What To Do: As things open, more entertainment options emerge

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

It’s been more than three months since the quarantine/shelter-in-place/stay-at-home way of life took over in the United States because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Everyone has been experiencing what it’s like when a misbehaving kid has been “grounded indefinitely” by his or her parents. Everyone has been champing at the bit – waiting to get the green light to go out again.

Fortunately, the government-imposed restrictions have been eased a bit – which means you can go out again.

That’s right – you CAN go out again. The main problem is finding somewhere to go other than shopping or dining.

Concert halls, museums, music clubs, tourist attractions, swimming clubs and movie theaters still have yet to re-open.

But there are options for recreational visits – fun and interesting options.

Hey, there is even an option for live entertainment this weekend.

In partnership with Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds, SALT Performing Arts (www.saltpa.com) is presenting “SALT Beyond The Walls,” a Drive-In live concert style summer series with “Songs Through The Decades.” Shows are scheduled for June 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. each night.

Guests are invited to pack a picnic and enjoy 16 talented SALT performers singing songs from the 1930s-2010s.

SALT Performing Arts, a non-profit organization, is committed to providing live community theatre throughout the entire year, enriching workshops, dinner theatre, professional performance opportunities for people from all walks of life, summer camp programming, and community outreach.

According to SALT Performing Arts president and artistic director Lauren McComas, “This is unprecedented times and this is something entirely new that we’re trying out this summer.”

The drive-in theatre works as follows:

Admission is $25 per vehicle.

Reservations must be made online prior to the performance at https://www.saltpa.com/beyondthewalls.

Admission to the fairgrounds will start an hour before the event start time.

Each vehicle should have a printout of the ticket placed visibly on the front dashboard/window.

Upon entering the fairgrounds, attendants will guide vehicles for parking around the newly constructed fairgrounds stage

Audio is provided via 90.7 FM radio transmission.

On-site concessions will be available for delivery to your vehicle.

Binoculars are encouraged.

Attendance will be limited to 70 vehicles.

The show will last approximately 90 minutes.

There are no bathrooms at the Fairgrounds.

“If you are hoping to be able to park next to some friends, we encourage you to caravan here together so that you arrive at the same time and then can park next to each other,” said McComas.

“Now, when you are here, you can feel free to roll down your windows. You can shout out the window at other people. You just can’t get out of your car.

“So, what if you have to go to the bathroom while you’re here? Well, you’re not allowed outside of your car so you can get creative. Or, if you need to drive off the grounds, you’d be welcome back on.”

In a video on SALT’s website, McComas also jokingly made a serious comment that might make advocates of social distancing cringe — “It’s $25 for a carload. Can you stuff 10 people in a car and only pay $25? Yes, you can.”

Maybe if you do it in a Mini Cooper or a Scion iQ, they will give you free admission.

SALT performers for this weekend’s shows are Alicia Huppman, Emily Davis, Liz Robertson, Robert Rinaldo, Genevieve Brogdon, Dina Spyropoulos, Rebecca Finkenaur, Danny Murphy, Dylan Zangwill, Sami Uggla, Drew Kalkiewicz, Hannah Elliott, Sophie Rowland, Grace Halsey, Danielle Kucera, and Leyla Marusa.

Other “SALT Beyond the Walls” weekends are July 24-25, “Kids on Broadway” on July 24 and 25 and “Songs from the Silver Screen” from August 14-16.

Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds are located at 1326 Pottstown Pike in Glenmoore.

If you get up early on June 21, you can get some outdoor activity in by participating in “Outdoor Bodycombat with Steph.”

Bodycombat with Steph

“Bodycombat with Steph” will get underway at 8 a.m. at Tonicity Fit LLC. (510 East Gay Street, West Chester, https://tonicityfit.sites.zenplanner.com/event.cfm?EventId=A0A45F1D-D009-48C1-A4E4-6BADF3BAAEA4)

BODYCOMBAT is a high-energy martial arts-inspired workout that is totally non-contact. Participants can punch and kick their way to fitness and burn up to 740 calories in a class.

