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Let a museum entertain you

If you or your pupils want to get out of the house and away from the television over the Christmas holidays, a range of activities will be taking place at various museums and art galleries.

Summerlee Heritage Park

Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire

closed Dec 25, 26 and Jan 1, 2

tel 01236 431261

Staff at Summerlee have been creating an Alice in Wonderland environment for children aged eight and under. Explore the Mad Hatter's tea party and other scenes from Lewis Carroll's famous book.

The rest of this huge industrial heritage site, which includes an underground mine and workers' cottages, is open to all ages.

City Art Centre

2 Market Street, Edinburgh

closed Sundays and December 25, 26 and January 1, 2

tel 0131 529 3993

Six exhibitions are running at the City Art Centre over the holidays. Weaving Stories is aimed specifically at families and features a display of some of the most innovative craft work being produced in Britain today. In the studio, visitors can handle and work with a range of tools and weaving materials.

Also see the exhibitions tracing the history of Christianity in Scotland and paintings showing Scottish working life from the 19th century to the present day.

Stranraer Museum

55 George Street, Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway

closed Sundays and December 25, 26 and January 1, 2

tel 01776 705088

Messages from the Past traces the history of Stranraer using written and printed documents. "It's not as dull as it sounds," promises curator John Pickin. The oldest document is a vellum page from a medieval illuminated manuscript which was turned plain side out a couple of hundred years ago - in much thriftier times - and used to cover a book of 17th-century council meeting minutes.

Also featured are accounts kept by a local farmer and blacksmith and a selection of early advertisements from newspapers that served the area. A family activity sheet accompanies the exhibition.

Scotland Street School Museum

225 Scotland Street, Glasgow

closed Dec 25, 26 and Jan 1, 2

tel 0141 287 0500

Lots to see and some things to do at this famous school designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The Showcase 2002 exhibition is running until January 8, with displays of innovative work - graphics, fashion, furniture and stained glass - by students at Glasgow colleges on view over two floors. Look out for the hot dog model car and the red velvet lips love seat.

Photographer Eric Watt started taking colour pictures of Glasgow children playing in the streets in the 1950s. His exhibition at the Scotland Street School Museum features children on Boxing Day, 1971 sitting in a tent they erected on a vacant lot and a boy playing outside with his pet hamster.

Visitors can also see the four historic classrooms in the school life and school building exhibitions.

Callendar House

Callendar Park, Falkirk

closed Sundays and December 25, 26 and January 1, 2

tel 01324 503770

There is a charge to get into Callendar House (adults pound;3, children pound;1, six and under free) but it is worth it, particularly at this time of year when a large decorated tree gives this historic building a festive atmosphere. Visitors have access not only to a variety of exhibitions but also the Georgian kitchen where assistants in costume cook seasonal fare and will let you sample some. Upstairs is the Georgian street, featuring a period shop and printing business.

A special exhibition, The Magic Box, which runs until April 5, looks at the history of photography, with original camera equipment and early photographs on show and hands-on activities.

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