The Chrysanthemum Festival opened yesterday at Longwood
Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa., transforming the conservatories into a sea of vivid color. More than 20,000 chrysanthemums can be seen through Nov. 21, growing in a variety of forms -- in cascading curtains, 6-foot-wide hanging baskets, bonsai topiaries and huge pompons.
In keeping with the theme of "The Return of the Dinosaurs," horticulturists have created a Triceratops mother and baby, a Dromiceiomimus and an Archelon (an ancestor of the sea turtle). There is also a trio of life-sized topiary dinosaurs on loan from the Channel Gardens of Rockefeller Center in New York as well as dinosaur sculptures made out of car parts and a 50-foot "Stickasaurus" made out of twigs, vines and other natural materials.
Weekday activities include daily talks by Longwood's experts on a variety of gardening topics, and there's outdoor fun for children including a dinosaur bone dig and dinosaur footprints trails. On weekends a children's activity room offers a Build-A-Saurus, a Dino Discoveries Trunk, and song and dance by costumed dinosaurs Leroy and Lizzie. Dinosaurs will also be the topic of weekend talks. Dr. Robert Bakker, author of "The Dinosaur Heresies," will speak today at 2 p.m. on "Tyrannosaurus rex: A 10,000-pound Roadrunner." Dr. Conrad Labandeira, curator of fossil insects at the Smithsonian Institute, will speak next Sunday; Dr. Peter Dodson of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine on Nov. 14, and dinosaur artist Bob Walters on Nov. 21.
Festival weekends feature entertainment: "The Great Dinosaur Mystery," an original puppet musical, today; Mike Weilbacher's Rollickin' Dinosaur Revue and Crabgrass Puppet Theatre's "Dinosaur Dimension," Saturday and next Sunday; and excerpts from the Opera Delaware production, "The Enormous Egg," Nov. 13, 14, 20 and 21.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $10 for adults ($6 on Tuesdays); $6 for ages 16 to 20; $2 for ages 6 to 15; free for under 6.
Longwood Gardens is on U.S. Route 1, three miles northeast of Kennett Square. For information, call (215) 388-6741.
Berkeley Plantation in Charles City County, Va., will be the site for the Virginia Thanksgiving Festival next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event commemorates America's first Thanksgiving, held at the Berkeley site on Dec. 4, 1619, two years before the Pilgrim celebration in Massachusetts.
Gates open at 9 a.m., and a full day of events begins at 10 a.m. with living history interpretations of life in Colonial Virginia, an arts and crafts fair, American-Indian dancers and culture demonstrations, a band concert, magic show, children's activities and tours of the plantation. You can buy food from vendors or bring your own picnic.
Highlight of the event will be the re-enactment of the original Thanksgiving, presented at 1:30 p.m. This year an authentic Colonial Thanksgiving buffet has been planned; seatings are at noon and 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30 for adults and $20 for ages 5 to 12 and include admission to the festival. Advance reservations are required. Admission to the festival is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors; $3 for children ages 5 to 16; free for under 5.
Berkeley Plantation is on state Route 5 in Charles City County between Richmond and Williamsburg, Va. Call (804) 272-3226.
The 17th annual Philadelphia Craft Show is scheduled Thursday through next Sunday at the Philadelphia Civic Center, 34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard.
Sponsored by the Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art as a fund-raiser, the show features 175 of the country's finest artisans.
Admission is $9 for adults; $3.50 for children under 12. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday to Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call (215) 787-5431.
Each year on the first weekend in November, visitors flock to the small river-front town of Urbanna, Va., for the state's oyster festival.
The town celebrates with parades, live bands and a street carnival. The harbor is crowded with work boats and visiting tall ships, which welcome the public aboard. Streets are lined with arts and crafts booths and food booths.
Live bands will perform Friday evening after the Fireman's Parade. Saturday's events are highlighted by the Virginia Oyster Shucking Championship and the festival parade.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. Call (804) 758-5540.
Hunt Cup Races
The 59th running of the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup Races will take place on Saturday in Unionville, Pa. Gates open at 11 a.m., and the first race will be at 2:15 p.m. The day consists of two races over fences and a flat race at 4 p.m.
In addition to the three feature races, there will be pony races, a carriage parade and a display of antique cars. A new event is the Canine Puissance Jumping Competition for all breeds.
Admission is $50 per car on race day. Proceeds will benefit the New Bolton Center, the rural campus of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.
The races will be run on private property, located off Newark Road between state routes 926 and 842. Take U.S. Route 1 to the Toughkenamon exit and turn north on Newark Road. Call (215) 869-0557.