What To Do: Wine, festivals and so much more this weekend

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

The calendar of events for this weekend features a wide array of interesting things to do – food and wine events, garden attractions, animal-related events, full moon activities and even a monster convention.

On May 22, the 10th Annual Skippack Spring Wine Festival (Skippack Pike, Skippack, 610- 584-1155, http://winetober.com) will be held along the main street of the scenic village near the Skippack Creek in Montgomery County.

The popular annual event will feature vendors with a tasty array of wine and food samples along with live music.

Wine vendors who will be participating in this weekend’s event are Kulpmont Winery, Mermaid Spirits, Rebel Hive Meadery, RAW Winery, Moss Wines, Hawstone Hollows Winery, King Cole Winery, and Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow Winery.

The roster also features Deer Creek Winery, Stone & Key Cellars, Boardroom Spirits, Juniata Valley Winery, Benigna’s Creek Vineyard & Winery, Inc., Kiki Vodka Company, Aulenbach Wines, Blue Mountain Vineyards & Cellars and Hazard’s Distillery, Inc.

This year’s Skippack Spring Wine Festival will be held from 1-6 p.m. each day. Tickets for the event, which include food and wine sampling, are $25.

The Upper Darby Greek Festival 2021 (St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church of Upper Darby, 229 Powell Lane, Upper Darby, www.saintdemetrios.org) will be held May 22 and 23 with a wide array of tasty Greek treats.

The free festival focuses on food — tasty Greek main dishes such as moussaka (eggplant dish), souvlaki (meat and vegetables on skewers), arni psito (lamb) and gyros along with Greek dessert treats including baklava (phyllo, nuts and honey) and koularaki (cookies).

Other activities include vendors with crafts and Greek items. The free festival is open from 4-9 p.m. on Friday, from noon-9 p.m. on Saturday and from 1:30 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday.

Rhubarb can be a negative if it refers to an angry discussion or a positive if it refers a produce item that is frequently used in fruit pies.

On May 22, the 2021 Rhubarb Festival will be held at Kitchen Kettle Village (3529 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse, 800-732-3538, www.kitchenkettle.com). The festival starts at 9 a.m. and runs to 6 p.m.

In Lancaster County, people have been celebrating rhubarb for over 30 years. This is the time of year when Kitchen Kettle Village comes alive with the sweet aroma of rhubarb jam bubbling in its kettles.

Rhubarb Festival

Rhubarb is the harbinger of spring in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, and every year Kitchen Kettle Village pays tribute with a two-day food festival filled with delicious and sometimes zany events.

The not-your-everyday annual event will feature attractions and activities for people of all ages, including a rhubarb racecar derby, homemade desserts, the “Rhubarb Stroll” mini-parade, a “Rhubarb King and Queen Contest” and more.

The free, family-oriented event will also feature a wide array of homemade rhubarb foods, including rhubarb dips, rhubarb sauces, rhubarb pies and rhubarb drinks.

Every Saturday and Sunday through May 23, the Chaddsford Winery (632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, http://www.chaddsford.com) will present “Taste of Spring — Reserve Tastings.”

Visitors are invited to join the winery staff for an intimate and educational 60-minute experience in the newly renovated Barrel Room – and be one of the first to taste the highly-anticipated ’20 Sparkling Rosé before it is released to the public.

Chaddsford’s trained staff will guide guests through a pre-selected tasting of five diverse and award-winning wines from across the winery’s portfolio. The selections will be paired with seasonal local cheeses and other accoutrements.

Also featured will be discussions about topics such as grape growing conditions at the winery’s partner vineyards and the onsite winemaking process from production to aging and bottling.

“Reserve Tastings” are $35 per person. There will be three seatings per day – noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Advanced reservations are required and are non-refundable.

This is an outdoor event subject to capacity restrictions to ensure social distancing.

The Mount Hope Estate & Winery (Route 72, Cornwall, 717- 665-7021, www.parenfaire.com) will have its usual wine tastings this weekend – and a lot more.

The next full moon arrives on May 26.

