What to do: Kennett Symphony at Longwood Gardens

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, www.longwoodgardens.org) is one of the best outdoor attractions in the area, one of the best family attractions in the state and one of the best gardens attractions in the country.

There are times when even the very best can get better.
On June 23, in addition to all of its other attractions, Longwood Gardens is hosting an outdoor concert by the Kennett Symphony.
On Sunday evening, the Kennett Symphony will perform the season finale of its Masterworks Series at Longwood Gardens (1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square).

“Masterworks 3: Symphony Under the Stars – Halls of Magic” is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. at Longwood’s Open Air Theatre under the direction of conductor Michael Hall.
The program features Mussorgsky/Ravel’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” John Williams’ “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” and John Williams’ “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”
Williams’ popular music from the first two Harry Potter movies – “The Sorcerer’s Stone” and “The Chamber of Secrets” — is paired with Maurice Ravel and Modest Mussorgsky’s imaginatively colorful “Pictures at an Exhibition.”
“Pictures at an Exhibition” is a piano suite in 10 movements, plus a recurring and varied Promenade theme, written in 1874 by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. It is a musical depiction of a tour of an exhibition of works by architect and painter Viktor Hartmann.
The composition has become a showpiece for virtuoso pianists and became widely known from orchestrations and arrangements produced by other composers and contemporary musicians, with Maurice Ravel’s 1922 adaptation for orchestra being the most recorded and performed. The suite, particularly the final movement, “The Bogatyr Gates,” is widely considered one of Mussorgsky’s greatest works.
Harry Potter films and their music need no explanation.
Both classical and film music are represented on this program, making it a concert that will appeal to a wide range of audiences. This is a family-friendly event.
Tickets are $50 for adults and $10 for students (age 18 and under). The ticket includes access to visit Longwood Gardens during the day on the day of the concert.
Visiting Longwood Gardens is a real treat at any time during the year but especially sweet during the summer when the grounds are filled with vibrant colors produced by a variety of flowers.
Before the concert, ticket holders can explore six districts representing distinct regions over nearly 200 acres. Each district is unique and there are 24 unique gardens in total. From formal layouts and highly manicured plantings to sweeping vistas across natural lands, it is sure to be a magical evening.
Each of the six districts has a distinct personality.
Chimes Tower District — A stunning hillside of rare, expertly edited plants, a historic bell tower anchored on a 50-foot waterfall, and award-winning trees beckon, all within view of the majestic Main Fountain Garden.
Conservatory District — Considered the centerpiece of Longwood Gardens, stunning 19th-century architecture works in harmony with a perpetual flower show under acres of glass. Explore dazzling displays and otherworldly plant species through a series of breathtaking rooms.
House & Theater District — Developed with the specific purpose of display and performance, experience a vista to the early days of Longwood, taking in views that Pierre and his family enjoyed more than a century ago, including Peirce’s Park and Peirce’s Woods.
Lakes District — Open vistas, rolling green lawns, sparkling water, and splashing fountains recall a European holiday from days gone by, reminding us of the joy of fresh air, a nice walk, and an exquisite view.
Meadow & Forest District — The expansive landscape of the Meadow and Forest District harmonizes the best practices in ecological restoration with garden design—showcasing horticultural excellence and beauty while prioritizing plant and animal communities.
Main Fountain Garden District — The classical gardens and grand theatre of this district have captivated guests for more than 90 years. Inspired by Pierre S. du Pont’s travels to Europe’s great water gardens, world’s fairs, and expositions, the Main Fountain Garden highlights horticulture, engineering marvels, and the beauty of exceptional design.
Longwood’s summer schedule features Main Fountain Garden Performances through October 27, Illuminated Fountain Performances Thursdays-Saturdays through October 26, Festival of Fountains through October 27, Fireworks & Fountains Shows on select dates through October, Open Air Theatre Fountain Shows daily through November 10, and Festive Fridays on July 12, August 16, September 20 and October 18.
Admission to Longwood Gardens is $32 for adults, $28 for seniors and college students, $23 for active military and $17 for youth.
There are many special events this weekend. Some are outdoor only events, some are indoor only events and some are a mixture of the two.
If there is a hot air balloon, a blimp, a helicopter or a giant condor in the sky above you, it’s almost a certainty that you’re going to look up.
If it’s a helicopter, the audio part emphasizes the visual part as it attracts your attention. When there is a chopper flying overhead, it is virtually impossible to resist a skyward gaze.
