What To Do: Earth Day celebrations throughout the area

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times 

Longwood Gardens

Earth Day is a worldwide environmental movement that takes place every year on April 22. The goal of this celebration is to raise awareness about sustainability and clean living, and to educate people on the importance of preserving our planet.

The Earth Day 2023 theme is focused on engaging the more than 1 billion people, governments, institutions, and businesses who participate in Earth Day to recognize our collective responsibility and to help accelerate the transition to an equitable, prosperous green economy for all. 

From everyday green living ideas, to spending time outdoors, or even picking up litter to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean, there are many activities for Earth Day 2023 you can participate in to support the movement. 

The first Earth Day took place in 1970 in the United States, when the country’s economy was doing exceptionally well, but the side effects were air pollution and waste. At that time, environmental preservation was not a priority, and there wasn’t much awareness on sustainable practices, even though the planet was starting to suffer. The devastating oil spill that took place in Santa Barbara, California in 1969 was the tip of the iceberg, and the government launched a campaign to promote Earth Day and its concept across the United States. 

On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day took place and more than 20 million Americans participated in activities to support new sustainable and eco-friendly practices. Earth Day has been celebrated ever since, and it has spread worldwide since the 1990s. 

Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org) is celebrating Earth Day musically as well as horticulturally. 

Some of the showcase blooms 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). 

On April 22 at 8 p.m., there will be a special musical presentation in the Ballroom. 

Lyric Fest continues its 2022-23 season with an Earth Day celebration entitled “Metamorphosis of Plants,” featuring German Lieder in a concert inspired by the great German poet, statesman, and botanist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and his poem “The Metamorphosis of Plants.” 

“We’re an art song revival series and this is our 20th season,” said Lyric Fest co-founder and co-artistic director Suzanne DuPlantis, during a recent phone interview from Philadelphia.   

“We take a theme and create a program. We curate songs and also do commissioned music.”  

The first performance takes place in celebration of Earth Day, Saturday, April 22 at 8 p.m. at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square. A second iteration of the program takes place the next day at the Peabody Institute’s Goodwin Recital Hall in Baltimore, Maryland. 

The program, specifically created for presentation at Longwood Gardens, features soprano Kristina Bachrach, mezzo-soprano Kathryn Leemhuis, tenor Andrew Fuchs, baritone Randall Scarlata, and pianist Laura Ward (Lyric Fest co-founder and co-artistic director) in botanical songs from Schubert, Brahms, Beethoven, Wolf, Mahler, and others. 

Goethe’s majestic poem is interspersed throughout, read in English by Suzanne DuPlantis (Lyric Fest co-founder and co-artistic director). This intimate performance is modeled after the European salon experience and includes accompanying botanical video animations and supertitles at the Longwood performance specifically. 

The program includes: ​​Gott im Frühling – Franz Schubert, Ich bin dein Baum, O Gärtner – Robert Schumann, Das Heldengrab am Pruth – Erich Korngold,   Mit einem gemalten Band – Ludwig van Beethoven, Der Frühling – Johannes Brahms, Auf eine Christblume II – Hugo Wolf, Nachtzauber – Hugo Wolf, Der Frühling – Johannes Brahms, Die Grüne Hopfenranke – Johannes Brahms, Frühzeitiger Frühling – Karl Friedrich Zelter, Morgengruss – Fanny Mendelsohn, Waldseligkeit – Alma Mahler, O kühler Wald – Johannes Brahms, Im Garten unter der Linde – Franz Schreker, Das schöne beet betracht ich mir im harren – Arnold Schoenberg, Mohnblumen – Richard Strauss, Ganymede – Franz Schubert, Botschaft – Nelken wind ich und Jasmin – Robert Schumann, Der Nussbaum – Robert Schumann, Meine Rose – Robert Schumann, Die stille Lotusblume – Clara Schumann, Frühlingsmorgen – Gustav Mahler, Das Ährenfeld – Felix Mendelssohn, Meine Liebe ist grün – Johannes Brahms, and Nocturne – Joseph Marx. 

