What To Do: Chester County Ballon Fest floats into view

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By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Chester County Balloon Festival

When there are hot air balloons floating in the sky over your head, you’re going to stop whatever you’re doing and turn your gaze skyward. Three things guaranteed to make you look up are helicopters, bald eagles and hot air balloons.

If you want to experience the sensation of checking out hot air balloons in the sky above you, then you should plan on attending this weekend’s Annual Chester County Balloon Festival (Willowdale Steeplechase, 101 East Street Road, Kennett Square,http://ccballoonfest.com) which runs from June 14-16.

It’s always an awe-inspiring sight when a huge balloon floats untethered through the air. Watching one balloon floating above you is a lot of fun. Watching more than 20 huge, multi-colored balloons filling the airspace over your head counts as a thrilling experience.
Activity at the Balloon Festival begins on June 14 with the gates opening to the public at 2 p.m.
Festivities scheduled for all three days are “Wine & Beer Garden,” “Kids’ Zone,” “Balloon Launch” and a “Balloon Glow.”
During the glow, balloons inflate at dusk, remain tethered, and light their burners in a synchronized fashion.
Other fun activities at this year’s festival are dog demonstrations, tethered balloon rides, karate demonstrations, craft and food vendors and a children’s area featuring kid-friendly attractions.
All hot air balloon related events are weather permitting. Hot air balloons cannot fly or even be inflated in excessive wind conditions, rain, thunderstorm. As always, safety for the pilots, passengers and festival goers is always a priority.
Admission to the festival is $30 for adults and $10 for children (ages 6-12). Attendees can purchase tickets for hot air balloon rides and tethered balloon rides for an additional fee.
From June 18-22, 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 Band, Fusebox and Tinn Angel.

Downingtown Summer Jam

Downingtown Summer Jam (Kerr Park, 28 East Pennsylvania Avenue, Downingtown, downingtownmainstreet.com) will fill the air with music on June 15 from 4-9 p.m.

This family-friendly community concert, which is presented by Downingtown Main Street Association, features free admission and is open to the public.
Guests can listen to free live music while enjoying delicious food plus drinks from the beer garden — all held in the field next to the gazebo in Kerr Park.
No outside alcohol or food is permitted, but bring-your-own-water is encouraged.
Live music will be provided by opening act Dylan Zangwill and headlining act Hoots & Hellmouth.
Participating food trucks will be Chef & Company, Cousins Maine Lobster, The Munchy Machine, Rosie’s Kettle Corn, Shimpy’s BBQ, Bop Truck, Mini Millie’s Pasta and The Creamery at the Farmhouse.
The 37th Annual Clifford Brown Jazz Festival will be held in Rodney Square (11th and Market streets, Wilmington, 302-576-3095, www.cliffordbrownjazzfest.com) from June 19-22.
The free festival will start on June 19 with Chief Ajuah and Jonathan Michel.The lineup for June 20 includes Joshua Redman Group, Linda May Han Oh and Sarah Hanahan Quartet.
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.
St. Anthony’s Italian Festival (St. Anthony of Padua Church, 901 North DuPont Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-421-2790, www.stanthonysfestival.com), which runs through June 16, features cafes, carnival rides, live Italian music and amusement games.
This festival, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is more than just a carnival with rides and food. It also is an educational experience with a focus each year on a different cultural region in Italy.
Over the past several years, the festival has focused on the art, architecture, food, and traditions of various regions.
It will celebrate all that makes Italy and the Italian lifestyle the envy of much of the world. There will be culinary highlights from various regions at the cafes and vendor locations, handcrafted Italian home decor items and Italian classical and contemporary music at concerts in the church and on the festival’s entertainment stages.
The St. Anthony’s Festival has become famous for its array of tasty Italian food.
Visitors will be able to enjoy such taste treats as spezzato, pizza, sausage and peppers, panzarotti, porkette, clams and spaghetti, pasta fagioli, pizza frita, meatball sandwiches, mozzarella sticks, calamari rings, spaghetti dinners and fresh espresso and cappuccino.
There is a $7 admission fee for all visitors ages 14-61. Seniors (age 61 and older) and children (age 13 and under who are accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 or older) will be admitted free.

Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square

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.”

