What To Do: Fun in the sun at local festivals

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Goshen Country Fair

August has arrived and that means it’s time for country fairs, festivals, outdoor concerts, big top circus shows and nature-related events.

Some of the events – such as the Goshen Fair and Das Awkscht Fescht – have been around for a long time.

One of the best — and longest-running — is the annual Goshen Country Fair (Goshen Fairgrounds, Park Avenue, East Goshen, 610- 430-1554, www.goshencountryfair.org). The fair, which is celebrating its 74th anniversary this season, will run from July 31-August 5 at the Goshen Fairgrounds, which are located just off West Chester Pike three miles east of West Chester.

The free family-oriented event is held each year as a benefit for the Goshen Fire Company. It will open at 6 p.m. from Monday through Friday and at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

This is an authentic down-home country fair with all the agricultural events found at most traditional country fairs, including livestock competitions each night at 6 p.m.

The fair will also feature competitions for pies, vegetables, jams and jellies, specimen flowers, bread, cookies, flowering houseplants, cakes, flower arrangements, and candy. Nightly attractions include live music performances, tug-of-war competitions and pie-eating contests.

The schedule for live music includes Cherry Crush Duo on July 31, Johnny “Cash” Barnett Band On August 1, West Chester Swing Kings on August 2, Just Us on August 3 and Southern Edge Band on August 5.

Das Awkscht Fescht

You can also take a trip back in time by attending Das Awkscht Fescht (Macungie Memorial Park, Main Street, Macungie, 610-967-2317, www.awkscht.com) — an event that is easy to enjoy and difficult to pronounce.

Das Awkscht Fescht, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, runs from August 4-6 in Macungie, a small town just south of Allentown. It is billed as one of the largest antique and classic car shows in the country with over 3,500 cars on display.

The popular annual event takes its name from “Der Augscht”, which is the Pennsylvania Dutch word for “August.” Das Awkscht Fescht, which is held the first weekend of August each year, is a traditional summer festival with a full roster of family fun events.

This year’s feature car is the Corvette.

There is a completely different car show each day. August 4 features the Variety Show with thousands of pre-1991 automobile models along with a variety of classic tractors, trucks and motorcycles.

On August 5, the spotlight will be on the Antique and Classic Car Show with more than 1,200 antique cars, classic automobiles and sports cars. On August 6, the event is the Special Interest Car Show featuring 35 car clubs with more than 800 vintage autos.

There will be a variety of kids’ shows and activities including jugglers, magicians, ventriloquists, clowns and a special creative activity and display center. Kids of all ages will enjoy the Antique Toy Show, which is held at Eyer Middle School, and Toy Town, which is staged outdoors.

Other attractions include daily bingo sessions, picnics in the park, a playground, a huge public swimming pool, an arts and crafts show featuring over 120 artisans and an “Antique Auto Flea Market.” There will also be fireworks spectacular Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

Admission to the festival is $9 for adults and free for children (15 and under).

Another top attraction in the Lehigh Valley is Musikfest.


Bethlehem’s Musikfest (downtown Bethlehem, 610-332-1300, www.musikfest.org) is a special event — an event that is more than just another popular summertime festival in the Lehigh Valley.

Over the years, Musikfest has established itself as one of America’s top annual music festivals an event that offers big name headliners as well as a wide variety of folk, rock, pop and ethnic music acts.

It also sports some impressive numbers.

The festival, which is celebrating its 34th anniversary this year, features free music performances on most of its indoor and outdoor stages.

Musikfest, which is running now through August 13, presents more than 300 live musical performances and draws over one million people to the Lehigh Valley every August.

The main concert stage at Musikfest is the Sands Steel Stage which features national touring acts with tickets required for all shows.

The following is this year’s main stage schedule: August 3, AJR; August 4, Walk the Moon; August 5, G-Eazy; August 6, Dan + Shay; August 7, Walker Hayes; August 8, Keith Sweat and Monica; August 9, Goo Goo Dolls and O.A.R.; August 10, Gabriel Iglesias; August 11, El Gran Combo; August 12, Maren Morris; and August 13, Train.

There will also be a multitude of free concerts with acts such as Brandywine Valley’s Kendal Conrad, Soraia, Devon Allman & Donovan Frankenreiter, Alyssa Garcia, and Mystic Fool.

