What To Do: Brandywine Battlefield open, highlights US-1 area attractions

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

The Christian C. Sanderson Museum

There is a six-mile stretch along Route 1 from Chadds Ford to the eastern edge of Kennett Square that features an abundance of attractions – museums, historic sites, a winery, a botanical wonderland and an historic battlefield.

Travelling from north to south, the first location is the Brandywine Battlefield Historic Park (1491 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford).

Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission delayed the reopening of state-owned historic sites and museums, including the Brandywine Battlefield Historic Park, until further notice.

Well, further notice has been delivered.

The Brandywine Battlefield Historic Park is now open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10-4. Visitors once again can walk in the footsteps of patriots.

Brandywine Battlefield Park is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) in partnership with the Brandywine Battlefield Park Associates.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania established this commemorative park in 1949.  The Park Associates formed in 1979.  Due to state budget cutbacks to PHMC in the summer of 2009, staffs were furloughed at nine sites including this park. PHMC continues upkeep and maintenance. The Park Associates have raised funds to operate the site and recruited volunteers for tours.

Brandywine Battlefield National Historic Landmark encompasses over 50 square miles covering 15 municipalities in two counties.  The Park Associates take the lead role in interpreting the battlefield to visitors and also participates in efforts to preserve the entire National Historic Landmark.

Admission includes access to an 18-minute orientation film, museum, and guided house tours of both Washington’s HQ and the Gideon Gilpin House. There is also a limited visit option for the museum and film only.

Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and veterans, $5 for youth (ages 6-17) and free for active duty military and children (ages six and under).

The Christian C. Sanderson Museum (1755 Creek Road, Chadds Ford, sandersonmuseum.org) reopened on March 5, 2021 and is open for tours by appointment.

The Sanderson Museum will be open Fridays through Mondays from noon-3 p.m. but you must make your reservation 48 hours in advance by calling (610) 864-1598.

The Sanderson Museum is a tribute to the life and collection of one man, Christian C. Sanderson.

A private non-profit organization founded in 1967, the year after Sanderson’s death, the Museum contains thousands of artifacts pertaining not only to local Chadds Ford history, but to American history as well. This juxtaposition of local artifacts and those of countrywide significance puts a small town man’s life into a national context.

Sanderson’s fascination with history and the importance of the “living records” of history has culminated in a collection of archives, memories and actual physical remains of days long gone.

The personal context of the Sanderson museum collection brings new life to the characters and events of American history. The Sanderson Museum is like a time machine, bringing the world’s most distant lands and history’s most grandiose events and figures right up to the museum visitor.

Sanderson accumulated, cared for, and archived personal relics from some of American history’s most significant events. The Museum’s Board of Directors and volunteer guides work diligently to assure that this collection will be preserved and accessible to future generations.

The admission fee is $8 per Adult Non-Member; $5 for children ages 6-12;  $0 for children under age 5 and accompanied by an adult. Members are free.

Just north of the Sanderson Museum is another history-based location – the Chadds Ford Historical Society (1736 North Creek Road, Chadds Ford, chaddsfordhistory.org).

The Chadds Ford Historical Society owns and preserves three pre-Revolutionary buildings which are open to the public as house museums. The Society was founded in 1968 as part of an effort to save the dilapidated John Chads House (c.1725) which had come up for sale and was rumored to be destroyed. For $25,000, the Society purchased the house and four acres of land

As the Chads House was being restored, the abandoned Barns-Brinton House (1714) came available and the Society purchased this property too. Money was raised for renovations. As the mission and staff of the Society grew, a new Visitors Center was built in 1992 on part of the Chads House four-acre property.

In addition to maintaining all historic structures, the Society hosts several community events annually along with providing Living History education programs for youth and adults. Our Visitors Center hosts a Spring Lecture Series, Exhibits and provides a research library for the public.

John Chads House tours are available on Saturdays year-round except the first Saturday of each month (reserved for Escape Brandywine). Barns-Brinton House tours are available on Saturdays between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Prices for the tours are $6 for adults and $3 for children (ages 5-12).

The Brandywine River Museum

Another popular attraction along the same stretch of Route 1 is The Brandywine River Museum (1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, www.brandywine.org).

The Museum is now open Wednesdays through Mondays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and closed Tuesdays.

To ensure the safety, security and quality of the visitor experience, the Brandywine has implemented a variety of procedures, including timed ticketing and capacity limits. While not required, advance purchasing of timed tickets is highly recommended. Click below to reserve your timed tickets.

During its closure, the Museum underwent several facility renovations to its second and third floors. Upgrades included a complete refurbishment of the restrooms on the second floor, making them fully ADA accessible, as well as switching their current location with the Strawbridge Family Gallery (which will open later this summer), plus new HVAC and fire suppression systems.

Opening into the Museum’s central atrium, the reimagined Gallery — complete with new state-of-the-art lighting — will improve circulation within the Museum building, enhancing the visitor experience.

The special exhibition currently on view is “Ralston Crawford: Air & Space & War,” which will be running now through September 19.

Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors (65+), $6 for students with ID and children (ages 6-18) and free for children (ages five and under).

If you build up a thirst while taking tours, you should consider a stop at the Chaddsford Winery (Route 1, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, www.chaddsford.com).