If you want to see helicopters flying above, just head to the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center (1220 American Blvd., Brandywine Airport, West Chester, 610-436-9600, www.helicoptermuseum.org) when it celebrates its annual event “Family Fest”


The 2024 “FamilyFest,” which is the museum’s annual celebration of family and fun, will take place on June 22, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Helicopter rides will be available from 12:30-3:30 p.m. on a first come, first served basis at $100 per person. Visitors must be checked in by 2:45 p.m. to guarantee a flight.
The event will have vendors, food trucks, exhibits, drones, R/C helicopters, and much more. There will also be a classic car and motorcycle show that offers a Fan Favorite competition featuring prizes for the top three.
The cost is $20 per person, ages five and above. “FamilyFest” will be held rain or shine. No refunds or vouchers for admission tickets. Helicopter rides will be refunded or honored on another scheduled ride day in 2024 in the event that the helicopters are unable to fly.
Now through June 22, the sights, sounds and smells of a summertime fair will be filling the air in Downingtown when Saint Joseph Church (338 Manor Avenue, Downingtown, 610-269-8294, www.stjoesfestival.com) hosts its 17th annual “Community Festival.”
The event will feature all the traditional things associated with a summer festival — including exciting rides and amusement games. There will also be food concessions with all the standard festival fare — cotton candy, ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, corn dogs, soft pretzels and cheese fries along with mozzarella sticks, tomato pie and hot roast beef sandwiches.
The roster of music acts includes De La Salle String Band, Downingtown School of Rock, Yesterday’s News and, Fusebox and Tinn Angel.
The 37th Annual Clifford Brown Jazz Festival will be held in Rodney Square (11th and Market streets, Wilmington, 302-576-3095, www.cliffordbrownjazzfest.com) now through June 22.
Acts performing on June 21 will be Incognito, Dwonztet and DuPont Brass.
On June 22, the festival will present Raheem Devaughn, Kelly Price, Adam Blackstone, Endea Owens & The Cookout, Grace Kelly, Momentum and the Clifford Brown Festival Orchestra.
There is no admission charge on any day.
On June 23, Philadelphia-based nonprofit Cool Cars for Kids (CCfK), Inc. will bring together families of children with rare birth diagnoses and classic car enthusiasts who share a common passion and appreciation for the one-of-a-kind.
The Seventh Annual Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance (http://www.coolcarsforkids.com/concours.html) will take place at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum (6825 Norwitch Drive, Philadelphia) from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance

The Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance will include an invitation-only assembly of classic automobiles and race cars; professional judging and awards presented for historical accuracy, technical merit, and style.

This premier fundraising event, to be held at the famed Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, promises a family-friendly day filled with elegance, engineering marvels, and the timeless allure of Jaguar, the British luxury car brand founded in 1922.
This year’s Philadelphia Concours will showcase Jaguar’s storied legacy, featuring a stunning array of meticulously restored and preserved classic models to be judged in all three judging levels – the main Concours competition, the “Field of Honour” and in the Car Corral. From the iconic E-Type to the distinguished XK120, visitors will have the rare opportunity to witness firsthand the evolution of one of the most revered names in automotive history.
The family-friendly activities feature celebrity guests, a Car Corral behind the Museum for local car enthusiasts, food and specialty vendors and access to the Simeone Museum’s permanent collection of classic automobiles and race cars. The Simeone Museum was named Number Two of the top 100 classic car collections in the world by The Classic Car Trust.
Cool Cars for Kids, Inc. is a nonprofit organization based in Philadelphia that brings together families of children with birth defects and classic car enthusiasts who share a common passion and appreciation for the one-of-a-kind. Funds raised from this unique partnership will directly forward its mission by supporting local and national charities – including The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – to deliver care and support to children and families who struggle with the medical complexities associated with rare diagnoses.
General Admission is $35.
The intriguing new production Paranormal Cirque (https://paranormalcirque.com), which is intended for a mature audience, is touching down at several locations over the next six weeks – Lancaster (June 20-23), Bensalem (June 27-30), Whitehall (July 4-7), Pottstown (July 18-21 and Dover, Delaware (July 25-28).
This weekend, the circus will set up at Park City Center, which is located at 142 Park City Center in Lancaster.
Paranormal Cirque will expose audiences to a unique creation of combined theatre, circus, and cabaret with a new European style flare.
