What To Do: Get your love on for Valentine’s

From romantic skate, to chocolates and wine, many ways to share your love

By Denny DyroffStaff Writer, The Times


Victorine’s Valentine Day puts local history and Valentine’s Day in perspective at the Hagley Museum.

It’s hard to imagine anyone not being aware that this weekend is Valentine’s Day Weekend but it’s not hard to imagine people appreciating a few suggestions on how to celebrate the occasion with their sweethearts. There are several special events in the area that could fill the bill.

On February 13 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Hagley Museum and Library (Route 141, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-658-2400, www.hagley.org) will host its 2016 edition of “Victorine’s Valentine Day”.

 Victorine’s party will be held at Blacksmith Hill, the restored 19th-century workers’ community where the lives of the du Ponts and the people who worked for their company connected.

Here, a woman named Victorine du Pont Bauduy (1792-1861), the eldest daughter of the DuPont Company founder. During Victorine’s Valentine Day, “Victorine” will tell her story, as well as other love stories from the 19th century.

Victorine was the eldest daughter of E. I. du Pont, who built the mills on the Brandywine. She fell in love with Ferdinand Bauduy, the son of E. I.’s business partner. E. I. opposed the marriage, believing the couple was too young to be married. Ferdinand moved to France for two years, during which time Victorine pined for him. After two years, E. I. relented, and the young couple joyfully married in 1813.

Tragically, eleven weeks after their marriage, Ferdinand became ill and passed away. Victorine was heartbroken, but after a long period of grief, she found a new passion in her life. Victorine threw herself into teaching at the Brandywine Manufacturers’ Sunday School. She remained the superintendent until her death in 1861.

In addition to the telling of Victorine’s story, the event will feature other activities such as making a Victorian Valentine. In the Brandywine Manufacturers’ Sunday School, visitors can experience what school was like in the nineteenth century.

A special exhibit featuring antique Valentine cards and chocolate-themed treasures from Hagley’s collection will be on display. All activities, including designing a candy bar wrapper and snacking on hot chocolate are included.

Visitors will be able to check out Hagley’s current exhibits, explore demonstrations in the Powder Yard, tour the du Pont ancestral home, and enjoy walks along the scenic riverside.

The best place to start a day at Hagley is at the visitor center. Exhibits and dioramas document the Brandywine Valley’s early eras as well as the history of the DuPont Company. During the Civil War, the DuPont Company produced almost half of the gunpowder purchased for use by the Union army.

Visitors who go outside can walk along the Brandywine to see how water power was used to run the mills. Stops along the walk include a line shaft, a dam, a millrace and a restored 19th-century machine shop. Guests can also learn how gunpowder was tested using a device called an eprouvette.

Earlier in the day, you can start your holiday celebration with a different type of Valentine’s Day experience by having a delightful breakfast in the country.

An all-you-can-eat Valentine’s Breakfast Buffet — complete with live musical performances — will be held on February 13 from 7-noon at Historic Joanna Furnace Historic on February 13 Joanna Furnace (Route 10, Morgantown, 610-286-0388, www.haycreek.org).

Visit to the historical site Saturday morning will be able to savor the delicious breakfast foods Joanna Furnace is known for, indulge in a chocolate-enhanced menu and learn about the history of Joanna Furnace. Many of the dishes served at the event will be reminiscent of the breakfasts served in the historic furnace homes.

The all-you-can-eat Valentine’s Breakfast Buffet will feature bacon, creamed chipped beef, eggs, fresh country sausage, ham, scrapple, pancakes, hash browns, toast, coffee, juice and fresh strawberries accompanied by a fabulous chocolate dip. 

The “Lovers’ Day” ambiance will be enhanced by live music performed by Phyllis Hummel. The veteran musician from Berks County will play acoustical guitar and sing a variety of romantic ballads throughout the breakfast time.

Tickets for the breakfast are $9 for adults and $4.50 for children (ages 5-11). Reservations are not required for breakfast.

Valentine’s Day and chocolates go together like Easter and decorated eggs or Thanksgiving and turkey. One of the best things about February is Valentine’s Day and one of the best things about Valentine’s Day is chocolate.

If you’re up for a drive in the country, you could take your valentine to Hershey for “Chocolate-Covered February in Hershey” (various locations around Hershey, 800-HERSHEY, www.chocolatecoveredfebruary.com).

