To Slow the Aging Process, Preserve Your Sense of Purpose

Experts recommend staying engaged and active in whatever interests you.​


Published:

Sue Claire Harper is plenty busy as chair of the League of Women Voters in Sussex County's Land Use Committee, but she finds the time to “treat herself” to classes at UD.//Leslie Barbaro

 

Though Phoebe Cottingham will be 81 in June, the highly trained economist with a pair of advanced degrees who worked for the federal government for six years still feels like she’s in college.

As she goes through her days at Independence, a 55-and-over community in Millsboro, she has the kind of interactions that remind her of her undergraduate days at Penn State, when people came together for a variety of activities. Her friends and neighbors at her community provide a social web that allows her to remain vibrant, even as the years pile up. By staying connected, Cottingham fills her days with friendship and a strong sense of purpose.

“Our community is like going to college,” she says. “Getting to know people is fun, but you have to be ready to do that.”

Creating connections

For years, people have spoken about aging gracefully, but that term has been a generally nebulous designation without much concrete definition. These days, it’s easier to understand how people like Cottingham successfully ward off time’s advances. While there is no broad-based formula that applies to everyone, simply because there are too many variables due to health and other factors, there are several characteristics shared by those who remain vibrant and energized during their senior years. The ability to connect with others and have the ability to engage in interests is especially important.

“I’ve always been a very active person,” says Cottingham, who is the president of the East Sussex Republican Club. “I worked full time until I was 72.”

Diet, exercise and managing health issues are vital parts of navigating the aging process successfully. But current studies indicate that having a sense of purpose and being engaged socially can be just as important. Older people need a positive mental outlook just as much as they require physical health and stamina. It’s a blend of specifics—eating right, remaining on the move—and intangibles—having friends and reasons to feel necessary—that can produce a rewarding twilight.

According to a 2017 study of 6,000 people over the age of 50 published in JAMA Psychiatry, those who had a sense of purpose in their daily lives had less possibility of losing strength in their grips and developing slower walks—two significant indications of aging. Further, those with increased purpose took better care of themselves, paid greater attention to their diets and exercise needs and had more positive outlooks on life—huge benefits when time conspires to make the body ache and falter.

“The research we are doing supports the idea that a person should have a sense of purpose,” says Dr. James Ellison, the Swank Foundation endowed chair in Memory Care and Geriatrics at Christiana Care. “That has been my clinical experience as well. A person’s sense of purpose can decline with age. Having a sense of purpose has been associated in research with a number of improved results, such as self-reported health, immune system response, optimism and decreased depression and loneliness,” says Ellison.

Sue Claire Harper stays engaged by taking classes through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UD.//Leslie Barbaro

Staying social

Just as Cottingham is involved with the East Sussex Republicans, 70-year-old Sue Claire Harper has had an ongoing stint as chair of the League of Women Voters in Sussex County's Land Use Committee. A registered nurse who worked for decades with patients who suffered spinal cord and brain injuries, Harper moved to Delaware in January 2011. While looking for information about an upcoming election, she connected with the League and became fascinated with the issues of the day.

“You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem,” Harper says.

Harper’s commitment to the League can be up to 40 hours a week, and she is active in a variety of projects that the league promotes. She is involved in the county’s comprehensive plan, which it undertakes every 10 years and is an organizer of forums that bring together citizens and experts to discuss a variety of issues. She also takes classes through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware and was most recently delighted to learn about issues facing India from a former Indian ambassador.

“They are a source of sheer joy for me,” she says of the classes. “That’s my treat to myself.”

Harper’s high level of engagement provides her with plenty of reason to greet each day with enthusiasm and provides a strong social connection that experts believe is vital for those trying to temper the negative effects of aging.

“A strong social life is a good distraction,” says Dr. Preeti Gupta, a physician at Bayhealth Primary Care in Milford. “Having a circle of family and friends allows people to live better. They don’t stay in one place and think about their anxiety and worry about whether their grandchildren are having problems.”

Being engaged and adding purpose to their lives can help seniors greatly. But there are other behaviors that can contribute greatly to successful aging. One is the ability to get good sleep. That may seem impossible for many older folks, since a variety of circumstances and conditions inhibit the ability to get sustained rest. The good news, is that according to Gupta, people in their 70s and 80s require less sleep than do those who are younger.

