How to Cope with the Loss of a Pet

Local support groups and volunteer opportunities can be crucial to the grieving process.


Published:

Rob Mayer, owner of The Animal Soul—Delaware Pet Cremations in WIlmington, with Anouk (left) and Pantouf. // Photo by The Artful Union

For 18 years, Heidi and Niko were more than just best friends. They were family.

Niko, a Maltese, was Heidi L.E. Jones’ first pet. He was with her when she moved into her first apartment and was a constant companion through all of the subsequent ups and downs in her life. “He was with me nearly half my life,” she says.  

When Niko became terminally ill, Jones loved him enough to know when to let him go. But while she was able to accept his passing in her head, her heart was not quite so quick to heal. “After about a month, I stopped talking about how I felt to family and friends who didn’t have pets,” says the Wilmington resident. “But I found that you can’t—and shouldn’t—put a time limit on grieving.”

At the suggestion of her veterinarian, Jones Googled ‘pet loss support groups’ in her area and found one at VCA Kirkwood Animal Hospital in Newark that meets on the third Wednesday of every month. (A similar group meets at Windcrest Animal Hospital in Wilmington the second Wednesday of every month.)

Jones thought she would go to sit in once or twice, but ended up going to the meetings for about 11 months. “I felt really comfortable there, like it was a safe place to share my feelings,” she explains. “I’m not one that likes to cry in front of people, but I didn’t feel that there was something wrong with me, that I wasn’t normal, or that I was being judged for my emotions.”

Heidi L.E. Jones with Niko // Courtesy of Heidi L.E. Jones

The meetings helped Jones to feel more comfortable about expressing her deep love for Niko in other ways, including putting her thoughts and feelings into writing letters to him and starting a journal. She also honored him by putting together a scrapbook of photos and inviting family and friends to write down their favorite memories of him. And on the first birthday following his passing, she invited family members to a small memorial service to celebrate his life.

“It does get easier over time, but you never really stop missing your pet,” she notes. “I still cry when I need to, but now, more often, I can look back and be grateful for the time I had with him.”

Jones isn’t alone in her attachment to her beloved pet. According to the American Pet Products Association, 79.7 million American households (65 percent) have a pet and 42 percent have more than one. This year, APPA estimates that we will spend $62.75 billion dollars on our animal companions.  

In a survey conducted several years ago by Kelton Global Research, nine in 10 people with pets regard their animals as family members and 78 percent consider themselves to be pet “parents” rather than “owners.” Seventy-one percent admit to having at least one photo of their pet that they carry around with them. And a few American companies even grant pet bereavement leave.

“People ask if it is silly to feel such intense grief over the loss of a pet,” says Dr. Mary Kennedy of Associates in Health Psychology, which has offices in Newark and Wilmington. “But the truth is you don’t get over the grief, you get through it.”

Kennedy experienced “an overwhelming sense of grief” when her two cats, Clyde and Shadow, recently died only a month apart. A cat rescue volunteer, she found comfort in redoubling her efforts to help other animals in need. 

“Helping other animals with donations of money or supplies such as bedding, blankets and towels to shelters is a good way to keep the pet’s spirit alive,” says Coreen Haggerty, director of marketing and outreach at the Veterinary Specialty Center of Delaware in New Castle. 

Coreen Haggerty with Dobby. // Photo by Marlene Waeltz

Kennedy explains that the nature of grief changes as time passes. “When the death first occurs, it can leave a big gaping hole and a feeling of emptiness,” she says. “Later, when they start thinking about getting another pet, some people worry that they are being disloyal.”

Dr. Ryan McKenzie, a veterinarian at Limestone Veterinary Hospital in Hockessin, points out that veterinary schools are acknowledging the strength of the human-animal bond and its effect on people’s mental health. The One Health Initiative, which is being adopted in a growing number of schools, recognizes that grief resulting from the loss of a pet is a palpable thing and that vets can play an important role in the healing process.

“We share tears with clients who have lost their pets,” McKenzie says. “And we’re always here to lend a hand or an ear or to just offer a hug whether it’s the next day, a month or a year later.”

