Cape May’s annual Spring Festival is next week – and this year there are lots of spectacular activities. There will be the Spring Festival Crafts and Collectibles show, as well as several tours like Cape May After Dark, Chocolate Tasting Tour, and Historic Haunts Combo Tour.
The Self-guided Winery and Brewery Tour and the Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery Tour, and the Winery Cellar Tour and Tasting may all sound like the same thing, but are really three very distinct experiences – at different wineries and with different presentations. You can link to the Mid-Atlantic Center’s website to get details and sign up for activities.
My favorite part of this year’s Spring Festival is an exhibit of paintings by Alice Steer Wilson, who was a great painter who lived in Cape May. Her watercolors were extraordinary and in the same league as Winslow Homer’s or John Singer Sargent’s.
Spring festival is Cape May’s annual sigh of relief that Winter is over. This year we have a few new events that will get you in the spirit. First, if you’re a Downton Abbey fan, you can put your Easter bonnet on and have a Royal Tea at the Carriage House at the Physick Estate. There will be Royal Trivia to test your knowledge of all things regal. There’s a new tour called the Cape May Time Capsule, where characters from the nineteenth-century will guide you through there town.
And Chocolate too…
Saturday, May 3rd will feature the Chocolate Championship tour, where you can benefit from the cuthroat competition among Bed and Breakfast owners for the honor and the trophy. You get to sample the goodies and vote for the best in show. April 26th, there’s a Murder Mystery Dinner at Alethea’s Restaurant, with a new mystery “Revenge is Sweet” and a delicious dinner. Earlier the same day (April 26) there is a Private Homes Tour, showing houses not ususally open to the public. I love snooping in other people’s house and you will too.
April 26 through May 5 is Cape May’s Spring Festival. The grounds of the Physick Estate will be hopping with live music, good food, and a crafts and antique show. Spring Festival also includes The Chocolate Championship Contest – where you tour five inns, taste their chocolate specialties, and vote for the best. There are also Winery Cellar tours and tastings and Murder Mystery dinners and lunches, and a private homes tour of houses not usually open to the public.
Saturday, you can even start the day with Victorian dance lessons and end it with a Victorian Ball to show off your new moves.
Pat Sutton will also offer a session about ruby-throated Hummingbirds that same afternoon starting at 1:00 P.M.. Learn how to create a hummingbird garden.
April 20 is Earth Day
If you bring your garden tools, you can help deadhead, weed and prune the Nature Center’s gardens and participate in Clean Ocean Action’s annual Beach Sweeps. This will be just the beginning of the season’s offerings at the Nature Center and heralds the start of Salt Marsh Safari – beginning April 27 – the Nature Center’s ever-popular exploration of the shore.
Of course, as always, please come stay with us at Leith Hall bed and breakfast.
Kick off Cape May’s spring offerings of birding and other wetlands activities at the Green Festival– Saturday April 13 – in our new Convention Hall. Lots of environmental groups will be there with information and beautiful photography. Michael Hogan will sell his large-format book Natural Wonders of the Jersey Pines and Shores. (catchy title, no?) Susan Puder will hawk her book, New Jersey Birds and Beyond.
A really fascinating film about participants in the world series of birding will be shown and there will be a wide variety of exhibits from Cape May’s nature organizations. You can contact the Green Festival at firstname.lastname@example.org or get information at the city’s website www.capemaycity.org Of course, you should stay with us at Leith Hall while you’re here. If you are a current member of the Cape May Bird Observatory, you get a 10% discount!
O.K., you can’t lie out in the sun and bake, but you can stay indoors and get that healthy glow from the wine and beer events on both the March 9 and March 16 weekends. There are three choices; a self guided wine trail, a self-guided wine and brewery trail, and a winery tour and tasting.
The second weekend – March 16, is also Sherlock Holmes Weekend presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. There are still a few tickets availible for the whole program including the murder mystery dinner, the tours, the denouement and the parties. At the same time, East Lynne Theater Company is presenting a dramatization of The Adventure of the Norwood Builder, one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s best stories.
Give us a call at Leith Hall to visit Cape May in March!