Hagley Museum and Library has rolled the success of its long-standing Bike, Hike and Brew nights and its Dog Days of Summer, which allowed guests to bring furry pals, into an all-encompassing Summer Nights program.
Now every Wednesday night, patrons can bring their families and pets to the site of the Du Pont Co.’s gunpowder factory along the Brandywine River to picnic, walk its trails and have a drink while listening to live music.
Before this summer, dogs were only welcomed one night a month.
The revamp came after Hagley officials considered the enthusiastic feedback they were getting and decided to enhance elements that people really enjoyed.
“We decided to make every evening dog friendly,” said Laura Jury, Hagley’s marketing manager.
Organizers added yard games like hula hoops, cornhone, bubbles and more, as well as live music every Wednesday.
In addition, guests can grab a Dogfish Head craft brew or one of their canned Culinary Crafted Cocktails, which includes flavors such as grapefruit vodka crush, blood orange vodka crush, pineapple and orange rum crush and lemon-lime gin crush.
Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic or stop by Janssen’s Market or Pizza by Elizabeth to enjoy at the picnic tables.
Summer Nights are weather dependent, and they’ve had a bit of a rough start, though. The June 7 debut went off fine, but the June 14 event was canceled because of smoke from the Canadian wildfires and the June 21 event because of rain.
Organizers are hoping that’s all the bad luck they’ll have this season, Jury said.
The site’s Fishing on the Brandywine, held on select summer Saturdays, remain popular. Hagley provides fishing poles and bait, and participants do not need a license to throw a line into the Brandywine during the catch-and-release events.
It’s for all ages, included in admission and now scheduled for July 15, July 29, Aug. 5, Aug. 19 and Sept. 2.
Hagley also plans to add a new twist to the Sept. 17 Hagley Car Show, which is expected to once again fill its fields with 500 antique and restored cars.
This year’s theme is A Drive Down Memory Lane: Celebrating Bygone Brands.
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To enhance that message, the museum will hope a new exhibition of classic vehicles owned by the du Ponts, including a 1928 Ford Model A Phaeton, which has recently been sent for restoration.
The lower level of the barn — the back side of the building used for the holiday gingerbread show — has been renovated to show off the vehicles used by du Pont family members across the decades.
Hagley’s not ready yet to release the full list of renovated family vehicles, Jury said.
Half the field, though, is already allotted to registrants who want to show off their cars.
More about Hagley
Hagley Museum and Library, at 200 Hagley Creek Road in Wilmington, is a nonprofit educational institution spread across 235 acres.
It includes the first du Pont family home and garden in the United States, the powder yards and a 19th-century machine shop, as well as a new permanent exhibit, “Nation of Inventors.” That exhibit includes dozens of the museum’s patent models, which once were required to apply for a patent.
Hagley also recently has joined Museums for All, a national program that encourages individuals of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly.
Through Museums for All, Hagley provides reduced admission for $2 per person up to four people for visitors presenting their food benefit EBT/SNAP card.
It’s open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $20 adults; $16 for students and ages 62+, $2 with EBT/SNAP discount; and free for children under 6 and active military.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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