What To Do: Spring is coming and events are blooming everywhere

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Back to Bend

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (Route 52, Wilmington, Delaware, 800-448-3883, www.winterthur.org) just opened its 2023 season. This weekend, Winterthur is kicking into gear with a special event called “Back to Bend,” which will be held on March 11 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Visitors are invited to celebrate the early bulb display of the March Bank with a lecture and garden tours – guided and self-guided.

Celebrate the early-spring garden and bulb display on the beautiful March Bank with a day of events. The event gets it name from the du Pont family custom of walking the path from the March Bank to Magnolia Bend at this time of year looking for the first flowers in the garden.

This year’s featured speaker is Michael Dosmann from Arnold Arboretum. Dosman will give a lecture titled, “The Regal Lily and Its Redemption of E. H. Wilson.”

Other special activities include a “Plant Sale” featuring rare and unusual plants from Edgewood Gardens and a “Guided Tour of March Bank.”

Another one-day event at Winterthur on Saturday will be “Curiosity Carnival.”

Participants can enjoy hands-on activities, informal chats, mini-tours, and demonstrations that celebrate the questions and conundrums that make us curious.

Visitors can build furniture using early 20th century instructions and cardboard, get their hands dirty in different types of mulch to learn how trees transition to soil, see how the power of radishes is breaking up unused pavement, and more.

Admission to Winterthur is $22 for adults, $20 for seniors (age 62 and older) and students, and $8 for children (ages 2-11).

Mild temperatures have given rise to optimism that spring is about to arrive any day along with a myriad of spring flowers.

Crocus arrivals began two weeks ago followed by daffodils last week.

Philadelphia Flower Show

But if you really want to see flowers in abundance, you need do is make a visit to this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (12th and Arch streets, Philadelphia, 215-988-8899, www.theflowershow.com) which runs through March 12.

The PHS (Philadelphia Horticultural Society) Philadelphia Flower Show is the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event and features stunning displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers. Started in 1829, the Show introduces diverse plant varieties and sustainable garden and design concepts.

Usually, when events have to be moved, they move indoors because of inclement weather. In 2021 and 2022, the Philadelphia Flower Show mad to move – outdoors because of COVID restraints.

Held indoors once again after two years in FDR Park, the Philadelphia Flower Show returns to the Pennsylvania Convention Center with the theme “The Garden Electric.”

Visitors can expect breathtaking displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers, as well as musical performances from a slate of hand-picked artists.

Several designers create the largest gardens in the show’s history to transport visitors into immersive, 360-degree floral worlds — blurring the lines between indoors and out.

This year’s event also features some of the largest gardens in its history, with floral scapes that range in size from 2,200 to 2,900 square feet.

The show, which is presented every year by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and celebrates its 194th anniversary in 20233, treats visitors to a spectacle of floral displays in every size, style and shape imaginable.

The show will feature 10 acres of exhibition halls with floral displays and vendors and provide visitors with all new interactive experiences. This inviting part of the show will feature garden trends, chats with experts, and hands-on learning sessions for gardeners to become even greener.

Guests are encouraged to enhance their Flower Show visit each day with other popular experiences, including Flower Show Guided Tours in the early morning and now also in the evening, Butterflies Live, and Make & Take DIY. The Flower Show also features an exciting competition that brings together thousands of plant lovers who compete in hundreds of categories.

The show’s biggest attraction each year is the massive “Marketplace” featuring over 150 vendors from all over America and several European nations. They will be selling flowers, orchids, floral-inspired furniture, sheds, artwork and unique garden-related crafts and supplies.

Throughout the week, hundreds of gardening experts will provide learning opportunities in the Lecture Series.

Be prepared for large crowds during the weekend hours. If you want a more leisurely visit, plan to visit the show during the week. Also, take public transportation if possible. Vehicular traffic in the area is frequently a nightmare and parking lots tend to fill up early even though they are charging exorbitant fees.

Tickets for the Philadelphia Flower Show are $43.50 for adults, $30 for student (ages 18-24) and $17 for children ages 5-17.

Saturday Wildflower Walk

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

The arboretum’s schedule for this weekend features the “Saturday Wildflower Walk,” on March 11 at 1 p.m.

At the “Saturday Wildflower Walk,” wildflower expert Dick Cloud will lead an informative two-hour hike that will take visitors 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.

Admission to Tyler Arboretum is $18 for adults (ages 18-64), $15 for Seniors (65+) and $10 for children (ages 3-17) and Military with valid ID.

Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org) is now featuring one of its popular annual special events – “Winter Wonder.”

“Winter Wonder,” which runs through March 26, celebrates the beauty of winter. It’s all about outdoor spacious, indoor oasis, and the power of story.

Outside, visitors can find a sense of peace and tranquility as they walk past textural grasses, seed heads and the dramatic silhouettes of trees that stretch up into the sky.

Inside, they can bask in a world of warmth that features an overhead garden of hanging baskets adorned with such vibrant beauties as jasmine, cape-primrose, and lipstick-plant.

Visitors will be able to enjoy a paradise of flowers and foliage, bursting with color — all in a beautiful indoor winter wonderland with a tropical twist.