Musikfest is much more than just festival offering a wealth of music. It also features interactive arts and theater activities for children along with a large number of concessions offering a wide array of food and beverage treats.

On August 5, Linvilla Orchards (137 W. Knowlton Road, Media, 610-876-7116, www.linvilla.com) will host its annual “Peach and Sunflower Harvest Festival.”

Visitors can enjoy the beauty of acres of sunflower fields and the sweetness of peak peach season all in one day.

A Pick-Your-Own ticket included a hayride to and from the field, and an empty container to fill fruit or vegetable. Each person over 11 months who would like to go out to the pick-your-own fields requires a ticket. Pick-Your-Own tickets are $11.

Linvilla’s host for Saturday’s Festival will be Silly Joe. In addition to the hijinks of Silly Joe, Linvilla will be welcoming Elmwood Park Zoo.  The zoo will provide live animals and a display table with furs, feathers, shells and skulls for guests to touch and explore from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. with a 30-minute program featuring live animals at 11:30 a.m.

Paul Downie and Friends will be taking the stage to perform a sound they describe as “Rhythm & Soul.” Perfect for an August afternoon, their music is a lively mix of R&B, reggae, calypso and upbeat jazz with an emphasis on songs rooted in the musical traditions of New Orleans and Jamaica.

The Delaware River waterfront hosts a number of cultural celebrations this summer during the PECO Multicultural Series. This weekend, the focus is on the culture of the African continent.

ACANA African Festival

On August 6, the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing (201 South Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, www.delawareriverwaterfront.com) will be the site of the ACANA African Festival at the Great Plaza.

The annual outdoor concert, which will run from 2-8 p.m., brings artists, groups, and dance troupes from around the African continent to perform in a free event.

The festival provides a wide range of African entertainment, from traditional dance performances to modern Afropop and reggae musical performances. The family-oriented event also features African food vendors, as well as sales booths with traditional and modern clothing, arts and crafts.

The event is free and open to the public.

Another interesting event this weekend that is free and open to all (18 and older) will take place at Glen Foerd (5001 Grant Avenue, Philadelphia, https://www.glenfoerd.org/events) on August 5 and 6.

The Philadelphia public park and nonprofit cultural site along the Delaware River, will have its very own gnome in residence when Philadelphia-based performance artist Alexandra Tatarsky presents two free public experimental performances entitled “Gnome Core” on August 5 and 6, from 1 to 2 p.m.  each day. The original July performances were canceled due to bad weather.

Tatarsky investigates the enduring legacy of the garden gnome with performances somewhere in between eco-lecture, dance, foraged dinner-theater, as well as song.

The garden gnome evolved from the professional hermit or garden hermit who was contracted to sit in front of the property of the wealthy and look wise and mournful, and sometimes to entertain or tidy up. The concept of this professional hermit faded away at the end of the 18th century and morphed onto the ubiquitous statue of the garden gnome.

Tatarsky’s research into the origins of the garden gnome will culminate in the weekend of performances somewhere in between eco-lecture, dance, foraged dinner-theater, as well as song, and will take place on the grounds of Glen Foerd.

According to Tatarsky, who is Glen Foerd’s 2022/23 Performing Artist in Residence, “Investigating the enduring legacy of this figure, questions arise that include, how does one entertain while grieving? What is the dance of an object? And how do we subvert relationships that make us feel small – with lovers, teachers, institutions…or between a gnome and the landowner who makes him sweep the grounds?”

Glen Foerd’s Artists in Residence program was established in 2014, and now works in partnership with Past Present Projects. The program is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and this past year selected a group of Philadelphia artists in three categories, visual arts, performing arts, and teaching arts.

Tatarsky makes performances in the uncomfortable in-between zone of comedy, dance-theater, performance art, and deluded rant–sometimes with songs. Tatarsky used to perform as a mound of dirt. Venues include La MaMa, MoMA PS1, Gibney, Judson Church, Vox Populi, Space 1026, FringeArts and many bars and basements.

Their writings on counterfeit poetics and grotesque politics have appeared in publications including The New Inquiry, Hypocrite Reader, ArtReview Asia, Folder, Viscose, and Vulture. They teach workshops on masks, rot, and mistranslation and are honored to have been a Movement Research Artist in Residence, Abrons Artist in Residence, Poetry Project Curatorial Fellow, Independence Fellow, and Pew Fellow. Together with Ming Lin they form one half of Shanzhai Lyric, and recently founded the fictional entity Canal Street Research Association. Research interests include bootlegs, hellscapes, and compost.