The Chaddsford Winery is hosting “Chillin’ at CFW” on July 24 and 25.

Visitors can beat the summer heat with a variety of chilly wine treats at Chaddsford Winery which is offering $1 discounts on its full range of frozen libations.

Some of the featured treats will be “Cherry Wine Slushie,” “Wine Poptail,” “Wine Popsicle,” and “Scoop of Gemelli’s Pear Sorbetto with Niagara Demi.”

Food items will be available for purchase from the Meat House food truck.

Chaddsford Winery will also be presenting “Reserve Tastings – Summer Sips” on select Saturdays and Sundays in July and August.

Visitors are invited to join the winery’s staff for an intimate and educational 60-minute experience in the newly renovated Barrel Room tasting some of Chaddsford’s latest wine releases.

The trained staff will guide you through a pre-selected tasting of five widely diverse wines from across the portfolio.  The selections will be paired alongside local cheeses and other accoutrements to enhance your tasting experience.

The staff will also discuss topics such as grape growing conditions at partner vineyards and the onsite winemaking process from production to aging and bottling.

Reserve Tastings are $35 per person. There are three seatings each day – noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Advanced reservations are required and are non-refundable.

The “pairing lineup” is Greeting Wine: 2019 The White Standard wine spritzer with peach and fresh herbs; 2020 Sauvignon Blanc with Yellow Springs Farm Black Diamond; 2020 Dry Rosé with Birchrun Hills Farm Little Chardy and sour cherry pomegranate preserve; and 2020 Niagara Demi Sec with Gemelli’s Pear Sorbetto.

Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org) is always a special place to visit – especially during the run of its annual “Festival of Fountains.”

The 2021 “Festival of Fountains” opened in May and is running through September 26.

Daily performances in the Main Fountain Garden will feature more than 1,700 spinning jets that spin dance to various music programs. These are no little jets as some shoot up as high as 175 feet in the air.

The 30-minute show is slated for Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 9:15 p.m.

The Main Fountain Garden Show’s “Fountains Then and Now” show is a 12-minute fountain performance that begins with a touch of narrated history and concludes with dynamic choreography marrying music and the site’s newest fountain features.

These displays will be presented daily at 1:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. There will also be performances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:15 p.m.

Another daily show in the Main Garden is “Classical, Jazz, and Hits of Today,” another 12-minue show but with a different musical style. These will be presented daily at 1:15 and 5:15 p.m.

The third show on the roster is “Fountain Refresher,” which is billed as “a five-minute mix of music genres that teases the theme of that evening’s Illuminated Fountain Performance.”

These are scheduled for Thursday through Saturday now through August 28 at 6:15 and 8:15 p.m. and September 2 through October 30 at 6:15 p.m.

There will also be daily shows in the Open Air Theatre and the Italian Water Garden.

Featuring 750 jets in changing patterns, the Open Air Theatre comes alive with fountains set to music.

Since its 1914 Garden Party debut, this Italian-style outdoor theatre has expanded from its simple original fountains to the 750 jets that create the rainbowed curtain of water you see today, while playing host to more than 1,500 performances throughout the years.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, Longwood has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all ticketed concerts, fireworks shows and in-person continuing education classes. But live music can be heard in the Beer Garden, where live instrumental music from traditional Celtic tunes to Caribbean steel pan grooves sets the tone Thursday through Saturday evenings.

Beer Garden performances are scheduled through August from 6-9 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday evenings. They will also be held in September from 5-8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

As always, admission by “Timed Ticket” — tickets issued for specific dates and times. Timed ticketing limits the number of people in the Gardens at any given time and allows guests to enjoy minimal lines and a better viewing experience.

You may enter the Gardens up to 30 minutes prior and 30 minutes after your designated time. Make every effort to arrive at your designated reservation time. Earlier or later arrivals may not be accommodated.

Video link for “Festival of Fountains” — https://youtu.be/AHsC2YuFerY.

Admission to Longwood Gardens is $25 for adults, $22 for seniors (ages 62 and older) and college students, $18 for active military and veterans and $13 for youth (ages 5-18).

This is the time of year to enjoy nature at its best and there are plenty of locations around the area where the focus is on flowers, plants and the beauty of nature.

The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum (8601 Lindbergh Boulevard, Philadelphia, www.fws.gov/refuge/John_Heinz) has several attractive events scheduled for this weekend.

“Moth Week Survey and Night Hike” will be held on July 23 from 6-10 p.m.

Visitors will be able to celebrate Moth Week with an insect survey and join a ranger for a night hike.

Participants will get a special after-hours look at the nocturnal wildlife of the refuge!

The “Annual Butterfly Count with Cliff and Nancy Hence” is scheduled for July 24 from 9-11 a.m.

Guests are invited to come discover the butterflies of the Refuge.

This walk will be part of an annual butterfly count to track butterfly population at the refuge.

Walk will meet by visitor center and be at a relaxed paced on flat surfaces. Please wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers.

Another activity on July 24 will be “Free Fishing Day – Celebrating Latino Conservation Week!” from 1-4 p.m.

Participants are invited to visit the Refuge for a “Family Fishing Day” and let the site’s volunteers and staff help them get a start on fishing. Limited rods and bait will be available or bring your own! No License needed.