“Winter Wonder” exists on two levels.

Both outdoors and in, they can embark on a poignant journey with “Voices in the Landscape: Deeply Rooted with Storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston” Beginning on March 11. This is a series of 10 stops throughout the Gardens which honor the contributions of the African American community through the lens of horticulture and the power of story.

Participants will follow along as storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston honors and celebrates the strength, resilience, and contributions of the African American community through the lens of horticulture and the power of story.

Those taking the tour can hear an ancient Zulu creation myth paired with the oldest plant on Earth in the Conservatory; make their way to the Lookout Loft Treehouse and learn the story of the significance and symbolism of woods and meadows; and call out the name of an ancestor in remembrance at the Large Lake while a traditional spiritual soothes your soul.

“Voices in the Landscape” signage is at each stop. Each audio recording ranges between three and eight minutes in length. The estimated time to experience the entire Voices in the Landscape exhibit is approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

Inside Longwood’s Conservatory, visitors can check out the towering Clerodendrum schmidtii (chains of glory) as well as nearly 300 blooming orchids on display in the site’s newly renovated Orchid House. There will also be rare blue poppies blooming in March but for only about 10 to 15 days.

A new attraction this year is Longwood Gardens’ “Science Saturdays series.

Beyond the boundaries of the formal gardens, Longwood stewards a rich variety of natural habitats. The rolling terrain of the Pennsylvania piedmont and changing ways people have used land over time provide us with diverse conditions for plant and animal life. Dr. Lea Johnson, Associate Director, Land Stewardship and Ecology, will reveal how patterns in the landscape reveal both history and potential futures for biodiversity.

The topics for Science Saturday events are “Plant Collections: Clivia” on March 18. There also will be another series called “Sweet Floral Treats”—a make-and-take floral design class where the designer draws inspiration from a sweet treat. Classes will be presented on March 22.

The gardens are open from Wednesdays through Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Friday, March 31. Hours change in the spring.

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.

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).

Ferdinand the Bull has been involved in a lot of projects.

Ferdinand the Bull is the protagonist of a novel. “The Story of Ferdinand” (1936) is the best-known work by the American author Munro Leaf.

Illustrated by Robert Lawson, the children’s book tells the story of a bull who would rather smell flowers than fight in bullfights. He sits in the middle of the bull ring failing to take heed of any of the provocations of the matador and others to fight.

“Ferdinand the Bull” is also an animated movie made in 1938. A 3-D feature-length computer-animated film remake, titled “Ferdinand,” was released in 2017.

Ferdinand the Bull has been a Taranaki rugby mascot since the 1950s. He has appeared in a number of guises. This smoke-exhaling version is “Big Ferdie,” built for a 2005 match against the British and Irish Lions. In the audio clip, Taranaki rugby supporters sing of Ferdinand’s talents, to the tune of ‘Robin Hood’.

“Ferdinand the Bull” has another musical connection – a classical composition written by Georges Bizet and arranged by Douglas Mayer.

It is this aspect of Ferdinand’s story that will be featured in the opening piece of this Sunday’s Family Concert by the Kennett Symphony (kennettsymphony.org).

The show is scheduled for May 12 at 2 p.m. at Rustin High School (1100 Shiloh Road, West Chester).

Two timeless stories will be told accompanied by music from Georges Bizet and Gustav Mahler. The other piece is “The Hummingbird and the Fire” by Mahler arranged by Fox.

“The Hummingbird and the Fire” combines the music of Gustav Mahler with an indigenous story about how a little hummingbird tries to put out a forest fire one drop of water at a time. It is a parable about respecting the land and what can be accomplished if everyone works together.

The Family Concert, under the baton of Conductor Michael Hall, features two wonderful stories with an important message told with the help of dramatic orchestral music.

Tickets are $10.

Even though next Friday (March 17) is officially St. Patrick’s Day, this weekend also features some St. Patty’s Day celebrations.

There three local St. Patrick’s Day Parades scheduled for this weekend – Philadelphia, Springfield (Delco) and Wilmington — but one bailed because of concerns about inclement weather.

Dating back to 1771, the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade (www.philadelphiastpatsparade.com) is one of the city’s longest-running traditional events. It is also one of the oldest parades of any kind in the nation.

It will be held on March 12 from 11:15 a.m.-3 p.m.

A procession of drummers, dancers, various performers and Irish bands will move down JFK Boulevard alongside floats decorated in honor of St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint.

The parade will originate at 16th Street and JFK Boulevard.  The highly entertaining annual event is free for spectators.

Prior to the parade, Saint Patrick’s Church (20th and Locust streets) will celebrate with a “Commemorative Parade Mass.” The Mass will begin at 9:15 a.m. Prior to the Mass, at 9:00 AM, the Procession of the Grand Marshal and the Board Members will be led by the Emerald Society Pipe Band.

The Parade takes place every year on the appointed date — rain or shine.

The ICCD’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Wilmington starts at noon at Fourth and King streets and ends at St. Patrick’s Church at the intersection of 14th Street and King Street.

