Day tripping: Places to explore this Memorial Day weekend

Big Stock Photo

Big Stock Photo

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and you’re not going down the Shore, but you don’t want to stay cooped up at home all weekend either. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some day trips that will satisfy foodies, families, and the outdoorsy alike.

Fifth annual Pork Roll Festival

  • May 26, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Mill Hill Park, 165 E Front St., Trenton, N.J. 08608
  • www.porkrollfestival.com
  • Tickets are $5 each; four tickets for $15

Yes, an entire festival dedicated to New Jersey’s favorite processed pork product: the pork roll, also known as Taylor Ham. You’ll find food trucks serving up the titular meat, of course, plus live music, a pork roll recipe competition, and the Pork Roll Queen competition. Contestants spar in a Q&A competition, and show off their talents. The 2015 winner, Elisha Tegeder, won by eating a pork roll while in a one-handed handstand.

Make a day of it: Visit Grounds for Sculpture, a sprawling 42-acre park featuring an ever-evolving collection of outdoor sculptures and art installations. It’s open until 9 p.m. on weekends, but be sure to reserve a timed ticket online. It’s free to veterans on Monday.

Devon Horse Show and Country Fair

This is the country’s oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed horse competition. Over the course of the fair, you can watch a fox-hunting demonstration, a Shetland pony steeplechase and dressage (yes, that’s horse dancing). Friday night there’s even a dog show. Plus, the country fair has everything from fried Oreos to a tea cart. There are vendors selling furniture, clothing, art, and a midway with carnival rides. Be sure to go Monday for the Memorial Day salute to the troops. Active and retired military, as well as police, fire, and EMT personnel get in free.

Make a day of it: If you want to enjoy the outdoors without the fried foods or aroma of horse manure, visit nearby Jenkins Arboretum, or take a short drive to Valley Forge National Park, where the Continental Army camped in the winter of 1777-1778.

Explore Brandywine Battlefield Park

  • Visitors Center open Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday noon – 4 p.m.
  • 1491 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, Pa. 19317
  • Free to walk the grounds; museum entry $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children, free for veterans

Relive one of the Revolutionary War’s largest land battles by walking the trails or taking a tour of Brandywine Battlefield, where 15,000 British troops squared off against nearly 15,000 troops under the command of Gen. George Washington. This isn’t a victory story. The Continental Army lost at Brandywine, and that allowed the British to take Philadelphia. But Washington, of course, persevered, and went on to win the war.

Make a day of it: Check out the 47th Annual Brandywine Antique Show at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, featuring 26 dealers of vintage furniture, needlework and art. Chaddsford Winery is hosting a free admission Blues Festival all weekend long. And you can end the night with the first fireworks and fountains show of the season at Longwood Gardens.


This article is part of a new effort recommending things to do in the Philly region.  Tell us what you think.

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