What To Do: Local options for eclipse viewing

Pin It

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

April 8 is a very special day.

It’s the day that people across North America will be treated to a total eclipse of the sun.

Even though this area is not in the path of totality, seeing the solar eclipse will still be a really cool experience.

On April 8 between 2:08 p.m. and 4:34 p.m., the moon will pass in front of the sun.

The darkest point — the eclipse maximum — will occur at 3:23 p.m. with 90% of the sun covered by the moon.

If you want to see this amazing natural phenomenon, don’t take lightly the opportunity this Monday. The next solar eclipse won’t be until 2044.

There are many venues around the area that will be hosting special viewing events on Monday afternoon.


Barring April showers, West Chester University’s Mather Planetarium (Mather Planetarium – WCU of PA (wcupa.edu) will host a free public viewing of the solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. on South Campus at the S lot parking lot (850 South New Street, West Chester, across from the tennis courts). Free parking will be available in Q lot below Farrell Stadium (855 South New Street).

The first 750 people on site will get eclipse glasses, which are necessary to avoid eye damage when viewing the eclipse since it is unsafe to look directly at the sun. Telescopes will also be set up for safe solar viewing.

In West Chester, the moon will begin to move in front of the sun at 2:06 p.m. At 3:22 p.m., the sun will be 90 percent covered – as good as it’s going to get for our location. The eclipse will end at 4:35 p.m.

In the case of cloudy or inclement weather, the event will be cancelled.

“Solar Eclipse Viewing at Valley Forge National Historical Park” (1000 North Outer Line Drive, King of Prussia, www.nps.gov) is scheduled for 2-4:30 p.m.

Visitors are invited to join park staff and volunteers at the Wayne’s Woods picnic area for special programming and to watch the partial solar eclipse.

Guests can pick up a free pair of eclipse glasses (while supplies last), earn a special Junior Ranger Eclipse Explorer badge, look through a solar telescope, learn about the science of eclipses, and learn about the historical solar eclipses experienced by the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.

There are also many special viewing events at area sites including Chester Springs Library (at Pine Creek Park, 1488 Yellow Springs Rd, Chester Springs, www.chesterspringslibrary.org), American Helicopter Museum & Education Center (1220 American Boulevard, West Chester, www.helicoptermuseum.org), Hibernia County Park (81 Lions Head Drive, Coatesville, www.chesco.org/4691/Hibernia-Mansion), Easttown Library (720 First Avenue, Berwyn, ccls.libcal.com/event/12122383), Glen Foerd (5001 Grant Avenue, Philadelphia,www.glenfoerd.org/events), Franklin Institute (220 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, fi.edu) and Delaware Museum of Natural Science (4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, delmns.org).

This weekend, it’s time for First Friday celebrations.

A special event in downtown West Chester this weekend will be the April edition of First Friday. The popular annual event will be held on April 5 from 4-8 p.m.

This event celebrates the thriving community of artists and galleries that make greater West Chester their home. Multiple galleries combine with additional “one-night-only” show hosts throughout the downtown business area to showcase some great local Chester County artists.

Attendees can discover stunning artwork, connect with fellow creatives, and find the perfect piece for their home.

There will be an “Adult Easter Egg Hunt,” which starts at 4 p.m. in downtown West Chester.

Easter eggs filled with a variety of prizes (discounts to local businesses, restaurant gift cards, Flyers tickets, etc.) will be hidden both inside some businesses and outside along the main streets of the Borough.

Since the event was so popular last year, sponsors are increasing the number of eggs and we will be doing multiple hidings during the evening, so everyone gets a chance to win.

This is a free event — no tickets needed.

First Friday Sales/Events can be found at The Art Trust at Meridian Bank, Blink, Church Street Gallery, Ginko Arts, H. Rose Boutique, Kildare’s Irish Pub, Pine + Quill, Phineas Gage, Thistle Be Perfect, Tish Boutique, Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center and Windish Entertainment.

This event is open to the public with free, on-street metered parking starting at 4 p.m.

