The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will sponsor 16 special programs, including 11 winter holiday-themed activities, from the end of November through Jan. 5, 2019.
The John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum will be closed on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24; Christmas Day, Dec. 25; and New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2019.
On New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, The Old State House will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Except where noted, programs are free and open to the public.
— Hospitality Night: 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 29, Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Holiday-themed program in which the museum will be decorated for the season by the Sussex Gardeners including luminarias lighting the entrance walkway. Activities will include historical interpreters, demonstrations, music and seasonal refreshments. Presented in partnership with the Lewes Chamber of Commerce. For more, call 645-1148.
— Tour Zwaanendael Museum: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1, Zwaanendael Museum. Guests can enjoy the museum’s festive holiday-décor created by the Sussex Gardeners. The event held in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society’s Christmas Tour of Lewes. 645-1148.
— Handmade for the Holidays: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 1, John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Seasonal program in which visitors can create a journal for use in 2019. For more, call 739-3277.
— Holiday Celebrations in the Early 20th Century: 11:30 a.m. Dec. 1, The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Christmas celebrations are a recent development in American history. Many traditions came with immigrants who arrived in the latter half of the 19th century, and by the 20th century had become mainstays of American life. In this program, historic-site interpreter Latecia Prophet will educate and enlighten on how Delawareans, and many Americans, celebrated the holidays in the early 20th Century. First Saturday in the First State program. For more, call 744-5054.
— White Christmas — A Tribute to Bing Crosby: 1 p.m. Dec. 1, Johnson Victrola Museum, Second Floor Gallery, 375 S. New St., Dover. From his earliest days as a member of Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra to his years in film, radio and TV, Bing Crosby was one of the best-known entertainers of the 20th century. In this program, visitors can discover the story behind the man who recorded the best-selling holiday song of all time. First Saturday in the First State program. For more, call 739-3262.
— Delaware Day awards ceremony: 10 a.m. Dec. 8, Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Honor participants in the Delaware Department of State’s 17th annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition, which challenges students to create displays that help illustrate and explain the U.S. Constitution and the role played by Delawareans in the writing and ratification of the nation’s founding document. For more, call 744-5000.
— Spirit of Christmas in New Castle:”: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 8, Downtown New Castle. One of the preserved colonial-era towns in America features tours of decorated historic homes, reenactments, programs at museums including the New Castle Court House Museum, crafts, musical entertainment and more. Concludes at 5 p.m. with the annual Christmas tree lighting at Market Square. For more, call 328-3279.
— Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild: 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 8, John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. The program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. For more, call 739-3277.
— Lecture on Lightship Overfalls: 2 p.m. Dec. 8, Zwaanendael Museum. Program on the history of lightships and of Lewes’ own Lightship Overfalls presented by author, instructor and Overfalls guide Wayne Kirklin. Part of “Across the Ages to the Edge of the Sea,” a lecture series exploring the history of the Lewes area from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Free; must register by Dec. 7 to 645-1148.
— Concert by Kyle Offandani: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, The Old State House. Folk music will be presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk and the First State Heritage Park. For more, call 744-5054.
— Buena Vista Holiday Open House: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 15, Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate, 661 S. Dupont Highway. A one-day-only event featuring self-guided tours of one of Delaware’s historic homes decorated for the holidays plus a hands-on activity for children and adults. For more, call 323-4430.
— Handmade for the Holidays: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 15, John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Seasonal program in which visitors can create a gift tag with paper quilling. For more, call 739-3277.
— Handmade for the Holidays: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 22, John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Seasonal program in which visitors can design a tile for the holidays. For more, call 739-3277.
— Ringing in the New Year With Jazz: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 5, 2019, Johnson Victrola Museum. Guided tours explore the sound of classic jazz and the role that the Victor Talking Machine Company played in bringing the New Orleans sound to music lovers across the globe, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. For more, call 739-3262.
— Divided Delaware: 1 p.m. Jan. 5, 2019, The Old State House. In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Afterward, the state grew increasingly divided. This in-depth presentation will analyze three important moments where division prevented great social change from occurring in Delaware: the state’s effort to end slavery before the Civil War; the ratification of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments; and Delaware’s chance to be the final state to ratify the 19th Amendment. First Saturday in the First State program. For more, call 744-5054.
For more, visit history.delaware.gov.