Also, Longwood Gardens is now featuring one of its popular annual special events – “Spring Blooms.” 

Some of the showcase blooms 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). 

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

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

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

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

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

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). 

“Elmwood Park Zoo” (1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown, www.elmwoodparkzoo.org) is hosting “Party for the Planet” on April 22 and 23 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. 

This is the Zoo’s annual celebration of Earth Day and all things eco-friendly. 

“Party for the Planet” is a family fun filled day that emphasizes the importance of conservation and the environment. Guests can enjoy demonstrations and education stations featuring animals, recycling, sustainable living and more. 

“Party for the Planet” is included with Zoo admission, which is $12.95. 

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 April 21, 23, 26 and 28 from noon-4 p.m. each day. 

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 $12.95 per dog. Regular zoo admission is required for all humans.  

It’s time for “Earth Weekend” at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, ansp.org). 

The museum in Center City is celebrating Earth Day with a weekend full of activities for naturalists of all ages. 

During Earth Weekend, visitors can: Watch Live Bee Presentations with Don Shump of Philadelphia Bee Company; Meet some of the Academy’s animal ambassadors at our Live Animal Shows; Enjoy a Science Story Time; Participate in the Bird Beak Challenge Family Workshop; Attend a Bird-Puppet Making Workshop and Parade with artists Yvonne Lung and Eurhi Jones; Hear climate-related original songs at Anthems for the Anthropocene; Make a unique upcycled make and take at What was THAT?; and Get up close to live invertebrates. 

This weekend and beyond, the Academy is celebrating the remarkable diversity of birds, their important role in ecosystems, and people’s relationships with our avian friends with a special exhibition, “Conversations with Birds.” 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Seventh Annual Downtown Glenside Arts Festival (Easton Road between Waverly Road & Glenside Avenue, Glenside) will be held on April 22 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 

The Arts Festival incorporates Earth Day in the activities of the Festival, providing fun and educational activities for kids and families.  Highlighting Earth Day and the important issues that accompany it, the festival also supports the efforts of Cheltenham Township’s sustainability programs.
This year’s festival features more than 70 regional and local artists  and crafters selling a variety of unique items. The festival also features local artists: New and Wesley Images, Sue’s Scents, Flamingo Shores, and Redirected Wood Company. 

The family-friendly festival offers a variety of activities including a Make & Take craft activity, a Qigong demonstration and the Cheltenham High School acapella groups, along with other entertainment, including Arcadia Dancers, Cassidy Dancers, Cedarbrook Middle School Musical, Cheltenham High School drumline, Fencing Academy of Philadelphia demonstrations, and others. 

Some of the Shops of Glenside will offer sidewalk sales, and there will be an Outdoor Vintage Market. A variety of food and beverages from restaurants will be available for seated dining and takeout. Wine, beer, and cocktails will be available in select locations. 

“Celebrate Earth Day” will be held on April 22 at the Paper Mill House (Paper Mill Road, Newtown Square, www.nshistory.org). 

There will be a variety of activities at the Historic Paper Mill House, which is located at the intersection of St. David’s and Paper Mill roads. 

There will be a Plant Swap at 1 p.m.. Participants should bring a plant from their garden or a house plant — labeled and in a container – at noon and a swap will follow at 1 p.m. 

Other activities include “Native Plant Giveaway” by Newtown’s EAB/Birdtown and “Beekeeping and Honey” with expert Warren Graham. 

There will be vintage items available for purchase at the Attic Sale Table, a Folk Art Exhibit and a Local Art and Artisan’s Sale. 

The list of activities includes a Trail Walk from the Willows with Newtown Trails and Greenways at 12:30 p.m., tours of the beautiful Mill House and Museum, and light refreshments. 

The event, which is sponsored by Newtown Square Historical Society and Newtown in Bloom, is free and open to the public.  

