See Nightscape before it fades away
After dark, Longwood Gardens turns into a vast canvas onto which the artists of the Klip Collective project beams of light that spin, dance, tell stories – and bring the gardens to life in an entirely new way. After it’s acclaimed debut last year, “Nightscape” returns for its second (and likely final) installation at Longwood from Aug. 3-Oct. 29, 2016. Tickets will often sell out.
Craft your own trail through local breweries
Start in Newark, which gave birth to regional powerhouse Iron Hill Brewery. Visit Stewart’s and Argilla’s brewing companies, and then pop in on the young turks at the just-opened Bellefonte Brewing Company for a Diamond State Bourbon Stout.
Be dazzled by spring’s awakening at Point-to-Point
Join a spring tradition that will transport you to a time and place where horse-drawn carriages bring the finely dressed to the country for a day at the races. What will draw your eyes more – the jumping horses during the steeplechase races, or the endless people watching? Wear your finest floppy hat, bring a picnic and enjoy the return of spring.
Hike or bike all the way across Delaware
Hikers and bikers begin on the banks of the Delaware River in Delaware City, then navigate along the Branch Canal Trail, a half-mile through Civil War history. It connects to the 12.1-mile Mike Castle Trail, running along the picturesque C&D Canal past the Delaware border and into scenic Chesapeake City, Maryland. (Note: It’s true, we’re a skinny state – it won’t take you that long.)
Experience Shakespeare outdoors and under the stars
The Delaware Shakespeare Festival creates “magic in Rockwood Park” every summer. The magnificent Rockwood Mansion overlooks the grounds where the players take the stage, and the audience brings their own picnic baskets, blankets and chairs to enjoy professional Shakespeare that The Philadelphia Inquirer says is “worth the trek.”
Watch rowers compete for the Dead Poets Trophy
On the same grounds where film crews made “Dead Poets Society” more than 25 years ago, another type of crew now rules the water. The Diamond State Masters Regatta, a USRowing-sanctioned event, takes over Noxontown Pond in Middletown for one weekend in July every year. Come race alongside Olympic hopefuls, or just spectate in a place that’s virtually unchanged since its “Poet” days.
Celebrate with the original secessionists
Delaware celebrates its simultaneous separation from both England and Pennsylvania (a full month before the rest of the country caught up) during the annual Separation Day in Historic New Castle. The weekend is full of parades, live music and fireworks. Come celebrate (as locals would call it) 241 Years of Not Being Pennsylvania.
Bike the most scenic route on the east coast
Spectators enjoy the thrill of the race at the annual Wilmington Grand Prix, but both professionals and amateur riders take to the streets the day after for the Gran Fondo, a 100-kilometer course that travels through Hagley Museum & Gardens, Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library and a dozen other attractions. Last year, riders from 17 states participated.
Visit with history and herons on Pea Patch Island
Fort Delaware once protected the ports of Wilmington and Philadelphia shortly after the War of 1812. Today, historical re-enactors will take you back in time to the fort’s busy days during the Civil War. After, spend some time with the island’s happy (if temporary) inhabitants – flocks of migratory birds and the largest heron rookery on the East Coast.