Scott Porter’s Chadds Ford Estate Reflects Equestrian Tradition

As founder of Porter Construction, Porter’s marriage of thoroughbred racing and home design is as seamless as it is gorgeous.



The country home Scott Porter built for his wife and young twins is only a year old, yet it is steeped in history.

His architectural inspiration was the stately homes of Britain, which artfully combine soaring expanses with cozy niches. The estate, on a sylvan swath in Chadds Ford, is sited on property once owned by his brother, Cory. It is across the road from the home of their father, ardent thoroughbred owner Rick Porter.

“We are crazy about horses and racing and that shows in our home,” he says.

Indeed. Vintage renderings of the Sport of Kings hang in the clubby, paneled first-floor study. Above the built-in bar in the expansive foyer is a portrait of jockey Ramon Dominguez, wearing the red-and-white silks of Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm, which has raced such stellar steeds as Hard Spun and Eight Belles, both Kentucky Derby runners-up, and Havre de Grace, 2011 Horse of the Year.

Scott is the founder of Porter Construction, a custom home building and renovation firm. He has an innate talent for design, for creating houses that are both lovely and livable.

“When I was a boy, I would draw little houses,” he recalls. “I would doodle rooflines.”

The house where his brother once lived was heavily damaged by fire years ago. But the eight-acre parcel surrounding it offered such impressive infrastructure as a bridge over a rushing stream. A spring house provides irrigation for the grounds, including a three-hole golf course. A second spring house is sited beside a swimming pool with a rock waterfall. A large reflecting pond in front of the house mirrors trees and skies.

So when Scott was looking for a place for his own growing family, the location was a natural fit.

The original house had to be razed. The new owner retained what he could, maintaining the foundation and its footprint. Kitchen cabinets that had been spared from the flames were repainted and repurposed in the laundry room, which also features reclaimed Chicago bricks set in a herringbone pattern. Stone from the facade was salvaged and integrated into chimneys and exterior walls.

“We chisled the mortar out of it and put it back up,” he says. “We didn’t want to waste anything.”

Workers started building on Sept. 9, 2011, and completed the job on June 2, 2012, in a nine-month whirlwind. “From soup to nuts, done,” he says. “It shouldn’t take years to build a custom home. If you have your plans and materials in place, the work moves quickly.”

 

Details and Design

The result is an elegant, two-story stone house, trimmed with antique brick and timber beams. A cedar shake roof is punctuated by a series of smaller rooflines. An arched eyebrow roof over the front door is a tribute to craftsmanship, pieced together from mahogany planks banded with copper. 

The house is large, 5,600 square feet, not counting the finished lower level. Ceiling heights are 10 feet on the first floor and nine feet on the second floor. Scott drew the plans, then took his ideas to architect Richard Buchanan of Archer & Buchanan in West Chester.

Even with room to spare, he was intent on achieving a layout in which each square foot is put to its highest and best use. Witness the foyer, which provides a grand entrance, as well as space for entertaining. Passageways on either side are outfitted for storage. Cupboards for china and glassware serve both the foyer and the adjacent dining room. On the opposite side, between the foyer and the family room, there is built-in, climate-controlled wine storage.

In every space, Scott sweated the details. He chose white oak, quarter sawn in planks 11 inches wide, for the flooring. He turned to Michael Saienni of Newark to build a staircase with a gracefully arched gooseneck bannister—“very tricky to make but I had to have it,” he says. The size and scope of the dining room was dictated by a round, flame mahogany table that seats 10 guests.

For casual meals, the family gathers around a rustic wood table in the sun room. The rattan settee and chairs were made in the 1950s and are outfitted with such retro features as drink holders and cubbies for magazines. The vintage pieces and an antique marble-top French butcher’s table were gifts from Betsy Porter, Scott’s mom.

“She has great taste and is a wonderful decorator,” he says.

The Italian limestone tiles on the floor are antiqued and pillowed, a technique in which the pavers are slightly raised in the center, rather than flat. A water heating system ensures the tiles are warm and toasty underfoot.

