Visitors to this year's Five Places of Christmas will not only get to enjoy the festive atmosphere and activities offered at Newton-area museums from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7, but the first 100 families or individuals to visit all five places (the Carriage Factory Art Gallery, Harvey County Historical Museum, Kauffman Museum, Warkentin House and Bethel College Women's Association) will also receive a special memento from the holiday open house.

Thanks to a collaboration with Alvin Peters, of North Newton, commemorative ornaments will be offered as part of the holiday event, with each attraction featuring 20 ornaments that can be redeemed for a card stamped at all participating locations, with a limit of one ornament per family.

Peters has been making small woodworking projects for some time, often donating his projects, such as magnets with various sayings that he makes for the Et Cetera Shop. He believes that is part of why he was approached to help with the ornament project for the Five Places of Christmas.

"I enjoy doing things for donation," Peters said. "I don't necessarily want to make money off of it, so that makes it an easy thing."

Using lasers to cut local wood, Peters generated a couple of design options for organizers to choose from. The final product features the Five Places of Christmas on one side and a special holiday message on the other.

Kauffman Museum curator of education Andi Scmidt Andres noted collectible ornaments were offered for the first time last year, having been purchased for the event. As an added incentive to draw in more visitors this year, the museums wanted to offer something more unique. With Peters having donated some lasercut ornaments to Kauffman Museum previously, it seemed like a perfect fit to Andres.

Quite a few hours went into making the ornaments, Peters admitted, but he was happy to be a part of the project. He also said this is one of the largest projects he has been involved with and would like to see the ornament giveaway go over well.

"Hopefully it's worthy of people putting it on their trees, wherever they want to hang the little slices — a little reward for having made it to all five places," Peters said.

Outside of the collectible ornaments, there are a number of other draws to the Five Places of Christmas event this year.

At the Harvey County Historical Museum & Archives, 203 N. Main St., the Sunflower Woodworker's Guild will be present and featuring make-it and take-it crafts while supplies last. The museum also invites visitors to enjoy '80s-themed decorations and the current "Back to the '80s" exhibit. Refreshments will be served.

Meanwhile, the group theme for the Bethel College Women's Association at the Luyken Fine Arts Center on the Bethel College Campus, 27th and Main streets, North Newton, is "Christmas at the Stables." The group will feature lots of homemade candies, cookies, cinnamon rolls, peppernuts and other baked goods, and such handcrafted items as purses, jewelry, crochet and other Christmas gifts. Free coffee will be served, and a make-and-take activity for all ages is also planned.

Visitors to Kauffman Museum, located at 27th and Main streets in North Newton, can enjoy the museum and refreshments as well as the exhibit "K is for Kansas" and a Kansas-themed make-and-take activity.

Carriage Factory Gallery, 128 E. Sixth St. in Newton, will feature music and refreshments and a make-and-take activity. Art and other items will be for sale throughout the gallery.

The Warkentin House Museum, 211 E. First St. in Newton, offers peppernuts and Mrs. Warkentin’s Russian tea while visitors can explore the Victorian home decorated to its holiday finest by local volunteers. Children and youths from the Home School Association of Newton and friends will share their vocal and instrumental talents throughout the day while visitors enjoy tours of this historic landmark.

All "Five Places of Christmas" will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 and admission is free. If you have questions about the event, contact Melody Spurney with the Newton Convention and Visitor's Bureau at 284-3642 or mspurney@newtonkansan.com.