Glen Foerd is an 18-acre public park and historic site located along the Delaware River in Philadelphia. Built in 1850 and enlarged in 1902-03, the estate—consisting of historic gardens, an Italianate-Classical Revival style mansion, and multiple additional structures—was saved from potential development through the activism of dedicated neighbors in 1983. Today, Glen Foerd focuses on welcoming a diverse community through a wide array of programs for all ages. As one of the only cultural sites located in Northeast Philadelphia, a rapidly changing area of the city, Glen Foerd aims to connect audiences from different backgrounds by offering unique and affordable experiences to engage with the arts and the environment. www.glenfoerd.org

Spring, summer or fall – kids of all ages all over America are out in the park’s playing “America’s National Pastime” – baseball, of course.

Now through September 3, “Please Touch Museum (4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, www.pleasetouchmuseum.org) is hosting “Big League Fun.”

“Big League Fun” allows visitors to explore the exciting world of Major League Baseball in a new traveling exhibit.”

An event that appeals to all ages, “Big League Fun” focuses on the science and math involved in baseball, and includes training simulations, sports trivia, and more.

According to the museum’s website, “In this exhibit, visitors can:

Create their own play-by-plays using real game clips and sound effects in the Announcer’s Booth

Test their pitching, swinging, and catching skills and get tips

Review tips for proper pitching, take the mound, and pitch into the strike zone — or be the umpire and make the call!

Customize their own baseball cards with favorite team logo. Dress up as the team player and snap a pic!

Interview players, coaches and fans using a real camera and green screen technology… and more!”

The popular downtown Philadelphia Museum is open every day except Tuesday.

General admission is $22.

Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, www.longwoodgardens.org) is inviting visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature in summer – especially with the “Festival of Fountains,” which will run until September 24.

On August 4, Longwood will present one of its most popular summer events – “Festive Fridays.”

Tonight’s “Festive Friday,” which will run from 5-10 p.m., is called “To Infinity and Beyond.”

The family event will feature activities ranging from a fun night of circus art to animated movie music favorites to much more.

Members of the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts will perform in the Pumphouse Plaza from 6-8 p.m. while the Beer Garden will feature live Caribbean music by Plenty Pepper Steel Band from 6-8:45 p.m.

From 5-8 p.m., visitors will have the opportunity to climb to the top of the Chimes Tower for a stunning view of Longwood’s 62-bell carillon and the surrounding landscape.

Other attractions are themed concessions in The Café and an “Illuminated Fountain Performance” at 9:15 p.m.

“Festive Friday” is free with Gardens admission.

There will be two more “Festive Friday” events this year – “I’m a Believer” on September 15 and “Bailando” on October 13.

Dancing fountains, performances under the stars, and beautiful gardens make the Festival of Fountains at Longwood Gardens magical. The spectacular celebration of music, light, water, and nature includes distinctive garden experiences indoors and out.

Iconic Illuminated Fountain Performances dance, soar, and delight in the Main Fountain Garden Thursday–Saturday evenings. New Illuminated Fountain Performances for 2023 include “Put Me In, Coach,” featuring a variety of sports-related tunes; “Rachmaninov: Power and Passion”; “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift; “Starman” by David Bowie; “To Infinity and Beyond” highlighting beloved songs from animated movie favorites; and “Where the Heart Is” a showcase of coming-home hits by the likes of Bon Jovi and Ed Sheeran. Illuminated Fountain Performances are free with Gardens admission.

Before the fountain performances, guests can sit under the stars and enjoy live music and refreshing brews and pub fare in Longwood’s Beer Garden. Guests can enjoy a variety of selections from Victory Brewing Company, including the Longwood Seasons series brewed with ingredients grown at Longwood.

Regional artists perform live instrumental music, including Hawaiian-Inspired Steel Guitar from Slowey & The Boats, Jazz Age Blues from Drew Nugent & The Midnight Society, Traditional Cuban Son by Conjunto Philadelphia.