The 14th and King spot is also the location of the Society’s 2023 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Hooley

Alcohol and food will be sold at The Hooley along with the Society’s annual commemorative beer mugs. The mugs are $20 and come with unlimited refills until the beer runs dry (usually around 3 p.m.).

Additionally, the New Castle County Irish Center will host an After Parade Party on Saturday from 1-6 p.m. The Center is located at 1301 South Rodney Street in downtown Wilmington.

Admission is $5, and children under 12 are free. Music will be provided by Declan McLaughlin. Cash bar and food will be available to purchase. No food or beverage is allowed to be brought into the Irish Center.

The Springfield St. Patrick’s Day Parade (http://www.springfielddelco.org/home/current-events.php) will get underway on March 11 at noon.

The parade will begin at West Springfield and South Britton roads and end at Saxer Avenue and Powel Road, with the reviewing stands located on Saxer Avenue.

The community is invited to arrive early to enjoy pre-parade festivities at the reviewing stand, beginning at 11:30 a.m. A special Mass will kick off the day at 8:30 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church on Saxer Avenue.

This year’s parade will include many schools, churches, community organizations, Boy and Girl Scout troops, Irish dance groups, fire companies and more. Plenty of music will also be a part of the fun, with string bands, pipe and drum bands, and high school marching bands. The Delaware County divisions of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians will also participate in this year’s parade.

International Women’s Day was March 8 and Karen Gross (www.facebook.com/karen.gross.18) is keeping the spirit going with a special event on March 13.

Gross, who is in her 10th year as a creative entrepreneur, is presenting “WOMEN MEAN BUSINESS: Rock Your Revenue” starting at 6 p.m. Monday night at the Society Hill Dance Academy (1919 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia)

“WOMEN MEAN BUSINESS: Rock Your Revenue” is a panel conversation and networking event that her project She Rocked It is presenting for the second year in partnership with East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District.

She Rocked It (sherockedit.com) is a media and mentorship platform for creative, courageous women. This event will focus on how to launch, run, sustain, and grow a business.

Four inspiring East Passyunk business owners will share their experiences, challenges, and successes – including some much-needed real talk about the revenue side of running a business. Those who are business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs or simply interested in hearing the real stories from some rockstar women business owners will benefit from attending.

This year, the “WOMEN MEAN BUSINESS” event is focused on the theme of how to Rock Your Revenue, such as how to launch, sustain, and grow a business; determine pricing; hire staff; weather economic ups and downs; seek financial guidance and investment; and raise your voice when negotiating contracts.

Featured panelists include Tara Alexander – Co-Founder and Owner of Urban Jungle; Cathy Lee – Co-Owner of Le Virtù; Tanya Morgan – Founder and Owner of Sawubona Creativity Project; and Amanda Rucker – Co-Founder and Co-Owner of River Twice.

A Q&A session will follow the moderated panel conversation. Light bites and libations courtesy of Manatawny Still Works, among others, will be available.

Gross is a talented singer and storyteller…a composer of heartfelt original music. She has performed at prestigious venues including Lincoln Center in New York City and the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

The versatile entertainer has built a large fanbase in the Northeast with her ability to charms audiences with her warmth, wit, and heartfelt singing. She has headlined celebrated cabaret and music clubs including The Metropolitan Room, Don’t Tell Mama, Tin Angel, and Cabaret at Odette’s. She was the featured entertainer at a private party in Frank Sinatra’s former NYC penthouse, featured on the HGTV show “Selling New York.”

Gross has an extensive musical repertoire – from timeless jazz and Broadway standards to contemporary and original music – and she also engages audiences with classy, sassy humor. She has scripted, performed, and produced a number of popular cabaret shows, including a sold-out concert of Oscar Hammerstein’s music at his longtime home, Highland Farm, and a Roaring Twenties-themed cabaret at the Studio of Ben Solowey.

“I love playing traditional clubs, but I also like performing in alternate spaces – like the show I did at the Studio of Ben Solowey,” said Gross. “His studio is an arts installation that is like a mini-museum dedicated to his work.”

Gross is like a modern-day Renaissance woman. She has recorded her original music with three Grammy Award-winning producers. Her voice and lyrics can also be heard on electronic dance music developed in collaboration with her brother, Silk Music label director Jacob Henry, and globally recognized producers Dinka, Mango, and Aeron Aether.

Tickets for Monday’s event are $10.

Penn Museum (Walnut Street, Philadelphia, pennmuseum.org) is presenting CultureFest on May 11.

CultureFest celebrates the artistic power and creative diversity of women artists and visionaries from around the world.

In the tradition of CultureFest’s daylong festivals, filled with live performances, storytelling, hands-on workshops, plus an artist marketplace, this March edition pays homage to Women’s History Month by raising up often overlooked contributions of movers and shakers across cultures, communities, and all throughout history.

Featured Artists will be Women’s Sekere Ensemble, The Marian Anderson Historical Society, Sister Cities Girlchoir , Sattriya Dance Company and Vervet Dance.

The event, which runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., is included with Museum admission — $18, adults; $16, seniors; $13, youth (6-17) and college student; free, children (5 and under).