Helping a child deal with the loss of a beloved pet is one of the hardest things of all, acknowledges McKenzie. He suggests reading with the child a book called “Sammy in the Sky” by Barbara Walsh, illustrated by Jamie Wyeth. This book deals with the subject in a sensitive manner in terms that a child can understand.

Some children want to actually be involved in the post-passing plans for their beloved pets. Rob Mayer, owner of The Animal Soul—Delaware Pet Cremations in Wilmington, remembers how one little girl asked to have her hamster cremated and one little boy his goldfish. “The little boy knew that we had cremated the family’s dog and he found comfort in doing the same for his fish,” he said.

Mayer has seen many different ways that people cope with the grief of losing an animal companion. One of the most moving was when a woman who was visiting Mumbai asked him to handle the cremation of her dog. Fifteen members of the woman’s family gathered at Animal Soul to say goodbye to the pet while the woman said her farewells over Skype. 

When his snow- and road-trip-loving Rottweiler Wools passed away, Mayer decided to scatter her ashes in a variety of places that she particularly enjoyed, including a favorite park where there was some newly fallen snow. When he took a hike up Mount Everest, he even took some of Wools’ ashes to sprinkle at the base camp, an experience he described as “cathartic.”  

He also erected an altar in his family’s home to memorialize Wools. “She passed in 2007 and, since then, we have lit a candle every day in her memory,” says Mayer. 

Rob Mayer set up an altar in his family's home to memorialize his Rottweiler, Wools. // Photo by The Artful Union

Every year in early December, Limestone Veterinary Hospital holds a Memorial Tree Candle-Lighting Ceremony to celebrate the lives of all the pets that have been lost during that year. Participants receive an ornament with their pets’ pictures in them. 

“The hospital is packed with clients who want to come and share stories of their beloved pets,” says McKenzie. “There’s never a dry eye in the room.”

VSCD and Windcrest Animal Hospital host similar events. In addition to decorating trees with personalized ornaments, VSCD invites participants to share their reminiscences and photos on storyboards, while Windcrest puts together a video slideshow of pets that have passed during the year.

To always keep their pets with them, some people get tattoos. Cathy Toner, a staff member at The Animal Soul and leader of the pet loss group at VCA Kirkwood, has a dragonfly tattoo in memory of her English Springer Spaniel Maggie. “We brought her to a farm to be euthanized outdoors and there were dragonflies all around,” Toner recalls. “Whenever I see one I think of her.”

As vice chair of Senior Dog Haven & Hospice in Wilmington and someone who fosters and adopts seniors, Eleanor Garrett sees more dogs at the end of their lives than the average person. To commemorate the dogs that pass under her care she built a garden where she inters their ashes. “I like the idea that they are outside in a pretty place,” she explains.

Dr. Karen Brockman with Lucy (left)
and Victor. // Photo by Beth Triester 
Photography

For some people, a ceremonial funeral at home or at a pet cemetery can be helpful, says Dr. Karen Brockman, a veterinarian at Windcrest. Her family has even gotten headstones for their pets.

As far as getting a new pet, the experts agree that it is a deeply personal decision. “You can’t replace the pet you lost, but you don’t have to be alone if you want another companion,” says Toner. “There’s no right or wrong way to grieve, you just have to follow your heart.”


Lend an ear

“It was only a dog (or cat)” are words no family wants to hear after losing a beloved pet.

Yet, many times, even close family and friends do not understand the depth of grief that accompanies this loss.

As a result, many people are unable to give themselves permission to grieve and feel the need to apologize when they do, says Karen Brockman, a veterinarian at Windcrest Animal Hospital. “Friends and family who want to support someone who has gone through this loss only need to express condolences, maybe even send a card or note, and listen if the person wants to talk,” she says. “Try to understand that pets are not like family, they actually are family and will be mourned and missed just as deeply.”

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August 2018

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Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

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Cost: Film Camp $295/Week, Theatre Camp $265/Week

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Telephone: 302-227-6766
Website »

More information

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Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

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More information

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Telephone: 800-448-3883
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Website »

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View map »


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Website »

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Cost:

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Telephone: 302-266-6362
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Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
2nd Floor, Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 130-257-78278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

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Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

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Cost: Film Camp $295/Week, Theatre Camp $265/Week

Where:
Rehoboth Summer Childrens Theatre
19285 Holland Glade Rd
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View map »


Telephone: 302-227-6766
Website »

More information

The Delaware Museum of Natural History's summer exhibit, Mystery of the Mayan Medallion, runs June 23-September 3 during museum hours: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. A...

