What To Do: Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance celebrates the Corvette

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

A classic Corvette

There is one American sports car that stands out above all the rest – the Chevrolet Corvette. The ’Vette has been on a plateau all its own ever since it was introduced in 1953.

The Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance also is on a plateau all its own. The Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance is the premier concours event in the Delaware Valley.

The 2021 Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance event will celebrate the Corvette – “America’s Sports Car.” And it will showcase one of the most iconic ’Vette’s in Corvette history – the 1956 Corvette SR-2.

Last year’s two-day concours event was cancelled due to the pandemic and this fourth “annual” event has been rescheduled as a one-day program on July 17.

The Fourth Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance will be held this Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum (6825 Norwitch Drive, Philadelphia,www.philadelphiaconcours.com) and will focus on the Corvette – including the legendary 1956 Corvette SR-2.

The iconic purpose-built 1956 Corvette SR-2 was created by Harley Earl, the head of styling for General Motors Corp. in the 1950s. He and Zora Arkus-Duntov, who also shared the title of “Father of the Corvette” with Earl, had the vision to create the first Corvette for 1953 production.

Earl’s son Jerome, who was racing a Ferrari in 1956, ended up having to switch brands because of his father’s position with GM. The top brass of the company felt that Jerome should be racing a Corvette instead, so Harley Earl designed a special Corvette for him – the SR-2. More than 17 Chevrolet engineers worked on the car in multiple shifts each day to prepare it for the 1956 Sport Car Club of America racing season.

The car went on to be raced by legendary drivers such as Dr. Dick Thompson, John Fitch, Jim Jeffords and Augie Pabst, and even drag-raced by Vernon Kispert. Throughout the years the car changed hands and is now with its present owner, Irwin Kroiz.

This all-ages event will be held at the world-famous Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum and will feature an invitation-only assembly of Corvettes and other American and European classic and historic automobiles and race cars. The day-long fundraising event includes professional judging and awards presented for historical accuracy, technical merit, and style. The popular Hagerty Youth Judging program will also be implemented. This year’s classes are: Pre-War, Post-War, Open, Closed, Sports, Muscle and Kids Choice.

Other featured activities will be a Cool Car Corral, a Corvette Corral, panel discussion with Corvette legends, Youth Judging, kids’ activities, celebrity guests, and more. A Cool Car Tour Rally will kick off the day starting at 8 a.m.

The day will also include family-friendly activities; celebrity guests (including Super Bowl-winning Coach Dick Vermeil); a Car Corral open for local car enthusiasts to exhibit their classic cars; food and specialty vendors; and access to the Simeone Museum.

At 12:30 p.m., Corvette racing, design and marketing legends will join Dr. Frederick Simeone, founder of the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, in a panel discussion about the history of Corvette – “America’s Sports Car.”

Tony DeLorenzo and George Wintersteen will represent the racing history of the Corvette, while Ed Welburn and Lowell Paddock will speak on the subject of the car’s design and General Motors’ marketing strategies that led to the Corvette’s overwhelming popularity in the U.S. and around the world.

Historian Harry Hurst will M.C. the discussion. This will be the first time this group of illustrious authorities on the Corvette will be gathered in one place to share their knowledge of the history and legacy of this iconic Chevrolet sports car.

The event benefits Cool Cars for Kids in affiliation with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in providing help and hope to children with rare genetic diagnoses and disorders, and their families, and to support research that will identify the best possible treatments.

The Philadelphia Concours will host a Cool Cars for Kids Car Rally starting at 8:30 a.m. on July 17 at La Locanda Ristorante in Newton Square. The rally will tour through the Chester County countryside and finish at the Simeone Automotive Museum in Philadelphia.

Tickets for the Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance are $25 for adults and free for children (12 and under).

The Barnard House in Pocopson

This month’s edition of the 2021 Kennett Underground Railroad Bus Tours (www.kennettundergroundrr.org) is scheduled for July 18.

The popular, family-friendly bus tours are led by a knowledgeable local guide.

Riders will have the opportunity to visit documented Underground Railroad sites, historic homes and Quaker Meetinghouses while learning about local abolitionists and anti-slavery activity in the Kennett Square area.

The tour, which departs at 1:30 p.m., also presents the contributions of local African Americans and their faith communities in the quest for freedom from slavery.

