What To Do: Holiday weekend events continue

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times
This is Fourth of July week and that means it is time for parties, festivals, picnics and a lot of fireworks displays.
With the holiday falling on a Thursday, the schedule gets confused.
Some people are off all week, some were just off on Thursday, some celebrate a four-day weekend beginning on Thursday and some just wish all the pyrotechnics noise would stop for their pets’ sake.
On July 6 and 7, the Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, http://www.chaddsford.com) is presenting “Red, White & BBQ.”

The winery is celebrating Independence Day with delicious BBQ from local food trucks, live music, and a pre-release. Chadds Ford Winery has taken all of the sweet freshness of apples and bottled it into its latest vintage of Sparkling Apple. There will be complimentary samples for the first 100 guests.
Visitors can keep cool through the weekend with other refreshing libations like the Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade or a rose Wine Slushie, alongside craft beer and favorite local wines.
Admission is free with walk-in seating only. Wine is available by the glass only. Bottles are available for to-go sales.
Wine tastings will be free with any purchase. One tasting per customer.
In addition to free tastings, you can save 15% on select bottles.
Penns Woods Winery (124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, http://www.pennswoodswinery.com) is presenting a “4th of July @ The Vineyard!” from July 4-7.
The winery will open at 11 a.m. each day and have matinee performances of live music.
July 6’s concert will feature Ryan Laliberte from 2-5 p.m. On July 7, Bill Hake will
Wine will be available by the glass or bottle for enjoying (no tastings).
Visitors are welcome to pack a picnic and bring their children and well-behaved leashed pets. Lawn seating is entirely weather dependent.

The Northern Central Railway

The Northern Central Railway (2 West Main Street, New Freedom, www.northerncentralrailway.com) is running its “$17.76 Happy Independence Day” on July 6 and 7.

It’s “All Aboard” at the special price of just $17.76 for the train ride to Seitzland on the historic PRR GP diesel locomotive.
The ride follows the route of the original Northern Central Railroad through the scenic Heritage Rail Trail County Park. This excursion is a one-hour round trip ride.
Tickets are $17.76 (age 13+) and $10 Child (age 2-12).
The Annual Kutztown Folk Festival (Kutztown Fairgrounds, off Route 222, Kutztown, 888-674-6136,www.kutztownfestival.com) is running through July 7.

The Annual Kutztown Folk Festival

Settlers from Germany played a major role in the early history of Pennsylvania and their influence is still being felt. These pioneers and their customs are honored each summer at a Pennsylvania German folk festival in Kutztown — an event that has been around for more than a half-century and is still growing.

The popular annual event, which is billed as a celebration of Pennsylvania Dutch culture, features traditional crafts, food, music and folk life.
The festival features country auctions, parades and bands, fiddling, live music and dancing, comedy, storytelling and historical seminars. Daily activities include displays of farming and gardening, churches and weddings, folk life, Pennsylvania Dutch dialect and folklore, furniture, spinning and weaving, country cooks and candle making.
The festival also offers non-stop entertainment with country auctions, parades and bands, fiddling, live music and dancing, comedy, storytelling and historical seminars. Additionally, over 200 juried folk artists and traditional American craftsmen will be participating with both sales and demonstrations.
For the first time, the Kutztown Folk Festival will host an authentic Harvest Home celebration at the Union Church. Visitors can step back in time and witness this fascinating Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of adorning the local church with harvest decorations, fruits, and vegetables in celebration of a successful harvest and safe storage of food before winter.
There will also be a lot of attractions for children including puppet shows, make-and-take crafts sessions, real-life haystacks, story time sessions, a hay maze, sing-alongs and a variety of hands-on activities.
As always, there will be plenty of booths featuring Pennsylvania Dutch food treats and beverages, including family style feasts, shoo-fly pies, sausage sandwiches, pastries, country chicken dinners, strawberry shortcake, funnel cakes, ox roasts, sarsaparilla and chicken potpie.

Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square

The festival will open its gates each day at 10 a.m. and run until 8 p.m. Admission to the festival is $16.