Now that spring has arrived, it’s a great time to add a new dog to your family and enjoy walks together to enjoy the weather. 

If you’re interested (fortunately for you and the digs), there are two good dog rescue events in the area this weekend. 

On April 22, Stoltzfus RV’s & Marine (1335 Wilmington Pike, West Chester, www.Stoltzfus-Rec.com) is hosting “Open House with Lucky Dawg Animal Rescue.” 

The RV dealership is partnering with Lucky Dawg Animal Rescue to help people find a new furry friend, Additionally, Stoltzfus will donate $100 to LDAR for every new RV purchased on this day. 

The event will run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday. 

On April 23, there will be “Super Sunday Adoption @The Hinde’s Animal Rescue Boutique” (1109 Smith Bridge Road, Glen Mills 

The event is sponsored by Hinde’s Animal Safe-haven and Hinde’s Animal Rescue Boutique, whose Facebook page offered this invitation – “We have adorable adoptable waiting to meet you! We have all the supplies you need to get you started with your new addition! Our Sweet rescues are waiting to meet you! Adoptions on site! $50.00 off all adoptions! Puppy supply packages available! We have some cute Merch and friendly faces, waiting to meet you! Sign up to Volunteer or foster! We are always looking for new Volunteers and Fosters! Stop by and drop off Donations or just come snuggle a puppy or two.” 

The event will run from 3-7 p.m. on Sunday. 

If you’re looking to physically challenge yourself this weekend, there’s an event in Philly waiting for your participation – the 13th Annual Philadelphia “Fight for Air Climb.”

The race is scheduled for April 22 at 7:30 a.m. at Three Logan Square (1717 Arch Street, Philadelphia, http://action.lung.org, 610-941-9595).

Standing 739 Feet, Three Logan Square is one of Philadelphia’s landmark skyscrapers. The 57-story red granite tower is located in the heart of Philadelphia’s Central Business District and boasts a significant skyline presence.

“Fight for Air Climb” participants will race up 50 of the 57 floors. When they finish the uphill run over 1,088 steps, they will experience what it is like to live with lung disease. “Century Climbers” are even bold enough to take on the stair climb twice!

Participation in the event will raise lifesaving funds to provide education, research and advocacy to our community.

Participants are required to pay a registration fee and raise a minimum of $100. If you can’t climb but want to participate, you can register as a virtual climber.

Money raised at the Climb allows the American Lung Association to fund lung research, programs for lung disease for adults and children, tobacco prevention and cessation programs, advocate for clean and healthy air (indoors and outdoors), and more.

After the climb, friends, family, participants and sponsors are invited to the City Tap House (3925 Walnut Street) for awards and celebration. Participants will receive complimentary food and drink specials.

The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (Station Avenue, Oaks, www.phillyexpocenter.com) is hosting three special events this weekend — Stone and Staley Art and Craft Show, Dessert Wars, and Fabulous Feline Festival 

Stone and Staley Art and Craft Show will feature a wide array of both art pieces and craft works. More than 100 exhibitors will be showcasing their handmade arts and crafts for patrons to enjoy – and purchase. 

The event will run today through April 23. It opens at 10 a.m. each day and closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, 6 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday. 

Stone + Staley Art and Craft Shows showcase hundreds of juried visual and performing artists, creative demonstrations, and artisanal food and beverages at each event. 

Admission is $8. 

Dessert Wars, which will run from 3-7 p.m. on April 22, is a celebration of the “foodie” lifestyle, featuring dessert vendors vying for the title of Dessert Champion. The event features a wide array of desserts ranging from cupcakes, cookies, ice cream and doughnuts. 

This is an opportunity to sample more than 50 local dessert vendors that you might not know about. Whether you prefer cookies, ice cream or donuts, our vendors sample their best and compete to be Dessert Wars Champion! 

General admission tickets, which cost $45, include 30 sample tickets, a “go-box” and entry beginning at 4PM. The show will run from 4-7 p.m. 

