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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Cost: included with admission

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5105 Kennett Pike
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View map »


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

More information

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More information

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View map »

More information

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More information

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View map »


Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
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More information

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Telephone: (302) 998-1930
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More information

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Cost: Free

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View map »


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

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 S. College Ave.
Special Collections Gallery
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

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Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
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View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

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

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
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Website »

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View map »


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Website »

More information

Working Conditions Featuring: cinematic savage | CYJO | Rebecca Goldschmidt | Shizu Homma | Cynthia X. Hua | Sarah Khan | Tiffany Lin | Lewanda Lim | Lisa Pradhan | Shellie Zhang September 4...

Cost: $0

Where:
Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA  19107
View map »


Sponsor: Asian Arts Initiative
Telephone: 215-557-0455
Contact Name: Melissa
Website »

More information

IN BETWEEN THEREShelley Thorstensen November 24, 2018 - March 17, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, December 7 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop For her first solo exhibition in Delaware,...

Cost: FREE

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


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

Make your plans now to enjoy the best the season has to offer at Yuletide at Winterthur. Henry Francis du Pont’s home will soon be decked out in holiday style with traditions from history and the...

Cost: included with admission

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

OUR GIFT TO YOU! Beat the crowds and enjoy $5 off adult admission to Yuletide at Winterthur, Monday through Wednesday, December 3–19. Use code $5OFF. Purchase...

Cost: $6 - $22

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


Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

For more than 90 years, the Delaware Art Museum has showcased contemporary craft by artists working locally and throughout the region. The Museum’s first juried Contemporary Crafts Show was...

Cost: Free for members. Included in Museum admission fee for non-members.

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

More information

In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

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

More information

Pre-Raphaelite painter and women’s rights campaigner Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon (1827–1891) was an early female participant in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Landscape was Bodichon’s...

Cost: Free for members. Included in Museum admission fee 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

Enjoy a peaceful interlude at the end of the year with a 45-minute evening ride aboard our heated 100-year-old coaches, each of which is covered with thousands of holiday lights. Many of our...

Cost: Adults: $13; Seniors (60+): $12; Children (2-12): $11

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


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

More information

Enjoy a rare opportunity to see the first du Pont family home built in America, dressed for the holidays and illuminated with softly glowing lights. Lace, fresh greenery, poinsettias, and dried...

Cost: $10 for non-members; free for members

Where:
Hagley Museum
200 Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore the science of how things move by land, sea and air at From Here to There, October 6, 2018-January 6, 2019. Lift, launch and levitate as you experiment with hands-on exhibits that make...

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

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


Telephone: 302-658-9111

More information

Sarah McRae Morton’s paintings are invented portraits of her ancestors and historical figures – people from her own life, from books and paintings, and from her travels and stories...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Ship of Theseus, an exhibition of self-portraits by painter Lauren E. Peters, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from December 7-28, 2018. Peters received a 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship...

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

Forgeries—false works claiming to be genuine—aren’t expected to have much worth. As such, it may be surprising to learn that items once deemed worthless frauds and illegal acts can serve as...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 S. College Ave.
Special Collections Gallery
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

"Art Works for the Holiday" features a large variety of art appropriate for gift giving including paintings, drawings, mixed media, ceramics, art glass, jewelry, and more. We also...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Make your plans now to enjoy the best the season has to offer at Yuletide at Winterthur. Henry Francis du Pont’s home will soon be decked out in holiday style with traditions from history and the...

Cost: included with admission

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

IN BETWEEN THEREShelley Thorstensen November 24, 2018 - March 17, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, December 7 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop For her first solo exhibition in Delaware,...

Cost: FREE

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


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

OUR GIFT TO YOU! Beat the crowds and enjoy $5 off adult admission to Yuletide at Winterthur, Monday through Wednesday, December 3–19. Use code $5OFF. Purchase...

Cost: $6 - $22

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


Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

Working Conditions Featuring: cinematic savage | CYJO | Rebecca Goldschmidt | Shizu Homma | Cynthia X. Hua | Sarah Khan | Tiffany Lin | Lewanda Lim | Lisa Pradhan | Shellie Zhang September 4...