Hershey has decadent chocolate events planned throughout the month of February including “Chocolate Dinner Extraordinaire,” “The Great Hot Cocoa Challenge,” “Hersheypark Chocolate Parade,” “Hershey’s Chocolate Dessert Journey,” “Chocolate Tea,” “Hershey’s Character Breakfast” and “Hershey’s Hot Chocolate Pajama Party” at Hershey Lodge.

Chocolate is also featured during “Wine and Chocolate Month” sponsored by the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail (www.bvwinetrail.com). The BVWT is inviting patrons to bring their sweethearts and celebrate with the wineries as they present delicious wine and chocolate tastings and other romantic events throughout February.

Themed events will be held at Kreuz Creek Vineyards (553 South Guernsey Road, West Grove, 610-869-4412, info@kreutzcreekvineyards.com) on February 13 and 14, Paradocx Vineyard (1833 Flint Hill Rd., Landenberg, 610-255-5684, www.paradocx.com) from February 8-12 and Black Walnut Winery (3000 Lincoln Highway, Sadsburyville, 610-857-5566, www.blackwalnutwinery.com) from February 6-28.

The Brandywine Artisan Wine Trail (http://www.brandywineartisanwinetrail.com) will also celebrate chocolate, wines and Valentines throughout the month as part of its month-long “Art of the Valentine” event.

Participating wineries are Flickerwood Wine Cellars (116 W. State St., Kennett Square), Galer Estate Vineyard & Winery (700 Folly Hill Rd., Kennett Square), Grace Winery (50 Sweetwater Road, Glen Mills), Kreutz Creek Vineyard Tasting Room (44 East Gay Street, West Chester), Paradocx Vineyard (879 East Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square), Penns Woods Winery(124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford), Ten Gallon Hat Winery (455 Old Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford) and Wilson Vineyard (4374 Forge Road, Nottingham).

Additionally, the Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, www.chaddsford.com) will offer “Wine & Chocolate Pairings” from February 6-28. Participants will be able to explore several areas of the historic property visit six stations that feature a different pairing of John & Kira’s gourmet chocolate with the winery’s award-winning wine.


Enjoy a Sweetheart Skate at RiverRink in Philly on Valentine’s Day.

If you’re looking for another out-of-the-ordinary way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, you might want to consider taking part in the “Sweetheart Skate” at the Blue Cross RiverRink (Market Street at the Delaware River, Philadelphia, 215-923-6533, www.riverrink.com).

“Sweetheart Skate” is slated for February 14 at the outdoor rink with four skating sessions — 5-6:30 p.m., 7-8:30 p.m., 9-10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. The event’s focus is providing a suitable atmosphere for guests to skate with their special someone and RiverRink features one of the most romantic settings in the city.

Tickets, which are $25, include chocolates, flowers, photo booth, and a DJ taking your special requests. Food and specialty cocktails can be purchased on-site from Garces Group and Franklin Fountain. 

A deejay will host the evening and serve up a menu of music that will allow guests to skate to their favorite love songs with their significant others. As an added attraction, there will be a variety of special games and opportunities to win prizes.

From February 17-21, the Wells Fargo Center (Broad Street below Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, 800-298-4200, www.ComcastTIX.com) will host “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Legends.” 

Ringling Bros. has searched the globe to find the most skilled circus masters for “Legends” and found majestic animals, exotic performers from faraway lands, fearless daredevils and the funniest clowns around.


Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Legends at the Wells Fargo Center, starting Feb. 17.

One of the featured acts in “Legends” is Alexander Lacey and his magnificent big cats. Lacey has had a long history raising big cats considering that his father was circus director who later owned his own zoo.

The Lacey family has raised more than 11 generations of lions and nine generations of tigers.  Each of Lacey’s cats has its own unique behaviors, characteristics, body type and even sounds. He knows each cat so well that he can identify the cats by listening to their roars. Lacey incorporates each cat’s unique behavior into his act.

Lacey’s typical day starts at 6:30 a.m., when he waters and prepares the cats for act practice. He observes each cat and watches for their natural characteristics and then incorporates their behaviors into the act for the show. Once practice is over, it’s time to eat.

Each cat consumes around 8 to 16 pounds of meat daily. By 10 a.m., it’s time to clean up, get another round of drinks and play. The cats love to play with branches, balls and water basins. During the evening, the younger cats practice. Right before bedtime, each cat gets a serving of warm milk and liver oil, which keeps their coats healthy and shiny.

Lacey communicates with the cats in English and German. Each of his cats has its own unique behaviors, characteristics, body type and even sounds.

