Punkin Chunkin Q&A: World Champion Dawn Thompson

Lucky for us, she’s not tired of talking about chunkin, even after 25 years.



Delaware Today: So you’ve been around chunkin since the beginning?
Thompson: Close to the beginning. I started in 1988 when I met my husband, Bill. He told me about this crazy event he invented. I said, “What is it?” He said, “Punkin Chunkin.” I said, “What the heck is that?” So he had to show me the machines and I was hooked immediately. I love mechanical stuff and people using their minds to make crazy stuff. 

DT: The original chunkers tell me that they used to go find garage door springs and stuff like that.
Thompson: Yeah. Whatever you got out of somebody’s back yard is how you built your chunker. Now you’ve got to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. So it’s come a long ways.

DT: So you became a chunker after the first two years?
Thompson: In 1988, I had a roach coach-type truck and I said, “Well, I’ll be a vendor this year.” I called up the local radio station, 93.5 The Beach—it was their first year in radio—and they came out here and did a live broadcast. We had over 1,000 people on the farm. So we figured we better move it and we went on over to Joe Hudson’s field in 1989. 

DT: I heard that that last year at your farm, everybody chunked their pumpkins into the woods. 
Thompson: Yeah. Everything was in the woods and everybody was lying about their distances. (laughs) It’s always been a problem with the woods.

DT: I was there one year at Hudson’s field…
Thompson: When we were trying to throw at the church?

DT: Yes. And then Trey Melson fired one at sunset and they couldn’t find the pumpkin. Didn’t one go across Route 1 and hit an old barn or something?
Thompson: So they say. They say they found it the next morning.

DT: What’s been your role through the years? Did you start as a spectator?
Thompson: I’ve never been a spectator at Punkin Chunkin. The first year I met my husband, I was part of the machine and part of the team. I usually swung the arm around. See, when you start up that centrifugal machine, somebody has to give that arm a push. So that was always my job, to swing the arm around and keep people away. I’ve always been a team member. I’ve never been a spectator at Punkin Chunkin.

DT: I didn’t mean to insult you.
Thompson: Discovery Channel tried to say that, too.

DT: The centrifugal machines will always be my favorites.
Thompson: We still got the old, original Ultimate Warrior. It’s back in the woods waiting for somebody to say, “Let’s break her out of the woods.”

DT: Who built the first centrifugal machine?
Thompson: Bill and Trey were team members for the first three or four years. They had Maximum Overdrive. That was the first centrifugal machine. It was made out of logs. The second one they built was made out of steel. The first one was a prototype.

DT: You wrote the ballad and you still sing it every year?
Thompson: Well, Bill wrote it right after the first chunk. He just sat down and wrote this poem, or whatever you want to call it. A ballad of how Punkin Chunkin started. I saw the words and put it to music and we’ve been singing it since 1989 at every chunk.

DT: Did you ever record it?
Thompson: Yes.

DT: Can I find that recording somewhere?
Thompson: No. It’s a secret. (laughs)

DT: That’s all you’re saying?
Thompson: Yes.

DT: So we might find out more later?
Thompson: Maybe. If I tell you I’d have to kill you.

DT: Good thing this is a phone interview.
Thompson: I got it recorded, but I never did seek out going on YouTube and that kind of stuff. Hank Black, our old photographer who did our videos put a cut of the “Punkin Chunkin Ballad” on YouTube. I think I’m playing banjo on that one.

DT: Has the event become way too big?

Thompson: We always knew it was going to be a World Championship. We knew it was something special and unique that not everybody can do…but anybody can do, you know? I like that it’s grown this big, but I don’t like the idea that we have to pay out a lot of money to all people like the police and all that kind of stuff that we gotta fork out money to all the time. That’s really what are expenses are anymore. From the DOT to State Police, then you’ve got insurance and all that kind of stuff. That’s really what’s taken away from the event because we did it for the children and scholarship programs. You know, we wanted to do things for the community. That’s how we started the organization.

