MFA Boston, is a Winter Wonderland with Music, Art and Family Activities Throughout December

MFA Holiday Traditions Welcome Families of Every Generation

BOSTON, MA (December 8, 2014)—The holiday spirit of giving and joy abounds at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), this December with festive art, music, shopping and celebrations in the galleries. On Wednesday, December 17, the MFA celebrates Hanukkah with an evening of art, music and special events. December Vacation Week runs from December 26-31, offering “Winter Wonderland” activities for families (remember, children 17 and under are always free). The coming weeks are also the last chance to see two acclaimed exhibitions: Goya: Order and Disorder (closing January 19, more than 120,000 visitors to date) and Jamie Wyeth (closing December 28, more than 160,000 visitors to date). For a kid-friendly treat, the new exhibition Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Selections from the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection is a dynamic and playful display of scale models of fast cars and sleek jets, design drawings, architectural renderings and posters. On New Year’s Eve, the MFA gives free admission to visitors with First Night Boston buttons, which will be on sale at the Museum for $10. For tips and behind-the-scenes information on not-to-miss activities and works of art that will put visitors in the mood for the season, fans can follow the MFA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. The MFA is closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day and closes at 4:45 pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Regular hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 am–4:45 pm; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 am–9:45 pm.

For a gift that provides artistic inspiration throughout the year, MFA membership offers free admission to the Museum, access to members-only exhibition previews, events and family programs as well as discounted tickets to lectures, courses, concerts and films and discounts on parking, dining and shopping.  

December at the MFA

All activities are free unless otherwise noted

Special Events

Hanukkah: Festival of Lights

Wednesday, December 17

The MFA celebrates Hanukkah with a slate of free activities from 6 to 9:45 pm (when Museum admission is by voluntary contribution). To mark this special event, the MFA will welcome Rabbi Zecher of Temple Israel and Yehuda Yaakov, Consul General of Israel to New England for a symbolic menorah lighting (electric), followed by tours of the Museum’s collection of Judaica, film screenings, musical performances, dreidel making and more. A special art installation based on themes related to the menorah will allow visitors to interact with the Oculus Rift—a motion-controlled virtual reality headset—for the first time in a museum. Hanukkah at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is presented in partnership with New Center NOW and CJP. Support provided by the Consulate General of Israel to New England.

December Vacation Week


Friday, December 26–Wednesday, December 31 (10am–4pm)

Families can celebrate the snowy season by making winter art at the MFA. Free activities include art making inspired by Impressionist winter scenes, contemporary art, Japanese toy prints and folk art weather vanes. Throughout the week families can find Art Connections cards that explore various themes like celebrations and arms and armor; the MFA Guide kids’ mobile tour; and pocket-sized family guides with tips, gallery games, and ideas for discovering art together. Over the weekend, the Family Art Cart offers fun and educational activities for children 4 and up.  Made possible by The Lowell Institute.

In the Galleries

Special Exhibitions

December marks the final weeks to see two special exhibitions at the MFA. Goya: Order and Disorder (on view through January 19, 2015) is the largest exhibition of the legendary artist in North America in 25 years, and the MFA is its only venue. Jamie Wyeth (through December 28, 2014) examines six decades of the artist’s career and charts the evolution of his creative process from his earliest childhood drawings through recurring themes inspired by the people, places and objects of his world. The recently opened Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Selections from the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection dazzles children and families with transportation icons like the stainless steel Burlington Zephyr, the Lockheed Constellation prop plane, and the futuristic Lincoln Futura. Fashionistas will opt for the shimmering gowns and gems in the exhibition Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen and the sweeping calligraphic lines of Shinique Smith: BRIGHT MATTER.

Festive Art

Childe Hassam’s snowy At Dusk (Boston Common) (1885–86) is a favorite depiction of an evening stroll through the city, while Dale Chihuly’s 43-foot Lime Green Icicle Tower (2011) provides contemporary inspiration for Christmas trees everywhere. Jan Steen’s Twelfth-Night Feast (1662), which depicts a celebration of the three kings, is on view in the MFA’s renovated Dutch gallery, while the dramatic William I. Koch Gallery––designed in the spirit of a European palace––features tapestries, Old Master paintings and German silver set against a background of rich, red damask. Perusing the MFA’s beautiful galleries is sure to put any visitor in a holiday state of mind.


The Museum’s collection of Judaica includes the recently acquired Charles and Lynn Schusterman Collection, which represents one of the largest and most varied Judaica collections in a major American encyclopedic museum. A selection of decorative and ritual objects from the gift is on view in the Museum’s European galleries, demonstrating the continuity of Jewish traditions over hundreds of years.


Bravo Restaurant

Lunch: Monday–Friday, 11:30 am–3 pm
Dinner: Wednesday–Friday, 5:30–8:30 pm
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 am–3 pm

Festive dinner plans at Bravo, the MFA’s fine dining restaurant include seasonal dishes such as Cider Brined Pork Chop with Smoked Ham and Apple Bread Pudding and Seared Duck Breast with Cannellini Beans, Wilted Escarole, Pear and Cranberry Compote. Holiday cocktails include the Agua De Valencia (Spanish cava and Triple Sec), the Harvest Apple (Redbreast Whiskey, apple vodka and lemon) and a Sherry Toddy (sherry, Smirnoff Orange and cinnamon).


