Sinterklaas is coming to town!

Wyckoff House is hosting its annual Sinterklaas celebration, the Christmas tradition brought to Brooklyn by Dutch settlers, on Saturday, December 1. 

“We hope that families learn some new traditions for the holidays, meet new people, have fun and experience some old-fashioned ways to celebrate,” said Melissa Branfman, director of Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum. “We welcome our community near and far to experience the Dutch tradition that has influenced our modern day celebration of Christmas. Not to mention – it’s always a blast to warm up by the outdoor hearth!”

Sinterklaas, the Netherland’s counterpart to the American Santa Claus, is actually based on the historical figure of Saint Nicholas, a Greek bishop of Myra in present-day Turkey. Like his American companion, he is depicted as an elderly, stately man with white hair and a long, full beard — and, after determining if you were naughty or nice over the last year, he may bring presents!

On the evening that Sinterklaas arrives in the Netherlands, traditionally celebrated on December 5, children sing holiday songs and leave a shoe out, hoping that he will fill it overnight with presents. The kids also leave out some hay and carrots for the bishop’s faithful horse.

Photo credit: Cindy Hu for Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum

Saturday’s festivities will kick off at 1:00pm with a concert by colonial balladeer Linda Russell. Kids will get to learn about the history of Saint Nick and sing the traditional Sinterklaas song, before he makes a special appearance. Like in the Netherlands, children are invited to reward Sinterklaas’ horse with carrots and hay, before they get to sign his giant red “naughty or nice” book.

Families can also indulge in hot cider and Dutch holiday specialties like Olicooks (doughnuts) while playing colonial games, create holiday pomanders, decorate Dutch clogs for Sinterklaas and dress the tree for the tree lighting that will close the day as the sun goes down.

For a complete schedule and tickets, go here.

Sinterklaas at Wyckoff House

When: Saturday, December 1 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Where: Wyckoff House, 5816 Clarendon Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11203

How much: $4 – $7, tickets are available here. (Please note that special tickets are required to meet Santa and sign the red book.)

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