This innovative horror story, which is presented in true circus style under a Big Top tent, features different shades of sexy and an incomparable storyline. Audiences likely will find it difficult to separate reality from illusion at this show as they fall into a parallel world and end up surrounded by monstrous creatures with hidden talents.
Currently, Paranormal Cirque has three tours running – Paranormal Cirque, Paranormal Cirque II and Paranormal Cirque III. The tour visiting our area is Paranormal Cirque III
Paranormal Cirque’s “Clown Castle” (also known as the Big Top) presents a mesmerizing effect while hosting a two-hour hypnotizing and enchanted show.
A careful casting selection has united the best artists from all over the world.
Under this Clown Castle, the black and red big top tent, there are aerial acrobats, illusionists, freaks, mysterious creatures and all the elements that make one think of a “normal” circus – but this one is not “normal.”
A new show with breathtaking implications always poised between fun and the most uninhibited fear that will transport you to a dark world inhabited by creatures with incredible circus art abilities. A crazy yet fun fusion between circus, theatre, and cabaret in perfect harmony with the evolution of a show that brings you back to when we dream … and when we had nightmares and fantasies.
Video link for Paranormal Cirque — https://youtu.be/locxFnh5UR8.
Ticket prices start at $20.
This weekend, the Mount Hope Estate & Winery (Route 72, Cornwall, 717-665-7021, www.PaRenFaire.com) will host its Annual International Celtic Fling and Highland Games at the winery’s fairgrounds in Cornwall. The event will be held June 22 and 23.
The Celtic Fling will also feature a variety of Celtic music acts including Albannach, Hold Fast, House of Hamill, Celtic Rivals, The Fitzgeralds, Gaelic Mishap, Killmaine Saints, Melissa Cox, Quittapahilla Highlanders, Seasons, Syr, Walking Finegan and Michael Darcy & The Atlantic Tramps.
The festival, which celebrates traditional and contemporary Celtic heritage, features the music, food and culture of all the Celtic nations — Welsh, Cornish, Manx, Bretons, Galecians/Asturians and, of course, Irish and Scottish.
Attractions this year include more than 50 musical performances, competitions and demonstrations, a full slate of live entertainment and the Ceilidh (grand finale of music and dance).
The competitive Highland Games focus on traditional competition events such as “Tossing the Caber”, “Weight for Distance”, “Hammer Throw” and “Putting the Stone”. There will also Irish dance competitions.
For the thirsty and the hungry, there will be more than 20 feast kitchens featuring a culinary tour of the Celtic Nations with traditional items. Some of the Celtic delicacies available for purchase at this weekend’s festival will be Highland Honey Mead, Scotch Eggs, Tiger Pie, Shepherd’s Pie, Haggis, Cottage Pie, Irish Potato & Leek Soup, Boxty and Corned Beef and Smoked Cabbage.
In addition to the 100-plus resident Renaissance Faire shops, there will be booths presented by more than 50 guest artisans and merchants with a wide array of unique items from imported Irish wools and Scottish tartans to Celtic souvenirs.
The event runs from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday with tickets priced at $33.95 for adults and $13.95 for children (ages 5-11).
The American Swedish Historical Museum (1900 Pattison Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-389-1776,www.americanswedish.org) is celebrating Midsommarfest on June 22.
In Sweden, Christmas is the most important holiday. Midsommar is the second most important holiday in the Swedish calendar.
The midsummer party in Sweden involves flowers in your hair, dancing around a pole, singing songs while drinking unsweetened, flavored schnapps and eating a lot of pickled herring.
The holiday was originally a pagan festival celebrated in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Midsommar was “likely related to ancient fertility practices and ceremonies performed to ensure a successful harvest.”
When Christianity arrived in the region, Midsommar had to adopt a new meaning and one within the context of the new religion. It was then attached to the birthdate of John the Baptist.
The American Swedish Historical Museum’s Midsommarfest, which starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday, features live traditional folk music by the Last Chance duo and maypole dancing. There will also be crafts and games for the kids.
Visitors can purchase flower crowns, Swedish foods, and refreshments – and check out the Museum’s Swedish used book sale and Mormor’s Attic Shop, filled with second-hand treasures.
Midsommarfest will be held indoors at the museum because of the heat and includes general admission to the museum.  Tickets for Midsommarfest, which are available at the door, are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-12 and fee for children under five.
