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Happening at the Horniman: December 2019

Have a magical time at the Horniman this Christmas.

Christmas at the Horniman

Join us for a special Horniman Christmas Market on Sunday 15 December. The market will showcase lots of extra stalls selling festive foodie treats, and gorgeous gifts from artists and makers. 

Enjoy the story of a talented shoemaker who receives a wonderful pair of shoes, after working tirelessly to support his shoemaking business. Based on the classic Grimm’s fairy tale, The Elves and the Shoemaker is magically retold by Sandal Sticks Theatre using storytelling, song and puppetry for families this Christmas. Book now for Saturday 7, Sunday 8, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 December.

  • The Elves and the Shoemaker image, The Elves and the Shoemaker
    The Elves and the Shoemaker

Exhibitions and displays

  • The Lewis Glacier, Mt Kenya, 1963 (A), The Lewis Glacier, Mt Kenya, 1963 (A), (c) Simon Norfolk / Courtesy of Project Pressure
    The Lewis Glacier, Mt Kenya, 1963 (A), (c) Simon Norfolk / Courtesy of Project Pressure

MELTDOWN: Visualizing the Climate Crisis by Project Pressure opened last month. The series of artworks emphasises the importance of glaciers and our changing global climate. Each work documents every relevant continent, leading the viewer on a journey in three chapters - The Importance of Glaciers, Current Issues and Meltdown Consequences. See the striking exhibition until Sunday 12 January 2020.

The immersive exhibition, Stages of Making, produced by a collective of local community members working with artist Katie Schwab, is open in The Studio. All the artworks have a story to tell about design, techniques and time. Works include painted walls, table tops made from yoghurt pots and a giant rag-rug created from used t-shirts by members of the public. You can also contribute to a growing live archive in the exhibition by taking part in creative workshops and trying a range of creative processes inspired by some of the Horniman's collections.

Visitors can see Ed Sheeran’s custom-built ‘x’ Martin & Co. acoustic-electric guitar on display in the Music Gallery until Friday 31 May 2020. This guitar was played during the star singer-songwriter’s 2015 North American tour promoting his phenomenally successful second studio album x (Multiply), which was released in 2014. It was used for songs such as ‘Photograph’ and ‘One’.

The photographic series Turn it Up: On Paradoxes from Jide Odukoya highlights a paradox of opulence, with underlying economic poverty. His works highlights the importance of extravagant celebration to Nigerian cultural identity because the wealth supporting it is fragile. View the spirited exhibition in the Balcony Gallery open now.

The dramatic As I Live and Breathe in the Natural History Gallery and Gallery Square is open now. The thought-provoking series of works created by Award-winning, internationally exhibited visual artist Claire Morgan draw upon the theme of waste at the impact on their environment.

Say hello to the Green Turtle taxidermy on loan from the Natural History Museum, and learn about what we can all do to help conserve sea turtles in the Natural History Gallery.

Always Part of the Story depicts hidden and visible aspects of disability. The display from The Access Advisory Group shows that the world can be experienced and understood in many ways. The display is on until June 2020 in World Gallery.

Happening in December

  • Museum Shop Sunday, Museum Shop Sunday
    Museum Shop Sunday

Museum Shop Sunday takes place in museums and galleries all over the country on Sunday 1 December. The event celebrates the unique and exciting shops which play such a vital role in helping arts, cultural and heritage attractions to survive and thrive. Pick up some wonderful gifts in the Horniman Gift Shop and Butterfly House Shop. You can also learn all about succulents with Damien and Lily or take part in our trail.

Come to our monthly Library Open Day on Sunday 1 December and explore our treasure trove of books. Talk to our Librarian and see what you find.

  • Tamakurya Boutique, Tamakurya Boutique
    Tamakurya Boutique

Come and learn some sustainable wrapping techniques and help the planet by reducing your plastic usage with Tamakurya Boutique on Sunday 8 December. The workshop includes a short history of furoshiki and a variety of useful, multi-functional wrapping techniques with just a single square piece of cloth. Free but booking essential.

Come along to Hear it Live! every Thursday and see performances and talks based 17th and 18th century instruments including three from the Finchcocks Collection. The last Hear it Live! of the year will be on Thursday 19 December and will return on Thursday 9 January 2020.

Regular Activities

Pick up your weekly essentials direct from independent and local producers at our weekly Horniman Market, open every Sunday. Enjoy seasonal fruit and veg, artisan bread, organic meat and delicious hot food as well as regular guest traders specialising in treats such as luxury chocolates, homemade jams and irresistible cakes. The last market of the year is on Sunday 15 December and returns on Sunday 12 January.

Join lively Busy Bees sessions for Under 5s and their carers every Tuesday during term-time. Storytellers change every week, with enchanting stories from around the world, songs and a whole lot of Horniman fun. Autumn term ends on Tuesday 10 December. Spring term begins on Tuesday 7 January 2020.

On Thursday afternoons the Horniman becomes an age-friendly place to socialise and join in with musical-activities for all abilities. Stay in Tune Thursdays closes on Thursday 12 December for the festive break and returns on Thursday 23 January 2020.

If you are a new visitor to the Horniman or would like a refresh to our collections then come along to one of our Welcome to the Horniman Tours. Tours with our fantastic Visitor Hosts take place every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. You could also take one of our Curiosity Talksfor an interesting insight into all manner of things, inspired by our collections every Tuesday and Thursday.

Please Note

The Museum will be closed 24 – 26 December over the Christmas period and the Gardens will be closed on 25 December.

The Animal Walk is open daily from 12.30pm to 4pm, except 24 - 26 December.

The Gardens will close at 4.20pm until Sunday 26 January 2020.