Getting on track

So, how to get it? The term “sleep hygiene” has become popular in recent years, and it is quite important for older Americans. It is important to have a routine at bedtime that signals to the body that sleep is imminent. As it is for teenagers, a heavy dose of screen time before bed can be counterproductive, as can caffeine, sugar and alcohol. Having a consistent bedtime is important, as is a regular time to rise. And when sleep does not come easily, don’t linger in bed getting more anxious.

“If you can’t fall asleep, get up and do something relaxing,” suggests Dr. Gina Facciolo, from the Beebe Family Practice in Rehoboth Beach. “And don’t use your bedroom for anything other than sleep and sex.”

As the body ages, exercise becomes ever more important. It doesn’t just build stamina and keep muscles toned; it also helps build balance and stability, which can ward off dangerous falls. Being physically active also helps promote emotional health. Being on the move creates a sense of accomplishment, while also oxygenating the blood and helping release endorphins, which trigger positive feelings throughout the body. The exercise doesn’t have to be hard-core aerobic or heavy weight training. Ellison reports that stretching is also important for older people to help  increase flexibility and balance. He cautions that all people should speak with a physician to find out what level of exercise they can tolerate. He also reminds people that there are many ways to increase activity, such as parking further from a store and walking or carrying some packages or bags from the car.

“Exercise at every age is important for good health,” Ellison says. “It improves the metabolism, lowers blood pressure and stimulates the growth of new brain cells.”

Don’t forget about diet. Ellison recommends the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat oils. One doesn’t have to follow a rigid pattern, but it is important to fill the body with as many good things as possible. Doing so helps ward off illness and fuel the furnace with materials that help foster a healthy, active lifestyle.

“I was never a believer in fads,” Cottingham says. “I know what agrees with me. I have learned by experience. You know to do it in moderation,” she says.

And keep doing it—for as many years as possible.

Editors' note: The print version of this article incorrectly stated that Sue Claire Harper is the president of the League of Women Voters of Sussex County (LWVSC). Harper is the chair of the LWVSC's Land Use Committee. Martha Redmond is LWVSC's current president. We regret the error. 

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Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Extra! Extra! Delaware Premiere Of Newsies Puts the “World” on Pause! By Daria Willis This is the headline that cast member Eric Ducos created, in true newsboy fashion, to call...

Cost: Tickets rage from $15 - $18

Where:
Everett Theatre
47 W. Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »

More information

Established Color, an exhibition of vibrant still life paintings by Thomas Del Porte, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from September 7-28, 2018. Del Porte received a 2018 Fellowship in...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
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

Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

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

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 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 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

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

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

Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


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

More information

Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


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

More information

In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


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

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

LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
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

Learn more about the 1968 Wilmington collaboration efforts involved with The Delaware Contemporary's Guardians of the Image Makers exhibition and the programming at the Delaware Art...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
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

BODY OF ART: Open Figure Drawing Series Selected Wednesdays | $10 drop-in fee | Cash Bar Studio artist Jenna Lucente will monitor these informal and unclothed figure drawing sessions...

Cost: $10

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
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

By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Fun Home is a multi-Tony-winning musical about a young woman discovering her identity while growing up with the family business, a funeral home.  Shows are at 8pm on 9/14. 9/15, 9/21 and 9/22,...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Extra! Extra! Delaware Premiere Of Newsies Puts the “World” on Pause! By Daria Willis This is the headline that cast member Eric Ducos created, in true newsboy fashion, to call...

Cost: Tickets rage from $15 - $18

Where:
Everett Theatre
47 W. Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »

More information

Established Color, an exhibition of vibrant still life paintings by Thomas Del Porte, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from September 7-28, 2018. Del Porte received a 2018 Fellowship in...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
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

Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
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

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

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

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

In partnership with Network Delaware, the Museum will present a Town Hall discussion on the Restorative Schools Issue Campaign moderated by exhibiting artist and For Freedoms co-founder Hank Willis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kingswood Community Center
2300 Bowers St.
Wilmington, DE  19802
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

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

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

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

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

In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


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

More information

Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


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

More information

Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


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

More information

Explore the politics of hunting in the Arctic while viewing the new exhibition “’The World Is Following Its People’: Indigenous Art and Arctic Ecology.” A University of Delaware doctoral...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


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

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

LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
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

By Conor McPherson Directed by Ben Barnes  “Sharky” Harkin has returned to Dublin to gather with his brother and friends for a whisky-soaked Christmas Eve of companionship and poker.  When...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Listen to Delaware artists Dennis Beach and Robert Straight discuss their art and the process of abstraction. In addition the gallery talk, view the exhibition From Color and Form to Expression...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall Gallery
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


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

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

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

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
Website »

More information

V. Shayne Frederick is a pianist, vocalist, arranger and musical director with over a decade of stunning performance. He will be joined by Ella Ghant, a vocalist in the jazz/traditional pop style....

