Winter Wonder: Exploring the History of Wintertime Traditions - Atlas Obscura Experiences

Winter Wonder: Exploring the History of Wintertime Traditions

3 sessions
$65 per person
See Dates
$65 per person
$65 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

This course has already started! However, you can still join if you’d like to (and we hope you will!). Students enrolling after the course start date and time will have access to a recording of the first session (which will be emailed to participants within 72 hours) as well as the option to attend remaining sessions live. Please select the “Join Late” ticket type to enroll after the course has begun.

In this 3-part lecture series, we’ll explore the oft-forgotten histories and mythologies at the core of several wintertime traditions.

Course Description

Join us for a spin through the wonders, joys, and oddities of winter, unearthing the secret histories behind some of the season’s most popular traditions. Alongside Kelly Reidy, host of Accidental Discoveries, we’ll traverse the icy landscape of winter culture, activities, and lore, from probing the history of ice fishing to tracing the life of the iconic snowman back to its humble beginnings (and nope, we don’t mean a snowball!). Grab some hot cocoa and cozy up to a surprising and delightful look at the many ways we’ve found warmth, joy, and meaning in the coldest season of the year. 

Syllabus At A Glance

This course includes three total sessions, each lasting 1 hour on three consecutive days beginning December 18.

Session 1 (Monday, 12/18, 7–8:00 PM ET) | History & Culture of Winter Pastimes With Dr. Kelly Reidy

Session 2 (Tuesday, 12/19, 7–8:00 PM ET) | History of the Snowman With Bob Eckstein

Session 3 (Wednesday, 12/20, 7–8:00 PM ET) | Winter Mythologies & Legends With Dr. John Bucher

Your Instructors

Dr. Kelly Reidy 

Dr. Kelly Reidy is a storyteller, performer, and rogue physicist currently based in Chapel Hill, NC. She teaches Science & Storytelling at Pratt Institute and has traveled the world as a tour guide and creative consultant with Museum Hack. In her spare time, she fronts a rock 'n' roll band (Entrez Vous) and hangs out with a very funny chihuahua (Bootsy). Find her on instagram: @drunkascheese

Bob Eckstein

Bob Eckstein is an award-winning NY Times bestseller, New Yorker cartoonist and the world’s leading snowman expert. His work has appeared in The NY Times, The New Yorker, Writer’s Digest, SPY magazine, MAD magazine, McSweeney’s, Reader’s Digest, and many others. His work has been exhibited around the world and he has spoke in over a 150 TV and radio shows from the annual Writer's Digest Humor Conference to Yonsei University in South Korea. Bob Eckstein’s books include The Illustrated History of the Snowman, currently in film production.

Dr. John Bucher

Dr. John Bucher is a mythologist and storyteller based out of Hollywood, California. He serves as Creative Director for the Joseph Campbell Foundation and is also an author, podcaster, speaker, teacher, and consultant. He has worked with companies including HBO, DC Comics, The History Channel, A24 Films, and has served as a consultant and writer for numerous film, television, and Virtual Reality projects. He co-hosts the Skeleton Keys podcast, which examines mythology and history in pop culture, with Historian Torri Yates-Orr. John holds a PhD in Mythology and Depth Psychology and has spoken on 6 continents about myth, story, rituals, symbols, and cults.

Pricing Options

This course is available at three ticket prices. This tiered pricing model is designed to increase access for a wider range of students as well as to support our instructors. In addition to tiered tickets, we offer a limited number of no-pay spots for students who would not otherwise be able to take this course. No-pay spots are selected via a randomized drawing two weeks before each section begins. For more information and to apply for a no-pay spot, please click here. To learn more about our pricing model and randomized selection process for no-pay spots, please visit our FAQ page.

Community Guidelines for Students

Please take a moment to review our community guidelines for students, which aim to share our classroom ethos and help set the stage for the best possible learning experience.

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

Atlas Obscura Courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.

Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura created the definitive community-driven guide to incredible places across the planet and is now an award-winning company that shares the world’s hidden wonders in person and online.

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to each class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access all sessions of your course via Zoom.

What Else You Should Know

This lecture series is designed so students can participate live or watch a recording of each session, after it airs, at a time that is convenient for them. Sessions will take place live over Zoom, with dedicated Q&A segments for students to ask questions via video or chat. Within 72 hours after each session meets, students will receive access to a recording of the live session, which they can watch for up to two weeks after the course concludes.

Instructors may use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors may use this platform to post resources, discussion questions, or assignments. This platform also offers a space for students to connect with one another about course material between sessions.

We provide closed captioning for all of our courses and can share transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at if you have any questions, requests, or accessibility needs.

Access to this online course is free for Atlas Obscura Members. Unlock more wonder by becoming a member today!

Dates and Availability

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