 

Family Friendly

Scott’s plan called for other niceties and conveniences that make life pleasant for a family with two small children and two large dogs. A home theater is furnished with an oversized sectional sofa that can accommodate a crowd on race day. An open pet shower in the mudroom makes it easy to hose down the pooches after a romp outdoors. Woodburning fireplaces are equipped with gas lines that make lighting a blaze a simple task.

“Hit the button. The gas ignites the wood and you have a fire going,” Scott says. 

In decorating the house, he and his wife, Inci, took a fresh, hip approach to tradition, mixing such elements as formal, five-piece crown moldings and tufted leather seating with contemporary grasscloth wall coverings. The effect is relaxed and welcoming.

“Inci and I have very similar tastes,” he says. “We love to drive around and look at houses.” 

Her favorite spot is the kitchen. A massive island combines natural walnut cabinetry topped with creamy Calcutta gold marble. Zinc-and-glass lanterns provide task lighting. Upper and lower cupboards are painted white and accented with solid brass handles and drawer pulls.

Upholstered counter stools at the island are accented in nailhead trim. That classic motif is repeated in the adjacent family room, where a pair of tailored sofas flank the fireplace.

The Porters loved the look of an Italian fireplace mantel carved from limestone, but not its $35,000 price tag. So, they emailed an image of the mantel to a fabricator in the United States, who crafted a piece from Indiana limestone for a fraction of the price.

 

A Country House

On the second floor, hip roofs are reflected in clipped, angular ceiling lines that evoke the feeling of a centuries-oldcountry house. “Those rooflines make it feel more cottagy,” he says.

The Porter twins, Jack and Ainsley, share a nursery for now. Their father built a wing of bedrooms and baths that brother and sister will move into, designed to take them from toddlers to teens. 

All the second-floor baths are done in a timeless palette, with Calcutta marble floors, countertops and shower surrounds, gray walls and polished nickle fixtures andlighting sconces.

“It’s a combination you never get tired of looking at,” Scott says.

Yet each space is unique, displaying a variation on the theme. In one bath, floors are finished in square matte tiles, while the next is paved in small, hexagonal tiles. Sconces range from trim torches with crisp white shades to exuberant sunbursts mounted directly on the mirror over the sink. Walls are in varying shades, from pewter to charcoal.

In the master bath, polished mosaic marble is set in a rectangle on the floor, surrounded with large tiles of honed stone to create the effect of a sparkling carpet.

Throughout the house, there are one-of-a-kind touches. Scott found the weathered wood he integrated into a powder room vanity when he was working on a barn for his father. The antique, leaded glass doors on the bar came from his parents’ summer home in Maine. The posts and beam that define an archway in the lower-level gathering space came from the set of “The Village,” the 2004 thriller by M. Night Shyamalan filmed in Chadds Ford.

“It’s fun and interesting to take things from different times and places and come up with ways to bring them together,” he says. “That is what gives a house a sense of history.”

 

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January 2017

January 3 - 28  “Winter Group Show” Rotating Group Show features a variety of art in different styles and media. Custom Framing & Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery Hours:...

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January 14, 15, 16 – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Invention Convention Lights, camera, action! This year’s Invention Convention features hands-on video...

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Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Road
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Belly Dance Classes with Zahra Beginner & intermediate classes open to teens and adults Sundays in January starting Jan 8th Beginner: 2:30-3:30 p.m. Intermediate: 1 - 2 p.m (must get...

Cost: $15-$42

Where:
Take the Lead Studio
320 Lantana Drive
Hockessin , DE  19711
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Join Rachel Binkley of Rocker Soaps + Herbals for a fun and information filled class. We will make soap, learn how to make a soap recipe and get tips and techniques to make it easier for you at...

Cost: 40

Where:
Elements of Nutrition
4710 Kirkwood Hwy
Wilmington, DE  19808
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Come give curling a try! At this 2-hour intro-to-curling event we'll provide a basic lesson then coach you through a mini-game.  Whether you just want to cross #curling off your bucket list or...