Tours begin at the Brandywine Valley Tourist Information Center, which is located at 300 Greenwood Road in Kennett Square.

Tickets are $23.

A great way to spend a summer day in southern Chester County is to put together a “Daily Double” with visits to Chaddsford Winery and Longwood Gardens — attractions which are located just seven miles apart on Route 1.

Chaddsford Winery (Route 1, Chadds Ford, 610-388-6221, www.chaddsford.com) is hosting “Chillin’ at CFW” on July 17 and 18.

Visitors can beat the summer heat with a variety of chilly wine treats at Chaddsford Winery which is offering $1 discounts on its full range of frozen libations.

Some of the featured treats will be “Grape Wine Slushie,” “Wine Poptail,” “Wine Popsicle,” and “Scoop of Gemelli’s Pear Sorbetto with Niagara Demi.”

Food items will be available for purchase from the Polish Connection food truck.

Chaddsford Winery will also be presenting “Reserve Tastings – Summer Sips” on select Saturdays and Sundays in July and August.

Visitors are invited to join the winery’s staff for an intimate and educational 60-minute experience in the newly renovated Barrel Room tasting some of Chaddsford’s latest wine releases.

The trained staff will guide you through a pre-selected tasting of five widely diverse wines from across the portfolio.  The selections will be paired alongside local cheeses and other accoutrements to enhance your tasting experience.

The staff will also discuss topics such as grape growing conditions at partner vineyards and the onsite winemaking process from production to aging and bottling.

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

The “pairing lineup” is Greeting Wine: 2019 The White Standard wine spritzer with peach and fresh herbs; 2020 Sauvignon Blanc with Yellow Springs Farm Black Diamond; 2020 Dry Rosé with Birchrun Hills Farm Little Chardy and sour cherry pomegranate preserve; and 2020 Niagara Demi Sec with Gemelli’s Pear Sorbetto.

Longwood Gardens (Route 1, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000, www.longwoodgardens.org) is always a special place to visit – especially during the run of its annual “Festival of Fountains.”

Longwood Gardens

The 2021 “Festival of Fountains” opened in May and 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 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 now through 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).

The Brandywine River Museum

Another popular attraction can be found along the same stretch of Route 1 — The Brandywine River Museum (1 Hoffman’s Mill Road, Chadds Ford, www.brandywine.org).

The Museum is now open Wednesdays through Mondays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and closed Tuesdays.

To ensure the safety, security and quality of the visitor experience, the Brandywine has implemented a variety of procedures, including timed ticketing and capacity limits. While not required, advance purchasing of timed tickets is highly recommended. Click below to reserve your timed tickets.

During its closure, the Museum underwent several facility renovations to its second and third floors. Upgrades included a complete refurbishment of the restrooms on the second floor, making them fully ADA accessible, as well as switching their current location with the Strawbridge Family Gallery (which will open later this summer), plus new HVAC and fire suppression systems.

Opening into the Museum’s central atrium, the reimagined Gallery — complete with new state-of-the-art lighting — will improve circulation within the Museum building, enhancing the visitor experience.

The special exhibition currently on view is “Ralston Crawford: Air & Space & War,” which will be running now through September 19.

Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors (65+), $6 for students with ID and children (ages 6-18) and free for children (ages five and under).

The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum (8601 Lindbergh Boulevard, Philadelphia, www.fws.gov/refuge/John_Heinz) has several attractive events scheduled for this weekend.

“Birds Walk with Chuck and Emily” will take place on July 17 from 8-10 a.m.

Visitors can take an educational walk with one of the Refuge’s knowledgeable volunteers and discover the 300-plus species of birds that use the Refuge during their migration routes. Each week guarantee different species.

Participants will meet by visitor center. The walk will be at a relaxed paced on flat surfaces. There are restrooms and a water fountain near the trailhead.

“Family Nature Discovery Days – What’s in our water?” is scheduled for July 17 starting at 10 a.m.

Guest can join the environmental education team as they provide fun and educational activities for the whole family.

The crew will explore what critters live in the Refuge’s water in July. Participants should meet at the Visitor Center.

The special event on July 18 will be “Introduction to Smartphone Nature Photography with Jeff Linder.”

The workshop, which is slated to get underway at 10 a.m., will discuss the best subject matter, camera apps, filters and storage, then head out into the refuge to practice composition skills before returning to review.

