The Issue: Greater Expectations

Schools are doing better than ever at educating children with learning differences. But services to transition them into adult life are few.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



It wasn’t easy, but Cathy Cowin (left) and her school district worked out a compromise while implementing Alyssa’s individual education plan. photograph by Christian Kaye http://www.transitdesigns.com

 

 

Jackie Erb recalls the day her son Billy, then 6, told her he wanted a chess set. Jackie hesitated. Billy, diagnosed with a generalized learning disability and Attention Deficit Disorder, persisted.

“I thought chess would be too complex for him, and I didn’t want to see him becoming frustrated and lose self-confidence,” Jackie says. “He was already giving us indications he knew he was somehow different from his classmates.”

But Billy won out, and when Jackie showed him how the pieces moved, she was surprised.

“He picked the game up right away, and pretty soon he was beating the rest of the family,” she says.

Fast forward to 2006 and Billy’s fifth-grade class at the University of Delaware’s College School. The class is composed of students with a variety of learning differences, including dyslexia, ADD, and other social and behavioral disorders. Billy became part of the College School’s chess team for The Delaware State Elementary School Chess Championship, which involved 75 students from 20 schools. Billy’s team was the only entry featuring children with learning differences.

And it won overall first place honors. Two of the team’s members won individual first-place awards.

The success of these “impaired” learners illustrates a dilemma in public education: How do you maximize the potential for all children, ranging from those with profound physical and mental disabilities to those with high-functioning social and behavioral disorders?

The search for an answer can exhaust the patience, resources and hope of parents, teachers, administrators, researchers—even attorneys—involved in expanding opportunities and outcomes for the 17,000 Delaware children identified with special educational needs.

The effort to provide opportunity and fulfillment for children with special needs has three main components: intervention, inclusion and transition. And these three components are driven by three others: information, advocacy and awareness.

The picture of how well Delaware meets the educational needs of disabled students changes as you move from the particular to the general. Shifting from individual parents to special education teachers to school administrators and the state’s Department of Education shows a change in attitude from combative to warily optimistic to, finally, hopeful of changing strategies to meet newly developing realities.

Gregory Lavelle is the father of a severely disabled 6-year-old son, Matthew, a member of the Brandywine Special Needs PTA and a state representative from the 11th district.

“We need to spread more information about what’s available for parents,” Lavelle says, “but we have to change the combativeness that characterizes the relationship between parents and schools into one that is more collaborative.”

Cathy Cowin’s daughter Alyssa has been diagnosed with cognitive disabilities and expressive language disorder. Cowin recalls “intimidating tactics” by her school district when it came to implementing Alyssa’s individual education plan. “Basically, the district tried to dictate to us the services it was going to provide,” she says.

The Cowins and the district eventually worked out a compromise, but Cowin maintains it happened only because of an exception built into Alyssa’s IEP, a kind of binding contract between schools and parents of children with special needs. Developing an IEP, however, can be draining.

John and Valerie Werner are adoptive parents of 19-year-old Andy, who was born with profound cognitive disabilities, cerebral palsy and life-threatening seizures. The Werners say the process of getting proper resources is exhausting.

“Many parents say, ‘I give up,’ and you can’t really blame them,” says John. “But you can’t let it exhaust you. One principal told Val and I that we were successful in getting the support we believed was necessary for Andy because we were the squeaky wheel.”

Yet, John says, many parents don’t attend meetings to develop education plans for their children. Part of that problem may be an educational deficiency on the part of the parents. They simply can’t sift through all the information that could help them, identify the resources that may be available or develop an approach for articulating the need for those resources. Organizations such as the Parent Information Center were created to address this information shortfall.

Parent Information Centers, mandated by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), help parents become better advocates. “We also work with the state’s Department of Education to help ensure that individual school districts are adhering to federal and state law,” says Marie-Anne Aghazadian, executive director for the Parent Information Center of Delaware.

Aghazadian says the strength of her organization comes from being part of a national network that can provide training for parents. “The Department of Education is committed to working with families to obtain the resources they require for their children,” she says. “The difficulties arise with the individual school districts that retain great power and autonomy. This leads to a patchwork of progress that needs better coordination.”

In Delaware, says John Werner, “It boils down to the individual teacher. When we had a good one, Andy’s progress was noticeable.” Says Valerie, “When you don’t have a good teacher, not only is there no progress, there’s regression, and you can wind up losing all of what that good teacher had provided.”

Effective dissemination of information can lead to greater advocacy, which in turn heightens awareness. Nowhere is heightened awareness more critical than in the issue of intervention. Early intervention is critical to improving outcomes and increasing opportunity for children. In this regard, Delaware misses the mark in some areas, but hits it in others.

“If our screenings suggest the possibility of learning disabilities in a child under three years old, that child is referred to the state-supported Child Development Watch,” says Esther Lauser, a child and family specialist with the University of Delaware’s Center For Disabilities Studies. After age 3, the child is referred to ChildFind, a federally funded program, part of every public school district, to provide educational services for children until age 21.

But when a child starts formal public education, the picture gets murky fast. Persuading school districts to provide the in-school services and supports identified by ChildFind can seem to parents like pulling teeth.

Lavelle and other parents saw failing test scores as the key barometer in how well their school district was meeting its federal special education standards.

“The lack of improvement in test scores for special needs children in Brandywine underscores both why we founded the Special Needs PTA and the extent to which we still believe current intervention methods are failing,” says Pat Heffernan, co-president of the Brandywine Special Needs PTA, the first of its kind in Delaware. “The current approach is still one of ‘wait to fail.’ The timing of intervention must occur before failure, not afterward.”

It was the timing of intervention that drove the Erbs to seek help for Billy outside the public education system.

“There was too much incrementalism,” Jackie says. “It was evaluation after evaluation, with valuable time intervening between each. We just felt vital windows of opportunity for Billy were being missed by all that time spent in evaluation.”

Martha L. Toomey, director for the Exceptional Children and Early Childhood Education Work Group of the Department of Education, says the state has moved to address the early intervention issue. Working with the University of Delaware’s Center for Disabilities Studies, the state’s new Response to Intervention program utilizes more intensive monitoring and tracking to anticipate discrepancies in achieving academic benchmarks rather than waiting for those discrepancies to solidify into failure.

“We will intervene on a more immediate basis now, based on regular screenings by teachers to assure appropriate benchmarks are being achieved,” Toomey says.

She says the waiting-for-failure method created “educational tragedies.” The Werners’ efforts to get the support for Andy at one point resulted in the school district dragging them to a due process hearing—not the other way around, as is usually the case.

Notwithstanding, Toomey says that, statewide, only 10 to 12 cases wind up in formal hearings. “That’s out of 17,000 children identified with special needs,” she notes.

PIC’s Aghazadian believes Delaware is heading in the right direction by moving special needs children out of self-contained environments and into the mainstream classroom. Yet inclusion for the sake of inclusion is not enough.

“Inclusion with appropriate supports is what’s needed to be effective,” says Aghazadian.

Those would be the exact words special education teacher Tara Kingery would use. A nine-year veteran of teaching in a variety of special education settings, Kingery, now teaching third grade in the Christina School District, has seen the positive outcomes that result from a program of inclusion, such as the Team Approach to Mastery program.

“TAM has produced huge positive results in the four years I’ve been involved with it,” Kingery says.

In a TAM supported classroom, class size is expanded up to 25 students, with anywhere from five to 11 of those students having special needs. The expanded overall class size reflects that a TAM classroom is led by two full-time teachers, one of whom is certified in special education.

“By the third grade, children with special needs have already begun to sense that they are somehow different,” Kingery says. “But they become less aware of those differences when blended in regular classrooms. From the mainstream perspective, children are less aware of children having special needs, and thus the blending can be almost transparent.”

Kingery has documented improved test scores among children with special needs who are part of a TAM program.

“It’s a much calmer classroom in which to learn,” she says. “There’s less social disruption than you would typically find in a self-contained special education classroom, so there is more attention that can be paid to academics.”

Brandywine SNPTA co-president Alex Rittberg experienced a virtual controlled experiment on the value of inclusion in the case of his twin 9-year-olds, Holly and Josh, both of whom are physically impaired and learning disabled as a result of complications related to premature birth.

“Entering first grade, Holly was placed in an inclusive TAM environment and Josh was placed in a self-contained special needs class,” Rittberg says. “Holly achieved noticeable progress while Josh lagged behind. We finally persuaded the school to include Josh in the TAM class halfway through second grade, and he soon caught up and actually scored better than Holly on their DSTPs (Delaware Student Testing Program) for that year.”

Inclusion with supports is a federal mandate under IDEA. The DOE is responsible for helping school districts implement any number of inclusion programs, such as TAM.

“Districts are increasingly serving more children with special needs in a regular classroom setting,” Toomey says, “and we are emphasizing more training in order to reach even more children with those needs.”

Toomey’s department has also identified state practices that hinder inclusionary programs, thus works to correct them. One such practice concerned how districts were mandated to demonstrate a specified minimum number of hours spent with special needs children under the so-called “unit count” financial allocation regulation.

“Districts currently have to document a minimum of 12½ hours of special education teaching per week to qualify for additional funding,” Toomey says. Since inclusionary programs make it difficult to quantify hours devoted to special education, programs such as TAM were not initiated in some school districts. So Toomey and her Working Group got to work.

“We now have a pilot program underway involving six school districts statewide that can take a more flexible approach to the unit count calculation and are not bound by the 12½ hour stipulation.”

But neither the need for early intervention nor greater inclusion may be the toughest hurdles parents with learning disabled children face. There’s a 900-pound gorilla that stalks both the near and far horizons for these parents. Its name is transition.

What to Read Next

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Cost: Cost is $100 for the whole wagon (up to 20 adults).

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Fridays, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays, 5 to 8 p.m. October 10, 11, 24, 25, 31 November 1, 7, 8 Wagons leave on the hour Reserve a wagon for your family, school, work, church group or birthday...

Cost: Cost is $100 for the whole wagon (up to 20 adults).

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

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Cost: $100 | $125 | $175

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Telephone: (302) 479-1583
Contact Name: Karen Graham
Website »

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Cost: $20 for adults, with discounts

Where:
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10 W. Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Website »

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Where:
5 N. Walnut St.
Milford, DE
View map »


Telephone: 430-7646
Website »

More information

The Candlelight Theatre has some celebrating to do: Its 10-year anniversary is this season. What better way to honor that than with one of the most beloved plays to ever hit Broadway. 

Where:
Candlelight Dinner Theater
2208 Millers Road
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 475-2313
Website »

More information

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Cost: $5 per person

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Riad
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Better hurry--Halloween is coming quick. And on October 31, it’s your last chance to come get dirty in the pumpkin patch before this orange-tastic playground closes for the season....

Where:
Longwood Gardens
U.S. 1
Kennett Square, PA  19348
View map »


Website »

More information

The Crawleys are skipping the Atlantic—well, their clothes are. If you’re anything like us, you’re having trouble thinking of anything but this exhibit at Winterthur. So grab...

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Del. 52
Winterthur, DE
View map »


Telephone: 888-4600
Website »

More information

These ain’t your granddad’s matchboxes—check out 60 rare examples of decadent 19th-century cases.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy.
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 571-9590
Website »

More information

From honey and apples to pottery and handcrafted jewelry, regional artisans showcase their crafts in the courtyard of the Brandywine River Museum. 

Where:
Brandywine River Museum
, PA


Website »

More information

BYOB (bring your own blanket) to this new drop-in discovery program for infants and caregivers at Winterthur.

Where:
Winterthur Museum
, DE


Telephone: 888-4600
Website »

More information

Charles Burchfield was one of the leading American artists of the 20th century. His vibrant landscapes steal the spotlight in this exhibition.

Where:
Brandywine River Museum
U.S. 1
Chadds Ford, PA
View map »


Telephone: (610) 388-2700
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Fridays, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays, 5 to 8 p.m. October 10, 11, 24, 25, 31 November 1, 7, 8 Wagons leave on the hour Reserve a wagon for your family, school, work, church group or birthday...

Cost: Cost is $100 for the whole wagon (up to 20 adults).

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Fridays, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays, 5 to 8 p.m. October 10, 11, 24, 25, 31 November 1, 7, 8 Wagons leave on the hour Reserve a wagon for your family, school, work, church group or birthday...

Cost: Cost is $100 for the whole wagon (up to 20 adults).

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Be a part of Children & Families First’s upcoming Family Photo Album. Capture your family’s special moments while helping other families in need! Talented local photographer Elisa Komins...

Cost: $100 | $125 | $175

Where:
19 Owls Nest Road
Wilmington, DE  19807


Sponsor: Children & Families First
Telephone: (302) 479-1583
Contact Name: Karen Graham
Website »

More information

This summer, Camden’s largest residents, Adventure Aquarium’s hippopotamuses Button and Genny, invite you to join them in their exciting new home, Hippo Haven. As the only aquarium in the...

Cost: $18.95 - 25.95

Where:
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View map »


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Website »

More information

Jamie Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, William Glackens, Frank Schoonover, William Wegman, Robert Jackson, Alex Kanevsky, J. Clayton Bright, and more.  This exhibition will showcase the loyalty,...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Somerville Manning Gallery
101 Stone Block Row
Breck's Mill, 2nd Floor
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View map »


Sponsor: Somerville Manning Gallery
Telephone: (302) 652-0271
Contact Name: Marisa Nolan
Website »

More information

The splendor of Byzantine Christian art—preserved through the ages in early Christian churches in both Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, and the Cappadocia region of...

Cost: $15 Adult, $13 Senior, $10 Children 6-17, Free for members and children under 5

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Happy Hour, 3-7PM! Drink and Food Specials: $3 Food Specials: Empanadas, Queso Frito, Patatas Bravas, Eggplant fries. $5 Food Specials: Hummus Sampler, Ole Fries, Manchego Cheese Puffs,...

Cost: $3 & $5

Where:
Cafe Ole
170 E. Main Street
Newark, DE  19702
View map »

More information

Christiana Care’s Center for Advanced Joint Replacement will hold a seminar on how to keep knees and hips pain-free. Center Director Dr. Leo Raisis will lead a discussion with physicians from...

Where:
John H. Ammon Medical Education Center
Christiana Hospital Campus
4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road
Newark, DE
View map »

More information

Faculty Artist Recital

Cost: Tickets are $15 adults, $10 UD faculty/staff & seniors; $5 students and are avai

Where:
Gore Recital Hall
David Roselle Center for the Arts
100 Orchard Road
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Telephone: 831-2578
Contact Name: Department of Music
Website »

More information

  The powerful theatrical adaptation of one of the world’s favorite novels is the next production at the Wilmington Drama League. “To Kill a Mockingbird” runs Oct. 24-Nov. 2 for the...

Cost: $20 for adults, with discounts

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 W. Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Website »

More information

The Crawleys are skipping the Atlantic—well, their clothes are. If you’re anything like us, you’re having trouble thinking of anything but this exhibit at Winterthur. So grab...

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Del. 52
Winterthur, DE
View map »


Telephone: 888-4600
Website »

More information

Wednesday, October 8th (Total Lunar Eclipse!) 6:30 p.m. Friday, November 21st 6 p.m. Following an introduction to the owls of Northern Delaware, we will venture into the park to listen...

Cost: $5 per person

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Riad
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

These ain’t your granddad’s matchboxes—check out 60 rare examples of decadent 19th-century cases.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy.
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 571-9590
Website »

More information

Charles Burchfield was one of the leading American artists of the 20th century. His vibrant landscapes steal the spotlight in this exhibition.

Where:
Brandywine River Museum
U.S. 1
Chadds Ford, PA
View map »


Telephone: (610) 388-2700
Website »

More information

At Mispillion Art League’s biggest show of the year, the message is clear—love is art.

Where:
5 N. Walnut St.
Milford, DE
View map »


Telephone: 430-7646
Website »

More information

The Candlelight Theatre has some celebrating to do: Its 10-year anniversary is this season. What better way to honor that than with one of the most beloved plays to ever hit Broadway. 

Where:
Candlelight Dinner Theater
2208 Millers Road
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 475-2313
Website »

More information

Better hurry--Halloween is coming quick. And on October 31, it’s your last chance to come get dirty in the pumpkin patch before this orange-tastic playground closes for the season....

Where:
Longwood Gardens
U.S. 1
Kennett Square, PA  19348
View map »


Website »

More information

From honey and apples to pottery and handcrafted jewelry, regional artisans showcase their crafts in the courtyard of the Brandywine River Museum. 

Where:
Brandywine River Museum
, PA


Website »

More information

BYOB (bring your own blanket) to this new drop-in discovery program for infants and caregivers at Winterthur.

Where:
Winterthur Museum
, DE


Telephone: 888-4600
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Fridays, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays, 5 to 8 p.m. October 10, 11, 24, 25, 31 November 1, 7, 8 Wagons leave on the hour Reserve a wagon for your family, school, work, church group or birthday...

Cost: Cost is $100 for the whole wagon (up to 20 adults).

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Fridays, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays, 5 to 8 p.m. October 10, 11, 24, 25, 31 November 1, 7, 8 Wagons leave on the hour Reserve a wagon for your family, school, work, church group or birthday...

Cost: Cost is $100 for the whole wagon (up to 20 adults).

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Be a part of Children & Families First’s upcoming Family Photo Album. Capture your family’s special moments while helping other families in need! Talented local photographer Elisa Komins...

Cost: $100 | $125 | $175

Where:
19 Owls Nest Road
Wilmington, DE  19807


Sponsor: Children & Families First
Telephone: (302) 479-1583
Contact Name: Karen Graham
Website »

More information

Jamie Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, William Glackens, Frank Schoonover, William Wegman, Robert Jackson, Alex Kanevsky, J. Clayton Bright, and more.  This exhibition will showcase the loyalty,...

Cost: Free admission

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


Sponsor: Somerville Manning Gallery
Telephone: (302) 652-0271
Contact Name: Marisa Nolan
Website »

More information

This summer, Camden’s largest residents, Adventure Aquarium’s hippopotamuses Button and Genny, invite you to join them in their exciting new home, Hippo Haven. As the only aquarium in the...

Cost: $18.95 - 25.95

Where:
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ  08103
View map »


Contact Name: Amanda Perez
Website »

More information

The splendor of Byzantine Christian art—preserved through the ages in early Christian churches in both Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, and the Cappadocia region of...

Cost: $15 Adult, $13 Senior, $10 Children 6-17, Free for members and children under 5

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Surround yourself with the beauty and splendor of Autumn during the most colorful time of the year. On select weekdays, we offer 1½-hour round-trips to the Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove. Bring your...

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

Free lunchtime organ concert

Cost: Tickets are $15 adults, $10 UD faculty/staff & seniors; $5 students and are avai

Where:
Bayard Sharp Hall
23 Elkton Road
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Telephone: 831-2578
Contact Name: Department of Music
Website »

More information

Shows participants how to avoid falls and increase physical activity.

Where:
John H. Ammon Medical Education Center
Christiana Hospital Campus
4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road
Newark, DE
View map »


Telephone: 733-4250
Contact Name: Kathleen Boyer

More information

Happy Hour, 3-7PM! Drink and Food Specials: $3 Food Specials: Empanadas, Queso Frito, Patatas Bravas, Eggplant fries. $5 Food Specials: Hummus Sampler, Ole Fries, Manchego Cheese Puffs,...

Cost: $3 & $5

Where:
Cafe Ole
170 E. Main Street
Newark, DE  19702
View map »

More information

Free seminar on ways to help kids schedule downtime, recognize when they are taking on too much, and still set them up for success! 

Cost: FREE

Where:
Ursuline Academy
1106 Pennsylvania Ave.
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Sponsor: Nemours
Telephone: 302-658-7158, x253
Contact Name: Rachel Scarpitti
Website »

More information

Cards Against Humanity Night at Cafe Ole, Main Street Newark, 7PM-Close. $5 Infusion Drinks, $3 Fireball Shots, $2 Drafts!

Cost: Free

Where:
Cafe Ole
170 E. Main Street
Newark, DE  19702
View map »

More information

Washington D.C.'s premiere jazz trombone ensemble.

Cost: Tickets are $15 adults, $10 UD faculty/staff & seniors; $5 students and are avai

Where:
Loudis Hall
Amy du Pont Music Building
100 Orchard Road
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Telephone: 831-2578
Contact Name: Department of Music
Website »

More information

  The powerful theatrical adaptation of one of the world’s favorite novels is the next production at the Wilmington Drama League. “To Kill a Mockingbird” runs Oct. 24-Nov. 2 for the...

Cost: $20 for adults, with discounts

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 W. Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Website »

More information

Wednesday, October 8th (Total Lunar Eclipse!) 6:30 p.m. Friday, November 21st 6 p.m. Following an introduction to the owls of Northern Delaware, we will venture into the park to listen...

Cost: $5 per person

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Riad
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Better hurry--Halloween is coming quick. And on October 31, it’s your last chance to come get dirty in the pumpkin patch before this orange-tastic playground closes for the season....

Where:
Longwood Gardens
U.S. 1
Kennett Square, PA  19348
View map »


Website »

More information

From honey and apples to pottery and handcrafted jewelry, regional artisans showcase their crafts in the courtyard of the Brandywine River Museum. 

Where:
Brandywine River Museum
, PA


Website »

More information

The Crawleys are skipping the Atlantic—well, their clothes are. If you’re anything like us, you’re having trouble thinking of anything but this exhibit at Winterthur. So grab...

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Del. 52
Winterthur, DE
View map »


Telephone: 888-4600
Website »

More information

The Candlelight Theatre has some celebrating to do: Its 10-year anniversary is this season. What better way to honor that than with one of the most beloved plays to ever hit Broadway. 

Where:
Candlelight Dinner Theater
2208 Millers Road
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 475-2313
Website »

More information

Charles Burchfield was one of the leading American artists of the 20th century. His vibrant landscapes steal the spotlight in this exhibition.

Where:
Brandywine River Museum
U.S. 1
Chadds Ford, PA
View map »


Telephone: (610) 388-2700
Website »

More information

BYOB (bring your own blanket) to this new drop-in discovery program for infants and caregivers at Winterthur.

Where:
Winterthur Museum
, DE


Telephone: 888-4600
Website »

More information

These ain’t your granddad’s matchboxes—check out 60 rare examples of decadent 19th-century cases.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy.
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 571-9590
Website »

More information

At Mispillion Art League’s biggest show of the year, the message is clear—love is art.

Where:
5 N. Walnut St.
Milford, DE
View map »


Telephone: 430-7646
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Fridays, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays, 5 to 8 p.m. October 10, 11, 24, 25, 31 November 1, 7, 8 Wagons leave on the hour Reserve a wagon for your family, school, work, church group or birthday...

Cost: Cost is $100 for the whole wagon (up to 20 adults).

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Fridays, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays, 5 to 8 p.m. October 10, 11, 24, 25, 31 November 1, 7, 8 Wagons leave on the hour Reserve a wagon for your family, school, work, church group or birthday...

Cost: Cost is $100 for the whole wagon (up to 20 adults).

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Be a part of Children & Families First’s upcoming Family Photo Album. Capture your family’s special moments while helping other families in need! Talented local photographer Elisa Komins...

Cost: $100 | $125 | $175

Where:
19 Owls Nest Road
Wilmington, DE  19807


Sponsor: Children & Families First
Telephone: (302) 479-1583
Contact Name: Karen Graham
Website »

More information

This summer, Camden’s largest residents, Adventure Aquarium’s hippopotamuses Button and Genny, invite you to join them in their exciting new home, Hippo Haven. As the only aquarium in the...

Cost: $18.95 - 25.95

Where:
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ  08103
View map »


Contact Name: Amanda Perez
Website »

More information

Jamie Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, William Glackens, Frank Schoonover, William Wegman, Robert Jackson, Alex Kanevsky, J. Clayton Bright, and more.  This exhibition will showcase the loyalty,...

Cost: Free admission

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


Sponsor: Somerville Manning Gallery
Telephone: (302) 652-0271
Contact Name: Marisa Nolan
Website »

More information

The splendor of Byzantine Christian art—preserved through the ages in early Christian churches in both Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, and the Cappadocia region of...

Cost: $15 Adult, $13 Senior, $10 Children 6-17, Free for members and children under 5

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Happy Hour, 3-7PM! Drink and Food Specials: $3 Food Specials: Empanadas, Queso Frito, Patatas Bravas, Eggplant fries. $5 Food Specials: Hummus Sampler, Ole Fries, Manchego Cheese Puffs,...

Cost: $3 & $5

Where:
Cafe Ole
170 E. Main Street
Newark, DE  19702
View map »

More information

A pre-Halloween event. Come in costume!

Cost: Tickets are $15 adults, $10 UD faculty/staff & seniors; $5 students and are avai

Where:
Loudis Hall
Amy du Pont Music Building
100 Orchard Road
Newark, DE  19717
View map »


Telephone: 831-2578
Contact Name: Department of Music
Website »

More information

  The powerful theatrical adaptation of one of the world’s favorite novels is the next production at the Wilmington Drama League. “To Kill a Mockingbird” runs Oct. 24-Nov. 2 for the...

Cost: $20 for adults, with discounts

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 W. Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Website »

More information

Charles Burchfield was one of the leading American artists of the 20th century. His vibrant landscapes steal the spotlight in this exhibition.

Where:
Brandywine River Museum
U.S. 1
Chadds Ford, PA
View map »


Telephone: (610) 388-2700
Website »

More information

BYOB (bring your own blanket) to this new drop-in discovery program for infants and caregivers at Winterthur.

Where:
Winterthur Museum
, DE


Telephone: 888-4600
Website »

More information

From honey and apples to pottery and handcrafted jewelry, regional artisans showcase their crafts in the courtyard of the Brandywine River Museum. 

Where:
Brandywine River Museum
, PA


Website »

More information

These ain’t your granddad’s matchboxes—check out 60 rare examples of decadent 19th-century cases.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy.
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 571-9590
Website »

More information

At Mispillion Art League’s biggest show of the year, the message is clear—love is art.

Where:
5 N. Walnut St.
Milford, DE
View map »


Telephone: 430-7646
Website »

More information

Better hurry--Halloween is coming quick. And on October 31, it’s your last chance to come get dirty in the pumpkin patch before this orange-tastic playground closes for the season....

Where:
Longwood Gardens
U.S. 1
Kennett Square, PA  19348
View map »


Website »

More information

The Candlelight Theatre has some celebrating to do: Its 10-year anniversary is this season. What better way to honor that than with one of the most beloved plays to ever hit Broadway. 

Where:
Candlelight Dinner Theater
2208 Millers Road
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 475-2313
Website »

More information

The Crawleys are skipping the Atlantic—well, their clothes are. If you’re anything like us, you’re having trouble thinking of anything but this exhibit at Winterthur. So grab...

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Del. 52
Winterthur, DE
View map »


Telephone: 888-4600
Website »

More information

Wednesday, October 8th (Total Lunar Eclipse!) 6:30 p.m. Friday, November 21st 6 p.m. Following an introduction to the owls of Northern Delaware, we will venture into the park to listen...

Cost: $5 per person

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Riad
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Fridays, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays, 5 to 8 p.m. October 10, 11, 24, 25, 31 November 1, 7, 8 Wagons leave on the hour Reserve a wagon for your family, school, work, church group or birthday...

Cost: Cost is $100 for the whole wagon (up to 20 adults).

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Fridays, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays, 5 to 8 p.m. October 10, 11, 24, 25, 31 November 1, 7, 8 Wagons leave on the hour Reserve a wagon for your family, school, work, church group or birthday...

Cost: Cost is $100 for the whole wagon (up to 20 adults).

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Be a part of Children & Families First’s upcoming Family Photo Album. Capture your family’s special moments while helping other families in need! Talented local photographer Elisa Komins...

Cost: $100 | $125 | $175

Where:
19 Owls Nest Road
Wilmington, DE  19807


Sponsor: Children & Families First
Telephone: (302) 479-1583
Contact Name: Karen Graham
Website »

More information

This summer, Camden’s largest residents, Adventure Aquarium’s hippopotamuses Button and Genny, invite you to join them in their exciting new home, Hippo Haven. As the only aquarium in the...

Cost: $18.95 - 25.95

Where:
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ  08103
View map »


Contact Name: Amanda Perez
Website »

More information

Jamie Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, William Glackens, Frank Schoonover, William Wegman, Robert Jackson, Alex Kanevsky, J. Clayton Bright, and more.  This exhibition will showcase the loyalty,...

Cost: Free admission

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


Sponsor: Somerville Manning Gallery
Telephone: (302) 652-0271
Contact Name: Marisa Nolan
Website »

More information

The splendor of Byzantine Christian art—preserved through the ages in early Christian churches in both Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, and the Cappadocia region of...

Cost: $15 Adult, $13 Senior, $10 Children 6-17, Free for members and children under 5

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Happy Hour, 3-7PM! Drink and Food Specials: $3 Food Specials: Empanadas, Queso Frito, Patatas Bravas, Eggplant fries. $5 Food Specials: Hummus Sampler, Ole Fries, Manchego Cheese Puffs,...

Cost: $3 & $5

Where:
Cafe Ole
170 E. Main Street
Newark, DE  19702
View map »

More information

The Lighthouse Church will be starting a Training Center for Deliverances beginning Friday September 12, 2014.  The school will be focused on all aspects of ministering deliverance and healing...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Lighthouse Church Inc.
6 South Railroad Avenue
Wyoming, DE  19934
View map »


Sponsor: The Lighthouse Church Inc.
Telephone: (302) 632-4679
Contact Name: Bro. Christopher Gore
Website »

More information

  The powerful theatrical adaptation of one of the world’s favorite novels is the next production at the Wilmington Drama League. “To Kill a Mockingbird” runs Oct. 24-Nov. 2 for the...

Cost: $20 for adults, with discounts

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 W. Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
View map »


Website »

More information

Charles Burchfield was one of the leading American artists of the 20th century. His vibrant landscapes steal the spotlight in this exhibition.

Where:
Brandywine River Museum
U.S. 1
Chadds Ford, PA
View map »


Telephone: (610) 388-2700
Website »

More information

At Mispillion Art League’s biggest show of the year, the message is clear—love is art.

Where:
5 N. Walnut St.
Milford, DE
View map »


Telephone: 430-7646
Website »

More information

The Crawleys are skipping the Atlantic—well, their clothes are. If you’re anything like us, you’re having trouble thinking of anything but this exhibit at Winterthur. So grab...

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Del. 52
Winterthur, DE
View map »


Telephone: 888-4600
Website »

More information

Better hurry--Halloween is coming quick. And on October 31, it’s your last chance to come get dirty in the pumpkin patch before this orange-tastic playground closes for the season....

Where:
Longwood Gardens
U.S. 1
Kennett Square, PA  19348
View map »


Website »

More information

These ain’t your granddad’s matchboxes—check out 60 rare examples of decadent 19th-century cases.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy.
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 571-9590
Website »

More information

BYOB (bring your own blanket) to this new drop-in discovery program for infants and caregivers at Winterthur.

Where:
Winterthur Museum
, DE


Telephone: 888-4600
Website »

More information

The Candlelight Theatre has some celebrating to do: Its 10-year anniversary is this season. What better way to honor that than with one of the most beloved plays to ever hit Broadway. 

Where:
Candlelight Dinner Theater
2208 Millers Road
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 475-2313
Website »

More information

From honey and apples to pottery and handcrafted jewelry, regional artisans showcase their crafts in the courtyard of the Brandywine River Museum. 

Where:
Brandywine River Museum
, PA


Website »

More information

Wednesday, October 8th (Total Lunar Eclipse!) 6:30 p.m. Friday, November 21st 6 p.m. Following an introduction to the owls of Northern Delaware, we will venture into the park to listen...

Cost: $5 per person

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Riad
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Fridays, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays, 5 to 8 p.m. October 10, 11, 24, 25, 31 November 1, 7, 8 Wagons leave on the hour Reserve a wagon for your family, school, work, church group or birthday...

Cost: Cost is $100 for the whole wagon (up to 20 adults).

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Fridays, 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays, 5 to 8 p.m. October 10, 11, 24, 25, 31 November 1, 7, 8 Wagons leave on the hour Reserve a wagon for your family, school, work, church group or birthday...

Cost: Cost is $100 for the whole wagon (up to 20 adults).

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »

More information

Wilmington Beer Week Saturday, Nov. 1-Saturday, Nov. 8 Wilmington, Del.             Wilmington Beer Week celebrates its fourth...

Cost: n/a

Where:
Wilmington, DE  19801


Website »

More information

  Join us for the 4th Annual Delaware by Hand Holiday Market at the Biggs Museum featuring over 40 of Delaware's top artists. Find the perfect holiday gifts for everyone on your list, celebrate...

Cost: Free

Where:
Biggs Museum of American Art
406 Federal Street
Dover, DE  19901
View map »

More information

Be a part of Children & Families First’s upcoming Family Photo Album. Capture your family’s special moments while helping other families in need! Talented local photographer Elisa Komins...

Cost: $100 | $125 | $175

Where:
19 Owls Nest Road
Wilmington, DE  19807


Sponsor: Children & Families First
Telephone: (302) 479-1583
Contact Name: Karen Graham
Website »

More information

This summer, Camden’s largest residents, Adventure Aquarium’s hippopotamuses Button and Genny, invite you to join them in their exciting new home, Hippo Haven. As the only aquarium in the...

Cost: $18.95 - 25.95

Where:
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ  08103
View map »


Contact Name: Amanda Perez
Website »

More information

Jamie Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, William Glackens, Frank Schoonover, William Wegman, Robert Jackson, Alex Kanevsky, J. Clayton Bright, and more.  This exhibition will showcase the loyalty,...

Cost: Free admission

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


Sponsor: Somerville Manning Gallery
Telephone: (302) 652-0271
Contact Name: Marisa Nolan
Website »

More information

The JDRF Walk is an impactful way to raise money for critically needed type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and show your support for the millions of people affected by this serious disease. Type 1...

Cost: Free - but donations are encouraged

Where:
Silver Lake Park
Washington Street
Dover , DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: JDRF
Telephone: 302 888 1117
Contact Name: Catherine Pardo
Website »

More information

Leave the 21st century behind at the First State Heritage Park 18th Century Market Fair which recreates the sights and sounds of the autumn market fairs held on The Green in Dover in the...

Cost: Free

Where:
First State Heritage Park
The Green
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: First State Heritage Park
Telephone: 302-739-9194
Contact Name: Sarah Zimmerman
Website »

More information

Penn Museum, the Mexican Cultural Center, and the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia join forces again to present the popular annual Day of the Dead celebration. Enjoy Mexican culture and the...

Cost: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

The splendor of Byzantine Christian art—preserved through the ages in early Christian churches in both Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, and the Cappadocia region of...

Cost: $15 Adult, $13 Senior, $10 Children 6-17, Free for members and children under 5

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104
View map »

More information

Surround yourself with the beauty and splendor of Autumn during the most colorful time of the year. On weekends, we offer 1½-hour round-trips to the Mt. Cuba Picnic Grove.  Bring your camera...

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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Surround yourself with the beauty and splendor of Autumn during the most colorful time of the year. On Saturdays & Sundays, we offer a 2½-hour round-trip to Hockessin. Bring your camera and...

Cost: Adults: $18; Seniors (60+): $17; Children (2-12): $16; 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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Dance HDC's Performance Team will be hosting a Halloween Party/Babysitting Event Date: Saturday, November 1st Time: 5:00-8:00pm Ages: 3-15Cost: $15/child All are welcome, bring your...

Cost: $15/guest

Where:
Dance HDC ~ Hockessin Dance Center
216 Louviers Dr
Shoppes at Louviers
Newark, DE  19711
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Sponsor: Dance HDC Performance Team
Telephone: 302-738-3838
Contact Name: Michelle Buglio
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Faculty Artist Recital: The Viola: Living ElectricUD's Esme Allen-Creighton joins forces with friends and special guest Pemi Paull of Warhol Dervish to bring an eclectic mix of works, all written...

Cost: Tickets are $15 adults, $10 UD faculty/staff & seniors; $5 students and are avai

Where:
Gore Recital Hall
David Roselle Center for the Arts
110 Orchard Road
Newark, DE  19717
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Telephone: 831-2578
Contact Name: Department of Music
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Paranormal Investigations in Old New Castle   Saturday, November 1, 7:00pm and 10:00pm Join the team of Delmarva Historic Haunts for a night investigating two of Old New Castle's most historic...

Cost: $25 per person

Where:
New Castle Historical Society
30 Market Street
New Castle, DE  19720
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Sponsor: New Castle Historical Society
Telephone: 302-322-2794
Contact Name: Society Office
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  The powerful theatrical adaptation of one of the world’s favorite novels is the next production at the Wilmington Drama League. “To Kill a Mockingbird” runs Oct. 24-Nov. 2 for the...

Cost: $20 for adults, with discounts

Where:
Wilmington Drama League
10 W. Lea Blvd.
Wilmington, DE  19802
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The Crawleys are skipping the Atlantic—well, their clothes are. If you’re anything like us, you’re having trouble thinking of anything but this exhibit at Winterthur. So grab...

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Del. 52
Winterthur, DE
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Telephone: 888-4600
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These ain’t your granddad’s matchboxes—check out 60 rare examples of decadent 19th-century cases.

Where:
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmere Pkwy.
Wilmington, DE
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Telephone: 571-9590
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At Mispillion Art League’s biggest show of the year, the message is clear—love is art.

Where:
5 N. Walnut St.
Milford, DE
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Telephone: 430-7646
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BYOB (bring your own blanket) to this new drop-in discovery program for infants and caregivers at Winterthur.

Where:
Winterthur Museum
, DE


Telephone: 888-4600
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Charles Burchfield was one of the leading American artists of the 20th century. His vibrant landscapes steal the spotlight in this exhibition.

Where:
Brandywine River Museum
U.S. 1
Chadds Ford, PA
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Telephone: (610) 388-2700
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Wednesday, October 8th (Total Lunar Eclipse!) 6:30 p.m. Friday, November 21st 6 p.m. Following an introduction to the owls of Northern Delaware, we will venture into the park to listen...

Cost: $5 per person

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Riad
Wilmington, DE  19803
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The Candlelight Theatre has some celebrating to do: Its 10-year anniversary is this season. What better way to honor that than with one of the most beloved plays to ever hit Broadway. 

Where:
Candlelight Dinner Theater
2208 Millers Road
Wilmington, DE
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Telephone: 475-2313
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The Rehoboth Art League hosts more than 30 artists selling their wares. 

Where:
12 Dodds Lane
Rehoboth Beach, DE

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Time: Registration 9 a.m. Race start 10 a.m. Fee: $20 (until the Thursday before the race at noon) $25 after and day of event Benefits: The Stephanie Callaway Foundation which grants...

Where:
Rockwood Park
467 Washington Street Extension
Wilmington, DE
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Telephone: 540-4904
Contact Name: Cpl. Autumn Tuxward

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Jamming with Alex Mitnick and his hand-clapping, foot-stomping band is one thing. Doing it in your Spiderman Halloween costume? That’s so much cooler.

Where:
World Cafe Live at the Queen
500 N. Market St
Wilmington, DE
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Kids ages 5-10 will learn about the history of silhouette cutting and view samples from the museum’s collection.

Where:
Biggs Museum
406 Federal Street
Dover, DE
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First State Heritage Park re-creates the autumn market fairs held in Dover in the mid-1700s. 

Where:
Dover's First State Heritage Park
, DE


Telephone: 739-9194

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From honey and apples to pottery and handcrafted jewelry, regional artisans showcase their crafts in the courtyard of the Brandywine River Museum. 

Where:
Brandywine River Museum
, PA


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