As part of Historic Philadelphia’s celebration at Franklin Square (200 Sixth Street, Philadelphia, www.historicphiladelphia.org), the organization is illuminating the park with its annual “Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square.”
Now through August 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.
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 seniors, and $16 for children.
This weekend, there will be river cruises on the Kalmar Nyckel (kalmarnyckel.org) at the the Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard (1124 East Seventh Street, Wilmington, Delaware)
Cruises are scheduled for 3 p.m. on July 5, 1 and 4 p.m. on July 6 and 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on July 7.
The ship sails rain or shine, however in the event of severe weather/high winds, the Captain may need to cancel the sail.
For two decades, the Kalmar Nyckel, which has its home base in Wilmington, has been hosting riders all over the world – especially in Delaware.
A ride on the Kalmar Nyckel is totally different from most tourist water rides. The ship is a beautiful recreation of the original Kalmar Nyckel, which was built in Holland in the 1620s. Her mainmast is taller than a 10-story building and she carries 7,600 square feet of sail area and six miles of rigging.
The original Kalmar Nyckel was a Swedish-owned, three-masted armed pinnace that sailed from Goteborg, Sweden in November of 1637 and brought the first permanent European settlers to the Delaware Valley.
In 1986 a group of citizens established the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation to design, build and launch a replica of the Kalmar Nyckel at a shipyard adjacent to the original landing site.
The new Kalmar Nyckel was constructed there and was launched on September 28, 1997. She was commissioned on May 9, 1998, and now serves as Delaware’s sea-going Ambassador of Good Will. She is a fully functional sail training vessel and has represented Delaware all over the country.
Tickets are $45 for adults and $25 for youth.
Sesame Place (100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, www.sesameplace.com) is presenting its “Summer Splash” now through September 8.
There’s nothing like summer at Sesame Place Philadelphia! It’s a great time to have fun and cool off with splashy water attractions like the Bert & Ernie’s Splashy Shores and the new tropical themed land, Big Bird’s Beach.
Other attractions are The Count’s Splash Castle and Big Bird’s Rambling River, Captain Cookie’s High C’s Adventure, Elmo’s Flyin’ Fish, and Oscar’s Wacky Taxi Roller Coaster.
Summer is perfect for meeting your favorite furry friends and taking bright, beautiful pictures with them. The park also has exciting shows, special events, parades, dance parties, character dining experiences, and other surprises lined up to give visitors even more ways to connect.
Now through July 11, Elmwood Park Zoo (1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown, www.elmwoodparkzoo.org) is hosting a “Birthday Celebration” in commemoration of its 100th birthday.
The event features free cupcakes (while supplies last) along with live music and entertainment.
There will also be “Keeper Chats” at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day as well as $2 off giraffe feedings for all guests.
There will also be “Breakfast with the Giraffes” sessions on July 6 and 7 at 10 a.m. each day.
Visitors are encouraged to rise and shine for the most important meal of the day and share it with the Zoo’s three towering giraffes.
After enjoying a delicious outdoor breakfast buffet right next to the giraffes, participants will be able to enjoy an exclusive giraffe feeding.
Prices start at $134.95 for a table of four.
Visiting Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, www.longwoodgardens.org) is a real treat at any time during the year but especially sweet during the summer when the grounds are filled with vibrant colors produced by a variety of flowers.
Longwood Gardens is one of the best outdoor attractions in the area, one of the best family attractions in the state and one of the best gardens attractions in the country.
There are times when even the very best can get better.
Each of the six districts has a distinct personality.
Chimes Tower District — A stunning hillside of rare, expertly edited plants, a historic bell tower anchored on a 50-foot waterfall, and award-winning trees beckon, all within view of the majestic Main Fountain Garden.
Conservatory District — Considered the centerpiece of Longwood Gardens, stunning 19th-century architecture works in harmony with a perpetual flower show under acres of glass. Explore dazzling displays and otherworldly plant species through a series of breathtaking rooms.
House & Theater District — Developed with the specific purpose of display and performance, experience a vista to the early days of Longwood, taking in views that Pierre and his family enjoyed more than a century ago, including Peirce’s Park and Peirce’s Woods.
Lakes District — Open vistas, rolling green lawns, sparkling water, and splashing fountains recall a European holiday from days gone by, reminding us of the joy of fresh air, a nice walk, and an exquisite view.
Meadow & Forest District — The expansive landscape of the Meadow and Forest District harmonizes the best practices in ecological restoration with garden design—showcasing horticultural excellence and beauty while prioritizing plant and animal communities.
Main Fountain Garden District — The classical gardens and grand theatre of this district have captivated guests for more than 90 years. Inspired by Pierre S. du Pont’s travels to Europe’s great water gardens, world’s fairs, and expositions, the Main Fountain Garden highlights horticulture, engineering marvels, and the beauty of exceptional design.