Tyler Arboretum

Another venue where you can get close to nature is Tyler Arboretum (515 Painter Road, Media, 610-566-9134, www.tylerarboretum.org).

The arboretum’s schedule for this weekend features the “Pink Hill Tour – Tyler’s Serpentine Barren,” the “Blue Trail Tour” and “Saturday Evening Wildflower Walk” on July 17.

The “Pink Hill Tour – Tyler’s Serpentine Barren” will start at 9:30 a.m.

Guests can join Dr. Roger Latham for a tour of Tyler’s Serpentine Barren, known as “Pink Hill”. Pink Hill is renowned as a “serpentine barren”, yet the ancient grassland there is anything but barren. Serpentine barrens are globally rare ecosystems and hotspots for biodiversity, including many imperiled species.

Of roughly 40 locations described a century ago in the eastern U.S., less than 20 remain, and all of those have lost species due to habitat shrinkage. Pink Hill showcases the only surviving serpentine barren of 10 that once existed in Delaware County.

Tour participants will hear about the barrens’ origins and links to continental collision, extinct megafauna, and Native American prehistory; see the unique landscape and some of the endangered and threatened species; and learn what Tyler is doing to restore and sustain this geological, ecological and cultural treasure. Mid-July is when we hope to see the native Philadelphia Wood Lilies in flower, a brightly colored reddish-orange flower not often seen in our area.

On the “Blue Trail Tour,” which runs from 10-11 a.m. on July 17 and again on July 20, guests might see totally white plants shaped like a smoker’s pipe, strange spider webs resembling slender tubes as they reach underground, and lengthy berms of soil purposely built generations ago near Rocky Run stream. Participants will pass fallen trees supporting an eco-community of life as they decay, and an open meadow full of summer wildflowers and insects.

“Saturday Evening Wildflower Walk,” which runs from 6-8 p.m., features wildflower expert Dick Cloud on an informative two-hour hike that will take guests through meadows, woods, and occasionally streamside. These walks are for those who have a love of plants, their role in ecology, or for those who want to learn more.

Although the focus is on plants, Cloud will also talk about whatever else is seen on the tour. Walkers should wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring a camera and/or a wildflower guide, for this botanical-filled walk.

Admission to Tyler Arboretum is $15 for adults (ages 18-64), $13 for Seniors (65+) and $9 for children (ages 3-17) and Military with valid ID.

The Morris Arboretum (100 Northwestern Avenue, Chestnut Hill, www.morrisarboretum.org). is offering its “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. These tours are small groups and space is very limited.

This reservation is good for admission to the Arboretum as well as for the tour itself. The tour is weather permitting. If the tour is cancelled, your ticket is still good for admission. Another attraction at Morris Arboretum is the ultra-popular Garden Railway Display, which has become a major summer attraction at the site. The annual edition of the display will remain open until October 11.

The railway has a quarter mile of track featuring seven loops and tunnels with 15 different rail lines and two cable cars, nine bridges (including a trestle bridge you can walk under) and bustling model trains.

The buildings and the display are all made of natural materials – bark, leaves, twigs, hollow logs, mosses, acorns, dried flowers, seeds and stones – to form a perfectly proportioned miniature landscape complete with miniature rivers.

Philadelphia-area landmarks are all meticulously decorated for the holidays with lights that twinkle. There is even a masterpiece replica of Independence Hall are made using pinecone seeds for shingles, acorns as finials and twigs as downspouts.

This year the tracks are surrounded by miniature replicas of “Wonders of the World.” Visitors will be able to see the Eiffel Tower, Hagia Sophia, the Egyptian Pyramids, the Wall of China and more.

Admission is $20 for adults; $18 for seniors (65 and older); $10 for students (ages 13-17 or with ID), active military and retired military; and free for children (under 3).

Another site with impressive gardens can be found just across the Pennsylvania-Delaware state line.

Nemours Estate

Nemours Estate (850 Alapocas Drive, Wilmington, Delaware, www.nemoursmansion.org) has now re-opened after a pandemic safety closure.

Hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Reservations are not required and there is no timed entry.

Nemours Estate comprises an exquisite, 77-room Mansion, the largest formal French gardens in North America, a Chauffeur’s Garage housing a collection of vintage automobiles, and 200 acres of scenic woodlands, meadows and lawns.

Nemours was the estate of Alfred I. duPont.

