Escape from the winter chill into our galleries this festive season, and explore this world-class collection of art and antiquities. Christmas and New Year is your chance to catch the finals weeks of Epic of the Persian Kings (until 9 January 2011), a landmark exhibition of rare and glittering Persian manuscript paintings which has attracted almost 24,000 visitors during its run. Elsewhere, visitors can enjoy an intriguing range of contemporary prints by artists including Jake and Dinos Chapman, Mat Collishaw and Marc Quinn in the new exhibition Afterlife. (See all exhibitions at the Fitzwilliam)
The Museum is also the perfect place for a festive family day out. Our 'FitzKits' activity boxes for younger visitors are available free all year round from the entrance desks. Look out too for our free 'Twelve Days of Christmas' trail, leading families on a seasonal adventure around the galleries.
Christmas shoppers can take the opportunity to find their gifts away from the crowds in our Courtyard Shop - an Aladdin's cave full of striking and unusual Christmas presents. A selection of distinctive jewellery is available, alongside a wide selection of books, calendars and posters, while the exclusive Christmas card collection ranges from the traditional to the unusual, featuring works from the Museum's collections. To refresh you after your shopping, the Courtyard Café offers a tempting variety of food and drink.
The Fitzwilliam will welcome in the New Year with a special talk on 5 January by writer Nicholas Jubber, who will be discussing his new book Drinking Arak off an Ayatollah's Beard. As heard on BBC R4's Excess Baggage, this recently-published travel memoir charts Jubber's journey through Iran and Afghanistan in the footsteps of the poet Ferdowsi. The evening includes an exclusive chance to see Epic of the Persian Kings out of hours during its last few days, and a screening of an animation based on the Shahnameh. (Event details and how to book)
Christmas & New Year visiting information: Our normal opening hours are: Tuesday-Saturday: 10.00-17.00, Sunday: 12.00-17.00. The Museum is closed 24-26 & 31 December and 1 January, and opening times vary over the festive period - visit our Plan Your Visit page for more information.
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