Cost: Free with Museum admission: $9 ages 3-59, $8 for seniors, $2 for ages 1-2

Where:
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4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-9111
Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Harvey Dinnerstein and Burton Silverman were observers of an event in American history that began with the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat on a public...

Cost: Free with museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

A giant of post-war documentary photography and film, Danny Lyon helped define a mode of photojournalism in which the picture-maker is deeply and personally embedded in his subject matter. A...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

The Historic Odessa Foundation is pleased to present the exhibit As Precious as Gold: A History of Tea Caddies from The Bramble Collection. The exhibit features more than 150 18th and 19th century...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Historic Houses of Odessa
201 Main Street
Odessa, DE  19730
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Odessa Foundation
Telephone: 130-237-84119
Contact Name: Jennifer Cabell Kostik
Website »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

FREE COMMUNITY EVENT: MID-WEEK WORD REFRESHER Come join us at the Mid-Week Word Refresher every Wednesday at Faith Victory Christian Center from 11:00am - 12:00pm. Refreshments will be...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Faith Victory Christian Center
301 Commonwealth Avenue
Claymont, DE  19703
View map »


Sponsor: Faith Victory Christian Center
Telephone: 302.354.6726
Contact Name: Alvin Walker
Website »

More information

Check www.bluerocks.com for dates, times, and special events.

Cost:

Where:
Frawley Stadium
801 Shipyard Drive
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

Creature Features Daily, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ Noon & 2 pm. Friday, Saturday and Sunday @ 2 pm. Stop by our Creature Feature for a close encounter with one of our zoo education...

Cost: $7-$0

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-571-7747
Website »

More information

Public forum to educate, inform, instruct the community on how to effectively interact with law enforcement officials. Panel Guest include: Wilmington Mayor - Mike Purzycki, Retired FBI, Delaware...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Perfect Will Ministries
11 Parkway Circle
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Perfect Will Ministries
Telephone: 302-325-2225
Contact Name: Pastor Frank Burton Jr.
Website »

More information

Join us on The Patio, voted Best Outdoor Dining by Delaware Today readers! Happy hour 4PM - 6:30PM, live entertainment 6PM - 9PM, local craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, creative gastropub menu,...

Cost: menu items vary

Where:
Hilton Christiana
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

Visit the former dairy and farm while exploring the ever-changing estate landscape on this narrated tram tour. Hear accounts of estate history as you see how we have repurposed historic work areas....

Cost: $5 per person upgrade. Members free.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Enjoy a 1 hour wine tasting on the river, Wednesdays in June, July and August! Cruise by the scenic Christina River up to the I-495 bridge while enjoying hand selected wines. This unique outing is...

Cost:

Where:
Dravo Plaza
Wilmington, DE  19801

More information

Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Clearing the mind and learning to think not thinking is Zen awareness. Taking the appropriate action in this moment is Zen. Once you know this in your body, walking, standing, sitting down,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark
420 Willa Road
Newark, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: UUFN
Telephone: 302.368.2984
Contact Name: Richard Field
Website »

More information

Public forum to educate, inform, instruct the community on how to effectively interact with law enforcement officials. Panel Guest include: Wilmington Mayor - Mike Purzycki, Retired FBI, Delaware...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Perfect Will Ministries
11 Parkway Circle
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Perfect Will Ministries
Telephone: 302-325-2225
Contact Name: Pastor Frank Burton Jr.
Website »

More information

Public forum to educate, inform, instruct the community on how to effectively interact with law enforcement officials. Panel Guest include: Wilmington Mayor - Mike Purzycki, Retired FBI, Delaware...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Perfect Will Ministries
11 Parkway Circle
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Telephone: 302-325-2225

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Wither: Exploration of the Forgotten, a photography exhibit by Shelley Koon, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from August 3-31, 2018. The artist will host a free opening reception on...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
2nd Floor, Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 130-257-78278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

The Rehoboth Summer Children's conducts week-long camps in theatre and film for ages 5-14. Campers learn basic stage and video skills in a friendly, supportive environment. Camps run 9 am - 3 pm...