Longwood’s summer schedule features Main Fountain Garden Performances through October 27, Illuminated Fountain Performances Thursdays-Saturdays through October 26, Festival of Fountains through October 27, Fireworks & Fountains Shows on select dates through October, Open Air Theatre Fountain Shows daily through November 10, and Festive Fridays on July 12, August 16, September 20 and October 18.
Admission to Longwood Gardens is $32 for adults, $28 for seniors and college students, $23 for active military and $17 for youth.
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 July 7.
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.
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 30.
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.
The intriguing new production Paranormal Cirque (https://paranormalcirque.com), which is intended for a mature audience, is touching down at several locations over the next six weeks – Whitehall (July 4-7), Pottstown (July 18-21) and Dover, Delaware (July 25-28).
This weekend, the circus will set up at Lehigh Valley Mall (250 Lehigh Valley Mall, Whitehall).
Paranormal Cirque will expose audiences to a unique creation of combined theatre, circus, and cabaret with a new European style flare.
This innovative horror story, which is presented in true circus style under a Big Top tent, features different shades of sexy and an incomparable storyline. Audiences likely will find it difficult to separate reality from illusion at this show as they fall into a parallel world and end up surrounded by monstrous creatures with hidden talents.
Currently, Paranormal Cirque has three tours running – Paranormal Cirque, Paranormal Cirque II and Paranormal Cirque III. The tour visiting our area is Paranormal Cirque III
Paranormal Cirque’s “Clown Castle” (also known as the Big Top) presents a mesmerizing effect while hosting a two-hour hypnotizing and enchanted show.
A careful casting selection has united the best artists from all over the world.
Under this Clown Castle, the black and red big top tent, there are aerial acrobats, illusionists, freaks, mysterious creatures and all the elements that make one think of a “normal” circus – but this one is not “normal.”
A new show with breathtaking implications always poised between fun and the most uninhibited fear that will transport you to a dark world inhabited by creatures with incredible circus art abilities. A crazy yet fun fusion between circus, theatre, and cabaret in perfect harmony with the evolution of a show that brings you back to when we dream … and when we had nightmares and fantasies.
Video link for Paranormal Cirque — https://youtu.be/locxFnh5UR8.
Peddler’s Village (Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, 215-794-4000, www.peddlersvillage.com) is presenting its annual Bluegrass & Blueberries Festival this weekend.
Now through July 7, Peddler’s Village will be bursting with Bluegrass and Blueberries at the festival which runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. each day.
The weekend will include fresh local blueberries, blueberry-themed food, beverages, live bluegrass and country music, food trucks, kids’ activities, and shop specials.
Peddler’s Village shops will be open until 8 p.m. on Saturday. Admission and parking are free. Rain or shine.
During the month of July, blueberry-themed food and drink specials are being served every day in the village’s restaurants and eateries.
The West Chester Railroad (610-430-2233, www.wcrailroad.com) is running its “Summer Picnic Specials” every Sunday now through September 22 at noon each day.
Passengers can enjoy a relaxing 90-minute train ride from West Chester to Glen Mills and return on a warm summer afternoon. They can also pack a lunch to have during the excursion’s stop at the Glen Mills train station picnic grove.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children (ages 2-12).
Wilmington and Western Railroad (Greenbank Station, 2201 Newport-Gap Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, www.wwrr.com) is running a special train on July 6 and 7 – the Yorktown Limited.
Riders take a leisurely 1½-hour round-trip ride up the Red Clay Valley to the Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove, where they can de-train to enjoy a ½-hour layover along the banks of the Red Clay Creek to have a picnic or simply admire the natural surroundings.
If you don’t want to get off the train at Mt. Cuba, you can remain onboard and travel further up the line through the communities of Ashland and Yorklyn. On the return trip, there will be a brief stop at Mt. Cuba to pick up the picnic passengers.
This departure is powered by one of our historic first-generation diesel locomotives.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $19 for seniors and $18 for youth.
The New Hope Railroad (32 Bridge Street, New Hope, 215-862-2332, www.newhoperailroad.com) is running its “Grapevine Express,” which features “Grapevine Express” on July 5, 6 and 7 at 5 p.m. each night.
Riders are invited to take part in a romantic “Wine and Cheese Excursion” and enjoy fine gourmet cheese, artisan crackers, meats, fruit, and our featured local wines. Additional Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic beverages are also available onboard.
Wine and cheese will be served to passengers as they travel along the same railroad line passengers did when it was built in 1891 connecting New Hope with Philadelphia. The journey travels through the beautiful hills and valleys of Bucks County, along once vital waterways and streams and across numerous trestle bridges.
The excursions will take place aboard one of the railroads lavishly appointed early 1900’s first-class parlor cars.