MFA Shop

Open seven days a week, during normal Museum hours

This winter the MFA is offering exclusive fashions, home décor and children’s items created by three contemporary American artists. The signature style of contemporary artist Shinique Smith (born 1971) can be found on everything from custom-made vinyl bags ($29.95) to apparel ($48-$62). The popularity of Jamie Wyeth’s (born 1946) retrospective has visitors clamoring for goods that can’t be found elsewhere–from fine art baby onesies ($25) and bibs ($22) to iPhone covers ($11.95) and $1,500 limited edition prints. Artist Jason Middlebrook (born 1966) is also giving the shop exclusive access to $2,500 limited edition prints inspired by his new 24-by-80-foot mural in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art.


Available online or in the MFA Shop

Books from MFA Publications make the perfect holiday gift. Goya: Order & Disorder (MFA Publications; 2014), is the first consideration of Francisco Goya’s works in all media through a non-chronological, thematic approach. Chosen by the New York Review of Books for their holiday issue, the publication is derived from the research for the largest Goya exhibition in North America in a quarter century (on view at the MFA through January 19, 2015). Essays reveal how one of the greatest artists in history strove relentlessly to understand and describe human behavior and emotional states, even at their most orderly or disorderly extremes. Those looking for a New England connection will love Jamie Wyeth (MFA Publications; 2014), which depicts the artist’s favorite canine, Kleberg, on the cover. Examining the artist's work within a wide range of realist traditions—including those of his contemporaries and past American masters—the publication gives particular attention to the multifaceted nature of the creative process over the course of the artist’s career. And if jewels are what a Secret Santa desires, Jewels of Ancient Nubia (MFA Publications; 2014) explores the sophisticated jewels of this empire, making this book essential for both jewelry aficionados and anyone interested in the great cultures of the ancient world.

Music and Dance

Sarah Crowner: Curtains (Vidas perfectas)

Wednesday, December 17 (2 and 2:30 pm)

As part of the Conversation Piece exhibition, dancers from Boston Ballet Company II perform choreography by Boston Ballet principal Yury Yanowsky in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art. A collaboration between Yanowsky and Brooklyn-based artist Sarah Crowner, the dance takes Crowner’s large-scale painting, Curtains (Vidas perfectas) (2011), as its backdrop. The performance creates a conversation between disciplines, linking craft and high art, dance and design.

Sound Bites: Nancy Lee Clark Concert Series

Thursday, December 11 (6–8 pm)

In the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art, New England Conservatory's Electronic Music Studio presents Analog/8-Bit.

Goya: Order and Disorder is sponsored by Santander Bank, N.A. through the Fundación Banco Santander in Madrid. Media sponsor is WCVB-TV Boston. Generous support for this exhibition provided by Highland Street Foundation and the Thompson Family Foundation. Additional support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with the special collaboration of the Museo Nacional del Prado. Under the patronage of His Excellency Ramón Gil Casares, Ambassador of Spain to the United States. Generous support for this publication was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Publications Fund, with additional support from Isabelle and Scott Black.  

Jamie Wyeth is sponsored by Bank of America. Additional support provided by Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey E. Marshall, and the Shelly and Michael Kassen Fund.

Funding for Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Selections from the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection was provided by Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf.

Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen is sponsored by Neil Lane Jewelry. Additional support from the David and Roberta Logie Fund for Textile and Fashion Arts and the Loring Textile Gallery Exhibition Fund.

Shinique Smith: BRIGHT MATTER is sponsored by Celebrity Cruises. Presented with generous support from the Robert and Jane Burke Fund for Exhibitions, The Contemporaries, and the Callaghan Family Fund for Contemporary Exhibitions. Additional support provided by the Eugenie Prendergast Memorial Fund, made possible by a grant from Jan and Warren Adelson.

Conversation Piece, with generous support from The Contemporaries. Performance Art at the MFA is supported by Lorraine Bressler.

The renovation of the Art of the Netherlands in the 17th Century Gallery was made possible by the generous support of Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo. 

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is recognized for the quality and scope of its collection, which includes an estimated 500,000 objects. The Museum has more than 140 galleries displaying its encyclopedic collection, which includes Art of the Americas; Art of Europe; Contemporary Art; Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa; Art of the Ancient World; Prints, Drawings, and Photographs; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. Open seven days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 am–4:45 pm; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 am–9:45 pm Admission (which includes one repeat visit within 10 days) is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students age 18 and older, and includes entry to all galleries and special exhibitions. Admission is free for University Members and youths age 17 and younger on weekdays after 3 pm, weekends, and Boston Public Schools holidays; otherwise $10. Wednesday nights after 4 pm admission is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25). MFA Members are always admitted for free. The Museum’s mobile MFA Guide is available at ticket desks and the Sharf Visitor Center for $5, members; $6, non-members; and $4, youths. The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Patriots’ Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For more information, visit or call 617.267.9300. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.