Price for the class is $8. In the event of inclement weather, you will receive a full refund for the session.

Some of the area’s scenic garden attractions have begun welcoming back visitors.

Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, https://longwoodgardens.org/) has re-opened – sort of.

Longwood posted the following on its website:

Our garden gates are open on a limited, non-public basis for our Members only. As we have navigated unprecedented times, our appreciation for you, our Members, has grown by leaps and bounds, and we send you our heartfelt gratitude for your support, your encouragement, and your love for Longwood.

Longwood Gardens

Just as our Gardens are a place of pleasure and respite, they are also a place of wellness and safety. Please honor the new visiting guidelines we’ve created in accordance with state and local regulations. It takes all of us to make our Gardens a world apart.

We will continue to make updates to our visiting guidelines, as well as open up Timed Admission Ticket purchasing as soon as we are able. We appreciate your ongoing understanding.

When visiting, please remember to:
—Wear a mask
—Make room for one another
—Practice good hygiene
—Mind the green dots
—Follow one-way paths.

Another Longwood website page posted this:

We kept our promise to you. We’re welcoming you back to a place of beauty, a place of resilience, a place that has been so lovingly sustained … for all of our yesterdays, our todays, and our tomorrows.

Our beloved plants and trees have been waiting patiently to show off their beauty, give you a place of respite, and demonstrate the power of resilience. Upon reopening, our visiting experience will be different. We are committed to maintaining our culture of safety and well-being for all. Therefore, we have instituted new visiting guidelines in accordance with state and local regulations to help provide a safer and enjoyable experience while enjoying the beauty of our Gardens.

These new regulations touch many aspects of visiting our Gardens, including operating days and hours, Member reservations and ticket availability, personal protective equipment when visiting, arrival practices, mobility rentals, available restrooms, open garden spaces and pathways, and more. Conditions in our Gardens will continue to evolve, as will visiting guidelines, and we look forward to offering additional experiences as soon as we are able.

For example, some of our iconic outdoor garden spaces will require mindful walking in order to maintain safety and social distancing while you enjoy them … but they’re still here and still thriving. Our indoor spaces, including our Conservatory and Peirce-du Pont House will not be available upon our reopening … but they’ll be ready and waiting for when we can once again open their doors.

Upon reopening, we will be keeping our fountains running continuously throughout the day. The fountains will be dancing to the sounds of water and nature, not to music nor to dedicated shows, so you may soak in the splendor at any time while still maintaining social distancing.

While conditions will evolve and guidelines will change, many constants remain. Our appreciation for you. Our gratitude for one another. Our joy in sharing our beauty with you. And our commitment to many, many more beautiful tomorrows. Welcome back to Longwood.

Admission to Longwood Gardens is — Adults, $25; seniors (ages 62 and older) and college students (with valid ID), $22; youth (ages 5-18), $13; children (4 and under), free. Longwood Gardens membership prices start at $90.

Other scenic attractions in the area also have re-opened with limited membership-only options.

Winterthur Garden

Winterthur Garden (5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Delaware, http://www.winterthur.org/) has opened its garden and other outdoor areas to Members by reservation only under the guidelines of Delaware Governor John Carney. Members can make a reservation for timed tickets only. Timed tickets will be available for two-hour intervals, beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. daily.

Hagley Museum & Library (200 Hagley Creek Road, Wilmington, Delaware, www.hagley.org) has opened the lower property with miles of trails and stunning scenery along the Brandywine exclusively to Hagley Members. With consideration for state mandates regarding social distancing and mass gatherings, Hagley is open only to Hagley Members on an advance reservations-only basis.

Tyler Arboretum (515 Painter Road, Media, https://tylerarboretum.org/) is open on a limited basis for Tyler members only. Pre-Registration is required. Tickets cannot be purchased at the gate and walk-ins are not permitted under any circumstances.