Cost: $0

Where:
Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA  19107
View map »


Sponsor: Asian Arts Initiative
Telephone: 215-557-0455
Contact Name: Melissa
Website »

More information

Opening October 5, 2018 * Society of Winterthur Fellows Gallery History can be defined as a series of events that are remembered and preserved through time. This exhibit explores the use of...

Cost: Free with admission and free for members

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

Pre-Raphaelite painter and women’s rights campaigner Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon (1827–1891) was an early female participant in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Landscape was Bodichon’s...

Cost: Free for members. Included in Museum admission fee for non-members.

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

More information

For more than 90 years, the Delaware Art Museum has showcased contemporary craft by artists working locally and throughout the region. The Museum’s first juried Contemporary Crafts Show was...

Cost: Free for members. Included in Museum admission fee for non-members.

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

More information

In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

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

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 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
View map »


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

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

Enjoy a peaceful interlude at the end of the year with a 45-minute evening ride aboard our heated 100-year-old coaches, each of which is covered with thousands of holiday lights. Many of our...

Cost: Adults: $13; Seniors (60+): $12; Children (2-12): $11

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


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

More information

Explore the science of how things move by land, sea and air at From Here to There, October 6, 2018-January 6, 2019. Lift, launch and levitate as you experiment with hands-on exhibits that make...

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

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


Telephone: 302-658-9111

More information

Enjoy a rare opportunity to see the first du Pont family home built in America, dressed for the holidays and illuminated with softly glowing lights. Lace, fresh greenery, poinsettias, and dried...

Cost: $10 for non-members; free for members

Where:
Hagley Museum
200 Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Website »

More information

Sarah McRae Morton’s paintings are invented portraits of her ancestors and historical figures – people from her own life, from books and paintings, and from her travels and stories...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Website »

More information

Enjoy a glass of wine, bask in the warmth and beauty of the holiday season, and listen to the melodic sounds of live jazz in the Galleries Reception Atrium every Wednesday during Yuletide. Cash...

Cost: Members free. Nonmembers included with Yuletide Tour general admission or $15

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

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

Show More...
Show Less...

Ship of Theseus, an exhibition of self-portraits by painter Lauren E. Peters, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from December 7-28, 2018. Peters received a 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship...

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

"Art Works for the Holiday" features a large variety of art appropriate for gift giving including paintings, drawings, mixed media, ceramics, art glass, jewelry, and more. We also...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Forgeries—false works claiming to be genuine—aren’t expected to have much worth. As such, it may be surprising to learn that items once deemed worthless frauds and illegal acts can serve as...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 S. College Ave.
Special Collections Gallery
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
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

For more than 90 years, the Delaware Art Museum has showcased contemporary craft by artists working locally and throughout the region. The Museum’s first juried Contemporary Crafts Show was...

Cost: Free for members. Included in Museum admission fee for non-members.

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

More information

Opening October 5, 2018 * Society of Winterthur Fellows Gallery History can be defined as a series of events that are remembered and preserved through time. This exhibit explores the use of...

Cost: Free with admission and free for members

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

Working Conditions Featuring: cinematic savage | CYJO | Rebecca Goldschmidt | Shizu Homma | Cynthia X. Hua | Sarah Khan | Tiffany Lin | Lewanda Lim | Lisa Pradhan | Shellie Zhang September 4...

Cost: $0

Where:
Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA  19107
View map »


Sponsor: Asian Arts Initiative
Telephone: 215-557-0455
Contact Name: Melissa
Website »

More information

In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

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

More information

IN BETWEEN THEREShelley Thorstensen November 24, 2018 - March 17, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, December 7 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop For her first solo exhibition in Delaware,...

Cost: FREE

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


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

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
View map »


Website »

More information

Make your plans now to enjoy the best the season has to offer at Yuletide at Winterthur. Henry Francis du Pont’s home will soon be decked out in holiday style with traditions from history and the...

Cost: included with admission

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

Pre-Raphaelite painter and women’s rights campaigner Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon (1827–1891) was an early female participant in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Landscape was Bodichon’s...