Tickets are $116 (Ages 21 and older only).
This weekend, the Strasburg Railroad (Route 741, Strasburg, 717-687-7522, www.strasburgrailroad.com) is running its “Wine & Cheese Train” on July 5, 6 and 7 at 5 and 7 p.m. each night (5 p.m. only on Sunday).
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 total trip time is 45 minutes.
“Wine & Cheese Train” boarding is 30 minutes before the scheduled departure. Riders must be 21 or older and have their photo ID ready when they board.
Featured wines are carefully selected from Waltz Vineyards, and cheeses are paired accordingly. Beer and select non-alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase upon request. Riders can purchase a souvenir wine glass on board the train if desired. Glasses are $7 each.
In accordance with Pennsylvania law, alcohol is only served during the train ride. The rail line is not permitted to serve alcoholic beverages while the train is berthed in the station.
This popular train is available on select Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the season. Tickets are $70.
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, 800-448-3883, www.winterthur.org) is always a special place to enjoy both history and nature.
There seems to be no end to what’s in bloom — and in almost every corner of the garden.
The garden is a result of the artistic vision of its creator, Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) and is surrounded by nearly 1,000 acres of meadows, farmland, and waterways.
The views in every direction are important to the whole. The paths are an integral part of the overall design, curving rather than straight, following the contours of the land, passing around trees, and drawing walkers into the garden.
Visitors can explore the garden on foot, or on a narrated tram ride (March-December).
Hydrangeas, a colorful delight for the eye and a wonderful source of pollen, are flowering right on time for National Pollinator Week. Look closely and carefully to see the wide variety of bees and insects visiting these exquisite flowers.
Hydrangeas are found throughout the garden, especially in Enchanted Woods and by the Reflecting Pool. They are combined with the airy white and pink flowers of astilbes in the Glade Garden, while daylilies in brilliant shades of yellows and oranges are found just outside the Reflecting Pool.
Admission to Winterthur is $25 for adults, $23 for seniors and students and $8 for children.
The newest exhibition at the Brandywine Museum of Art (1 Hoffman Mill Road, Chadds Ford, brandywine.org), is “In Shadows’ Embrace: Prints by Peter Paone,” which is running now through October 13.
Peter Paone is an acclaimed Philadelphia artist and teacher who has mastered the mediums of painting, drawing, and printmaking over his seven-decade career. This exhibition features a selection of 22 prints from a recent major gift to Brandywine from the artist.
Known largely as a painter today, Paone is also a talented printmaker. He won a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in the 1960s for his prints and feels that the medium, especially etching, was critical to his artistic development. “In Shadows’ Embrace” focuses on this early period of Paone’s career, offering a close look at his printmaking practice.
Artists associated with German Expressionism, especially Käthe Kollwitz, are among Paone’s major printmaking influences, as their evocation of the plight of the human condition aligned with Paone’s own concerns. Another major influence on Paone was the Spanish romantic painter and printmaker Francisco Goya.
His renowned nightmarish series “Los Caprichos” (1799) informed Paone’s first major printmaking achievement, a portfolio entitled “The Ten Commandments of Ambrose Bierce” (1963). This rarely seen portfolio will be shown in full for the first time since 1967, when it was displayed at the Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris.
An additional selection of prints with themes drawn from religion, art, history, and poetry reveal Paone’s ability to layer complex meanings onto what may seem to be straightforward subjects, transforming them into meditations on faith, loneliness, and death.
Some materials from his studio—including several of his tools and the copper etching plate used to make one of the prints in the exhibition—will also be on display, illustrating the technique that enabled Paone to create the stark contrasts of light and shadow that were key to setting the mood of each image.
“In Shadows’ Embrace” is curated by Audrey Lewis, former associate curator of the Brandywine Museum of Art.
Museum admission is $20 adults, $18 seniors (65+), $8 children (ages 6-18) and students with ID and free for children (ages five and under).
Hagley Museum and Library (Buck Road East entrance via Route 100, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-658-2400, www.hagley.org), a 230-acre historical village on the site of the original du Pont Company gunpowder mills in northern Delaware, has a popular ongoing attraction – “Nation of Inventors.”
Additionally, there will be a “Walking Tour” on June 17 at 11 a.m.
With the “Walking Tour,” participants can walk through history during an in-depth, 90-minute guided tour each Monday morning from March through December. This week’s theme is “Sights, Sounds and Smells.”
“Nation of Inventors” celebrates the American spirit of ingenuity by taking visitors on a journey from the early years of the patent system, in the 1790s, through the “golden age” of American invention, in the late 1800s. The exhibit features more than 120 patent models from Hagley’s unique collection highlighting the diverse stories of inventors from all walks of life.
