The American Swedish Historical Museum offers a variety of educational programs for all audiences. From school programs, to Swedish language classes to Swedish genealogy, the Museum has something for learners of all ages. 

Programs for Families

Toddler Time

Toddler Time is our specially designed program for children ages 18 months to 4 years old, where each session helps young minds grow through interactive stories, engaging hands-on activities and social interaction.

Toddler Time is a monthly program, every third Tuesday of the Month. Listed below is a schedule of upcoming programs with descriptions.

Cost: $5 per child or free for Museum Household Members. There is no charge for accompanying caregivers.
Registration is recommended, but not required. Register online or pay at the door.


Almost every culture of the world has a version of the Stone Soup story. This month we will explore the Swedish version with an interactive reading from Stone Soup; A Traditional Tale from Sweden by Alison Haws. Toddlers will help "make" the soup during the story and learn the value of sharing. Parents and kids will get to explore the traditional Swedish Stuga to compare cooking methods from their own homes then participate in hands on activities!

   10:30 am - 11:30 am
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Be sure to join us this month and see the museum decked out in its holiday splendor! Toddlers and families will get into the spirt by learning about tradition of Jultomte. We will the Tomten and dance to seasonal music!

If you're not already a member, now is the perfect time to join. Museum members attending December's Toddler Time will receive a double discount in the gift shop the morning of the program! It's a perfect opportunity to teach your little ones about Swedish culture and stock up on last minute holiday presents!

   10:30 am - 11:30 am
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The weather outside is frightful but the Museum is so delightful! In January come and explore what Sweden is like in winter. Join us as we read The Mitten retold by Jim Aylesworth and experience engaging indoor wintertime fun with "inside snow" and craft activities.

  

The phenomenon of aurora borealis can be seen across many arctic countries and certainly lights up the sky in northern Sweden.  Join us for Toddler Time as we read Roaring, Boring Alice by P.K. Merski, dance in a color ballet, and do a color mixing science experiment! Enjoy rainbow Jello snack and watch the night sky light up!

  

This month at Toddler Time kids will get to build those language and math skills by learning the alphabet and how to count in Swedish! Join us as we read D is for Dala Horse: A Nordic Countries Alphabet by Kathy-jo Wargin and reinforce letter and number practice through museum exploration. Activities include letter matching, Swedish counting games, and a fun stamp craft.

  

Sweden is a leader when it comes to recycling. Less than 1% of household waste ends up at a landfill! This month toddlers will learn that they are never too young to start recycling by following the story of a little green monster in the book I Can Save the Earth by Alison Inches. Kids will learn how resources can be reused instead of thrown away by playing games and doing art with recycled materials. Toddler will even get their hands dirty by pitching in to make a composting pile!

  

In conjunction with our new Sami exhibit, toddlers will learn about this special culture. ASHM will introduce the important role reindeer play in the lives of the Sami people in Scandinavia. Join us while we read Inger's Promise by Jamie Parkison, play reindeer games, create a reindeer craft to take home, and enjoy a snack.

  

June means it's time for Midsommar fun! Join us as we learn about traditional Swedish Midsommar celebrations and hear a story of young girl who attends a Midsommar celebration with her Mormor. Children will then explore the textile gallery in the museum and get to see examples of regional costumes often worn at Midsommar and dance around our very own Maypole!

  

Family Events

The Museum hosts many events and programs throughout the year, many of which are fun for the whole family. In addition to these annual programs, we have a constantly evolving calendar of events. Visit our Events page for more information and to purchase tickets.


Every March, Swedes dust off their waffle irons to indulge in freshly baked waffles with jam and whipped cream. This delicious tradition actually originates from a misunderstanding. The original Christian celebration on that day, Annunciation Day, in Swedish is called Vårfrudagen, which sounded very much like the word Våffeldagen, meaning Waffle Day. By tradition and thanks to this tasty miscommunication, Swedes have waffles on March 25. Waffle Day is also considered one of the official the starts of the spring season in Sweden. It has become a custom for Swedish families to celebrate the two events by enjoying crispy heart-shaped waffles with whipped cream and jam. These days, many Swedes do without the religious aspect of the holiday, while still keeping the waffle tradition alive.

In late March, we celebrate Waffle Day at the American Swedish Historical Museum with some freshly baked Swedish waffles served with whipped cream, strawberry jam and, of course, coffee. Tickets include museum admission, waffles and a beverage.

  

Get in the spirit of summer by wearing a wreath of flowers in your hair and take a spin around the midsommarpole at the American Swedish Historical Museum’s annual Midsommarfest in late June. Midsommarfest is a day of fun for the entire family with food, music, dance, raffles, games and activities for kids of all ages. Midsommar is one of Sweden’s most important holidays, a unique Swedish celebration, and a day to rejoice in the coming of summer at a time when daylight is at its longest. At Midsommar time, people all over Sweden retreat to the countryside, eager to savor the festivities with friends and family. In fact, Midsommar is a national holiday comparable to our Fourth of July celebration.

  

Light, warmth and Christmas songs have been hallmarks of the Lucia celebration at ASHM since 1939. Each year, families pour through the magnificent bronze doors of the museum to be greeted by the aroma of freshly baked pastries, meatball dishes and strong Swedish coffee. Stroll through the Christmas Market, or Julmarknad, where Swedish delicacies, crafts, decorations, and imported gifts may be purchased, before the musical entertainment begins. The Swedish Christmas Café will also be selling your favorite sweet and savory holiday foods.          

At 1:00 pm and 3:15 pm, the lights will dim and the doors will close for the duration of a performance of Swedish Christmas songs and dances, which are sure to warm your heart in the cold of winter. Children from toddlers to teens dressed in costume entertain the crowds, culminating with the procession of Lucia, wearing her crown of candles, surrounded by her white gowned attendants and star boys. This long standing event is sure to warm your heart, and become a part of your family’s holiday tradition.

   11:00 am - 4:00 pm
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