As the season unfolds, flowering trees delightfully punctuate the landscape, radiant tulips stretch toward the sun, and the delicious fragrance of wisteria floats along the breeze.

Visitors can also enjoy special exhibits at the Orchid House.

Admission to Longwood Gardens is $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and college students, $18 for active military and $13 for youth.

Hagley Museum and Library (Route 141, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-658-2400, www.hagley.org) will host “Summer Nights at Hagley” on August 3 from 5-8 p.m. – and every Wednesday evening through August 30.

Visitors to Hagley can enjoy an after-work hike or a picnic along Brandywine Creek’s most beautiful mile on summer Wednesday evenings from June through August.

It is a family event featuring summer fun in a beautiful outdoor setting. Guests can bring a picnic to enjoy at Hagley’s picnic pavilion on Workers’ Hill or at a picnic table along the Brandywine.

Dogfish Head craft beer and Woodside Farm Creamery ice cream are also available for purchase. You are welcome to bring your own food to “Summer Nights at Hagley,” but outside alcohol is strictly prohibited.

Admission is $5 per person and free for Hagley members and children five and under. Please note that this event is weather-dependent.

Hagley is the site of the gunpowder works founded by E. I. du Pont in 1802. This example of early American industry includes restored mills, a workers’ community, and the ancestral home and gardens of the du Pont family.

High on the bank of the Brandywine River overlooking the original powder mills, E. I. du Pont, founder of the DuPont Company, built his home.

For almost a century the Georgian-style home and surrounding complex of buildings and gardens served as the center of family and business life. Five generations of du Pont family members lived in the house since its completion in 1803, each leaving their mark.

Today you will see it much as it was when the last family member lived there, filled with furnishings and collections of American folk art, alongside treasured family pieces and items brought with the family from France when they left in 1799.

Admission to Hagley is: $20, Adults; $16, Seniors (62+) and Students; and $10, Children 6-14.

A popular event in Delaware this weekend is “Steamin’ Days” at Auburn Heights Preserve (3000 Creek Road, Yorklyn, Delaware, 302-239-2385, http://auburnheights.org) on August 6.

Visitors are encouraged to climb into an antique automobile or board one of the trains and experience what it was like to travel at the turn of the 20th century. They can also tour the magnificent 1897 mansion that was home to three generations of the Marshall family.

Also included is entry to the Marshall Steam Museum, which features the world’s largest operating collection of Stanley steam cars along with a 1930s working Lionel electric train display, a hands-on engine display, kids’ activities and exhibits and the Museum Gift Shop. Self-guided experiences will be available along a designated route to ensure one-way paths and proper spacing.

Free popcorn may be enjoyed by all visitors during “Steamin’ Days” events and Woodside Farm Creamery will be on-site with delicious ice cream available for purchase. A food truck will also be on-site at “Steamin’ Days.”

Activities run from 12:30-4:30 p.m.

Another event this weekend which looks back to a bygone era is being presented by Pennypacker Mills (5 Haldeman Road, Schwenksville, 610-287-9349, http://www.montcopa.org/pennypackermills).

“Victorian Game Day” will be held on August 6 from 1-3 p.m. at the historic site in Montgomery County.

Visitors to the event can spend the afternoon playing tabletop and lawn games at the Mills. Croquet, Graces, Dominos, and optical illusion toys will also be featured.

Admission is free.

Another Montgomery County Park with a special event this weekend is Pottsgrove Manor (100 West King Street, Pottstown, 610-326-4014, http://montcopa.org/index.aspx?nid=930).

Every Saturday in August, Pottsgrove Manor is presenting “Open House Days.”

Visitors can see something new every Saturday as Pottsgrove Manor highlights items from the collection and welcomes Living History activities throughout the day. They will be able to discover the ins-and-outs of 18th century items with the curator and learn about the trades and skills of the past with living history interpreters.

Pottsgrove Manor’s staff and living history volunteers will demonstrate 18th-century trades, crafts, and pastimes. Many of the audience-friendly events are interactive.

This event also features free admission.

Now through August 6, the Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, http://www.chaddsford.com) is presenting “What a Sweet Weekend.”

The winery is shining a spotlight on the sweet side of its wine portfolio to show just how refreshing, yummy, and versatile the sweeter wines can be.

