Robin Bloom shares her recommendations for Memorial Day Weekend activities.
Summer Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum
The grand opening of Morris Arboretum’s popular summer Garden Railway Display is this weekend with the theme “Awaken the Senses,” featuring buildings that incorporate one or two of the five senses. Look for a new train: a scale model of the New York Central “Hudson.” Also, Sleeping Beauty’s intricately detailed castle, Ye Olde Cakery Bakery, Randy’s Donut Shop, and more created with natural materials, on a quarter-mile track, nestled among woody plants and colorful flowers in the Arboretum’s garden, open every day through Labor Day, September 5, 100 Northwestern Avenue, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. Grand opening celebration is Saturday, May 28, 1-3pm, with children’s activities and free ice cream. Special upcoming weekends include Circus Week, July 2 through July 10 and August 27 through September 5, and Thomas the Train Engine & Friends Weekend, July 16-17 and August 13-14. Photo by Judy Miller.
Festivals, Food, Fleas, & Fun
Blue Cross RiverRink’s Summerfest opens for the season this weekend with children’s activities, live music, games, arts and crafts, mini golf, and more, including the debut of the 200 seat Chickie’s and Pete’s Waterfront Crabshack. Festivities kick off Friday, May 27 at 1pm with an open skate and DJ Jazzy Jeff spinning from 9pm-11pm, Penn’s Landing. Photo courtesy of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.Collingswood May Fair returns for the 37th year, offering activities for all ages along Haddon Avenue. Enjoy over 200 artists and crafters, children’s activities in the Kid Zone, live music on several stages and much more including the Collingswood Farmers Market, Saturday, May 28, 10am-5pm, Collingswood, NJ. Parking in the PATCO lots and on side streets. #SassySaysThe Downingtown Fine Arts Festival features artists, food trucks, vendors, music in the Armor Alley Pocket Park and more, Saturday, May 28, 10am-6pm, and Sunday, May 29, 10am-5pm, 100 Block of E. Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown, PA.Franklin Flea at Reading Terminal Market brings 40 vendors to Filbert Street offering antique, vintage and up-cycled furniture, vintage clothing, collectibles, antiques, jewelry, art, and handmade goods by local makers and designers, Saturday, May 28, 11am-6pm, 1100 Block of Filbert Street, between 11th and 12th Streets, Philadelphia. Next market date is June 18.
Through Indian Eyes: Native American Cinema
Celebrate independent Native American filmmaking at International House Philadelphia with Through Indian Eyes: Native American Cinema, a landmark touring program of 20 films directed by Native Americans, May 27 through June 9. Organized by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, the diverse selection of feature films, documentaries and short films will be screened in the Ibrahim Theater, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. In conjunction with the series, Penn Museum presents a free 50th anniversary screening of Navajo Film Themselves, Saturday, June 11, 5pm, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street, Philadelphia. Pictured: Smoke Signals, opening night film.
Wildwoods International Kite Festival
The Wildwoods International Kite Festival returns this weekend, Friday, May 27 through Monday, May 30, called the largest kite festival in North America, as kite makers from around the world showcase their creations. Events include an illuminated kite fly, kite exhibits, workshops, auction, competition, mass ascension, and more, taking place inside the Wildwoods Convention Center and on the beach at Rio Grande Avenue in Wildwood, NJ. Photo courtesy of Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority.
Camden Children’s Garden Fit & Fun Festival
Camden Children’s Garden’s annual Fit & Fun Family Festival is back, highlighting easy and fun ideas for a healthy lifestyle, with music, crafts, a veggie make-n-take planting activity and educational activities that support healthy living, Saturday and Sunday, May 28-29, 1-4pm, 3 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ. Photo by Keenly Kristen.
Charles Fazzino: The Master of 3D Pop Art
World renowned 3D artist Charles Fazzino brings his latest collection of 3D limited edition fine art silkscreen serigraphs to Ocean Galleries. Charles Fazzino: The Master of 3D Pop Art opens Friday, May 27 through Monday, May 30, with all artwork on display available for purchase. Known for his unique, hand-assembled layering technique that produces his recognizable, bright colored 3D renderings of New York and many other cities, the popular artist will be on hand to meet guests and sign purchased artwork during receptions on Saturday, May 28, 7pm-10pm, and Sunday, May 29, 1pm-3pm and 7pm-10pm, 9618 Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, NJ. All events free and open to the public. Pictured: “Paws in Paris,” Charles Fazzino©
Antiques Show at Brandywine River Museum of Art
The annual Antiques Show returns to the Brandywine River Museum of Art this Memorial Day Weekend, May 28-30, with 26 prominent antiques dealers showcasing a variety of 17th, 18th, and 19th century American furniture, rugs, porcelain, needlework, folk art, and other fine collectibles. Events include dealer talks, a preview reception, Friday, May 27, a Saturday, May 28 breakfast and lecture on the exhibit Flowery Thoughts: Ceramic Vases and Floral Ornament at Winterthur, opening May 28 and on display through September 5 at U.S. Route 1, Chadds Ford, PA. Grab a Treasure Trail Passport for admission to 11 Brandywine Valley attractions including Brandywine River Museum of Art and Longwood Gardens (featured below), valid May 28 through September 5. Includes map. Photo courtesy of Brandywine River Museum of Art.
Delaware By Hand Spring Show
The Biggs Museum of American Art hosts the annual Delaware By Hand Spring Show, spotlighting the First State’s fine arts and crafts community, Saturday, May 28, 10am-4pm, in the park at the Zwaanendael Museum, Lewes, DE. The show features a wide array of works for sale by the artists of the Biggs Museum of American Art, including furniture, wood, metal, glass, ceramics, photography, fiber, sculpture, baskets, printmaking, jewelry and painting. Photo courtesy of the Biggs Museum of American Art.
