How Mt. Cuba Center Became a Game Changer in Conservation

Famed as a botanical garden, Mt. Cuba Center has quietly been transforming the state’s landscape for years. There may have been no national park here without it.


Published:

Jeff Downing is executive director of Mt. Cuba Center.//Photo by Jim Coarse

 

It’s not something we think about every day, but “if you’re driving through the state of Delaware, you’re going to pass something that the Mt. Cuba Center has helped protect.”

Those are the words of one of Delaware’s leading conservationists, Blaine Phillips, senior vice president and Mid-Atlantic regional director of The Conservation Fund, saluting the efforts of one of its newer partners in acquiring open space and protecting it from future development.

The Mt. Cuba Center, based in the hilltop mansion built in 1935 by the late Lammot du Pont Copeland and his wife, Pamela, was established as a nonprofit private foundation in 2002, a year after Mrs. Copeland’s death. Creation of the foundation launched a new era for the 583-acre property, transitioning it from a botanic garden on a private estate into a public garden whose managers sought to inspire visitors through the beauty of native plants.

While a steadily expanding tour schedule and an increased number of educational programs has built awareness of Mt. Cuba’s gardens, a second portion of Pamela Copeland’s vision—to assist in the preservation of large natural spaces in and near Delaware—has been executed largely under the public’s radar for more than a decade.

Just as Pamela Copeland believed that seeing native plants on the family estate would encourage people to appreciate native plants and become conservators of natural habitats, the directors believe they can amplify that belief through broader involvement in open-space conservation.

“Over the years, there have been quite a few, about 20 different deals that we have assisted in since 2005,” says Jeff Downing, Mt. Cuba’s executive director. Those deals have helped to preserve more than 15,000 acres in a region that includes all of Delaware and stretches north to the headwaters of the Brandywine and south to the Nanticoke River watershed and Chesapeake Bay.

The most prominent of those deals took place in late 2012, when Mt. Cuba made a $20 million grant that enabled The Conservation Fund to acquire the 1,100-acre Woodlawn Tract along the Brandywine in northern New Castle County and stretching into southeastern Pennsylvania, then transfer it to the federal government as part of what is now the First State National Historic Park.

“They made it possible,” Phillips says. “Without that heavy lift, I think we’d still be debating about a national park today.”

Mt. Cuba doesn’t buy land to build its real estate portfolio. Rather, it helps other organizations acquire properties deemed worthy of conservation. Its most frequent partners, Downing says, have been The Conservation Fund, the Brandywine Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy and Delaware Wild Lands. Other nonprofits, like the Boy Scouts of America, have been beneficiaries of Mt. Cuba’s largesse, and so has the state of Delaware.

“The state budget has been challenging for the past six or seven years,” says David Small, secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. “The value of the money that Mt. Cuba has brought to the table has been critical to us,” especially when used as the private sector match required to leverage even larger federal grants for conservation and preservation.

Grants from Mt. Cuba have helped the state acquire properties that have become part of the Delaware Bayshore Initiative, a conservation-recreation-
ecotourism project along the Delaware Bay between New Castle and Lewes, as well as 1,100 acres of forest in Sussex County previously owned by the Glatfelter Pulp Wood Company.

Late last year, Mt. Cuba made headlines again, helping The Conservation Fund purchase the 1,025-acre Taylors Bridge Roberts Farm near Odessa and donate it to Delaware Wild Lands. The site, featuring freshwater tidal wetlands and remnants of forested coastal plain ponds, is considered one of the largest unprotected tracts remaining in Delaware’s coastal zone. Delaware Wild Lands intends to develop a long-term management plan that will include farming, hunting, trapping, wildlife tours and bird walks on the site.

Because it has tried to keep a low profile, it’s easy to underestimate Mt. Cuba’s role in conservation efforts, but its financial resources give it exceptional strength. With assets in excess of $320 million, it is believed to be second in size to only the Longwood Foundation among Delaware’s native foundations—those that are not only based in the state but also make most of their contributions here.

