Tails and Traditions to bring holiday craft activities from different cultures to Watkins Museum

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Kids will have an opportunity to do a range of holiday crafts from around the world at the 10th annual Watkins Museum Tails and Traditions Holiday Festival.

In lieu of the traditional hobby horse tutorial, there will be two scavenger hunts and various other holiday crafts. 


Crafts include Watkins horse cutouts, snow-measuring sticks by the Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum, star-themed wish ornaments based on the Japanese Tanabata, or Star Festival, offered by KU’s Center for East Asian Studies, and a coloring table. 

KU’s Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies is arranging a Turkish craft and Ukrainian pavuchky, or “little spider” ornaments.

The ornaments are based on a Ukrainian fairytale in which a family could not afford ornaments for their tree. After the family went to bed, a collection of spiders wove intricate webs across the tree; the next day, the family opened the curtains, sunlight streamed through the windows, and the webs transformed into silver and gold strands.

The Spencer Museum of Art will also provide holiday crafts. 

Tails and Traditions is set for from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 at the museum, 1047 Massachusetts St.

Scavenger hunts 

Watkins is also hosting two scavenger hunts. The first one is Ellie on the Shelf: A Kids’ Scavenger Hunt! Children have to find three tiny replicas of Watkins’ mascot Ellie the Electric Car, one on each floor of the museum. Winners get a free coloring book and entry into a drawing for a $50 gift card to the Toy Store. 

The second scavenger hunt is called Horsing Around Downtown. It launches Friday, Dec. 2 and lasts until Friday, Dec. 9. 

Participants must find six of eight hobby horses hidden in downtown businesses’ windows in the 700 and 800 blocks of Massachusetts Street. After completing the challenge, send the checklist to Will Haynes,, by Dec. 9 to be entered into another drawing for a $50 Toy Store gift card. 

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Chansi Long (she/her) reported for The Lawrence Times from July 2022 through August 2023. Read more of her work for the Times here.

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