Longwood Gardens welcomes summer
Longwood Gardens welcomes summer with the return of the Fountain Shows, resuming May 27. Five minute shows run on the hour from 10am-5pm and at 5:55pm daily and five minute evening shows run on the hour Thursdays through Saturdays, June 9 through July 30, from 6pm-9pm and at 9:55pm featuring 750 jets in changing patterns. Upcoming summer events include the Wine and Jazz Festival and concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chick Corea Trio, Natalia Lafourcade, The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, Joey Alexander Trio and Time for Three, and Taj Mahal Trio and Bettye LaVette. Explore Spring Blooms, the Meadow Garden with 3 miles of walking trails, learning pavilions, a restored farmhouse, wildflower plantings and more, Route 1, Kennett Square, PA. Grab a Treasure Trail Passport for admission to 11 Brandywine Valley attractions, valid May 24 through September 1. Includes map. Photo by Sue Hare/courtesy of Longwood Gardens.
The 8th annual DelFest is Del McCoury and his musical family’s homage to all things bluegrass, May 26-29 at the Allegany County Fairgrounds in Cumberland, Maryland, nestled along the Potomac River in the scenic Appalachian Mountains. Artists include the Del McCoury Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers, Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, Yonder Mountain String Band, the Infamous Stringdusters with Nicki Bluhm, Keller Williams, and more along with crafts, children’s activities and camping. Photo by Type II Photography – Roger Patteson.
For more music festivals within driving distance of Philadelphia from now through September, check out the Music Festival Guide.
Cape May Music Festival
The Cape May Music Festival returns for the 27th year with a mix of music, May 29 through June 16, presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. Enjoy Irish and brass band music, classical music, jazz and more from the 35 piece Atlantic Brass Band, New York Chamber Ensemble with soloist Stacy Shames, Deirdre Reilly (pictured), Bay-Atlantic Symphony, the Jōst Project, a Champagne Jazz Brunch, and more at various venues in Cape May, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Deirdre Reilly.
Memorial Dei Festival
The 6th annual Memorial Dei Festival and Family Picnic returns to Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’ Church), presented by Sexton Sideshow, Monday, May 30, 11am-8pm. Artists include Ben Arnold (pictured), John Faye and those Meddling Kids, Kuf Knotz featuring Lizanne Knot and more, hosted by Ken Kweder, 927 S. Water Street in Philadelphia’s Queen Village neighborhood. Photo courtesy of Ben Arnold.
Remembering on Memorial Day
The National Constitution Center pays tribute to our nation’s service men and women with a weekend full of activities, May 28-30, including flag ceremonies, The Star Spangled Banner: A History of Our National Anthem Show, flag etiquette workshop, 18th century games, Thank-A-Vet postcards and other family activities, plus a concert with the Air National Guard Band, 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia. Admission is free on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30.Independence Seaport Museum and The Chapel of Four Chaplains host a Memorial Day celebration aboard the Spanish-American War Cruiser Olympia (pictured), Monday, May 30, 2pm, with “Remembering the Unknown Soldier,” featuring a pop up display of pictures and video of the Unknown Soldier, the Color Guard of the United States Coast Guard, the firing of Olympia’s signal guns, plus access to the Museum, 211 S. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia.
“Arsenic and Old Lace” at Candlelight Theatre
The farcical black comedy Arsenic and Old Lace takes to the stage at Candlelight Theatre through June 19. The Broadway classic, written by Joseph Kesselring, originally opened in 1941 and ran for 1444 performances. Directed by Tom Teti and featuring Susan Dewey and Susan Giddings as the sisters Abby and Martha, 2208 Millers Road, Wilmington, DE. All tickets include dinner and the show. Photo by Kelsey McDowell.
Dream the “Impossible Dream” with “Man of La Mancha”
Bristol Riverside Theatre concludes its season with Man of La Mancha, the Tony Award winning play written by Dale Wasserman and based on the novel The Adventures of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Directed by Keith Baker and starring Robert Newman (of Guiding Light fame) as Don Quixote, with Sharon Alexander, Julian Brightman, Lauren Cupples, Robert Farruggia, Tamra Hayden, Christopher Roche, Danny Rutigliano, Dwayne Alistair Thomas, and Danny Vaccaro, through June 5, 120 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, PA. Special events include a Thirsty Thursday, May 26, and Theatre Theology, May 29.
Act II Playhouse’s “Kiss Me, Kate”
Backstage becomes onstage in Act II Playhouse’s Kiss Me, Kate, the Tony Award winning play about a traveling theater company’s opening night performance of Shakespeare’s classic The Taming of the Shrew, already extended through June 19. The classic musical features the iconic score by Cole Porter and is directed by Peter Reynolds and stars Sean Thompson, Jennie Eisenhower, Mindy Dougherty, Zachary Chiero, Sonny Leo, Peter Bisgaier, Jordan Dobson, Maria Konstantinidis, Joey Abramowicz, Andy Joos, Kevin Toniazzo-Naughton, and Kathryn Brunner, 56 E. Butler Avenue, Ambler, PA. Photo by Mark Garvin.
Check out the Music Festival Guide to the festivals within driving distance of Philadelphia from May through September from New York to Virginia.
Each week, the Entertainment Guide spotlights interesting local arts offerings happening now, including music, dance, theater, museums, special exhibitions and other arts events from across the region.
To submit an event to be considered, email Robin Bloom at firstname.lastname@example.org.