Trees at Deck the Old City Hall 2019

A guide to Deck the Old City Hall 2019

The holiday season is in full swing at the Whatcom Museum! Now in its seventh year, our annual Deck the Old City Hall celebration offers fun for all ages. Here’s everything you need to know about this special time of year.

Deck the Old City Hall

From Nov. 29 to Dec. 29, (Wednesdays-Sundays) our historic building is decked out with holiday trees, garlands, and more. In addition to the dazzling décor, we offer a variety of events. From our annual holiday cocktail party to visits with Santa and weekly crafts, you won’t want to miss Deck the Old City Hall.

The trees

This year, we have 16 themed holiday trees on display. Trees are decorated by individuals and community organizations in a style of their choosing.

Interested in a nautical theme? Check out the trees by Schooner Zodiac or the Community Boating Center. If you’re a fan of “Alice in Wonderland,” you’ll be enchanted by the Mad Hatter’s Holiday Tree by Karen Sage-Stockwell. Like elves? The Assistance League of Bellingham’s “helping the community” tree embraces elves as a symbol of helpfulness.

Museum Advocate co-chair Cherie Walker says some organizations and individuals have been participating for multiple years. Walker herself has been involved with Deck the Old City Hall since the beginning, when she helped to create it.

While trees come and go, the Museum Advocate tree is a constant presence. Decked out in more traditional decor, it towers above the other trees and serves as a backdrop for photos with Santa.

The Advocates tree at Deck the Old City Hall
A nautical-themed tree at Deck the Old City Hall 2019
A nautical-themed tree at Deck the Old City Hall.
Trees at Deck the Old City Hall 2019
A Mad Hatter tree (right) is seen at Deck the Old City Hall.


Visits with Santa

Grab your camera and wish list! Santa’s making a stop at Old City Hall on Saturday, Nov. 30 & Sunday, Dec. 1, from 12:30 to 2:30pm. The jolly old elf has an uncanny resemblance to our very own preparator Paul Brower. Photos are self-serve in the Rotunda Room.

Holiday cocktail party

Kick off the holiday season in style at our cocktail party on Friday, Dec. 6, from 5:30 to 8pm. Break out your holiday attire and enjoy appetizers and drinks, dancing, and more. This year we’re happy to announce we’ll have live music by the Thomas Harris Sextet.

Tickets are $35 and are available at Must be 21+ to attend. Sponsored by Lori & Scott Clough.

Weekly crafts

New for 2019 is weekly holiday crafts! Each Saturday afternoon in December we’re holding craft workshops where visitors can create unique projects to take home. All activities are drop-in from noon to 4pm. and are suitable for all ages. We’ll provide the supplies. Here’s the lineup:

Dec. 7: Paper ornaments

Dec. 14: Sock snowmen

Dec. 21: German paper Scherenschnitte

Dec. 28: New Year’s noise makers

Admission to Deck the Old City Hall

Admission to Deck the Old City Hall is by donation (regular admission applies to the Lightcatcher building). The Museum offers admission by donation as a seasonal gift to the community.

Walker says Deck the Old City Hall helps build community, highlights the Museum’s diverse offerings, and provides fun for all ages. Proceeds from donations benefit the Museum’s programming and exhibitions.

Come see the magic for yourself.

Decorated Christmas trees

5th Annual Deck the Old City Hall a Great Way to Get into the Holiday Spirit


Some of the many trees on display at the Old City Hall during Deck the Old City Hall

If you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit, look no further than Whatcom Museum’s Deck the Old City Hall. From Nov. 24 to Dec. 31 2017 Old City Hall will be decked out for the holidays for its fifth annual celebration.

More than 20 decorated trees will be on display, along with garlands, wreaths, and more. There will be a variety of events to participate in as well, such as a holiday cocktail party and visits with Santa.

Deck the Old City Hall

Admission to Deck the Old City Hall is by donation (regular admission applies to the Museum’s Lightcatcher building). The Museum offers admission by donation as a seasonal gift to the community, so there’s no need to worry if your wallet is a little slim from holiday shopping! Proceeds from donations benefit Museum programs and exhibitions.

Families interested in visiting with Santa can see him at Old City Hall on Saturday, Nov. 25, Sunday, Nov. 26 or Sunday, Dec. 3, 12:30-2:30pm in the Rotunda Room. Visitors can take photos with Santa and bring their wish lists to find out if they’ve been naughty or nice. This event is included with donation.

To kick off December, the Museum will host the Deck the Old City Hall Holiday Cocktail Party on Friday, Dec. 1, 5:30-8pm. Guests can dress up for the evening and enjoy wine and appetizers and dance to the beats from the DJ’s playlist. The event is 21 and over, and tickets are $50 per person, available online at:

“Many people come back (after the party) and bring their families the following week,” said Lori Clough, Museum Advocates co-chair and a co-sponsor of the cocktail party. “That makes me feel like we are doing our part by showing off this iconic historical masterpiece that keeps our history and artifacts safe.”

She adds this is her fourth year as a sponsor, and she feels she and her husband are “making a difference one party at a time.”

People gather during Deck the Old City Hall’s 2016 Cocktail party.

A few other family friendly activities include a children’s holiday tree for decorating and visits with Wally the Museum Mouse, the beloved mascot. Take photos with this big, friendly mouse in the Rotunda Room on Saturday, Dec. 2 or 9, 12:30-2:30pm.

Deck the Old City Hall is open Wednesday-Sunday, Nov. 24 – Dec. 31, noon – 5pm at Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St. Admission is by donation.

–Written by Colton Redtfeldt, Marketing Assistant


Handmade Holiday Noisy New Years at Deck the Old City Hall

As 2019 comes to a close, join us to celebrate the upcoming New Year. We’re offering supplies and guidance to help visitors of all ages make their own noisemakers and 2020 masks to kick off the New Year in style. Help us close out the holiday season as we look forward to an exciting year ahead!

Lightcatcher building

Museum Campus Closed

The Museum campus will be closed today in observation of Christmas.

paper snowflake

Handmade Holiday Scherenschnitte at Deck the Old City Hall

Deck Old City Hall is taking a trip to Germany to explore Scherenschnitte. While that may seem like a mouthful, it’s only the art of German paper cutting. Join us to cut holiday-themed pieces that are perfect for decorating a tree or mantle. Make sure to bring the family, as we’ve got a blizzard of paper snowflakes forecast too!

Handmade Holiday Snowmen at Deck the Old City Hall

While the weather outside may not seem frightful, you can still make a snowman at the Museum. We’re offering a free activity to make sock snowmen (and snowwomen!) as part of Deck the Old City Hall. Bring the whole family for some holiday fun!

Historical Society: Annual History Holiday Open Mic

This is a festive and informative evening of local history sharing and holiday goodies! All are welcome—members, friends, and the general public—to listen to or sign up for a 5-minute open-mic session to share a personal story, research, an artifact, or anything else related to local or regional history. Local authors will sell and sign books, and an informational table will provide resources and literature. Co-presented by the Whatcom County Historical Society (WCHS). $5 suggested donation/Museum and WCHS members free

Performers in BHS Showstoppers

Museum Advocates: Bellingham High School Showstoppers Holiday Favorites

The Bellingham High School (BHS) Showstoppers spread holiday magic with their stellar song and dance. Be prepared to get into the spirit of the season! This award-winning small mixed vocal ensemble is auditioned out of three choral ensembles at BHS and is led by director Linda Short, who has been a veteran of the school district for 38 years.

11:30am coffee and meeting, noon program