Visitors can savor the sweetness at Chaddsford with delicious offerings like a Sangria Slushie, Chester County Cooler featuring Niagara and Gin, and a Sunset Blush Spritzer with club soda and strawberries.

For one weekend only, there will be specials featuring the winery’s fan-favorite wines: Sunset Blush, Sangria and Niagara in a Sweet Wine 3-Pack for only $30.

Guests can also enjoy food truck fare from Common Good Pizza.

Chaddsford Winery is also hosting “Wine Down” on Thursdays and Fridays now through September 2 from 5-8 p.m. each night. “Wine Down” will feature live music on Thursday evening and Quizzo trivia games on Fridays.

In addition to wine available by the glass, there will be food items provided by Common Good Pizza.

The schedule for live music is: August 3: Adam Moncao; August 10: Danie Ocean; August 17: John Rossi; August 24: Chris Peace; and August 31: Caroline Quinn.

Penns Woods Winery (124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, http://www.pennswoodswinery.com) is presenting a summer music series.

The winery will open at 11 a.m. each day and have matinee performances of live music.

There will be music by Rick Caldwell from 5-7:30 on August 4, Ashley Sweetman Duo on August 5 from 2-5 p.m. and Hanna Paige on August 6 from 2-5 p.m.

As part of Historic Philadelphia’s anniversary celebration at Franklin Square (200 Sixth Street, Philadelphia, www.historicphiladelphia.org), the organization is illuminating the park with its annual “Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square.”

Now through August 13, Franklin Square will come alive every night with its Chinese Lantern Festival featuring more than two dozen illuminated lanterns – all constructed by lantern artisans from China.

Chinese-inspired performances will take place in Franklin Square twice nightly. Performances, which celebrate Chinese performance art and entertainment, are 30-minutes long and are scheduled for 7 and 9 p.m.

Festival hours are 6-11 p.m. Admission is $22 for adults ($25 on Saturday and Sunday), $20/$23 for youth, and $14 for children.

Schuylkill Banks Riverboat Tour (www.schuylkillbanks.org/events/riverboat-tours-1) presents “Secrets of the Schuylkill” now through October.

The boat ride is a one-hour family-friendly tour of Philly’s second biggest river featuring sights such as Bartram’s Garden and Fairmount Water Works.

Riders can discover the Hidden River on a fun and educational riverboat tour while seeing spectacular views of Philadelphia.

They can also learn about the past, present, and future of the tidal Schuylkill River and its impact on Philadelphia on a one-hour Secrets of the Schuylkill tour which costs $25 for adults and $15 for children (age 12 and under).

Tours depart from the Walnut Street Dock, under the Walnut Street Bridge, east bank of the Schuylkill River. Tours are scheduled for August 6 at 1 and 3 p.m. and August 10 at 5:30 and 7:15 p.m.

“Open Investigation Evening – A Haunted Fort Mifflin Event” (Fort Mifflin, Fort Mifflin and Hog Island roads, Philadelphia, 215-685-4167, http://fortmifflin.us) is scheduled for August 5 at 7 p.m. This event is billed as a “A Haunted Fort Mifflin Event.”

Visitors can experience a paranormal investigation in one of the most haunted locations in the country.

Bring your own equipment or just your cell phone flashlight and learn tips and investigation techniques from friends from New Jersey Paranormal Investigations, who will be on hand to assist newcomers.

Participants will have access to areas not open to the visiting public and can learn the historic background of the Fort’s most famous hauntings. This event is suitable for novice and experienced investigators alike and students from young teens and up.

Tickets are $49.

On August 5, the Tuner Evolution Car Show will be held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Avenue, Oaks, http://www.tuner-evolution.com) from noon-8 p.m.

This show is a full automotive lifestyle event that showcases many aspects of the aftermarket automotive industry. It features some of the hottest customized vehicles in the country, vendors showing off their latest and greatest products, graffiti artists, eating contests, bikini contest, celebrity appearances, models and entertainment acts including bands, hip hop artists, skating and BMX demos.

However, the main attraction at “Tuner Evo: Philly” is the vehicles with many of the country’s top builders competing for the elusive Best of Show award. It allows visitors to see more of the elite cars and amazing custom builds that they won’t usually see on the streets or at meets.

Admission is $30 at the door.

The Expo Center will also host a more subdued event this weekend.

