Theme: New Years Around the World

Delight in the season and learn about how the New Year is celebrated around the world. Look at and make art. Enjoy free activities all week long.

Art-Making Activities

10 am–4 pm (to 8 pm on Wednesday)

Daruma Doll
Education Center in Druker Family Pavilion, Room 159

Daruma is said to have brought Zen Buddhism to Japan. Look at Takashi Murakami’s painting of Daruma in the Gund Gallery, LG31. In Japan people may get a Daruma doll during the New Year when they want to achieve a goal. They color in one eye of the doll at the beginning of the year, and when they have achieved the goal, they color in the other eye. Head to Room 159 to make a Daruma doll and set your goal for the year!

A New Year Feast
Education Center in Druker Family Pavilion, Room 160

In Europe it is traditional to eat oysters on New Year’s Eve. Go to Gallery 243 and take a look at Osias Beert’s Still Life with Oysters, Sweetmeats, and Dried Fruit in a Stone Niche (1609). Look closely at the oysters and other food. What special meal or food do you eat for the New Year? Head downstairs to Room 160 to create your own three-dimensional collage of a New Year feast!

Gallery 280

Tako-age is a kite-flying game played when the New Year is celebrated in Japan. These Japanese kites are often decorated with animals. Look in Gallery 280 to see how many animals you can find. Choose a favorite animal and decorate your own New Year kite.

Ancient Egyptian New Year
Shapiro Family Courtyard

Ancient Egyptians celebrated the New Year in July when the Nile River flooded. Their festival was known as Wepet Renpet, which means “opening of the year,” and honored the birth of the sun god Ra-Horakhty on this day. In Gallery 109, see if you can find Ra-Horakhty. He has a man’s body and the head of a hawk and can be seen in many different places. Walk over to Shapiro Family Courtyard to draw your own oil pastel sun god in celebration of the New Year.

Always Available

Art Connections Activity Cards
Sharf Visitor Center

Pick up an Art Connections Activity Card and explore bugs, birds, chocolate, and other themes throughout the Museum. Recommended for all ages. Available in English and Spanish.

Made possible by Arthur R. Hilsinger and Barbara J. Janson.

A Guide to Family Fun at the MFA
Sharf Visitor Center

Available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Pick up one of our free pocket-sized informational guides on visiting and exploring the Museum with kids. Includes tips, gallery games, and ideas for looking at and discussing art together.

MFA Guide: Kids’ Tour
Available at any ticket desks and Sharf Visitor Center.

The Kids’ mobile tour introduces young visitors ages 6 to 10 to the Art of the Americas collections. The galleries are brought to life with the help of three quirky characters: Lucia, a high school reporter; Steve, an adventurous 10-year-old; and Malone, an art detective. Together they help kids look at art in new, creative ways.

Members $5; nonmembers $6; kids 17 and under $4; free for visitors who are Deaf or blind.

We had a blast at December Vacation Week in 2016! In case you missed it, check out the photo slideshow below and be sure to join us this year.


Supported by Pamela and Bradford Warner.

Art-making activities supported in part by UNIQLO USA.