Cost: Free for members. Included in Museum admission fee for non-members.

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

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

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

Enjoy a peaceful interlude at the end of the year with a 45-minute evening ride aboard our heated 100-year-old coaches, each of which is covered with thousands of holiday lights. Many of our...

Cost: Adults: $13; Seniors (60+): $12; Children (2-12): $11

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


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

More information

Explore the science of how things move by land, sea and air at From Here to There, October 6, 2018-January 6, 2019. Lift, launch and levitate as you experiment with hands-on exhibits that make...

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

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


Telephone: 302-658-9111

More information

Sarah McRae Morton’s paintings are invented portraits of her ancestors and historical figures – people from her own life, from books and paintings, and from her travels and stories...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Ship of Theseus, an exhibition of self-portraits by painter Lauren E. Peters, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from December 7-28, 2018. Peters received a 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship...

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

Forgeries—false works claiming to be genuine—aren’t expected to have much worth. As such, it may be surprising to learn that items once deemed worthless frauds and illegal acts can serve as...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Morris Library
181 S. College Ave.
Special Collections Gallery
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

More information

"Art Works for the Holiday" features a large variety of art appropriate for gift giving including paintings, drawings, mixed media, ceramics, art glass, jewelry, and more. We also...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

IN BETWEEN THEREShelley Thorstensen November 24, 2018 - March 17, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, December 7 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop For her first solo exhibition in Delaware,...

Cost: FREE

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


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

Make your plans now to enjoy the best the season has to offer at Yuletide at Winterthur. Henry Francis du Pont’s home will soon be decked out in holiday style with traditions from history and the...

Cost: included with admission

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

Working Conditions Featuring: cinematic savage | CYJO | Rebecca Goldschmidt | Shizu Homma | Cynthia X. Hua | Sarah Khan | Tiffany Lin | Lewanda Lim | Lisa Pradhan | Shellie Zhang September 4...

Cost: $0

Where:
Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA  19107
View map »


Sponsor: Asian Arts Initiative
Telephone: 215-557-0455
Contact Name: Melissa
Website »

More information

Opening October 5, 2018 * Society of Winterthur Fellows Gallery History can be defined as a series of events that are remembered and preserved through time. This exhibit explores the use of...

Cost: Free with admission and free for members

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 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
View map »


Website »

More information

Pre-Raphaelite painter and women’s rights campaigner Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon (1827–1891) was an early female participant in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Landscape was Bodichon’s...

Cost: Free for members. Included in Museum admission fee for non-members.

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

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

In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

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

More information

For more than 90 years, the Delaware Art Museum has showcased contemporary craft by artists working locally and throughout the region. The Museum’s first juried Contemporary Crafts Show was...

Cost: Free for members. Included in Museum admission fee for non-members.

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

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

Glory of Stories introduces young visitors to art and the Museum through discovery, exploration, and hands-on experiences.Ages 2 and up. Visit delart.org for list of books. ...

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 »


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

Enjoy a peaceful interlude at the end of the year with a 45-minute evening ride aboard our heated 100-year-old coaches, each of which is covered with thousands of holiday lights. Many of our...

Cost: Adults: $13; Seniors (60+): $12; Children (2-12): $11

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


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

More information

Explore the science of how things move by land, sea and air at From Here to There, October 6, 2018-January 6, 2019. Lift, launch and levitate as you experiment with hands-on exhibits that make...

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

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


Telephone: 302-658-9111

More information

Sarah McRae Morton’s paintings are invented portraits of her ancestors and historical figures – people from her own life, from books and paintings, and from her travels and stories...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Website »

More information

An accelerating screwball farce full of laughter, Lend Me a Tenor has the class and charm of a Kaufman and Hart comedy plus all the door-slamming hilarity of a Marx Brothers’ classic like Room...

Cost: $25-$60

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Ship of Theseus, an exhibition of self-portraits by painter Lauren E. Peters, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from December 7-28, 2018. Peters received a 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship...