The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Avenue, Oaks, phillyexpocenter.com) is presenting a very different event this weekend.

Now through March 12, the expo hall is hosting “Women’s Cigar Week: Women In Unconventional Spaces.”

The event’s mission is celebrating, networking and connecting “Cigar Smoking Women” and “Women” in non-traditional spaces. It is part of the national movement — Women’s Cigar Week.

Women’s Cigar Week is held during Women’s Month to celebrate women and women in non-traditional spaces. It is reported that two percent of women in the United States say they smoke cigars, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s about 3.2 million women.

Those who register for a three-day access band, receive a premium WCW tee-shirt, stemless wine tumbler, 2023 WCW pin, cutter and more.

VIP Registration includes advance registration items including event seating for demonstrations/discussions, preferred access into the onsite VIP Cigar Lounge and swag bag which include a premium cigar, refreshments and branded cocktail accessory.

Networking kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday with a meet and greet, a comedy show featuring Keith From Up Da Block, music by DJ Soniq and a line dance class led by the energetic dance instructor, Tonya.

Activities on Saturday include guest cigar ambassadors, Phemale Philly Phan Sports Trivia (one ultimate fan will represent the Sixers, Phillies, Eagles and Union), entertainment, demonstrations and the opportunity to shop and support the vendors. There will also be door prizes and giveaways.

Sunday’s events include a panel discussion of women cigar /business owners, “mental surprise guests,” demonstrations and final games and prizes.

Show hours are noon-8:30 p.m. on March 3, 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. on March 4 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on March 5.

Ticket prices start at $28.52.

Some of the Philadelphia Eagles’ standouts from this season such as DeVonta Smith, Brandon Graham, Haason Reddick, T.J. Edwards, Boston Scott, Jake Elliott and Cory Clement will be main autograph guests this weekend’s Philadelphia Sportscard & Memorabilia Show, which is running from March 10-12 at the Greater Expo Center.

The show will feature dealers from all over the country who will be selling a wide array of sports-related items such as game-used equipment, autographed balls, posters, magazine, game programs and autographed pictures – and plenty of Philadelphia sports memorabilia. Visitors can also find a huge selection of collectors’ supplies including protective sheets, binders, ball protectors and display cases.

Another major focus of the show will be trading cards — especially baseball cards. Show attendees will be able to find everything from ultra-rare vintage Honus Wagner and Babe Ruth cards to the latest releases. All sports will be represented, including football, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, wrestling, Olympics and UFC.

Show hours are 3-8 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission to the show is $10 Friday, $15 Saturday and Sunday and $35 for a weekend pass. Children (10-and-under) are admitted free with a paying adult.

Monster-Mania Con 53 will be held now through March 12 at the Cherry Hill Hotel (2349 West Marlton Pike, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, monstermania.net).

One of the nation’s premier horror film conventions, Monster-Mania Con features an impressive list of celebrities who will be appearing this weekend, including The Undertaker, Rose McGowan, Adrienne Barbeau, Amie Donald, Clint Howard, Gabriella Pizzolo, Amelia McClain and Damien Leone.

Visitors to the convention will be able to meet the stars, get autographs, browse vendor rooms and enjoy films and special events all weekend long.

Activities get underway at 5 p.m. on March 10 and at 10 a.m. on March 11 and 12.

Admission is $30 on Friday and Saturday and $25 on Sunday.

Every Saturday and Sunday in March and April, the Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, http://www.chaddsford.com) is presenting “Reserve Tastings – Wine & Cheese.”

Guests will join the CFW Crew for an intimate and educational 60-minute experience in the Barrel Room. The trained staff will guide them through a pre-selected tasting of five widely diverse and award-winning wines from across our portfolio. The selections will be paired alongside seasonal local cheeses and other accoutrements to enhance your tasting experience.

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

The 2023 Pairing Line Up is Greeting Wine: 2021 Sparkling White; 2021 Presage with First Light Honey Chèvre & an apple slice; 2021 Dry Rosé: Redux with Caulkins Creamery Noblette Hibiscus Petals; 2020 Maréchal Foch with Highlander and Sour Cherry spread; and Niagara with Goat Rodeo Bamboozled.

Reserve seatings are $35 per person.

On March 11, Penns Wood Winery (124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, 610-459-0808, Penns Woods Winery – HOME) will pair wine and cupcakes.

The winery will be presenting its 11th annual Wine & Cupcake pairing which includes a tasting of four wines perfectly paired with four custom mini cupcakes from Dia Doce.

Tickets are $36.

Harvest Ridge Winery (1140 Newark Road, Toughkenamon, harvestridgewinery.com) is hosting three events this weekend.

On March 10, it will be time for Music Bingo starting at 6 p.m. Participants can enjoy a glass of wine with every ticket purchased, music, and maybe even win some cool prize. Tickets are $10.

On March 11, there will be a live music performance by Dan & Dave beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Sunday’s special event will be a Charcuterie Workshop at 1 p.m. with the Food Network’s Aimee Hines.

The ticket price, which is $78, includes kit with everything needed to assemble a 10-inch Charcuterie Platter, a reference guide, a “Take Home Box” and a complimentary glass of wine.

