It's going to be a busy Saturday at Creative Discovery Museum.
Two new exhibits and a Holiday Shoppe will open, an Atlanta troupe will present an opera, dozens of gingerbread houses will be erected and snow is in the forecast.
"Winter Wonders": This exhibit, a returning favorite, has been recharged to offer new ways to experience cold-weather activities in the warm confines of the museum. Children can explore a wintry maze, play dress-up in a cozy cottage and follow animal tracks in a snowy forest. Very young children will have a space to play with puppets and act out gingerbread and snow stories. The exhibit continues through Jan. 3.
"Helping Hands": In this seasonal exhibit, children learn the concept of giving and how they and their families can make a difference in their community by sharing time, talents or treasure.
Children can practice as bell ringers for the Chattanooga Salvation Army, help make blankets for charity, learn about local charities on an iPad and drop their pennies in a vortex to aid the Chattanooga Times Free Press' Neediest Cases Fund. Guests also may vote on a cause that will receive a $500 donation from the Times Free Press. The exhibit continues through Jan. 3.
Families also may add to a 9-foot Share the Warmth Tree, which will be decorated with mittens, scarves, hats, gloves and blankets to be donated to The Salvation Army.
The Holiday Shoppe: To help teach children the value of money, the museum is offering a gift boutique for children only so that they may surprise parents, grandparents or siblings with special gifts, such as scarves, jewelry, lotion, coffee mugs, flashlights and key chains, priced from $1 to $10. Parents or chaperones will be asked to fill out an envelope that lists the child's name, intended recipient of the gift and the amount of money to be spent. Volunteers and museum staff will assist children in selecting, wrapping and tagging.
The Holiday Shoppe will be open 1:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday through Nov. 27 (closed Thanksgiving Day), Dec. 3-4, 10-11 and 17-23.
"Hansel and Gretel": The Atlanta-based Capitol City Opera Company will present this classic tale, designed specifically for children, at 2 p.m. Saturday. Guests may attend a preshow discussion about what opera is and the themes of positive personal and social behavior as illustrated in the performance. Five children from the audience will be chosen to participate in nonspeaking, costumed roles. Admission is included with museum entry.
Gingerbread House Workshops: These craft sessions to make houses, cookies and decorations are held every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 18, as well as the Friday after Thanksgiving. Hot chocolate, cookies and holiday music are included.
Sessions are offered at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays (and Friday, Nov. 25) and at 2 p.m. Sundays. They last about an hour. Reservations are required. Cost is $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers.
To register, call Nancy at 648-6045 or Beth at 648-6040.
Snow Day: The season's first snowfall comes compliments of a snow machine from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. In addition to playing in the white stuff, children can learn the science of snow and sample snow creme and snow dough. The Snow Queen will make an appearance and a special "Let it Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow" show will be presented in the atrium.
All Snow Day activities are free with paid admission to the museum.