Alfred named the estate Nemours, after the French town that his great-great-grandfather represented in the French Estates General. While looking to the past and his ancestors for inspiration, Alfred also ensured that his new home was thoroughly modern by incorporating the latest technology and many of his own inventions.

The Gardens is one of the estate’s prime attractions.

The two elk at the top of the Vista are the work of French sculptor Prosper Lecourtier (1855–1924), a specialist in animal figures. Lined with Japanese cryptomeria, pink flowering horse chestnuts and pin oaks, the Long Walk extends from the Mansion to the Reflecting Pool.

The 157 jets at the center of the one-acre pool shoot water 12 feet into the air; when they are turned off, the entire “Long Walk” is reflected in the pool. The pool, five and a half feet deep in its deepest section, holds 800,000 gallons of water and takes three days to fill. The Art Nouveau-style, classical mythology-based “Four Seasons” around the pool are by French-born American sculptor Henri Crenier (1873–1948).

Admission to Nemours is $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and $8 for children.

Hagley Museum and Library (Buck Road East entrance via Route 100, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-658-2400, www.hagley.org) is presenting an educational event this weekend called “Sights, Sounds and Smells at Hagley Museum.”

The event, which involves walking on uneven ground, is scheduled for July 18 at 11 a.m. starting at the Visitor Center.

Visitors will experience an in-depth, hands-on tour focused on gunpowder production in the Hagley Powder Yard and visit production areas rarely seen by guests. This tour ends with an explosive finish.

The tour is included with Hagley Museum admission, which is $15, Adults; $11, Seniors (age 62 and up) and Students $11; $6, Children (ages 6-14).

The Delaware Art Museum (2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, Delaware, www.delart.org) has both outdoor and indoor special events this weekend.

On July 18, the Museum will present “Picturing America” Public Guided Tour at 1 p.m.

Visitors will be able to check out the Museum’s new galleries of American art and explore highlights throughout the Museum’s collections with a knowledgeable and friendly Museum Guide.

Shaped by community feedback, the Museum’s main floor reimagines the stories told with art. Significant new artworks add depth and diversity. New design and conservation showcase the collection vibrantly and preserve it for future generations.

This reinstallation is the first comprehensive Museum rehanging since 2005. Since then, the collections have grown to include significant pieces by women and Black artists that tell a more inclusive story of the visual arts. The reinstallation also brings focus to the role of local artists and collectors in the history of art.

The “Free Movies in the Sculpture Garden” series will feature a screening of “Key Largo” on July 16 at

This classic film noir by John Huston stars Humphrey Bogart as World War II vet Frank McCloud. Visiting Key Largo to pay his respects to the family of his late war buddy, McCloud attempts to comfort his comrade’s widow, Nora (Lauren Bacall), and father, James Temple (Lionel Barrymore), who operate a hotel. But McCloud realizes that mobsters, led by the infamous Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson), are staying in the hotel. When the criminals take over the establishment, conflict is inevitable.

Films begin at dusk. Arrival for blanket and chair set-up begins at 7 pm. Concessions will be available to purchase on site. Films will be shown in our auditorium if the weather is inclement. Limited seating will be available indoors due to social distancing restrictions.

Admission to the Delaware Art Museum is $14 for adults, $7 for students, and $6 for youth (ages 7-18).

Delaware is loaded with fun, family-oriented attractions.

The Kalmar Nyckel (www.kalmarnyckel.org) offers river cruises, day and evening sails, and appearances from April through October each sailing season.

This weekend, there will “Christina River Cruises” leaving from the Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard in Wilmington, Delaware – one on July 17, two on July 18, and one on July 22. There will also be a “Pirate sail” on July 18 at 10 a.m.

The 1.5-hour cruises will depart at 10 a.m., 1:30 and 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday and at 3:30 p.m. on July 22.

The ship’s schedule is subject to change without notice due to the nature of the weather and conditions beyond control.

For two decades, the Kalmar Nyckel, which has its home base in Wilmington, has been hosting riders all over the world – especially in Delaware.

A ride on the Kalmar Nyckel is a totally different from most tourist water rides. The ship is a beautiful recreation of the original Kalmar Nyckel, which was built in Holland in the 1620s. Her mainmast is taller than a 10-story building and she carries 7,600 square feet of sail area and six miles of rigging.