Lancaster’s popular First Friday (http://www.visitlancastercity.com/first-friday/) is an arts extravaganza that runs from 5-9 p.m. on April 5. Visitors to downtown Lancaster will have the opportunity to discover innovative exhibitions, performances and perhaps a few surprises as they walk the streets lined with trees and distinctive architecture.

This weekend’s event will introduce the First Friday Trolley which will be free to the public every First Friday of the month from May through October.

Guests are invited to join the staff this Friday for the first ride. The trolley will make stops within the Arts District Loop. Along the route you can find art galleries, shops, restaurants, bars, and more.

Non-traditional boutiques and excellent restaurants complement the art galleries, artisan studios, museums, performing groups, professional theater, symphony orchestra and art college.

Some of the featured attractions can be found at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, PA Guild of Craftsmen, LSJ Studios, The Ware Center, Vintage Candy Shop, M Rose, Lancaster Science Factory, Read Rose Books, Central Market Flowers and First Reformed Church.

Another First Friday event this weekend will take place in Old City Philadelphia (230 Vine Street and locations throughout Old City Philadelphia, 215- 625-9200,www.oldcitydistrict.org).

On the first Friday of each month — year-round — Old City’s galleries, studios, shops and restaurants open their doors for First Friday, in an epic exhibition of the neighborhood’s vibrant arts scene.

Old City Arts Association launched First Friday in 1991 to introduce Philadelphia to the improving neighborhood and the artists and designers who were bringing it back to life.

Two decades later, Old City is a nationally recognized arts destination, named in 2013 as one of the country’s top ArtPlaces by the ArtPlace Foundation.

On the first Friday evening of every month, the streets of Old City fill with art lovers of all kinds who wander among the neighborhood’s 40-plus galleries, most of which are open from 5-9 p.m.

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

Right now, the “star” bloom is the Blue Poppy a.k.a. “Meconopsis ′Lingholm′.”

Longwood Gardens forces blue poppies to flower every year in March. This cultivar, ‘Lingholm’, produces large flowers that are four inches in diameter on average. Blue-poppies, native to the high elevations of the Himalayan Mountains, are infrequently cultivated outside their native habitat. Given the right conditions, however, they can thrive in gardens located in the northern regions of North America and Europe.

Other showcase blooms this week are Glory-of-the-snow (upward facing, sky blue flowers), Silver-squill (small, bulbous plants that are a striking dark gray with vivid green patches and a deep violet underside), Yulan Magnolia (a deciduous tree native to central and eastern China), Clivia (lightly fragrant, buttery yellow flowers with overlapping petals that produce a beautiful floral display) and Star Magnolia (early blooming deciduous with fragrant, double white flowers).

Inside Longwood’s Conservatory, visitors can check out the towering Clerodendrum schmidtii (chains of glory) as well as nearly 300 blooming orchids on display in the site’s newly renovated Orchid House.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The arboretum’s schedule for this weekend features the “Saturday Wildflower Walk: Early Spring Edition” on March 23 at 1 p.m.

At the “Saturday Wildflower Walk,” wildflower expert Dick Cloud will lead an informative two-hour hike that will take visitors through meadows, woods, and occasionally streamside. These walks are for those who have a love of plants, their role in ecology, or for those who want to learn more.

Admission to Tyler Arboretum is $18 for adults and $10 for children (ages 3-17) and Military with valid ID.

Just down the road from Tyler Arboretum is a site featuring an event that is good for kids of all ages.

Newlin Grist Mill (219 South Cheyney Road, Glen Mills, 610-459-2359, www.newlingristmill.org) will celebrate “Trout Fishing Opening Day” from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on April 6.

E. Mortimer Newlin, founder of the Nicholas Newlin Foundation, was an enthusiastic fly fisherman who immediately recognized the possibilities of the trout stream – the West Branch of the Chester Creek – that runs through the property. Trout fishing has become a well-loved and enjoyable feature of the park.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) established a single, statewide Opening Day of Trout Season that will occur annually on the first Saturday in April beginning in 2022.

The trout fishing season opens at 8 a.m. on April 6 for all anglers in the 18 southeastern regional counties – including Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York.

From April 6 through Labor Day, anglers may keep five trout — each at least seven inches long, per day.