DT: You have your own chunking team?
Thompson: We started the women’s air cannon division, and that’s when I decided that I wanted my own chunker. When we started out we had the Ultimate Warrior, which is now Chunkin Under the Influence—the Mac truck. We built that truck, but we decided that it was just too tall up there for all us old people to try to put the pipe on. So we decided to sell it and do something different. So we sold it. And then we thought, Oh, gosh, now we’ve only got a year to build a machine. What are we going to do? So we found an old truck in one of the local newspapers and bought that. Then one of the kids who had an air cannon, he wanted some college money, so we decided to give him an offer and he accepted. It was called the Ozone Blaster. I told him I wanted to call it the Hormone Blaster. We managed to get it on the truck and we borrowed and begged and stole any parts that we could get. The kids said, “Let’s go out and shoot it.” And I said, “No. Let’s just wait and we’ll put it together at the chunk.  Then we’re gonna do the first shot and see what happens.” We went out there and set up the machine and they wanted to shoot, but it was late. So when it was time for our first shot, we had our first shot and that’s the shot that won the whole competition. It was good to be the first woman to take the championship. And it was a new division that year, too. And it was the 25th anniversary of the chunk. We got to take the trophy back home to where Punkin Chunkin started.

DT: How do you know how to build a punkin chunker?
Thompson: I’m pretty good at the mechanical stuff. Bill, he helps with design and making sure we were safe and getting things done right. You don’t want to hurt yourself out there and everybody else. You get a lot of different opinions from a lot of different people to make everything go.

DT: Wasn’t there an accident a few years back and they put up some netting to protect the crowd?
Thompson: Well, you know with a catapult or a centrifugal, the pumpkin can go farther backward than it can go forward. So they decided to put this net up there. I think somebody might have got hit in the audience, or something like that. I’ll tell you, ever since the net’s been up it hasn’t hit the net once that I’ve seen. You’re at your own risk out there.

DT: I’ve seen chunks of pumpkin fly into the crowd, but never heard that anybody was seriously injured.
Thompson: This one kid got hit. The kid’s mom, if she’d have let go of him and let him do his thing, he probably wouldn’t have been hit. She was trying to get him out of the way and then stepped in the way. When you’re looking at a pumpkin coming in, you can’t really tell where it’s going to land. You kind of just gotta scatter. They had to make that kid a lifetime member. He was a chunker one year, but he was there observing the next year or something like that. He’s a lifetime member of the association.

DT: Is Hormone Blaster ready to go this year?
Thompson: She’s sitting in the shed waiting to go right now. I’m ready to take her out and drive her around. I like that old truck. It’s a 1961 International Harvester grain hauling truck. It’s got the original motor and everything in it. Runs like a charm. The first day I took it out to the chunk, we had it all put together and my nephew did the paint job and the bodywork on it for me. It turned out real beautiful. We were on our way to the chunk. It was a Tuesday, Election Day, and everybody went and voted and then we met back at the house and fired up the truck and we were heading down the road. About a quarter-mile down the road I look at my rear-view mirror and there’s all this smoke rolling out the back. I said, “Oh, my god, I set her on fire.” So I pulled off the road and I looked down and there were flames coming up through my stickshift. So we jumped out and got the fire extinguishers and got it put out. The emergency brake was stuck on. So we got that unhooked and went on down the road to the chunk. It drove fine after that. No smoke or anything.

DT: Do you ever get tired of talking about Punkin Chunkin?
Thompson: No. I bleed orange. That’s how much I like to talk about it.

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More information

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Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
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View map »

More information

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

Where:
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View map »

More information

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Cost: $100 | $125 | $175

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

More information

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View map »


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Website »

More information

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

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View map »

More information

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More information

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Where:
Longwood Gardens
U.S. 1
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Where:
Winterthur Museum
, DE


Telephone: 888-4600
Website »

More information

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View map »


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Website »

More information

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Where:
Candlelight Dinner Theater
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View map »


Telephone: 475-2313
Website »

More information

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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

More than 30 vendors sell vegetables, fruit, cheeses, meats, prepared foods, baked goods, flowers and all kinds of goodies at Grove Park every Tuesday, noon-4 p.m.