Cost: Film Camp $295/Week, Theatre Camp $265/Week

Where:
Rehoboth Summer Childrens Theatre
19285 Holland Glade Rd
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
View map »


Telephone: 302-227-6766
Website »

More information

Try practicing yoga in a beautiful garden setting, strengthening your body and spirit. Our yoga class is open to all levels. We will practice slow, easy motions to get into the rhythm of nature....

Cost: $10

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

The Delaware Museum of Natural History's summer exhibit, Mystery of the Mayan Medallion, runs June 23-September 3 during museum hours: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. A...

Cost: Free with Museum admission: $9 ages 3-59, $8 for seniors, $2 for ages 1-2

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-9111
Website »

More information

Harvey Dinnerstein and Burton Silverman were observers of an event in American history that began with the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat on a public...

Cost: Free with museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

The Historic Odessa Foundation is pleased to present the exhibit As Precious as Gold: A History of Tea Caddies from The Bramble Collection. The exhibit features more than 150 18th and 19th century...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Historic Houses of Odessa
201 Main Street
Odessa, DE  19730
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Odessa Foundation
Telephone: 130-237-84119
Contact Name: Jennifer Cabell Kostik
Website »

More information

A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

A giant of post-war documentary photography and film, Danny Lyon helped define a mode of photojournalism in which the picture-maker is deeply and personally embedded in his subject matter. A...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Get lost in a book during Mt. Cuba’s Story Time in the Gardens. Children are invited to visit the gardens on Thursday mornings for a story from a nature-themed children’s book. Intended for...

Cost: General Admission

Where:
Mt. Cuba Center
3120 Barley Mill Rd.
Hockessin, DE  19707
View map »


Sponsor: Mt. Cuba Center
Telephone: 302-239-8883
Contact Name: Sara Stevenson
Website »

More information

Story Time Thursdays 10:30 - 11 a.m. Enjoy fun animal stories read by our own zoo story-telling team! Story time takes place in the otter circle, in the main zoo, and may include a craft,...

Cost: $7 - $0

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-571-7747
Website »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

Check www.bluerocks.com for dates, times, and special events.

Cost:

Where:
Frawley Stadium
801 Shipyard Drive
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

The Farm Stand is located in front of the Museum Store at the Cottage on Thursdays, July–September, 1:30–5:30 pm. Visit us to select fresh, local produce. Parking is available behind the...

Cost: free

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Creature Features Daily, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ Noon & 2 pm. Friday, Saturday and Sunday @ 2 pm. Stop by our Creature Feature for a close encounter with one of our zoo education...

Cost: $7-$0

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-571-7747
Website »

More information

Westside Family Healthcare is hosting its 3rd annual community event at our Northeast health center. Designed to provide community-based resources, this event invites community members to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Westside Healthcare Center
1020 Forrest Ave.
Dover, DE
View map »


Sponsor: Westside Family Healthcare
Telephone: 302-656-8292
Contact Name: External Affairs
Website »

More information

See the gardens in a new light. Our gardens are open until 8 pm on Thursdays through August.  Stop by after work or spend the entire day and evening.

Cost: General Admission

Where:
Mt. Cuba Center
3120 Barley Mill Rd.
Hockessin, DE  19707
View map »


Sponsor: Mt. Cuba Center
Telephone: 302-239-8883
Contact Name: Sara Stevenson
Website »

More information

Join us on The Patio, voted Best Outdoor Dining by Delaware Today readers! Happy hour 4PM - 6:30PM, live entertainment 6PM - 9PM, local craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, creative gastropub menu,...

Cost: menu items vary

Where:
Hilton Christiana
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

Relax and unwind after a long day with the Museum’s popular Happy Hour series. Enjoy live music on the terrace with friends or tour the galleries indoors. Special themed nights will be scheduled...

Cost: Museum galleries are open with free admission every Thursday from 4–8 pm

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

June 14, 21, & 28 July 12, 19, 26 August 9, 16, 23 & 30 5:00–9:30 pm On all other Thursdays, June–August, join us to stroll through the Follies exhibition or to take a twilight tram tour of...