The Teaching Concepts are Salami Rose, Salami Chain, Cheese Fanning, Prosciutto Ribbons and Fruit/Veggie Art.

The Strasburg Rail Road (Route 741, Strasburg, 717-687-7522, www.strasburgrailroad.com) is running a special train on Saturdays and Sundays in March – the “Wine & Cheese Train.”

Passengers can enjoy the luxurious, climate-controlled first-class accommodations and a tasting of select wine, cheese, and crackers as they travel in style down the tracks from Strasburg to Paradise and back. The train departs at 6 p.m. and the total trip time is 45 minutes.

“Wine & Cheese Train” boarding is 30 minutes before the scheduled departure. Riders must be 21 or older and have their photo ID ready when they board.

Featured wines are carefully selected from Waltz Vineyards, and cheeses are paired accordingly. Beer and select non-alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase upon request. Riders can purchase a souvenir wine glass on board the train if desired. Glasses are $7 each.

In accordance with Pennsylvania law, alcohol is only served during the train ride. We are not permitted to serve alcoholic beverages while the train is berthed in the station.

This popular train is available on select Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the season. Tickets are $65.

Hagley Museum and Library (Route 141, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-658-2400, www.hagley.org), a 230-acre historical village on the site of the original du Pont Company gunpowder mills in northern Delaware, has just opened a new attraction – “Nation of Inventors.”

“Nation of Inventors” celebrates the American spirit of ingenuity by taking visitors on a journey from the early years of the patent system, in the 1790s, through the “golden age” of American invention, in the late 1800s. The exhibit features more than 120 patent models from Hagley’s unique collection highlighting the diverse stories of inventors from all walks of life.

Patent models are scaled representations of inventions and were part of the patent application process for nearly 100 years. “Nation of Inventors” showcases patent models representing innovations in a variety of industries from transportation and manufacturing to food preservation and medical devices.

In the exhibition, visitors will enjoy engaging experiences around every corner, testing their knowledge of innovation and hearing personal accounts from inventors.

The patent models in “Nation of Inventors” were created between 1833 and 1886. “Nation of Inventors” not only features patent models submitted by inventors from the United States, but also models from inventors in England, France, Ireland, Russia, and Spain, demonstrating an international interest in America’s intellectual property system.

“Nation of Inventors” includes patent models from well-known inventors and companies like Ball (Mason Jars), Jim Beam, Bissell, Corliss, Steinway, and Westinghouse. The exhibit presents important topics and timely themes including women inventors, Black inventors, immigrant inventors, improvements in urban living, and the ways Americans learn about and understand progress and change.

“Nation of Inventors” is located on the first two floors of Hagley’s Visitor Center. Visitors can plan to spend about 30 minutes on their self-guided tour of the exhibition.

Beginning on March 1, all guest areas (Nation of Inventors, the historic powder yard, the historic home and garden, etc.) are open every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Last admission is at 3 p.m.

Admission to Hagley Museum is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students and $6 for children (ages 6-14). Victorine’s Valentine activities are included with regular admission.

The newest exhibition at the Brandywine Museum of Art (1 Hoffman Mill Road, Chadds Ford, brandywine.org), “Andrew Wyeth: Home Places,” opened last weekend and will run through July 13.

This exhibition is a presentation of nearly 50 paintings and drawings of local buildings that inspired Wyeth time and again over seven decades of his career.

The artworks in this exhibition are drawn exclusively from the nearly 7,000-object Andrew and Betsy Wyeth Collection of the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, now managed by the Brandywine. Many of these pieces have never before been exhibited, offering a first glimpse at a significant treasure trove that will shed new light on the collaborative creative process of Andrew and Betsy Wyeth.

“Andrew Wyeth: Home Places” shares the story of a remarkable immersive and intensive artistic practice that ranged across the full array of media Andrew Wyeth practiced. Over the course of a long and diverse career of many chapters, Wyeth repeatedly depicted a small group of historic houses in the vicinity of his hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

In these weathered buildings others might have overlooked or even scorned in the face of gentrification and commercial development of the region, Wyeth found layers of emotion and association. These structures—both venerable and vulnerable in a changing Brandywine Valley—served as a means of pursuing his abiding attention to that which lies beneath the surface of things.

Through living in this landscape his whole life, he engaged in an artistic practice of uncommon focus over an extended timescale, coming to know deeply the evocative buildings in a radius of just a few square miles and rendering them in an astonishing variety of compositions, handlings and approaches. As Wyeth said, “You can be in a place for years and years and not see something, and then when it dawns, all sorts of nuggets of richness start popping all over the place. You’ve gotten below the obvious.”

Among the previously unexhibited works on view are the charming early oil “The Miller’s Son,” painted when Wyeth was just 17 years old, and the stunning watercolor “Noah’s Ark Study” made at age 87—both depicting the same property, Brinton’s Mill.

That the Wyeths came to own and restore this property for use as their primary residence is among the many contributions of Betsy James Wyeth, whose distinct role in stewarding historic properties in Pennsylvania and Maine, which informed her husband’s painting practice, is a key context of this exhibition.