Where:
Grove Park
, DE


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

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

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

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

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

Emergency Planning: Come view the latest website and app that are designed to help people with disabilities and chronic health conditions better anticipate and withstand the next emergency. When:...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Biotechnology Institute
15 Innovation Way
Newark, DE  19716
View map »


Sponsor: Center for Disabilities Studies
Telephone: 302-831-2772
Contact Name: Ben Szmidt
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

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

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

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

John Moran presents glass sculptures of presidential busts, recast as heroes of American reality television.

Where:
Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts
200 S. Madison St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 656-6466
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

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

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

 Autumn, with nature’s most vibrant colors, is an optimum time for painting outdoors “en plein air,” yet the full array of hues can be challenging. Plein air painting expert Donna Cusano...

Cost: Members $95; non-members $105 (4-class series)

Where:
Delaware Center for Horticulture
1810 N DuPont St
Wilmington, DE  19806
View map »


Telephone: 302-658-6262 x100
Contact Name: Sarah Casalvera
Website »

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

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

Sam Beard will receive the Wilmington Senior Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award at a reception on Thursday, October 23, 2014 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Lower Atrium of the Hercules Building...

Cost: $100.00

Where:
Hercules Building, Lower Atrium
1313 Market Street
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Sponsor: Wilmington Senior Center
Telephone: 302-651-3460
Contact Name: Elizabeth Ray
Website »

More information

Dr. Eric M. Russell, Christiana Care Rheumatology discusses how to manage arthritis and shares the latest treatments available. Exercise tips will be given from 5:45–6: 30 p.m.

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


Telephone: (800) 693-2273
Website »

More information

A truly unique event!  Join us for this dinner featuring Paul Cullen, former bass player for the rock band Bad Company. This "cooking concert" features 4 courses with wine pairings, prepared and...

Cost: $85.00

Where:
Harry's Savoy Ballroom
2020 Naamans Road
W, DE  19810
View map »


Sponsor: Harry's Hospitality Group

More information

For October’s monthly screening, the Rehoboth Beach Film Society will present the romantic Mumbai drama, “The Lunchbox.”  The screening will be held at 7:00 pm on Thursday, October 23 at...

Cost: Members $4; Non-Member $6

Where:
The Den at Bear Trap Dunes
7 Clubhouse Dr
Ocean View, DE  19970
View map »


Sponsor: Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095 x2
Contact Name: Denise Hoban
Website »

More information

This exciting new series brings notable writers to the Museum from Delaware and beyond for enthralling readings of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. JEANNE MURRAY WALKER Thursday,...

Cost: Free for Members, $5 Non-Members

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


Telephone: 302-351-8558
Contact Name: Jessica Jenkins
Website »

More information

Following their meeting at the renowned Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2013, Sarah Jarosz and The Milk Carton Kids have pursued a collaboration with a depth and identity all its own. Their...

Cost: $29-$37

Where:
The Grand Opera House
818 Market St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


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

John Moran presents glass sculptures of presidential busts, recast as heroes of American reality television.

Where:
Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts
200 S. Madison St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 656-6466
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Join us for fine wine and great music at Penns Woods Winery's FREE Lawn Concerts all summer long!June6/6/2014: Matt Santry 5:00pm - 8:00pm6/7/2014: Tim Williams 1:00pm - 4:00pm6/14/2014: Matt...

Cost: FREE with wine purchase (glass/bottle/flight)

Where:
Penns Woods Winery
124 Beaver Valley Road
Chadds FOrd, PA  19317
View map »


Telephone: 610-459-0808
Contact Name: Carley Razzi
Website »

More information

Learn about decorative arts in America from the 17th through the early 20th centuries through lectures, workshops, and tours. By application only. Please call 302.888.4786. Two-week session,...