From June 20-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.
If it’s June 16 in Philadelphia, it’s time for Bloomsday.
On June 16, Rosenbach Museum & Library (2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, 215-732-1600, https://rosenbach.org) is presenting Bloomsday 2024 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
The annual event, which is free, is a commemoration of Leopold Bloom and James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses.”
Lauded as the greatest novel of all time, “Ulysses” tells the story of a day in the life of everyman Dubliner Leopold Bloom. The action of the story takes place on June 16, 1904, hence the selection of June 16 for Bloomsday, the annual international holiday celebrating “Ulysses” and its creator.
As the home of Joyce’s manuscript of the novel, the Rosenbach has observed Bloomsday in grand fashion for more than 20 years. The site celebrates the occasion with a day-long, public reading of the novel, inviting international literati, local artists, and public figures to read.
Some of this year’s readers include Senator Nikil Saval, Nik Quaife, Head of Cultural Affairs for the Irish Consulate, Representative Ben Waxman, Senator Vince Hughes, Fergus Carey, and local artists Tom Teti, KC MacMillan, Leonard Haas, Kirsten Quinn, and many more.
The readings are accompanied by musical performances, and the combination of word and song brings the novel to exhilarating life in the open air.
The Bloomsday Festival will also livestream on the Rosenbach’s youtube channel at
On June14 and 15, Intercourse Community Park (3730 Old Philadelphia Pike, Gordonville, 717- 768-8585, http://www.intercourseheritagedays.com) will host “Intercourse Heritage Days.”
Activities will include “A Taste of Intercourse,” a pedal tractor pull, a petting zoo, a spelling bee, a volleyball tournament, a baking contest, music by the Ironwood Drive Band, a fire truck demonstration, and the “Heritage Display of History of Intercourse.”
Also featured will be the “Pancake and Sausage Breakfast in the Park,” a volleyball tournament, and juggler Chris Ivey. Saturday’s schedule also features balloon twisting and face painting, “A Taste of Intercourse,” a “Kids Variety Show,” an antique tractor show, and a fireworks display at dusk (Saturday only).
“Heritage Events,” which will be presented throughout the day, include demonstrations of horseshoeing, butchering, sling shooting, and wood carving.
This is the weekend for “Dads and Grads” with Father’s Day and graduation celebrations. It is also the weekend for Juneteenth celebrations.
Juneteenth is a Federal Holiday that marks the date in 1865 when word reached Texas, more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, that slavery had been abolished and those enslaved were free. Now, there are Juneteenth celebrations all around the Delaware Valley.
This year on June 16 from 2-6 p.m., between 2 and 6 pm, the Phoenixville Juneteenth Committee (Diversity In Action, Black Light Projects, Orion Communities, The Colonial Theatre, the Phoenixville Community Health Foundation, and Trellis for Tomorrow) has organized a special collection of activities to engage the community and shed light on the importance of African American history in the United States and our community.
The free event will feature historical re-enactors, music, art, dance, drummers, street theater, magic, Soul food, and storytelling. The events will take place along the 200 block of Bridge Street in Phoenixville.
On June 20 at 7 p.m., The Kennett Flash is hosting “Illuminating Bayard Rustin,” presented by People’s Light.
Chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, West Chester native, and openly gay Civil Rights activist, Bayard Rustin was nearly written out of the history books. This People’s Light original short play soars with African American spirituals and offers a glimpse into a purposefully hidden figure of our past and local hero.
Guests can learn more in this 20-minute play as Rustin puts his faith in nonviolent resistance to the test, illuminating what it means to be branded a “troublemaker” within a system stacked against you.
The event will feature free admission.
If you’re looking for a great fun, family Juneteenth event this weekend, a good place to look is Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, 800-448-3883, www.winterthur.org)
On June 15 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., visitors will be able to celebrate Juneteenth Freedom Day with the Wilmington Ballet at Winterthur and with a performance of “Celebration of Black Joy” at Winterthur.
Storytellers, musicians, dancers, and vendors will fill Enchanted Woods and Copeland Lecture Hall with performances enriched by and deeply rooted in African American arts and culture.
The day will also include a World Marketplace in Enchanted Woods featuring A Flicker of Daisy, Created by LA, CreationsbyT, and Soleil Dancewear. Events are included with general admission.
“A Celebration of Black Joy” will be performed at 11 a.m. in Copeland Lecture Hall. There is a separate fee for the performance — $15, adults; $10 students (ages 13–17); $5 children (12 and under); free for children 2 and under.
On June 20, the Delaware Art Museum (2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, Delaware, delart.org) is hosting “Sculpture Garden Happy Hours: Beyond Juneteenth Celebration.”