Both pond and stream fishing are available starting on opening day of the Delaware County, Pennsylvania trout fishing season. Pond fishing remains open through October 31, and stream fishing is open through December 31st (conditions permitting).

On April 6, SRUTI (www.sruti.org) will present a Carnatic Vocal Concert by Bharat Sundar at the Fugett Middle School Auditorium (500 Ellis Lane, West Chester, www.sruti.org).

SRUTI, The India Music and Dance Society is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization. Every year, around 10 or more world class music and dance recitals are presented during the Spring and Fall seasons by SRUTI in the Greater Philadelphia area.

A Chennai-based Carnatic singer and composer, Sundar’s tryst with music began when he was five years old. Born in August 1988 to S Krishnamoorthi and Lakshmi Krishnamoorthi. Sundar’s talent in singing was first recognized when he bagged the first prize in a singing competition conducted at his father’s workplace.

The following year, he began his formal training under his chitthi (maternal aunt), Gayatri Mahesh. However, in a short while, she had to pass the baton to G Srikanth.

He also had his first introduction to Ragam Tanam Pallavis through an interactive workshop conducted by Pallavi expert Sri. Trichy J. Venkatraman and Sri Srimushnam Rajarao.

Saturday’s show will be a matinee concert which also features Sumesh Narayanan (Mridangam), S. Sayee Rakshith (Violin) and Chandrasekara Sharma (Ghatam).

The mridangam is a percussion instrument of ancient origin. It is the primary rhythmic accompaniment in a Carnatic music ensemble. During a percussion ensemble, the mridangam is often accompanied by the ghatam.

The ghatam is one of the most ancient percussion instruments of India. It is a clay pot with a narrow mouth. From the mouth, it slants outwards to form a ridge. Made mainly of clay backed with brass or copper filings with a small amount of iron filings, the pitch of the ghatam varies according to its size. The pitch can be slightly altered by the application of plasticine clay or water.

The concert on April 6 will start at 4:30 p.m.

Tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for seniors and $15 for children.

The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Avenue, Oaks, 610-232-5718, www.phillyexpocenter.com) is hosting the “SEPOS Orchid Show and Sale” now through April 2.

SEPOS (Southeastern Pennsylvania Orchid Society) is a non-profit organization featuring a diverse group of individuals who share a common interest in the large and intriguing plant family known as Orchidaceae … the orchids.

The group is one of more than 400 affiliates of the American Orchid Society (AOS) and traces its origin to the 1940’s in suburban Philadelphia. The organization’s main focus is orchid culture, education and conservation. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in orchids.

“SEPOS Orchid Show and Sale” features thousands of orchids on display, international vendors, free guided tours, free lectures, fragrance judging and flower arranging competition.

Hours are noon-6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $15.

The Expo Center in Oaks is also presenting the Dwarfanators Wrestling Tour 2024 at 8 p.m. on April 6

Visit the “los mini enmascarados” show and watch these mini masked wrestlers put on performances that will leave you mesmerized.

These mini masked wrestlers live to compete in memorable matches every time they step foot into the ring.

This is in-ring action just as varied as the personalities of the mini masked wrestlers that perform in the squared circle.

If you are lucky enough, you may even have the privilege of watching a classic Lucha Libre match such as a hair vs. hair or mask vs. mask match! These are special grudge matches, where the performers put their honor on the line and defend it by any means necessary. The loser is humiliated, the winner has a trophy to show off, and you get to witness it all.

Tickets are $40 ringside and $25 general admission.

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

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

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

The 2024 Pairing Line Up is ’22 Sparkling White paired with Éclat Blood Orange Pâte de Fruits, ’22 Dry Rosé: Redux paired with Fresh Chèvre with Local Spring Honey, ’21 Harbinger paired with Sea Salt Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips with Wild Mushroom Confit, Good Vibes Only paired with Noble Brie and Small Batch Sour Cherry Spread, and Revolution (the winery’s very first port-style fortified wine).

Reserved seatings are $35 per person.

On April 6 and 7, Penns Wood Winery (124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, 610-459-0808, Penns Woods Winery – HOME) is pairing wine and cupcakes.