“I have 17 big cats — six lions, 10 tigers and one leopard — and I know and understand each of them very well,” said Lacey, during a phone interview Thursday afternoon. “All of the cats have been born and bred by my family. Our family has had big cats for 50 years. My parents owned two zoos in England and we got on really good with lions and tigers.”

Lacey, who has been performing with his huge felines for Ringling Bros. for the last four years, got into working with the cats when he was a youngster in Nottingham, England.

“I got more involved as a teenager,” said Lacey, who was discovered by Ringling Bros. when he was performing in Monet Carlo. “My first live show was when I was 17.

“The lions we have now are 11th generation and the tigers are the ninth. They are all very healthy animals with no inbreeding. A lot of effort goes into making sure the bloodlines are pure. If a mother has six cubs and only four teats, the other two will be bottle-fed. By the time the cats are three or three-and-a-half, they perform in front of the public for the first time.

 “We have great facilities for the cats here with the circus and a very good set-up at home. They are fed very well. The meat bill is $5,000 a month. In the wild, the average life expectancy is 12 years for males and 14 years for females. All our cats live to be in their mid-20s. That speaks volumes for the care they’re given.”

Video link for “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Legends” https://youtu.be/izrgjP2MRjs.

Video link for Alexander Lacey — https://youtu.be/MqoiZV91zBc.

Attendees can enjoy the “All Access Pre-Show” free with a ticket purchase. The pre-show, which begins one hour before show time, gives fans the opportunity to meet the cast of performers and get up close to the animals. Tickets for the show range from 15-$115.

With outside temperatures hovering in single digits and wind chill factors dipping into the sub-zero range locally, there have been a lot of days that fall into the “good day to stay at home” category. But, for active people and parents with active kids, there is also a need to get out of the house and do something.

Fortunately, there are ways to accomplish both at the same time. One way is heading to a theater to see a show — a live show performed on stage not a hit movie on huge screen in a little mini-theater room.

beauty beast

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

If you asked almost any young girl you know to name their favorite heroine, the overwhelming majority would most likely say “Belle” from “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”

From February 16-21, Belle and her cast mates from “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” will be onstage in Philadelphia when the Kimmel Center’s Broadway Philadelphia series presents the hit musical at the Academy of Music (Broad and Locust streets, Philadelphia, 215-893-1999 or www.kimmelcenter.org).

 “Beauty and the Beast” is a traditional fairy tale that originated in France several centuries ago. In 1991, Disney produced “Beauty and the Beast” as a musical animated film. It won Academy Awards for “Best Song” and “Best Original Score” and was the first animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Picture.”

A few years later, the score was expanded and the story was transformed into a stage production. “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” opened on Broadway in April 1994 and a year later was a Tony Award winner.

“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

The “Beauty” in “Beauty and the Beast” is Belle — one of the show’s two leading characters. Belle is a true heroine who looks danger in the eye and doesn’t flinch. On the current National Tour, the role of Belle is being performed by Brooke Quintana.

“With this tour, we left New York City in September and did tech in Athens, Georgia,” said Quintana, during a recent phone interview for a tour stop in Huntsville, Alabama. “We opened in Charlotte, North Carolina. That was pretty exciting because I’m from North Carolina and my mom was able to come to the show.

“I graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in musical theater with a concentration in Meisner (acting technique). I started out at the North Carolina School for the Arts studying opera. Then, I transferred to ECU and shifted to musical theater.”

Now, instead of playing roles such as Carmen and Tosca, Quintana is playing Belle.

“I remember ‘Disney’s Beauty and the Beast’ from when I was really little,” said Quintana, who grew up in Cary, North Carolina. “It was always my mom’s favorite Disney show. Now, it’s so exciting to actually be playing Belle.

“I always loved Belle because she’s strong. She’s not a damsel in distress — she’s a strong woman. It’s amazing that she is so brave and so strong. Belle is an incredible role model.

“When she goes to the castle to save her father who is locked up by the Beast, her dad tells her not to give in to the Beast. She says ‘no, no.’ She’s not going to stand there and let someone hurt a person she loves so much.”

Belle is an iconic role — a character that audiences around the world have come to know and love. When an actress plays the role of Belle, she has to be ready to meet people’s expectations.

“I just go out and give it my all,” said Quintana. “I think the audience can feel the passion. It’s still intimidating at times. But, it’s also one of the most exciting things that could happen to me.