The 2024 Manayunk Arts Festival (Main Street, Manayunk, http://manayunk.com/) will take place on June 22 and 23 in the heart of Manayunk along Main Street.
The Manayunk Arts Festival draws upwards of 200,000 attendees every year and is one of the largest outdoor arts festivals in the region.
The art show part of the event will showcase top-flight artists from around the country. Hundreds of respected local artists join with the national artists to sell handmade items of all sorts.
The two-day event will also feature crafts, food and music.
As an added attraction, there will be a wide variety of vendors specializing in fiber, glass, metal, wood, photography and other media.
The festival’s hours are Saturday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Wawa Welcome America kicks into high gear next weekend but also has an attractive option this upcoming week – “Wawa Welcome America Free Museum Days.”
During the 16-day Wawa Welcome America celebration, 35 Philly institutions offer free (or pay-what-you-wish admission).
The participating venues are: Wagner Free Institute of Science, 1700 W. Montgomery Avenue; The Print Center, 1614 Latimer Street; Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue; Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center, 640 Waterworks Drive; Historic Rittenhouse Town, 208 Lincoln Drive; Wyck Historic House and Garden, 6026 Germantown Avenue; Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 S. Independence Mall East; Stenton, 4601 N. 18th Street; Masonic Temple, 1 North Broad Street; Science History Institute, 315 Chestnut Street; The Rosenbach, 2008-2010 Delancey Street; Paul Robeson House & Museum, 4951 Walnut Street; John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, 8601 Lindbergh Boulevard; and Historic Strawberry Mansion, 2450 Strawberry Mansion Drive.
As part of Historic Philadelphia’s anniversary celebration at Franklin Square (200 Sixth Street, Philadelphia, phillychineselanternfestival.com), the organization is illuminating the park with its annual “Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square.”
Now through August 18, 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.
The year of the dragon soars into summer 2024 as the spectacular Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square brings light and culture with magnificent steel-framed and silk-wrapped giant lighted artistic sculptures. The popular 200-foot-long dragon returns along with never-before-seen giant lantern displays.
In addition to the gorgeous light installations, visitors can enjoy live cultural stage performances, see the choreographed fountain light show in the historic Rendell Family Fountain, taste expanded food and drink options including Asian cuisine and American comfort food, drink a toast at the Dragon Beer Garden, and shop for Chinese folk artists’ crafts created on site as well as Festival-themed merchandise.
Guests can also play Philly Mini Golf and ride the Parx Liberty Carousel at a discounted rate. A portion of the proceeds from the festival benefits Historic Philadelphia, Inc. for the programming and care of this important public space and its many year-round free events.
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 $25 for adults ($28 on Saturday and Sunday), $23/$26 for youth, and $10 for children.
Historic Odessa (Main Street, Odessa, Delaware, 302-378-4119, www.historicodessa.org) is both a scenic and an historic site in Delaware.
In celebration of Juneteenth 2024, the Historic Odessa Foundation’s National Park Service Network to Freedom exhibit and tour: “Freedom Seekers: The Odessa Story” will be free to the public on June 19. Reservations are available for the noon, 1 and 2 p.m. tours.
In 2009, the foundation’s Corbit-Sharp House, a National Historic Landmark and a stop along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, was accepted into the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom by the National Park Service, which evaluated the site as “making a significant contribution to the understanding of the Underground Railroad in American history.”
Odessa was a key player in the Underground Railroad both geographically on the border of freedom and in terms of its population of abolitionists. Built in 1772 and one of Delaware’s most historic homes and important examples of Georgian architecture, the Corbit-Sharp House is one of nine sites, two programs and two facilities in Delaware on the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom.
The home of a noted Underground Railroad sympathizer, the Corbit-Sharp House was the site of a close-call on the Underground Railroad described in the later-in-life reminiscence of Mary Corbit Warner, the fourth child of prominent Quakers Daniel and Mary C. Corbit.
Odessa is one of Delaware’s most historic sites.
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.
Elmwood Park Zoo (1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown, www.elmwoodparkzoo.org) will celebrate “World Giraffe Day” with “Giraffe Feedings” from June 21-23.
Feeding times are 10 a.m., 12:30 and 2:45 p.m. on June 21. There will also be a “Giraffe Chat” at 11:30 a.m and “Giraffe Training” at 2 p.m.
