a few others this holiday season.

It will offer an ephemeral outdoor exhibition featuring archival photos and images of winter scenes and themes. A 1912 photograph shows people ice skating in Washington Park. The exhibit is placed along Washington Avenue and can be viewed both inside and outside of museum hours until January 3.

Inside, the Institute has been decorated with classic holiday decor, and traditional dioramas by artist and children’s book author Joan Steiner will be on display throughout. Some feature holiday scenes such as “The Nutcracker”, made with unexpected objects like mini candy canes and recorders. There is also a treasure hunt to accompany the exhibit, which will run until February 21.

The Albany Institute is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Timed tickets are encouraged and can be purchased up to 24 hours in advance online. For more information, visit albanyinstitute.org.

More Celebrate 2020

Fenimore Art Museum

The museum, known for showcasing folk art among other genres, continues its winter tradition with “Decking the Halls”.

The exhibition features a selection of holiday ornaments, cards, music and photographs, which reflect the legend of Santa Claus and the origins of some Christmas carols. It will also present the writings of Susan Fenimore Cooper, which deal with local traditions of villagers dating back to the 1840s. The exhibition runs until the end of the year.

For more information, visit fenimoreart.org.

Ten Broeck Mansion

The Albany County Historical Association offers tours of its festively decorated home, the Ten Broeck Mansion.

The mansion was built in 1798 for Abraham and Elizabeth Ten Broeck. ACHA received the mansion as a gift from the Olcott family in 1948, and the museum site spans nearly four acres, including gardens and a gallery.

The ACHA organizes tours on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 2:30 p.m. until December 20.

Tours will include stories about past vacations and the history of the mansion. Advance tickets are required and all visitors must wear a mask and practice social distancing.

ACHA will also have free ornamental kits to take away from the educational kiosk in the outdoor garden. Children can bring the ornaments they create to hang on the community tree at the mansion.

A pop-up porch sale with wreaths and other locally made goods will be held at the mansion from noon to 3 p.m. until December 20. For more information, visit tenbroeckmansion.org.

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