Prior to that, Mount Hope Estate & Winery will celebrate the full moon with a “Full Moon Fest” – which is also billed as a “Full Moon Comedy Night.”

The event will take place this weekend on May 22 from 8-10 p.m.

Always ready for a party, the restored Victorian-era barn of the Barn & Barrel at Mount Hope is the perfect location to showcase intimate, limited seating theatrical events.

The first floor’s stonework bar offers the wine, beer, cider and spirits produced at the Estate. The second-floor event space overlooking Mount Hope’s award-winning full production winery provides a theater space to enjoy new events brought to the barn in celebration of the monthly Full Moon Fest at the Barn & Barrel.

Tickets are General Admission: $15 in Advance / $20 Day-Of. All Full Moon Fest Events are 21 and over.

Another full moon event is scheduled for the night of the full moon.

On May 26, Bellevue State Park (800 Carr Road, Wilmington, Delaware, destateparks.com) will host a “Full Moon Hike.”

Bellevue Hall mansion commands a grand view of this historic estate, and its present form reflects alterations made by William du Pont, Jr.

Mr. du Pont surrounded his home with the finest facilities: tennis courts, equestrian stables, gardens, and a picturesque pond, amid woodlands and fields overlooking the Delaware River. The park was acquired by the State of Delaware in 1976.

When the sun goes down on May 26, Bellevue’s park rangers will lead a hike around the park land surrounding the mansion as they search for a good view of the dazzling May full moon.

The event will get underway at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person and registration is required (302-761-6963).

Two other Delaware destinations worth checking out are the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington and Historic Odessa.

The Delaware Art Museum (2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, Delaware, www.delart.org) is welcoming back its DelArt Cinema Drive-in Series.

Participants can enjoy a classic film from the comfort of their own car. Concessions will be available to purchase on site. Rain dates will be scheduled as needed. Parking begins at 7:15 p.m. and the movie starts at dusk.

The current schedule is: Friday, May 21 – “Ed Wood”; Friday, May 28 – “Weekend at Bernie’s”; Friday, June 4 – “The Color Purple.”

Tickets, which include popcorn and soda, are $19 per person.

Historic Odessa (Main Street, Odessa, Delaware, 302-378-4119, www.historicodessa.org) is a Delaware attraction known for being both a scenic and an historic site. In March, Historic Odessa celebrated the beginning of its 2021 season.

Known in the 18th-century as Cantwell’s Bridge, Odessa played a vital role in commercial life along the Delaware River as a busy grain shipping port.

Today, visitors can stroll along tree-lined streets and admire examples of 18th- and 19th-century architecture in one of the best-preserved towns in Delaware.

They can also tour a remarkable collection of antiques and Americana preserved in period room settings and quaint exhibits.

Historic Odessa is open to the public from March through December, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1-4 p.m.  The site is also open Monday by reservation.

HOF’s new season got underway with “Potpourri of the Palette: Watercolor Paintings by Linda Hall.” The exhibit features some of the award-winning artist’s vivid floral still life watercolor paintings and light filled landscapes, inspired by her bayside village of Betterton, Maryland. The exhibit, on display in the Historic Odessa Visitors Center Gallery, is running now through June 27.

Hall’s work is well known throughout the region. She was awarded “The Colson Award” in the 2010 BWS Mid-Atlantic show. She is a member of The Working Artists Forum of Easton, and Chestertown River Arts. She was recently awarded Signature membership in the Philadelphia Watercolor Society (PWCS).

The Yellow Springs Art Show got its start back in 1973 as a free event featuring a variety of artists displaying their work on clotheslines.

It has changed immeasurably since then and has become one of the largest and most prestigious annual art shows in the Delaware Valley.

The Yellow Springs Art Show, which is still free and open to the public, is closing in on its golden anniversary. The popular annual event now features artists working in a variety of genres and styles.

The show is running now through May 23 in Historic Yellow Springs Lincoln Building (Art School Road, Chester Springs, 610-827-7414 or www.yellowsprings.org). Show hours are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

All proceeds benefit arts education, environmental protection and historic preservation of the 300-year-old village of Historic Yellow Springs.