Visitors to the zoo can also partake in “Breakfast with the Giraffes” at 8:45 a.m. on June 22 and 23.
The Zoo is also presenting several of its ultra-popular “Dog Days” over the next week. The Zoo’s “Dog Days” event will be held on June 21 and 23.
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.
Hope Lodge (553 South Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, 215-343-0965, http://www.ushistory.org/hope/) will be presenting a “Guided Mansion Tour” on June 16.
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.
Visitors can participate by watching a short film and then taking a tour. Guided tours of the mansion will depart at 1 and 2:30 p.m.
Tour admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (age 65+) and for youth ages 6-17, and free 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.
Glen Foerd (5001 Grant Ave, Philadelphia, www.glenfoerd.org) welcomed the official start of summer at its Third Thursday Summer Solstice Celebration last week
The next Third Thursday at Glen Foerd event will be held on July 18.
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.
The public is invited to bring blankets or chairs — or find a seat at a round table on the lawn on a first come, first served basis. This free event is open to all ages, making it the perfect opportunity for families, friends, and neighbors to come together and celebrate the start of summer.
Attendees can roam Glen Foerd’s grounds, and explore its Gilded Age mansion, which will be open for free self-guided tours. Donations are appreciated but not required, and attendees are asked to register in advance by visiting Glen Foerd’s events page at www.glenfoerd.org/events.
Penns Woods Winery (124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, http://www.pennswoodswinery.com) is hosting a “Vineyard Tour” on June 22.
This is an educational tour of the winery’s vineyard spanning 15 acres of 40+ year old vines which sits upon First State National Historical Park. It will be a 45–60-minute informative tour of the vineyard.
Visitors will have the opportunity to stroll through the vineyard learning the ins and outs of our viticulture practices. The overall vineyard experience provides insight and appreciation for the art of grape growing and winemaking.
Vineyard tours are $10 per person.
Vineyard tours are completely weather dependent and subject to cancellation. In the event of inclement weather, Penns Woods reserves the right to cancel the tour and a full refund will be given or the tour can be transferred to another date.
On June 22, 23, 29 and 30, the Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, http://www.chaddsford.com) is presenting “Customer Appreciation Weekend.”
Summer is here and the winery is treating fabulous customers to a free wine tasting for two weekends only.
Participants can explore five pre-selected PA-made wines at our outdoor tasting bar, and then stick around for a relaxing afternoon.
In addition to free tastings, they can aave 15% on select bottles, spin the prize wheel for a chance to win free merch or a CFW gift card and enjoy live music from 2-5 p.m.
Wine tastings will be free with any purchase. One tasting per customer and valid ID required.
The West Chester Railroad (610-430-2233, www.wcrailroad.com) is running its “Summer Picnic Special”on Sundays now through September 22.
Passengers can enjoy a train ride from West Chester to Glen Mills and return on a warm summer afternoon. Pack a lunch to have during our stop at the Glen Mills train station picnic grove.
The duration of the ride is 90 minutes.
Tickets are Adults, $25; children (ages 2-12), $20; children (under two), free. All dads ride for a special reduced fare – $5.
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 2024 Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport (www.visitwilmingtonde.com/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.
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, 800-448-3883, www.winterthur.org) 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).
Hydrangeas, a colorful delight for the eye and a wonderful source of pollen, are flowering right on time for National Pollinator Week. Look closely and carefully to see the wide variety of bees and insects visiting these exquisite flowers.
Hydrangeas are found throughout the garden, especially in Enchanted Woods and by the Reflecting Pool. They are combined with the airy white and pink flowers of astilbes in the Glade Garden, while daylilies in brilliant shades of yellows and oranges are found just outside the Reflecting Pool.
Admission to Winterthur is $25 for adults, $23 for seniors and students and $8 for children.
The newest exhibition at the Brandywine Museum of Art (1 Hoffman Mill Road, Chadds Ford, brandywine.org), is “In Shadows’ Embrace: Prints by Peter Paone,” which is running now through October 13.
Peter Paone is an acclaimed Philadelphia artist and teacher who has mastered the mediums of painting, drawing, and printmaking over his seven-decade career. This exhibition features a selection of 22 prints from a recent major gift to Brandywine from the artist.
Known largely as a painter today, Paone is also a talented printmaker. He won a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in the 1960s for his prints and feels that the medium, especially etching, was critical to his artistic development. “In Shadows’ Embrace” focuses on this early period of Paone’s career, offering a close look at his printmaking practice.