Cost: $25-$28

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


Telephone: 610-356-2787

More information

By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Fun Home is a multi-Tony-winning musical about a young woman discovering her identity while growing up with the family business, a funeral home.  Shows are at 8pm on 9/14. 9/15, 9/21 and 9/22,...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Extra! Extra! Delaware Premiere Of Newsies Puts the “World” on Pause! By Daria Willis This is the headline that cast member Eric Ducos created, in true newsboy fashion, to call...

Cost: Tickets rage from $15 - $18

Where:
Everett Theatre
47 W. Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
View map »

More information

The American Birding Expo, one of the largest wildlife events in the country, is returning to the Philadelphia area. Sponsored by Bird Watcher’s Digest in association with the American...

Cost: Free for those 17 and under; $10 for all others

Where:
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Ave.
Oaks, PA  19456
View map »


Sponsor: Bird Watcher’s Digest
Telephone: 1 (800) 879-2473
Contact Name: Bill Thompson III
Website »

More information

Established Color, an exhibition of vibrant still life paintings by Thomas Del Porte, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from September 7-28, 2018. Del Porte received a 2018 Fellowship in...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8278
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

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

Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
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

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

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

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 for Members, $5 per child and one adult free for Non-Members

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


Sponsor: Delaware Art Museum

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

On September 21, we are joining the Biden Cancer Initiative and hundreds of other communities in hosting a Biden Cancer Community Summit in Delaware. You're invited to join us to learn about: how...

Cost: FREE!

Where:
Siegel JCC
101 Garden of Eden Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »


Sponsor: Siegel JCC
Telephone: 302-478-5660
Contact Name: Anna Saul
Website »

More information

Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


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

More information

Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


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

More information

In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


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

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
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LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
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Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
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By Conor McPherson Directed by Ben Barnes  “Sharky” Harkin has returned to Dublin to gather with his brother and friends for a whisky-soaked Christmas Eve of companionship and poker.  When...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
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Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

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
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
Website »

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Brew at the Zoo Friday, Sept. 21, 5:30–9 p.m. Ages 21+ Join the Delaware Zoological Society, which supports the Brandywine Zoo, in its annual fundraiser, Brew at the Zoo, and...

Cost: $40-$25

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19810
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Telephone: 302-571-7747
Website »

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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
View map »

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By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Prepare for 90 minutes of musical theater brilliance filled with gorgeous harmonies and a witty, laugh out loud script. Tony award nominated [title of show] follows very real friends Jeff and...

Cost: $10–$28

Where:
Bootless Stageworks
1301 N. Broom Street
Lower Level
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Telephone: 302-887-9300
Website »

More information

Fun Home is a multi-Tony-winning musical about a young woman discovering her identity while growing up with the family business, a funeral home.  Shows are at 8pm on 9/14. 9/15, 9/21 and 9/22,...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
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Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

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Extra! Extra! Delaware Premiere Of Newsies Puts the “World” on Pause! By Daria Willis This is the headline that cast member Eric Ducos created, in true newsboy fashion, to call...

Cost: Tickets rage from $15 - $18

Where:
Everett Theatre
47 W. Main Street
Middletown, DE  19709
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The American Birding Expo, one of the largest wildlife events in the country, is returning to the Philadelphia area. Sponsored by Bird Watcher’s Digest in association with the American...

Cost: Free for those 17 and under; $10 for all others

Where:
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Ave.
Oaks, PA  19456
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Sponsor: Bird Watcher’s Digest
Telephone: 1 (800) 879-2473
Contact Name: Bill Thompson III
Website »

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Faith United Methodist Church - "Methodist Women" host 12th Annual Walk for The Homeless September 22.  Faith United Methodist Church announced its 12 years of the walk for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Faith United Methodist Church
19940 Church St
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
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Sponsor: "Methodist Women"
Telephone: 302-227-3118
Contact Name: Christina Miller-Hall
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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
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Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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Husband and wife painters, Kirk McBride and Lynne Lockhart exhibit over 40 new paintings in a two-person show. Lynne is known for her expressive yet anatomically accurate oil paintings of animals...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
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
Website »

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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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Website »

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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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Website »

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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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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
Website »

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Explore the geologic history of the Delaware Appalachian Piedmont. Delaware Geologic Survey scientist William "Sandy" Schenck, P.G., will lead you on a 4-hour round-trip tour up the line...