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

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, ansp.org) celebrates the remarkable diversity of birds, their important role in ecosystems, and people’s relationships with our avian friends with a special exhibition, “Conversations with Birds.”

The exhibition, which runs through May 21, spotlights familiar local birds, such as house sparrows and cardinals, and goes beyond to introduce the variety of migrators that pass through on astounding epic journeys across the globe.

“Conversations With Birds” features amazing avian photography and video by local birders and wildlife photographers, including Anwar Abdul-Qawi, an Academy educator, and Tom Johnsonof Cape May, N.J., a Field Guides birding tour leader; nest cam video footage of a peregrine falcon nest from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and of a bald eagle nest courtesy of HDOnTap.com and the Pennsylvania Game Commission; hands-on activities that explain the body architecture that enables birds to do what they do; gorgeous taxidermy mounts of familiar local birds and also migrators that visit the area; and BirdCast animations from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology showing live bird migration forecasts

Also featured will be bird-tracking products by Cellular Tracking Technologies that use cell towers, GPS, big birds, small birds, and what’s being used in research projects; an interactive media exhibit that shows five migratory birds that pass through the Philadelphia region on their seasonal passage between North and South America; live or video demonstrations (depending on the day) of Academy ornithologists and volunteers preparing specimens from the Bird Safe Philly project for research and storage in the Academy’s world-renowned Ornithology Collection; and informal presentations by a diverse range of regional birding groups and participatory poetry workshops by Drexel’s Writer’s Room on select Saturday afternoons.

“Conversations With Birds” opens just ahead of spring migration when millions of birds will wing through the Atlantic Flyway north to their breeding grounds. During this period, April 1–May 31, the partnership of Bird Safe Philly asks communities to participate in “Lights Out Philly” to minimize unnecessary lights by turning off, blocking or dimming artificial lights from midnight-6 a.m. to help keep birds from becoming confused by the lights and colliding with buildings.

The exhibition shows that there are engineering solutions that can go a long way to helping prevent window strikes. Visitors also will learn about local birding groups such as In Color Birdingand Bird Philly, as well as birding app options for the adventurous birder and the backyard kitchen-table pigeon watcher alike.

“Conversations With Birds,” which is on view through May 21, is free with general museum admission – adults, $25; seniors, military and students, $22; and children, $21.

This weekend, the American Swedish Historical Museum (1900 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-389-1776, www.americanswedish.org) is presenting a special musical/cultural event.

On March 11, the museum near the stadium area in South Philly, will host “ExtrABBAganza!”

The Museum has offered this invitation – “Get ready to let out your inner dancing queen this Saturday! Put on your best 70s attire and get groovy on the dance floor as DJ Drake spins the throwbacks.

“There will also be fantastic performances from the local queens — Miss Troy, Scarlett Masters, Elieen O’Brennan, and Amerie Jameson! This will surely be a night to remember!”

The event will run from 7-10 p.m.

Tickets are $35 and include delicious Swedish-inspired bites featuring Swedish kebab pizza and both traditional and veggie Swedish meatballs. A cash bar will also be open to serve our specialty cocktail, “Super Trooper” and mocktail “Take A Chance on Me”!

On March 10, there will be a “Candlelight Tour at Rockwood Museum” (4651 Washington Street Extension, Wilmington, Delaware, www.newcastlede.gov/431/Rockwood-Park-Museum) from 6:30-8 p.m.

At night, Rockwood changes from the garden pleasure villa of the day into a romantic stage for glimmering surfaces and sumptuous textures. Despite the modern conveniences with which the mansion was built, including bright gas-powered lighting, the families that lived there often preferred the soft drama of candlelight. This tour allows visitors to experience the museum’s interiors in the way they were intended.

This is an all-ages event. Masks are required. Tickets are $20.

Also on March 10, the site will present “Rockwood Paranormal Reveal” from 8-10 p.m.

This is Rockwood’s classic Paranormal Program to investigate the mansion from the unfinished attic to the decayed basement through the highly polished living spaces in between.

Guests will be instructed how to use sophisticated paranormal equipment to be central to the investigation. Visiting investigators will learn how instrument results relate to those who may have once lived or worked at Rockwood.

Attendees must be able to traverse many stairs throughout the museum.

The event is for ages 14 and older. The cost for the two-hour tour and lecture is $40.

Historic Odessa (Main Street, Odessa, Delaware, 302-378-4119, www.historicodessa.org) is both a scenic and an historic site in Delaware.

On March 1, Historic Odessa reopened for spring tours and celebrates the beginning of its 2023 season.

Known in the 18th-century as Cantwell’s Bridge, Odessa played a vital role in commercial life along the Delaware River as a busy grain shipping port.

Today, visitors can stroll along tree-lined streets and admire examples of 18th- and 19th-century architecture in one of the best-preserved towns in Delaware. They can also tour a remarkable collection of antiques and Americana preserved in period room settings and quaint exhibits.

Historic Odessa is open to the public from March through December, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1-4 p.m.  The site is also open Monday by reservation.