“One of the biggest challenges about playing Belle is just knowing that I can’t compare myself to other people. I’m doing the show the way I was taught — and the way I enjoy.”

Video link for “Beauty and the Beast” — https://youtu.be/bnAOuqX9Kzo

Performances are scheduled for February 16, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m.; February 19 at 8 p.m.; February 20 at 2 and 8 p.m.; and February 21 at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets range from $26.50 to $101.50.

Now through February 28, the Candlelight Theatre is featuring a stage production of “Monty Python’s Spamalot.”

The lively comedy was the winner of three Tony Awards in 2005, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical, and the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. The Broadway success spawned a national tour — a tour that visited Philadelphia in 2007 and returned to Philly in 2008.

“Spamalot” is a musical comedy that is billed as being “lovingly ripped off from the film classic ‘Monty Python and The Holy Grail’.” It features a book by former Monty Python member Eric Idle and music and lyrics by the Grammy Award-winning team of Idle and John Du Prez.

The outrageous musical farce tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest for the Holy Grail. Most audience members will know to be on the lookout for flying cows, killer rabbits and taunting Frenchmen.

The busiest actor onstage at the Candlelight in this production is Brian McCole, who plays the role of “Arthur, King of Britons.”

“This is my fourth show at the Candlelight,” said McCole, during a phone interview Thursday afternoon from his office in Philadelphia.

“I also was the Constable in ‘Fiddle on the Roof,’ Cratchett in ‘A Christmas Carol,’ and Inspector Kemp in ‘Young Frankenstein’ — four shows with four different foreign accents and four different styles of facial hair.

“I am a Celtic history buff — and a Celtic mythology buff — so this is a great role for me,” Ancient roots appeal to me. I have read Mabinogion, the Welsh legend cycle which mentions King Arthur. And, I have Irish roots.”

With “Spamalot,” the success of the show depends on the success of the actor playing Arthur.

“It’s the largest single role so there’s definitely some responsibility there,” said McCole, who grew up in Ambler (PA) and lived in L.A. for 13 years before returning to the Delaware Valley.

 “I’m not the strongest singer or the most talented dancer so that’s a challenge. We have a really talented cast so everyone carries the show. I play the straight man so I don’t want to let my followers down.

“I love that Arthur is a struggling leader who has to work a little harder — someone who has a childlike wonder for the gifts he was given and the events around him — someone who gets frustrated when things don’t go as planned.

“This show is really popular with audiences because it’s full of great laughs and, in these times, people need to laugh as much as possible. It’s a handrail for people to hold on to in these challenging times.”

Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings (doors 6 p.m./show, 8 p.m.) and Sunday afternoons (doors, 1 p.m./show, 3 p.m.). Tickets, which include dinner and show, are $59 for adults and $33 for children (ages 4-12).

You almost definitely know people who have tattoos on their body. You also probably do not know anyone with just one tattoo on his or her body. Tattoos are like potato chips. It’s really hard to stop with just one.

Tattoos have been worn since the early days of civilization. They seemingly have been around forever and they just keep getting more popular every year. And, their popularity knows no sex or class distinction. Bikers have their “Born to Ride” tats, socialites have their discreetly-placed “butterfly” tattoos and women of all ages have succumbed to the urge to get a “tramp stamp.”

From February 12-14, the Pennsylvania Convention Center (10th and Arch streets, Philadelphia, 800- 541-8239, www.villainarts.com) is hosting the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention.

The convention runs from 2 p.m.-midnight today, 11 a.m.-midnight on Saturday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday. The main focus of the convention will be hundreds of booths hosted by top-flight tattoo artists.

The event features a huge roster of special guests including Amy Nicoletto from LA Ink, Alli Baker from Best Ink, Myke Chambers, Reese Hilburn from Tattoo Nightmares Miami, Justin Coppolino from Tattoos After Dark, Philadelphia Eddie, Bowery Stan Moskowitz, Dana Brunson and Shanghai Kate.

There will also be a huge line-up of Ink Master stars including Chris Blinston, Matt O’Baugh, Steven Tefft, Shane O’Neill, James Vaughn, Big Ceeze, Mystical Mike, Mark Longenecker, Aaron Is, Kyle Dunbar, Emily Elegado, Robbie Rippoll, Halo Jankowski, Gentle Jay Blondel, and Keith Diffenderfer.

Other attractions include a video game tournament, free samples, raffles and kids’ activities. There will also be opportunities for show attendees to have pictures of their tattoos taken by a number of magazines.

