The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is an oasis on a driving trip – 82 magnificent acres which started life as Powhatanhuntinggrounds and was at one time owned by patriot Patrick Henry.

In 1884, Lewis Ginter, who was orphaned at 17 and later became a millionaire from tobacco and real estate, developed a Wheel Club House here for Richmond bicyclists (now Bloemendaal House). His niece, Grace Arents, developed the gardens, and her original design is still here.

There are more kinds of gardens than we ever knew existed: four seasons, healing, Asian, rose, wetland, azalea and a community kitchen one where they grow food for the hungry. The children’s garden offers up a tree house and an activity center; there’s sidewalk chalk, hula hooping, digging and watering opportunities.  They love the Kids Quest treasure hunt. For walkers, there’s a “walk on the wild side” and a bird trail, and as if all that wasn’t enough, there’s a lush indoor conservatory with exotic plants from around the world.

Featured Events:

A Million Blooms

Until Thursday, June 1, 2017 A Million Bllooms - Flowers -3-28-2017 2-47-04 PM
A Million Blooms is included with Garden admission. A parade of blooms unfurls as the weather warms: daffodils, tulips, peonies, roses and  more.

Butterflies LIVE!

Butterflys @ Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden - Stephanie Gross 434.962.2019

Until  Sunday, October 15, 2017
Experience the wonderful world of butterflies! Butterflies LIVE! is an indoor exhibit in the Conservatory and is geared for all ages. Get up close and personal as hundreds of tropical butterflies feed, flutter and take flight all around you. Explore their origins, preferred habitats and life cycles.

Butterflys @ Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden - Stephanie Gross 434.962.2019

Mother’s Day Weekend
May 12, 13 & 14, 2017
Regular Garden admission
A three-day weekend with many opportunities to honor and spend time with mom. Enjoy the popular Butterflies LIVE! exhibit, shopping and dining:

  • The long weekend kicks off Friday, May 12 with National Public Gardens Day.
  • On Saturday, May 13, create the experience your mom would like. Stretch out on quilts in the Louise Cochrane Rose Garden and read favorite books. Explore woodland walks searching for fairies. Get down and dirty with digging activities. Help weave a Maypole, try the hula hoop and chase bubbles! (10 am – 4 pm)
  • Sunday, May 14 is the popular Mother’s Day concert with Glenroy Bailey & Co. (1 – 4pm). Food available for purchase in front of Bloemendaal House. Guests are also welcome to bring blankets or lawn chairs but no outside food or beverage. Activities in the Children’s Garden include “make-and-takes” for mom (10am – 4pm)

Location: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave, Richmond, VA 23228
Hours: Daily 9am – 5pm
Tel: 804-262-9887
lewisginter.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitrichmondva.com

Nature enthusiasts will relish the natural unspoiled and virtually unmarked by man Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge that was established in 1937 to preserve the Okefenokee Swamp. The refuge encompasses over 400,000 acres of canals, moss draped cypress trees and lily pads which provide sanctuaries for hundreds of species of birds and wildlife.Kayakers on canal

Okefenokee has the great distinction of not only being a part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, but also the National Wilderness Preservation System. Swamp habitats comprise open wet “prairies,” cypress forests, scrub-shrub vegetation, upland islands, and open lakes. Wildlife species include wading birds, ducks, alligators and other reptiles, a variety of amphibians, bobcats, raptors, white-tailed deer, black bears, and songbirds.

To assist you on your exploration, Okefenokee Adventures offers a full range of tour options and is located inside the refuge on the historic Suwannee Canal.  Canoe, kayak, or boat the mirrored black waters of the Okefenokee Swamp: You can join a regularly scheduled 90 minute guided boat tours, or reserve a 2 hour sunset tour or arrange a half or full day private excursion with an expert, professional guide. Their staff includes well-known authorities on alligator biology, wetland ecology, and Okefenokee cultural history. gator on log

Experience canoe camping in the back-country wilderness of the Swamp interior, or head out on your own in a canoe or kayak. You can bike or drive the Swamp Island Drive, visit an authentic Swamp homestead or walk the nature trails and boardwalk and  get bird’s eye views of the swamp from atop the observation tower.

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Location: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, 2700 Suwanee Canal Rd, Folkston, GA 31537 , Tel: 912-496-7836 or 877-860-6787

Location: Okefenokee Adventures, 4159 Suwannee Canal Rd., Folkston, GA 31537
Hours: Open: ½-hour before sunrise every day,
Closed: 7:30pm – March 1 through Oct 31, Closed: 5:30pm – Nov 1 through end of Feb
Tel: 912-496-7156, 866-843-7926
okefenokeeadventures.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitkingsland.com

Head to Annapolis City Dock at the end of April and catch the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show.  Set in the historic seaport of Annapolis,  the sixth annual in-water sailboat show kicks off the boating season with displays: catamarans, mono hulls, racing boats, family cruisers, day sailors, and inflatables—a total of over 100 new and brokerage boatsAerial Annapolis Sailboat

