Thank-You-Thursday: Our Amazing Supporters!

As the Children’s Museum at La Habra has tried to navigate this unprecedented time, there is one thing we are constantly reminded of: that our community has our back. We’ve gone from completely closed to open to slightly open to closed once again and there has never been a shortage of people asking, “what’s next?”.

Throughout this time, we’ve had people show up and show out for the Museum. We are grateful for every DM, every email, every Facebook comment, every call to the Museum. Each question and comment from our community is a light amidst darkness that reminds us of our mission: to provide valuable learning opportunities for the families in our community.

As many of you know, we have done several things throughout these few months to engage Museum-goers and learning enthusiasts alike. From free kits to Daily Play Passes for outside play, we are thankful to those who have continued to engage with us and ask, “what’s next?”

This is a thank you to all of you who have supported us throughout this time. We are grateful for your patience, your willingness to support your local Museum, and your enthusiasm in learning with your little one.

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We thank every family who has come to pick up a kit from us. The challenge to pivot our entire model of community engagement was a big one and we were met with love, kindness, and appreciation!

 

 

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We thank our members who showed up on our first day open, eager to play. With a totally new way of doing things, we were nervous to re-open. We were greeted with smiles (underneath masks, of course), questions, and kindness. What a day!

 

 

 

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We thank every family that has come to pick up our free kits! Our pride and joy is providing resources to all of our local families.

 

 

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Thank you to our Play Pass families who have made our hearts soar with the possibilities of what we can do in this new day and age!

 

 

 

We are constantly overwhelmed by the support we have gotten from Members, guests, and newcomers alike. Words cannot describe the  gratitude in our hearts for each and every community member who has extended their time, energy, and resources into celebrating our Museum.

With love,
The Children’s Museum at La Habra

See You Soon!

In anticipation of our re-opening, we asked guests and some staff members to submit photos about what they are most excited about when our Museum re-opens! We were so happy to get their feedback and share it with you all! See their answers below and use the comment section to write your own memories!

“The train room is our favorite, we can’t wait for the timer to restart! But we also love the bus and carousel! We can’t wait to get back!” – Charlene Ruan

 

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“Me and my 2-year old love every part of the museum, be it the fruits n vegetable station, pretend play area, harvesting and the wide range of animals especially the dinos. He just loves them.” – Pragya Sharma

 

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“My name is Jennifer Andrade, the Visitor Services Coordinator at the Children’s Museum at La Habra. I am extremely excited to hear the laughter of children fill our museum again!!! Also, I am really excited for our guests to check out our new Changing Gallery Exhibit, American Native: First Nations Tales!!”

“We are so excited for the carousel to open, our little ones absolutely love it!” — Lilly Lopez

 

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I really miss seeing families playing together and the spark in parents eyes as they watch their children.  It is so rewarding to get a “thank you so much” from parents for an experience we provided and allowing them to make memories together as family with their little ones.  It reminds me of when I was a young mom and how I cherished learning together with my little ones! ❤ — Assistant Director, Maria Tinajero-Dowdle

We are so excited to welcome our members, guests, volunteers, and community members back into the Museum. It has been an honor to serve you all digitally and we will continue to do so even after our re-opening! Stay tuned for an important message tomorrow about our re-opening schedule and all the information you need to come play at CMLH!

Resources to Support Social-Emotional Learning in Your Child

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Letters, colors, numbers, and. . . empathy? When we think about early childhood learning, beginning skills like numbers, the alphabet, language, and motor development (muscle control) might be what come to mind. However, there’s another area that is just as important- social/emotional development. As anyone with a toddler knows, small children can have BIG FEELINGS- and that’s a part of the amazing brain development that happens in the first few years of life. Empathy, self-control, patience, and attachment are all a part of this type of learning, and form the foundation for ANY kind of development that follows!
We Are Teachers has some great activities to help your child recognize and give name to their feelings. How cute is the feelings scale?