Admission is free and reservations are not required. All patrons who visit any of the village indoor locations must wear a mask and to follow all HYS safety protocols.

The Elmwood Park Zoo (1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown, www.elmwoodparkzoo.org) has several upcoming special events.

On May 22 and 23, the Zoo is hosting “Breakfast with the Giraffes.”

Guests can enjoy a delicious, socially distanced outdoor breakfast buffet, right next to the zoo’s three towering giraffes. After participants have cleared their plates, they will be invited to an exclusive giraffe feeding.

The breakfast will get underway at 8:30 a.m. The event will also be held on May 29 and 30.

The Zoo will have another animal-themed special activity on May 21, 26 and 28 called “Dog Days.”

All guests visiting the zoo with a furry friend must complete an online waiver and submit required documents before visiting the zoo. You must upload a copy of your most recent veterinary visit, including proof of vaccine and heartworm test here. All items will be required for you to attend Dog Days.

The “Dog Days” event is slated to run from 1-5 p.m.

Pricing is $10.95 per dog with each additional dog at $9.95. Regular zoo admission is required for all humans.

Another special event at the Zoo will be the “Pollinator Party” on May 22 from 10:30 a.m.-noon.

Visitors can buzz on over to the zoo to learn about the beneficial bugs that make our gardens and crops grow.

Participants at the “Pollinator Party” can help educators build native bee houses that will be placed around the zoo, providing vital habitat and shelter for these important winged friends.

They will also have the opportunity to pot their own native plants to help attract pollinators to their homes.

Dogs will also be in the spotlight at another local event this weekend.

On May 23, walking can be good for you and good for the animals of the Brandywine Valley SPCA. That’s because Sunday is the day for the BVSPCA’s Annual Walk for Paws at West Goshen Community Park (1023 Fern Hill Road, West Chester, bvspca.org).

Walk for Paws is one of the local SPCA’s most important fund-raising events. All proceeds benefit animals, programs and services at the Chester County SPCA. Because fund-raising is the goal, the organizers encourage everyone to gather pledges and win prizes.

A 5K Run will be held at this year’s Walk for Paws event, which will also include the traditional mile-long walk. You can also run your own course while your time gets registered into the main run event results as a virtual runner.

Anticipation of summer is in the air and the season has already arrived at Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org) with the start of its annual “Festival of Fountains.”

Longwood Gardens

The 2021 “Festival of Fountains,” which just opened at the beginning of May, is running through September 26.

Daily performances in the Main Fountain Garden will feature more than 1,700 spinning jets that spin dance to various music programs. These are no little jets as some shoot up as high as 175 feet in the air.

The 30-minute show is slated for Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 9:15 p.m.

The 2021 Illuminated Fountain performance schedule for this month is: May 21, Rockin’ the Red, White, and Blue; May 22, The Beatles; May 27, An Evening with Leonard Bernstein; May 28, Pure Imagination; and May 29, To Philly, With Love.

The Main Fountain Garden Show’s “Fountains Then and Now” show is a 12-minute fountain performance that begins with a touch of narrated history and concludes with dynamic choreography marrying music and the site’s newest fountain features.

These displays will be presented daily at 1:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. There will also be performances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:15 p.m.

Another daily show in the Main Garden is “Classical, Jazz, and Hits of Today,” another 12-minue show but with a different musical style. These will be presented daily at 1:15 and 5:15 p.m.

The third show on the roster is “Fountain Refresher,” which is billed as “a five-minute mix of music genres that teases the theme of that evening’s Illuminated Fountain Performance.”

These are scheduled for Thursday through Saturday from May 6-August 28 at 6:15 and 8:15 p.m. and September 2 through October 30 at 6:15 p.m.

There will also be daily shows in the Open Air Theatre and the Italian Water Garden.

Featuring 750 jets in changing patterns, the Open Air Theatre comes alive with fountains set to music.

Since its 1914 Garden Party debut, this Italian-style outdoor theatre has expanded from its simple original fountains to the 750 jets that create the rainbowed curtain of water you see today, while playing host to more than 1,500 performances throughout the years.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, Longwood has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all ticketed concerts, fireworks shows and in-person continuing education classes. But live music can be heard in the Beer Garden, where live instrumental music from traditional Celtic tunes to Caribbean steel pan grooves sets the tone Thursday through Saturday evenings.

Beer Garden performances are scheduled through August from 6-9 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday evenings. They will also be held in September from 5-8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

As always, admission by “Timed Ticket” — tickets issued for specific dates and times. Timed ticketing limits the number of people in the Gardens at any given time and allows guests to enjoy minimal lines and a better viewing experience.

You may enter the Gardens up to 30 minutes prior and 30 minutes after your designated time. Make every effort to arrive at your designated reservation time. Earlier or later arrivals may not be accommodated.

Video link for “Festival of Fountains” — https://youtu.be/AHsC2YuFerY.

Admission to Longwood Gardens is $25 for adults, $22 for seniors (ages 62 and older) and college students, $18 for active military and veterans and $13 for youth (ages 5-18).

Another prime location to check out flowers in bloom is Tyler Arboretum (515 Painter Road, Media, 610-566-9134, www.tylerarboretum.org).

Additionally, “Weekday Bird Walks: Limited Edition” are scheduled for every Wednesday in May from 8-10 a.m. Participants can join Chuck Root and Sara Boucas-Neto on morning bird walks at Tyler.

With acres of unbroken forest interior and extensive meadows, Tyler is recognized by the Pennsylvania Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area. Participants are asked to bring their own binoculars and be prepared to walk on all types of surfaces. Walks are rain or shine. Tickets are $15 and include admission to Tyler for the day.

Tickets are $15 and include admission to Tyler for the day.

The Morris Arboretum (100 East Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-247-5777, www.morrisarboretum.org) is presenting several tours guaranteed to appeal to all.

The “Marvelous May Tour” features a trail through an array of blooming plants and trees including White fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus). Commonly called fringetree, but also known as gray-beard or old man’s beard, this deciduous shrub or small tree is native to Eastern U.S.

Other tour highlights are Japanese styrax (Styrax japonica), a small, flowering tree with showy, mildly fragrant, white pendulous, bell-shaped flowers that hang below the foliage which is native to China, Japan, and Korea. Also featured are Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) and Florida azalea (Rhododendron austrinum).

Morris Arboretum is also offering its annual “Garden Highlights Tour” this month. Experienced guides will share both the history and current highlights of the Arboretum during a one-hour walking tour.

Tours depart from the Visitor Center at 1 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday in April.

Admission to the Morris Arboretum is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors (65 and older) and $10 for youth (ages 3-17).

A popular annual event in Philly’s Delaware River waterfront area is back for 2021 – “Kayaking Excursion” at the Independence Seaport Museum (211 S. Columbus Blvd. Philadelphia, 215-413-8655, www.phillyseaport.org).

On May 23, “Kayaking Excursion: Sunset Paddle” will be held from 6-8 p.m.

This expedition starts with time in the protected area of the Penn’s Landing Marina for kayaking practice, lessons, and guidance from experienced kayaking guides.

Once confident with the basics, kayakers will proceed with a relaxed guided expedition on the Delaware River.

Tickets are $60.

The museum’s popular “Paddle Penn’s Landing” will return on May 28 and run through September 6.

There will be a pair of interesting events this weekend in the area near Philadelphia International Airport.

On May 22 from 9 a.m.-noon, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum (8601 Lindbergh Boulevard, Philadelphia, www.fws.gov/refuge/John_Heinz) is presenting an event called “Guided Fishing Adventure.”

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is hosting a guided fishing adventure where participants will learn about fishing basics and fish ecology. This guided event is open to everyone and is a great way to get into fishing and spend a fun day outside.

The event will be three hours long and include information on wildlife advocacy and outdoor safety, a fishing lesson from local sponsored angler Neaven Reevey, and guided fishing time.

No fishing license is required, and fishing gear can be provided.

Fort Mifflin (Fort Mifflin and Hog Island roads, Philadelphia, 215-685-4167, www.fortmifflin.us) is hosting an event called “World War II – Explore the Eastern Front” on May 22 and 23.

Visitors can experience World War II history along the Eastern Front by partaking in living history activities with soldiers and civilians, guided tours and special “Tour of the Eastern Front” visiting all army camps.

Participants can explore the politics in Europe, the cuisine behind the lines and stories from the home front. Kids will enjoy the “grenade toss” activity (Saturday only).

Another highlight will be the Immortal Regiment March at 3 p.m., followed by a special folk dance performance by the Kaleidoscope Dance Troupe.

All displays, demonstrations and tours take place outdoors. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic to enjoy in the riverfront picnic area.

The event will run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for veterans with ID and students.

There are also two interesting attractions in Bucks County this weekend – Peddler’s Village and Sesame Place.

It’s the middle of “Strawberry Month” at Peddler’s Village (Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, 215-794-4000, www.peddlersvillage.com) – a popular annual celebration of the sweet red berry.

Every day in May, visitors can savor strawberry-themed food and drink specials at the village’s restaurants and eateries. On weekends, they can visit the site for live entertainment and strawberry treats served at outdoor food tents.

This weekend’s featured attractions will be Dwayne Dunleavy as DJ Host on Main Green from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Cheddar Boys in the CNB Tent from noon-3 p.m. and fresh strawberries and strawberry jams/jellies/preserves.

Sunday’s attractions will be Acoustic Road in the Courtyard from noon-3 p.m., Spinning Straw in CNB Tent from 12:30-3:30 p.m., a strolling stilt walker from 1-3 p.m., Give and Take Jugglers at 1 p.m., and fresh strawberries and strawberry jams/jellies/preserves.

Sesame Place (100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, www.sesameplace.com) is a festive, family-friendly amusement park in Langhorne.

Now through June 20, Sesame Place is hosting “Elmo’s Springtacular.”

“Elmo’s Springtacular” at Sesame Place is filled with furry fun and exciting events. On weekends now through June 20, guests can join in on the fun with an exciting lineup of meet & greets, music, magic, pirate adventures, and fireworks.

“Pete the Cat Meet and Greets Weekend” is scheduled for May 22 and 23.

Visitors to Sesame Place will have the opportunity to meet Pete the Cat, star of the bestselling Pete the Cat book series by James Dean.

Fans of the fictional feline star will be able to both meet Pete the Cat and pose for physically distanced photos.

On May 22, the Colebrookdale Railroad (South Washington Street, Boyertown, www.colebrookdalerailroad.com) is running its “Doodlebug Excursion” at 1 p.m. and its “Secret Valley Expedition” at 5 p.m.

The tourist rail line’s two-hour expedition into the Secret Valley features rides on meticulously restored century-old rail cars and visits one of the most scenic and historic regions in the northeast.

The railroad will be offering a lunch aboard the Secret Valley Expedition to all dining class passengers. Riders can enjoy a choice of Chicken Parmigiana or lasagna while journeying through the verdant land lost in time. Children on board will be served chicken fingers with macaroni-and-cheese.

First Class Parlor and Lounge Car fares include one complementary beverage served in a commemorative glass, an hors d’oeuvre plate that includes a fine selection of cheeses, meats, cranberries, and mixed nuts, and a cheesecake dessert as part of the ticket price.

Additionally, an a la carte menu is available in all cars and all passengers have access to our open car for near 360-degree views of the Secret Valley.

Deluxe coach fares are $36 for adults (13-64), $29 for children (2-12), $31 for seniors (65 and older) and $6 for toddlers.

There will also be a “Secret Valley Expedition” lunch train on May 23 at 1 p.m.

Last but not least is the monster event.

Monster-Mania Con 46 will be held May 22 and 23 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (Station Avenue, Oaks, www.phillyexpocenter.com).

One of the nation’s premier horror film conventions, Monster-Mania Con features an impressive list of celebrities who will be appearing this weekend, including Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelken, Doug Bradley, Jeanine Taylor, Kristy Swanson and Lauren Marie-Taylor.

Visitors to the convention will be able to meet the stars, get autographs, browse vendor rooms and enjoy films and special events all weekend long.

Activities get underway 10 a.m. each day.

Admission is $13.

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