On August 5 and 6, the Expo Center will be home to “Liberty Comic Con” (www.libertycomiccon.com).

“Liberty Comic Con” is more than just a comic convention. It’s a place to meet and interact with like-minded pop culture fans.

It’s more than just shopping and celebrities. It’s a three-day event filled with activities to keep fans engaged — giving them an experience like no other – “an experience for fans, by fans!”

Some of the featured attractions are panels, tournaments, Quizzo and a Cosplay Contest.”

Show hours are 3-10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday.

Ticket prices start at $25.

On August 5, Kitchen Kettle Village (3529 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse, www.kitchenkettle.com) will host “Yummie’s Birthday Party” beginning at 9 a.m.

Kitchen Kettle Village is inviting everyone to come party in Lancaster County with Yummie, the gingerbread man and all his crazy friends.

Kids of all ages will enjoy this birthday bash for Yummie, the Kitchen Kettle Village mascot. They can join the village’s overstuffed gingerbread mascot and a few mascot friends as they celebrate a truly scrumptious day in Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

Guests can meet Cathy Bagley, the author of a new “Yummie Saves the Day” coloring book.

The free event features live entertainment, a “Fun Zone” and singing, dancing and birthday treats.

The Brandywine Valley has quite a few museums and tourist sites that provide residents and tourists ideal opportunities to spend leisure time — and you can maximize your effort if you take advantage of the 2023 Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport.

The cost is $49 for an individual pass and $99 for a family pass (for up to five family members).

The Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport is good for one-time admission to Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley’s top attractions now through October 31.

A family pass, which includes one-day admission to each of 12 sites, can bring a savings of over $200 for the holders — especially since many of the participating institutions have regular admission fees in double figures.

The list of locations covered by the Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport includes Longwood Gardens, Delaware Museum of Nature and Science, Brandywine River Museum, Delaware Art Museum, Delaware History Museum, Hagley Museum and Library, Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, Nemours Mansion & Gardens, Read House and Garden, Mt. Cuba Center, Rockwood Museum and Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.

For more information, call (800) 489-6664 or visit www.visitwilmingtonde.com/bmga/.

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, 800-448-3883, www.winterthur.org) is hosting “Terrific Tuesdays” – a special activity that is running every Tuesday through the end of August.

Visitors will be able to meet the families who lived, worked, and played at Winterthur.

They can engage in crafts, games, and demonstrations inspired by families who called this place home.

There will also be sessions introducing history, art, conservation, and storytelling to kids ages 3–10 and the adults they bring along.

The event, which costs $5, runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Winterthur is always a special place to enjoy both history and nature.

There seems to be no end to what’s in bloom — and in almost every corner of the garden.

The garden is a result of the artistic vision of its creator, Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) and is surrounded by nearly 1,000 acres of meadows, farmland, and waterways.

The views in every direction are important to the whole. The paths are an integral part of the overall design, curving rather than straight, following the contours of the land, passing around trees, and drawing walkers into the garden.

Visitors can explore the garden on foot, or on a narrated tram ride (March-December).
Admission to Winterthur is $22 for adults, $20 for seniors and students and $8 for children.

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

Odessa is one of Delaware’s most historic sites.

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. General Admission: Adults, $10; Groups, Seniors, Students, $8; and Children under six are free.

Nemours Estate (1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington, Delaware, nemoursestate.org) has come alive with its magnificent gardens.

Originally constructed in 1910, Nemours Mansion is one of Delaware’s grandest buildings and includes the largest formal French garden in North America.

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 Irénée du Pont was an American industrialist, financier, philanthropist and a member of the influential Du Pont family.

He 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, duPont also ensured that his new home was thoroughly modern by incorporating the latest technology and many of his own inventions.

The Gardens are 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).

The entrance is located on the campus of Nemours Children’s Health, follow signs for Nemours Estate.

Admission to Nemours is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for children.

Lehigh Valley Passport to History’s flagship event, “Passport to History Month” (lvhistory.org/passport-to-history-month) is held every July.

More than three dozen historic sites have signed on to open their doors for free tours, activities and programs for visitors of all ages.

The event, which originally began as a one-day event in 2019, has quickly grown in popularity. By the second year, it turned into a weekend event, and now it’s a month-long event.

