How the Center for African-American Heritage Fills a Gap in Delaware's Narrative

Not only does the Wilmington museum explain the black history of Delaware, but it is also a place for stories past and present to grow.


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Bebe Coker (left), a member of the advisory council for the center, and Constance Cooper, chief curator for the historical society, are helping bring a vision to life.//Photo by Luigi Ciuffetelli


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When Bebe Coker speaks about bringing the many facets of Delaware’s African-American history to the forefront, she speaks of building bridges and unearthing buried treasures. Mostly, she insists that it is time for the state—and the rest of the country—to learn that everything that has happened throughout Delaware’s long history has a strong African-American component. Her mission is not to present fragments that exist on the history’s outskirts, but to demonstrate how a people who have been marginalized are significant actors in a centuries-old drama.

Coker has more than a casual interest in the opening of Wilmington’s Center for African-American Heritage. She has lived in Delaware since 1960 and has been committed to teaching skills to those who want to find work. As a member of the center’s advisory council, Coker is helping bring a vision to life. As a citizen who has been dreaming of and working toward a moment when the influences of the state’s African-American residents would complete Delaware’s vivid tapestry of history, Coker is crusading for the inclusion of long-silenced truths.

“The biggest thing we want is for the historical archival material that has been ignored to evidence itself and bridge African-Americans and the state of Delaware,” Coker says. “We want the contributions of African-Americans to be recorded in the state’s total history.”

The CAAH is scheduled to open in March as part of the Delaware Historical Society’s renovated Market Street Center. It is the result of several years of planning and even more time and effort expended by those who struggled to bring the concept to fruition. Thanks to funding from the city of Wilmington, along with private foundations such as the Jessie Ball duPont Foundation, the project finally reached the point of critical mass and began to move forward two years ago.

When it debuts, the CAAH will be a crucial bulwark for the African-American community but, even more important, a symbol of recognition for a part of Delaware’s community that has felt left out of the state’s nearly four-century-long narrative. “For once, we will be able to see through legitimate archived research that African-Americans were pivotal parts of the community since the 1600s,” Coker says.

The process of aggregating information and presenting it is important, but the CAAH aims to go beyond the representation of history. It is possible to portray events and celebrate people through exhibits and to tell stories, but that kind of stand-alone representation isn’t enough. The center’s real work will be to serve as a vibrant entity committed to creating an ongoing dialogue, so that African-Americans’ roles in Delaware’s history live and grow. The center is designed to be more than just a standstill entity. Its value will be in the ability to advance the state’s historical dialogue.

“The stories that are going to come to fruition will be voices that have yet to be heard,” says Scott Loehr, CEO of the historical society. “There will be very, very powerful deliveries. Delaware’s story is our nation’s story, and it’s fascinating.

“The center is going to succeed in expressing Delaware’s historical narrative by including lots of new voices.”

When Constance Cooper, chief curator for the historical society for more than 30 years, discusses the history of African-Americans in Delaware, she doesn’t start with the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil War or the Revolutionary War. She goes back to the beginning. Or, perhaps, the beginning, plus one.

One year after the Swedes established their beachhead in Delaware in 1638, an African named Anthony was delivered to Fort Christina by the captain of the Vogel Grip, the ship (along with the Kalmar Nyckel) that sailed from Sweden to the New World. Nine years after his arrival, “Black Anthony,” as he was known, became a free man, changed his name to Antoni Swart and served as a special assistant to Gov. Johan Printz, cutting hay and sailing his sloop. 

Though Anthony was not free when he came to Delaware from the West Indies, his presence in the new colony is just as vital to the state’s history as is the presence of the Swedes. “He participated in Delaware’s founding,” Cooper says. “People from Africa were part of Delaware from the beginning.” It is that fact that propels the CAAH forward. Anthony’s presence established immediate bona fides for Africans and their descendants throughout the state. Many of those who followed Anthony did so as slaves, but many were not. And those who minimize early the legitimacy of African-Americans because of their slave status rob them of their humanity and attempt to marginalize them. That’s something Cooper won’t tolerate. 

For her, the struggle to give African Americans full ownership of their time in Delaware and the United States is grounded in principles that were established when the country declared its independence. The struggle, she says, needs to be recognized today.

“One of the things we want to focus on comes in the Declaration of Independence,” Cooper says. “It reads, ‘All men are created equal’. At the Center for African-American Heritage, we ask what that meant in 1776. The people who wrote the Declaration of Independence didn’t include black men and women, or even people of all colors who didn’t own land.

“There is a contrast of the nation’s ideals and real life for African Americans.”

It took some time for the center to reach the point of reality. The concept germinated in the late 1990s. The decision to move ahead was made in January 2012. There have been hurdles to clear, but come March, the hard work of many will be rewarded. One million dollars from the city of Wilmington helped the project along greatly. Patrice Gilliam-Johnson of the advisory council for the center believes the final product will satisfy just about everybody in the state. 

