The Wyman Museum’s trove of antiques took a backseat to decidedly younger curiosities Saturday.
Amid twinkling lights and the strains of holy carols, the museum was filled with children.
“They came in gobs and bunches,” museum employee Benna Haughey said.
And yet despite the overwhelming number of children, the museum was surprisingly quiet.
Nearly every child was immersed in creating Christmas ornaments. Office manager Nicky Boulger said that’s what Christmas for Kids is all about.
“I think this is a good thing for the kids,” she said. “They get together with their parents, and they get to make something with them.
“Hopefully it gets them a little more into the Christmas spirit.”
The free event, now in its third year, included horse-drawn carriage rides through falling snow, a visit by Santa Claus, and, yes, the making of ornaments.
The event had seven stations where children could take a seat, grab some glitter, glue and paints, and decorate.
On the museum’s second floor, children occupied each seat around a long banquet table and diligently created Christmas ornaments, like a gang of Santa’s elves.
Devon Malley, 4, sat at the end of the table painstakingly stringing red and white beads onto a pipe cleaner.
“I’m making a candy cane,” Devon said.
Devon’s father, Brent, stood nearby.
“Have you ever seen such concentration?” he whispered.
Downstairs, volunteer Lorrie Butler helped kids decorate Christmas bulbs at a smaller table. She provided children with paints and brushes.
“It’s a little messy, isn’t it?” she said.
Productivity was high at Butler’s station.
“I bet you there’s been 60 kids here at this table, if not more,” she said.
Across the table sat Alea Duran, 6, who was dabbing a Christmas bulb with thick globs of paint, while Alea’s grandmother, Charla Dellit, looked on.
Dellit, who has taken her granddaughters to the event each year, said she likes the sleigh rides and the horses.
“And they have the best Santa in town,” she said.
Santa Claus sat a few feet away behind a stand of Christmas trees. He was accepting Christmas requests from a line of children.
Tristen Walls, 10, said he had offered his plea to Claus.
“I want an Airsoft gun that’s camo with sniper scope,” Walls said.
Walls said he planned to use the gun to shoot deer.
“But, not Santa’s deer,” he said.
Asked if he was worried he might shoot his eye out, Walls said no.
“I’ve had Airsofts for a long time,” he said.
Christmas for Kids also coincided with the third annual Parade of Museums.
A sold-out tour bus left the museum at 7 a.m. Saturday, traveled to Wyoming to visit the Savery Museum and Three Forks Lodge, then back to Craig to visit the Museum of Northwest Colorado.
The tour returned to Wyman Museum in the afternoon.
Craig resident Beth Gilchrist said the Three Forks Lodge was her favorite part of the tour.
The lodge, which features 180 pieces of original art, was lavish, Gilchrist said.
“It’s $1,750 per person, per night to stay,” she said. “It’s gorgeous. It’ absolutely incredible, but it’s not for my level of living.”
Gonk Jacobs said this was the second Parade of Museums he has attended.
Last year, the tour included Hayden and Oak Creek, he said.
“I won’t favor one (tour) over the other,” he said. “They’re all good, especially if you (grew) up in the community.”
Jacobs said his family has been in Northwest Colorado for four generations.
“I think it’s great,” he said of the tours. “But, I’m interested in old stuff.”