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Once Thanksgiving is over, it is time to think about Christmas. What better way than to start preparations the way our ancestors did in the nineteenth century.
Scotts Bluff National Monument, Legacy of the Plains Museum, Chimney Rock National Historic Site and the Melbeta Post Office will be hosting a variety of activities that evoke Christmases of the past on Saturday, December 5, 2015.
"Christmas on the Prairie" at Scotts Bluff National Monument offers visitors a chance to make decorations in the style of 19th century holiday ornaments from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children and adults will have a chance to make paper chains, popcorn strings, paper balls and stars, pine cone bird feeders and paint dough ornaments to decorate their homes and trees this Christmas. Sing traditional carols to the music of the Village Players and enjoy refreshments courtesy of the Oregon Trail Museum Association.
At Legacy of the Plains, "High Plains Christmas" will give people an opportunity to enjoy some outdoor and indoor fun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ride on a hay rack, toast marshmallows, work on crafts, send letters to Santa via Pony Express, listen to the Sugar Valley Singers and purchase bean soup and hot chocolate, while supplies last. The annual "Trees Along the Trail" consists of trees decorated by community non-profit organizations competing for your votes. The ballots will be available for $1.00 each. This is the kickoff of the event which will continue through December 22. The contest benefits the museum and area charities.
Chimney Rock National Historic Site will celebrate "Christmas at the Rock" from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors will have a chance to make holiday crafts, play games, and enjoy holiday treats.
The Melbeta Post Office will be hosting an open house from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. again this year. We will have coffee, cider, and cocoa, as well as cookies for folks who stop in. Be sure to see our historic mailboxes and service window, and an antique stamp collection will be on display.All packages and holiday cards you mail will be hand postmarked the old fashioned way. The post office is located at 101 2nd St. (one block south of Hwy 92 and CR 29 intersection), 308-783-1844.
Entrance to each of the sites will be free all day on December 5.
The Scotts Bluff National Monument visitor center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The summit road remains open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.All Monument trails are open from sunrise until sunset. Please inquire about the Scotts Bluff National Monument Annual Pass valid for one year from the purchase date. Additional information about Scotts Bluff National Monument programs and schedules can be obtained at the visitor center, by calling 308-436-9700 or by visiting our website at https://www.nps.gov/scbl/index.htm or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/scottsbluffnps.