Of the many special events planned throughout the year at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Del., Family Day on Saturday ranks high in popularity. Now in its fourth year, it offers a full day of activity for all ages from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Since the museum stands on the original site of the du Pont black powder mills that flourished during the 19th century, many of the events relate to that era.
On Blacksmith Hill, the Hagley's 19th century workers' community, visitors can enjoy a Punch and Judy show, enter wheelbarrow races, participate in school classes or watch interpreters perform daily chores. There will also be demonstrations of knitting, quilting and punch paper work. In the Hagley Yard, workers will be engaged in paper making, riveting, threading, stone quarrying and other mill work.
The 61st New York Volunteer Infantry Mifflin Guard, a group that was featured in the movie "Glory," will present a Civil War encampment. Accompanied by their wives and children in period dress, you'll find them in the field above the E.I. du Pont Garden pitching tents, drilling, marching and operating a battalion mess. Demonstrations are scheduled at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. with a skirmish set for 3 p.m. The re-enactors will also participate in a 19th century baseball game, played by 1845 Knickerbocker Club rules and using reproduction 19th century bats and balls.
Other attractions include carriage rides, hayrides, bluegrass music, antique cars, blacksmithing, beekeeping demonstrations and food. Admission is $8 for adults; $3 for children ages 14 and under. There is also a family rate of $20. The Hagley is off Route 141 in Wilmington.
For information, call (302) 658-2400, Ext. 257 or 285.
On the last weekend in September, droves of daytrippers will invade the quaint Frederick County town of New Market. This year marks the 31st year for Maryland's "antiques capital" to celebrate its 19th century heritage with a fun-filled weekend.
New Market Days will be held Friday through next Sunday and, as usual, will offer lots of activities from strolling musicians to carriage rides through town to old-time crafts demonstrations and a Civil War encampment.
RF Craftspeople will set up their wares along the town's main street,
where you can see demonstrations of spinning, weaving, wreath making, soap making, blacksmithing, tinsmithing, apple butter making and many, many others. Hungry visitors can enjoy variety of country cooking available throughout town as well as at the Fire Hall, where on Saturday you can purchase ham, turkey and oyster dinners and chicken platters on Sunday.
There's also a variety of entertainment, ranging from old-time country fiddling to bluegrass bands to bell ringers, as well as country dancers and firing demonstrations by the Richmond Grays. A children's activities area will allow children to experience some old-fashioned skills such as writing with a quill pen and grinding coffee. The Post Office will turn back the clock to show what it looked like 100 years ago. And, of course, there are the more than 30 antique shops, filled with all kinds of treasures.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. New Market is off I-70 at Exit 62. For information, call (301) 663-8687.
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Calvert Marine Museum at Solomons is planning a festive weekend.
Friday evening the "Bugeye Ball," a black-tie dinner dance, will launch the weekend festivities. On Saturday and Sunday the museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a continuous slide show of the museum's history and guided tours of the new Maritime History Exhibit. The Drum Point Lighthouse and the J. C. Lore Oyster House will both be open at no charge. The grounds will be filled with exhibits and demonstrations by
museum clubs, including woodcarvers and model boat builders, and the Maryland Federalist, a replica of the ship presented to George Washington in 1788, will beat the museum for the celebration. There will be cooking demonstrations by a seafood cookbook author on Saturday at 11 a.m. and a book signing and story time by children's author Priscilla Cummings. Also on Saturday, a three-hour cruise aboard the William B. Tennison will depart the museum at 4:30 p.m. The fee of $25 includes a box supper and the movie "Showboat" in the museum's auditorium after the cruise. Reservations are suggested. Free ice cream cones will be distributed at the Lore Oyster House on Sunday.
Admission is free. Free shuttle service will be in operation both days between the museum and the island. The museum is on Route 2 in Southern Maryland at Solomons. For information, call (301) 326-2042.
* The old mill town of Occoquan, Va., only four blocks long, wil be overflowing with tourists Saturday and next Sunday during the 21st annual Fall Craft Show, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It has become one of the largest juried shows on the East Coast, with record crowds last year of over 125,000.
The show attracts artists from all over the country, with over 300 artisans from 18 states expected to participate this year. Woodworking and leather crafts, jewelry, pottery, ceramics and needlework are some of the offerings, along with a variety of food. Admission is free.
Take I-95 to Exit 53 and follow signs to free parking at Route 123 and I-95 fringe lot, where free shuttle service will be available into town. (No parking will be permitted in Occoquan).
For information, call (703) 491-1346.
Steppingstone Museum will holdits Fall Harvest Festival Saturday and next Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. on museum grounds in Susquehanna Park near Havre de Grace.
Fall activities such as scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, apple bobbing, apple butter making, an apple pie contest, and hayrides will be featured, as well as pony rides and a petting zoo, and numerous craftspeople will offer their wares for sale. Cloggers, square dancers, country musicians and a community band will provide entertainment. Pit beef and other foods will be available, and the farmhouse will be open for tour as will all the farm shops.
Admission is $3 for adults; free for ages 17 and under. The museum is at 461 Quaker Bottom Road. Take Exit 89 off I-95. For information, call (301) 939-2299.
Fort Ward Museum and the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities will co-sponsor the first Alexandria Fancy Fair on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the grounds of the fort, 4301 W. Braddock Road in Alexandria, Va.
It will be reminiscent of the summer/fall fairs that were popular during the Victorian era. Interpreters in period costume will present vignettes from 19th century life, including a fashion promenade and events from the political scene. Other attractions include horse and buggy rides, children's games, entertainment, arts and crafts and period food.
Rain date is the following day. Admission is free. For information, call (703) 838-4848.
* Family Day will be held next Sunday as part of Oatland Plantation's three-day Garden Fair, with fun for all ages from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The mansion and its famous garden will be open for touring, and costume guides will present living history tableaux. A garden fair will be set up on the mansion's balustrade with numerous vendors selling garden-related items. Children can enjoy the recently restored one-room school house, hands-on craft activities, storytelling, a Victorian doll house display, clowns, K-9 Corps demonstrations, and a children's flower arranging workshop. Food will be sold by the Sterling Ruritan Club.
Admission is $5 for adults; $3 for ages 7 to 12; free for age 6 and under.
Oatlands is on Route 15, six miles south of Leesburg, Va. For information, call (703) 777-3174.