“Passport to History Month” is a celebration of local history, stories, and the community that brings Lehigh Valley history to life. The event gives an opportunity for visitors, regardless of family size or income, to explore local history through a variety of museum tours, interactive exhibits, children’s activities, and more.

Participating locations this weekend are 1803 House, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum, Emmaus Historical Society, Horner’s Cemetery, Moravian Historical Society, Knauss Homestead, Coopersburg Historical Society, Lower Macungie Township Historical Society, Northampton Area Historical Society, Weatherly Area Museum and Whitehall Historical Preservation Society.

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 week.

A “Bird Walk” with Chuck Root and Emily Dodge will be held on August 6 at 8 a.m.

Visitors can take an educational walk with two of the site’s knowledgeable volunteers and discover the 300+ species of birds that use the Refuge during their migration routes.

“Birds, Butterflies, and Dragonflies Walk” with Cliff and Nancy Hence will be held August 6 at 9 a.m.

Participants will discover the dragonflies and birds of the Refuge.

The walk will meet at the Visitor Center and be at a relaxed paced on flat surfaces.

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 “Saturday Wildflower Walk,” on August 5 from 3-5 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.

Morris Arboretum (100 Northwestern Avenue, Chestnut Hill, www.morrisarboretum.org) is opening a new season exhibit – “Bloomin’ Bubbles.”

Every Tuesday through August, Morris Arboretum is presenting “Bloomin’ Bubbles” from 11 a.m.-noon starting at the Azalea Meadow – weather permitting.

There are more than flowers in bloom this spring and summer at the Morris Arboretum. Visitors are invited to join the arboretum staff for “Bloomin’ Bubbles,” when the Azalea Meadow is transformed into a magical flurry of bubbles for children to play with, play in and pop before lunch.

The Morris Arboretum also 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 10.

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).

Hope Lodge (553 South Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, 215-343-0965, http://www.ushistory.org/hope/) will be presenting a “Guided Mansion Tours” on August 6.

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 and 2:30 p.m. The closes at 4 p.m.

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.

Sesame Place (100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, www.sesameplace.com), a family-friendly amusement park in Langhorne, is hosting “Summer Fun Fest” now through September. Guests will be able to rock out with Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and Count von Count.

There’s nothing like summer at Sesame Place. It’s a great time to cool off with refreshing (and splashy) water attractions for all ages, from Big Bird’s Rambling River to The Count’s Splash Castle. Find more fun in the sun with family rides like Captain Cookie’s High C’s Adventure and Oscar’s Wacky Taxi Roller Coaster.
Summer is perfect for meeting your favorite furry friends and taking bright, beautiful pictures with them. There also are exciting shows, special events, parades, dance parties, character dining experiences, and other surprises lined up to give you even more ways to connect.

It’s Sesame Place’s birthday and the park is throwing a party full of furry fun now through August 6.

Visitors can celebrate with a special interactive Birthday Bash Dance Party, find all the party balloons in a fun, whimsical scavenger hunt, and take photos with their Sesame Street friends dressed in their birthday attire.

Special activities include “Birthday Character Meet & Greets,” “Furry Friends Birthday Bash Dance Party” and “Elmo’s Party Balloon Scavenger Hunt.”

Ticket prices for Sesame Place start at $52.99.

Peddler’s Village (Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, 215-794-4000, www.peddlersvillage.com) is celebrating its “Peach Festival” on August 5 and 6 and “National Peach Month” throughout August.

The “Peach Festival” is a peach lovers’ paradise with plenty of peachy treats, weekend entertainment, and scenic strolls through the Village’s summer gardens.

Visitors will be able to savor the flavors of all things peach from savory to sweet at the Village’s restaurants and weekend outdoor food tent all month long.

Fresh peaches, peach pies, and peach products will be available on Saturdays and Sundays in August.

During the month of August, visitors can savor peach-themed food and drink specials served every day in at Peddler’s Village’s restaurants and eateries.

Peddler’s Village shops will be open until 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Admission and parking are free. The event will be held rain or shine.

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

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.

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.

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 an 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 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.

The Elmwood Park Zoo (1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown, www.elmwoodparkzoo.org) is hosting “Dog Days” on August 6, 9 and 11.

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.”

