Norwegian Christmas

December 3, 2016

This lively day of Scandinavian holiday traditions, crafts, music, movies, and treats is a fun family event that happens on the first Saturday of December each year. Sponsored by Duane and Eileen Bruening.

Children receive free admission!

Some highlights from pervious years include:

  • Juletrefest, when young and old join hands and sing Christmas songs while they circle around the tree and hear about Christmas in Norway. Come early for storytime!

  • Julenisse, the Christmas elf, who might bring treats to visitors.

  • Julebukker, costumed folk who roam the museum complex scaring away evil spirits.

  • Are you excited about Disney’s film “Frozen”? Search for life-size cutouts of Olaf, Sven, Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff in the museum, try on “Frozen” inspired costumes, and take your picture with your favorite character. Vesterheim will also have a kubbestol, a traditional Norwegian chair, for you to have your picture taken with in front of a Norwegian landscape mural.

  • Hands-on ornament making for children, including woven paper heart baskets.

  • Enjoy the holiday atmosphere of Vesterheim’s campus with free activities outside the museum. We’ll have pepparkakor cookies and Norwegian chocolate for making Scandinavian-style s’mores to enjoy with hot cider.

  • Demonstrations of folk art.

  • Vesterheim’s Kaffistova (coffee shop) will offer an á la carte menu of traditional tastes including varme pølse, pea soup, sweet soup, lefse, rømmegrøt, julekake, pepparkakor, rosettes, krumkake, kringle, and sandbakkels. Serving 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Vesterheim’s Bethania Church on North Mill St.

  • Vesterheim’s “Gingerbread Fair” will be on view during the celebration. Stop by to see creative gingerbread creations by area community members. Gingerbread creations have had a long tradition in Scandinavia and Europe and the tradition continues to the present day. If you’d like to display your gingerbread creation next year, contact the museum.

  • Mini-concerts in Vesterheim’s Bethania Church by several Decorah-area musicians and vocal groups, including the Decorah Chorale, the Decorah High School Madrigals, Northern Lights, and Luren Singers. A Touch of Brass will perform in the museum’s Ship Gallery.

Find an album of pictures from the most recent Norwegian Christmas here.