Every weekend in March, visitors will be able to experience the winery’s highly anticipated annual pairing with out-of-the-box custom flavors developed in partnership with the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars winning shop Dia Doce!

Reservations are required to enjoy in person or you can order a Take Home Pairing Kit for a fun night in.

Tickets are $36.

Elmwood Park Zoo (1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown, www.elmwoodparkzoo.org) officially opened in 1924 after a private land owner donated a small piece of property and a handful ofwhite-tailed deer to the borough of Norristown.

This year, the large zoo in Montgomery County’s county seat, will be mark its 100th anniversary.

You can celebrate Elmwood Park Zoo’s 100th Anniversary during its Centennial Saturdays, happening on the first Saturday of each month.

Visitors can join in the festivities with family and friends as the zoo commemorates this special milestone with a series of exciting events.

The first 100 guests will receive a special giveaway item.

Visitors can enjoy live entertainment, capture memorable moments at the zoo’s photo opportunities, indulge in delicious birthday cake, and be amazed by captivating animal shows.

Event details are: Free slice of cake (while supplies last); first 100 guests will receive a special giveaway item; “Keeper Chats”, Education Ambassador Greet and Bubby Greets.

The Centennial Saturday events are free to attend with zoo admission, which is $15.95 for all.

The Philadelphia Zoo has been a habitat for an amazing array of animals ever since its opening day in July 1874.

The Zoo welcomed a new inhabitant this week.

Philadelphia Zoo is excited to announce the birth of a white-handed gibbon, an endangered ape species native to Southeast Asia. The Zoo team has named the baby boy Eros after the asteroid that orbits Mars.
The Zoo’s animal team says the baby boy, born just before keeper staff arrived on March 14, is healthy and continues to nurse from mom who’s demonstrating all the right behaviors caring for him. The baby, born to 35-year-old mom Phoenice (pronounced fuh-NIECE) and 34-year-old dad Mercury, has two older siblings at the Zoo: 5-year-old brother Polaris and 2-year old sister Ophelia.

The baby’s birth is a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) breeding program to ensure the survival of this species and maintain a genetically diverse population.
White-handed gibbons are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with threats including hunting, the pet trade and habitat loss.

Additionally, for the next two-and-one-half months, the Zoo will be home to a sextet of Trolls.

Now through April 15, the Philadelphia Zoo (3400 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia) is hosting the East Coast debut of Thomas Dambo’s “TROLLS: Save the Humans,” produced by Imagine Exhibitions. This represents the first-ever winter feature experience at Philadelphia Zoo.

The world’s leading “recycle” artist has created these six, folklore-inspired Trolls using repurposed wood. The Trolls are on a mission to inspire humans to take better care of nature. The Trolls, ranging up to 15 feet tall, will be located throughout the Zoo’s 42-acre campus.

“TROLLS” were created by artist Thomas Dambo, who currently lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Born in Odense, Denmark in 1979, Dambo’s mission is to create art that inspires people to explore, have adventures in nature, and show that recycled goods can be turned into something beautiful.

Dambo’s colossal troll sculptures range in height from 16-50 feet and ‘live’ as permanent or semi-permanent installations in parks, greenspaces, industrial parks, and in other site-specific locations around the world. Each folklore-inspired sculpture is imbued with expression and character and is built entirely from reclaimed materials.

Each Troll has a unique name and story. There are six Trolls who will be taking up residence at the Philadelphia Zoo through April 15.

They all believe rethinking how we live our daily lives will help save the planet for all animals, including humans, and they want to share their ideas. They want all humans to reduce trash, reuse everything, and recycle when they can. The Trolls believe that these actions and others to protect wildlife and wild places are important steps to help save the planet for all animals, including humans.
The exhibition is included in admission to the Zoo.

At Philadelphia Zoo, the Zoo moves around you.

Pioneering Zoo360, a first-in-the-world system of animal exploration trails, Philadelphia Zoo has inspired more than 70 zoos around the globe to design new ways to invite animals to travel and roam through their own campuses.