Tickets do not need to be printed. Tickets can be scanned from your smart phone. Participants pay once for sweets – no extra charges for desserts once inside. 

This is an all ages and family friendly event. Children (two and under) do not require a ticket. 

Fabulous Feline Festival is scheduled for 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on April 22 and 23 and will feature 35 beautiful cat breeds. 

This is a family-friendly event that is fun for all ages. Visitors can watch cats and kittens compete for Best in Show In each of the four separate Judging Rings. 

There will be free cat coloring books for the first 50 children along with a “Cat Costume Contest” each day at lunchtime. 

A popular attraction will be an Education Ring with speakers throughout the day both days. 

Also featured will be shopping for cats and people with several vendors selling cat related items along with many non-cat related items. General Admission tickets are $10. 

Sesame Place (100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, www.sesameplace.com) will be presenting “Elmo’s Springtacular” every weekend now through June 18. 

“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 “PJ Masks Meet & Greets” on April 22 and 23. 

Kids can enjoy an action-packed day with their favorite PJ Masks heroes – Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko. 

They will also have the opportunity to meet their favorite heroes as they pose for photos. These mystery-solving superheroes encourage children to spark their curiosity and inspire imaginative play and teamwork along the way. 

April 23 will be the final day to check out the “Third Annual PEEPS® in the Village” display at Peddler’s Village (Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, peddlersvillage.com). 

Housed in an indoor area in the Village Courtyard, this colorful display includes more than 90 creations of wall art, dioramas, and sculpture, all prominently featuring PEEPS® — the popular Pennsylvania-made bunnies, chicks, and other candies. 

The event will also feature PEEP-themed food and drink specials in the site’s varied restaurants. 

Safety measures are in place. Admission to the display is free. 

There will also be “Spring FunFest at Peddler’s Village” on April 23 and 24 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. 

It will be a weekend of family fun at Peddler’s Village with sidewalk sales, live entertainment, and plenty of food and drink. There will be Family Fun Walks, and Petting Zoo and pony rides. 

“Banksy Was Here” was here, is here and will be here – at least for a little while longer. 

“Banksy Was Here” was scheduled to run until January 31 at a location in Fashion District Philadelphia (901 Market Street, Philadelphia, banksyexpo.com/philadelphia/). It was initially extended until April 17 and now has its closing date scheduled for May 7. 

“Banksy Was Here” features the work of elusive, anonymous street artist Banksy.  

Far from being elusive, the top caliber presentation is an immersive, multisensory exhibit featuring original works, projections, virtual reality and more to plunge you into Banksy’s world. 

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

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

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

Banksy is a pseudonymous England based street artist, political activist and film director whose real name and identity remain unconfirmed and the subject of speculation. 

Active since the 1990s, his satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humor with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique. His works of political and social commentary have appeared on streets, walls and bridges throughout the world. 

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

“Banksy Was Here” is running now through May 7 in Fashion District Philadelphia. Timed tickets are $37.90 for adults (ages 13 and up), $28.90 for seniors, students and military and $22.90 for kids (ages 4-12). 

There is also another popular destination in the Fashion District. 

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

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

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

New artworks 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. 

The “FRIENDS™ Experience: The One Near Philadelphia” is running now through May 29 at the King of Prussia Mall, 640 West Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia, 

Visitors can step into the iconic TV show like never before in this interactive experience. 

They will be able to explore set recreations including Joey and Chandler’s apartment, Monica and Rachel’s kitchen, and Central Perk!
Visitors to the attraction can dance in front of the fountain and pose on the iconic orange couch. 

Participants will be able to see a wide array of props and costumes from the show which will bring them one step closer to their favorite characters. 

And they can shop exclusive items at The FRIENDS™ Experience Retail Store which features an array of clothes, accessories, collectibles and more. 

The interactive exhibit is open from noon-7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays. 

The exact location is at The Pavilion, which is on the third floor above Cheesecake Factory and Urban Outfitters and across from Ethan Allen)
All ages are welcome. Children 3 and younger don’t need a ticket when accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

Adult ticket prices start at $32. 