Tyler Arboretum

Another venue where you can get close to nature is Tyler Arboretum (515 Painter Road, Media, 610-566-9134, www.tylerarboretum.org).

The arboretum’s schedule for this weekend features the “Blue Trail Tour” and “Saturday Evening Wildflower Walk” on July 24.

On the “Blue Trail Tour,” which runs from 10-11 a.m. on July 24 and again on July 27, guests might see totally white plants shaped like a smoker’s pipe, strange spider webs resembling slender tubes as they reach underground, and lengthy berms of soil purposely built generations ago near Rocky Run stream. Participants will pass fallen trees supporting an eco-community of life as they decay, and an open meadow full of summer wildflowers and insects.

“Saturday Evening Wildflower Walk,” which runs from 6-8 p.m., features wildflower expert Dick Cloud on an informative two-hour hike that will take guests through meadows, woods, and occasionally streamside. These walks are for those who have a love of plants, their role in ecology, or for those who want to learn more.

Although the focus is on plants, Cloud will also talk about whatever else is seen on the tour. Walkers should wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring a camera and/or a wildflower guide, for this botanical-filled walk.

Admission to Tyler Arboretum is $15 for adults (ages 18-64), $13 for Seniors (65+) and $9 for children (ages 3-17) and Military with valid ID.

The Morris Arboretum (100 Northwestern Avenue, Chestnut Hill, www.morrisarboretum.org). is offering its “Garden Highlights Tour” this month.

Experienced guides will share both the history and current highlights of the Arboretum during a one-hour walking tour.

Tours depart from the Visitor Center at 1 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday. These tours are small groups and space is very limited.

This reservation is good for admission to the Arboretum as well as for the tour itself. The tour is weather permitting. If the tour is cancelled, your ticket is still good for admission. Another attraction at Morris Arboretum is the ultra-popular Garden Railway Display, which has become a major summer attraction at the site. The annual edition of the display will remain open until October 11.

The railway has a quarter mile of track featuring seven loops and tunnels with 15 different rail lines and two cable cars, nine bridges (including a trestle bridge you can walk under) and bustling model trains.

The buildings and the display are all made of natural materials – bark, leaves, twigs, hollow logs, mosses, acorns, dried flowers, seeds and stones – to form a perfectly proportioned miniature landscape complete with miniature rivers.

Philadelphia-area landmarks are all meticulously decorated for the holidays with lights that twinkle. There is even a masterpiece replica of Independence Hall are made using pinecone seeds for shingles, acorns as finials and twigs as downspouts.

This year the tracks are surrounded by miniature replicas of “Wonders of the World.” Visitors will be able to see the Eiffel Tower, Hagia Sophia, the Egyptian Pyramids, the Wall of China and more.

Admission is $20 for adults; $18 for seniors (65 and older); $10 for students (ages 13-17 or with ID), active military and retired military; and free for children (under 3).

If you enjoy country fairs, you should check out the Annual Kimberton Community Fair (Kimberton Fairgrounds, Route 113, Kimberton, 610-933-4566, http://kimbertonfair.org) which is running from July 26-31.

The Kimberton Community Fair

The Kimberton Community Fair, which was first staged in 1929, is one of the oldest community fairs in the state — and one of the last “free admission” fairs operating in the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs. The Kimberton Fair is a “free admission fair with parking by donation.”

Last year, the fair was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the Fair posted the following message on its website:

The Kimberton Community Fair Board is pleased to announce that there will be a Fair this year. It may look a little different than other years, but we are continuing to plan with the community’s interests – and safety – in mind. We are continuing to monitor the mandatory requirements from local, county and state agencies, and will be implementing the necessary safety protocols to allow us to re-open our agricultural fair. Family, Farms, Food and Friends…it’s time to get back together again! The Fair will do everything it can to create a successful and safe fair for our community. We ask that all volunteers, exhibitors and patrons do their part in respecting our rules and requirements. It’s been a long time – now let’s go to the Fair!

As always, the fair offers a huge array of free attractions — a festive midway with amusement rides, live entertainment shows, nightly contests, exhibit buildings and livestock displays.

The fair will be held at the Kimberton Fairgrounds on Route 113 approximately one mile south of Phoenixville. The non-profit event, which lists the volunteer Kimberton Fire Company as its beneficiary, attracts over 60,000 people each year.

There will also be open class and 4-H competitions along with a full midway of rides by Reithoffer Shows.

The Kimberton Fair is a “rain-or-shine” event – more or less.

According to the event’s website, they never officially “close” the fair as a result of rain because they must remain “open” to adhere to Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture operating guidelines.

The indoor attractions stay open even in inclement weather, but the festival may shut down any amusement ride if the weather causes safety issues.

Another great mid-summer activity is attending an outdoor concert.

If you haven’t been to one yet, a good time to start would be this Sunday.

On July 25, West Goshen Community Park (1023 Fern Hill Road, West Chester) is hosting an event called “Jump Jive and Wail.”

The concert, which runs from 6:30-9 p.m., will feature the swing music of Swing That Cat band.

Swing That Cat is billed as “band that sounds like Jump Blues swizzled in Horny Swing, with dash of Cabaret Jazz, and a splash of Bourbon Street.”

The band was formed several years ago in New Jersey by vocalist/bandleader Michele Peraino.