Passing through treetops, crossing over pathways and connecting habitats, Zoo360 provides Philadelphia Zoo’s beautiful big cats, playful lemurs, and lively monkeys. Visitors can check out the Zoo’s sloth bear cubs in Bear Country, the new Ankole cattle hillside, Amur tigers at Big Cat Falls, western lowland gorillas in PECO Primate Reserve, Victorian crown pigeons at McNeil Avian Center, and hippos, zebras and white rhino throughout African Plains.

They can also share a space with critically endangered lemurs as they wander through our new Lemur Island, look up as they feed the world’s tallest animal at Giraffe Experience, or get up-close as they hand-serve colorful birds their meals at Wings of Asia.

Philadelphia Zoo is one of the region’s foremost conservation and education organizations and home to endangered, and in some cases extinct, animals in the wild. By connecting people with wildlife, Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats.

Admission prices start at $19 for adults and children. Tickets are now available on philadelphiazoo.org.

The newest exhibition at the Brandywine Museum of Art (1 Hoffman Mill Road, Chadds Ford, brandywine.org), “Jamie Wyeth: Unsettled,” opened last weekend and will run through June 9.

“Jamie Wyeth: Unsettled” will trace a persistent vein of intriguing, often disconcerting imagery over the career of renowned artist Jamie Wyeth (b. 1946).

This major exhibition — organized by the Brandywine and five years in the making — features more than 50 works drawn from museum and private collections across the country that focus on the artist’s arresting, visceral imagery, revealing fascinating insight into Wyeth and the art of visual storytelling. Following its debut at the Brandywine, the exhibition will travel to four additional art museums around the United States.

“Jamie Wyeth is a renowned American painter who has created his own legacy and redefined what it means to be a Wyeth,” said Thomas Padon, the James H. Duff Director of the Brandywine Museum of Art.

“This exhibition takes a fresh look at the artist’s oeuvre and with remarkable nuance plumbs a rich vein of the uncanny throughout Wyeth’s six-decade career,”.

As the title suggests, “Jamie Wyeth: Unsettled” focuses on a single through line in Wyeth’s work — one in which ominous stillness, postapocalyptic skies, frightening shifts in scale, and strange vantage points seem to highlight the vulnerability of the human condition. With his startling compositions and a masterful use of media, color and texture, Wyeth creates an immersive, synesthetic experience that both engages and upsets visual and emotional equilibrium.

While frequently countered and even hidden by the artist’s fuller body of work — particularly his well-known coastal views, farmscapes, and portraits — a consistent thread of darker, more troubling imagery has been a constant in the artist’s work over the past 60 years. His work has evolved from the ultra-realistic visions and virtuoso brushwork of his youth into a mature expressionism in which intense color and dramatic use of paint electrify his canvases.

As this exhibition demonstrates, Wyeth is at home with uneasy subjects and a master of the unsettled mood in each of these stages of his career.

The exhibition immerses viewers into natural and supernatural worlds, from works inspired by the artist’s time spent in Maine—which frequently acknowledge the power of the sea and its fearsome ability to render humans helpless—to forest-based works from Pennsylvania that delve into the supernatural side of nature.

“Jamie Wyeth: Unsettled” is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue co-published by Rizzoli Electa and Brandywine.

Following its presentation at the Brandywine, the exhibition will travel to the Farnsworth Art Museum (Rockland, ME), Greenville County Museum of Art (Greenville, SC), Dayton Art Institute (Dayton, OH), and the Frye Art Museum (Seattle, WA).

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).

On April 6 and 7, Rockwood Park & Museum (4671 Washington Street Ext, Wilmington,  Delaware, 4671 Washington Street Ext, Wilmington, www.newcastlede.gov/431/Rockwood-Park-Museum) is presenting “Guided Museum Tours.”

Explore the grandeur, history and beauty of Rockwood Mansion, home of the Shipley, Bringhurst and Hargraves families for 120 years. This tour emphasizes the magnificent mansion interiors and stories of the families that lived there. Reservations are suggested. Tour involves stairs. All ages.

Tickets for the 90-minute guided tour are $10.

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (Route 52, Wilmington, Delaware, 800-448-3883, www.winterthur.org) just opened its 2023 season.

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

On Saturdays and Sundays in March, Winterthur is hosting an event called “Take a Hike!”