Visitors are invited to drop in during Sculpture Garden Happy Hours to celebrate Juneteenth at the Delaware Art Museum. The free event will run from 5-7:30 p.m.
Every person and society is distinguished by their traditions and culture, thriving within parameters based on the essence of their origins. We are our ancestors. This is why the museum feels the need to move beyond Juneteenth.
“Beyond Juneteenth” is a festival that celebrates and affirms the dignity of humanity and our freedom. It will be an open ceremony by Tonantzin Yaotecas featuring live performances from Ghetto Songbird, Khi Infinite, and John Carr.
The Delaware Art Museum is currently presenting a special exhibition – “In Focus: Photography from the Collection.”
This exhibition spotlights the work of female photographers in the Museum’s collection, bringing together more than 40 photographs representing a range of techniques and subjects.
Highlights include Susan Fenton’s extraordinary hand-painted silver prints and a complete portfolio of Eva Rubinstein’s photographs from the 1970s.
Other featured artists are Gertrude Käsebier, Imogen Cunningham, Berenice Abbott, Donna Ferrato, and Kristin Capp.
Admission to the Delaware Museum of Art is $18 for adults, $7 for college students and $6 for youth.
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.
As part of the Juneteenth celebration, visitors will have the opportunity to have their silhouette cut in the method typical at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries and will discover how the camera obscura was used to create profile likenesses for posterity. Silhouettes have been made in all forms of art across all cultures, times, and places.
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) is hosting “Greater Norristown NAACP Juneteenth Family Resource Day” on June 19.
The popular annual event will run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
This family friendly event will feature live music, kid activities, animal meet and greets, and  keeper chats. Guests will also have the opportunity to connect with local organizations in our community. This event is free to attend with zoo admission.
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 16, 19, 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) will welcome the official start of summer at its Third Thursday Summer Solstice Celebration.
On June 20 from 6-8:30 p.m., the nonprofit will host a free evening filled with music – featuring Philadelphia-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Moustapha Noumbissi – food, art, and community spirit. The featured food vendor will be The Clean Plate Club Food Truck.
Moustapha Noumbissi is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter based in Philadelphia. Born in Belgium to Cameroonian parents, Moustapha grew up a participant of many musical traditions, including West African drumming, American pop, and choral music. His latest recordings with producer Lee Clarke favor indie rock and psychedelic soul.
The summer solstice, marking the longest day of the year, provides the perfect backdrop for an evening of entertainment and fun. Highlights of the June Third Thursday at Glen Foerd event include fun activities for kids –interactive games and lawn games, and an arts and crafts station. A solstice craft activity is planned for the June 20 event.
The event will feature a “Solstice Bonfire.” There will be a demonstration on how to start a campfire, followed by a seasonally inspired craft. Guests will also be guided in creating summer intentions which will be thrown into the solstice fire as a symbolic promise.
Glen Foerd’s environmental staff will provide marshmallows for roasting, but attendees must bring their own chocolate and graham crackers to make s’mores The bonfire will be located in a clearing on the southeast corner of the grounds overlooking the Delaware River.
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.
The next Third Thursday at Glen Foerd event will be held on July 18.
Penns Woods Winery (124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, http://www.pennswoodswinery.com) is hosting “Father’s Day at the Vineyard” this weekend from June 14-16.
Guests can enjoy wine by the glass & bottle, live music and a special “Wine & Beer Pairing Bar.”
Reservations are highly recommended.
On Friday, there will be a Cigar Lounge and live music by Chris Despo.
On Saturday, the “Beer & Wine Pairing Bar” features three wines perfectly paired with three local beers from Well-Crafted Brewing Company. Live music will be performed by Ashley Sweetman Duo.
On Sunday, there will be a program called “Wine & Whiskey Cocktail Making.” This is a hands-on workshop with Dad’s Hat Distillery creating custom cocktails that complement a curated selection of wines. Live music will be performed by Ashley Sweetman Duo.
A comfortable way to sit back and enjoy Father’s Day is to take a ride on a tourist rail line train.
The West Chester Railroad (610-430-2233, www.wcrailroad.com) is running its “Father’s Day Express” on June 16 at noon and 2 p.m.
Kids can take dad on a relaxing train ride from West Chester to Glen Mills and return on his special day. During a brief layover in Glen Mills, riders will be able to explore the historic Glen Mills train station as well as the WCRR’ s picnic grove along the Chester Creek.
