A Storybook Garden Party will transform the E.I. du Pont French garden into a magical place for families with children ages 3 to 11 on April 30. The garden is part of the Hagley Museum complex in Wilmington, Del., built on the site of the original du Pont mills and estate.
The day's events will take place in the garden and in the DuPont Co.'s first office on the museum's upper property from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. In case of inclement weather, many of the activities will be moved indoors. Activities are tied to children's favorite books. For instance, children can run through a garden maze in Peter Rabbit's Hollow, where they will meet Peter and Mr. McGregor. They can enjoy hands-on crafts or spend quiet time in the barn and listen to stories by Mother Goose or watch Beatrix Potter videos.
At Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher's Corner they can paint the planks of a fence or dress up as Tom or Becky and play 19th-century games, while being entertained by a musician and storyteller. Another area will be set up as Circus World, featuring puppet shows, magic, acrobatics, comedy and juggling. In the Hagley library there will be stories to read, a children's craft area and sing-alongs.
Eleutherian Mills, the du Pont mansion, will be decorated with flowers, and each arrangement will depict a theme from children's literature. Guided garden tours are another attraction, are gifts for sale and a food court offering a variety of food.
Admission is $12 for a family; $5 for adults; $2 for ages 6 to 14. Use the museum's Buck Road East entrance off Route 100 in Wilmington. For information, call (302) 658-2400.
House and garden tours
House and garden tours move north to Philadelphia this week. The 1995 Philadelphia Open House starts Wednesday evening and runs through May 14, offering 27 behind-the-scene tours of area homes, gardens and public spaces.
Coordinated by the Friends of Independence National Historical Park, this year's schedule includes 27 bus and walking tours and a river cruise. It covers three centuries of architecture in a variety of areas, including the Main Line, Bucks County and Bristol on the Delaware. Open House also extends beyond the borders with a full day's excursion to Princeton, N.J., and luncheon at Drumthwacket, the official residence of New Jersey governors.
There are seven new tours this year, including a design and designers' tour, a look at private gardens in Chestnut Hill, two architectural tours in Philadelphia and a Schuylkill River cruise.
Reservations are required for all tours. Prices range from $17 to $22 for walking tours to $32 to $65 for guided bus tours, including breakfast, lunch or refreshments, depending on the time of the tour. Call (215) 928-1188.
The 17th annual Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland is scheduled Saturday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in St. Leonard.
A tribute to Celtic cultures in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Cornwall and Brittany, the event provides a day of music and dance, stage performances, storytelling, crafts and ethnic food.
Two stages will offer entertainment throughout the day, featuring such musicians as Grace Griffith and Cathy Palmer of Connemara; Scottish fiddler Bonnie Rideout; the acoustic trio Iona; and Ironweed. The Eastern United States Highland Dance Championships will be held there, as well as competitions in Scottish fiddling, bagpiping and drumming. Re-enactment groups will demonstrate a variety of skills from the Stone Age to modern times.
There will be displays on genealogy, and the Clan MacFarlane Society will hold its annual gathering at the festival. A marketplace will sell Celtic foods, crafts and merchandise.
Admission is $8 for adults; $5 for senior citizens and children ages 8 to 12; free for under 8. The park is off U.S. Route 4, south of Prince Frederick in Calvert County. Call (410) 586-0055.
When the Monacan Indians return to one of their sacred sites in Natural Bridge, Va., next weekend, some of the country's finest American-Indian storytellers, dancers, musicians and artisans will be among them. The Monacans' first annual powwow Saturday and April 30 will be a gathering of Native Americans not only from Virginia but also from other states all over the country.
Legend has it that Natural Bridge was discovered by the Monacans during an attack by Powhatans and Shawnees. Later, when European settlers arrived and took over the land, the tribe fared badly. Eventual ly the Monacans lost not only their land on Bear Mountain but also the right to their heritage: Under Virginia's Racial Integrity Law of 1924, American Indians were not recognized as a separate ethnic or racial group. Today, the Monacans hope to buy back the land on their ancestral mountain and reclaim their heritage.
Next weekend visitors will see Native American dancers competing in full dance regalia, and a performance of an Aztec fire dance. They can visit a tepee village, sample Native American dishes, and join a bonfire dance Saturday evening.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults; $5 for ages 6 to 12; free for under 5. Natural Bridge is on U.S. 11, two miles off Interstate 81 at Exit 175 or 180. Call (800) 533-1410, Ext. 3.
Historic St. Mary's City, the state's outdoor museum, will hold its Discovery Day Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Activities are included in the general admission ticket of $6.50 for adults; $6 for seniors and students; $3.25 for ages 6 to 12.
Visitors can also watch the St. Maries Citty Militia muster at the Godiah Spray Tobacco Plantation and explore the archaeological digs at the Cordea's Hope site. A living-history trial will be presented in the Old State House of 1676, and the Maryland Dove will be open for boarding. You can also visit the Woodlawn Indian long house to learn about Maryland's earliest population.
The museum is on Route 5 about six miles south of Lexington Park in Southern Maryland. Call (301) 862-0990.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park presents its first archaeology weekend, Friday through April 30 in Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
History Beneath Your Feet features a variety of activities, including flint-knapping, prehistoric weaponry demonstrations, musket demonstrations, a tour of Virginius Island Archaeology Preserve, exhibits on Harpers Ferry archaeology and a Saturday reception for 10 regionally known archaeologists.
Activities run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day and begin at the tent in Lower Town. All activities are free, but there is an admission charge of $5 per vehicle to enter the park. Call (304) 535-6167.