Cost: Please call for more information

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19735
View map »


Website »

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

 Come out and support Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research while enjoying cocktails, dining, dancing, and a trick or tweet special - a complimentary candy buffet! Tri-State Bird members and...

Cost: General admission: $150, Benefactor admission: $225

Where:
Chase Center on the Riverfront
815 Justison St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Please see webpage for sponsors
Telephone: (302) 737-9543
Contact Name: Duke Doblick
Website »

More information

Join us to raise money for fellow Delawareans who are fighting breast cancer. Wear your pink and come join the fun at the Breast Cancer Gala! This includes dancing, music, great food, beer and...

Cost: 40.00 per person

Where:
Executive Banquet and Conference Hall
Banquet Hall
205 Executive Dr
Newark, DE  19702
View map »


Sponsor: The Legend Foundation
Telephone: 302-383-0383
Contact Name: Lindsay Conway
Website »

More information

For October’s monthly screening, the Rehoboth Beach Film Society will present the romantic Mumbai drama, “The Lunchbox.”  The screening will be held at 7:00 pm on Friday, October 24, in...

Cost: $4 members and $6 for non-members

Where:
Movies at Midway
Coastal Highway
Rehoboth Beach, DE  19971
View map »


Sponsor: The Rehoboth Beach Film Society
Telephone: 302-645-9095 x2
Contact Name: Denise Hoban
Website »

More information

Hauntings in History Walking Tours Fridays & Saturdays, October 17, 18, 24 & 25 at 7:00, 7:30 & 8:30 p.m. If you are brave enough to explore the darker side of New Castle's history, then join...

Cost: 12

Where:
New Castle Historical Society
2 East Fourth Street
New Castle, DE  19720
View map »


Sponsor: New Castle Historical Society
Telephone: 302-322-2794
Contact Name: Society Office
Website »

More information

Unravel the mystery surrounding the discovery of the Egyptian tomb of Haro the Pharaoh.   Set in the 1920’s Judge Morris Estate, the newly discovered sarcophagus is unveiled while murder and...

Cost: 20.00

Where:
White Clay Creek State Park - Judge Morris Estate
76 Polly Drummond Hill Road
Newark, DE  19711
View map »


Sponsor: White Clay Creek State Park
Telephone: 302-368-6900
Website »

More information

Strangled Darlings brings a punk intensity to their live show. Taking a cello and making it a hip hop bass. Taking mandolin and slapping it like a stubborn mule. The Portland based duo has been...

Cost: $10

Where:
The Queen
500 Market St
Wilmington , DE  19801
View map »


Sponsor: Gable Music Ventures
Contact Name: Jeremy Hebbel
Website »

More information

Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo are two of the most extraordinary guitarists performing before the public today. Frank Vignola’s stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for...

Cost: $20

Where:
live @ the baby grand
818 Market St.
Wilmington, DE  19801
View map »


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

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

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

This world championship pumpkin-throwing event in Sussex County gives new meaning to the phrase “I’m gonna hurl.” Who will be Lord of the Gourd this year? 

Where:
Dover International Speedway
, DE

More information

John Moran presents glass sculptures of presidential busts, recast as heroes of American reality television.

Where:
Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts
200 S. Madison St.
Wilmington, DE
View map »


Telephone: 656-6466
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

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

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

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

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

  Run or walk with your dog individually or as a team.  Bring the dog, the kids, friends and family for a fun-filled day packed with action and excitement.  Prizes for all ages and species....

Cost: $20 through 10/18; $25 after

Where:
Glasgow Park
2199 Pulaski Hwy.
Newark, DE  19702
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Sponsor: PAWS for People & Hillside Heating & Cooling
Telephone: 302-351-5622
Contact Name: Clarice Ritchie, Coordinator, Community Engagement
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Historical Symposium to highlight the life and military career of Revolutionary war hero Allan McLane.  Sponsored by the Sons of the American Revolution, Wesley College, and the Northern...

Where:
Wesley College
120 S. State St.,
Dover, DE
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Contact Name: Tom Welch

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Easter Seals Disability Services is having a free Resource and Information Fair for the community. The fair this year will showcase assistive technology. At this event, people will learn about...

