Over 25 Things to do in Delaware This January
Keep the winter blues at bay with a variety of concerts, musicals and art displays.
Catch musician Leyla McCalla at the Arden Concert Guild on Jan. 12.//photo courtesy of Arden Concert Guild
Week of Jan. 1-5
Terrific Trains Family Program
Jan. 5 • Chadds Ford, Pa.
All aboard! We know how sad it is to pack up all-things Christmas until next year, but it has to happen, folks. Luckily, the Brandywine River Museum of Art isn't ready to put the trains away just yet. Bring the family out for one more choo-choo-choo, and make a colorful chugga-chugga-chugga of your own. All aboard at 10 a.m.
Seussical the Musical
Jan. 5-27 • Wilmington
What's better than the Cat in the Hat, Horton, The Grinch and Thing 1 and Thing 2? All of them together on one stage. There will be rhyming. There will be laughing. There will be silliness. And there will be joy—and, if all goes well, there will be early bedtimes for all. All shows begin at 2 p.m. at the Delaware Children's Theatre.
Week of Jan. 6-12
The Delaware Contemporary's January Opening Reception 2019
Jan. 11 • Wilmington
Are you a fan of the all-you-can-eat model? Then try this all-you-can-art buffet at the Delaware Contemporary in Wilmington. One night, three kickoffs. "Origins" is all about three-dimensional work, a collaborative project between Delaware Contemporary founder Rick Rothrock and longtime supporter Stan Smokler. Another dynamic duo, founding member Graham Dougherty and long-time studio artist Ruth Ansel, join creative forces with "The Far is Near," an exhibit of paintings that take color beyond mere visuals. And go to "New Heights" with Erica Loustau, an assistant professor of art and sculpture at West Chester University, whose aerial sculptures just might force your eyes away from your phone and toward the skies. This three-for-one deal is a must for the art lover.
Cards Against Humanity
Jan. 8, 15, 22 and 29 • Wilmington
Listen. We get it. The holidays were tough. Wilmington's Oddity Bar (yes, the Kesha bar) has the perfect weekly antidote: Cards Against Humanity every Tuesday night. Come solo or with a group, but be advised: public shaming is involved. (Pro tip: Watch out for the unique Oddity Bar cards thrown in the pile.) Get loose in Wilmington at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Leyla McCalla at Arden Concert Guild
Jan. 12 • Arden
You've never seen an act like Leyla McCalla. The New York-born Haitian-American living in New Orleans soaks up culture like a sponge, then wrings it out through her earthy, soulful vocals. She sings in French, Haitian-Creole and English while playing cello, tenor banjo and guitar. After her first album, "Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes," was named album of the year, McCalla dug even deeper into her craft. The fruits of that labor will be on proud display at the Arden Concert Gild Jan. 12 when she debuts her newest work. Stamp your musical passport at 8 p.m.
Week of Jan. 13-19
The Phantom Tollbooth
Jan. 17 • Wilmington
While we don't think every princess needs rescuing, sometimes even the bravest tiara-wearer needs a little help from a friend. But can you imagine having two princesses to have to watch out for? That's Milo's problem. He finds himself on an exotic quest to do a solid for Princess Rhyme and Princess Reason, who are caught in the war between Words and Numbers. On the way, our guy Milo learns a lot about friendship, curiosity and knowledge. Not bad for a day's work. See "The Phantom Tollbooth" at The Grand, at 9:30 a.m. or noon.
Cultural Crossroads: MLK Jr. and Black History Tribute
Jan. 18 • Wilmington
Clarence and Jacqueline Faulcon perform at the Musical School of Delaware for an evening that pays homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others who personified black excellence. Explore the connections between Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi—did you even know there were any? If you've got rhymes, you can school folks at the onstage lyric writing workshop in celebration of Nat King Cole's 100th birthday. Take notes during a cooking demo of traditional foods of Trinidad. The Music School of Delaware's student jazz combo will also pay tribute to Michael Jackson on the 40th anniversary of "Off the Wall." It all starts at 7 p.m.
Jan. 18 • Dover
Comedian, actor and impressionist Frank Caliendo is the guy who makes you spit out your Buffalo Wild Wings on game day with his hilarious bits on FOX NFL Sunday Pregame and ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown. Yeah, that guy. If he's funny in 30-second spots, imagine the damage he can to do on a stage for two hours. Check him out in Dover.
Jan. 18 • Wilmington
The show-stopping attraction created by the musical team behind the hit movies "Drumline" and "Drumline: A New Beat," has already played on some of the biggest theatre stages in America, Japan and Korea. After performing more than 300 shows since 2009, it's time for a whole new vibe, with new music and choreography. The legendary Historically Black College and University (HBCU) band experience comes alive at The Grand in Wilmington.
Jan. 19 • Lewes
All the way from the Bay, the San Francisco-based Baroque specialty ensemble is back in Lewes by popular demand. Fronted by master violinist David Greenberg, this lighthearted program will feature soulful tunes and merry jigs, Scottish dances and folk. Since their founding in 1990, they've been called "some of the finest Baroque musicians in the world." Catch these Californians in concert at 2 p.m.
Jan. 19- March 24 • Kennett Square, Pa.
Are you one of the folks who takes down the Christmas tree Jan. 2? If so, we applaud your no-nonsense approach to the end of the season. May we recommend you continue de-seasoning by ditching the winter whites for a world of dazzling color at Longwood Gardens, where you can stroll through thousands of orchids in bloom? Yep. We thought so.
Week of Jan. 20-26
Jan. 20-21 • Wilmington
The way things are going, don’t be surprised if we all have to pack it up and head to space. And if we're going to live in space, then there are a few burning questions—will Wi-Fi work? Do they have Fortnite there? And most important—what the heck do we wear? Come on down to Hagley Museum's annual Invention Convention and figure it out. The problems for young inventors to solve have to do with space fashion, space food and that whole how-to-breathe thing. Bring your best idea to the table, and leave with your very own patent, you little genius, you. The all-day brain-a-thon starts at 10 a.m.
School Day Off Camp
Jan. 21 • Wilmington
Well, the kids are off, but the parents most likely aren't. Take a sick day? Use vacation? No way. Let the children hang at the Delaware Museum of Natural History for the day. Day Camp boasts crafts, games, activities and more. Shh: don't tell them this, but they'll actually be learning. Drop off as early as 8:30 a.m.
Amber Brown is Not a Crayon
Jan. 24 • Wilmington
Not to be dramatic you guys, but Amber Brown is pretty much having the worst year ever. Life was perfect with BFF Justin Daniels, who has seen Amber through some tough growing-up-is-hard stuff. But when Justin moves away, feisty Amber starts feeling blue. But then one day she decides she’s not going to let her problems get the best of her, as she learns about patience and forgiveness. See it at The Grand at 9:30 a.m. or noon.
Minor Fantastical Kingdoms
Jan. 24-Feb. 10 • Newark
Stung by personal, political and economic setbacks, a young, urban couple builds an off-the-grid, tiny house in an isolated mountain paradise—or did they? When family, friends and some quirky neighbors come for a 4th of July barbecue, recriminations fly, revelations come to light and reconciliations are hard won against a backdrop of personal and literal fireworks. Michael Gotch, a REP actor/director/playwright, puts on a humorous and very timely look at our world today. Check it out from The University of Delaware's Resident Ensemble Players.
Jan. 26 • Wilmington
The last time Dickinson Theatre Organ Society welcomed the young Nathan Avakian, he invited high school students to create silent films to fit several selections he composed. This time, those films get their premiere in the spotlight. Check it out in Wilmington at 5:30 p.m.
Ending this month
Yuletide at Winterthur
Thru Jan. 6 • Wilmington
Not even Chip and Joanna Gaines could find a single holiday element out of place at the Henry Francis du Pont mansion this season. Yuletide sparkles with some good old-fashioned du Pont razzle dazzle—breathtaking trees, a magical 18-room doll house and glittery glass ornaments, all gussied up with an old-school, 1800s vibe. The manse awaits you daily at Winterthur.
A Brandywine Christmas
Thru Jan. 6 • Chadds Ford, Pa.
If the kids are still off school and driving you nuts, the train is still running at A Brandywine Christmas. The wonderful folks at the Chadds Ford-based Brandywine River Museum have created a winter wonderland for all your little conductors. This holiday display features an extensive O-gauge model railroad that runs almost 2,000 feet long and includes more than 1,000 pieces: we’re just glad it’s not in our playrooms.
Chesapeake City Winterfest
Thru Jan. 6 • Chesapeake City, Md.
There's still time to enjoy all the Christmas activities at the canal: carolers, carriage rides, and, of course, the entire Claus clan. Santa may officially be back at the North Pole, but that's not stopping our holiday cheer.
Holidays & Snowdays
Thru Jan. 6 • Chadds Ford, Pa.
There were a lot of seasonal shindigs to get through this year, so we won't blame you if you missed a few here or there. It's still not too late to hit the beautifully curated exhibit "Holidays & Snowdays: Illustrations for Children's Books," running through the New Year. The exhibit examines the work of three distinct illustrators and their diverse—culturally and design-wise—palettes. Check out the artistry of an unexpected snow day, the vibe of the holidays in 1920s Harlem and a celebration of the spirit of Hanukkah.
From Here to There
Thru Jan. 6 • Wilmington
If ever there was an aptly named exhibit during the holiday season, the Delaware Museum of Natural History nailed it. With all the zigging and zagging from one seasonal obligation to the next, take a pit stop at DMNH with the kids. This hands-on exhibit invites you to lift, launch and levitate while learning about gravity, friction and the laws of motion. Speaking of motion, calling all Junior Marty McFlys—there's a hovercraft. Seriously. Check it out in Wilmington.
A Longwood Christmas
Thru Jan. 7 • Kennett Square, Pa.
Head out into a wondrous winter's night at Longwood Gardens. With gloriously illuminated trees, your enchanting evening is tailor made for a beautiful family night—or, in the very least, it's pitch-perfect Insta fodder. Warm up by the fire pit with a mug of hot cocoa, sing along to holiday carols, or just look around—baby, it's beautiful outside. (Daily sells outs are likely, so get your timed tickets in advance).
Biggs Shots 2018
Thru Jan. 27 • Dover
Professional and emerging shutterbugs working and or living in the Mid-Atlantic region descend upon the Biggs Museum in Dover this month for the fifth annual juried photography competition. Wilmington-based portrait and music photographer David Norbut, whose work has been published in The New York Times and at galleries around the globe, serves as juror.
Throughout the month
Politics and Paint
Thru Feb. 3 • Wilmington
While we do'’t suggest talking politics around the dinner table, the subject of "Politics and Paint: Barbara Bodichon and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood" might just make you overly chatty. Early Pre-Raphaelite painter and women's rights campaigner Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon was a woman ahead of her time—the tireless reformer and champion of women's rights helped send women to college and to keep their property, regardless of their marital status. Brotherhood, shmotherhood. Smash the patriarchy at this exhibit at the Delaware Art Museum.
Thru Feb. 17• Chadds Ford, Pa.
THRU 2/17 WINSLOW HOMER To continue their focus on the visually stunning, the Brandywine River Museum of Art hosts an in-depth examination of American painter Winslow Homer, whose work demonstrates the relationships between photography and painting. Explore his body of work, from the 1860s through the 1890s.
In Between There
Thru March 17 • Wilmington
For her first solo exhibition in Delaware, internationally renowned printmaker Shelley Thorstensen uses her work to speak to the uncertainty and fluidity of human consciousness as it reckons with time, space and identity. Catch Thorstensen’s large-scale prints and a series of new drawings in Wilmington at the Delaware Contemporary.
Thru January 2020 • Wilmington
There's no excuse not to step into the imaginative and entertaining world of garden follies at Winterthur—it's only on display now until 2020! Explore a fantastic display of contemporary and historic architectural features—from a Gothic-inspired tower to American summerhouses to a faerie cottage and more—all set within the majestic beauty of Henry Francis du Pont’s 60-acre garden.