Open today 10 am – 5 pm

A World of Holiday Festivities at the Penn Museum: Winter Break, Kwanzaa, Stay Up Late with the Sphinx and More

October 26, 2023

Jill DiSanto, Public Relations Director


A family walks through the interactive Mexico and Central America Gallery at the Penn Museum during Winter Break.
A family walks through the Mexico and Central America Gallery at the Penn Museum. Photo: Eddy Marenco for the Penn Museum.

PHILADELPHIA, October 26, 2023—With celebrations honoring traditions around the world, a new after-hours wellness experience, and creative gift experiences, holidays at the Penn Museum offer festive family get-togethers as well as moments to recharge during this bustling season.

Upcoming Events

Winter Break: Tuesday–Thursday, December 26–28, 2023
Kids under 17 receive free admission during Penn Museum’s Winter Break, December 26, 27, and 28, from 10:00 am-4:00 pm.

Back by popular demand, Winter Break offers three full days of indoor Museum adventures for families looking to enhance their holiday experiences with history and vibrant cultures from around the world. Young artists can create puppets at a free Creation Station or explore the museum with a self-guided tour. Starting at 12:00 pm in the Cookie Zone, each guest will receive one free treat. All Winter Break activities are included with general admission.

Exhibition on view: Ancient Food & Flavor unwraps pre-historic leftovers, examining how food and plant remains inform diets, traditions, and identities of people who lived thousands of years ago. Kids can take a closer look at tiny seeds and fish scales using high-powered microscopes inside the exhibition.

40th Annual Kwanzaa Children’s Festival: Friday, December 29, 2023
Celebrating African-American culture and its traditions, the Afro Culture Preservation Council will host its 40th Annual Kwanzaa Children’s Festival at the Penn Museum, with free admission for everyone to learn more about the holiday’s seven core principles: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). From 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, activities will include a traditional Kinara of Kwanzaa candle ceremony, stilt ballet performances, games, food, and the NAACP High School Talent Search.

Coming up in the New Year:
Celebrate the Year of the Dragon with the 43rd annual CultureFest! Lunar New Year at the Penn Museum on January 27, 2024.

Gift Experiences

Stay Up Late with the Sphinx
Best suited for children ages 6–12, Up Late with the Sphinx is an evening filled with games, gallery activities, hands-on workshops, and a flashlight museum tour in the dark.
Dates: Saturday, January 13, 2024 or Saturday, March 2, 2024
Cost: $30 per person; $25 for Penn Museum Members

Mind & Mood Recharge
Mind & Mood Recharge makes the perfect gift to kick-start a healthier 2024. An after-hours wellness experience to hit “pause” on the hustle and bustle, with yoga in the galleries, a sound bath meditation using Tibetan Singing Bowls, art therapy, a Botanical Bar, and a wellnessfocused marketplace.

Dates: First Wednesdays, December 6, 2023; January 3, 2024; February 7, 2024; and March 6, 2024
Cost: $18 for the general public, includes access to all Museum galleries and exhibitions.
Penn Medicine patients and staff receive free admission to Mind & Mood Recharge.

Penn Museum Membership
Starting at $65 for individuals or $110 for an entire household (including two adults and children), a Penn Museum Membership provides unlimited general admission for one year, access to previews and exclusive events, along with discounts on programs, 10% off at the Museum Café, 15% off at the Museum Shop, and a subscription to Expedition magazine.

Penn Museum Shop
Shop artisanal gifts inspired by the Penn Museum’s world-renowned collections––from jewelry and toys to homeware and global delicacies. By using the code Holiday2023!10! online or mentioning the sale in person at The Shop, everyone receives 10% off of regularly priced merchandise from Friday, December 1 through Sunday, December 31.

Holiday Schedule

The Penn Museum will be closed on Thursday, November 23; Sunday, December 24; Monday, December 25; Sunday, December 31; and Monday, January 1, 2024.


About the Penn Museum
The Penn Museum’s mission is to be a center for inquiry and the ongoing exploration of humanity for our University of Pennsylvania, regional, national, and global communities, following ethical standards and practices.

Through conducting research, stewarding collections, creating learning opportunities, sharing stories, and creating experiences that expand access to archaeology and anthropology, the Museum builds empathy and connections across diverse cultures

The Penn Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm. It is open until 8:00 pm on first Wednesdays of the month. The Café is open Tuesday-Thursday, 9:00 am-3:00 pm and Friday and Saturday, 10:00 am-3:00 pm. On Sundays, the Café is open 10:30 am-2:30 pm. For information, visit, call 215.898.4000, or follow @PennMuseum on social media.

Hero photo is available for download here.