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
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"Art Works for the Holiday" features a large variety of art appropriate for gift giving including paintings, drawings, mixed media, ceramics, art glass, jewelry, and more. We also...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
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December 15th, 16th & 22nd, 23rd    Enjoy a tasty brunch and a visit with Santa. Secure your reservation by calling (302) 888-4826 or by e-mailing ccater@winterthur.org....

Cost: $35.95 per adult. Children under 12 are 50% off. Children under 2 free.

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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Make your plans now to enjoy the best the season has to offer at Yuletide at Winterthur. Henry Francis du Pont’s home will soon be decked out in holiday style with traditions from history and the...

Cost: included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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IN BETWEEN THEREShelley Thorstensen November 24, 2018 - March 17, 2019 Opening Reception: Friday, December 7 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop For her first solo exhibition in Delaware,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 130-265-66466

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For more than 90 years, the Delaware Art Museum has showcased contemporary craft by artists working locally and throughout the region. The Museum’s first juried Contemporary Crafts Show was...

Cost: Free for members. Included in Museum admission fee for non-members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Opening October 5, 2018 * Society of Winterthur Fellows Gallery History can be defined as a series of events that are remembered and preserved through time. This exhibit explores the use of...

Cost: Free with admission and free for members

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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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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In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

Cost: Free for members; Included in Museum Admission charge for non-members.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilminton, DE  19806
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Pre-Raphaelite painter and women’s rights campaigner Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon (1827–1891) was an early female participant in the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Landscape was Bodichon’s...

Cost: Free for members. Included in Museum admission fee for non-members.

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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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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Why stand in line at the mall and wait to see Santa, when you can ride our train and have Santa come to you? The Jolly Old Elf himself rides the train and greets everyone on board, and gives all...

Cost: Adults: $19; Seniors (60+): $18; Children (2-12): $17; 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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Santa Claus is coming to Kid Shelleen's! Bring the kids for a fun-filled morning and a visit with Santa, who arrives by firetruck.  Mom and Dad enjoy Kid's award-winning brunch...

Cost: free for kids - just join us for brunch!

Where:
Kid Shelleen's Charcoal House & Saloon
1801 W 14th St
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Sponsor: Harry's Hospitality Group
Telephone: 302-658-4600
Contact Name: Carla Pope
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Experience the musical magic of the season come alive with Christmas favorites on the largest set of handbells on the Delmarva Peninsula.  This multimedia holiday concert is for the entire family!...

Cost: $10-$20

Where:
Milton Theatre
110 Union St.
Milton, DE
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Contact Name: Christine Fox-Roberts

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New Ark Chorale "Feast of Carols", a Christmas season concert Michael Larkin, Music Director has programed James Whitbourn's "Missae Carolae" and a feast of other carols...

Cost: 15.00

Where:
St Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church
701 S. College Ave
Newark, DE  19713
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Sponsor: New Ark Chorale
Telephone: 302-368-4946
Contact Name: Jim Green
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Enjoy a peaceful interlude at the end of the year with a 45-minute evening ride aboard our heated 100-year-old coaches, each of which is covered with thousands of holiday lights. Many of our...

Cost: Adults: $13; Seniors (60+): $12; Children (2-12): $11

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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Explore the science of how things move by land, sea and air at From Here to There, October 6, 2018-January 6, 2019. Lift, launch and levitate as you experiment with hands-on exhibits that make...

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

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-658-9111

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Sarah McRae Morton’s paintings are invented portraits of her ancestors and historical figures – people from her own life, from books and paintings, and from her travels and stories...

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-652-0271
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Don't miss this Annual Holiday Concert—held at  Concord Presbyterian Church, 1800 Fairfax Blvd. in North Wilmington—on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15 and 16, at 7...

Cost: Free

Where:
Concord Presbyterian Church
1800 Fairfax Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19803
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Sponsor: Concord Presbyterian Church
Telephone: 610-485-3137
Contact Name: Sally Coulson

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show This interactive movie experience combines film and live performers. The cult-classic is a humorous tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the late...

Cost: 9

Where:
Theatre N
235 W. 10th St
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: Frankie's Midnight Runners
Telephone: 302-571-4075
Contact Name: Richard
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