“In our town – Wenonah, New Jersey – we have an annual show called ‘The One Night of Song and Dance,’” said Peraino, during a phone interview Thursday evening. “This year will be its 25thanniversary.

“One year, I decided to do a song called ‘That Man,’ which was a hit in Europe by Caro Emerald. In Europe, jazz and swing is really big and they add electronic music to it.

“I had a pair of articulated feather fans made from peacock feathers that was based on one of the outfits Christine Aguilera wore in the movie, ‘Burlesque.’ I was also wearing 54 running feet of glass pearls. I was my own percussion instrument.

“I did my feather dance for about a minute-and-a-half and then sang my song. I had added about eight or nine horns. When I was done, one of the horn players said to me – you can’t not have a band.

“So, I put a band together. We went to our first open mic at the Bus Stop in Pitman, New Jersey in December 2014. Initially, we had 13 people in the band. It’s changed since because some of it was unnecessary.”

Over the years, Sing That Cat honed its sound – a sound that is based on modern influences such as Squirrel Nut Zippers, Manhattan Transfer, Cherry Poppin Daddies and Pink Martini. Some of Peraino’s main vocal influences are traditional swing artists such as Etta James, Sarah Vaughn, Rosemary Clooney and Ella Fitzgerald.

“When I started singing in a band, I completely fell in love with it,” said Peraino. “I have the range of Ella Fitzgerald and I have the growl of Etta James. A few years ago, I started writing songs and it felt like my brain was opening up.”

In this Sunday’s free show at West Goshen Community Park, audience members will get to hear Peraino and Swing That Cat play a variety of swing standards as well as a few contemporary sings penned by Peraino. In the event of inclement weather, the show will be moved to West Chester University’s Asplundh Hall, which is located in West Chester at 700 South High Street.

Video link for Swing That Cat — https://youtu.be/_Jef7sRcwAk?list=PLKbm_O-zBk0K0I4kTTuUgwVu1mRg0zUmW.

On July 25, there will be a free Chesco Pops Concert at Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge (1601 Valley Forge Road, Valley Forge, chescopops.org).

Guests are invited to bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the Chesco Pops Orchestra as it performs an exciting program of music for the whole family.

The program will include the Armed Forces Salute, music from the movies “The Cowboys,” “1941,” and “Saving Private Ryan” along with the music of George Gershwin and others.

The show, which is open to the public, will start at 4 p.m. Suggested donation is $15 per person.

The Rose Tree Summer Festival (Rose Tree Park, Route 252, Media, www.delcopa.gov/departments/parks) returns with a summer-long series of free outdoor shows at the scenic park just north of Media.

The schedule of upcoming shows in the next week includes Van Halen Nation on July 23, Charlie Gracie on July 24, and Blackbird Society Orchestra on July 25.

This is a great time of year for dipping into Delaware and enjoying the variety of attractions located across the Pennsylvania-Delaware state line.

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, 800-448-3883, www.winterthur.org) will host the latest edition of its “Mixers and Elixirs” on July 23.

“Mixers and Elixirs” will be held in a secret pop-up location on the Winterthur estate. Visitors will be able to see the storied grounds of Winterthur in a whole new way — with a featured cocktail, small bites, and live music.

“Botanical Cocktail” is the theme of this month’s event which will run from 5-7 p.m. on Friday.

Future dates and themes for “Mixers and Elixirs” are Margarita Madness, August 27; Nothin’ But Shrub, September 24; Bitter So Sweet, October 22; Sparkle and Fizz, November 26; and Cheers to the Holidays, December 17.

Tickets are $35 per person and include two cocktails of the month, small bites, live music, and garden access). $12 for designated driver and students ages 12-18 (includes one non-alcoholic beverage and small bites). Children under 12 are free.

Nemours Estate (850 Alapocas Drive, Wilmington, Delaware, www.nemoursmansion.org) has now re-opened after a pandemic safety closure.

Hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Reservations are not required and there is no timed entry.

Nemours Estate comprises an exquisite, 77-room Mansion, the largest formal French gardens in North America, a Chauffeur’s Garage housing a collection of vintage automobiles, and 200 acres of scenic woodlands, meadows and lawns.

Nemours was the estate of Alfred I. duPont.

Alfred named the estate Nemours, after the French town that his great-great-grandfather represented in the French Estates General. While looking to the past and his ancestors for inspiration, Alfred also ensured that his new home was thoroughly modern by incorporating the latest technology and many of his own inventions.

The Gardens is one of the estate’s prime attractions.

The two elk at the top of the Vista are the work of French sculptor Prosper Lecourtier (1855–1924), a specialist in animal figures. Lined with Japanese cryptomeria, pink flowering horse chestnuts and pin oaks, the Long Walk extends from the Mansion to the Reflecting Pool.

The 157 jets at the center of the one-acre pool shoot water 12 feet into the air; when they are turned off, the entire “Long Walk” is reflected in the pool. The pool, five and a half feet deep in its deepest section, holds 800,000 gallons of water and takes three days to fill. The Art Nouveau-style, classical mythology-based “Four Seasons” around the pool are by French-born American sculptor Henri Crenier (1873–1948).

Admission to Nemours is $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and $8 for children.

Hagley Museum and Library (Buck Road East entrance via Route 100, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-658-2400, www.hagley.org) is presenting an educational event geared for children this weekend.