Tyler members can register for one of three available time slots: 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. (rain or shine). Only 25 vehicles will be permitted entrance to the property during each time slot. All treehouses, trail gates and all other buildings will remain closed until further notice. Only the restrooms in the lower level of the Barn will be available.

Other sites have limited access but are open to everyone.

Jenkins Arboretum (631 Berwyn Baptist Road, Devon, www.jenkinsarboretum.org) is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Please limit your visit to 1 hour to allow time for others to visit without crowding. You must wear a mask and practice social distancing at all times during your visit.

Andalusia Historic House, Gardens and Arboretum (1237 State Rd, Andalusia, https://andalusiapa.org/) reopened its 100-acre space for socially distant, self-guided tours on select days beginning on June 15. Guests can purchase timed tickets online and explore the lovely grounds and exterior of the attraction’s impressive Greek Revival mansion.

Wissahickon Valley Park (various entry points including 120 W. Northwestern Avenue, https://fow.org/), a lush, 1,800-acre gem in near Roxborough, offers 57 miles of trails, crossing forest and meadow. Visitors can walk, bike or ride a horse through on the trails, or venture up the steeply wooded paths for a more challenging hike or off-road cycling adventure.

The grounds of Awbury Arboretum (The Francis Cope House, One Awbury Road, Philadelphia, awbury.org) remain open daily from sunrise to sunset, and, as always, are free. In response to the current public health crisis related to COVID-19, the Cope House, Education Center, and Arboretum offices are closed until further notice.

Parks on Tap (www.parksontap.com) is back for its fifth season of supporting Philadelphia’s parks. The travelling outdoor beer garden that gives back will adapt to social distancing rules for the new season by implementing a stationary beer garden in several fixed locations.

The first summer-long location is situated outside on the grounds of the Fairmount Horticulture Center Arboretum (100 N. Horticultural Drive). It will feature fresh food, beers on tap, wine and non-alcoholic beverages set in an outdoor environment with comfortable chairs and clean restrooms.

Parks on Tap is family (and fido) friendly. Season hours for Parks on Tap at the Fairmount Horticulture Center will be Monday-Friday from 4-10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon-10 p.m. A free membership is required. Food and drink are pay-as-you-go. Seating is first come, first served.

Delaware Museum of Natural History (4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, www.delmnh.org) has its outdoor campus open for exploration.

Delaware Art Museum (2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, Delaware, www.delart.org) has its Copeland Sculpture Garden available to the public from dawn to dusk.

Down in nearby Delaware, the state parks (https://destateparks.com/) opened on June 1 including several that are located in close proximity to Chester County such as Alapocas Run (1914 W. Park Drive, Wilmington, https://destateparks.com/Alapocas), Auburn Valley (630 Benge Road, Yorklyn, https://destateparks.com/History/AuburnValley), Brandywine Creek (41 Adams Dam Road, Wilmington, https://destateparks.com/BrandywineCreek), and Bellevue (800 Carr Road, Wilmington, https://destateparks.com/Bellevue).

The list of nearby parks also includes Fox Point (Lighthouse Road, Wilmington, https://destateparks.com/PondsRivers/FoxPoint), White Clay Creek (750 Thompson Station Road, Newark,https://destateparks.com/WhiteClayCreek) and Wilmington State Parks (https://destateparks.com/Wilmington) — Brandywine Park (North Park Drive), Rockford Park (2000 Lookout Drive) and H. Fletcher Brown ( South Park Drive and N. King Street).

Delaware Park

Another major attraction that will draw people to the Diamond State is Delaware Park Racetrack (777 Delaware Park Blvd.
Wilmington, Delaware, www.delawarepark.com) which re-opened for the year on Wednesday. The 83rd season of live racing at Delaware Park came to life with spectators and enhanced safety protocols, including enforced social distancing.

The racetrack posted the following protocols — Live racing attendance will be limited to a combined total of 3,000 patrons, both inside and outside; Initial access to the Clubhouse will be limited to the Paddock entrance; All patrons will have their temperature taken prior to being granted access to the Clubhouse: Temperature will be taken by thermal imaging camera or touchless, handheld thermometer; All patrons will be asked two health screening questions if they have any symptoms related to COVID – 19 or if there has been any close contact with a person testing positive for COVID – 19 during the previous 14 day period: Guests flagged by temperature reading of 99.5° or higher (as established by Delaware Health & Social Services), or flagged by the health screening questionnaire will be prohibited from entering; Guests demonstrating symptoms will be asked to immediately vacate the property; Patrons entering the Clubhouse will be given a wristband that will need to be worn at all times; All patrons must possess a face mask when entering the property, bandanas will not be acceptable; FACE MASKS COVERING THE NOSE AND MOUTH MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES WHILE INSIDE THE CLUBHOUSE, EXCEPT WHEN EATING. NON­COMPLIANCE WILL RESULT IN A WARNING TO THE PATRON AND COULD RESULT IN THE PATRON BEING ASKED TO LEAVE THE PROPERTY; Face masks are strongly encouraged outside while properly social distancing and required when in areas that social distancing is not possible and while making wagers or ordering food and/or drinks; Proper social distancing will be enforced inside the Clubhouse and in the outside seating areas. Patrons will not be allowed to congregate in any areas, except those patrons from the same household; Hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout the Clubhouse and outdoor seating areas; Outdoor seating will be available on the Apron and in the Grove area, including the tent.

The schedule for the 2020 Delaware Park racing season is: June 17 through October 17 — Live racing daily on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday (Thursday added July 16 through October 1).

The 155th anniversary of the commemoration of Juneteenth in the United States is being celebrated on June 19, 2020.

Events celebrating black culture and history in Philadelphia honor the special day — June 19, 1865. It was the day — two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed — that enslaved Africans in Texas learned slavery had legally been abolished in America.

Juneteenth is a statewide holiday in Pennsylvania and city holiday in Philadelphia. Usually, Juneteenth celebrations feature events, festivals and parades in neighborhoods — including Historic Germantown and West Philadelphia. But COVID-19 has taken this off the table.

There will be a few special events at the Museum of the American Revolution (www.aampmuseum.org) on June 19. The Museum will celebrate the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth by exploring the continuing struggle for equality for all. Juneteenth was declared a state holiday in Pennsylvania in 2019. The Museum’s Juneteenth virtual programs are free and open to all.

On Friday at 9 a.m., tune into the Museum’s Facebook for a 20-minute performance of the one-woman theatrical piece “Freedom on the Horizon” with actor and historical interpreter Nastassia Parker as she portrays Ona Judge, an enslaved woman who ran away from George and Martha Washington’s household in Philadelphia. Parker previously joined the Museum in 2019 as part of the Museum’s Meet the Revolution series of living history interpretation.

The performance will be followed by an Instagram Live question-and-answer session with Parker at 1 p.m. about the story of Ona Judge and Parker’s experiences as a living history interpreter of color. She will be joined by Tyler Putman, the Museum’s Manager of Gallery Interpretation.

Also on Friday, virtual visitors to the museum can discover the story of Harry Washington, who was originally enslaved by George and Martha Washington and found freedom through service in the British army. A Virtual Discovery Cart featuring replica items like those owned or used by Harry Washington will be posted on the Museum’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

With the Museum’s recently enhanced, free Virtual Tour, you can explore the galleries anytime to learn the intimate—often unfamiliar—stories of free and enslaved people of African descent during the Revolutionary era. Virtual visitors will learn about Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, an enslaved woman who sued for her freedom and won; London Pleasants, an African American teenager who joined Benedict Arnold’s British American Legion as a trumpeter; and Crispus Attucks, a dockworker of African and Native American descent who was killed during the Boston Massacre and is considered by many historians to be the first casualty of the American Revolution.

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One Comment

  1. Judy Elliott says:

    The lineup this weekend is amazing!! You will not be disappointed.

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