Artists associated with German Expressionism, especially Käthe Kollwitz, are among Paone’s major printmaking influences, as their evocation of the plight of the human condition aligned with Paone’s own concerns. Another major influence on Paone was the Spanish romantic painter and printmaker Francisco Goya.
His renowned nightmarish series “Los Caprichos” (1799) informed Paone’s first major printmaking achievement, a portfolio entitled “The Ten Commandments of Ambrose Bierce” (1963). This rarely seen portfolio will be shown in full for the first time since 1967, when it was displayed at the Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris.
An additional selection of prints with themes drawn from religion, art, history, and poetry reveal Paone’s ability to layer complex meanings onto what may seem to be straightforward subjects, transforming them into meditations on faith, loneliness, and death.
Some materials from his studio—including several of his tools and the copper etching plate used to make one of the prints in the exhibition—will also be on display, illustrating the technique that enabled Paone to create the stark contrasts of light and shadow that were key to setting the mood of each image.
“In Shadows’ Embrace” is curated by Audrey Lewis, former associate curator of the Brandywine Museum of Art.
Museum admission is $20 adults, $18 seniors (65+), $8 children (ages 6-18) and students with ID and free for children (ages five and under).
Hagley Museum and Library (Buck Road East entrance via Route 100, 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 a popular ongoing attraction – “Nation of Inventors.”
Additionally, there will be a “Walking Tour” on June 17 at 11 a.m.
With the “Walking Tour,” participants can walk through history during an in-depth, 90-minute guided tour each Monday morning from March through December. This week’s topic is “DuPont and the American Civil War.”
“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.
Admission to Hagley is $20 for adults, $16 for students and seniors (62+) and $10 for children (6-14).
The 2004 season is underway at Nemours Estate (1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington, Delaware, nemoursestate.org). The entrance is located on the campus of Nemours Children’s Health, follow signs for Nemours Estate.
Originally constructed in 1910, Nemours Estate 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 named the estate Nemours, after the French town that his great-great-grandfather represented in the French Estates General. While looking to the past and his ancestors for inspiration, Alfred also ensured that his new home was thoroughly modern by incorporating the latest technology and many of his own inventions.
The Gardens 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).
Admission to Nemours is $23 for adults, $21 for seniors and $10 for children.
The 2024 season is in full swing at Chanticleer (786 Church Street, Wayne, www.chanticleergarden.org).
The Chanticleer estate dates from the early 20th-century, when land along the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad was developed for summer homes to escape the heat of Philadelphia. Adolph Rosengarten, Sr., and his wife Christine chose the Wayne-St. Davids area to build their country retreat. The family’s pharmaceutical firm would become part of Merck & Company in the 1920s.
The Rosengartens hired architect and former classmate Charles L. Borie to design the house, which was completed in 1913. Landscape architect Thomas Sears designed the terraces as extensions of the house. A 1924 addition converted the summer home into a year-round residence and the family moved here permanently.
Rosengarten’s humor is evident in naming his home after the estate “Chanticlere” in Thackeray’s 1855 novel “The Newcomes.”
As the home of the Rosengartens, Chanticleer was beautiful and green with impressive trees and lawns. Most of the floral and garden development you see today has occurred since 1990 — designed by Chanticleer staff and consultants.
There are seven horticulturists, each responsible for the design, planting, and maintenance of an area. The areas are continually evolving, each with its own feel, yet joined together as one complete unit. The Teacup Garden and Chanticleer Terraces feature seasonal plants and bold-textured tropical and subtropical plants.
These areas change greatly from year to year. Non-hardy plants overwinter in greenhouses and basements.
The Tennis Court, Ruin, Gravel Garden, and Pond Garden focus on hardy perennials, both woody and herbaceous. The Tennis Court builds on the idea of foliar display introduced in the Teacup.
The Ruin is a folly, built on the foundation of Adolph Rosengarten, Jr.’s home. It is meant to look as if the house fell into disrepair. The Gravel Garden is hot and dry, a touch of the Mediterranean in Pennsylvania. The Pond area is exuberantly floriferous.
Asian Woods and Bell’s Woodland are shady areas. The former features natives of China, Korea, and Japan; the latter, plants of eastern North America. The Serpentine celebrates the beauty of agricultural crops. The cut flower and vegetable gardens produce flowers for arrangements and food for the table.
