Robin Bloom shares her recommendations for Memorial Day Weekend activities.
Historic Philadelphia events
Historic Philadelphia offers special activities including the return of Colonial for a Day – giving visitors the chance to dress in authentic 18th century costumes, Liberty 360 3D Show in the PECO Theater, and one of a kind tours of Independence Hall after hours, 6th & Chestnut Streets. Meet Betsy Ross and see a flag raising, daily starting Saturday, May 23. Also, storytelling at Once Upon a Nation benches, historic district tours, and more in Old City. Franklin Square Park (pictured) hosts a Memorial Day Weekend Celebration with the Lightning Bolt Express Train, May 23-25, 12pm-3pm, 6th and Race Streets, Philadelphia. Photo by Jeff Fusco.
Summer Garden Railway at Morris Arboretum
The grand opening of Morris Arboretum’s popular summer Garden Railway Display is this weekend with the theme “Art & Architecture,” featuring miniatures of iconic Philadelphia sculptures and famous lighthouses, to buildings from the last World’s Fair in 1964, Jefferson’s Monticello, 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 7, 100 Northwestern Avenue, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. Grand opening celebration is Saturday, May 23, 1-3pm, with children’s activities and free ice cream. Special upcoming weekends include Circus Week, June 27 through July 5 and August 29 through September 7, and Thomas the Train Engine & Friends Weekend, July 11-12 and August 8-9. Photo by Paul Meyer.
Festivals, Food & Fun
Spruce Street Harbor Park (pictured) and Blue Cross Riverrink’s Summerfest open for the season this weekend with children’s activities, live music, Roller Derby Girls exhibit, Clay Studio animation class, Art Star Pop Up Market, Flying River Dance by Invisible River and more, including a concert with DJ Jazzy Jeff, Friday, May 22, 9pm-11pm, Penn’s Landing. Photo courtesy of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. Please Touch Museum hosts a Superhero Weekend, May 22-25, with activities including making your own costumes, Thank a Hero project, crafts, stories, parade, and more, Memorial Hall, Fairmount Park. Dress as your hero and meet MARVEL’s Captain America and Spider Man and the Heroes Alliance Superheroes. The National Constitution Center pays tribute to our nation’s service men and women with a weekend full of activities, May 23-25, including flag ceremonies, Founding Fathers, Founding Documents Tour, The Star Spangled Banner: A History of Our National Anthem Show, flag etiquette workshop, giant flag folding, 18th century games, Thank-A-Vet postcards and other family activities, plus Memorials: How a Nation Remembers Show, 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia. Admission is free on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. Collingswood May Fair returns for the 36th 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 23, 10am-5pm, Collingswood, NJ. Parking in the PATCO lots and on side streets.
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 23 & 24, 1-4pm, 3 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ. Photo by Keenly Kristen.
Wildwoods International Kite Festival
The Wildwoods International Kite Festival returns this weekend, Friday, May 22 through Monday, May 25, 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.
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 23-25, with thirty prominent antiques dealers showcasing a variety of 17th, 18th, and 19th century American furniture, rugs, porcelain, needlework, folk art, and other fine collectibles in the Museum’s atrium, courtyard and lecture room. Events include dealer talks, a preview reception, Friday, May 22, a Saturday, May 23 breakfast and lecture on the exhibit, Plus Ultra: Moravian Tiles of the New World, opening May 23 and on display through August 16 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 25 through September 7. Includes map. Photo courtesy of Brandywine River Museum of Art.
Delaware By Hand Spring Show
The Biggs Museum of American Art hosts the 10th annual Delaware By Hand Spring Show, spotlighting the First State’s fine arts and crafts community, Saturday, May 23, 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.
Wilma Theater’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead”
The Wilma Theater closes its season with Tom Stoppard’s Tony award-winning comedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, May 20 through June 14. The absurdist comedy that expands on the minor characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet marks the 11th production of the British playwright’s work by the Wilma. Directed by Blanka Zizka with a local cast of actors including Keith J. Conallen, Jered McLenigan, and Ed Swidey, and set design by Matt Saunders and lead street artist CERA, 265 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. Related programs and events include a beer tasting, Directors Gathering Dialogue, post-show chats, coffee chat, and more. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.
Cape May Stage’s “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins”
Enjoy the biting wit of the late columnist, satirist, and best-selling author Molly Ivins in Cape May Stage’s season opener Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. Veteran actress Georgette Timoney brings the brassy journalist to life in the New Jersey premiere of the funny one-woman show, written by two sisters Margaret and Allison Engel. Directed by actress, playwright and director Marlena Lustik, May 21 through June 12, Robert Shackleton Playhouse, 405 Lafayette Street, Cape May, NJ. Enjoy a post-show discussion with cast and crew on Saturday, June 6. All six plays of the new season have been created by women playwrights. Photo courtesy of Cape May Stage.