First 5 California has some great advice on parenting during COVID-19. Even though California and other states are “opening up” businesses, many families are still spending a lot of time at home in our new normal. First 5 California has some wonderful resources to support parents as well as children in their social/emotional needs.

The National Association for the Education of Young People has some great resources as well. We love the reminder that non-verbal cues (eye contact and facial expression, for example) and modeling behavior are effective ways to interact with young children.

We hope these links can serve as a starting point in learning about social-emotional development in your child. Do you have a question or a tried and true method for guiding the emotional growth of your child? Please share with us in the comments!

We’re Better Together: What We Can Do At Home to Stop Racism.

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With our hearts heavy with current events, we found it necessary to compile a list of resources for parents and educators to facilitate positive, constructive conversations around racism, discrimination, and intentional action.

As an organization, the Children’s Museum at La Habra proudly uplifts diverse voices to enrich cultural understanding in our community through programming, gallery content, art, and more. We see every day as an opportunity to spread kindness, love, and quality educational opportunities to every person in our local and global community.

Please see the non-exhaustive list below to find ways to address racism with the little ones all around you.

With love,
The Children’s Museum at La Habra

 

Honoring the work of Jacque Tahuka-Nuñez, we are excited to feature her play, Journeys to the Past, which you can find:

HERE!

Jacque Tahuka-Nuñez is an Educator and person of Acjachemen Descendent. Jacque is a world famous storyteller who is enriches the lives of all people by storytelling and sharing indigenous history. We honor Jacque’s work and encourage others to listen and learn. We have posted this today to enrich cultural understanding around Indigenous people and their histories and educate children, families, and caretakers.

For more information on Jacque’s work, visit her website here: Here.

Facilitating conversions for both parents and educators:

How to Talk to Kids, Early an Often, about Race by Jessica Grosse

Click here to access “How to Talk to Kids About Race”.

NAEYC, Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves, Second Edition

Click here to access NAEYC Anti-Bias Education.

Parent Toolkit, “How to Talk to Kids About Race and Racism”

Click here to access the Parent Toolkit.

Are Your Kids Too Young to Talk About Race?

Click here to access “Are Your Kids Too Young to Talk About Race?”

What Can We Do as Parents?

Click here to access “What Can We Do As Parents?”

 

Book readings:

PBS Live book reading this Friday, 6/5/2020 with Christian Robinson, author of “You Matter”

Click here to access PBS Book Reading of “You Matter” by Christian Robinson.

 

Book lists/recommendations:

PBS Book List (PBS is constantly updating with suggestions)

Click here to access PBS Book List.

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

Click here for “Ada Twist, Scientist” by Andrea Beaty

The Conscious Kid Patreon ($1 per month access)

Click here to access The Conscious Kid.

 

Family Game Week

Hi there! Thank you to everyone who has been following along with this week’s theme, Family Game Week! We love games as a way to play together as a family while having fun. But did you ever stop to think of the learning that’s happening while playing games? Counting, patterns, observing, and making predictions are essential STEM skills that are also part of game play.

We thought we’d start with a simple game of bingo. Here’s a link to the bingo cards that were distributed to the museum. You’ll also need to print the bingo call sheet.

Children’s Museum Bingo Cards 

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If you’d like to play at home, print out the cards (there are 8 different designs) and make sure that each person playing has a different design. You’ll also need a bingo “marker” to cover the number that is covered on your card- we like using pennies or small squares of construction paper. Also print the bingo call sheet- cut out the letter/numbers and put them in a hat or basket for the bingo caller to pick. The first person to make fill their squares in up, down, or across is the winner- Bingo!

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CHALK

Sidewalk chalk play is familiar to a lot of children and their caregivers. It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and tactile. Take your chalk play to the next level by drawing a “sidewalk maze” and having your child walk along it. Ask your child to draw different shapes or lines, which builds their motor skills while reinforcing shape recognition. Drawing patterns (circle, square, circle) also reinforces math and observational skills. You can use your chalk in classic games like hopscotch, or create your own games together! Try using your chalk on different surfaces (black construction paper, brick, concrete) and talk about your observations. We love dipping chalk in water for a smoother application, or drawing on wet pavement. The possibilities are endless!