The special event this Saturday at Hagley is “Science Saturday: Blast Off!”

The timing as great as we are in the middle of a month when billionaires have been heading to space (or near space) in their own rockets.

At the family event at Hagley, which runs from 1-4 p.m. on July 24 at the Visitor Center, participants can explore rocketry and propulsion.

In another special activity at Science Saturday, participants will be able to make a stomp rocket and see how high it can go.

Activities are included in admission and free to members. This is a drop-in activity and guests can join the fun at any time.

On July 25, Hagley Museum will present “H2 Oh! Walking Tour.”

In the “H2 Oh! Walking Tour,” which starts at 11 a.m., visitors will discover the evolution of waterpower at Hagley from the water wheel to modern waterpower and how the DuPont Company harnessed the power of the Brandywine to make black powder for more than 120 years.

It is a journey of innovation through the Hagley powder yards, including a stop at Hagley’s recently restored turbine bringing green energy back to the site.

Another special event at Hagley this weekend will be cannon firings on July 25 in the Hagley Powder Yard.

Demonstrations take place next to the Machine Shop at 1, 2, and 3 p.m.

Included with admission and free for Hagley members.

Admission fees for Hagley Museum are $15, Adults; $11, Seniors (age 62 and up) and Students $11; $6, Children (ages 6-14).

The Delaware Art Museum (2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, Delaware, www.delart.org) has both outdoor and indoor special events this weekend.

On July 25, the Museum will present “Picturing America” Public Guided Tour at 1 p.m.

Visitors will be able to check out the Museum’s new galleries of American art and explore highlights throughout the Museum’s collections with a knowledgeable and friendly Museum Guide.

Shaped by community feedback, the Museum’s main floor reimagines the stories told with art. Significant new artworks add depth and diversity. New design and conservation showcase the collection vibrantly and preserve it for future generations.

This reinstallation is the first comprehensive Museum rehanging since 2005. Since then, the collections have grown to include significant pieces by women and Black artists that tell a more inclusive story of the visual arts. The reinstallation also brings focus to the role of local artists and collectors in the history of art.

The “Free Movies in the Sculpture Garden” series will feature a screening of “Tommy” on July 23 at 8:30 p.m.

The movie based on The Who’s classic rock opers, “Tommy,” was released in 1975.

After seeing his stepfather murder his father during an argument over his mother (Ann-Margret), young Tommy goes into shock, suddenly becoming psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind. As a teenager, Tommy (Roger Daltrey) stumbles upon a pinball machine and discovers he is a natural prodigy at the game. Fame and fortune follow for Tommy, as he first becomes a pinball champion and later the messiah of a religious cult who view his pinball skills as a miraculous sign of divine intervention.

Films begin at dusk. Arrival for blanket and chair set-up begins at 7 pm. Concessions will be available to purchase on site. Films will be shown in our auditorium if the weather is inclement. Limited seating will be available indoors due to social distancing restrictions.

Admission to the Delaware Art Museum is $14 for adults, $7 for students, and $6 for youth (ages 7-18).

The Kalmar Nyckel (www.kalmarnyckel.org) offers river cruises, day and evening sails, and appearances from April through October each sailing season.

This weekend, there will “Christina River Cruises” leaving from the Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard in Wilmington, Delaware – one on July 23, three on July 24, two on and 25, and one on July 29. There will also be a “Pirate Sail” on July 25 at 10 a.m.

The 1.5-hour cruises will depart at 10 a.m., 1:30 and 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday and at 3:30 p.m. on July 29.

The ship’s schedule is subject to change without notice due to the nature of the weather and conditions beyond control.

For two decades, the Kalmar Nyckel, which has its home base in Wilmington, has been hosting riders all over the world – especially in Delaware.

A ride on the Kalmar Nyckel is a totally different from most tourist water rides. The ship is a beautiful recreation of the original Kalmar Nyckel, which was built in Holland in the 1620s. Her mainmast is taller than a 10-story building and she carries 7,600 square feet of sail area and six miles of rigging.

The original Kalmar Nyckel was a Swedish-owned, three-masted armed pinnace that sailed from Goteborg, Sweden in November of 1637 and brought the first permanent European settlers to the Delaware Valley.

In 1986 a group of citizens established the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation to design, build and launch a replica of the Kalmar Nyckel at a shipyard adjacent to the original landing site.

The new Kalmar Nyckel was constructed there and was launched on September 28, 1997. She was commissioned on May 9, 1998, and now serves as Delaware’s sea-going Ambassador of Good Will. She is a fully functional sail training vessel and has represented Delaware all over the country.

Prices range from $25-$40.

“Riding the Rails” is always a great family activity during the summer months.

The West Chester Railroad (610-430-2233, www.westchesterrr.net) is running its “Summer Picnic Specials” every Sunday now through Sept 19. There will be one excursion each day at noon.

Passengers can enjoy a 90-minute round trip train ride from West Chester to Glen Mills and return on a warm summer afternoon. Riders are invited to pack a lunch to have during excursion’s stop at the Glen Mills train station picnic grove.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for children (2-12) and free for children (under two).

The New Hope Railroad (32 Bridge Street, New Hope, 215-862-2332, www.newhoperailroad.com) is running its “Grapevine Express,” which features “Wine & Cheese Tasting,” on July 25.

