The popular Dino Days presented by bank of America at the Delaware Museum of Natural History will return on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 27 and 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The children will enjoy a fossil dig, live animals from the Philadelphia Zoo, special crafts and the “Rainforest Adventure “special exhibit. Visitors can uncover a “Maiasaura” skeleton at the fossil dig and search for a real fossil to take home. There is a paleontology scavenger hunt where you search all around the museum for different tools needed for an excavation, try and assemble puzzles of life sized dinosaur heads, a puppet show, free Dino photos in front of a prehistoric backdrop and a finger puppet craft to take home.
The Rainforest Adventure is full of the sounds of the birds in a rainforest and explains the differences in a rainforest in Brazil as opposed to a rainforest in Africa. A tall column of water representing exactly how much water falls in a rainforest is impressive.
A beautiful addition to the museum is an installation of stained glass panels by Chadds Ford artist Robert P. Horan depicting a rainforest scene with animals including a jaguar, kinkajou, white tailed trogon and scarlet macaw. This gorgeous piece of art contains no lead, as is usually found in stained glass panels and is held together using a special silicone that expands and bonds between the various layers of glass. The panels have been made as Tiffany id, with layers of glass used. One of the most fascinating areas shows a bee hive coming to life with 190 hand-painted, exquisitely detailed bees that were carved individually.
A welder by trade, artist Horan has been creating stained glass for ten years ever since injuring his back. His circular, stained glass piece depicting a Northern Shoveler duck was used as the cover for the Museum’s annual report, and he did the glass work for a chapel. This is such a beautiful piece of art; it is worth going to the museum just to see it. Unfortunately it is scheduled to be removed on Jan. 6. Let’s hope that changes.
Hungry guests who went to breakfast at Hank’s Diner in Chadds Ford had a surprise. They were visited by some colorful visitors. First Belsnickel (Dave Murtagh) came in carrying switches and demanding to know in a gruff voice, “Whether you’ve been naughty or nice?” Once he decided everyone had been nice, in came Santa, (Fred Tennille) his Elf, (Mike Stalkowski) and one of his reindeer (Judy Murtagh). The trio distributed gifts, mush to the diner’s delight.
This has become an n annual tradition in Chadds Ford, masterminded by the Murtagh’s, who are associated with the National Christmas Museum in Lancaster. The entire quartet is from Chadds Ford.
For years, one of my gifts to many of my friends has been an Italian Pandora cake. I am not buying any this year as the people who so enjoyed them are no longer with us, but I always pause when I see them in the store. I always gave one to Cousin Edward, but Cousin Edward died and I do miss him. He was a six-foot -ive outdoorsman and someone you didn’t fool with. He was also a superb decoy carver.
We were opening gifts one Christmas when he opened the package with the cake and gave me a very confused look and asked, “Is this a joke?” Then he showed me what I had not noticed. Near the bottom of the package mice had eaten a hole and devoured almost the entire cake. I was not only embarrassed I was confused as to what to do. I had given away four cakes that had been stored in one of the unused bedrooms and I wondered if all of them had been attacked. Gritting my teeth I called one of the recipients, a friend for over 50 years, told her what had happened and asked if her cake was all right. After much laughter, she assured me that hers was fine. I just couldn’t face calling the other two friends and hoped for the best. Within a month we had a cat living with us.
On the next Christmas Edward gave me a gift I treasure. He had saved the cake wrapper, and inside he had placed a circle of adorable hand carved mice partying while nibbling on a cake.
The Brandywine River Museum that will be closing its Christmas display soon, with all those trains going around and around, is offering a “ChooChoo” Family Workshop on Saturday, Jan. 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will be your last chance to visit the trains, but no, you will not be allowed to run them. However in the workshop they will teach you how to make a pop-up item like the ones they have on display, and you could make one of a train
It wasn’t a very good evening but 32 men from the Fair Acres Home arrived at the Concordville Inn for men’s night out, courtesy of the Brandywine Lions Club. This annual party has been given by the club for decades, so friendships between the two groups have developed. For many years Lion Ken Gandy played the piano for his secretary Catherine Lawless, who led the singing. After Gandy moved to Florida Lawless has continued to perform for the party, now her 15th appearance, this year bringing her accompanist, her husband and her daughter Michele, an eight grader at Mary Magdalene School in Wilmington.