“They’re a game-changer,” says Richie I.G. Jones Jr., Delaware director of The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest environmental organization. 

Under federal law, Downing says, Mt. Cuba is required to distribute the equivalent of 5 percent of its endowment every year.  As with anything related to tax regulations, “it’s a complicated calculation,” but after allowing for maintaining the gardens and staff operations,  there is still typically $6 million to $8 million available each year to assist in conservation acquisitions, he says.

“Mt. Cuba is strategic and relatively undiluted in its focus on land preservation,” Jones says. Unlike other foundations rooted in the du Pont family, like Longwood, the Welfare Foundation and the Crystal Trust, Mt. Cuba does not fund the operations of other nonprofit organizations. It focuses its philanthropy on conservation and preservation.

Though Mt. Cuba’s focus is single-minded, its view is hardly narrow, says Kate Hackett, executive director of Delaware Wild Lands. 

Other organizations might have specific guidelines for determining whether they will get involved in a conservation acquisition. There must be a buffer of a certain size around waterways, for example, or a certain percentage of marshland on the site. “Sometimes you get five or seven organizations together, and each one invokes its own priorities, and it can be difficult to satisfy them all,” Hackett says. “Mt. Cuba has a broader mission.”

That broader mission, Phillips says, has enabled Mt. Cuba’s partners in the conservation community “to think boldly and to act boldly.”

Jones and Phillips say conservation groups typically keep their eyes out for properties whose characteristics fit their investment parameters, and they must have the agility to move when the land becomes available. When they identify an appropriate property and need assistance with funding, they will often approach Mt. Cuba. “We present the projects, but it’s their vision and leadership that determines where the funds go,” Phillips says.

In assessing properties, Mt. Cuba weighs several factors, Downing says. 

The size of the space is paramount, because it’s usually easier to preserve biodiversity and the health of an ecosystem on a larger property. Contiguity is important too, Downing says, citing the 747-acre Vance Morris Tract near Bowers Beach acquired for the state in early 2014. “The property was adjacent to two other large tracts of open space and helped fill in the gaps in that corridor. That’s an attractive thing to be able to preserve,” he says.

And, he says, it’s important that the organization or government agency that will ultimately hold title to the land has a management plan or a clear sense of objectives in place to ensure that the lands will be preserved in perpetuity.

Though Mt. Cuba’s resources are substantial, Downing cautions that the board of directors believes in conserving both open space and funds. “If it was in our interest as an organization, we could spend as much as we wanted, but our interest is in not squandering our resources,” he says. “We’re looking to preserve the endowment, to do as much here for as long as we can.”

Mt. Cuba’s efforts over the past decade have been “transformative,” Phillips says. 

“They’ve worked in all three counties. They’ve literally changed the landscape. They helped establish our first national park. They created a regional headquarters and campsite for the Boy Scouts in Kent County, and they recently helped create a 10,000-acre-plus contiguous plot of wetlands habitat in the coastal zone,” Phillips says. “They have literally reached out and touched almost every corner of the state.”

What’s next? 

Downing isn’t sure, but he echoes the observations of Phillips and Jones: It’s important to “have your eyes on the pieces of the puzzle that might be attractive someday” and be ready when the owners are ready to sell.

“The key issue here is impact,” Phillips says. “I can’t speak for Mt. Cuba, but their track record shows they recognize the potential impact of acquisition.”

“We’re really trying to improve the way we work together as organizations,” Jones says. “We’re all in this together.”

“With every acquisition we participate in, we strive to be consistent with the Copelands’ mission,” Downing says. “There are very few entities that have the wherewithal to be significant players in conservation, and we recognize, as the Copelands did, that once the land is developed, it’s gone.” 

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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

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
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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
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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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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 »

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

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

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

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
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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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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 »

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

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 »

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

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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