You can also informally celebrate Earth Day on your own by visiting some of the many horticultural and historic attractions around the area. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On April 22 at 1 p.m., The Morris Arboretum (100 East Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-247-5777, morrisarboretum.org) is presenting its “Spring Buds & Blooms Tour.” 

The arboretum is extending an invitation to join an experienced guide for a featured tour of the month. Participants will be able to celebrate spring and discover flowering trees and colorful blooms. 

The tour will get underway at 11 a.m. at the Widnere Visitor Center. 

Additionally, Morris Arboretum is presenting its “Garden Highlights Tour: A Focus on the Environment” throughout the month of April. 

Participants can join an experienced guide for Morris Arboretum’s featured tours. They will be able to celebrate spring and discover flowering trees and colorful blooms. Tours begin at Widener Visitor Center. 

Some of the featured buds and blooms are yoshino cherry (Cherry Allée), Mertensia virginica (Out on a Limb), Camellia japonica “Berenice Boddy” (Visitor Center), Cercis canadensis (Oak Allée), Magnolia ‘Sayonara’ (English Park) and saucer magnolia (Magnolia Slope). 

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

The arboretum’s schedule for this weekend features the “Saturday Wildflower Walk,” on April 22 at 1 p.m. 

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

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

On April 22, Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-228-8200, www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org) will present “Sacred Spaces and Storied Places” at 10 a.m. 

The expansion of Fairmount Park in the 1860s prevented further growth of Laurel Hill, and in 1869 West Laurel Hill was established just across the river in Bala Cynwyd. This walking tour provides a wonderful overview of West Laurel Hill’s long and colorful history, including its architectural artistry, stunning trees and horticulture, and the stories of residents that encompass diverse and fascinating Philadelphia history. 

“Sacred Spaces and Storied Places” is the perfect introductory tour for anyone who wants to learn all that West Laurel Hill Cemetery has to offer. Experienced tour guides offer visitors a unique perspective and every Sacred Spaces tour is different. 

The tour guide for this event is Joan Zubras. 

Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are: $15/General Admission, $13/Seniors (65 & up) and Students with ID, $7.50/Youth (6-12), and $0/Child (5 & under). Youth and children must be accompanied by an adult. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s April and Nemours Estate (1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington, Delaware, nemoursestate.org) is open for the season.  

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

Nemours Estate comprises an exquisite, 77-room Mansion, the largest formal French gardens in North America, a Chauffeur’s Garage housing a collection of vintage automobiles, and 200 acres of scenic woodlands, meadows and lawns.  

Nemours was the estate of Alfred I. duPont.  

Alfred 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). 

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

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

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

On April 22, the event, which gets underway at 1 p.m., focuses on the stately mansion, which is one of the best examples of a Queen Anne style Victorian mansion in Delaware.

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

Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children. Parking is available in the event lot on Creek Road across from the mansion.

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

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. 

There are many other sites where nature’s spring glory is on display. Chanticleer (786 Church Street, Wayne, www.chanticleergarden.org), which just opened its 2023 season, is one of them. 

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 eventually became part of Merck & Company in the 1920s.  

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.
The Tennis Court, Ruin, Gravel Garden, and Pond Garden focus on hardy perennials, both woody and herbaceous.
Asian Woods and Bell’s Woodland are shady areas. The Serpentine celebrates the beauty of agricultural crops.  

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.andalusia house.org) opened its gates for the 2023 season at the beginning of April. 

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 is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the United States.  

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 from April 4-November 2 (excluding holidays) at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. Picnics are allowed on the grounds (with have a “carry-in, carry-out” policy). 

Access to the Big House is not included with this tour, which is $20 per person. There is no charge for children 12 and under.   

Big House Tours with Garden Access will be available Mondays through Wednesdays from April 4-November 2 (excluding holidays) at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person. There is no charge for children 12 and under. 