Cost: $35

Where:
The Pond Ice Arena
101 John Campbell Rd
Newark, DE  19711
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The Rehoboth Beach Film Society will present its popular What Makes Us Tick? program during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, January 13-15. This analytical film and discussion series...

Cost: $9 - $10

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
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BROKEN ARROW: A NEIL YOUNG TRIBUTE Broken Arrow delivers the music of Neil Young; both the rockin' electric guitar driven favorites and the more country flavored classics with pedal steel and...

Cost: $12 ADV- $14 DOS

Where:
World Cafe Live Wilmington
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Learn how climate change affects our world with hands-on activities that can relate to explorers of all ages. Arctic Adventure and Rainforest Explorer visitors can take on the role of an Arctic...

Cost: Adults: $9 Children (3-17): $7 Seniors (60+): $8 Under 3: FREE Members: FREE

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Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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When the kids have a day off but the parents don’t, let them spend the day off of school doing something really cool…having fun at DMNH! Enjoy games, crafts, activities, and even a hot dog...

Cost: $20 for Members, $25 for Non-Members.

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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January 3 - 28  “Winter Group Show” Rotating Group Show features a variety of art in different styles and media. Custom Framing & Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery Hours:...

Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
Greenville, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-654-8638
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Science is for everyone! Join us for hands on crafts and activities that highlight science contributions to natural history from scientists all around the world. Learn how YOU can make a difference...

Cost: Free with Admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 130-265-89111
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January 14, 15, 16 – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Invention Convention Lights, camera, action! This year’s Invention Convention features hands-on video...

Cost: $8 for adults, $6 for children between 4 and 14, and free for children under 4 a

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Hagley Museum
Telephone: (302) 65802400 x 238
Contact Name: Jessica Eisenbrey
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January 3 - 28  “Winter Group Show” Rotating Group Show features a variety of art in different styles and media. Custom Framing & Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery Hours:...

Cost: free

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

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Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30AM-12:00PM Fall session: Thursday, Dec 1st thru Thursday, December 15th Winter session: Tuesday, January 17th thru Thursday, March 30th   Drop in on Nature is...

Cost: see description

Where:
The Annex
501 Chandler Mill Rd
Kennett Square, PA  19348
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Sponsor: The Land Conservancy
Telephone: 610-347-0347 ext.104
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East Coast Garden Center Indoor Farmers Market Nov 8, 2016 - April 11, 2017  11 am- 2 pm 25 vendors Location:  East Coast Garden Center 30366 Cordrey Rd Millsboro, DE 19966 302-945-3489

Cost: frr

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East Coast Garden Center
30366 Cordrey Rd
Millsboro, DE  19966
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East Coast Garden Center Indoor Farmer's Marke 25 vendors

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Where:
East Coast Garden Center
30366 Cordrey Rd
Millsboro, DE  19966
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Telephone: 302-945-3489
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A four-week series of ballroom dancing classes taught by teachers from the BlueBallroom. Tuesdays starting Jan. 10. Classes are $30 a lesson for Non-Members. Non-Member slots are limited. For...

Cost: $30

Where:
University and Whist Club
805 N Broom St
Wilmington, DE  19806
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The Cinema & the Arts film series proudly presents a screening of the documentary ART BASTARD on  Tuesday, January 17, 7:00 pm, at Cinema Art Theater, 17701 Dartmouth Drive in Dartmouth Plaza,...

Cost: $9

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
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January 3 - 28  “Winter Group Show” Rotating Group Show features a variety of art in different styles and media. Custom Framing & Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery Hours:...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

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The Division of Public Health offers its annual free flu vaccination event in the Legislative Hall Library, ground floor, 411 Legislative Ave., Dover, DE, on January 18, 2017, from 11:00 a.m. to...