Another event in Delaware with an outdoor vibe will be “From Sap to Syrup” which will be presented on March 11 at Bellevue State Park (800 Carr Road, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-761-6963,http://www.destateparks.com).

Visitors to the park will be able to learn when sap flows, find out what trees are used for making maple syrup, and observe the process of making syrup.

Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to tap a tree and enjoy a special syrup-tasting with pancakes. The program will be presented on Saturday starting at 10 a.m.

Tickets for the event are $15.

This weekend, there will be an Auburn Heights Mansion Tour at Auburn Heights Preserve (3000 Creek Road, Yorklyn, Delaware, 302-239-2385, http://auburnheights.org).

On March 10, the site, which features the Marshall Steam Museum and the Auburn Heights Mansion, is hosting the event which focuses on the stately mansion, which is one of the best examples of a Queen Anne style Victorian mansion in Delaware.

The mansion is the former home of the Marshall family whose legacy of industry and innovation filled the home with the antiques and furnishings there today. Visitors will get to explore two floors of Auburn Heights with a small group.

The tour will also be held on March 16

Tickets are $14 for adults and $7 for children. Parking is available in the event lot on Creek Road across from the mansion.

“Banksy Was Here” was scheduled to run until January 31 at a location in Fashion District Philadelphia (901 Market Street, Philadelphia, banksyexpo.com/philadelphia/).

Fortunately, the exhibition’s stay in Philadelphia has now been extended until April 17.

“Banksy Was Here” features the work of elusive, anonymous street artist Banksy. It is an immersive, multisensory exhibit featuring original works, projections, virtual reality and more to plunge you into Banksy’s world.

“Banksy Was Here,” the “unauthorized exhibition” features a plethora of original works and installations, as well as interactivity, in galleries that pay homage to the artist’s themes, works, and sense of chaos, satire and controversy.

Banksy, the British artist whose identity is still unknown, is considered one of the main contemporary street art icons. In Philadelphia, an “unauthorized” Banksy’s exhibition lets visitors dive into the controversial artistic universe of the most influential creator of present time.

The exhibition will include over 80 original works, sculptures, installations, videos and photos including the now classics of the artist (presumed to be British). These pieces come from private collections and – with the collaboration of Lilley Fine Art / Contemporary Art Gallery – will be exhibited in Philadelphia for the first time.

Banksy is a pseudonymous England based street artist, political activist and film director whose real name and identity remain unconfirmed and the subject of speculation. Active since the 1990s, his satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humor with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique. His works of political and social commentary have appeared on streets, walls and bridges throughout the world.

Banksy’s work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians. Much of his work can be classified as temporary art.

“Banksy Was Here” is running now through April 17 in Fashion District Philadelphia. Timed tickets are $37.90 for adults (ages 13 and up), $28.90 for seniors, students and military and $22.90 for kids (ages 4-12).

There is also another popular destination in the Fashion District.

Wonderspaces at the Fashion District (27 North 11th Street, Philadelphia, philadelphia.wonderspaces.com) is an experiential, interactive arts venue.

Building on the success of annual pop-up shows in San Diego, and its first permanent location in Scottsdale, Arizona, Wonderspaces opened a 24,000 square foot gallery space in Philly a year ago.

Wonderspaces features 14 art installations that all play with the idea of perspective.  The artwork ranges from award-winning virtual reality short film about a dinner party-turned-alien abduction, to a room where visitors digitally paint the walls with the movement of their bodies.

New artworks rotate in every few months, creating an ever-evolving, year-round show.

Tickets are for entry at a specific date and time. Visitors are welcome to stay as long as they please during operating hours. The average time spent experiencing the show is 90 minutes.

A few installations contain flashing lights, images, and patterns that may trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. All visitors must sign a waiver prior to being admitted into the space. Adult supervision is required for visitors under 16.

A popular ice-skating option in downtown Philadelphia is Center City Parks District’s Rothman Orthopaedics Institute Ice Rink at Dilworth Park (1 South 15th Street, Philadelphia, http://ccdparks.org/dilworth-park).

It is an unparalleled entertainment experience on Philadelphia’s center stage in a wonderfully urban and unique setting. Open seven days a week, the rink offers wintery fun for all ages, with a full slate of programs.

The rink’s Wintergarden will remain open through March 26.

Ghost Tour of Philadelphia (215-413-1997, www.ghosttour.com), Ghost Tour of Lancaster (717-687-6687, www.ghosttour.com) and  Ghost Tour of Strasburg (717-687-6687, www.ghosttour.com) operate throughout the winter and offer an eerily entertaining evening of true ghost stories and real haunted houses.

The Ghost Tour of Philadelphia, which is based on the book, “Ghost Stories of Philadelphia, PA.,” is a candlelight walking tour along the back streets and secret gardens of Independence Park, Society Hill, and Old City, where ghostly spirits, haunted houses, and eerie graveyards abound.

Participants can discover the ghost lore of America’s most historic and most haunted city with stories from the founding of William Penn’s colony to present-day hauntings.

The activity is open year-round – weekends, December-February; every night, March-November. Tickets are $24.

