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AAA World Article

Top Events - Extended Online Version

Our picks for the top events in the region.

AAA World Article

Colonial Williamsburg Grand Illumination
Photo Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg

The Case of the Cape May Weekend
November 3–5
Stalk the gaslit streets of Cape May, New Jersey, with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as you hunt down evidence of a crime during Sherlock Holmes Weekend. Can you solve the mystery of the Case of the Discarded Woman? Can you remember where you put your deerstalker cap and meerschaum pipe? Join the whole whodunit weekend, or just participate in the Search for Clues Tour.

A Fair Share of Fun
November 4
Be swept back to the 1700s on The Green in Dover, Delaware, at the First State Heritage Park’s 18th Century Market Fair. Based on autumn market fairs of the past, the fair offers living-history reenactors demonstrating glass making, woodworking, blacksmithing and more while entertainers provide 18th-century style music and dance.

It’s Madness, I Tell You!
November 4
Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Ronks, Pennsylvania, unleashes the silliness at its annual
Pumpkin Madness Festival, and those poor leftover pumpkins won’t stand a chance. Try your hand at pumpkin smashing, pumpkin putt-putt, pumpkin shotput and pumpkin bowling. You can even play reverse pumpkin darts during which you hurl a pumpkin at a wall of darts. There’s fun for the whole family at this Lancaster County event—well, except for the pumpkins.

How Do You Like Those Apples?
November 4–5
It’s apple season in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and that means it’s time for the Apple Festival at Peddler’s Village in Lahaska. We’re talking
apple butter, apple cider, apple dumplings, apple fritters, caramel-dipped apples and apple pie-eating contests. In addition, there will be an Artisan Market with more than 60 juried artisans, live entertainment and apples—did we mention apples?

One and Only Art
November 9-12
One-of-a kind museum-quality pieces created by 195 contemporary craft artists from 34 states will be the focus of The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Crafts available to purchase (or just ogle) include glass, baskets, jewelry, wearable and decorative fiber, metal, paper, leather, furniture, ceramic, wood and mixed media.

For Old Times’ Sake
November 10–12
If you are looking for the best of American antiques and decorative arts, including furniture, paintings, rugs, ceramics, silver and jewelry, look no further than Winterthur’s 54th Annual Delaware Antiques Show. Held at the Chase Center on Wilmington, Delaware’s riverfront, the show presents an exhibit celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Biggs Museum of American Art and a keynote lecture by
award-winning architect and author Gil Schafer III.

Oyster Roast
Photo Courtesy of Newport News Tourism

November 11

Enjoy all-you-can-eat Rappahannock oysters at the Virginia Living Museum's annual Oyster Roast. You can also partake of delicious chowder, fried seafood and a dessert bar. This year, thanks to the
St. George Brewing Company, you’ll be able to wash them down with an exclusive Oyster Stout. This Newport News event always sells out; visit the website for ticket information. 

Picture This
November 11–19
celebrates photography in all genres, from photojournalism to fine art. Venues throughout Washington, D.C., will be the scene of more than 150 exhibitions, clinics, classes, seminars, portfolio reviews and

Gingerbread house
Gingerbread Lane at NY Hall of Science
Photo Courtesy of Andrew Kelly for New York Hall of Science

It Takes a Gingerbread Village
November 11–January 7, 2018

Guinness World Record-holder Jon Lovitch will attempt to beat his own record by creating a 678-square-foot gingerbread village at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Lovitch estimates that it will take a combined 759 hours to bake the village—made from 270 pounds of gingerbread dough; 910 pounds of icing; 700 candy canes; and 25 combined pounds of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg—and then assemble it at the Maryland Science Center. 

A Capital Culinary Competition
November 16

More than 80 Washington, D.C., area restaurants go tine-to-tine when they bring their best dishes for guests to taste while watching four local top chefs compete onstage at the annual DC Central Kitchen’s Capital Food Fight. Held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, this popular event raises funds for DC Central Kitchen, the nation’s first and leading community kitchen.

A Yule of Yore at the Shore
November 17–January 1, 2018

It’s one of our favorite places to visit anytime of the year, but Cape May’s Holiday Season is especially chock full of fun. Check out the Christmas in Cape May
Preview Weekend (November 17–19), Candlelight House Tours (December 2, 9 and 16), A Dickens Christmas Extravaganza (December 3–5), Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides, Evening Holiday Lights Trolley Rides (all season) and so much more.

Candlelight tour
Cape May's Candlelight House Tours
Photo Courtesy of MAC

Wintering in Winterthur
November 18–January 7, 2018
Henry Francis du Pont’s former home provides a glimpse into holiday traditions from the 1800s to the early 20th century during Yuletide at Winterthur. Displays recall the du Pont family holiday celebrations, Clement Moore’s Christmas classic A Visit from St. Nicolas and the earliest types of colorful lights decorating house exteriors at
Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library in Winterthur, Delaware.

Crying Fowl
November 23–26
This Thanksgiving, give thanks for the awesome natural world that surrounds us at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Waterfowl Weekend. Thousands of snow geese, ducks and swans visit the refuge, as do binoculared bipeds, birders and other humans. This is
 the only time each year that the public can take a special drive along the refuge’s seven-mile Service Road. That’s definitely a treat that will leave you thankful.