The original Kalmar Nyckel was a Swedish-owned, three-masted armed pinnace that sailed from Goteborg, Sweden in November of 1637 and brought the first permanent European settlers to the Delaware Valley.

In 1986 a group of citizens established the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation to design, build and launch a replica of the Kalmar Nyckel at a shipyard adjacent to the original landing site.

The new Kalmar Nyckel was constructed there and was launched on September 28, 1997. She was commissioned on May 9, 1998, and now serves as Delaware’s sea-going Ambassador of Good Will. She is a fully functional sail training vessel and has represented Delaware all over the country.

Prices range from $25-$40.

On July 17 and 18, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Delaware, 800-448-3883, www.winterthur.org) will introduce a new annual event – “Artisans Market at Winterthur,” which is subtitled as “Winterthur Celebrates American Artistry & Craftsmanship.”

Visitors can experience fine craftsmanship at Winterthur’s first annual Artisan Market. Many of the region’s most talented craftspeople will present their outstanding examples of modern-day artisanship.

Attendees will be able to spend a summer day exploring Winterthur and being inspired by the collection and landscape, while shopping for unique, original objects, including antiques and collectibles; furniture and home décor; upcycled and architectural salvage pieces; high-quality crafts and handmade items; vintage clothing and jewelry; artisanal and small-batch gourmet packaged goods; original art in a variety of media; and garden items.

The event, which runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days will also feature live music.

Saturday’s performers are: The Joe Hillman Band, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Allison Dietz, noon-3 p.m.; and The Midnighters, 1-4 p.m. Sunday’s schedule features: The Midnighters, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Allison Dietz, noon-3 p.m.; and The Quixote Project, 1-4 p.m.

The Artisan Market is included with a general admission ticket, which includes access to the 60-acre garden, miles of paths and trails, a self-guided introductory tour of the house, and exhibitions.

On July 17, Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-228-8200, www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org) will host “Cinema in the Cemetery: Little Shop of Horrors” at 8:30 p.m.

As the sun sets over the historic tombs, the grainy joys of the film experience will be brought to life during the Friends of Laurel Hill & West Laurel Hill Cemeteries’ annual Cinema in the Cemetery series. July’s feature film will be Little Shop of Horrors directed by Frank Oz and presented in conjunction with the Philadelphia Film Society.

On July 21, Laurel Hill Cemetery will present “Hot Spots and Storied Plots” walking tour at 10 a.m.

In life and in death, we all have stories to tell, and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead?

This tour provides an informative overview of Laurel Hill’s long history, which includes many of the marble masterpieces, stunning views, and legendary stories about Laurel Hill.

“Hot Spots and Storied Plots” is the perfect introduction for anyone who enjoys beautiful art, scenic nature, and fascinating history. An experienced graveyard guide will offer a unique perspective. No two “Hot Spots and Storied Plots” are alike.

The tour will take place on July 10 at 10 a.m. — departing from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia. The tour Guide will be Joe Lex.

Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are: $12/General Admission, $10/Seniors (65 & Up), $10/Students with ID, $7/Members, $6/Youth (6-12), and $0/Child (5 & Under). Youth and children must be accompanied by an adult.

This Saturday is a special day at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, www.ansp.org).

“Hungry Pop-Up at the Academy” is scheduled to get underway at 11:30 a.m. on July 17.

Every Saturday in July, local chefs will be serving up delicious and sustainable lunches.

The Academy is partnering with Hungry, a national platform for top local checks and food delivery services. Hungry is committed to environmental sustainability and uses materials that are either fully compostable or recyclable.

Hungry is also committed to the fight against hunger, and for every two meals purchased at the Academy, the organization will donate one meal through food bank partnerships.

Visitors to the museum can also check out the Academy’s latest exhibit, “Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs,” which shows the species that predated dinosaurs.

Visitors to the museum can step back in time 290 million years to when bizarre-looking creatures dominated life on land and sea, and dinosaurs had not yet evolved. They can also learn about the most devastating mass extinction the world has ever seen when “Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs” takes up a year-long residence at the Academy.

The exhibit blends vivid artwork, amazing fossils and full-size scientifically accurate models of moving beasts to recreate this relatively unknown period that ended with the most devastating extinction of life. Visitors will explore odd-looking sharks, strange reptilelike precursors of mammals, a vicious giant saber-toothed gorgonopsid, and other extinct creatures that ruled the world millions of years before the dinosaurs.

“Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs” will be on view through January 17, 2022.  “Wildlife Photographer of the Year,” which is located in the museum’s new natural-light-filled gallery, will be on view through February 15.

Admission is $22 for adults, $19 for seniors and $18 for children (ages 2-12).

From one of the oldest, most iconic museums in Philadelphia to one of the newest, a new “Art & America” discounted joint ticket will provide access to two world-class institutions this summer.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art (2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, www.philamuseum.org) and the Museum of the American Revolution (101 South Third Street, Philadelphia,www.amrevmuseum.org) have joined forces to offer visitors a convenient joint ticket that includes access to both museums for a discounted price.

The adult joint ticket, which is $35 (savings of $11), will be available for purchase from now through September 6 at www.philamuseum.org, by calling (215) 763-8100, or at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s front desk. Tickets will be redeemable through September 20 at both museums.

This summer at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, visitors can explore Philadelphia’s extraordinary creativity in the brand new Early American Art galleries. They feature an unparalleled collection of paintings, sculpture, ceramics, furniture, glass, silver and more from the early 17th century until 1850.

More than 10,000-square-feet of new gallery space has been installed to tell new and inclusive stories of how Philadelphia became the young nation’s cultural capital, and how Black, Indigenous, and Latin American artists contributed to the development of American art.

Hope Lodge (553 South Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, 215-343-0965, http://www.ushistory.org/hope/) will be presenting a “Self-Guided Mansion Tour” on July 18.

Hope Lodge was built between 1743 and 1748 by Samuel Morris, a prosperous Quaker entrepreneur. Morris acted as a farmer, shipowner, miller, iron master, shop owner, and owner of the mill now known as Mather Mill. Hope Lodge is an excellent example of early Georgian architecture, and it is possible that Edmund Woolley, architect of Independence Hall, offered advice in building. Samuel Morris owned the estate until his death in 1770.

The site opens at 12:30 p.m. with self-guided tours starting at 1 p.m. The site closes at 4 p.m.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, guests will be able to tour the main floor of the mansion and summer kitchen areas only. Interpretive signage will be available including photos and text describing the other closed areas.

Tour admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors (age 65+) and for youth ages 6-17, and fee for children under 5. Hope Lodge is a Blue Star Museum which means that active-duty military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve and their families, are admitted free for regular tours from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Now through July 17, the Malvern Fire Company Fair (Monument Grounds, Monument Avenue, Malvern, 610-647-0693, http://www.pa-carnivals.com) will be held from 6-10 p.m. each night.

The free event features rides, games and fun for the entire family and discount ride coupons will be available at local merchants.

Guests can ride an unlimited number of rides at the 2021 Malvern Fire Company Carnival for just $20 per person per day when purchased online.

For those who like amusement rides and are looking for something even more exciting, there is Treetop Quest Philly (51 Chamounix Drive, Philadelphia, www.treetopquest.com).

Treetop Quest Philly is an aerial adventure park that will challenge you physically and mentally as you maneuver from tree to tree through obstacles and zip-lines. Once you’re equipped, they will teach you how to operate your equipment and you’ll be able to swing through each course as many times as you want for 2.5 hours.

Each participant is outfitted with a harness and gloves. Each course has a continuous belay system — a lifeline that is impossible to detach without a staff member. The activity is self-guided, and the staff is ready to assist when needed.

Gloves are required for our activity. During this time, we encourage participants to bring their own gloves to use while up in the trees, gardening gloves are perfect for this activity.

Ticket prices are $52, adults; $45, ages 12-17; $35, ages 7-11; and $20; ages 4-6.

The West Chester Railroad (610-430-2233, www.westchesterrr.net) is running its “Summer Picnic Specials” every Sunday now through Sept 19. There will be one excursion each day at noon.

Passengers can enjoy a 90-minute round trip train ride from West Chester to Glen Mills and return on a warm summer afternoon. Riders are invited to pack a lunch to have during excursion’s stop at the Glen Mills train station picnic grove.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for children (2-12) and free for children (under two).

The New Hope Railroad (32 Bridge Street, New Hope, 215-862-2332, www.newhoperailroad.com) is running its “Grapevine Express,” which features “Wine & Cheese Tasting,” on July 17 and 18.

Riders are invited to take part in a romantic “Wine and Cheese Excursion” and enjoy fine gourmet cheese, artisan crackers, meats, fruit, and our featured local wines. Additional Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic beverages are also available onboard.