Click this link for more chalk play ideas from our educational partner, Angela Russ-Ayon/ABridgeClub.com

Chalk activities

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Caterpillars 101

Hi friends! Thank you again to all who have supported us through a caterpillar adoption or tuned in to our Instagram Live. For anyone who missed that or would like to know more, keep reading!

You have adopted a Painted Lady caterpillar. Painted ladies are one of almost 200,000 species of butterflies! Painted ladies are found all over the world. The caterpillars feed on various plants like thistle, certain daisies, and cheeseweed. Adults drink nectar from flowers. All butterflies undergo a complete metaphormosis, or change from one form to another.

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YOUR VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR

Your caterpillar will spend about a week in its caterpillar form. You don’t need to feed it or give it water- it comes with all the food it needs. Keep it at room temperature, away from sunlight or cold air. As much as we want to look at our caterpillar, try not to open the lid too much- you risk it falling out, and this can let in germs that might make your caterpillar sick. It will shed its skin several times before it turns into a chrysalis, getting bigger and bigger each time.

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SETTING UP YOUR BUTTERFLY BOX

Meanwhile, you’ll need to prepare a butterfly box. When your butterfly comes out of its chrysalis, it needs space for its wings to develop properly. If the butterfly “hatches” while in the cup, its wings will be deformed and it won’t be able to fly.

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Use a shoebox or similar-sized container. If you have netting or screen-type material, use that to cover the open end. If you don’t have netting, simply cover the opening with plastic wrap or cut a Ziploc bag to fit, then poke a few holes in for air. Place a twig or stick in the box- your butterfly will need to climb up something, and then hang upside down while it pumps body fluid into its wings to expand them.

You can also use “bug houses” like the one shown below. Again, place a stick inside to give it a place to hang upside down when the butterfly emerges.

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THE CHRYSALIS

After about a week, your caterpillar will stop eating, climb to the top of the cup, and form into a chrysalis. Yay, this means that it is one step closer to becoming a butterfly!

Do not handle or try to move the chrysalis for at least 24 hours after this change!
After 24 hours, gently remove the coffee filter/chrysalis and tape securely halfway up the side of your butterfly box. Note: If your chrysalis is not attached to the coffee filter, just put it on the bottom of your box. Again, be very careful and gentle when handling the chrysalis.

Look at the photo of the butterfly box above- you can see the paper with the chrysalis attached that is taped halfway up the side of the container.

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A BUTTERFLY IS BORN

After a few days in chrysalis form, your butterfly will emerge! Watch as its wings go from small, soft, and crumpled to strong and flat.

If you’d like to keep it in your container for a few days, you’ll want to feed it. You can mix equal parts brown sugar and water, then dip a cotton ball into this and place it in your butterfly box. You can also give it slices of juicy fruit like oranges or watermelon! If you have a small spray bottle, mist the box gently once a day
 with water. Make sure that the spray bottle you use is clean and has no chemicals in it.

It will live 2-4 weeks in its adult form as a butterfly. You can keep it in your container with food the whole time, or you may choose to release it. If you’d like to release it, wait at least 24 hours for your butterfly’s wings to harden, and release it on a nice, sunny afternoon. Good bye and good luck, butterfly!

IS MY BUTTERFLY BLEEDING?

Many people are alarmed to see red liquid coming from their butterfly when it first emerges from its chrysalis- don’t worry, that’s not blood! The red liquid is called meconium and is stored waste from when the butterfly is in its chrysalis form.

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IS MY BUTTERFLY A BOY OR A GIRL?

Good question! Male butterflies have a skinny abdomen (the last part of an insect body), while females have a more plump and round one. Of course, it can be hard to tell unless you have several butterflies to compare.

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BUTTERFLIES NEED OUR HELP!