Cost: $22

Where:
Greenbank Station
2201 Newport Gap Pike
Wilmington, DE  19808
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Sponsor: Wilmington & Western Railroad
Telephone: (302) 998-1930
Website »

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In recent years, the Arctic has occupied a central place in urgent climate change discussions. However, the Indigenous peoples of the region have long understood the need to respect an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Old College Gallery
18 East Main St.
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

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Since the early 20th century, abstract art has prompted audiences to consider how the materials, shapes and subjects found within an artwork form the viewer’s response to it. Abstract art...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mechanical Hall
30 North College Ave.
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

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Self-educated mineralogist George F. Kunz assembled several renowned mineral collections throughout his lifetime. This exhibition highlights the last of his assembled collections, purchased by...

Cost: Free

Where:
University of Delaware's Mineralogical Museum
225 Academy Street
Penny Hall
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press
Website »

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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
Website »

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Enjoy a tour of the Museum’s Collection through a new lens. Free. Saturdays, September 15 & 22, October 6 & 13 | 2:00 p.m. Local Pride: Art and Artists from Greater Wilmington...

Cost: Free for Members, Free after admission for Non-Members.

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

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Please join Delaware Housing Opportunity Fund Inc, www.dehofi.org with raising funds for our Senior and Veteran homeowners in the State of Delaware.  All of the funds go to providing essential...

Cost: $10 for car show/$15 for block party

Where:
Midnight Oil Brewery
674 Pencader Dr
Newark, DE  19702
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Sponsor: Delaware Housing Opportunity Fund Inc
Telephone: 302-584-0453
Contact Name: Dawn Momot
Website »

More information

LURAY PRODUCTIONS NEW YEARS EVE Monday, December 31, 2018            7:30 PM - Midnight Minquadale Memorial Hall 129 East...

Cost: 70-80

Where:
Minquadale Memorial Hall
129 East Hazeldell Avenue
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Luray Productions
Telephone: 302-559-0607
Contact Name: Lois Lipton Parker
Website »

More information

By Conor McPherson Directed by Ben Barnes  “Sharky” Harkin has returned to Dublin to gather with his brother and friends for a whisky-soaked Christmas Eve of companionship and poker.  When...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Timothy Barr paints with a heightened sense of the relationship between color and light, infusing natural images with a serene and meditative radiance. He creates fine oil paintings of the colorful...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Contact Name: Rebecca Moore
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

Participate in Peace Week Delaware with a walk in the Delaware Art Museum Labyrinth in the Anthony N. Fusco Reservoir. Peace Week raises awareness and hope for peace in our communities, nation, and...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

The Dickinson Theatre Pipe Organ Society welcomes ALEX JONES of Birmhingham, England to the Dickinson Theatre.  Mr. Hones will be performing music from Broadway, Motion Pictures, as...

Cost: $20

Where:
The Dickinson Theatre at John Dickinson High Schoo
1801 Milltown Road
Wilmington, DE  19808
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Sponsor: John Dickinson Organ Society
Telephone: 302.995.5603
Contact Name: Bob Dilworth
Website »

More information

By Peter Shaffer Directed by Steve Tague. Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten! Lettice is a vivacious tour guide at a rather ho-hum historical manor, who grabs and keeps tourists’ attention with...

Cost: 15-32

Where:
Studio Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Telephone: 302-831-2204
Website »

More information

Fun Home is a multi-Tony-winning musical about a young woman discovering her identity while growing up with the family business, a funeral home.  Shows are at 8pm on 9/14. 9/15, 9/21 and 9/22,...

Cost: $12-$20

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 West Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Drama League
Telephone: 302-764-3396
Contact Name: Kathy Buterbaugh
Website »

More information

Prepare for 90 minutes of musical theater brilliance filled with gorgeous harmonies and a witty, laugh out loud script. Tony award nominated [title of show] follows very real friends Jeff and...

Cost: $10–$28

Where:
Bootless Stageworks
1301 N. Broom Street
Lower Level
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Telephone: 302-887-9300
Website »

More information

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