Family Past Times

Tree Treasures

On Saturday, December 7 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., the History Museum will celebrate Tree Treasures.  Your family can prepare for an old-fashioned holiday season by creating their own Victorian ornaments.

According to legend, the first Christmas tree was decorated in Germany. While German immigrants brought the tradition to North America, it did not become widely popular until the Victorian period. Queen Victoria’s husband Albert, a German prince, introduced the idea in England. Newspaper reports of the queen’s holiday celebrations quickly spread the popularity of decorated trees across England and the United States.

Holiday Traditions from Around the World is held in conjunction with Redwood City's Hometown Holidays celebration.

Hands-On Activities

People made their own ornaments for early Victorian Christmas trees. They hung fancy cakes, gingerbreads and cornucopias filled with sweets and nuts on their trees. By the late 1800s, people decorated trees with many store-bought ornaments such as glass balls or baubles.

Among the crafts, kids can create the following:

• Decorate a "gingerbread" ornament

• Create a Victorian cornucopia

• Make a shiny bell ornament

• Paint a pine cone ornament

• Assemble a paper chain garland

• Create designs on a bauble

Handbell Performance

At 1 p.m., join us for a Courthouse Docket presentation--a performance by the San Francisco State Handbell Choir in our Historic Courtroom A. 

Pictures with Santa

Free photographs with Santa are available in museum rotunda in cooperation with Redwood City’s Hometown Holidays celebration. There will be a special entrance on the Hamilton Street side of the History Museum for those wishing to take pictures with Santa. Entrance to the crafts and general admission will remain through the main entrance on Broadway.