Wine and cheese will be served to passengers as they travel along the same railroad line passengers did when it was built in 1891 connecting New Hope with Philadelphia. The journey travels through the beautiful hills and valleys of Bucks County, along once vital waterways and streams and across numerous trestle bridges.

The excursions will take place aboard one of the railroads lavishly appointed early 1900’s first-class parlor cars.

Tickets are $79.99 (Ages 21 and older only).

This weekend, the Strasburg Railroad (Route 741, Strasburg, 717-687-7522, www.strasburgrailroad.com) is celebrating one of its locomotives with a series called “611 at Strasburg: The Return of an American Icon.”

The Norfolk & Western Class J 611, a National Historic Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, is known as an engineering powerhouse of steam, technology, and near mechanical perfection.

The N&W Class J 611 is the sole survivor of 14 Class J steam locomotives designed and built by the Norfolk & Western Railway. The locomotive rolled out of Roanoke’s East End Shops in 1950. Its mission was to pull the Powhatan Arrow, a 15-car passenger train, from Norfolk, Virginia, to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Now, the powerful and sleek locomotive is running the rails at the historic Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster County’s scenic Amish Country.

Offered as part of the tourist railroad’s regular daily steam train service, N&W No. 611 J will be the motive power for the day’s main train on select days. She will pull 45-minute excursion rides to Paradise, Pennsylvania on the following days: July 24 and 25; August 20-22; August 27-29; September 4-6; September 24-26; and October 2 and 3.

Ticket prices range from $9.50-$45.

The Northern Central Railway (2 West Main Street, New Freedom, www.northerncentralrailway.com) is running three special excursions this weekend.

The first will be “Wild West Express with No. 17,” which is running at 11:30 a.m., 1 and 2:30 p.m. on July 17.

Riders will witness the exploits of the infamous Jesse James and Younger Gang, a well-known group of 19th-century outlaws.

During the trip to Seitzland and back, riders can experience train travel as it was in the Wild West when this notorious group held up trains and passengers.

The modern-day reenactors are using their skills for good, robbing the train for donations to New Freedom Heritage.

New Freedom Heritage is a 503c not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the rich history and culture of New Freedom, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 2004 by several members of the New Freedom Community Gardeners whose hope was to promote a better future for the community and local businesses.

Tickets are $28 Adult; $15 Child (age 3-12); $5 Toddler (in lap).

The “Glen Rock Express with No. 17” is scheduled for July 18 at 11:30 a.m.

Riders will take the train to Glen Rock with the William H. Simpson No. 17 (the rail line’s authentic replica steam locomotive) on a former Pennsylvania Railroad mainline that has been in operation since 1838. The ride follows the route of the original Northern Central Railroad through the scenic Heritage Rail Trail County Park.

Tickets are $27 Adult; $15 Child (age 3-12); $5 Toddler (in lap).

The final excursion this weekend is the “Hanover Junction Flyer with No. 17” at 1 p.m. on July 18.

The train travels through the beautiful Heritage Rail Trail County Park and southern York County countryside on this trip to Hanover Junction. The William H. Simpson No. 17 takes riders back in time to the 1860s when President Abraham Lincoln rode these tracks on his way to Gettysburg to deliver the Gettysburg Address. The excursion includes a 20-minute stopover at the Hanover Junction Museum and a history of the area’s towns and villages.

Tickets are $30 Adult; $15 Child (age 3-12); $5 Toddler (in lap).

This weekend, the Mount Hope Estate & Winery (Route 72, Cornwall, 717-665-7021, www.PaRenFaire.com) will host its annua “Antique Faire and Flea” on July 17.

Visitors to “Antique Faire and Flea” can journey through history and shop with a variety of unique merchants selling all manner of vintage curiosities, furniture, memorabilia and antiques.

Some of the participating merchants are Amy’s Antiques (Antiques, Furniture, Artwork, Blueprints, Old Tools), Axe and Bear Trading (Skulls, Bones, Furs, Hairs), Dress Your Dreams (Vintage Glass & Ceramic Figurines, Dishes), East of Eaden (Antiques & Primitives), First Cut (Antiques & Collectibles), Heddas Hobby and Family (Vintage Smalls & Furniture), Longaberger (Longaberger Baskets, Vitrified Pottery, Wrought Iron & Accessories), Mi Sissy’s Garage (Vintage, Antiques, Bespoke, One-of-a-Kind Finds) and Vintage Memorabilia (Collectibles, Memorabilia).

