The American Swedish Institute wants visitors to bundle up and go outside this season. Because of the pandemic, this year's annual holiday events have been moved outdoors, starting Saturday.
"We get to play up this idea that the Nordic countries, and our holidays, embrace the outdoors," said Ingrid Nyholm-Lange, ASI's director of experience. "There's a saying that there's no 'weather,' only bad clothing."
Julmarknad, the institute's holiday market and festival, will be spread over six weekends through Dec. 20 instead of one big weekend, with three or four of the 33 participating vendors on hand in the courtyard each weekend.
And ASI's annual holiday-themed exhibit of art and objects from Scandinavian countries moves from the Turnblad Mansion to become a sort of Nordic story trail. Each of the five countries will have its own "story station" — a semi-enclosed space, with evergreens serving as walls.
In the Swedish station, visitors can learn about the adventures of Pippi Longstocking and follow a candy trail to find presents. Iceland's station, located on Park Avenue next to the mansion, focuses on the yuletide cat tale, about a giant kitty that eats kids who haven't received new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve.
Norway, Finland and Denmark's stations are clustered next to the Nelson Cultural Center on Park Avenue. Each explores tales specific to those countries. Tickets will be limited, with timed entry.
The institute also extended its 90th anniversary show, "Extra/Ordinary: The American Swedish Institute at Play," which uses objects from the permanent collection to tell stories about the institute's history. It opened in late February, just weeks before the shutdown, and was scheduled to close in July. It will continue through Jan. 24.