Butterflies are being harmed due to loss of habitat (living spaces) and certain chemicals that people use in their gardens. Think about adding a few butterfly-friendly plants to your garden. A good list is found HERE on the Monarch Butterfly Garden website. Also, plants that we consider “weeds” are often food for butterflies, so leave them some weeds! Finally, insecticide sprays used to control mosquitoes or other garden pests can be harmful to all insects, so limit use if possible. Your new butterfly friends will thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Scenes: American Native!

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Though we are so sad to say goodbye to our Dinosaurs exhibit (which we know you all LOVED), we are so excited to bring American Native to our Museum audience! American Native: First Nations Tales is a story-telling celebration of indigenous cultures, complete with amazing visual aids provided by community members and arranged by our Museum Curator, Lisa Reckon.

Lisa has worked hard to incorporate visual elements, arguably one of the most central parts of the exhibit, following story-telling as the main focus. Let’s learn more about how these visual elements contribute to the oral histories that Indigenous communities are known for!

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One of the focuses, if not the main focus, of our new changing gallery is the element of story-telling. Storytelling is a traditional art form which has been practiced for thousands of years in every society and culture known to humankind. For indigenous cultures, storytelling has evolved as an important way of transforming knowledge from one generation to another! Why the focus on storytelling in this gallery? Well, traditional indigenous stories have been passed through folktales, songs, rituals, chants and even artifacts. These oral narratives are critical historical components that pre-date written words! They explain the culture and how it came to be (Scroggie, 2009). IMG_7853Above is one of the many stories available for exploration in this exhibit. It’s important to remember that all stories have a purpose. This story provides us with several themes about community, paying reverence to land and animals, and tells us the importance that corn played in this particular tribe. Each story has many takeaways and we are so excited for our families to read, enjoy, and reflect on each story!

 

Beadwork

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Beadwork is another important and vital part to indigenous cultures that we explore in American Native. The precise and delicate nature of beading makes it special as a decoration and adornment, but did you know they had a deeper purpose? Before there were ways to write, indigenous folks mastered storytelling and the visual aids we use to understand. Beading was an extension of storytelling that could travel, allowing different tribes to not only see art from different regions and exchange ideas, but to communicate historical events through that art. Beadwork is a special, and sacred, craft that is ingrained in the fabric of indigenous society and culture.

To this day, bead work in traditional Native regalia is seen as a very personal and artistic expression of the dancers’ lives, feelings, interests, family and spiritual quest…often elements of the regalia are gifts from Elders or treasured people in the dancers’ lives who they are honoring and are to be worn with pride and responsibility (Belcourt 2010).

Thank you for joining us for this small teaser of the visual elements in our new exhibit, American Native: First Nations Tales! We hope that you join us when our exhibit opens to celebrate the rich culture of our First Nations people.

We express our deepest gratitude to those who have allowed us to showcase their collections in our Museum for American Native: First Nations Tales. We honor the stories that are represented in our gallery and hope that our museum community cherish them as well.

For more information, please visit: http://www.lhcm.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=399

Works Cited:

Belcourt, Christi. 2010. Beadwork : First Peoples’ beading history and techniques. Owen Sound, Ont: Ningwakwe Learning Press.
Scroggie, A. M. (2009). Preserving tradition and enhancing learning through youth storytelling. Journal of Bhutan Studies, 20, 7692.

 

Backyard Bug Safari

For today’s Bug Week activity, we’re taking you on a safari in your own backyard (or other outdoor space).

No special tools needed, though a magnifying glass, spoon/small shovel, and a container to hold your critters are nice to have.

This is a great time to practice your observation and inquiry skills. Questions like “Why do you think it has so many legs?” and “What do you think that ladybug eats?” will help your child build language, vocabulary, and STEM skills to benefit them in school- and beyond!

*Remember to be gentle with the critters that you find, and release them after you are finished observing them!*

LADYBUGS

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Don’t let that cute coloration fool you! These insects are predators who can often be found eating aphids on plants.