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

Reserve seatings are $35 per person. 

The latest edition of “April Blind Wine Wednesdays” at Penns Woods Winery (124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, http://www.pennswoodswinery.com) is scheduled for April 26. 

The winery invites guests to visit every Wednesday of the month to experience a blind tasting of three mystery wines. 

They will be able to challenge their senses and explore the nuances of three mystery wines sipped out of crystal Riedel wine glasses. 

The staff will provide a detailed tasting sheet to help guide guests through the aromas and flavor profiles! 

This Three Wine Blind tasting is offered from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. every Wednesday in April.  

For the month of April, the three wines will be all White. To top it all off …if you guess the correct varietal and vintage, you will receive a $5 gift card for each correct guess. 

Tickets are $18 per person and reservations are not required. 

A great way to travel through the countryside and enjoy the colors of spring is to take a ride on a tourist rail line train. 

Wilmington and Western Railroad (Greenbank Station, 2201 Newport-Gap Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, www.wwrr.com) is running its “Yorktown Limited” on April 22 and 23 at 12:30 and 2 p.m. each day. 

Passengers can take a leisurely 1.5-hour round-trip ride up the Red Clay Valley to our Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove, where they can de-train to enjoy a half-hour layover along the banks of the Red Clay Creek to have a picnic or simply admire the natural surroundings. 

Those who don’t want to get off the train at Mt. Cuba can remain onboard and travel further up the line through the communities of Ashland and Yorklyn. 

The “Yorklyn Limited” excursion is a relaxing and fun way to spend an afternoon with family or friends. This is the re-branded name of the “Mt. Cuba Meteor” excursion. 

This departure is powered by one of the rail line’s historic first-generation diesel locomotives. 

Tickets are $18 for adults, $17 for seniors, and $16 for children (ages 2-12). 

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

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

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

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

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

Departures are scheduled for April 21 and 22 at 4 and 6 p.m. and April 23 at 4 p.m. 

Tickets are $65. 

The Colebrookdale Railroad (South Washington Street, Boyertown, www.colebrookdalerailroad.com) is running its “Secret Valley Expedition” on April 22 and 23 at 1:30 p.m. each day. 

The Colebrookdale ride is billed as “your ticket to a verdant land lost in time.” 

Passengers board one of the railroad’s meticulously restored century-old rail cars for a two-hour expedition into one of the most scenic and historic regions in the northeast.  

Deluxe coach fares are $45 for adults (13-64), $35 for children (2-12), $42 for seniors (65 and older) and $10 for toddlers.  

The Northern Central Railway (2 West Main Street, New Freedom, www.northerncentralrailway.com) is running its “Hanover Junction Flyer” on April 29 at 1 p.m. 

The “Hanover Junction Flyer” will run through the beautiful Heritage Rail Trail County Park and southern York County countryside on this trip to Hanover Junction. The excursion includes a 20-minute stopover at the Hanover Junction Museum. 

Tickets are $36.99 for adults and $24.99 for children (ages 2-12). 

The New Hope Railroad (32 West Bridge Street, New Hope, 215-862-2332, www.newhoperailroad.com) is running its “Traditional Excursion” on April 22 and 23.  

The rides, which are billed as a “Traditional American Railroad Experience,” will be powered by a diesel locomotive. 

Excursions will depart at 11 a.m., noon, 1, 2 and 3 p.m. both days. 

The NHRR is also running its “Grapevine Express” on Saturday and Sunday. Trains will depart at 5 p.m. each day. 

Riders can choose premium parlor or lounge cars for an intimate one-hour (approximately) excursion through the wooded foothills of Bucks County. On the journey, they will be able to enjoy food and beverage service from the friendly and attentive parlor car attendants. 

Each couple will receive an assortment of crudités, a lush charcuterie board, and a sweet treat to wrap up the experience. In addition, guests over 21 years of age will receive their choice of wine, beer, or whiskey flight from Bucks County. 

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. 

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