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

Treetop Quest Philly (51 Chamounix Drive, Philadelphia, www.treetopquest.com) is an aerial adventure park that will challenge you physically and mentally as you maneuver from tree to tree through obstacles and zip-lines. Once you’re equipped, they will teach you how to operate your equipment and you’ll be able to swing through each course as many times as you want for 2.5 hours.

Each participant is outfitted with a harness and gloves. Each course has a continuous belay system — a lifeline that is impossible to detach without a staff member. The activity is self-guided, and the staff is ready to assist when needed.

Gloves are required for our activity. During this time, we encourage participants to bring their own gloves to use while up in the trees, gardening gloves are perfect for this activity.

Ticket prices are $55, adults; $48, ages 12-17; $38, ages 7-11.

“TreeTrails Adventures Trevose” (301 West Bristol Pike, Trevose, treetrails.com/trevose-pa) is an adventure park full of fun challenges for outdoor adventurers of all ages that is open now and will run through November 26.

Participants can experience the rush of TreeTrails Adventures as they swing through the trees of the new adventure park. They will be able to discover the excitement of climbing and zip lining above the forest floor with r family, friends, co-workers, or teammates.

The park, which is based at Phoenix Sport Club in Bucks County, offers two ways to experience climbing – TreeTrails Adventure Park and KidTrails Park. Young explorers can enjoy miniaturized courses in the adjacent KidTrails Park.

General Park Admission prices are: Main Park Adult Tickets (Ages 12+), $59 and Main Park Youth Tickets (Ages 7–11), $51.

The West Chester Railroad (610-430-2233, www.wcrailroad.com) is running its “Summer Picnic Specials” every Sunday now through September 17 at noon each day.

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

Tickets are $22 for adults and $15 for children (ages 2-12).

The New Hope Railroad (32 Bridge Street, New Hope, www.newhoperailroad.com) is running its “Grapevine Express,” which features “Wine & Cheese Tasting” on August 5 and 6 at 5 p.m. each night.

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 $106 (Ages 21 and older only).

This weekend, the Strasburg Railroad (Route 741, Strasburg, www.strasburgrailroad.com) is running its “Wine & Cheese Train” on August 4 and 5 at 5 and 7 p.m. each night and August 6 at 5 p.m.

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 7 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. The rail line is not permitted to serve alcoholic beverages while the train is berthed in the station.

Tickets are $65.

The Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad (Reading Outer Station, Reading, www.rbmnrr-passenger.com) is running “All Day Train Excursions” every Saturday and Sunday in August and September.

Passengers can take a train excursion through Pennsylvania’s beautiful landscape to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. They can board the train at the Reading Outer Station, Port Clinton Station, or Tamaqua Station.

During the trip, riders will see rolling farmland, beautiful mountains, glistening lakes, and small towns along the railroad’s main line. The train will also travel through tunnels and over bridges — a highlight being the Hometown High Bridge.

Once the excursion arrives in Jim Thorpe, riders have more than 3.5 hours to explore the many shops, restaurants, and attractions before boarding the train for your return trip.

While in Jim Thorpe, they can also ride one of the rail line’s 70-minute Lehigh Gorge trains at a discounted rate.

Tickets for the all-day excursion are $39 from the Reading Outer Station and Port Clinton Station and $24 from the Tamaqua Station.

On August 5, the Colebrookdale Railroad (South Washington Street, Boyertown, www.colebrookdalerailroad.com) is running its “Secret Valley Expedition” at 3 p.m.

The tourist rail line’s two-hour expedition into the Secret Valley features rides on meticulously restored century-old rail cars and visits to one of the most scenic and historic regions in the northeast.

The railroad will be offering lunch and dinner aboard the Secret Valley Expedition to all dining class passengers.

Additionally, an a la carte menu is available in all cars and all passengers have access to the open car for near 360-degree views of the Secret Valley.

The Northern Central Railway (2 West Main Street, New Freedom, www.northerncentralrailway.com) is running its “Wine and Cheese Express” this weekend along with a “Ice Cream Express” and a “Reading Express” on Friday.

The “Reading Express” will depart on August 4 at 10 a.m. and the “Ice Cream Express” is scheduled for August 4 at 6 p.m.

On August 6, the “Wine and Cheese Express” will depart at 11 a.m.

The ride follows the route of the original Northern Central Railroad through the scenic Heritage Rail Trail County Park.

Tickets are $99.

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