Riders are invited to take part in a romantic “Wine and Cheese Excursion” and enjoy fine gourmet cheese, artisan crackers, meats, fruit, and our featured local wines. Additional Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic beverages are also available onboard.

Wine and cheese will be served to passengers as they travel along the same railroad line passengers did when it was built in 1891 connecting New Hope with Philadelphia. The journey travels through the beautiful hills and valleys of Bucks County, along once vital waterways and streams and across numerous trestle bridges.

The excursions will take place aboard one of the railroads lavishly appointed early 1900’s first-class parlor cars.

Tickets are $79.99 (Ages 21 and older only).

This weekend, the Strasburg Railroad (Route 741, Strasburg, 717-687-7522, www.strasburgrailroad.com) is celebrating one of its locomotives with a series called “611 at Strasburg: The Return of an American Icon.”

The Norfolk & Western Class J 611, a National Historic Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, is known as an engineering powerhouse of steam, technology, and near mechanical perfection.

The N&W Class J 611 is the sole survivor of 14 Class J steam locomotives designed and built by the Norfolk & Western Railway. The locomotive rolled out of Roanoke’s East End Shops in 1950. Its mission was to pull the Powhatan Arrow, a 15-car passenger train, from Norfolk, Virginia, to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Now, the powerful and sleek locomotive is running the rails at the historic Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster County’s scenic Amish Country.

Offered as part of the tourist railroad’s regular daily steam train service, N&W No. 611 J will be the motive power for the day’s main train on select days. She will pull 45-minute excursion rides to Paradise, Pennsylvania on the following days: August 20-22; August 27-29; September 4-6; September 24-26; and October 2 and 3.

Ticket prices range from $9.50-$45.

The Wilmington & Western Railroad (2201 Newport Gap Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-998-193, www.wwrr.com) will present

“Dog Days of Summer” on July 24.

Enjoy a summer Saturday at the Wilmington & Western and meet some adorable, adoptable pets at Greenbank Station before your train ride.

The rail line is partnering with Delaware SPCA and Delaware Humane Association to give passengers the opportunity to meet some adoptable animals and learn more about what it takes to give these furry friends a forever home.

The train rides on this day will feature a 1½-hour round-trip ride up the Red Clay Valley to the Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove, where there will be a half-hour layover to have a picnic or simply admire the natural surroundings.

This departure is powered by one of the Wilmington & Western Railroad historic first-generation diesel locomotives.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $16 for seniors and $15 for children (ages 2-12).

The Northern Central Railway (2 West Main Street, New Freedom, www.northerncentralrailway.com) is running

two special excursions this weekend.

“Christmas in July” is scheduled for July 25 with rail excursions at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Guests will be able to join Santa Claus on this special mid-summer ride to Hanover Junction.

Santa will be stopping by the Northern Central Railway during his summer vacation to give riders a preview of the tourist rail line’s  holiday trains.

Tickets are $28 Adult; $15 Child (age 3-12); $5 Toddler (in lap)

The “Glen Rock Express with No. 17” is scheduled for July 24 at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Riders will take the train to Glen Rock with the William H. Simpson No. 17 (the rail line’s authentic replica steam locomotive) on a former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline that has been in operation since 1838. The ride follows the route of the original Northern Central Railroad through the scenic Heritage Rail Trail County Park.

Tickets are $25 Adult; $15 Child (age 3-12); $5 Toddler (in lap).

Santa Claus will be a busy guy this weekend.

The Elmwood Park Zoo (1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown, www.elmwoodparkzoo.org) has a variety of special activities coming up.

On July 25, the zoo in Norristown will have a special “Christmas in July” celebration starting at 11 a.m.

Visitors will be able to enjoy animal encounters and live music.

They will even have an opportunity to write their 2021 Christmas wishes for Santa, who is on holiday from his home  in the North Pole.

Christmas In July is FREE to attend with zoo admission. Santa will be available for photos at an appropriate distance.

On July 24 and 25, the Zoo is hosting “Breakfast with the Giraffes.”

Guests can enjoy a delicious, socially distanced outdoor breakfast buffet, right next to the zoo’s three towering giraffes. After participants have cleared their plates, they will be invited to an exclusive giraffe feeding.

The breakfast will get underway at 8:30 a.m.

The Zoo will have another animal-themed special activity on July 24 and 28 called “Dog Days.”

All guests visiting the zoo with a furry friend must complete an online waiver and submit required documents before visiting the zoo. You must upload a copy of your most recent veterinary visit, including proof of vaccine and heartworm test here. All items will be required for you to attend “Dog Days.”

The “Dog Days” event is slated to run from 1-5 p.m. It will also be held on selected dates throughout June.

Pricing is $10.95 per dog with each additional dog at $9.95. Regular zoo admission is required for all humans.

“Zoo Revue” will be held every weekend throughout the summer with live entertainment by a variety of talented performers including musicians, young actors, magicians and more.

All performances will take place on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m-3 p.m. on the stage located next to the bison feeding deck and across from Zoo Brew Beer Garden.

Performances are free to attend with regular zoo admission – Adult, $17.95; children (ages 3-12), $13.95; and Students and Seniors, $15.95.

