The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is getting ready for 2023 by inviting artists of all ages to participate in the annual First Night Winchester Coloring Contest and offering free family-oriented entertainment throughout the day on December 31. In addition, admission to the Museum’s galleries and gardens will be by donation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

On December 31 and in the galleries building, magic shows will take place at 10 a.m. and noon, the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center will present programs at 2 & 4 p.m., and balloon animal making & face painting will take place from noon to 3 p.m. While the entertainment is free, tickets are required for the magic and animal shows. Those interested in attending may get tickets at As space is limited, early registration is encouraged. Tickets are not required for the face painting or balloon activities.

Now underway and going through December 29, the First Night Winchester coloring contest is open to all ages and offers the opportunity for artists to win prizes. Drawn by Shenandoah Valley artist John Burns, the coloring sheet celebrates New Year’s Eve activities at the MSV and Destination: Latin America, a traveling exhibition of modern and contemporary Latin American art currently on view in the MSV. The artwork in the drawing was inspired by a photograph from the exhibition, Ceci n’est pas une voiture I (This is Not a Car) by Betsabeé Romero.

One lucky participant from each age group competing in the coloring contest—tot (4 & under), child (5–7), youth (8–12), teen (13–17), adult (18–59), and senior (60+)—will win a one-year family membership to the MSV ($90 value), merchandise from the Museum Store, a package of McDonald’s® gift cards, and two tickets for a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse Winchester.

Those interested in participating in the coloring contest may download it here or pick up free coloring sheets at the MSV Guest Services Desk (Tuesday–Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.) . To be eligible to win a prize in the contest, participants must bring (or mail) completed coloring sheets to the MSV by 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 29, 2022. Contest winners will be contacted on December 30. The six winning entries will be on display in the MSV lobby on December 31.

“We are excited to continue this popular community tradition,” says MSV CEO and Director Dana Hand Evans, noting that the MSV has been offering family entertainment and the coloring contest for over a decade. Prior to this year, these activities were organized in partnership with First Night Winchester, a non-profit celebration of the arts in Old Town Winchester. In the summer of 2022, the organization disbanded, asking the MSV to keep the spirit of the celebration going. According to Director Evans, the MSV expanded its daytime entertainment program this year and the plans to keep building the New Year’s Eve celebration at the MSV in the years ahead.

To celebrate New Year’s Eve, the MSV will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 31 offering admission by donation.

Along with family-oriented First Night activities, the MSV is offering admission by donation from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 31. New Year’s Eve marks the final opportunity for visitors to tour the Museum’s Glen Burnie House and gardens before they close for the winter season. The Trails at the MSV will be open from 7 a.m. until dusk on New Year’s Eve.

A regional cultural center, the MSV is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV includes a galleries building that presents permanent and rotating exhibitions, the Glen Burnie House, seven acres of formal gardens, and The Trails at the MSV, a free-admission art park open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk. Additional details about the MSV are available at or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235.