The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 21, 2012

Youth Museum plans several Christmas events


BECKLEY — Christmas time is here and the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia have several events that will help put some fun into your family’s holiday.

Are you looking for something for your children to do while you hit the Black Friday deals? The Youth Museum will be offering a special “Drop and then Shop” program, Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Children ages 5 to 12 can be dropped off at the museum where they will have the opportunity to make a Christmas gift craft and an ornament of their own. Participants will also be treated to a planetarium presentation, the current exhibition Children Just Like Me, a snack and other fun activities.

Each session costs $18 for members and $20 for non-members. Space is limited. Pre-registration and pre-payment is required to hold your spot.

Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, the Mine and the Museum will again play host to “Appalachian Coal Town Christmas.”

Director of Operations Leslie Baker says, “We weren’t able to have our Christmas event for the past two years, but after so many requests from the public we decided to resurrect the event with a few modifications.”

The event will be held both nights from 5 to 9 p.m. The all-inclusive cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children. There will be guided underground tours available, a marshmallow roast, horse drawn carriage rides, sing along caroling in the church, an ornament workshop at the Youth Museum.

Both Gift Shops are well-stocked with unique items.

Baker adds, “The only real difference is that there won’t be decorations underground. All of the Christmas lights and decorations will be above ground.”

In conjunction with the “Appalachian Coal Town Christmas,” the Youth Museum will host a theater presentation at the new Raleigh Playhouse and Theater in Uptown Beckley on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.

The family show entitled, “One Appalachian Christmas,” is a Depression-era tale that tells the story of two young friends who fear that “Santy Claus” won’t be coming to their poor little town in the Appalachian Mountains. The two are determined to make the holiday the best it can be. With some hard work and the help of family and friends, they learn that the best Christmases don’t come from the pages of a mail order catalog.

The play begins at 7 p.m., is about 55 minutes long, and the cost is $3 per person. Children under 3 are free.

Baker adds, “We really have to thank Matt and George Bickey and their new theater. Without this wonderful new addition to Beckley, the Youth Museum wouldn’t have had a place to host the production. It’s exciting to have such a beautiful theater so close. We have another theater presentation planned in April and I hope these productions are the first of many we will have at the Raleigh Playhouse and Theater.”

On Dec. 9, there will be a Christmas open house at the Wildwood House Museum, home of Beckley’s founder, Gen. Alfred Beckley. The open house will feature a miniature quilt show, floral arrangements made by local garden clubs for sale and lovely raffle basket. Hours for the Christmas open house will be 2 to 4 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

The Museum will be closed Thanksgiving Day.

For more information, call 304-252-3730.