CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For 14 years, dating back to the days of Sunrise Museum, families have found fun on the day after Thanksgiving with the annual Holly Day event. Now held at the Clay Center, it not only provides family-friendly activities but also serves as the opening of the annual holiday art and planetarium shows.
Holly Day itself runs noon to 4 p.m. Friday, though the center is open for its regular 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours.
In the "Holly Field Day," children can play Stocking Stuffing and try to toss "coal" (bean bags) into stockings at 12:30 p.m., participate in a tree-decorating relay at 1:30 p.m. and play Pass the Ornament at 2:30 p.m.
Art activities run noon to 4 p.m. Reindeer hat and holiday card crafts are free; ornaments cost $2 each to make.
At noon, Earth City, in the Avampato Discovery Museum, will have a holiday lighting ceremony. "Shivering Science" demonstrations are at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. The main man, Mr. Santa Claus himself, visits at noon, 2 and 3:30 p.m.
The art gallery's holiday exhibit is "Traditions: A Celebration of Heritage." On display through Dec. 30, it features decorated trees as well as fine art works by emerging West Virginia artists.
"This year, our theme is traditions, focusing on holiday traditions," said Clay Center lead educator Kayte Brannon, who is overseeing the exhibit. "It's everyone's take on tradition. It's a lot of fun with a lot of whimsical trees and a lot of really neat ideas."
Among the trees is Janet Hager's "Holiday Barbies Through the Years."
"Apparently, they've made one holiday Barbie a year since 1988," Brannon said. "This artist is displaying them all on one tree."
Other tree designers are Bob Henry Baber, Dan Connery, Chris Dutch and Robin Hammer, the Fioravante family (Penny, Gianna, Angelo and Marcus), Bobbi Galloway and Girl Scout Troop 2874, Joshua Jones and Cindy and Butch Walton.
The fine arts portion has works by Laura Alvis, Samantha Mosby Belcher, Adrian Blackstock, Ian Bode, R. Michael Bowen, Glen Brogan, Kelly Bryant, Rob Cleland, Mary Grassell, Rebecco Recco and Megan Schultz.