The party was a big success although they had to cut it short. As the heavy rains began to move in, the drivers became concerned about moving the men, ten of them in wheel chairs. Even so, a good time was had by all.
The Little Sisters of Hoboken are at sea on “Faith of All Nations” tour when the cast on board for “Fiddler on the Roof” all become ill. The sisters are persuading to take over the show, but they make a few changes. They are now singing “Contrition,” “Say it in Yiddish” and “If I Were a Catholic.” The show will run on weekends Dec. 27 through Jan. 27. The Hedgerow Theatre, 64 Rose Valley Road, near Media, is the oldest Repertory Theatre in America. For tickets call 610-565-4211.
The Act II Playhouse (66 E. Butler Ave., Ambler) will present the comedy, “Why I’m Scared of Dance” by Jen Childs. This acclaimed comedy explains why it is not as much fun concentrating on the barre as on the bar. Performances are Jan. 15 through 27. For tickets call 215-654-0200.
Inspired by the controversy about the Barnes Collection, “Permanent Collection” by local playwright Thomas Gibbons, this play is an examination of racial politics. Two men face off over how much space, figuratively and literally, the white world gives to African-Americans. This Barrymore nominee play runs Jan. 4 through 18 at The Player’s Club of Swarthmore, 614 Fairview Road, just off Route 320, Swarthmore. The Player’s Club is now in its 102nd year. For tickets call 610-328-4271.
Jazz Bridge with Dave Wilson –As a long time member of the Dave Stahl Big Band Wilson has played alongside such greats as Wynton Marsalis, Tom Harrel and Lou Soloff. Led by Wilson jazz players will join the Jazz bridge at 7:30 pm. Admission $10, $5 for students. Jan. 2.
Better Than Bacon –The opener for the Better Than Bacon Inprov Troupe show will be Todd Chappelle whose songs have been described as “acoustic comedy”. Thursday, Jan. 3, with doors open at 7 p.m. and show at 8 p.m. The Troupe will create on-the-spot comedy from suggestions by the audience. Jan.3 at 8 p.m.
Jon Herrington Band –This eleven veteran guitarist for Steely Dan also has his own hard hitting, stripped down trio that with a blues/rock/pop vibe and songs that are both funny and compelling. Friday, Jan. 4 at 8 pm. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door.
Mary Fahl – Headliner Mary Fahl is armed only with her guitar and her unforgettable voice plus an array of original songs with captivating melodies built around important ideas. Saturday, Jan. 5 at 8 pm. Tickets are $25 in advance, $28 at the door.
Theatre N at Nemours
“Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounter” – This documentary about the photographer describer as Norman Rockwell under the influence of Alfred Hitchcock shows Crewdson’s obsession with the staging of details in a photo. His meticulously composed large-scale images are stunning narratives of small town daily life. That might sound excessive but a print sells for $125,000. Friday, Dec. 28, at 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 29 at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 30 at 12:15 p.m.
“Save the Date” –This film shows the struggle of one young woman over whether it is better to stay safely single or risk it all on love that has already been proven not too trustworthy. The film will play on Friday, Dec. 28, at 8 p.m,; Saturday, Dec. 29, at 5 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec., 30 at 6:15 p.m.
“Trading Places” –This comedy with Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphey has a successful comedies broker and a homeless man cross paths, due to the manipulations of a pair of rich brothers who are trying to see which is stronger, nature or nurture. It has been compared to Mark Twain’s “The Little Prince” Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. for a New Year’s Eve Party.
Opera: The Magic Flute – This musical confection by Mozart has a fairy tale with exquisite music from the chirpy bird songs to the pyrotechnic high notes. It is performed at Theatre alla Scala in Milan on Sunday, Dec. 30 at 2:30 p.m.
Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.