Cost: FREE

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Legislative Hall Library
411 Legislative Ave.
Dover, DE  19901
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Sponsor: Division of Public Health
Telephone: 800-282-8672
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Do you want to learn how to make soap? This is your chance! Join me for a fun and informative class @ Liquid Alchemy. I will teach you how to create your own recipe and the in-and-outs of soap...

Cost: 45

Where:
Liquid Alchemy
28 Brookside Dr.
, DE  19804
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Sponsor: Rocker Soaps + Herbals
Telephone: 302-544-0391
Contact Name: Rachel Binkley
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Do you want to learn how to make soap? This is your chance! Join me for a fun and informative class @ Liquid Alchemy. I will teach you how to create your own recipe and the in-and-outs of soap...

Cost: 45.00

Where:
Liquid Alchemy
28 Brookside Dr.
Wilmington, DE  19804
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Sponsor: Rocker Soaps + Herbals
Telephone: 302-544-0391
Contact Name: Rachel Binkley
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January 3 - 28  “Winter Group Show” Rotating Group Show features a variety of art in different styles and media. Custom Framing & Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery Hours:...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30AM-12:00PM Fall session: Thursday, Dec 1st thru Thursday, December 15th Winter session: Tuesday, January 17th thru Thursday, March 30th   Drop in on Nature is...

Cost: see description

Where:
The Annex
501 Chandler Mill Rd
Kennett Square, PA  19348
View map »


Sponsor: The Land Conservancy
Telephone: 610-347-0347 ext.104
Website »

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Guest speakers Patty Dailey-Lewis, executive director of the Beau Biden Foundation, and Delaware Family Court commissioner Loretta Young will discuss how participation in social media can too...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilmington University - Doberstein Admissions Ctr.
320 N DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE  19805
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Sponsor: Wilmington University College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
Telephone: 302-295-1164
Contact Name: Dr. Johanna Bishop
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Thursdays from 4:00PM-5:30PM Fall session: December 1st, 8th and 15th Winter session: Starts January 19th, every other Thursday until March 30th This program is based entirely outdoors and is...

Cost: Cost: $30 for TLC members / $40 for non-members

Where:
Bucktoe Creek Preserve
432 Sharp Rd
Avondale, PA  19311
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Sponsor: The Land Conservancy
Telephone: 610-347-0347 ext.104
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The 3rd Place and Bike Lane Cafe along with WestSide Grows and Delaware Permaculture bring you the West 7th Street Bazaar.  Happening EVERY 3rd Thursday of the month from January through May,...

Cost: Free Admission

Where:
The 3rd Place
1139 W. 7th Street
Wilmington, DE  19805
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Sponsor: West Side Grows
Telephone: 302-690-9459
Contact Name: Delaware Permaculture
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January 19 – Thursday – 6:30 p.m. Research Seminar: Amyrs Williams (Wesleyan University) – Reimagining the Modern Farm The seminar is open to the public and is based on a paper that is...

Cost: $0

Where:
Copeland Room, Hagley Library
298 Buck Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 65802400
Contact Name: Carol Lockman
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The Resident Ensemble Players, Delaware’s professional acting company performing at the University of Delaware, presents The Bells by Theresa Rebeck. During the great Yukon gold rush of the...

Cost: $15 - $30

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: (302) 831-2204
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HIGH & MIGHTY BRASS BAND There’s a reason that musical trailblazers from Galactic to DJ Logic have recently chosen to collaborate with High and Mighty Brass Band! and legends such as Dr. John,...

Cost: $15

Where:
World Cafe Live Wilmington
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 215-222-1400
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January 3 - 28  “Winter Group Show” Rotating Group Show features a variety of art in different styles and media. Custom Framing & Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery Hours:...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Formed in 1992, Splintered Sunlight quickly became the most popular Grateful Dead Tribute band in the Philadelphia area, gaining praise from Dead Heads and Non Heads alike. Since that time,...

Cost: $10

Where:
World Cafe Live At The Queen
500 N Market St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Meeting every Friday, Bayhealth Kent General Hospital, 640 s. State Street, Dover, 7:30 pm., Private Dining Room #3 in the basement. For those who have, or think they may have a gambling problem....