Longing for Longwood
November 23–January 7, 2018

If your garden lies fallow and bare, fear not. Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, has more than 6,000 seasonal plants just waiting to chase your winter blues away. During A Longwood Christmas, not only will the
holiday horticulture bring cheer but also Longwood’s famous fountains will dance and more than a half-million lights will twinkle to make your season bright. Timed admission tickets are required.

A du Pont Home for the Holidays
November 24—January 1
During its Holidays at Hagley, Eleutherian Mills, the 1803 du Pont family ancestral home
features holiday decorations with a focus on the French traditions of holiday entertaining and the celebration of Twelfth Night. Hagley Museum and Library and Eleutherian Mills are located along the banks of the Brandywine River in Wilmington, Delaware.

It’s a Zoo at Holiday Time
November 24–January 1, 2018 (except December 24, 25 and 31)
Stroll the grounds of
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo amid more than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights, live music performances and seasonal treats during its annual ZooLights free holiday event. Hop aboard the National Zoo Choo-Choo for a ride around the Great Cats exhibit, or try your hand at Snow-Less Tubing.

A Very Merry Mount Vernon
November 24–January
6, 2018
Join the first First Family—George and Martha Washington—at their Mount Vernon, Virginia, home for the holidays. Christmas at Mount Vernon festivities include chocolate-making demonstrations, character-guided candlelit tours of the mansion and Aladdin the Camel. A highlight of the season will be Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon, fireworks overlooking the Potomac River on December 15 and 16.

Historic Houses of Fairmount Park
Charms of Fairmount Park
Photo Courtesy of Lauren Schwartz Photography

Yo, Christmas!  
Throughout December
Every year, several of the Historic Houses of Fairmount Park get dressed up to celebrate the holidays and open their doors to visitors for tours. This year’s theme for five of the
18th- and early 19th-century mansions is A Very Philly Christmas. There will be special programing on December 2 (Sounds of the Season), December 3 (Family Day), December 9 (Neighbor’s Day) and December 10 (Flavors of the Season).

Christmas Parade
Scottish Christmas Walk Parade
Photo Courtesy of R. Kennedy for ACVA

A Kilt Trip
December 1-2
Alexandria, Virginia, celebrates its Scottish heritage with its annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, featuring dozens of Scottish clans dressed in colorful tartans parading through the streets of Old Town Alexandria, joined by pipe-and- drum bands from around the region, as well as terriers and hounds. The weekend kicks off the night before with the Taste of Scotland scotch tasting. Other events on Saturday include a holiday Heather and Greens Sale and The Campagna Center’s Holiday Designer Tour of Homes.

Studio Time
December 2–3

Get a glimpse behind the scenes at local ceramics and pottery studios during The Shenandoah County Artisan Trail 2017 Holiday Open Studio Tour. Each of the four studios—located in Toms Brook, Woodstock, Edinburg and New Market—are within easy driving distance of each other, and the atmosphere will be welcoming as the artists give tours of their working spaces and talk about the inspiration for their work. Refreshments such as warm cider, tea and sweets will be served, and you’ll have the opportunity to purchase local and handcrafted gifts that are truly unique. 

Artist Trail
Photo Courtesty of Shenandoah County Tourism

Did Somebody Say ‘Chocolate’?
December 3
You could say we’re sweet on Annapolis, Maryland. Who could blame us? The town has sailing, seafood, history, the U.S. Naval Academy and chocolate. Yes, chocolate, especially during the annual Chocolate Binge Festival when local chocolatiers offer chocolate caramels, cakes, chocolate bars, truffles, fudge, cookies, candies, hot chocolate, fondue, martinis and more.

Chocolate Binge Festival 
Photo Courtesy of

Very Illuminating
December 3
During the 1700s, major events were celebrated with pyrotechnics—firing cannons, lighting fireworks—a practice known as “illuminations.” These days, the cannon blast is the cue to light candles throughout Williamsburg, Virginia. The Colonial Williamsburg Grand Illumination still includes spectacular fireworks
from the Capitol, Magazine and the Governor’s Palace, along with carolers and fife-and-drum performances.


Here’s What’s Cooking
December 9–10

Foodie heaven on earth. That’s the only way to describe the MetroCooking DC show, returning to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. From cooking demos and a pop-up cooking school to samplings from more than 50 local restaurants and hundreds of specialty food vendors, this two-day event will help you prepare to master any holiday party.

Why Did the Army Cross the River?
December 10 and 25
On Christmas Day 1776, George Washington led his troops on a daring raid of the Hessian forces based in Trenton, New Jersey, that entailed crossing the Delaware River. These days, hundreds of volunteers in Continental military dress stage two reenactments of Washington Crossing the Delaware River, on both days starting in Washington Crossing Historic Park in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, and rowing across the Delaware River to the New Jersey side. The actual crossing reenactments begins at 1 p.m. (weather permitting), but the festivities start earlier and run later (hours differ on the two days).

Light Over Darkness

December 12–20

The festival of Chanukah—The Festival of Lights—will be celebrated in Washington, D.C., on the Ellipse across from the White House as the National Chanukah Menorah Lighting Ceremony takes place every night throughout the holiday. The first night will feature songs and an appearance by Dreidelman.



These events originally appeared in the November/December 2017 issue of AAA World.






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