Admission to Chanticleer is $12 for adults and free for pre-teen children (12 years and under).
Andalusia Historic House, Gardens and Arboretum (1237 State Road, Andalusia, www.andalusiapa.org) opened its 2024 season on April 1.
Located on a wooded promontory overlooking the Delaware River, Andalusia has been a stately presence on this stretch of water, just north of Philadelphia, for more than 200 years. The ancestral home of the Biddle family, Andalusia is also a natural paradise of native woodlands and spectacular gardens that have evolved over time.
Placed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks in 1966, the Big House — one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the United States — provides an unparalleled look into our nation’s past, while also offering a glimpse into the life of a family that helped to shape its future.
Its surrounding gardens delight the senses all through the year, from the tumbling, brightly colored leaves of fall to the floral extravaganza of spring and the abundance and scent of summer.
Self-Guided Garden Tours will be available Mondays through Wednesdays through November 4 (excluding holidays) at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m.
Visitors can stroll the spectacular formal gardens and native woodlands during a self-guided garden tour at their leisure and enjoy sweeping views from the banks of the Delaware River. Picnics are allowed on the grounds (with a “carry-in, carry-out” policy).
“Under the Canopy: Animals of the Rainforest,” which will run now through September 2 at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, ansp.org), is an immersive exhibition introducing visitors to the fascinating world of rainforests and the animals that inhabit them.
You can learn about unique plants and rainforest ecology as you encounter a live sloth, boa constrictor and other animals that call these habitats home. You will see the importance of rainforests to the planet as you explore interactive discovery stations, dynamic displays and engaging programming.
Presented in English and Spanish, “Under the Canopy” will engage students of all ages, with accompanying curriculums on rainforests, water cycles, the science of diversity, deforestation and soil, how kids can save the planet and so much more. Hands-on interactives are complemented by life-size, climbable animal sculptures, including a gorilla, tortoise, crocodile, red-eye tree frog and Banyan tree.
All exhibits are included with the purchase of a general admission ticket.
Admission prices are — Adults (Age 13 and above), $22; Children (Age 2 – 12), $18.
f you enjoy walking around garden displays or if you like to look at model railroad layouts, then you should definitely check out the Garden Railway Display at the Morris Arboretum & Garden (100 Northwestern Avenue, Chestnut Hill, www.morrisarboretum.org).
The ultra-popular Garden Railway Display has become a major summer attraction at The Gardens at Morris Arboretum. The 26th annual edition of the display had its official season opening in late May and now will remain open until September 30.
This summer, Morris Arboretum will unveil a brand-new exhibition in its popular Garden Railway – “Garden Railway: Dinos!”
With more than 15 different rail lines running along a third of a mile of track, visitors will enjoy a spectacular display of dinosaurs including Triceratops, and Velociraptor, as well as other Mesozoic creatures—all made out of natural materials such as bark, leaves, and twigs.
As one of the largest outdoor miniature train displays in the United States, the Garden Railway will delight and amaze visitors of all ages.
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.
Visitors will be able to see miniature replicas of iconic structures at some of America’s most famous public gardens including the Climatron at Missouri Botanical Garden, Torii Gate and Pavilion at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Science Pyramid at Denver Botanic Gardens, and so much more.
The Garden Railway is celebrating 25 years with a new addition — 300 feet of track. This is the largest expansion of the Garden Railway since it was installed in 1998. The new looping section of track extends the total model rail trackage to a third of a mile, making it one of the largest outdoor model train displays in the country.
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).
A sweet place to enjoy flowers in bloom is Tyler Arboretum (515 Painter Road, Media, 610-566-9134, www.tylerarboretum.org).
The arboretum’s schedule for this weekend features the “Bluebird Nesting Box Tour” at 1 p.m. on June 23.
For more than 50 years, volunteers at Tyler Arboretum have been monitoring the nesting activities of the Eastern Bluebird. This is a family-friendly tour to share this tradition.
Admission to Tyler Arboretum is $18 for adults (ages 18-64), $15 for seniors (65 and older) and $10 for children (ages 3-17) and Military with valid ID.
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 two years ago.
Wonderspaces features 14 art installations that all play with the idea of perspective.  New artworks are rotated in and out 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.
Some of the current featured exhibits are SPHERES: Songs of Spacetime, ERUPTURE, Rainbow Rooms and RADIANCE (INFINITY BOX NO. 6).
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.
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.
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