Hikers will be able to explore the site’s trails with Winterthur estate guides. Winterthur’s 1,000-acre estate features 25 miles of walking paths and trails and 10 miles of roads to discover.

The walk, which runs from 2:30-4 p.m., is included with admission.

Warmer than normal temperatures have pushed us into “early April,” and the Winterhazel Walk is budding with the lavender and pink flowers of the Korean rhododendrons along with Lenten roses and fragrant viburnums. The Quarry Garden is filled with the sunshine-yellow cornel dogwoods, daffodils, and mahonia, with forsythia bursting into bloom nearby.

The white arrow tour has returned for the season!

When the Winterthur Garden was first opened to the public, Henry Francis du Pont had white wooden arrows placed in the garden to direct visitors during spring tour to the “must-see” flowers that week. The self-guided tour starts at the Visitor Center Patio and winds through the garden, highlighting the changing colors of spring and leading guests back to the Visitor Center. The path will change weekly as the color progression dictates.

Admission to Winterthur is $25 for adults, $23 for seniors (age 62 and older) and students, and $8 for children (ages 2-11).

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 two special events over the next few days — “Science Sparks!” at 11 a.m. on April 5, 6 and 7 and “Walking Tour” on April 1 at 11 a.m.

Science Sparks is a drop-in family program encouraging innovation and creativity as visitors are given a hands-on engineering challenge to complete. Visitors may build, test, and redesign their creation as they take on the role of engineer.

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  “Sights, Sounds, and Smells Walking Tour.”

“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).

Spring has officially arrived, and things are coming back to life. Flowers are blooming and outdoor attractions are beginning to open for the 2024 season.

April 2 was “Opening Day 2024” for 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.

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

At the beginning of March, Historic Odessa reopened for spring tours and celebrated the beginning of its 2024 season.

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

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

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

“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.

March 27 was the opening date for 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.”

Adolph and Christine gave their two children homes as wedding presents. They purchased a neighboring property for son Adolph, Jr. and his bride Janet Newlin in 1933. It is now the site of the Ruin. Daughter Emily’s house, located at today’s visitor entrance, was built for her in 1935. It is presently used for offices and classrooms.

Adolph, Jr., bought his sister’s portion of the estate following her death in the 1980s. He didn’t move into the main house but used it for entertaining and kept it as it was when the family lived there. The house is open for tours by reservation.

Adolph, Jr., left the entire property for the enjoyment and education of the public following his death in 1990. A nine-member Board of Directors, six of whom are Rosengarten relatives, oversees The Chanticleer Foundation. The garden opened to the public in 1993. There are 20 full-time staff, of whom two manage facilities and 14 are gardeners and groundskeepers.

The garden has evolved greatly since the death of the owner in 1990. 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) had its “Season Opening” 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).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tickets are $35.

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 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).

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

The amusement park in Bucks County will celebrate Elmo’s Eggstravaganza now through April 7.

Guests can visit Sesame Place Philadelphia for a hoppin’ good time with exciting rides, entertaining shows, the Sesame Street Party Parade and special Easter fun with everyone’s favorite furry friends.

Visitors can enjoy soaring, spinning, whirling and twirling on Sesame Street-themed rides, get photos with your favorite friends in their Eggstravaganza attire, meet and take photos with the Easter Bunny, go on a scavenger hunt for Easter Eggs around the park, and so much more.

They also will be able to dance and sing along to the Sesame Street Party Parade, the Furry Friends Bunny Hop Dance Party and The Magic of Art.

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

Peddler’s Village (Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, 215-794-4000, www.peddlersvillage.com) will present the “Fifth Annual “PEEPS® in the Village” now through April 14 (except on Easter Sunday).

The popular event showcases the creative talents of regional residents–and the longstanding allure of the colorful candies. There will be more than 130 marshmallow masterpieces carefully crafted with bright bunnies and chicks in inspired, inventive settings.

The event will start at 10 a.m. each day except on Sundays when it opens at 11 a.m.

Weekday and weekday evening visits are strongly encouraged. Lines and wait times can be long on weekends.

Share this post:

Related Posts

Comments are closed.