Tickets are $20 per day or $40 for a weekend pass.

Days when expected low temperatures are listed in single digits make it hard to even think about playing golf. But, golf aficionados frequently have the game in their minds at least 360 days a year.

From February 12-14, golfers will have plenty of reasons to have golf thoughts occupying their minds because this is the weekend for the annual Philadelphia Golf Show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (Station Avenue, Oaks, 330-963-6963, http://northcoastgolfshows.com).

The popular annual show features a huge assortment of vendors with a wide array of golf-related products. This allows visitors to shop, compare and save on a huge selection of golf equipment, apparel and accessories. Attendees will see the East Coast’s largest presentation of golf equipment, apparel, and accessories all under one roof.

 In addition to finding great buys, visitors can also plan their next golf vacation. Nearly 100 local and national golf resorts will be on-hand and ready to help you with travel plans. Other show features include several one-of-a-kind ball striking activities and competitions, stage presentations, celebrity appearances, and much more! This is the perfect time and place to gear up for spring.

The list of special attractions includes a “Manufacturers Demo Range”, a “Long Drive Championship,” “Club Fitting,” and a “Long Putt Challenge.” As an added attraction, golfers will have the opportunity to receive free instruction from PGA professionals and to take part in skills competitions to win valuable prizes.

Tickets are $10 and are good for all three days. Children (under 12) will be admitted free.

This weekend, you can experience Scotland, Ireland and the other Celtic cultures without leaving the country. All that is needed is a short drive to King of Prussia. The annual Greater Philadelphia Mid-Winter Scottish & Irish Music Festival is taking place from February 12-14 at (First Avenue, King of Prussia, 610- 825-7268, www.eohebrides.com).

This year’s event is the 24th annual staging of the popular celebration of Gaelic culture. The festival gets underway tonight with the Kick-Off Concert. The show, which begins at 7:30 p.m., features The Hooligans, Albannach and the Mudmen.

On Saturday and Sunday, there will be continuous live performances at four different stages — two on the lower level, one in the Casino Food Court and one in the Valley Forge Park Ballroom.

Some of the headline acts are the John Byrne Band, Screaming Orphans and Searson. The roster of acts slated to perform this weekend also includes MacLeod Fiddlers, Fitzpatrick Irish Dancers, the Brigadoons, the Campbell Highland Dancers, Oliver McElhone, the Cummins Irish Dancers, Timlin & Kane, Timlin & Kane, McLean Avenue Band, Charlie Zahn & Tad Marks, Seamus Kennedy, Anus Richardson, Gabriel Donohue, and Jamison and the Celtic Flame Dancers.

For well over 100 years, Ireland has maintained a tradition of producing great musicians, great bands, great soccer players and very good soccer teams.

Talented musicians — just like talented soccer players — inevitably reach the “Day of Decision” — the day they finally decide whether to pursue their craft as a life’s occupation.

Should they quit altogether? Should they go ‘semi-pro” and play in amateur leagues or local bars? Or, should they throw the hat in the ring and go for the big time.

John Byrne, who is one of the main draws at this weekend’s festival, faced that decision a few weeks ago. Obviously, the singer-songwriter-guitarist chose music.

“I was teaching and playing with my band but it was hard to do both,” said Byrne, during a phone interview last week from his home in Philadelphia’s Fishtown section. “I quit teaching five years ago.

“I had put out a record in 2011 and it was doing well. I had to re-evaluate what I really wanted to do. So, I decided it was time to do music full-time. I’ve been playing music all along ever since I moved from Dublin to Philly in 1999.

“But, I never felt I gave it 100 per cent because I was making a living as a teacher at the same time. After I made the decision, the first year or so was scary. I put a great band together and we toured all over the states and Ireland.”

Byrne had an unusual introduction to this area.

“I came to America when I was in college to work in Wildwood, New Jersey during the summer,” said Byrne, a native of Dublin. “I decided to work another summer in Wildwood after I graduated from college and then I stayed in the states. I had started to play music at bars. I liked Philly so I moved here in the late 90s.

“I made my first album right after I moved here. It was only an O.K. album but it led to the start of the band Patrick’s Head.  We recorded six albums. In 2010, I made my own album ‘After the wake’ and that started things going well for me. It got great reviews and it sold very well.

“In 2011, I put together a four-piece band and toured all over the country. That helped grow our name. In 2012, I recorded an album of Irish tunes like ‘The Parting Glass.’ It was a Celtic/Folk album and it turned out great.”

