Holiday ‘Staycation’: UT Has Plenty of Activities to Fill the Free Hours

As the fall semester comes to a close, there are still plenty of activities to fill your free time during the holiday season. Here are some events you won’t want to miss:

Clarence Brown Theatre

Since 2005, Clarence Brown Theatre has presented A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens’ classic tale of a life redeemed, every holiday season. This year, director Casey Sams is switching things up a bit. The revamped production features new costumes, a new set, musicians on stage, and snow.

Sams and the designers have set the story inside a snow globe.

“That means there will be lots of snow for the set,” Sams said.

The play opens Friday, November 30, and runs through Sunday, December 23.

See the Clarence Brown Theatre website for show times and ticket prices.

UT School of Music

The holidays and music are strongly linked, and UT’s School of Music will host two events to showcase its talent and celebrate the holidays.

“Jazz for Tots,” a charity event for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Campaign, will feature jazz ensembles performing holiday classics. It begins at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 2, in the James R. Cox Auditorium in the Alumni Memorial Building. For admission, bring a new unwrapped toy to donate to the Toys for Tots campaign.

The School of Music’s annual Holiday Choral Concert will begin at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 4, at the James R. Cox Auditorium in the Alumni Memorial Building. Admission is free.

Visit the School of Music website for more information.

UT Gardens

Although the Holiday Express has moved from UT Gardens to Dollywood’s Eagle Theatre, the gardens are offering plenty of holiday activities for all ages, including the following classes:

Saturday, December 1

  • Grandkids Growing: Trash into Treasure, 10:00 a.m. to noon. Grandparents and their grandchildren will learn how to make recycled cards and envelopes just in time for the holiday season. Cost is $10 per family for Friends of the UT Gardens members and $14 per family for nonmembers.
  • Adult Workshop: Wreath Making, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Wreath-making beginners will be led step by step to create their own holiday wreath out of evergreen and other natural materials. Cost is $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers.

Friday, December 14

  • Garden Sprouts: Gingerbread Cookies, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Children ages three through five and their parents will learn how ginger root is used to make gingerbread, a traditional holiday treat. Children also will decorate a gingerbread boy or girl to eat and a gingerbread ornament to take home. Cost is $8 for members and $12 for nonmembers.

Saturday, December 15

  • Garden Buds: Homemade Ornaments, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Children ages six through nine will learn how to make holiday ornaments from items commonly found around the house or yard, including popcorn and cranberry garland and pinecone ornaments. Cost is $10 for members and $14 for nonmembers.

Preregistration is required for all classes. Contact Derrick Stowell at 865-974-7151 or dstowell@utk.edu to preregister.

Visit the UT Gardens website for more information.

Frank H. McClung Museum

The McClung Museum on campus has collections of anthropology, archaeology, decorative arts, local history, and natural history. It is easy to spend hours wandering through the displays, learning about the geology, history, art, and culture of Tennessee as well as places around the world.

Current exhibits include

  • Zen Buddhism and the Arts of Japan. Ending December 31.
  • Celebrating the Tercentennial of Mark Catesby. Mark Catesby’s early eighteenth century illustrations of America’s flora and fauna.
  • Ancient Egypt: The Eternal Voice. Ancient Egyptian objects arranged in categories of history, daily life, religion, and writing.
  • Archaeology and Native Peoples of Tennessee. More than sixty-five years of research by UT archaeologists provides an in-depth view of the rich Native American heritage in Tennessee.
  • The Decorative Experience. A collection of decorative objects from various cultures and ages.
  • Geology and Fossil History of Tennessee.
  • Human Origins: Searching for Our Fossil Ancestors. Casts of fossil hominids, artists’ reconstructions of life scenes, maps, diagrams, videos, and artifacts help explain human evolution.
  • The Battle of Fort Sanders. East Tennessee’s pivotal role in the American Civil War.
  • Tennessee Freshwater Mussels. Diversity of freshwater mussels, as well as their Native American and commercial uses.

The museum is free and open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. It will be closed December 24 and 25 and January 1.

For more information, visit the McClung Museum website.

C O N T A C T :

Christine Copelan (ccopela7@utk.edu)

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)

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