Patent models are scaled representations of inventions and were part of the patent application process for nearly 100 years. “Nation of Inventors” showcases patent models representing innovations in a variety of industries from transportation and manufacturing to food preservation and medical devices.
In the exhibition, visitors will enjoy engaging experiences around every corner, testing their knowledge of innovation and hearing personal accounts from inventors.
The patent models in “Nation of Inventors” were created between 1833 and 1886. “Nation of Inventors” not only features patent models submitted by inventors from the United States, but also models from inventors in England, France, Ireland, Russia, and Spain, demonstrating an international interest in America’s intellectual property system.
“Nation of Inventors” includes patent models from well-known inventors and companies like Ball (Mason Jars), Jim Beam, Bissell, Corliss, Steinway, and Westinghouse. The exhibit presents important topics and timely themes including women inventors, Black inventors, immigrant inventors, improvements in urban living, and the ways Americans learn about and understand progress and change.
“Nation of Inventors” is located on the first two floors of Hagley’s Visitor Center. Visitors can plan to spend about 30 minutes on their self-guided tour of the exhibition.
Admission to Hagley is $20 for adults, $16 for students and seniors (62+) and $10 for children (6-14).
The 2004 season is underway at Nemours Estate (1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington, Delaware, nemoursestate.org). The entrance is located on the campus of Nemours Children’s Health, follow signs for Nemours Estate.
Originally constructed in 1910, Nemours Estate is one of Delaware’s grandest buildings and includes the largest formal French garden in North America.
Nemours Estate comprises an exquisite, 77-room mansion, the largest formal French gardens in North America, a Chauffeur’s Garage housing a collection of vintage automobiles, and 200 acres of scenic woodlands, meadows and lawns.
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.
Admission to Chanticleer is $12 for adults and free for pre-teen children (12 years and under).
Andalusia Historic House, Gardens and Arboretum (1237 State Road, Andalusia, www.andalusiapa.org) opened its 2024 season on April 1.
Located on a wooded promontory overlooking the Delaware River, Andalusia has been a stately presence on this stretch of water, just north of Philadelphia, for more than 200 years. The ancestral home of the Biddle family, Andalusia is also a natural paradise of native woodlands and spectacular gardens that have evolved over time.
Placed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks in 1966, the Big House — one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the United States — provides an unparalleled look into our nation’s past, while also offering a glimpse into the life of a family that helped to shape its future.
Its surrounding gardens delight the senses all through the year, from the tumbling, brightly colored leaves of fall to the floral extravaganza of spring and the abundance and scent of summer.
Self-Guided Garden Tours will be available Mondays through Wednesdays through November 4 (excluding holidays) at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m.
Visitors can stroll the spectacular formal gardens and native woodlands during a self-guided garden tour at their leisure and enjoy sweeping views from the banks of the Delaware River. Picnics are allowed on the grounds (with a “carry-in, carry-out” policy).
“Under the Canopy: Animals of the Rainforest,” which will run now through September 2 at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, ansp.org), is an immersive exhibition introducing visitors to the fascinating world of rainforests and the animals that inhabit them.
You can learn about unique plants and rainforest ecology as you encounter a live sloth, boa constrictor and other animals that call these habitats home. You will see the importance of rainforests to the planet as you explore interactive discovery stations, dynamic displays and engaging programming.
Presented in English and Spanish, “Under the Canopy” will engage students of all ages, with accompanying curriculums on rainforests, water cycles, the science of diversity, deforestation and soil, how kids can save the planet and so much more. Hands-on interactives are complemented by life-size, climbable animal sculptures, including a gorilla, tortoise, crocodile, red-eye tree frog and Banyan tree.
All exhibits are included with the purchase of a general admission ticket.
Admission prices are — Adults (Age 13 and above), $22; Children (Age 2 – 12), $18.
Wonderspaces at the Fashion District (27 North 11th Street, Philadelphia, philadelphia.wonderspaces.com) is an experiential, interactive arts venue.
Building on the success of annual pop-up shows in San Diego, and its first permanent location in Scottsdale, Arizona, Wonderspaces opened a 24,000 square foot gallery space in Philly two years ago.
Wonderspaces features 14 art installations that all play with the idea of perspective.  New artworks are rotated in and out every few months, creating an ever-evolving, year-round show.
Tickets are for entry at a specific date and time. Visitors are welcome to stay as long as they please during operating hours. The average time spent experiencing the show is 90 minutes.
A few installations contain flashing lights, images, and patterns that may trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. All visitors must sign a waiver prior to being admitted into the space. Adult supervision is required for visitors under 16.
S
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.
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