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General Hospital
640 S. State Street
Private Dining Room #3
Dover, DE  19901
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Telephone: 800-855-2CALLGA
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Ah, typecasting—the baritone is always the bad guy! In Devils, Drunks & Dastardly Dudes, we’ll go on an operatic journey of men behaving badly. We’ll add a tenor to the mix, too… but we...

Cost: $29-$59

Where:
OperaDelaware Studio
4 South Poplar St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: OperaDelaware
Telephone: 302-442-7809
Contact Name: Mary Wilcosky
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The Resident Ensemble Players, Delaware’s professional acting company performing at the University of Delaware, presents The Bells by Theresa Rebeck. During the great Yukon gold rush of the...

Cost: $15 - $30

Where:
Thompson Theatre, Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Rd.
Newark, DE  19716
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Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: (302) 831-2204
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Amateur and professional creators from the Wilmington community and beyond will sketch, paint and sculpt side-by-side with DCAD students, alumni, faculty and staff as nude and costumed male...

Cost: $30 per person

Where:
Delaware College of Art and Design
600 N. Market St.
Wilmington, DE  19081
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Sponsor: Delaware College of Art and Design
Telephone: 302-622-8000 x 123
Contact Name: Mark Tajzler
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January 3 - 28  “Winter Group Show” Rotating Group Show features a variety of art in different styles and media. Custom Framing & Gift Certificates are always available. Gallery Hours:...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

From foxes and beavers to cats and dogs, all mammals benefit from open space! Discover the signs of mammals in winter and learn about human impact on mammal habitat and population survival. Join...

Cost: FREE for TLC members / $10 for non-members

Where:
Bucktoe Creek Preserve
432 Sharp Rd
Avondale, PA  19311
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Sponsor: The Land Conservancy
Telephone: 610-347-0347 ext.104
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The Rehoboth Beach Film Society and the Cape Henlopen Educational Foundation are proud to present The Metropolitan Opera’s live broadcast of Charles Gounod’s ROMÉO ET JULIETTE on Saturday,...

Cost: $15 - $25

Where:
Cape Henlopen High School Theater
1250 Kings Highway
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 130-264-59095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
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The Rehoboth Beach Film Society announces the next play in the exciting series of National Theatre Live screenings. National Theatre Live is a groundbreaking project that presents the best of...

Cost: $18-$20

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
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Coastal Concerts in downtown Lewes will host a presentation by one of the most recognized, honored and versatile musicians in the world, the legendary two-time Grammy Award-winning clarinetist...

Cost: $30. Ages 10-18 and one adult per youth.

Where:
Bethel United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall
Fourth & Market Streets
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Coastal Concerts, Inc.
Telephone: 888-212-6458
Contact Name: Edna Ellett
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Ovations Dinner Theatre hosts an interactive Mafia Murder Mystery dinner. Ticket includes a 3-course Italian dinner and the performance. Tickets are $45 for Non-Members and Non-Member seating is...

Cost: 45

Where:
Ballroom at University and Whist Club
805 N. Broom St.
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Bethany Beach – When local businessman Tim Hill was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (“ALS”) in 2014, he set on a mission to help other people who were diagnosed with...

Cost: $20 General Admission

Where:
Frankford Fire Hall
7 Main Street
Frankford, DE  19945
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The Resident Ensemble Players, Delaware’s professional acting company performing at the University of Delaware, presents The Bells by Theresa Rebeck. During the great Yukon gold rush of the...

Cost: $15 - $30

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


Sponsor: Resident Ensemble Players
Telephone: (302) 831-2204
Website »

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AM RADIO Have you ever perked up when the radio plays a song that first hit popular stations when you were young? Do you turn the volume up to obnoxious levels and sing along? Music can bring us...

Cost: $10 + FEES

Where:
World Cafe Live Wilmington
500 N Market St
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 215-222-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern
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