“To say to you that there was no acrimony would not be accurate,” she says. “But the community is beginning to recognize that our intention is to tell the African-American story in the midst of the larger story. People are recognizing that our intentions are good and are beginning to rally around that.”

Gilliam-Johnson and others connected to the center are trying to build a home for the stories of all African Americans across Delaware. That includes Wilmington’s East Side, the area below the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal and the counties in southern Delaware. 

“This is a unified effort,” Gilliam-Johnson says. “We want all African Americans to feel that there is a place for them in Delaware history. They should feel proud and have some ownership in this. It’s a way of building a bridge so that folks can see their particular history. But we also want to integrate this so that people can see how all of the things are connected.”

The goal is to present African-American history in a way that allows for a variety of outcomes. Obviously, it is imperative that black Delawareans know their stories will be told, and not just in a cursory fashion. There must be the kind of depth necessary to show how they are part of the entire Delaware narrative, not just an adjunct. For that to happen, the story has to be blended into the state’s complete narrative. It’s a tricky endeavor, for several reasons. The most obvious challenge is handling the state’s complicated racial past. 

As a state that straddles the country’s North-South demarcation, it has a complicated heritage, one that must be told from many perspectives, no matter how uncomfortable that may be. Delaware was a key part of the Underground Railroad, but it also had many slave owners. The two-day upheaval that took place in 1968 after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is another example of a period that must receive delicate treatment. Some see it as a riot. Others consider it a natural outcome after a horrific episode of violence. And the nine-month National Guard occupation after the incident remains raw for some Delaware residents.

Finding a way to represent all of this in one place while somehow looking at it through a broader lens is a considerable test. In that regard, the center’s affiliation with the historical society is a plus, because there will be the opportunity to combine the African-American narrative with the broader story.

“Your history is my history, and my history is your history,” Gilliam-Johnson says. “In that sense, we are connected in a way that is respectful, so that we can understand each other and bridge the divide.

That way, we can all have a better appreciation of what we all brought to the same party.”

If you are going to speak with Robin Krawitz about Delaware’s African-American history, you had better not be too busy. “How much time do you have?” she says with a laugh.

The Delaware State University professor is the director of the graduate program in historic preservation at DSU and is also an adviser to the historical society. She looks at the CAAH as a chance to “change the narrative” about African-Americans’ roles in the state’s history.

“Telling the story requires a look at all the perspectives,” Krawitz says. “We leave people out at our peril, and we then understand only in a small way. We need to know about African-Americans’ roles in Delaware’s history, because we still live in challenging times.”

Samuel D. Burris served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. His important story will be one of many presented at the new center. (Image courtesy of the Delaware Historical Society)

Krawitz believes people need to know about heroes like Samuel D. Burris, an African-American man who served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, helping escaped slaves make it from Delaware to freedom in Pennsylvania. A free man, Burris risked his and his family’s lives to assist others. In 1847 he was arrested and imprisoned for his activities. While in prison, Burris wrote several letters, one of which came to the attention of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. Burris was convicted and scheduled to be sold into slavery. On the day of his auction, abolitionist Isaac Flint “purchased” Burris, then took him to Philadelphia and freedom. 

“Understanding what happened before gives us insight into where we are going,” Krawitz says.

Krawitz is looking forward to visitors learning more about the stories of other prominent African-Americans and the turbulent times in which they lived. Few realize the turmoil that prevailed throughout the state over the idea of slavery. Delaware residents were divided on the issue, and as Krawitz looked through court petitions from the second half of the 1800s, she noticed that there were plenty of abolitionists looking for a legal way to end slavery, as well as many slaveowners trying to maintain the status quo.

“There was pressure from both sides on the courts,” Krawitz says. “In other states, slaveholders knew they were on top. Here, things could go either way. Every day was a potential battleground.”

In addition to exhibits and information about slavery in Delaware, there will be opportunities for visitors to learn about the work of heroes like Louis L. Redding Jr., the first African-American lawyer in the state. Two of the cases Redding argued regarding school desegregation, Belton v. Gebhart and Bulah v. Gebhart, were significant victories in the fight and were joined with the 1954 landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the Supreme Court ruled that separate schools for blacks and whites were illegal. 

The center will showcase the work of heroes like Louis L. Redding Jr., the first African-American lawyer in the state. (Image courtesy of the Delaware Historical Society)

“[Redding] was a tough guy,” Krawitz says. “He wouldn’t take your case unless he could move bigger cases and issues forward.”

It will also be interesting to learn about Delaware’s role as the birthplace of the independent black church. Richard Allen, born into slavery in Kent County in 1760, founded in Philadelphia the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first independent black denomination in the country 34 years later. In 1813, Peter Spencer chartered the Union Church of Africans in Wilmington.  

“So much of African-American religious history belongs to Delaware,” Krawitz says.

