Check website for 2018 details.
The holidays are a great time for families to do a lot of things together. Sometimes, though, we need a break from the noisy busyness of visits with Santa and holiday parties. It's a relief to find a couple of quiet places to go like the Creche in Bethlehem, Conn. or the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven.
Located in the heart of downtown New Haven, the Knights of Columbus Museum has been attracting visitors since 1982. The site serves as an archival location for information on the Catholic fraternal organization (KofC) but also as a site for amazing annual exhibits during the Christmas season.
Our family decided to go and see their 2016-2017 display of stunning German creche's entitled "Creche's of Germany: Tradition and Faith." These little (and some not-so-little) displays show the birth of Christ. Each one is unique and the details put into each scene is extremely fine. Many are not your typical scene, rather they show the nativity as if it had occurred in the artists' home country.
In addition to the German creche's on display, the Museum itself has their own collection of nativity scenes from countries all around the world including Ireland, Italy, Russia and Africa. The craftsmanship impressed even my hard to impress twelve year-old son.
One of the things that made this trip a really good fit for our whole family (and maybe yours as well) was that all of the nativities are encased and raised up - so our wandering two year-old could only "look and not touch."
Additionally, going on concurrently, the Museum is host to the 16th Annual Christmas Tree Festival. Twenty four parochial schools from all over Connecticut put their artistic talents to work and created hundreds of ornaments that are displayed on the trees. We love Christmas trees and seeing so many of them in the same place is always fun!
A visit to this museum is not complete without a stop upstairs to take a look at the exhibit entitled: Fleeing Famine; Irish Immigration to North America. Especially for older children, this is a real lesson in history. In the mid-1800's, 1.5 million Irish sailed the seas to arrive in what would become their new home, America. Visitors will learn about the potato famine, what it's like to sail for months and the hardships Irish faced once they arrived.
The museum is free and so is parking.
The Knights of Columbus Museum is a museum trip not quite like any other.
Afterwards, head on over to Pepe's pizza to grab a slice! Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana is literally three minutes away on Wooster Street and has been voted "Best Pizza in America."
Photo Credit: J Coe