Sheldon Museum’s Holiday Open House set for Dec. 2 & 3

MIDDLEBURY — The Sheldon Museum is bursting with creativity and excitement this holiday season. The museum will hold its Holiday Open House on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 3, from noon to 4 p.m. Highlights of the open house including the operating train layout, miniature Christmas tree display, festive topiaries and the exhibit “Draw Me a Story – Tell Me a Tale” that celebrates the imagination of 20 esteemed contemporary Vermont children’s book artists/authors.
In what has become an annual holiday tradition in Middlebury, the elaborate Lionel trains will once again be on display. Over the years, the assemblage — made possible by a team of volunteer engineers who operate the trains Dec. 2 through Jan. 13 — has grown. It now stands three levels high, with tracks running Lionel O gauge trains, Lionel 027 gauge trains and an upper track running HO trains. The backdrop of the green mountains painted by local artist Gayl Braisted adds atmosphere. Last year Gabe the Lamplighter was added to the display. Come see if there is something new this year.
Also on view are 20 colorful, decorative miniature Christmas Trees by generous local artists, to be raffled in support of the Sheldon archives. Ornaments featured on the diverse trees will delight children and adults and will enhance the holiday home decorations of the lucky raffle winners.
Here’s just a sampling of the fabulous trees: Otter Creek Bakery has decorated a sweet tree full of gingerbread cookies and a bread and cranberry garland; three trees decorated by the volunteers at Round Robin include “Connie’s Feliz Navidad,” a flamboyant, feathers-and-tinsel tree in homage to long-time Round Robin and Sheldon Museum volunteer Connie Staats; the staff of the National Bank of Middlebury has donated four festive trees; and Sandy Jackson of (some assembly required) titled her tree “What Can You Do with a Piece of Paper?” featuring doves, trees, stars, and snowflake Sliceforms ornaments which are 3D and made using tools found on the company’s website, someassemblyrequired.com.
The other trees are just as creative, so be sure to visit the Sheldon during the holiday season to see all of them and buy some raffle tickets.
Carols played on the Sheldon’s 1831 piano, and of course the trains all add to this festive event. This year the Middlebury Garden Club has added a whimsical touch to their annual decorations with amusing topiaries. The topiaries will be raffled to support the Sheldon with a drawing on Jan. 16. Admission to the Holiday Open House is by donation.

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