Cost: members free, $10 per nonmember

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Set sail on the Riverboat Queen for an evening of delicious barbecue and a taste of various vintages of bourbon on the water! Enjoy a complimentary Old Forrester Manhattan while boarding, then join...

Cost: $55

Where:
Riverboat Queen
Riverfront
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

View art created by breast cancer patients and survivors through in a series of healing arts workshops. This evening will be devoted to learning techniques for restorative and therapeutic artistic...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington , DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring the family every Tuesday & Thursday night during June, July, and August for a fun experience. Tuesday night join our Nature Guide from Delaware Nature Society to experience and learn...

Cost:

Where:
Dravo Plaza
Wilmington, DE  19801

More information

This summer, community organizations will host a series of public forums focused on racial and social justice, civil rights, and education.For participating organizations, visit delart.org....

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Bring the family every Tuesday & Thursday night during June, July, and August for a fun experience. Tuesday night join our Nature Guide from Delaware Nature Society to experience and learn about...

Cost:

Where:
Dravo Plaza
Wilmington, DE  19801

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Wither: Exploration of the Forgotten, a photography exhibit by Shelley Koon, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from August 3-31, 2018. The artist will host a free opening reception on...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
2nd Floor, Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 130-257-78278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

The Rehoboth Summer Children's conducts week-long camps in theatre and film for ages 5-14. Campers learn basic stage and video skills in a friendly, supportive environment. Camps run 9 am - 3 pm...

Cost: Film Camp $295/Week, Theatre Camp $265/Week

Where:
Rehoboth Summer Childrens Theatre
19285 Holland Glade Rd
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
View map »


Telephone: 302-227-6766
Website »

More information

The Delaware Museum of Natural History's summer exhibit, Mystery of the Mayan Medallion, runs June 23-September 3 during museum hours: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. A...

Cost: Free with Museum admission: $9 ages 3-59, $8 for seniors, $2 for ages 1-2

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-9111
Website »

More information

A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Harvey Dinnerstein and Burton Silverman were observers of an event in American history that began with the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat on a public...

Cost: Free with museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

The Historic Odessa Foundation is pleased to present the exhibit As Precious as Gold: A History of Tea Caddies from The Bramble Collection. The exhibit features more than 150 18th and 19th century...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Historic Houses of Odessa
201 Main Street
Odessa, DE  19730
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Odessa Foundation
Telephone: 130-237-84119
Contact Name: Jennifer Cabell Kostik
Website »

More information

A giant of post-war documentary photography and film, Danny Lyon helped define a mode of photojournalism in which the picture-maker is deeply and personally embedded in his subject matter. A...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Website »

More information

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through a story reading followed by an interactive tour of relevant works of art and a studio art project. This program encourages...

Cost: Free to Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
Website »

More information

Departures are at 12:30 & 2:30 PM. Take a leisurely 1.5-hour round-trip train ride up the Red Clay Valley to our Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove, where you'll enjoy a half-hour layover to have a...

Cost: Adults: $14+; Seniors (60+): $13+; Children (2-12): $12+; Children under 2: FREE

Where:
Greenbank Station
2201 Newport Gap Pike
Wilmington, DE  19808
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington & Western Railroad
Telephone: (302) 998-1930
Website »

More information

Check www.bluerocks.com for dates, times, and special events.

Cost:

Where:
Frawley Stadium
801 Shipyard Drive
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

Creature Features Daily, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ Noon & 2 pm. Friday, Saturday and Sunday @ 2 pm. Stop by our Creature Feature for a close encounter with one of our zoo education...

Cost: $7-$0

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-571-7747
Website »

More information

It's Date Night! Get your sweetie and come to The Suburban Farmhouse for music, food, and storytelling, presented by Devil's Party Press, Delaware's best local press. Meet the...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Suburban Farmhouse
108 Federal Street
Milton, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Devil's Party Press
Contact Name: Dianne Pearce
Website »

More information

Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

The event will feature live music performed by "Sweet Steele" and "Cocktails @ 3," delicious food catered by Benvenuto, LLC, and raffles throughout the evening....