Tickets are Adults, $25; children (ages 2-12), $20; children (under two), free. All dads ride for a special reduced fare – $5.
Wilmington and Western Railroad (Greenbank Station, 2201 Newport-Gap Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, www.wwrr.com) is running a special train on June 16 – “Father’s Day Special.”
Families can treat dad and granddads to a ride behind an historic train on Father’s Day with departures at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. The excursion is a leisurely 1.5-hour round-trip train ride to Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove, which includes a ½-hour layover at the picnic grove.
This event is powered by one of Wilmington and Western Railroad’s historic first-generation diesel locomotives.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $19 for seniors, and $18 for children. All fathers get to ride for half-fare.
The Colebrookdale Railroad (South Washington Street, Boyertown, www.colebrookdalerailroad.com) is running its “Father’s Day Beef & Beer” on June 15 and 16 at 1 p.m. each day.
The rail line’s Dining and Lounge car will feature a handcrafted roast beef sandwich, creamy coleslaw, oven-roasted potatoes, and one complimentary beer of your choice (21 and older), or soda for those younger than 21.
Children on board will be served chicken fingers with macaroni-and-cheese.
À la carte beverage service and light fare will be available for purchase throughout the train.
Two hours long and a century and a half back in time, there’s no better way to make Father’s Da
Tickets are $35 for adults, $32 for seniors and $10 for children.
The Northern Central Railway (2 West Main Street, New Freedom, www.northerncentralrailway.com) is hosting a very special event this Father’s Day weekend – “Anniversary Celebration! Glen Rock Express with No. 85.” It is an all-ages one-hour ride powered by the No. 85 Steam Locomotive.
Riders will travel to Glen Rock and back with “MACK” Steam Goal burning steam engine, #85 on the former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline that has been in operation since 1838.
The excursion follows the route of the original Northern Central Railroad through the scenic Heritage Rail Trail County Park. Passengers will be able to learn about the history of the towns and villages they pass along the way.
Departures are 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. on June 15 and 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. on June 16.
Tickets are $29.99 for adults and $19.99 for children.
Sesame Place (100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, www.sesameplace.com) will be presenting “Elmo’s Springtacular” every weekend now through June 16.
“Elmo’s Springtacular” at Sesame Place is filled with furry fun and exciting events – including an exciting line up of meet & greets, music, magic, pirate adventures, and fireworks.
This weekend will feature “Father’s Day Weekend Fan Fest” on June 15 and 16.
Kids can cheer for dad this weekend with a sports fan fest at Sesame Place. Visitors can come to Sesame Place to meet some of their favorite sports team mascots.
Then, they can stomp and clap along with performances from the West Powelton Steppers and Drum Squad. Plus, treat Dad to an all you can eat buffet at our Father’s Day character dine.
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.
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).
On June 15 from 7-9 p.m., Rockwood Park & Museum (4671 Washington Street Ext, Wilmington,  Delaware, 4671 Washington Street Ext, Wilmington, www.newcastlede.gov/431/Rockwood-Park-Museum) is presenting the “Rockwood Paranormal Experience Tour” at Rockwood Museum. This is Rockwood’s classic Paranormal Program to investigate the mansion from the unfinished attic to the decayed basement through the highly polished living spaces in between.
Guests will be instructed how to use sophisticated paranormal equipment to be central to the investigation. Visiting investigators will learn how instrument results relate to those who may have once lived or worked at Rockwood.
Attendees must be able to traverse many stairs throughout the museum.
The 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) had its “Season Opening” on April Fool’s Day 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.
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.
ome 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.
If 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 16.
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.
On June 15,  Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org) will present “Queerly Departed: LGBTQ+ Stories of Laurel Hill West” from 10 a.m.-noon.
Most Laurel Hill East residents lived at a time when it was illegal and/or unsafe to be out as an LGBTQ+ person. Sexual orientation was not mentioned in obituaries — or in cemetery records.
Nonetheless, Laurel Hill East has always had queer residents. On this tour, guests will meet some of them — from lesbian artists and a cross-dressing cleric to 21st-century gay activists.
The Tour Guide will be Pat Rose.
Tickets are $17/General Admission (Ages 13 and up); $15/Seniors (Ages 65+) and Students with ID; $12/Members of the Friends of Laurel Hill; and $8.50/Youth (Ages 6-12).

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