Garibaldi museum closes for the winter with a little help from Santa

The Garibaldi Museum closed to the public for the winter after a big weekend, according to the manager.

The museum facilities can still be reserved for meetings and reunions, but the museum will not be opening again to the public until March, Anna Rzuczek said Saturday.

Juliette Weston of West Linn (right) works with her children Mary (center) and Nathaniel (left) coloring their Christmas stockings at the Garibaldi Museum Saturday. The museum closed out its 2016 calendar with a post-Thanksgiving open house and gift shop.

The museum was able to close out 2016 with a bit of a bang, thanks to three days of Santa and a gift store sales event, she said. “It has been excellent.”

The museum had Santa and Mrs. Claus in the building for three days, along with a large display of Christmas ornaments which could be purchased.

The museum had hand-made ornaments on display and available for purchase before the facility closed to the public for the winter months.

For the families visiting Santa, the museum also set up areas where the children and parents could color their own Christmas stockings.

“We close Dec. 1 so we are looking forward to doing other things, like working on exhibits,” she said. The museum is normally open Thursday through Monday from April to October. In November and March, the museum is only open on weekends.

Reindeer and an elf check the computer at the Garibaldi Maritime Museum while Santa and Mrs. Claus wait for more visitors.

During the winter, the museum will be open by appointment only, she explained. “A lot of people do that because they want the museum to themselves. They may be having a family reunion or something else. It works out.”

The museum has already been reserved in upcoming weeks for business meetings. “We have left the room decorated (for Christmas) so people can come in and do a Christmas party.”

Among the groups who have already reserved the museum is the Coast Guard Auxiliary, she said. “They come every year and we leave the room decorated for them.”

The museum moves to its summer hours for spring break, the manager added.

If people want to make a reservation, all they have to do is leave a message on the phone (503-322-8411). “I check the messages daily,” Rzuczek said.