The Ghost Tour of Lancaster and the Ghost Tour of Strasburg are based on the book, “Ghost Stories of Lancaster, PA.”

Participants in the Ghost Tour of Lancaster explore the long-forgotten mysteries of one of America’s oldest cities, with haunting tales of otherworldly vigils, fatal curses, and star-crossed lovers. The tour provides the opportunity to experience 300 years of haunted history from the Red Rose City’s thorny past. Tickets are $20.

The Ghost Tour of Strasburg is a candlelight walking tour of the quaint and historic town of Strasburg in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Visitors will experience an entertaining evening with a costumed tour guide spinning tales of haunted mansions, eerie graveyards, and spirits that roam the night … in a town lost in time. Tickets are $20.

Grim Philly’s “Dark Philly History Tour” (www.grimphilly.com) will be held every evening throughout the winter.

Participants can walk with tour guides from the grounds of America’s first White House, Congress, and Liberty Bell to homes and sites of Hamilton, Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and more than 10 other Founding-Fathers. The surprising dirt of espionage, murder, sexual license and blackmail highlight the secrets of 1776 with a ghost story or two along the way. This tour is highly researched. And your guide is a historian.

Tickets are $35.

If you’re looking for a fun family activity – an indoor activity unaffected by the weather — Linvilla Orchards (137 West Knowlton Road, Media, 610-876-7116, www.linvilla.com) has something just for you — the miniature golf course “Fore! the Planet.”

Linvilla Orchard’s “Fore! The Planet” is a highly interactive and playful museum exhibit created by the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. This exhibition pairs important environmental issues with the fun of miniature golf.

It features nine unique educational holes explore butterfly metamorphosis, a tropical rain forest, evolution, dinosaur extinction, food chains, and more. It’s perfect for kids of all ages. The entire family will enjoy playing miniature golf while learning about our environment – every step of the way.

The mini-course is open daily from 9 a.m. -5 p.m. through March 26. Tickets are $5.

Sesame Place (100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, www.sesameplace.com) may be closed for park rides and activities but there’s still furry fun to be had.

The amusement park in Bucks County will celebrate Mardi Gras now through March 19.

Guests can join in the festivities and celebrate by dancing along with special strolling entertainment, participating in the Mardi Gras Mask Scavenger Hunt, and much more.

There will also be Sesame Street-themed rides and attractions for guests of all ages.

The Sesame Street Mardi Gras Parade is a celebration with everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends dressed up and ready to shine, and features lively tunes, fancy dancing, and floats decked out in Mardi Gras colors of sparkly purple, green, and gold.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy mouth-watering menu items made famous by the city of New Orleans like beignets and jambalaya.

Theme Park admission and parking fees are not required for entry.

On March 11,  Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-228-8200, www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org) will present “Hot Spots and Storied Plots” walking tour at 1 p.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 Guide will be Guenevere Eckert.

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (300 Gap Road, Ronks, 717-687-8628, www.rrmuseumpa.org), has a special event this weekend that is both fun and educational — “Reading on The Rails.”

“Reading on The Rails,” which will be held on March 12, is geared for youngsters. Kids pick up their very own cardboard suitcase and use it to travel from story to story. They can collect a sticker after each story and create their own suitcase design with stickers, crayons, sparkles and other trimmings. As an added attraction they will receive a little gift to put inside their suitcase (while supplies last).

Stories will take place at 10:30, 11 and 11:30 a.m. and 1:15, 1:45, 2:15 and 2:45 p.m. among the historic trains in Rolling Stock Hall.

Some of the featured readers will be Amy Banks (Arts & Communications Manager, Ware Center/Millersville University), Kristin Fernitz (Director, Strasburg Heisler Library), Greg Liscio (Volunteer, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania) and Hillary Daecher (Author of “Soar”).

Tickets are $10 for adults (ages 12-64), $9 for Seniors (65+), $8 for Youth (ages 3-11) and free for Children (ages 2 and under).

Pennsbury Manor (400 Pennsbury Memorial Road, Morrisville, 215-946-0400, www.pennsburymanor.org) is celebrating Charter Day on March 12 from 1-4 p.m.

The free program at Pennsbury Manor includes exhibits, Living Theater presentations, blacksmithing, beer brewing, joinery, hearth cooking, and more. A wonderful display of 17th-century foods will be offered by the cooks, who will be on hand to explain the process of open-hearth cooking.

This week, Tuesday will not just be another Tuesday – it will be “π Day (Pi Day).”

Pi Day is an annual celebration of the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (3/14 in the month/day format) since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π.

Celebrations often involve eating pie or holding pi recitation competitions. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of “Pi Day.”

Pi (often represented by the lower-case Greek letter π), one of the most well-known mathematical constants, is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.  For any circle, the distance around the edge is a little more than three times the distance.

Rajveer Meena set the Guinness record of most π digits memorized when he recited 70,000 digits in 9 hours, 7 minutes, while blindfolded, on March 21, 2015. Meena is the officially recognized world record-holder by Guinness World Records.

The North American record for digits of π recited belongs to Upper Darby’s Marc Umile who recited 15,314 digits from memory in July 2007.

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