Now, the John Byrne Band is touring behind a new album — “The Immigrant and the Orphan.”

“In 2014, I started working with Rob Schaeffer,” said Byrne, who is still an avid fan of Irish and world football (soccer). “I did as lot of pre-production work on the new album in his studio. It took about 10 months to make the album.”

Video link for the John Byrne Band — https://youtu.be/ZdDZ0sNm-z0.

Additionally, the festival will also feature Scottish and Irish gift shops, face painting, dance classes, performances by strolling bagpipers, booths featuring clans and fraternal organizations and demonstrations of Irish, Scottish and Canadian dances.

There will also be plenty of taste treats from Scotland and Ireland including imported beer, Scottish and Irish whiskeys, fish and chips, birdies, scones, shortbread and meat pies.

Tickets are $18 for Friday, $30 for Saturday and $25 for Sunday.

“Carnivore Capades” is a special event featuring meat-eating species from artound the world. It will be held from February 13-15 at the Academy of Natural Sciences (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, 215- 299-1000, www.ansp.org).

At “Animals of the Academy,” visitors can learn all about the creatures that call the Academy home and their similarities and differences and they can learn about the array of meat-eating animals that live in the region and the awesome adaptations they have developed to survive at the Auditorium Show “Captivating Carnivores.”

1 p.m.

“Deadly Dinosaurs” looks at the dinosaurs that ate meat — carnivorous dinosaurs that once roamed the earth and were know for their fearsome teeth and claws. At “Predator and Prey,” visitors will be able to learn about the essential adaptations that helped carnivores hunt successfully.

“Tarantulas: Alive and Up Close” allows visitors to come face-to-face with a stunning array of live tarantulas, explore a tarantula burrow and get their pictures taken with these live eight-legged beasts. There will also be a special “Tarantula Talk” at 11:45 a.m.

Other activities include “Carnivore Crafts,” “Owl Pellet Dissection: Microscope Cart,” and “Carnivore Capades Story Time.”

Tickets are $17.95 for adults, $14.95 for seniors and $13.95 for children (ages 3-12).

Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org) is hosting its popular “Orchid Extravaganza” through March 29.

The celebration of the orchid species features thousands of orchid blooms along with a variety of displays and special exhibits throughout its four-acre conservatory. “Orchid Extravaganza” will also feature stunning displays of orchids in planting beds, containers and innovative exhibits.

Approximately 5,000 colorful orchids hang from baskets, create inspiring arrangements and adorn unique forms throughout “Orchid Extravaganza.” Two of the most interesting exhibits are an oncidium waterfall display and an orchid meadow.

Longwood’s “Valentine’s Day Weekend” will feature special brunch and dinner menus in the 1906 restaurant as well as live music by violinist Ann Fontanella from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday in the Conservatory.

Admission to Longwood Gardens is $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and $10 for students.

If you’re planning an a major renovation to your home — or even if you’re just considering working on small projects around the house — you should consider a visit to this weekend’s 35th Annual Philadelphia Home Show.

The show is running from February 12-14 and again on February 19-21 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (12th and Arch streets, Philadelphia, 215- 418-2003, www.phillyhomeshow.com).

The popular annual show features a large number of exhibits representing the home renovation and decorating industry. Showcased products and services include roofing, windows, flooring, decking, landscaping, spas, contractors, designers, water, swimming pools, doors, gutters security systems, cabinetry, entertainment systems, appliances, furniture, vacuums and more.

This year’s event will feature celebrity appearances by John Gidding of HGTV’s “Curb Appeal,” Alison Victoria of  DIY’S “Crashers,” Jeff Devlin of  DIY’S “I Hate My Bath” and HGTV’S “Spice Up My Kitchen,” and Jason Cameron of  DIY’S “Desperate Landscapes.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and $3 for children (ages 6-12).

On February 13, the Delaware Chinese American Association will present “Delaware Chinese New Year Celebration 2015” at The Independence School Auditorium, 1300 Paper Mill Road, Newark, Delaware, 302-689-3235, www.dcaadelaware.org).

The festive annual event will feature traditional Chinese singing and dancing. The list of other activities at the one-day festival includes magic and variety shows, raffles, dim sum, and a Chinese artifact exhibit.

The celebration is slated to get underway at 2 p.m. on February 13 with a snow date scheduled for February 20. 欢迎大家光临 (which means this is a free event and all are welcome.

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