Cost: $60 per person

Where:
Sunset Cove
3 Haven Lake
Milford, DE  19963
View map »


Sponsor: The Auxiliary of Milford Memorial Hospital
Telephone: 302-422-5009
Contact Name: Gerry Morris

More information

Your feast begins as soon as you board the Beautiful Riverboat Queen- your 2 hours cruise will include plenty of time to enjoy continuous crabs, corn on the cob and red bliss potatoes. In addition,...

Cost: $75

Where:
Riverboat Queen
Riverfront
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

Dueling Pianos at Uptown! features a new duo of talented and entertaining pianists every month. Audience driven so it's never the same show twice! Buy Tickets Here! http://bit.ly/2JioXS1

Cost: $15

Where:
Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center
226 N High Street
West Chester, PA  19380
View map »


Website »

More information

After performing for sold-out crowds and receiving standing ovations earlier this year, longtime Eagle Jon Dorenbos returns to SugarHouse Casino this summer for two inspirational magic shows. “An...

Cost: $45-65

Where:
SugarHouse Casino
1001 N. Delaware Ave
Philadelphia, PA  19125
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

More than two dozen environmental organizations will be at Winterthur for this special day celebrating nature and the environment in the First State. The day will include fun, hands-on workshops,...

Cost: Members $10 per adult and $3 per child; nonmembers $20 per adult and $6 per chil

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

The Delaware Museum of Natural History's summer exhibit, Mystery of the Mayan Medallion, runs June 23-September 3 during museum hours: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. A...

Cost: Free with Museum admission: $9 ages 3-59, $8 for seniors, $2 for ages 1-2

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-9111
Website »

More information

Harvey Dinnerstein and Burton Silverman were observers of an event in American history that began with the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat on a public...

Cost: Free with museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Website »

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A needle's eye in a pond, a Greek temple in the garden, an Ottoman tent sitting on a hill—these are just a few of the inspirations for our upcoming, first-ever outdoor exhibition Follies:...

Cost: Included with general admission ($5-20)

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
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THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 302-656-6466
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The Historic Odessa Foundation is pleased to present the exhibit As Precious as Gold: A History of Tea Caddies from The Bramble Collection. The exhibit features more than 150 18th and 19th century...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Historic Houses of Odessa
201 Main Street
Odessa, DE  19730
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Sponsor: Historic Odessa Foundation
Telephone: 130-237-84119
Contact Name: Jennifer Cabell Kostik
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A giant of post-war documentary photography and film, Danny Lyon helped define a mode of photojournalism in which the picture-maker is deeply and personally embedded in his subject matter. A...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Schedule a private group tour followed by lunch or dinner with a historic, revolutionary war era presentation.* Ideal for conferences, corporate meetings, special interest groups. $25 per...

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
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Departures are at 12:30 & 2:30 PM. Take a leisurely 1.5-hour round-trip train ride up the Red Clay Valley to our Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove, where you'll enjoy a half-hour layover to have a...

Cost: Adults: $14+; Seniors (60+): $13+; Children (2-12): $12+; Children under 2: FREE

Where:
Greenbank Station
2201 Newport Gap Pike
Wilmington, DE  19808
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Sponsor: Wilmington & Western Railroad
Telephone: (302) 998-1930
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Escape Brandywine is a new, historically-immersive Escape Room presented by the Chadds Ford Historical Society! Designed like other popular escape room games, Escape...

Cost: $28

Where:
The Chadds Ford Historical Society
1736 Creek Road
Chadds Ford, PA  19317
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Check www.bluerocks.com for dates, times, and special events.

Cost:

Where:
Frawley Stadium
801 Shipyard Drive
Wilmington, DE  19801
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MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
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Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
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Creature Features Daily, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ Noon & 2 pm. Friday, Saturday and Sunday @ 2 pm. Stop by our Creature Feature for a close encounter with one of our zoo education...

Cost: $7-$0

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
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Telephone: 302-571-7747
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Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

Cost: $45 Adults $22.50 Children ages 3-12 Children under 3 FREE

Where:
Public Docks
Behind Iron Hill Brewery
Wilmington, DE  19801
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