Hedgerow Theatre’s “Don Quixote”
Hedgerow Theatre takes on Don Quixote, British playwright Keith Dewhurst’s adaptation of the classic novel The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Brian McCann plays the title role with Hedgerow favorite Zoran Kovcic as Sancho Panza. The production features actors playing multiple roles, puppets, and shadow play, retaining the language, humor and grandeur of the classic, epic saga in this version that features 23 short scenes in two acts, through June 7, 64 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley, PA. Photo courtesy of Hedgerow Theatre.
Anne-Marie Mulgrew and Dancers Company
Anne-Marie Mulgrew and Dancers Company performs its 29th home season concert, From the Vault, Thursday, May 21, 7:30pm, Friday, May 22, 7:30pm, and Saturday, May 23, 3pm. The renowned, imaginative dance company offers multi-disciplinary works including three premieres choreographed by artistic director Anne-Marie Mulgrew. Program includes The Next Chapter, a suite of four contemporary dances set to music by Simon Wolf, Zoe Keating and Mason Bates, and Red Riding Hood Project, a sneak preview of a larger public artwork initially conceived for Race Street Pier. Choreographer and dancer Ashley Searles returns as a guest artist to perform two of her new solos, Christ Church Neighborhood House Theater, 20 N. American Street, Philadelphia. Meet and greet and light refreshments with the company following each performance. Photo courtesy of Anne-Marie Mulgrew and Dancers Company.
Gerald Veasley in Hawthorne Park
Bassist, composer, and educator Gerald Veasley pays tribute to Charles Mingus with his Electric Mingus Project Thursday, May 21, 7pm in Hawthorne Park, 12th and Catharine Streets, Philadelphia. The performance is the first of a four concert series, Jazz in Hawthorne Park, free summer concerts that continue into June, July and August with Odean Pope, Barbara Walker, and Bootsie Barnes. Presented by Jazz Bridge, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting jazz and blues musicians in the Greater Philadelphia area. Photo courtesy of Jazz Bridge.
PRISM Quartet’s “Wall to Wall”
PRISM Quartet presents the World Premiere of new saxophone quartets, Wall to Wall, Friday, May 22, 7:30pm at the Curtis Institute of Music, Lenfest Hall, 1616 Locust Street, Philadelphia. The quartet partners with Pulitzer Prize winner Julia Wolfe, who debuts “Cha,” plus 9 other new works by Grammy Award-winner Michael Daugherty, Curtis Institute’s David Hertzberg, Princeton University’s Emma O’Halloran, Viet Cuong, Jonathan Russell, Kyle Bartlett, Solon Snider and Mark Macaluso (winners of the PRISM/Walden School Commissioning Award), and PRISM’s Matthew Levy. The group heads to Symphony Space in New York City for another performance on Saturday, May 23. Photo courtesy of PRISM Quartet.
The New Mastersounds
British funk band the New Mastersounds bring their fun and playful sound to Ardmore Music Hall Friday, May 22. Doors open at 7:30pm, show at 8pm. Euforquestra opens, 23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA. Photo courtesy of the New Mastersounds.
Philly POPS at Longwood Gardens
Enjoy the 65 member Philly POPS orchestra set amid the backdrop of Longwood Gardens with a Summer Series musical tribute to our nation’s current and past service members, Saturday, May 23, 7:30pm. The 90 minute Memorial Day weekend performance includes patriotic and Broadway favorites, conducted by Todd Ellison with vocalists Klea Blackhurst, Kathryn Guthrie, and Ross Lekites, as well as a color Guard Ceremony, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, PA. Photo courtesy of Longwood Gardens.
Cape May Music Festival
Head south for the Cape May Music Festival, celebrating 26 years with offerings from orchestral and chamber music to jazz, brass band, and Irish music. Artists include the Brigadoons performing traditional Irish Music, as well as classics from the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, Atlantic Brass Band, the New York Chamber Ensemble and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players. Bach’s Lunches, mini-concerts with members of the Bay-Atlantic symphony, offer an alternate intimate environment where concert goers can enjoy afternoon concerts and elegant tea luncheons. Jazz at the Emlen Physick Estate, an open air concert with five sets includes The Rebirth Brass Band (pictured), in collaboration with the Exit 0 International Jazz Festival. The Festival kicks off Sunday, May 24 through Thursday, June 11 at various venues in Cape May, NJ. Presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Photo by John Margaretten.
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 email@example.com.