There are over 6,000 species of ladybugs (also called ladybird beetles) around the world. They come in many different patterns and colors.

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Like butterflies, their “babies” hatch out of eggs as larva. After about two weeks, the larva undergo metamorphosis and emerge as the small, brightly-colored insect that we are familiar with!

PILLBUGS

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Pillbugs (also called sowbugs or roly polys) are actually a type of crustacean! Unlike their shrimp and lobster cousins, pillbugs have adapted to live on land. They have gills to breathe and are usually found in moist areas like under rocks or potted plants.

These critters are known for their ability to roll into a ball when disturbed. They eat dead and decaying plant material like fallen leaves- think of them as one of nature’s recyclers!

ANTS

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Ants are one of our favorite insects! Observe two ants meeting on an ant trail- if you look closely, you’ll see that their antennas are moving rapidly or even touching each other. This is how ants “talk”! They release small bursts of chemicals (pheremones) to communicate to their sisters.

Ants live in a large group called a colony. The colony works together to collect food, fight off invaders, and take care of their babies.

Ants are incredibly strong and can carry 50 times their own body weight- pretty amazing for a humble little insect!

BUTTERFLIES

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Butterflies are one of our most beloved insects. With their bright-colored wings, it’s easy to see why!

All butterflies have a 4 stage life cycle: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa, and adult butterfly. Caterpillars eat plant leaves, while the adults sip nectar and occasionally eat a bit of flower pollen.

You can help butterflies where you live by growing plants like milkweed for monarch caterpillars, or pollinator plants such as zinnias, lantana, sunflowers, and yarrow. And please, avoid using pesticides and herbicides if you can!

CRANE FLIES

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These long-legged flies are sometimes called mosquito hawks, but they do not eat mosquitos, nor do they bite people!

These delicate and harmless flies spend the first part of their life as larva underground, feeding on roots and decaying plants. Come springtime, they emerge and can be found flying around outside or hanging under leaves. If they come into your house, simply place a cup over them and transfer them outside.

We hope you enjoy your Bug Safari! Please leave a comment below and let us know what you found!

The Age-Old Fascination of Dinosaurs

The Age-Old Fascination of Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs: Thunderlizards is the newest exhibit at The Children’s Museum! It allows visitors to journey through time to see, learn, and explore new things about some of the largest creatures to have ever walked this earth! One of the reasons the museum decided to create a dinosaur exhibit is because kids love dinosaurs­— but what is it about dinosaurs that make them so appealing to children? Adventure with us as we unpack this question!

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It wouldn’t be unrealistic to turn on the television to a station such as PBS and come across a show featuring dinosaurs. This isn’t a recent trend in children-based entertainment – for years, dinosaurs have been the popular talk among younger generations. The Land Before Time, Ice Age, Barney and Friends, and Disney’s Dinosaur were kid favorites around the turn of the century, introducing even the smallest of children to the concepts of dinosaurs. Backpacks, lunch boxes, notebooks and other back to school supplies feed off dinosaur-themed designs, tailored to children everywhere. Similarly, toy sets, games, and puzzles also capitalize on these prehistoric animals and stories.

Recently, television shows like Dinosaur Train and animated movies like The Good Dinosaur have continued to keep the dinosaur tradition alive among children. Despite the obvious appeal to kids, even adults have chimed in to the dinosaur fandom with the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies series, which has made over a billion dollars worldwide.

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Almost everyone knows what a T-REX is and that a pterodactyl is the dinosaur that can fly. This “common knowledge” is normally acquired at a young age, and Kelli Chen, a pediatric psychiatric occupational therapist states, “Asking questions, finding answers, and gaining expertise is the learning process in general.” In other words, if children are interested in dinosaurs, they are going to find out as much as they can about them. Writer for The Guardian, Brian Switek also chimes in as to why dinosaurs hold a special place in the hearts of children, claiming that they pose no threat (because of extinction) and promote curiosity and imagination. Because many children have grown up watching dinosaurs on the screen and imagining them in their minds, a love for these prehistoric creatures has developed over time. One thing is for sure –Dinosaurs are not going to go extinct in the lives of children any time soon!

