If you’ve never taken a warm-weather trip to Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley, you’re missing out on natural beauty, festivals for just about any interest, and plenty of incredible food. Sports enthusiasts can cheer on those competing in the Delaware Marathon, Wilmington Grand Prix, or the Point-to-Point Steeplechase. There are things to do for history buffs, music fans, arts and crafts aficionados and more.
As you plan your spring or summer trip, consider adding even more experiences to your schedule with a Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport. The Passport provides savings on 12 of our area’s top attractions, including thousands of acres of gardens, the legacy of the du Pont family, and incredible works of art.
Bring your creative soul.
Come to Wilmington this spring for the Bellefonte Arts Festival and the Maker Fest at Hagley. Or, if you’re saving your visit for July, mark your calendars for the Delaware Shakespeare Festival and the Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair. Plus, take advantage of your Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport to gain entry to six additional museums!
August Quarterly isn’t technically an arts fair—it’s so much more than that—but that doesn’t diminish it’s place on our list of recommended festivals to attend. This late summer festival honors the founding of the Union Church of Africans, the first African-American Church in the United States! Today, this two-day festival celebrates African heritage with music, crafts, music, stage performers, children’s events, storytelling, food, books and more.
Arden Fair is the place to wrap up summer. It’s a festival unlike any other, rooted in the history of Delaware’s artists’ colony that dates back to 1900! Spend your Labor Day weekend with hundreds of artisans, listening to incredible music, and letting the kids have a blast with the Shakespeare Gild.
Bring your dancing shoes.
The Ladybug Music Festival in July has been dubbed America’s biggest celebration of women in music. More than 10,000 fans flocking to the festival each summer will agree it’s a weekend to remember! If you’re into blues, jazz or reggae, the Brandywine Valley has something for you, too. Plan a trip this summer and attend the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in June, People’s Festival 4Peace Tribute to Bob Marley in July or the Riverfront Blues festival in August.
Bring your appetite.
Sweets and peaches, burgers and fancy chef bites… we’ve got it all! Join us for the Celebrity Chef’s Brunch or City Restaurant Week in April. Have a sweet tooth that can’t be swayed? Try New Castle County Ice Cream Festival in June, or bite into the fresh taste of summer time at the Middletown Olde-Tyme Peach Festival in August.
The Delaware Burger Battle, also in August will put your taste buds (and your stretchy pants) to the test! Chefs from all over Delaware gather for one day to duke it out for the honor of having the best burger in the state. Classic combinations are put head-to-head with crazy toppings and all kinds of mix-ins… come one, come all, and vote for your favorite!
Bring your camera.
There is certainly no shortage of photo ops of the natural beauty of Delaware, now in full bloom! Spring and summer in the Brandywine Valley bring several festivals that shine a spotlight on our glorious gardens and native flowers. From the Wildflower Celebration at Mt. Cuba (included in the Passport), the Wilmington Flower Market to Wilmington Garden Day, the colors, scents and scenes are unmatched. Historic New Castle is hosting the nation’s oldest home and garden tour, where visitors can stroll amongst colonial buildings, homes and gardens, stops on the Underground Railroad and more during the Day in Old New Castle. While you’re there, use your Passport to gain entry to the Read House and Gardens; another jaunt through history that’s not to be missed.
No matter when you visit this spring or summer, be sure to use your Passport for entry to the Festival of Fountains at Longwood Gardens. As the sun goes down, the show starts at the Main Fountain Garden, where water sprays tall, spins, twirls and even bursts into flames along with the music of the evening. It’s a show you must see to believe!