See all the weird and wonderful characters of make-believe! The fantastic crystal workroom of the happy elves! The fabulous realm of the candy-stick palaces! All are available for your viewing pleasure, when “Santa Claus” comes to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on First Friday, December 4, 7 p.m.
This isn’t your daddy’s Santa Claus movie, but rather a strange Mexican fantasy film from 1959 in which Merlin the Magician helps Santa Claus save Christmas by defeating the evil machinations of Pitch, a demon with a digestive disorder. The movie was featured on “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” where they correctly observed that the film was “good old fashioned nightmare fuel.” TV Guide calls it “a cult classic among viewers who crave something a little more psychotronic than the usual holiday fare.” Quite a way to kick off the Holiday Season.
Prior to the movie, explore the surprising and sometimes bizarre world of “Extreme Mammals,” the Museum’s current featured exhibition, in which you can inspect oversized claws, massive fangs, extraordinary snouts, amazing horns and other traits that make mammals truly remarkable. All tickets purchased at the Museum Box Office during First Friday hours are only $10! Tickets are free for Museum members. The exhibition is open until 8pm; last entry at 7pm.
TEEN SCIENCE CAFÉ
At its most basic level, music is simply sound produced by vibrations. But what happens when sound waves hit our ears? Join us at 6pm in the Daily Planet Café for this month’s Teen Science Café — “Building a Symphony: Music and the Brain” — as Duke University Professor Tobias Overath discusses how sound is interpreted in the human brain. When we engage in a conversation or listen to a symphony, how does our brain process and assemble the acoustic building blocks that let us understand what we hear? Come test your ability to match sounds with their images, and ask questions. Open to all teens, no RSVP needed. Free food vouchers to the first 50 teens to arrive.
MUSIC and ART
The Museum stays open from 5 to 9pm on the First Friday of every month, inviting visitors to witness a (classic) sci-fi or horror movie, wander through eye-catching exhibits, groove to live music from guitar duo Iron Watermelon, and enjoy snacks and beverages from the Daily Planet Café. Additionally, the Museum Store offers after-hours shopping (till 7pm) and an opening reception for Sharron Parker (6-8pm), whose show runs December 4 – January 31 in the Nature Art Gallery. All exhibited art is for sale.