Cost: Free

Where:
Easter Seals Disability Services
61 Corporate Circle
New Castle, DE  19720
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Telephone: 302-221-2087
Contact Name: Keara English

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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
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Zeta Phi Beta Inc., Theta Zeta Zeta Chapter presents   "Is A Good Man/Woman Hard to Find?"   What is the definition of a good man or good woman?   Why are they so elusive?  ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware State University - Bank of America Rm 309
1200 N Dupont Hwy
Dover, DE  19901
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Contact Name: Lisa Spellman

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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
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Contact Name: Amanda Perez
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Celebrate silly, spooky fun at The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place, September 20th through October 26th. Come in costume and play in our not-too-spooky Halloween haven...

Cost: Check Sesameplace.com for ticket prices

Where:
Sesame Place
100 Sesame Rd.
Langhorne, PA  19047
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Sponsor: Sesame Place
Telephone: 1-866-GO-4-ELMO
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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
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Sponsor: Somerville Manning Gallery
Telephone: (302) 652-0271
Contact Name: Marisa Nolan
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The University of Delaware’s Center for Disabilities Studies will hold its annual Artfest celebration and workshop on Oct. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the New Castle County Absalom Jones...

Cost: Free

Where:
New Castle County Absalom Jones Community Center
310 Kiamensi Rd
Newport, DE  19804
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Sponsor: Center for Disabilities Studies
Telephone: 302-831-3632
Contact Name: Audrey Rossi
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Funny, funky – and only a little bit frightening!  NYC’s family rockers Erin Lee and Philip Joseph from the Up Past Bedtime Band are bringing their Not-So-Spooky Halloween Hoot to the kids’...

Cost: $10.00

Where:
World Cafe Live at The Queen
500 N Market Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: Peanut Butter and Jams
Telephone: 302-994-1400
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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
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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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The Rehoboth Beach Film Society and the Cape Henlopen Educational Foundation are proud to present The Metropolitan Opera’s live broadcast of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” on Saturday,...

Cost: $15 - $25

Where:
Cape Henlopen High School Theater
Kings Highway
Lewes, DE  19958
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Sponsor: The Rehoboth Beach Film Society and the Cape Henlopen Educational Foundation
Telephone: 302-645-9095 x2
Contact Name: Denise Hoban
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Join us for fine wine and great music at Penns Woods Winery's FREE Lawn Concerts all summer long!June6/6/2014: Matt Santry 5:00pm - 8:00pm6/7/2014: Tim Williams 1:00pm - 4:00pm6/14/2014: Matt...

Cost: FREE with wine purchase (glass/bottle/flight)

Where:
Penns Woods Winery
124 Beaver Valley Road
Chadds FOrd, PA  19317
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Telephone: 610-459-0808
Contact Name: Carley Razzi
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Visitors discover the evolution of water power at Hagley from the water wheel to the steam engine and ways the DuPont Company harnessed the power of the Brandywine to make black powder for over...

Cost: 0-$14

Where:
Hagley Museum and Library
201 Hagley Creek Rd
Wilmington, DE  19807
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Telephone: 302-658-2400
Contact Name: meg marcozzi
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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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Learn about decorative arts in America from the 17th through the early 20th centuries through lectures, workshops, and tours. By application only. Please call 302.888.4786. Two-week session,...

Cost: Please call for more information

Where:
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19735
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Trick or Treat in the Village and participate in a costume contest. $1 per person. Costume judging will be 5p-6p and the winners will be announced at 6:15p. Sponsored by the Kiwanis   

Cost: $1

Where:
Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village
866 N Dupont Hwy
Dover, DE  19901
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Sponsor: Kiwannis
Telephone: 302-734-1618
Contact Name: Tiffany Leonard
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Be among the first to enter the brand new Tatiana and Gerret Copeland Maritime Center, located at the Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard, at the 2014 King Neptune Gala. Enjoy a cocktail reception in the new...