Sesame Place (100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, www.sesameplace.com), a family-friendly amusement park in Langhorne, is hosting “Christmas in July” now through July 25.

Guests will be able to rock out with Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and Count von Count.

The festive “Santa Cookie Monster Meet & Greets” will be held each day at 11:30 a.m., 12:30, 1:30, 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. at Sesame Studio.

Kids can Visit Cookie Monster Santa each day during the Christmas in July Celebration. Christmas card photos will be available for purchase.

Additionally, “Christmas Photos with Elmo & Friends,” will take place each day at 11 a.m./, noon, 1, 4 and 5 p.m.

Visitors will be able to get a photo with Elmo and his friends in their holiday attire.

Ticket prices for Sesame Place start at $49.99.

On July 25, Laurel Hill Cemetery will present “Hot Spots and Storied Plots” walking tour at 10 a.m.

In life and in death, we all have stories to tell, and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead?

This tour provides an informative overview of Laurel Hill’s long history, which includes many of the marble masterpieces, stunning views, and legendary stories about Laurel Hill.

“Hot Spots and Storied Plots” is the perfect introduction for anyone who enjoys beautiful art, scenic nature, and fascinating history. An experienced graveyard guide will offer a unique perspective. No two “Hot Spots and Storied Plots” are alike.

The tour will take place on July 10 at 10 a.m. — departing from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia. The tour Guide will be David Schwarzkopf.

Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are: $12/General Admission, $10/Seniors (65 & Up), $10/Students with ID, $7/Members, $6/Youth (6-12), and $0/Child (5 & Under). Youth and children must be accompanied by an adult.

This Saturday is a special day at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, www.ansp.org).

“Hungry Pop-Up at the Academy” is scheduled to get underway at 11:30 a.m. on July 24.

Every Saturday in July, local chefs will be serving up delicious and sustainable lunches.

The Academy is partnering with Hungry, a national platform for top local checks and food delivery services. Hungry is committed to environmental sustainability and uses materials that are either fully compostable or recyclable.

Hungry is also committed to the fight against hunger, and for every two meals purchased at the Academy, the organization will donate one meal through food bank partnerships.

Visitors to the museum can also check out the Academy’s latest exhibit, “Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs,” which shows the species that predated dinosaurs.

Visitors to the museum can step back in time 290 million years to when bizarre-looking creatures dominated life on land and sea, and dinosaurs had not yet evolved. They can also learn about the most devastating mass extinction the world has ever seen when “Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs” takes up a year-long residence at the Academy.

The exhibit blends vivid artwork, amazing fossils and full-size scientifically accurate models of moving beasts to recreate this relatively unknown period that ended with the most devastating extinction of life. Visitors will explore odd-looking sharks, strange reptilelike precursors of mammals, a vicious giant saber-toothed gorgonopsid, and other extinct creatures that ruled the world millions of years before the dinosaurs.

“Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs” will be on view through January 17, 2022.  “Wildlife Photographer of the Year,” which is located in the museum’s new natural-light-filled gallery, will be on view through February 15.

Admission is $22 for adults, $19 for seniors and $18 for children (ages 2-12).

From one of the oldest, most iconic museums in Philadelphia to one of the newest, a new “Art & America” discounted joint ticket will provide access to two world-class institutions this summer.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art (2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, www.philamuseum.org) and the Museum of the American Revolution (101 South Third Street, Philadelphia,www.amrevmuseum.org) have joined forces to offer visitors a convenient joint ticket that includes access to both museums for a discounted price.

The adult joint ticket, which is $35 (savings of $11), will be available for purchase from now through September 6.at www.philamuseum.org, by calling (215) 763-8100, or at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s front desk. Tickets will be redeemable through September 20 at both museums.

This summer at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, visitors can explore Philadelphia’s extraordinary creativity in the brand new Early American Art galleries. They feature an unparalleled collection of paintings, sculpture, ceramics, furniture, glass, silver and more from the early 17th century until 1850.

More than 10,000-square-feet of new gallery space has been installed to tell new and inclusive stories of how Philadelphia became the young nation’s cultural capital, and how Black, Indigenous, and Latin American artists contributed to the development of American art.

Fort Mifflin (6400 Hog Island Road, Philadelphia, www.fortmifflin.us) is presenting a variety of special events this weekend.

One of the events is called “Hands On History” on July 24 beginning at 10 a.m.

Guests can try their hand at some historic activities.

What did the army do when there was not a battle to be fought?

They did chores – essential tasks to stay fed, healthy, warm and hydrated. Often called “fatigue duty” basic chores were handled by patrols, but some special skilled tasks were performed by tradesmen as part of a “trade fatigue.” Soldiers and camp followers participated in many essential tasks and here is your chance to try your own hand.

Help the cook preserve the summer harvest, get some wool ready to be processed into uniforms, try your hand at games that require no batteries or internet connection, join a foraging party to secure necessary supplies, mend a battle-worn uniform and more.

Another activity starting at 10 a.m. on July 24 is “Hands On Brewing with the Regimental Brewmeister.”

Rather than a demonstration where you can just watch and maybe smell the process, this is a full immersion experience.

Participants can step back in time and join the team as we brew the wort for Spruce Beer to be drunk by the Continental Army. Beer was so critical to the health of the army that George Washington ordered his quartermasters in 1775 to provide each man “One quart of Spruce Beer per man, per diem” in order to keep them fit for service during the siege of Boston.