Beginning in March, Delaware will be able to display that heritage in its full grandeur. The center offers an opportunity for African-Americans to have their history told as more than just an adjunct to a greater narrative. This will allow the whole story to move forward, thanks to contributions from people who have brought much to the state and continue to define it every day. As the narrative grows and becomes richer, all Delaware residents will understand their history more completely, because it will be told with more depth than it has before. History is not static, and the Center for African-American Heritage will allow the narrative to grow and become fuller with each new exhibit.

“Delaware’s African-American history has been so overlooked and neglected,” Cooper says. “It’s time to bring it out and focus it on it.

“This will be the showcase.”

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Website »

More information

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

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Website »

More information

presenting selections from our holiday concert series, "Christmas Memories" featuring old favorites like the Beach Boys' "Little Saint Nick" and "Believe" as well as  popular classics like...

Cost: admission to Gardens

Where:
Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square, PA


Sponsor: Longwood Gardens
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

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

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

Cost: Free with admission and free for members

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $0

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


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

More information

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

Cost: FREE

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


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

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

Cost: included with admission

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $6 - $22

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


Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

Cost: $25–$45

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


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

More information

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

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

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


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

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 302-658-9111

More information

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

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

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

Cost: included with admission

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


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

More information

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

Cost: FREE

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


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

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

Cost: $6 - $22

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


Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information & Tours
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $0

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free with admission and free for members

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


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

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

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

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


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

More information

The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: FREE

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $25–$45

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


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

More information

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

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

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


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

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 302-658-9111

More information

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

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

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Website »

More information

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

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

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $10

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


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

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

Cost: Free with admission and free for members

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $0

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


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

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

Cost: FREE

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


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: included with admission

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


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

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

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

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $25–$45

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


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

More information

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

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

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


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

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 302-658-9111

More information

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

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

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

Cost: FREE

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


Telephone: 130-265-66466

More information

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

Cost: included with admission

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $0

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free with admission and free for members

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


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

More information

The intimate vision of each artist—a mingling of reality and invention—blends the natural world with abstract shapes. Whether in luminous or subdued colors, these forms conjure up a cityscape...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
View map »


Website »

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

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

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


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

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cost: $25–$45

Where:
The University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Sponsor: The University and Whist Club
Telephone: 302-658-5125
Contact Name: Stacey Inglis
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Enjoy a peaceful interlude at the end of the year with a 45-minute evening ride aboard our heated 100-year-old coaches, each of which is covered with thousands of holiday lights. Many of our...

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

Where:
Greenbank Station
2201 Newport Gap Pike
Wilmington, DE  19808
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Sponsor: Wilmington & Western Railroad
Telephone: (302) 998-1930
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Explore the science of how things move by land, sea and air at From Here to There, October 6, 2018-January 6, 2019. Lift, launch and levitate as you experiment with hands-on exhibits that make...

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

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

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

Cost: free

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
Breck’s Mill, 2nd Floor
101 Stone Block Row
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-652-0271
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An accelerating screwball farce full of laughter, Lend Me a Tenor has the class and charm of a Kaufman and Hart comedy plus all the door-slamming hilarity of a Marx Brothers’ classic like Room...

Cost: $25-$60

Where:
Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center
226 N High Street
West Chester, PA  19380
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Ship of Theseus, an exhibition of self-portraits by painter Lauren E. Peters, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from December 7-28, 2018. Peters received a 2018 Individual Artist Fellowship...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mezzanine Gallery
2nd Floor, Carvel Building
820 N. French St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 130-257-78278
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
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"Art Works for the Holiday" features a large variety of art appropriate for gift giving including paintings, drawings, mixed media, ceramics, art glass, jewelry, and more. We also...

Cost: free

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

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

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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Make your plans now to enjoy the best the season has to offer at Yuletide at Winterthur. Henry Francis du Pont’s home will soon be decked out in holiday style with traditions from history and the...

Cost: included with admission

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

Cost: FREE

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

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

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

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

Cost: Free with admission and free for members

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

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

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

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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In 2017, the Delaware Art Museum received 13 works of art previously on display in the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington. The gift included watercolors by Andrew Wyeth and oil paintings by N.C....

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

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

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

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

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
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Website »

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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
View map »


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

More information

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

Cost: Adults: $19; Seniors (60+): $18; Children (2-12): $17; Children Under 2: Free

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

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Santa Claus is coming to Kid Shelleen's! Bring the kids for a fun-filled morning and a visit with Santa, who arrives by firetruck.  Mom and Dad enjoy Kid's award-winning brunch...

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

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

Cost: $10-$20

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

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

Cost: 15.00

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

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

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


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

More information

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

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

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


Telephone: 302-658-9111

More information

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

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-652-0271
Website »

More information

Don't miss this Annual Holiday Concert—held at  Concord Presbyterian Church, 1800 Fairfax Blvd. in North Wilmington—on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15 and 16, at 7...

Cost: Free

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

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

Cost: 9

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