Cost: Member $150, Non Member $175

Where:
Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard
1124 East 7th Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: Kalmar Nyckel Foundation
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Join us for a night of music and fun in the awesome Figure 8 Barn.  This event benefits the Bellevue Summer Concert Series.  $5 entry fee to benefit Bellevue.  The Friends of Bellevue are...

Cost: $5

Where:
Bellevue State Park
800 Carr Road
Wilmington, DE  19809
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Sponsor: Friends of Bellevue State Park
Telephone: 302-761-6963
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Unravel the mystery surrounding the discovery of the Egyptian tomb of Haro the Pharaoh.   Set in the 1920’s Judge Morris Estate, the newly discovered sarcophagus is unveiled while murder and...

Cost: 20.00

Where:
White Clay Creek State Park - Judge Morris Estate
76 Polly Drummond Hill Road
Newark, DE  19711
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Sponsor: White Clay Creek State Park
Telephone: 302-368-6900
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Wilmington University has established an annual fundraiser to help students realize their dreams for a degree in higher education. The Green and White Scholarship Ball is a Black Tie/Masquerade...

Cost: $100.00

Where:
Wilmington University - New Castle Campus
320 N. DuPont Hwy
New Castle, DE  19720
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Telephone: 302-295-1159

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Hauntings in History Walking Tours Fridays & Saturdays, October 17, 18, 24 & 25 at 7:00, 7:30 & 8:30 p.m. If you are brave enough to explore the darker side of New Castle's history, then join...

Cost: 12

Where:
New Castle Historical Society
2 East Fourth 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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Experience Lon Chaney’s classic 1925 film with Wilmington’s own Paul Fleckenstein accompanying with original organ literature, opera arias, and popular songs. In a month of spooky, creepy...

Cost: Tickets: $15 advance; $20 at door

Where:
First & Central Presbyterian Church
1100 Market Street, Rodney Square
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Sponsor: Market Street Music
Telephone: 302.654.5371
Contact Name: Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald
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Darlington's 2014-2015 Coffee House Series includes 8 concerts featuring a variety of local musicians. Bring your friends, a picnic and beverage of your choice; corkscrew, coffee, tea and...

Cost: $15 general admission, $10 members, or 4-concert pass for $40

Where:
Darlington Arts Center
977 Shavertown Road
Garnet Valley, PA  19060
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Telephone: 610-358-3632
Contact Name: Darlington Arts Center
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The Phantom of the Opera — Live Music & The Original Silent Film Experience Lon Chaney’s classic 1925 film with Wilmington’s own Paul Fleckenstein accompanying with original organ...

Cost: $15-20

Where:
First & Central Presbyterian Church
1100 Market Street, Rodney Square
Wilmington, DE  19801
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Telephone: 302.654.5371
Contact Name: David Schelat
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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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Get a big taste of Elizabethan life on weekends and Labor Day Monday at Mount Hope Estate and Winery in Manheim, Pa.

Where:
Manheim, PA


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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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September 27, October 25, November 29 8 a.m. Bring your eyes, ears and a comfortable pair of hiking boots. Our expert volunteer birder from the Museum of Natural History will lead the group,...

Cost: Free with paid entrance

Where:
Brandywine Creek State Park
41 Adams Dam Road
Wilmington, DE  19803
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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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John Moran presents glass sculptures of presidential busts, recast as heroes of American reality television.

Where:
Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts
200 S. Madison St.
Wilmington, DE
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Telephone: 656-6466
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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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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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This world championship pumpkin-throwing event in Sussex County gives new meaning to the phrase “I’m gonna hurl.” Who will be Lord of the Gourd this year? 

Where:
Dover International Speedway
, DE

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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
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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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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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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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Benefits: American Heart Association Time: Registration 8 a.m. Walk start 9 a.m. All ages and well-socialized dogs welcome.

Cost: Free

Where:
Delaware Technical Community College
Terry Campus
100 Campus Drive
Dover, DE
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Telephone: 286-5711
Contact Name: Jill Halverson

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