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This program is sold out.

Call us at (202) 633-3030 to get on the Wait List. Additional tickets may become available or additional sessions may be added.

A View from the East

Mingle at the Museum event

Exhibit curator talks, art activities, Chinese-style hors d'oeuvres, orchid giveaway

Wed., Feb 2, 6:30 to 9 p.m
Code: 1YBH02

Natural History Museum rotunda, orchids, and Chinese New Year red paper cut-out

Join us at the Natural History Museum on the eve of the Chinese New Year, where you'll find yourself surrounded by exotic sights and heady scents.

Explore the exhibition Orchids—A View from the East, which is filled with the lovely plants long appreciated in China as symbols of nobility, friendship, and refinement.

Mingle with exhibit curators, vote in the Taiwanese-style juried show, sample Chinese-style hors d’oeuvres, and create traditional Chinese New Year red paper cut-outs.

After delighting your sense of sight and smell, indulge your taste buds in savory Chinese hors d'oeuvres and dessert.

At the close of the evening, 25 potted orchids will be given away courtesy of Smithsonian Gardens.


6:15 p.m.:
•   Will-call tickets are available at the Constitution Ave. entrance

6:30 p.m.:
•   Doors open
•   No tickets will be sold at the door

6:30-9 p.m.:
•   Art activities inspired by the Chinese New Year
•   Smithsonian Gardens experts talk in exhibition gallery
•   Vote in the Taiwanese-style juried exhibition
•   Food service provided by Purple Onion Catering
•   Cash bar featuring Heineken products
•   Orchid giveaway courtesy of Smithsonian Gardens

Indulge your taste buds in Chinese bites provided by Purple Onion Catering.

Passed Hors D’oeuvres
Vegetable Spring Rolls
served with a Ginger Orange Dipping Sauce

Beef Teriyaki Canapé
with a Wasabi Cream

Crispy Shrimp
served with a Miso Dipping Sauce

Stationary Hors D’oeuvres
Sesame Noodle Salad
served in Miniature Asian Take-Out Boxes with Chopsticks

Beef Satay
Chicken Satay
served over Hot Rocks with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

Passed Dessert
Miniature Cinnamon and Ginger Carrot Cupcakes
with a Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting

You must be at least 21 years old with a valid ID to attend. One drink ticket is included with admission. A cash bar will offer a specialty cocktail, wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages throughout the evening.

Featured Exhibition: Orchids—A View from the East

"An orchid in a deep forest sends out its fragrance even if no one is around to appreciate it. Likewise, men of noble character hold firm to their high principles, undeterred by poverty.”
– Confucius (551–479 BC)

Orchids have been a part of Chinese culture for many centuries, permeating Chinese history, legends, literature, and art. Since ancient times, orchids have been celebrated in China for their beauty and fragrance, and appreciated as symbols of nobility, friendship, and refinement.

The orchid displays in this exhibit are interpretations of these themes. Enter and explore reflections of this enchanting plant through Chinese culture, from ancient times to the present day.

Read More About this Exhibition


  • One drink ticket included with admission.
  • Additional drink tickets may be purchased with either cash or credit card.
  • Must be at least 21 with a valid photo ID to attend.
  • All ticket sales are final.
  • All bags will be searched by security.
  • Personal items can be checked in designated coat rooms or lockers at your own discretion. The museum is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.

To view past and current Mingle at the Museum events, click here.  




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National Museum of Natural History
10th & Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
(Smithsonian Metro, Blue/Orange lines)