The event, which runs from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., features free admission and free parking.

The Rose Tree Summer Festival (Rose Tree Park, Route 252, Media, www.delcopa.gov/departments/parks) returns with a summer-long series of free outdoor shows at the scenic park just north of Media.

The schedule of upcoming shows in the next week includes Matt Santry Band on July 16, Upper Darby Summer Stage Shooting Stars on July 17, The Plants on July 18, West Chester Swing Kings on July 21 and Fusebox on July 22.

The Elmwood Park Zoo (1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown, www.elmwoodparkzoo.org) has a variety of special activities coming up.

On July 18 and 24, 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 Zoo will have another animal-themed special activity on July 16 and 21 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. It will also be held on selected dates throughout June.

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

“Zoo Revue” will be held every weekend throughout the summer with live entertainment by a variety of talented performers including musicians, young actors, magicians and more.

All performances will take place on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m-3 p.m. on the stage located next to the bison feeding deck and across from Zoo Brew Beer Garden.

Performances are free to attend with regular zoo admission – Adult, $17.95; children (ages 3-12), $13.95; and Students and Seniors, $15.95.

Peddler’s Village (Routes 202 and 263, Lahaska, 215-794-4000, www.peddlersvillage.com) is presenting “Bluegrass & Blueberries” in July — a month-long celebration of bluegrass and blueberries.

July will be Blueberry Month at Peddler’s Village.

Every day, the site will offer special blueberry-themed food and drinks at its restaurants and eateries, and also present live bluegrass and country entertainment on weekends. On Saturdays and Sundays, you can also enjoy made-to-order sandwiches and burgers at the Water Wheel Food Tent.

Many of the village’s shops will be hosting sidewalk sales and special offers throughout the month.

Sesame Place (100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, www.sesameplace.com), a family-friendly amusement park in Langhorne, is hosting “Christmas in July” from July 21-25.

Guests will be able to rock out with Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and Count von Count.

The festive “Santa Cookie Monster Meet & Greets” will be held each day at 11:30 a.m., 12:30, 1:30, 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. at Sesame Studio.

Kids can Visit Cookie Monster Santa each day during the Christmas in July Celebration. Christmas card photos will be available for purchase.

Additionally, “Christmas Photos with Elmo & Friends,” will take place each day at 11 a.m./, noon, 1, 4 and 5 p.m.

Visitors will be able to get a photo with Elmo and his friends in their holiday attire.

On June 19 and 20, the park is hosting “Father’s Day Weekend Fan Fest.”

Families can celebrate dad with a sports fan fest at Sesame Place. “Father’s Day Fan Zone” festivities include special meet & greets, photo opportunities, games and more.

Ticket prices for Sesame Place start at $49.99.

Fort Mifflin (6400 Hog Island Road, Philadelphia, www.fortmifflin.us) is presenting a special event titled, “Art En Plein Air,” on July 18 at 10 a.m.

Participants will be able to join professional artist Ed Kane and explore art in the great outdoors – to make art 18th-century style under open skies.

Art “en plein air” is about leaving indoor studios behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape. The practice goes back for centuries but was truly made into an art form by the French Impressionists.

Fort Mifflin, after its reconstruction and through its use into the 20th century, was a site of military activity and visiting artists. Seth Eastman, who was commander of Fort Mifflin in 1865, made several sketches of the Fort. These sketches ultimately informed his painting of Fort Mifflin, one of 17 artworks depicting important fortifications he completed as part of a commission in 1870 for the House Committee on Military Affairs.

On Sunday, Kane will demonstrate outdoor sketching with quill and brush in the 18th-century style. With scenes of the river, wildlife and historic buildings, Fort Mifflin is an ideal location to try creating your own art en plein air.

Fort Mifflin’s staff will have basic supplies available (or BYO) and invite you to chat with Kane for suggestions. Then, you can follow your own vision as you sketch a scene of the Fort. Take your work home with you or leave it to be incorporate into a mini-exhibit afterward.

Kane uses goose quills and handmade brushes along with homemade inks and ground pigments made into watercolor paints as his choice of mediums. He also sketches using charcoal sticks and graphite.


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