Those of us who live here are so accustomed of the beauty at Longwood Gardens, that sometimes we get too busy to go enjoy it. Christmas at Longwood is always spectacular, but this year they have outdone themselves. It is a wow to the nth degree. The design made of red and white poinsettias and gilded pinecones with silver streamers glistening from the ceiling is worth the price of admission alone. Even the lighted trees outside are more spectacular. All I am saying is don't miss this year's show.
Those of you who have driven down Route 1 in Chadds Ford have noticed that the Christmas wreathe and tree have been decorated by the Brandywine Lions Club to welcome the arrival of Santa in Chadds Ford on Dec. 19 who will be arriving at 1 p.m. We are not certain exactly how he will arrive, but we believe he will come by carriage, as there is not enough snow for his sleigh. Everyone is welcome, particularly the younger set.
Longwood Gardens has an outstanding list of courses in their continuing dducation classes. They are adding some new ones that you might like to investigate. In the spring they will have some new exclusive back door tours that are unique, but take place at 8 a.m. in the morning. They also will have some fun Floral Classes and a Certificate program. For the complete catalogue call 610-388-1000 ext 559 or go online at www.longwoodlearning.org
-Lunchtime Lecture at Winterthur
In conjunction with Winterthur's Faces of a New Nation exhibition, Winterthur will host a lunchtime lecture by Carina Evangelista at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts on Thursday, December 17 at 12:15 pm. who will discuss modern portraiture. The lecture free with general admission tickets.
Right now Winterthur is showing its gorgeous Christmas display, Yuletide at Winterthur. The museum has always been open throughout the year. This coming year the schedule will change and the museum will close for the month of February, when they usually have the fewest visitors, through March 8. It will reopen March 9. This is the beginning of the Winterthur Garden's famed spring bloom cycle, beginning with the March Bank, with more than a million bulbs creating a carpet of color on the hillsides.
During the break, the grounds and gardens will be open foe members Tuesdays through Sundays. The library will be available to scholars who have made advance arrangements. The next big exhibition will be "Lost Gardens of the Brandywine" opening on March 27, 2010. So if you are planning a visit to Winterthur, don't dilly dally.
The Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra Tempesta di Mare will perform Bach's "Brandenburg Concerto No. 5" Dec. 19 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, 8000 St. Martin Lane, Philadelphia at 8 p.m. and Dec. 20 at Old St. Joseph's Church, 321 Willings Alley, 4th and Walnut, Philadelphia at 3:30 p.m. For tickets call 215-755-8776 or go on line at www.tempestadimare.org
That favorite ballet "Nutcracker" will be performed at the Grand by the First State Ballet Theatre. Performances will be Saturday, Dec. 19, at 2 and 7 p.m. and Dec. 20 at 2 p.m . For tickets call 1-800-37-GRAND
The Delaware Historical Society is sponsoring a free concert by the Choral Arts Scholars of Sts. Andrew and Matthew in Old Town Hall on Market Street in Wilmington on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. Led by David Christopher, the group will sing a variety of traditional and secular Christmas music. There will be a reception after the concert at the Delaware History Museum as well as the opening of two new exhibits. For more information call 302-655-7161 or visit www.dehistory.org
The Iron Hill Brewery is hosting a series of concerts featuring the music of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Performances will be at 7 p.m. at Media on Dec. 20, at Wilmington on Dec. 22, at West Chester on Dec. 23 and in Newark on Dec. 27. The performances by the Cartoon Christmas trio, formed in 1995, will run about two hours.
The Media Theatre, 104 E. State St., Media, puts on grand scale productions. Their current show "The Wizard of Oz" will run through Jan. 10, so there is time to see it before it closes. For tickets call 610-891-0100.
The acclaimed musical romp "Girls Night: The Musical" will be at the Kimmel Center April 20 through May 23. This is the story of five friends in their 30s and 40s who re-live their past during a "girls night out." It features pop music beloved as anthems by modern females.
For tickets call 215-731-3333.
Frank McCourt's "The Irish...and How They Got That Way" will return to the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets. Performances are Thursdays through Sundays. For tickets call 215-731-3333, Jan. 7 through Feb. 28. This story of the Irish experience both on the Emerald Isle and in America is filled with McCourt's unique irreverent humor.
The entertainers coming to the Flash are Dan May with "Ole Man Cactus" on Dec. 18. WXPN welcomes "Slo-Mo" on Dec. 19.
Those who love good improvisational comedy should reserve tickets for "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" when its stars come to the DuPont Theatre for one performance on Sunday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. While the names Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood may not register at first, anyone who has watched the TV program of that name will recognize their faces. Tickets are $28.50 to $48.50 from the box office at 800-338-0881 or online at DuPont Theatre.com.
The smash hit that premiered Off-Broadway, "Becky Shaw," is the latest comedy from Obie Award-winner Gina Gionfriddo, writer/producer of "Law & Order." In this story Suzanna sets her best friend up with a blind date, Becky Shaw, and all their lives change. This mix of sharp wit and humor in a psychological thriller that is also a romantic comedy. At the Wilma Theatre, 265 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, Dec. 30 through Jan. 31. Tickets are available from 215-546-7824.
It's time for the 21st Wine Feast & Auction given by the Delaware Theatre Co. at the Hotel DuPont on Friday, Feb. 5, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. The Hotel DuPont even has a special rate of $109 for attendees. There will be fine food and wine plus a silent auction of fine wines, experience packages and jewelry plus other splurges
Tickets are $90, $65 for Young Friends (21-35 years old). For tickets call Delaware Theatre Co. at 302-594-1100.
"Mixed Nuts" at Back Alley Theatre. This comedy with Steve Martin and Madaline Kahn is a redone comedy that was neither a commercial nor a critical success.
Mad Men Shopping Night in downtown Kennett on Dec. 18.
Dan May at Kennett Flash on Dec. 18.
XPN Welcomes Slo Mo to the Kennett Flash on Dec. 19
Breakfast with Santa at Newton's on Dec. 19 - Call 610-925-5055
Horse drawn carriage rides in downtown Kennett on Dec. 20
Holiday film "Polar Express" on Dec.20
"The Dammed United" - This is the tale of the confrontational and darkly humorous story of soccer coach Brian Clough's doomed 44 days as manager of the reigning English soccer champions in the 1970s. Dec. 18 at 2 p.m., Dec. 19 at 1 and 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 20 at noon.
"Red Cliff" - An epic historical drama based on a legendary 208 A.D. battle that announced the end of the Han Dynasty in China. Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 3 p.m. and Dec.20 at 5:30 p.m.
Opera: "L'Orfeo" Monteverdi's Baroque masterpiece in a production designed and staged by Robert Wilson. Dec.20 at 2:30 p.m.
A recertification course for food service managers will be offered by Penn State Extension on Jan. 13 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Chester County Center, 601 Westtown Road, West Chester. The registration deadline is Jan. 6. The program is designed for those who already have a certified food manager certificate and need to renew it. To register call 610-696-3500.
Penn State is offering an arborist short course designed to prepare people for the ISA certified arborist exam. The four-day course will be given on Jan. 7, 14, 21 and 28. The cost is $250 with pre-registration required by Dec. 31. You must have required tree equipment. To register call 610-696-3500.