KENNETT SQUARE – Summer returns to the Northern Hemisphere on Tuesday.
Nature is abuzz with beauty, birds are singing at dawn every day and thundering thunderstorms are also coming.
Of course, for young people, and perhaps most importantly, school is out of session.
Sure, there’s plenty to do this summer in southeastern Pennsylvania.
“Soak up the fun and sparkle of summer in Chester County this summer,” said Nina Kelly, director of marketing and communications for the Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau. “Amazing festivals and exhibitions to float down the river in a canoe, there is so much to see and do. Shop and dine on charming high streets like West Chester, Kennett Square and Phoenixville, many of which offer al fresco dining.
Two big upcoming summer events include Light: Installations by Bruce Munro, which begins June 30 in Longwood Gardens and the Philly Balloon and Music Festival, July 1-4 at Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds in Glenmoor, she said. .
“For the Visitors Bureau, we are looking forward to the Longwood Gardens Fountain Festival and this year a fantastic light show,” said Kelly. “Inviting guests to engage outdoors at festivals and events, outdoor beer gardens, and restaurants is a great summer sell.”
Kelly shared highlights from several headline events en route to Chester County this summer:
- Soak up the fun of the Longwood Gardens Fountain Festival all summer long, from May 5 to September 25. The fountains dance and soar up to 175 feet with daily shows and dazzling lighted fountain performances Thursday through Saturday nights. The illuminated fountains will be paired with the brilliance of a masterful art installation, Thursday through Sunday evenings from June 30 through October 30, by renowned artist Bruce Munro. Light: Installations by Bruce Munro marks 10 years since Munro’s first US solo exhibition of the same name at Longwood Gardens.
- Philly Balloon and Music Festival at Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds in Glenmoore from 1 July to 4 July. Chester County’s skies will come alive with more than 20 balloons being launched daily; activities include tethered balloon rides, live music, a beer garden, and family adventures such as wagon rides and a rock climbing wall. Philadelphia Balloon and Music Festival nights will feature regional musicians and headlining bands. The balloons will return to the festival grounds and “Glow” around the main stage. On Sunday, July 3, people can celebrate Independence Day with a spectacular fireworks display.
- Blobfest at the Colonial Theater July 8-10 in Phoenixville. Celebrate the iconic film, The Blob, at this quirky and fun festival. Enjoy a weekend block party and the wonderful city of Phoenixville.
- All summer, be sure to log on the river at the Northbrook Canoe Company’s Canoe and Dine, where an exciting and delicious adventure can be expected. Enjoy a relaxing 1-hour canoe trip and return to a catered dinner in the Northbrook Picnic Grove. Live music and a bonfire under the stars add to this charming experience. Fireside s’mores, anyone?
People can also enjoy powerful works of art at the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art. Located along Brandywine Creek off Highway 1, the land spans Chester and Delaware counties.
“Viewing art in person, especially in a museum, is a very different experience from seeing it on a screen, whether it’s a computer, a television, or even a movie screen. In person, the finer details and textures of the artworks are much more evident,” said Amanda Burdan, Senior Curator at the Brandywine River Museum of Art.
“With these details, you are immersed in the object. Seeing the brushstrokes of a painting establishes an instant connection to the artist who made the work, you can feel the vigor of the brushstroke or the delicacy of the artist’s touch,” Burden said. “The size and scale of a work is also very difficult to convey in reproductions. Often detail and scale are important considerations for the artist when creating the work, which are only truly experienced in person, as the artist intended.
“There’s a lot to do and enjoy at the Brandywine River Museum of Art this summer, starting with our two special exhibits that recently opened: Gatecrashers: The Rise of the Self-Taught Artist in America and Dawoud Bey. : Night Coming Tenderly, Black,” said Andrew Stewart, director of marketing and communications at the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art.
“We also have a full range of programs and events for all ages coming up, including our Free First Sunday at Brandywine program, held on the first Sunday of the month.”
Additionally, thanks to PECO, the museum will be able to offer free admission on the first Sundays through October, Stewart said.
“With the exception of July, we also offer engaging family activities and special performances at these events, thanks to the support of PNC Arts Alive. Beyond our First Sundays program, we have a series of online art talks, in-person art-making workshops, open-air outdoor painting events, and a variety of musical performances on the bridge for the summer,” he said.
Specifically designed for families, the Brandywine also offers workshops for museum explorers, who return on Thursday mornings in July, as well as monthly “stroller excursions” held on the second Friday of each month, Stewart noted.
There are countless biking and hiking opportunities along historic American Revolution trails in the area that have been, for generations, preserved by the Brandywine Conservancy in partnership with landowners and municipalities.
“For those looking to explore specific trails related to the American Revolution, our 113-acre Birmingham Hill Preserve is a great starting point. This preserve is open to the public daily from dawn to dusk with a perimeter trail around this historic and sacred ground, which was the heart of the Battle of Brandywine,” said Grant DeCosta, Director of Community Services, Brandywine Conservancy. .
“In addition, we recently produced an illustrative ‘Hiking Through History’ map that shows where visitors can hike, bike, drive and explore the area’s Revolutionary War history, including included an overview of troop movements and significant events of the Philadelphia campaign of 1777,” DeCosta said.
Maps are available free of charge from the reception of the Brandywine River Museum of Art and can also be downloaded online via the association’s website.
And bikers, stay alert!
“Coming on Saturday, September 17 at the end of the summer, our ‘Bike the Brandywine’ event is finally back for its fifth year, following its pandemic-related hiatus,” DeCosta said.
“This is a wonderful event for cyclists who want to enjoy three different scenic routes that explore the beautiful Brandywine Creek Greenway and surrounding countryside, including natural and historic areas that have been preserved by the Brandywine Conservancy. “, added DeCosta.
This summer, while people can stay busy and adventurous by visiting local, state or county parks in Chester and Delaware counties and elsewhere in the Greater Philadelphia area, there is a new preserve that has been preserved in permanence and which is remarkable.
“The opening of the Glenroy Reserve is a huge conservation achievement,” DeCosta said.
“In 2020, the Brandywine, in partnership with the Oxford Area Foundation (OAF), acquired 577 acres of the Glenroy Farm, located along Octoraro Creek in Chester County.”
DeCosta continued, “The Brandywine then facilitated the transfer of this property to OAF, which now owns and manages the land.”
Recently, Glenroy Preserve opened as a publicly accessible nature reserve, he said.
“The terrain consists of beautiful open prairies, fields of wildflowers, mature and successive forests, numerous streams and ponds, and five miles of trails,” DeCosta said. “This was a project that had been in the works for a long time, and we’re thrilled that it can finally be enjoyed by audiences this summer.”