During necessary breaks in the process participants will be able to sample historic beers, enjoy a guided tour and musket and cannon demonstrations.

At 7 p.m. on July 24, it will be time for “Fort Mifflin After Dark – An Open Investigation Evening.”

Fort Mifflin after dark at one of the site’s most popular paranormal events.

Experienced and novice paranormal investigators will enjoy special after-hours access to one of the most haunted sites in America. They are invited to bring their own equipment (or just a cell phone flashlight) and learn tips from members of Interstate Paranormal Investigations.

“Defending the Delaware” is scheduled for July 28. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the submerged obstacles essential to defending Philadelphia in 1777.

Hope Lodge (553 South Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, 215-343-0965, http://www.ushistory.org/hope/) will be presenting a “Self-Guided Mansion Tour” on July 18.

Hope Lodge was built between 1743 and 1748 by Samuel Morris, a prosperous Quaker entrepreneur. Morris acted as a farmer, shipowner, miller, iron master, shop owner, and owner of the mill now known as Mather Mill. Hope Lodge is an excellent example of early Georgian architecture, and it is possible that Edmund Woolley, architect of Independence Hall, offered advice in building. Samuel Morris owned the estate until his death in 1770.

The site opens at 12:30 p.m. with self-guided tours starting at 1 p.m. The site closes at 4 p.m.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, guests will be able to tour the main floor of the mansion and summer kitchen areas only. Interpretive signage will be available including photos and text describing the other closed areas.

Tour admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (age 65+) and for youth ages 6-17, and fee for children under 5. Hope Lodge is a Blue Star Museum which means that active-duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve and their families, are admitted free for regular tours from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Peddler’s Village (Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, 215-794-4000, www.peddlersvillage.com) is presenting “Bluegrass & Blueberries” in July — a month-long celebration of bluegrass and blueberries.

July will be Blueberry Month at Peddler’s Village.

Every day, the site will offer special blueberry-themed food and drinks at its restaurants and eateries, and also present live bluegrass and country entertainment on weekends. On Saturdays and Sundays, you can also enjoy made-to-order sandwiches and burgers at the Water Wheel Food Tent.

Many of the village’s shops will be hosting sidewalk sales and special offers throughout the month.

On July 24, the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Road, Oaks, 610-529-3614, www.eastcoastreptilesuperexpos.com) will host the East Coast Reptile Super Expo featuring hundreds of live snakes and reptiles. The event will run from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. this Saturday.

For many people, snakes and lizards are interesting creatures — and maybe even fun pets to own. If you fall into this category, you should check out the show on Saturday. A wide array of reptiles will be on display as part of the popular exhibition, which is an annual event that is closing in on its silver anniversary.

One of the show’s main attractions is a sales exhibit area featuring a large number of vendors with live reptiles, amphibians and arachnids as well as food items, supplies, books, cages, and related accessories.

The roster of very diverse vendors includes RKZ Rodents, Monstar Reptiles, Turtle to Turtle, Delaware Valley Herpetarium, Newville Dragons, PM Herps, Black Jungle Terrarium Supply, VSCV Ventures LLC, Dachiu Dragons, Tom Rogan Reptiles, Native Exotics, A-Bros Reptiles, Turtles and Terrapins, Venomous Addiction, Liberty Reptiles and Perryman Dart Frogs.

The list also includes AZO Reptiles, Rose’s Reptiles, Dale’s Bearded Dragons, Blake’s Exotic Reptiles, Dower Reptiles & Rodents, Reptile Kingdom, DHA Pythons, Gecko Haven, Hunger Reptiles, Jungle Emporium, Delaware Turtle, Just Lizards and Outback Reptiles, Charm City Glam Chams, Fabricdragon Designs, JJR’s Reptile Ranch, The Dragon’s Den, Joe’s Tarantulas, and MJS Reptiles.

Other featured vendors will be Heath’s Frog Farm, Corralus Creations, Rogue Reptiles LLC, Jason R Bartolett Captive Bred Reptiles, Fowler Reptiles, Dragon Fortress, Turtle Towns, Garden State Tortoise, Paws & Claws, Darwin’s Toybox, J&R Constrictors, Karmel Spiders LLC, and North Fork Pets.

Tickets are $10 with children (under five) admitted free.

An interesting annual summer event in Pennsylvania Dutch country is the Rough and Tumble Engineers Historical Association’s “John Deere Days” (Rough and Tumble, 4977 Lincoln Highway East, Kinzers, 717-442-4249, www.roughandtumble.org).

The event is scheduled for July 23 and 24 with activities slated to get underway at 9 a.m. each day.

This annual show, which is sponsored by the Waterloo Boys Club of Southeastern Pennsylvania, features a wide range of John Deere tractors with “Deere History” and “Tractor Pulling” events.

One of the highlights each day will be the “John Deere Parade of Power,” which is a showcase for many different and unique models.

On Friday, there will be the “Garden Tractor Parade” and the “Tractor Pull.” Popular activities on Saturday include the “Kiddy Pedal Pull,” “Large Tractor Pulling” and the always-popular “Raffle Tractor Drawing.”

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for youth (ages 12-18). Children under 12 years are admitted free.

   Send article as PDF   

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment