Fort Miles, Striking Symbol of World War II, Turns 75

The installation, which currently resides in Cape Henlopen State Park, is an oft-overlooked "historical treasure."


Published:

Photo by Kevin Fleming

It's hard to imagine now, but in 1941 the threat was very, very real. The world was in the early stages of the most devastating war in history, and nobody knew what to expect or when to expect it.

Among threats to the United States, German battleships could steam up Delaware Bay and into the Delaware River to blockade Wilmington and Philadelphia or attack the refineries that lined the river. The strategic importance of the bay and river was evident to everyone, including the War Department.

The fear increased dramatically after Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and pulled the United States into World War II. A mere three days before that day of infamy, a new United States military installation was opened in Lewes. The designers and defenders of that fort saw the specter of German battleships as part of an invading armada, and they were ready to do their duty to protect America’s coast.

The installation was named Fort Miles in honor of Gen. Nelson Appleton Miles. Miles was a native of Massachusetts who served in the Union army during the Civil War, then played a key role in the Indian wars of the 1870s. Fort Miles became a key link in a chain of forts along the Atlantic coast.

This year, Fort Miles, now part of Cape Henlopen State Park, celebrates its 75th anniversary as an important, albeit largely forgotten, part of Delaware’s history.

“Fort Miles opens a window on what life was like back in the 1940s in Sussex County, with war on the horizon and everybody uncertain about the future,” says Gary Wray, president of the Fort Miles Historical Association. “It’s really a historical treasure, and it’s right in our back yard.

“People look at Fort Miles today, and I’m sure many of them don’t understand what it was like back in those early war years. That’s one of our main functions at the Fort Miles Historical Association, to make sure people remember the past and understand what real life was like for the people back then, especially the people in Sussex County.”

Photo by Kevin Fleming 

Gary Wray, president of the Fort Miles Historical Association

In late 1941 and early 1942, America was still reeling from the attack on Pearl Harbor and Germany’s declaration of war on the United States. People on the West Coast were preparing for a possible Japanese invasion, and people on the East Coast were preparing for the sight of German battleships pointing their big guns at our big cities.

That was before the development of early-detection devices—except for primitive radar—and the United States armed forces were woefully undermanned and unprepared. America’s coastlines presented an easy target for an enemy, real or imagined, and every day the radio and newspapers told us about another country overrun by Germany or another island conquered by Japan. America and her allies were on the defensive all over the world.  

“The War in the Atlantic was going on by then, and people [on the East Coast] could see explosions and see ships burning off-shore,” says Jim Hall, the chief of cultural resources for the Delaware State Parks. “Stuff would wash up on the beaches, even life boats with machine gun bullet holes in them. That was real life in an isolated coastal town like Lewes. They really expected to see the German navy steaming over the horizon. In their minds, they could be faced with an invasion at any time, and they did their best to get ready for that possibility.”

The reality ended up being much different, as the Fort Miles installation became obsolete even before it was finished. It didn’t take the military long to realize the real threat to the coast was not a surface fleet but German U-boats. In the first six months of the war, the submarines sank 397 American ships and 2 million tons of cargo off the East Coast. Fourteen ships were sunk off the coast of New Jersey. Fort Miles and other coastal military installations—including the now-familiar observation towers in Lewes, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island—weren’t much use against roving submarines. The strategic importance of those installations faded quickly, though the people of Sussex County didn’t know that at the time. They, like other Americans on both coasts, were afraid.

MANNING THE GUNS

The 2,200 men and women who were stationed at Fort Miles over the course of the war are almost all gone now, as World War II veterans continue to die at the rate of 500 a day. One survivor is Horace Knowles, a former gunner at Fort Miles who is in his 90s. According to friends, Knowles is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and unable to communicate well, but in 2014 he was interviewed by the Pentagon’s in-house television network, The Pentagon Channel, which aired a documentary on Fort Miles called “Recon Extra: Dunes of Defense.”

Knowles joined the Delaware National Guard in 1939 and became part of the 261st Coast Artillery, a unit charged with defending Fort Miles. Later, when it became obvious that Fort Miles wasn’t needed, most of the 261st was transferred to units that fought in the Pacific and in Europe. Knowles was sent to Europe, but by the time he got there, the war was almost over. He fought mostly in mop-up campaigns.

But it’s the early memories of the war that stayed with Knowles long after the final shot.

“We knew Hitler had a heck of a navy, and we were told quite a bit about that,” Knowles says. “We didn’t know if he would attack the East Coast or not. That was the thing that was on my mind.”

That fear was reinforced on Dec. 7, 1941. Knowles recalls being awakened by a knock at his door, then being told by an agitated soldier that he had to report to the fort immediately. “We’ve been attacked!” the soldier shouted. “The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor! Now we’ll be at war!”

“All I could visualize was our boys in Hawaii were being killed,” Knowles says. “And the same thing could happen to us if the Germans had gotten in here on the East Coast.”

The Germans never came close, however. Jim Hall recalls Knowles saying the soldiers at Fort Miles spent more time playing volleyball than drilling with their big guns. War has been described as a few moments of terror surrounded by months of boredom, and boredom, along with the mosquitoes and no-see-ums, ruled at Fort Miles. 

The dunes near Lewes were picked as the site for the guns because they overlooked the entrance to Delaware Bay, their elevation gave observers a good look at the horizon, and they provided good camouflage. The fort eventually consisted of eight batteries and a total of 26 guns, as well as several anti-aircraft guns. 

One of those guns is named for Knowles. A plaque at the site honors his devotion to duty. 

“I was really proud of my gun,” Knowles says. “My gun was the No. 1 gun, and it was on alert at all times. No. 1 gun was the first gun to be fired if we had to fire it. And I was the No. 1 breech man on that gun. We would compete against one another, against the No. 2 gun and Nos. 3 and 4.”

Knowles never had to fire his gun in anger, but there was a protocol set up in case he did.

“Our orders at that time were to fire three shots,’’ he says. “First one ahead of the ship, then [the second] over the ship, then the third one to hit it.”

The citizens of Lewes eventually got to see one of those German U-boats up close and personal. On May 8, 1945, the commander of U-858 received word that Germany had surrendered to the Allies. He was ordered to surrender to the nearest Allied military installation. So on May 9, U-858 surrendered to two ships, the USS Pillsbury and USS Pope, which escorted it to Fort Miles, reaching there on May 14.

After Fort Miles was decommissioned, the government gave 543 acres to the state in 1964. The property became the foundation of Cape Henlopen State Park. In 2005 Fort Miles was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Though it never saw combat, those servicemen and women can still take pride in being America’s sentinels during the early, dark days of World War II.

“I thought we were doing a great job,” Knowles says. “We were protecting our shorelines.”

The current Fort Miles, as seen from a nearby
observation tower.

PRESERVING THE PAST

Fort Miles would probably be all but forgotten if not for the restoration and preservation done by the Fort Miles Historical Association. The group isn’t a few people sitting around talking about the good old days. Started with 23 members in 2003, it now boasts 350 volunteers who lead tours, conduct fundraisers and sweep up after everybody has gone.

“It has developed over the years and just become bigger and stronger,” says Matthew Ritter, who oversees historical sites for the Division of Parks and Recreation. “It’s to the point where if they were to count up their hours, it would be like a full-time staff. Thanks to them, Battery 519 has been restored as a museum and is open for tours. So are restored barracks and other facilities.

“They’re always ready to do what needs to be done, and they do a great job of finding the right person for a specific job, whether it’s a welder or an electrician or whatever,” Ritter adds. “We recently were able to install a new bathroom facility in the Fort Miles area through a grant they wrote. The state didn’t have to put a dime into it, and now we have a facility that not only benefits the visitors to Fort Miles, but other people in the park, as well.”

Wray, president of the Fort Miles Historical Association, came to Delaware in 1965. Working on a master’s degree in Civil War history led him to Fort Delaware and its role as a prison camp. When he started teaching at Cape Henlopen High in Lewes, he realized that Fort Delaware wasn’t the only fortification in the First State, that another interesting history lesson was mostly hidden by sand dunes and scrub brush outside of Lewes.

Visiting the abandoned artillery casements with the Leland C. “Lee” Jennings Jr., the late historian of Delaware State Parks, he saw lots of neglect and disrepair, not to mention graffiti. “I think every kid in Lewes partied in there,” Wray says with a laugh.

Wray and Jennings saw the problems, but they also saw potential, and that led to the formation of the FMHA. It has since grown into one of the most effective preservation groups in the country. Wray says Sussex’s large population of retirees gives him a large pool of volunteers. 

“At any given time there will be 20 to 30 men giving us their time and their sweat equity,” Wray says. “They’re here because they want to be here, because they care, and that makes all the difference.”

The FMHA pulled off a major coup in 2014, when it saved from the scrap heap one of the 16-inch guns from the U.S.S. Missouri, the battleship on which Gen. Douglas MacArthur accepted Japan’s surrender on Sept. 2, 1945, ending World War II. The gun was installed as part of the Battery 519 museum. More recently, the park, with help from its friends, built an artillery park that will hold seven guns.

Wray says volunteer commitment is a major reason the Delaware state parks system was selected as the best managed state park system in the country. He vividly remembers when Ray Bivens, the director of Delaware State Parks, called him from a convention in Las Vegas to tell him the news.

“It was the first time a small state won it, and it was because of all the volunteer hours our people put in,” Wray says. “We had over 110,000 hours of volunteer work, and no other state, per capita, came anywhere close to it. And that’s something everyone in Delaware can take real pride in. We may not have the resources some other, bigger states have, but we did more with what we had.”

That has helped make Fort Miles a popular tourist site. Last year, Cape Henlopen State Park had 2 million visitors, in part because an army of volunteers have made sure the army of soldiers who lived and worked there in the 1940s aren’t forgotten.

“Plain and simple, we could not have done it without them,” says Jim Hall. “We just don’t have the budget or the staff to do it. I’m the chief of cultural resources, and my full-time staff consists of one person to support historical sites and properties. So the historical association and The Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park have been essential in terms of the work they put into the physical structures as well as their fundraising efforts. Those two groups are a formidable force. The fort and the park wouldn’t be the same without them. Because of them, new generations of Americans have a better understanding of what the Greatest Generation lived through.”   


Tours of the Battery 519 museum must be scheduled in advance. Call 645-6852 for information. For general information about Fort Miles and its events, visit www.destateparks.com.

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Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

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

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

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

More information

Bring the family every Tuesday & Thursday night during June, July, and August for a fun experience. Tuesday night join our Nature Guide from Delaware Nature Society to experience and learn...

Cost:

Where:
Dravo Plaza
Wilmington, DE  19801

More information

Bring the family every Tuesday & Thursday night during June, July, and August for a fun experience. Tuesday night join our Nature Guide from Delaware Nature Society to experience and learn about...

Cost:

Where:
Dravo Plaza
Wilmington, DE  19801

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Wither: Exploration of the Forgotten, a photography exhibit by Shelley Koon, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from August 3-31, 2018. The artist will host a free opening reception on...

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

Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

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


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

More information

The Rehoboth Summer Children's conducts week-long camps in theatre and film for ages 5-14. Campers learn basic stage and video skills in a friendly, supportive environment. Camps run 9 am - 3 pm...

Cost: Film Camp $295/Week, Theatre Camp $265/Week

Where:
Rehoboth Summer Childrens Theatre
19285 Holland Glade Rd
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
View map »


Telephone: 302-227-6766
Website »

More information

The Delaware Museum of Natural History's summer exhibit, Mystery of the Mayan Medallion, runs June 23-September 3 during museum hours: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. A...

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

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


Telephone: 302-658-9111
Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

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


Website »

More information

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

Harvey Dinnerstein and Burton Silverman were observers of an event in American history that began with the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat on a public...

Cost: Free with museum admission.

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


Website »

More information

THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

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


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

A giant of post-war documentary photography and film, Danny Lyon helped define a mode of photojournalism in which the picture-maker is deeply and personally embedded in his subject matter. A...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

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


Website »

More information

The Historic Odessa Foundation is pleased to present the exhibit As Precious as Gold: A History of Tea Caddies from The Bramble Collection. The exhibit features more than 150 18th and 19th century...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Historic Houses of Odessa
201 Main Street
Odessa, DE  19730
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Odessa Foundation
Telephone: 130-237-84119
Contact Name: Jennifer Cabell Kostik
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

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

Check www.bluerocks.com for dates, times, and special events.

Cost:

Where:
Frawley Stadium
801 Shipyard Drive
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

Creature Features Daily, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ Noon & 2 pm. Friday, Saturday and Sunday @ 2 pm. Stop by our Creature Feature for a close encounter with one of our zoo education...

Cost: $7-$0

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-571-7747
Website »

More information

Public forum to educate, inform, instruct the community on how to effectively interact with law enforcement officials. Panel Guest include: Wilmington Mayor - Mike Purzycki, Retired FBI, Delaware...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Perfect Will Ministries
11 Parkway Circle
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Perfect Will Ministries
Telephone: 302-325-2225
Contact Name: Pastor Frank Burton Jr.
Website »

More information

Join us on The Patio, voted Best Outdoor Dining by Delaware Today readers! Happy hour 4PM - 6:30PM, live entertainment 6PM - 9PM, local craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, creative gastropub menu,...

Cost: menu items vary

Where:
Hilton Christiana
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

Visit the former dairy and farm while exploring the ever-changing estate landscape on this narrated tram tour. Hear accounts of estate history as you see how we have repurposed historic work areas....

Cost: $5 per person upgrade. Members free.

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


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

More information

Enjoy a 1 hour wine tasting on the river, Wednesdays in June, July and August! Cruise by the scenic Christina River up to the I-495 bridge while enjoying hand selected wines. This unique outing is...

Cost:

Where:
Dravo Plaza
Wilmington, DE  19801

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

Public forum to educate, inform, instruct the community on how to effectively interact with law enforcement officials. Panel Guest include: Wilmington Mayor - Mike Purzycki, Retired FBI, Delaware...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Perfect Will Ministries
11 Parkway Circle
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: Perfect Will Ministries
Telephone: 302-325-2225
Contact Name: Pastor Frank Burton Jr.
Website »

More information

Public forum to educate, inform, instruct the community on how to effectively interact with law enforcement officials. Panel Guest include: Wilmington Mayor - Mike Purzycki, Retired FBI, Delaware...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Perfect Will Ministries
11 Parkway Circle
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Telephone: 302-325-2225

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Wither: Exploration of the Forgotten, a photography exhibit by Shelley Koon, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from August 3-31, 2018. The artist will host a free opening reception on...

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

Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

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


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

More information

The Rehoboth Summer Children's conducts week-long camps in theatre and film for ages 5-14. Campers learn basic stage and video skills in a friendly, supportive environment. Camps run 9 am - 3 pm...

Cost: Film Camp $295/Week, Theatre Camp $265/Week

Where:
Rehoboth Summer Childrens Theatre
19285 Holland Glade Rd
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
View map »


Telephone: 302-227-6766
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

The Delaware Museum of Natural History's summer exhibit, Mystery of the Mayan Medallion, runs June 23-September 3 during museum hours: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. A...

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

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


Telephone: 302-658-9111
Website »

More information

Harvey Dinnerstein and Burton Silverman were observers of an event in American history that began with the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat on a public...

Cost: Free with museum admission.

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


Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

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


Website »

More information

The Historic Odessa Foundation is pleased to present the exhibit As Precious as Gold: A History of Tea Caddies from The Bramble Collection. The exhibit features more than 150 18th and 19th century...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Historic Houses of Odessa
201 Main Street
Odessa, DE  19730
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Odessa Foundation
Telephone: 130-237-84119
Contact Name: Jennifer Cabell Kostik
Website »

More information

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

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

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


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

More information

THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

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


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

A giant of post-war documentary photography and film, Danny Lyon helped define a mode of photojournalism in which the picture-maker is deeply and personally embedded in his subject matter. A...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

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


Website »

More information

Get lost in a book during Mt. Cuba’s Story Time in the Gardens. Children are invited to visit the gardens on Thursday mornings for a story from a nature-themed children’s book. Intended for...

Cost: General Admission

Where:
Mt. Cuba Center
3120 Barley Mill Rd.
Hockessin, DE  19707
View map »


Sponsor: Mt. Cuba Center
Telephone: 302-239-8883
Contact Name: Sara Stevenson
Website »

More information

Story Time Thursdays 10:30 - 11 a.m. Enjoy fun animal stories read by our own zoo story-telling team! Story time takes place in the otter circle, in the main zoo, and may include a craft,...

Cost: $7 - $0

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-571-7747
Website »

More information

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

Check www.bluerocks.com for dates, times, and special events.

Cost:

Where:
Frawley Stadium
801 Shipyard Drive
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

The Farm Stand is located in front of the Museum Store at the Cottage on Thursdays, July–September, 1:30–5:30 pm. Visit us to select fresh, local produce. Parking is available behind the...

Cost: free

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


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

More information

Creature Features Daily, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ Noon & 2 pm. Friday, Saturday and Sunday @ 2 pm. Stop by our Creature Feature for a close encounter with one of our zoo education...

Cost: $7-$0

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-571-7747
Website »

More information

Westside Family Healthcare is hosting its 3rd annual community event at our Northeast health center. Designed to provide community-based resources, this event invites community members to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Westside Healthcare Center
1020 Forrest Ave.
Dover, DE
View map »


Sponsor: Westside Family Healthcare
Telephone: 302-656-8292
Contact Name: External Affairs
Website »

More information

See the gardens in a new light. Our gardens are open until 8 pm on Thursdays through August.  Stop by after work or spend the entire day and evening.

Cost: General Admission

Where:
Mt. Cuba Center
3120 Barley Mill Rd.
Hockessin, DE  19707
View map »


Sponsor: Mt. Cuba Center
Telephone: 302-239-8883
Contact Name: Sara Stevenson
Website »

More information

Join us on The Patio, voted Best Outdoor Dining by Delaware Today readers! Happy hour 4PM - 6:30PM, live entertainment 6PM - 9PM, local craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, creative gastropub menu,...

Cost: menu items vary

Where:
Hilton Christiana
100 Continental Dr.
Newark, DE  19713
View map »

More information

Relax and unwind after a long day with the Museum’s popular Happy Hour series. Enjoy live music on the terrace with friends or tour the galleries indoors. Special themed nights will be scheduled...

Cost: Museum galleries are open with free admission every Thursday from 4–8 pm

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


Website »

More information

June 14, 21, & 28 July 12, 19, 26 August 9, 16, 23 & 30 5:00–9:30 pm On all other Thursdays, June–August, join us to stroll through the Follies exhibition or to take a twilight tram tour of...

Cost: members free, $10 per nonmember

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

Set sail on the Riverboat Queen for an evening of delicious barbecue and a taste of various vintages of bourbon on the water! Enjoy a complimentary Old Forrester Manhattan while boarding, then join...

Cost: $55

Where:
Riverboat Queen
Riverfront
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

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

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

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

More information

View art created by breast cancer patients and survivors through in a series of healing arts workshops. This evening will be devoted to learning techniques for restorative and therapeutic artistic...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Bring the family every Tuesday & Thursday night during June, July, and August for a fun experience. Tuesday night join our Nature Guide from Delaware Nature Society to experience and learn...

Cost:

Where:
Dravo Plaza
Wilmington, DE  19801

More information

This summer, community organizations will host a series of public forums focused on racial and social justice, civil rights, and education.For participating organizations, visit delart.org....

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Bring the family every Tuesday & Thursday night during June, July, and August for a fun experience. Tuesday night join our Nature Guide from Delaware Nature Society to experience and learn about...

Cost:

Where:
Dravo Plaza
Wilmington, DE  19801

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Wither: Exploration of the Forgotten, a photography exhibit by Shelley Koon, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from August 3-31, 2018. The artist will host a free opening reception on...

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

Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

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


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

More information

The Rehoboth Summer Children's conducts week-long camps in theatre and film for ages 5-14. Campers learn basic stage and video skills in a friendly, supportive environment. Camps run 9 am - 3 pm...

Cost: Film Camp $295/Week, Theatre Camp $265/Week

Where:
Rehoboth Summer Childrens Theatre
19285 Holland Glade Rd
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
View map »


Telephone: 302-227-6766
Website »

More information

The Delaware Museum of Natural History's summer exhibit, Mystery of the Mayan Medallion, runs June 23-September 3 during museum hours: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. A...

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

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


Telephone: 302-658-9111
Website »

More information

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

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

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


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

More information

THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

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


Telephone: 302-656-6466
Website »

More information

The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

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


Website »

More information

Harvey Dinnerstein and Burton Silverman were observers of an event in American history that began with the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat on a public...

Cost: Free with museum admission.

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


Website »

More information

The Historic Odessa Foundation is pleased to present the exhibit As Precious as Gold: A History of Tea Caddies from The Bramble Collection. The exhibit features more than 150 18th and 19th century...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Historic Houses of Odessa
201 Main Street
Odessa, DE  19730
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Odessa Foundation
Telephone: 130-237-84119
Contact Name: Jennifer Cabell Kostik
Website »

More information

A giant of post-war documentary photography and film, Danny Lyon helped define a mode of photojournalism in which the picture-maker is deeply and personally embedded in his subject matter. A...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

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


Website »

More information

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

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

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

More information

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

Cost: $25–$45

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


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

More information

Departures are at 12:30 & 2:30 PM. Take a leisurely 1.5-hour round-trip train ride up the Red Clay Valley to our Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove, where you'll enjoy a half-hour layover to have a...

Cost: Adults: $14+; Seniors (60+): $13+; Children (2-12): $12+; Children under 2: FREE

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


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

More information

Check www.bluerocks.com for dates, times, and special events.

Cost:

Where:
Frawley Stadium
801 Shipyard Drive
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »

More information

MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
Website »

More information

Creature Features Daily, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ Noon & 2 pm. Friday, Saturday and Sunday @ 2 pm. Stop by our Creature Feature for a close encounter with one of our zoo education...

Cost: $7-$0

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Telephone: 302-571-7747
Website »

More information

It's Date Night! Get your sweetie and come to The Suburban Farmhouse for music, food, and storytelling, presented by Devil's Party Press, Delaware's best local press. Meet the...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Suburban Farmhouse
108 Federal Street
Milton, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Devil's Party Press
Contact Name: Dianne Pearce
Website »

More information

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

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

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

More information

The event will feature live music performed by "Sweet Steele" and "Cocktails @ 3," delicious food catered by Benvenuto, LLC, and raffles throughout the evening....

Cost: $60 per person

Where:
Sunset Cove
3 Haven Lake
Milford, DE  19963
View map »


Sponsor: The Auxiliary of Milford Memorial Hospital
Telephone: 302-422-5009
Contact Name: Gerry Morris

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Your feast begins as soon as you board the Beautiful Riverboat Queen- your 2 hours cruise will include plenty of time to enjoy continuous crabs, corn on the cob and red bliss potatoes. In addition,...

Cost: $75

Where:
Riverboat Queen
Riverfront
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Dueling Pianos at Uptown! features a new duo of talented and entertaining pianists every month. Audience driven so it's never the same show twice! Buy Tickets Here! http://bit.ly/2JioXS1

Cost: $15

Where:
Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center
226 N High Street
West Chester, PA  19380
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After performing for sold-out crowds and receiving standing ovations earlier this year, longtime Eagle Jon Dorenbos returns to SugarHouse Casino this summer for two inspirational magic shows. “An...

Cost: $45-65

Where:
SugarHouse Casino
1001 N. Delaware Ave
Philadelphia, PA  19125
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Have you ever pondered the genius behind the invention of the s’more, or wondered how anyone could survive a camping trip without bug spray and quick-dry fabrics?  Happy Campers! has answers for...

Cost: members free, included with admission

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennet Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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More than two dozen environmental organizations will be at Winterthur for this special day celebrating nature and the environment in the First State. The day will include fun, hands-on workshops,...

Cost: Members $10 per adult and $3 per child; nonmembers $20 per adult and $6 per chil

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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The Delaware Museum of Natural History's summer exhibit, Mystery of the Mayan Medallion, runs June 23-September 3 during museum hours: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. A...

Cost: Free with Museum admission: $9 ages 3-59, $8 for seniors, $2 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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Harvey Dinnerstein and Burton Silverman were observers of an event in American history that began with the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat on a public...

Cost: Free with museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19806
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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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The Delaware Art Museum commissioned a project by New York-based artist Hank Willis Thomas which explores identity, history, and the actions motivating contemporary society. Thomas will interpret...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

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

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Parkway
Wilmington, DE  19350
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THE FIGURE: THE INDICATIVE AND THE ALLUSIVE Group Exhibition  April 1 - August 26, 2018 Opening Reception: Friday, April 6, 2018 | 5 - 9 PM during Art Loop with Panel Discussion: 6 - 7 PM...

Cost: FREE

Where:
The Delaware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 302-656-6466
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The Historic Odessa Foundation is pleased to present the exhibit As Precious as Gold: A History of Tea Caddies from The Bramble Collection. The exhibit features more than 150 18th and 19th century...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Historic Houses of Odessa
201 Main Street
Odessa, DE  19730
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Sponsor: Historic Odessa Foundation
Telephone: 130-237-84119
Contact Name: Jennifer Cabell Kostik
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A giant of post-war documentary photography and film, Danny Lyon helped define a mode of photojournalism in which the picture-maker is deeply and personally embedded in his subject matter. A...

Cost: Free with Museum admission.

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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Departures are at 12:30 & 2:30 PM. Take a leisurely 1.5-hour round-trip train ride up the Red Clay Valley to our Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove, where you'll enjoy a half-hour layover to have a...

Cost: Adults: $14+; Seniors (60+): $13+; Children (2-12): $12+; 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
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Escape Brandywine is a new, historically-immersive Escape Room presented by the Chadds Ford Historical Society! Designed like other popular escape room games, Escape...

Cost: $28

Where:
The Chadds Ford Historical Society
1736 Creek Road
Chadds Ford, PA  19317
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Check www.bluerocks.com for dates, times, and special events.

Cost:

Where:
Frawley Stadium
801 Shipyard Drive
Wilmington, DE  19801
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MAB offers high quality and affordable ballet training for ages 4 - 18 and Adult Ballet.  MAB is now offering classes in Tap and Jazz.  Classes begin Tuesday, September 4, 2018.   For more...

Cost: see website

Where:
Mid Atlantic Ballet
506 Interchange Blvd
Middletown, DE  19711
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Sponsor: Mid Atlantic Ballet
Telephone: 302-266-6362
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Creature Features Daily, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ Noon & 2 pm. Friday, Saturday and Sunday @ 2 pm. Stop by our Creature Feature for a close encounter with one of our zoo education...

Cost: $7-$0

Where:
Brandywine Zoo
1001 North Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19802
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Telephone: 302-571-7747
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Take in the elegant sunsets aboard the Riverboat Queen on our Thursday Sunset Dinner Cruises! Start your weekend early dockside with this delicious BBQ on the River buffet, featuring options to...

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

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