museum

A family looks through galleries at the Bennington Museum.

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BENNINGTON — Youngsters are invited to take pictures with Santa, do their own holiday shopping and celebrate creativity at Bennington Museum this weekend.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, the museum, 75 Main St., will host its first Family Day since 2019. The theme for this year’s event is: “Snowflake” Bentley, which is the nickname for Wilson Alwyn Bentley, the first person known to take detailed photographs of snowflakes.

“He was the first person to come out and say, ‘hey, I haven’t seen any two that are alike,’” said Deana Mallory, the museum’s director of public programs.

The theme is connected to an end of the year exhibition called “Transient Beauty: Responding to Snowflake Bentley,” on display at the museum through Dec. 31. Local artists responded to the theme using various media, and schoolchildren in the community were invited to make their own creations using a wooden snowflake. The adults’ creations can be purchased via auction, and those who donate $1 to the museum can be entered to win one of the children’s creations.

There are a few slots available for a children’s shopping boutique, where those between the ages of approximately 4 and 12 are invited to do their own holiday shopping with the help of volunteers.

“It’s really sweet. The children kind of love being able to get presents for their parents without their parents knowing what they’re getting,” Mallory said. She said many youth who have grown out of the shopping program are now volunteers.

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Space at the holiday shopping boutique is limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sign-ups are on the museum website.

Local artist Rhonda Ratray, who has paintings in the end-of-the-year exhibit, also tries to attend Family Day as a guest.

“My daughter loves the children’s market, and it’s a great day to check out the exhibits,” Ratray said.

Family Day also includes the sale of baked goods and hot chocolate. Proceeds help support next year’s Family Day.

Admission to Family Day is $3. Children who bring a donation to Greater Bennington Interfaith Council will be admitted free. Items specifically requested include canned food items with pop-tops, dried fruits and holiday dinner items. A full list of requested items is on the museum’s website.


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