The next time you are feeling nostalgic, take your children to The Children’s Museum, make your way to Dinosaurs: Thunderlizards, journey through the dino-maze, and explore as much as you can about dinosaurs. Who knows, maybe it will revive an old pastime of yours!

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Dinosaurs: Thunder Lizards will be open to visitors until March 1, 2020.

Museum hours and admission:

Tuesday-Friday: 10am-4pm

Saturday: 10am-5pm

Sunday: 1pm-5pm

Mondays: Closed

$12 General Admission

$11 La Habra residents

Bowen, Cat. (2019). Why Do Kids Love Dinosaurs? Their Obsession Isn’t Going Extinct Any Time Soon. Romper. Retrieved from https://www.romper.com/p/why-do-kids-love-dinosaurs-their-obsession-isnt-going-extinct-any-time-soon-15941370.

Morgan, Kate. (2017). A Psychological Explanation for Kids’ Love of Dinosaurs. The Cut.   Retrieved from http://www.thecut.com/2017/12/a-psychological-explanation-for-kids-love-of- dinosaurs.html.

 

A Look Into the History of Halloween

 

It’s that time of year again­! Our annual Mini Monsters Bash is right around the corner, so to get everyone excited, here’s a little bit about the history of Halloween!

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We all know Halloween as the last day in October when you dress in a costume and ask for candy from your neighbors (those who have their porch lights on, of course!). Jack-o-lanterns, corn mazes, flannels, and bobbing for apples are just a few of the traditions commonly associated with the harvest season, which is right around the time of Halloween. What many people don’t know is why Halloween and its associated fall activities are even celebrated in the first place. Alas, we must turn to history for the answers…

Imagine yourself in Ireland on Halloween… only 2,000 years ago. The Celts would be celebrating the festival of Samhain, marking the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. This holiday was commonly associated with the transition from life to death, and it was believed that the ghosts of those passed came back that night. Bonfires, costumes, and stories were commemorative traditions the Celts partook in, which have all trickled down in history to become things we still do in modern times.

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As the Roman Empire grew in numbers and strength, they conquered the Celtic lands and brought about new harvest traditions that still influence Halloween, such as bobbing for apples and making the day about those who have died. The colliding of cultures eventually shifted in the 9th century, as November 1st became known as All Saints Day, while October 31st was labeled as All-Hallows Eve. These days of celebration were similar to Samhain, and ultimately created the holiday that we call Halloween.

This holiday was not always as popular as it is now. Early America was home to many different people, which meant they each had their own ways of celebrating Halloween, some excluding the ‘pagan’ holiday altogether. Over time though, many of these traditions warped together and started to include trick-or-treating, parties, and dressing up in costumes. Halloween was a full-blown reason to celebrate by the mid-20th century, and it still gives people a reason to gather with family and friends (and eat candy!). Who knows how Halloween might change in the future…

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Halloween Fun Facts:

  • Beginning in the 1900s, The United States adopted the tradition of trick-or-treating
  • Americans spend around $6 billion on Halloween candy
  • Popular Halloween movies include: Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and The Nightmare Before Christmas

Now that you know a little bit more about Halloween, be sure to stop by the museum on October 31st from 10am-12pm to partake in our spooky but fun Halloween festivities during our annual Mini Monsters Bash. Games, crafts, and the mini-maze await– can’t wait to see you there wearing your best costumes! Be there or beware!

Mini MonstersMini Monsters Bash

 

Museum hours and admission:

Tuesday-Friday: 10am-4pm

Saturday: 10am-5pm

Sunday: 1pm-5pm

Mondays: Closed

$12 General Admission

$11 La Habra residents

For more information on this topic, click here.

“Halloween 2019” (October 9, 2019). History.com. https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween