Delaware’s Swedish History: Exploring the First State’s European Roots

Names like Kalmar Nyckel, Christina River and others are common-knowledge parts of Delaware’s history, but these and more are all linked by their Swedish heritage.



Photo BY Alexis Daflos © Kungahuset.se

They once dictated their nation’s religion, led armies into battle, and plotted against each other. These were the royals of yesteryear. Today, they are more likely to have university degrees, spend time volunteering for humanitarian causes in under-developed countries and pursue vocations apart from their official duties. But, since 1974 in Sweden, monarchs have had no governing authority.

Sweden has been ruled by kings and queens for more than 1,000 years. The present King Carl XVI Gustaf, who was crowned in 1973, is the latest in a succession of more than 60 monarchs.

Delawareans should be familiar with an earlier one: Queen Christina. She is the reason we have we have the Christina River, Christina school district, and even the hamlet of Christiana, whose name is a muddled version of “Christina.” An early name for Wilmington was “Christinahamn,” which means “Christina harbor.”

Christina was 12 when the Kalmar Nyckel sailed up the Delaware River in 1638 with the first Swedes. However, her fame rests less on the founding of Delaware than on her abdicating the throne 16 years later. 

Some of her relatives were less fortunate. Gustav III, for example, a great patron of the arts, an outstanding public speaker and an accomplished playwright—perhaps the greatest Swedish playwright before Strindberg—was assassinated at a masked ball in 1792 at the opera house he built. He was the third Swedish monarch to die of gunshot wounds in less than two centuries. His son, Gustav IV Adolf, was deposed in 1809 in favor of his uncle Karl, who was then succeeded by a general in Napoleon’s army.

Modern scribes have labeled Christina “madcap,” “eccentric,” or, simply, “an unusual character.” The cruelest critics of her day said she was a man.

Most agree that she was an intelligent, athletic (something women were not supposed to be) and popular monarch who brought peace to Sweden after Europe’s Thirty Years’ War and enlivened her court with artists and scholars from the continent. She spoke nine languages, was greeting foreign dignitaries at her court with regal aplomb before she was 10, and as a young woman, could hold her own in discourses with French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes, who called her “a queen in the realm of mind as well as government.”

It’s said that Christina’s councillors wept when she removed her crown in 1654. The law forbade anyone but a Lutheran to rule Sweden, and she had chosen to convert to Catholicism.

The queen’s flight to Rome was romanticized in the 1974 film “The Abdication.” True, dressed as a man she fled incognito through Protestant lands on her way to Rome and was greeted by the pope himself. And, there was a smitten cardinal. But, the fact is that Christina, who is buried in St. Peter’s Basilica, made her Vatican residence a gathering place for the literati and glitterati of her time and, as far as we know, remained above emotional entanglements. Aside from her plan to raise a private army to invade Sweden when her royal pension was interrupted, she stayed out of politics, too.

Ironically, it was Christina’s father, King Gustav II Adolf, “Gustav the Great,” who had fought to defend the Lutheran faith by keeping the Catholic Counter-Reformation from engulfing Europe and reaching Scandinavia. Under him, Sweden modernized and advanced economically and culturally. He died at the age of 38 in a victorious battle far from home when Christina was only six. Nearsighted, he mistakenly rode into a detachment of enemy cavalry.

Gustav II wanted Sweden to have a colony in the New World. His image, not Christina’s, is on the monument at the rocks overlooking the Christina River in Wilmington.

He was descended from the Vasas, a noble family that freed Sweden from oppressive Danish rule in 1523. A turning point in that 16th-century struggle is commemorated each year by a grueling 90-kilometer cross-country ski race, the Vasaloppet (Vasa race). The current king, who is an avid outdoorsman, has competed three times in the race, most recently in 1997 at the age of 41. It’s since become a trendy international event.

Christina’s successors for the next half century fought to retain or regain Sweden’s territories amid shifting political alliances and royal successions. Karl XII, who was crowned in 1697, was a hero to the English for his courageous but futile stand against Russian Czar Peter the Great. Voltaire hailed him as “perhaps the most extraordinary man ever born.”

Besides winning wars and making peace, one of the most important functions of past monarchs was to produce a legitimate heir. Until 1980—that’s when new laws of succession took effect—it meant a son. If the current king had been born a generation later, he would not be reigning, since he has four older sisters.

His son, Carl Philip, born crown prince like his father in 1979, was “demoted” the following year by the law that elevated the infant’s sister Victoria, born in 1977, ahead of him in the line of succession. He’s now third behind Victoria’s daughter Princess Estelle, born in 2012.

Besides gender and religion, class used to be an obstacle to the throne. For generations, royals married royals, sometimes first cousins. Today, King Carl can count among his relations virtually all the current reigning monarchs of Europe.

Until the 1970s in Sweden, marriage to a commoner meant loss of title and the right to inherit the throne. For that reason, Prince Bertil, the King’s late uncle, who attended the dedication of the monument at Wilmington’s Fort Christina Park in 1938, postponed his marriage to a non-royal until 1976, when he was 64. The change also allowed King Carl to marry German-born Silvia Sommerlath, now Queen Silvia.

Their daughter, Crown Princess Victoria, married a commoner, now Prince Daniel. And her younger sister, Princess Madeleine, recently announced her engagement to a British-American banker whom she met while working in New York for the World Childhood Foundation.

Back in the 1700s, a marriage proposal could mean the difference between war and peace. At 18, Gustav IV Adolf was sent to Russia in hopes of cementing a liaison with the granddaughter of Catherine the Great.

Gustav backed out and married a German royal, which nearly started a war with Russia. Eventually Gustav was forced to resign. His uncle Duke Karl succeeded him.

But Karl was childless, so a suitable heir was selected. The first choice, a Danish prince, died of a heart attack; the second, Eugène de Beauharnais, Napoleon’s stepson, declined; the third choice, Napoleon’s general Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, accepted.

On several occasions, Napoleon had considered having his underling, the “malcontent” Bernadotte, shot. Luckily for Sweden, he changed his mind. As for Bernadotte, he felt cheated out of the leadership of France and held a grudge against the Emperor. Bernadotte was married to Napoleon’s former sweetheart, Désirée Clary, whose sister Julie Clary was the wife of Napoleon’s brother Joseph, so, in a way, it was a family feud.

For whatever reason, Napoleon gave his blessing to Sweden’s choice, and history has proved that it was a good one. Unable to adjust to the harsh winters and misunderstood by the Swedish court, Queen Désirée longed for Paris. Neither she nor her husband mastered the Swedish language, but, crowned King Karl XIV Johan in 1818, the former French general laid the foundation for Sweden’s foreign policy of neutrality and reformed the state finances. Today, King Carl is the seventh king in the Bernadotte dynasty.
 

The Contemporaries

So what do contemporary royals do? “They are P.R. people for Sweden,” explains Kajsa Haracz of the New Sweden Alliance, a consortium of groups participating in the anniversary celebration of Wilmington’s Swedish roots. “Their job is a lot of P.R. and economic development.”

It involves traveling, meeting people, making speeches, giving out awards—the most prestigious being the Nobel prizes—and cutting ribbons at openings. Prince Bertil used to jokingly refer to himself as a traveling salesman for Sweden Ltd.
And royalty support their favorite causes. The athletic Bertil served as chair of Sweden’s Olympic Committee. King Carl has been chairman of the Swedish branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (known as the World Wildlife Fund in the United States) since 1988, and being a former Cub Scout and Boy Scout, he has served as honorary chair of the World Scout Foundation since 1977. Queen Silvia advocates for children and the disabled.

King Carl’s grandfather, Gustaf VI Adolf, nurtured a lifelong interest in archaeology and before he was king participated in expeditions in the Mediterranean region. He was an authority on ancient Swedish monuments as well as Chinese ceramics. Queen Victoria of Sweden, Carl’s great grandmother, was a pioneer amateur photographer in the late 1800s.

As the official head of state, the monarch opens Parliament, leads various government councils, welcomes foreign diplomats to Sweden, and holds supreme rank in all branches of the military. The government funds the family’s official activities and maintains the royal residences. Like all Swedish citizens, royals pay taxes and can vote, though traditionally none have exercised this right.

“It’s not like here. There are many [political] parties in Sweden,” explains Haracz, who is Swedish-American. The king, she says, represents all the Swedish people, not just those of a particular party.

The royal couple’s three children have their own interests, but also share in official duties. They are well-educated —“well-rounded,” says Haracz. All are multi-lingual. Both Prince Carl Philip and Crown Princess Victoria attended schools in the United States.

The prince was at Kent School in Connecticut and at the Rhode Island School of Design, and later served an internship at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. He attained the rank of lieutenant in the Royal Navy and has a degree in agriculture and rural management.

Victoria studied at Yale and worked in Swedish diplomatic, trade and humanitarian missions abroad. In addition to learning about the workings of government and studying conflict resolution and international peace-building, the future queen has had basic military training and served internships in cultural institutions.

Princess Madeleine studied law, architecture and design and pursued graduate studies in organization and leadership in preparation for international humanitarian work.

Royals in Sweden are “accessible,” notes Haracz. As a result, unlike their British counterparts, they are not hounded by the public. They are treated more like average citizens. The queen has admitted to shopping at IKEA, and the king enjoys showing off his vintage Volvo at rallies. They take walks in the public parks surrounding some of the royal residences.

The children attended public schools early in their life and are at ease mingling with people. Of course, all have security details. For the king and queen, who lead an active lifestyle, this includes personnel who can jog and ride horseback.

In the summer, Crown Princess Victoria’s birthday party is held in a park on one of the royal estates. Anyone can attend. “People give her flowers. Some people go every year,” says Haracz. They are thrilled when the princess recognizes them. “The family are all very well-liked.”

As goodwill ambassadors, the royal family travels all over the world and has been to the United States on both official and personal business numerous times. Last year, Victoria’s husband, Prince Daniel, visited Wilmington, one of three stops on his first official trip to the United States.

The king and queen will be familiar faces at the 375th anniversary of the founding of New Sweden. They were here in 1988 for the 350th anniversary. The queen was  charming and gracious; the king, more reserved, as befits a monarch. Visitors came from out of town just to see the royal couple. Some had Swedish roots, but most did not.

We don’t have to speak Swedish or have had ancestors on the Kalmar Nyckel to celebrate with royalty again in 2013. As Delawareans, we share a heritage that is unique among the 13 original Colonies, the only one founded by Sweden, and for that we can thank a Swedish warrior king and his daughter in whose name the land was claimed.
  

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May 2016

Yoga sessions weekly in Lewes Canalfront Park, overlooking the beautiful Lewes-Rehoboth Canal in Historic Lewes. Free. Bring a mat or towel.

Cost: Free

Where:
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52 Rolling Rd.
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Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20.

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Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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Sponsor: Hagley Museum
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Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

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The definition of the word art has changed over time. From the late Middle Ages it referred to a skill acquired through knowledge and practice as well as the objects produced as a result of that...

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

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More information

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Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
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View map »

More information

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Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
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View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
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Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

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Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
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Cost: Free

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Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8283
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
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Cost: varies

Where:
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View map »

More information

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Cost: free

Where:
The Station Gallery
3922 Kennett Pike
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View map »


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free with admission

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Delaware Museum of Natural History
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More information

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Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

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200 Gun Club Road
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Cost: $18

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Hagley Museum
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View map »


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Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

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Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
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Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


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

More information

The definition of the word art has changed over time. From the late Middle Ages it referred to a skill acquired through knowledge and practice as well as the objects produced as a result of that...

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

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


Website »

More information

What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

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

More information

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society announces the third play in the exciting series of National Theatre Live screenings. National Theatre Live is the National Theatre’s groundbreaking project to...

Cost: $18-$20

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

Join us every Tuesday for this fun and educational enrichment activity. Students will learn to draw pictures from a variety of themes, including woodland animals, creatures by the sea, creepy...

Cost: $10

Where:
Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church
500 McKennans Church Rd
Room 206
Wilmington, DE  19808
View map »

More information

Join us every Tuesday for this fun and educational enrichment activity. Students will learn to draw pictures from a variety of themes, including woodland animals, creatures by the sea, creepy...

Cost: $10

Where:
Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church
500 McKennans Church Rd
Room 206
Wilmington, DE  19808
View map »

More information

Enjoy a taste of Hagley’s walking tour, “A Tale of Two Gardens,” and a special how-to demonstration by Chef Roy of Hagley’s Belin House Organic Cafe. Admission is $15 for members and $20...

Cost: $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
Hagley Barn
298 Buck Rd.
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: (302) 658-2400 x 235
Contact Name: Kim Kelleher
Website »

More information

Celebrated Irish harp virtuoso Maire Ni Chathasaig partners with master guitarist Chris Newman to perform a blend of traditional Irish music, jazz, bluegrass and baroque.  Seating is limited and...

Cost: $22 Reserved/ $25 Door

Where:
Blue Ball Barn
1914 West Park Drive
Wilmington, DE  19803
View map »


Sponsor: Green Willow Folk Club
Telephone: (302) 456-3242
Website »

More information

Location: Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, 4701 Ogletown Stanton Road, Newark Time: 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. For more information: 623-4661 To register: Call (800)...

Where:
, DE

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by Yaprak Soysal during the month of May. “My Human and I” is an exhibition of...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8283
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

These closed-door sessions will allow Executive Directors to learn best practices on topics unique to their role, as well as discuss challenges and opportunities they face in their leadership....

Cost: $10

Where:
Community Service Building
100 W 10th St, Wilmington, DE 19801
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement
Telephone: 302-777-5500
Contact Name: John Baker
Website »

More information

New paintings and drawings by Philadelphia artist Ed Bronstein are featured in a solo show. Ed’s new work includes still life paintings, landscapes and city scenes from Delaware and the...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »

More information

Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

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

More information

The definition of the word art has changed over time. From the late Middle Ages it referred to a skill acquired through knowledge and practice as well as the objects produced as a result of that...

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Registration is open for our second annual Hook-In to take place on July 30, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM.  Hagley welcomes hookers (artists who practice the art of rug hooking) to gather and collaborate,...

Cost: $18

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


Sponsor: Hagley Museum
Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

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


Website »

More information

What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

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

More information

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
Website »

More information

Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
View map »


Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
Website »

More information

The definition of the word art has changed over time. From the late Middle Ages it referred to a skill acquired through knowledge and practice as well as the objects produced as a result of that...

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


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

More information

The 2016 season of the Downtown Wilmington Farmers' Market at Rodney Square will begin May 4 and operate every Wednesday, rain or shine, through October 26 from 10 a.m. until 2...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rodney Square
between 10th & 11th Streets and Market & King Streets
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Downtown Visions and facilitated by the City of Wilmington
Telephone: 302.425.0196
Contact Name: Tucker Casey
Website »

More information

Stretch into a five-point star, roll down into a pumpkin pose, take your “dogs” for a walk, and reach those arms way out to fly like a bird in this exciting new series for a fitness and...

Cost: $10/$15/Adults Free

Where:
Coverdale Farm Preserve
543 Way Road
Greenville, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Nature Society
Telephone: 302-239-2334
Website »

More information

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society announces the third play in the exciting series of National Theatre Live screenings. National Theatre Live is the National Theatre’s groundbreaking project to...

Cost: $18-$20

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will be holding a four-session diabetes educational program, The Diabetes Connection, on May 11, 18, 25, and June 1 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. The cost of the program may...

Cost: Call for cost.

Where:
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
801 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Telephone: 302-629-6611x2446
Contact Name: Nanticoke's Diabetes Education Dept.
Website »

More information

Zumba sessions every Wednesday in Lewes Canalfront Park, overlooking the banks of the beautiful Lewes-Rehoboth Canal in Historic Lewes. Free.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lewes Canalfront Park
211 Front Street
Lewes, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Zumba by Kelly, Friends of Lewes Canalfront Park
Telephone: 302-645-2795
Website »

More information

Location: Bayhealth Milford Memorial, 21 W. Clarke Ave., Milford, Conference Room A & B Time: 6–7 p.m. Register via Bayhealth

Where:
, DE

More information

*** Media alert/photo opportunity*** The world’s largest potato on wheels will spend Wednesday, May 25 with Delawareans at the Brandywine Springs Elementary...

Where:
, DE

More information

Location: Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, 4701 Ogletown Stanton Road, Newark Wednesday, May 25 and Thursday, May 26 Time: 5:30–7:45 p.m. Bilingual staff...

Where:
, DE

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by Yaprak Soysal during the month of May. “My Human and I” is an exhibition of...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8283
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

New paintings and drawings by Philadelphia artist Ed Bronstein are featured in a solo show. Ed’s new work includes still life paintings, landscapes and city scenes from Delaware and the...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »

More information

Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

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

More information

Spring Session: Thursdays from 9:30-12; first day is April 7 Location: Bucktoe Creek Preserve (432 Sharp Road, Avondale, PA 19311) Join TLC for our Drop-In on...

Cost: TLC members Free, Non-members free for first session, $5 for pre-registration

Where:
Bucktoe Creek Preserve
432 Sharp Road
Avondale, PA  19311
View map »


Sponsor: The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County
Telephone: 610-347-0347
Contact Name: Hannah
Website »

More information

The definition of the word art has changed over time. From the late Middle Ages it referred to a skill acquired through knowledge and practice as well as the objects produced as a result of that...

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
View map »


Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
Website »

More information

Registration is open for our second annual Hook-In to take place on July 30, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM.  Hagley welcomes hookers (artists who practice the art of rug hooking) to gather and collaborate,...

Cost: $18

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


Sponsor: Hagley Museum
Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

The definition of the word art has changed over time. From the late Middle Ages it referred to a skill acquired through knowledge and practice as well as the objects produced as a result of that...

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


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

More information

Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

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


Website »

More information

What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

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

More information

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
Website »

More information

Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society announces the third play in the exciting series of National Theatre Live screenings. National Theatre Live is the National Theatre’s groundbreaking project to...

Cost: $18-$20

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

In recognition of Military Appreciation Month, the Rehoboth Beach Film Society will present the award winning documentary, SHAKEY’S HILL at 2:00 pm on Thursday, May 26. The screening will take...

Cost: $5

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

The Delaware Humanities Forum is commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize with a literature discussion and creative writing workshop.  Participants are welcome to join any and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Dover Public Library
35 E Loockerman St
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Sponsor: Delaware Humanities Forum
Telephone: 302-567-0650
Contact Name: Ciera Fisher
Website »

More information

  Nanticoke Memorial Hospital offers childbirth classes on Thursdays from 6:30pm to 8:30 pm in the Ground Floor Conference Room. The class will meet each Thursday for a total of five weeks –...

Cost: Call for cost.

Where:
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
801 Middleford Road
Seaford, DE  19973
View map »


Telephone: 302-629-6611x2540
Website »

More information

Location: Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, 4701 Ogletown Stanton Road, Newark Wednesday, May 25 and Thursday, May 26 Time: 5:30–7:45 p.m. Bilingual staff...

Where:
, DE

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Delaware Division of the Arts Mezzanine Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by Yaprak Soysal during the month of May. “My Human and I” is an exhibition of...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Delaware Division of the Arts
Telephone: 302-577-8283
Contact Name: Roxanne Stanulis
Website »

More information

New paintings and drawings by Philadelphia artist Ed Bronstein are featured in a solo show. Ed’s new work includes still life paintings, landscapes and city scenes from Delaware and the...

Cost: free

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


Telephone: 302-654-8638
Website »

More information

Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »

More information

Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

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

More information

The definition of the word art has changed over time. From the late Middle Ages it referred to a skill acquired through knowledge and practice as well as the objects produced as a result of that...

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
Website »

More information

Ocean Galleries Galleries (9618 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, NJ/609-368-7777) welcomes world-renowned 3-D artist, Charles Fazzino, for a spectacular Memorial Day weekend exhibition....

Cost: Free & open to the public with ALL artwork available for acquisition

Where:
Ocean Galleries
9618 Third Avenue
Stone Harbor, NJ  08247
View map »


Sponsor: Ocean Galleries
Telephone: 609.368.7777
Contact Name: Kim Miller
Website »

More information

RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
View map »


Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
Website »

More information

Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
Website »

More information

Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

Registration is open for our second annual Hook-In to take place on July 30, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM.  Hagley welcomes hookers (artists who practice the art of rug hooking) to gather and collaborate,...

Cost: $18

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


Sponsor: Hagley Museum
Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
Website »

More information

The definition of the word art has changed over time. From the late Middle Ages it referred to a skill acquired through knowledge and practice as well as the objects produced as a result of that...

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
View map »


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

More information

What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

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

More information

Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

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


Website »

More information

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society announces the third play in the exciting series of National Theatre Live screenings. National Theatre Live is the National Theatre’s groundbreaking project to...

Cost: $18-$20

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

Cinema Art Theater This Week presents LOUDER THAN BOMBS The Rehoboth Beach Film Society’s Cinema Art Theater will present LOUDER THAN BOMBS, a drama directed by Joachim Trier and starring Jesse...

Cost: $8 - $10

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
Website »

More information

Meeting every Friday, Bayhealth Kent General Hospital, 640 s. State Street, Dover, 7:30 pm., Private Dining Room #3 in the basement. For those who have, or think they may have a gambling problem....

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Bayhealth Kent General Hospital
640 S. State Street
Private Dining Room #3
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


Telephone: 800-855-2CALLGA
Website »

More information

Join our guides though historic Dover and its cemeteries by lantern light this spring. Space is limited; call (302) 739-9194 for reservations. Lantern tours canceled due to inclement weather will...

Cost: $10 per person

Where:
First State Heritage Park
Christ Episcopal Church
State and Water Streets
Dover, DE  19901
View map »


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

More information

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Fourth annual St. Catherine of Siena Community Garage Sale held in Church parking lot. One-stop shopping! Approximately 30 homes gather in one location to make your garage sale shopping...

Cost: $25/consignor fee only

Where:
St. Catherine of Siena Church
2503 Centerville Road
Wilmington, DE  19808
View map »


Sponsor: St. Catherine of Siena
Telephone: 302-239-1699
Contact Name: Mary Gispert
Website »

More information

The ninth annual Artisans Fair offers unique handcrafted art objects. The work of 50 exhibitors includes fabric art, fine art, glass, ceramics, jewelry, photography, metal work, wood sculpture...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lord Baltimore Elementary School
Route 26
Ocean View, DE  19970
View map »


Sponsor: South Coastal DE Chapter AARP
Telephone: 302-732-6336
Contact Name: Ida Crist
Website »

More information

Join local birding expert and environmental educator, Kelley Nunn, as we look and listen for the common (and uncommon!) birds of Bucktoe. We will be taking short hikes through the preserve to spot...

Cost: FREE for TLC members, $15 for non-members.

Where:
Bucktoe Creek Preserve
432 Sharp Road
Avondale, PA  19311
View map »


Sponsor: The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County
Telephone: 610-347-0347
Contact Name: Hannah
Website »

More information

Looking to build your social network with fun and competition? Give tennis a try! It’s time to grab a racquet, your sneakers and some tennis balls and head to your local court to be part...

Cost: varies

Where:
Banning Park
201 Middleboro Road
Wilmington, DE  19804
View map »

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Asteroids and comets are messengers from space with a significant effect on Earth’s history, and they are likely to influence the future as well. Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids,...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807
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The definition of the word art has changed over time. From the late Middle Ages it referred to a skill acquired through knowledge and practice as well as the objects produced as a result of that...

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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Ocean Galleries Galleries (9618 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, NJ/609-368-7777) welcomes world-renowned 3-D artist, Charles Fazzino, for a spectacular Memorial Day weekend exhibition....

Cost: Free & open to the public with ALL artwork available for acquisition

Where:
Ocean Galleries
9618 Third Avenue
Stone Harbor, NJ  08247
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Sponsor: Ocean Galleries
Telephone: 609.368.7777
Contact Name: Kim Miller
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Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016...

Cost: Free with Museum Admission.

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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The definition of the word art has changed over time. From the late Middle Ages it referred to a skill acquired through knowledge and practice as well as the objects produced as a result of that...

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20.

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 800-448-3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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Registration is open for our second annual Hook-In to take place on July 30, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM.  Hagley welcomes hookers (artists who practice the art of rug hooking) to gather and collaborate,...

Cost: $18

Where:
Hagley Museum
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Hagley Museum
Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
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RAIL EXPLORERS Opens their Delaware Division! Partnering with the Wilmington & Western Railroad and the Delaware State Parks Rail Explorers brings their unique adventure to the...

Cost: Tandem $75 (2P), Quad $125 (4P)

Where:
Rail Explorers Delaware
200 Gun Club Road
Hockessin, NY  12983
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Sponsor: Rail Explorers
Telephone: 302 601 0888
Contact Name: Mary Joy Lu
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Drawing from Hagley’s collection of automotive advertising art, this exhibition features rare marketing materials highlighting everything from Duesenbergs to Datsuns. This exhibition asks “Did...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: Hagley Museum & Library
Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
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What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his golden touch? That is the question to be answered—not with chests full of gold, but with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts,...

Cost: Adults $20; seniors $18; students (with ID) $15; children (ages 6–17) $15

Where:
Penn Museum
3260 South St.
Philadelphia, PA  19104
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Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia examines the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the colonial Americas. Featuring some of the most extraordinary objects produced in the...

Cost: Included with admission. Members free. $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Sponsor: DuPont, Glenmede and John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw. Additional support from M&T Bank and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP
Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and tours
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Learn about DuPont Company’s development of water power from the waterwheel to the steam engine and how its innovation contributed to the success of the company. This hands-on tour includes...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
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Whole Foods Market invites the community to savor, celebrate, and connect this May. What: Every Whole Foods Market location in the Philadelphia area and its suburbs will be hosting a free...

Where:
, DE

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Ages 8 and up After a brief introduction to equipment, climbing and safety, get harnessed up and climb on our natural rock wall. Park staff will instruct, guide and belay all climbers.  Children...

Cost: $25 per person

Where:
Alapocas Run State Park
165 Bancroft Mills Road
Wilmington, DE  19806
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Telephone: (302) 577-7020
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We are celebrating ten years of the Winterthur Invitational this May. Step back in time to see elegant automobiles of the country-estate era. Enjoy a series of displays of magnificent historic...

Cost: Members free. Included with admission, $5-$20

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 800.448.3883
Contact Name: Information and Tours
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Families work together to solve science mysteries and engineering challenges. This week’s program challenges families to design a car that goes fast or slow based on various aerodynamic...

Cost: Included in regular admission and free for members.

Where:
Hagley Museum & Library
201 Hagley Creek Road
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: (302) 658-2400
Contact Name: Vanessa Spence
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The Rehoboth Beach Film Society announces the third play in the exciting series of National Theatre Live screenings. National Theatre Live is the National Theatre’s groundbreaking project to...

Cost: $18-$20

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
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Cinema Art Theater This Week presents LOUDER THAN BOMBS The Rehoboth Beach Film Society’s Cinema Art Theater will present LOUDER THAN BOMBS, a drama directed by Joachim Trier and starring Jesse...

Cost: $8 - $10

Where:
Cinema Art Theater
17701 Dartmouth Drive, #2
Lewes, DE
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Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095
Contact Name: Jeri Kaplan
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If you grew up in the Wilmington area in the late 70's and early 80's you know all about the legendary Shytown. Fun live performances and a great combination of cover and original songs. A regular...

Cost: $13-15

Where:
, DE


Sponsor: World Cafe Live at The Queen
Telephone: 302-994-1400
Contact Name: MP Intern
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