The sailboat show is for experienced and novice sailors alike, showcasing every new model present in the market, on display in the water and on land, allowing you opportunity to talk to the industry experts about buying and owing a boat. Shop for the latest in marine equipment, electronics, clothing and boating accessories at more than one hundred on-land nautical exhibits.First-Sail-Workshop

Cruisers University features hands-on workshops providing lessons from professionals and firsthand experience. The event will also include in-water demos, and the 3rd Annual Annapolis Junior Keelboat Regatta, where on April 29th at noon regional high school sailing teams will compete for the traveling cup.SPRINGSAILSUNDAYLarge (2)

Take a break from touring boats to enjoy live music, continuous entertainment, free food and beer and wine tastings, prizes, plus magnificent water views.

This venue is a one of a kind opportunity for sailors to be with sailors. There are very few places where you will find so many sailors congregated; the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show is one of them.

Location: City Dock, Annapolis, MD (GPS address: 1 Dock Street, Annapolis, MD 21401)
Date: April 28 – 30, 2017
Hours: Fri, Sat  10 – 6 pm, Sun 10 -5 pm
Tel: 410-268-8828
annapolisboatshows.com/annapolis-spring-sailboat-show
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitannapolis.org

Jeep enthusiasts celebrate a passion for off-road vehicles over JeepBeach Flyerfive days of family-friendly fun for Jeep owners. The Jeep Beach event has become the largest Jeep only five-day event in the southeast USA and is held each April in Daytona Beach, Florida to raise much needed funds for worthwhile local and national charities.

Thousands are expected at Daytona Beach and The World Center of Racing, the Daytona International Speedway for this unique Jeep Extravaganza.  Jeep Beach attracts Jeepers and Jeep Industry Vendors from all over the USA, Canada, and even overseas. Jeep Beach - Line up

While appreciating the great weather with like-minded Jeep aficionados, enjoy and partake in the many festivities including: obstacle courses for all levels of drivers, largest Jeep specific vendor show, Beachside Mainstreet Cruise In, clean up at the Jeep-shining show, Pirate Night Themed Kick-off party, Scavenger Hunt, Off Site Trail Rides, Beachside Concert, Block Party and Fireworks, and $150,000 in Raffle Prizes.Jeep Club

Location: City wide Daytona Beach, FL 32118
Dates: April 25 – 30, 2017
Hours: For dates & times of specific events: jeepbeach.com/schedule-events
jeepbeach.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: daytonabeach.com

US: Florence, SC – Play Me, I’m Yours – Brings Pianos and Music to Florence Streets

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Florence - Play Me I'm Yours

Florence, SC Exit 160: No, you’re not seeing things, those randomly placed pianos throughout Florence are part of Play Me, I’m Yours, an initiative of a worldwide street piano project, geared to interconnect people in the community by “expressing themselves”  by bringing pianos to the people and music to the streets.Play Me, I'm Yours -Man

Dozens of Pianos will be located all over Florence and Lake City, and will remain available until May 7, positioned for everyone to play and enjoy on streets, in parks, squares, markets and other public places. Play Me, I’m Yours invites the public to engage with, participate and take ownership of their urban environment. Decorated and personalized by local artists and community groups, the street pianos create a place of exchange and an opportunity for people to connect.Play Me, I'm Yours - Woman

Touring internationally since 2008, Play Me, I’m Yours was created by British artist Luke Jerram. More than 1500 pianos have now been installed in over 50 cities across the globe, from London to Lima, bearing the simple invitation Play Me, I’m Yours. The project has already reached more than ten million people worldwide.

An opening-night festival will be held April 21 in the Willcox Plaza on West Evans Street. The event will include a dueling pianist team and a “Paint a Piano” tent for young artists. Don’t miss the featured noon concerts on various instruments by local pianists.Play Me, I'm Yours -Crowd

Location: Florence, SC
Date: Fri, April 21 – Sun, May 7, 2017
Tel: 843-260-6210
streetpianos.com/florence2017
For Regional accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitflo.com

 

US: New Haven, CT – Welcome Spring at New Haven’s Cherry Blossom Festival

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The 44th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival is a celebration of spring commemorating the planting of 72 Yoshino Japanese Cherry Blossom trees in 1973.  Hanami (cherry blossom) viewing, has been a Japanese custom since the 7th century when the aristocrats enjoyed the transient beauty of  looking at sakura (cherry trees). Sakura is a symbol of Japan, and it’s said that there are over 400 varieties of cherry trees in Japan.CherryTrees

The longstanding tradition of the Cherry Blossom Festival,  takes place  in New Haven’s Historic Wooster Square, and offers something for everyone in the family, including your 4 -legged family member.

Enjoy free entertainment including music, dancing, shop a flea market, food, a children and family area that includes puppet shows, arts and crafts, face painting and activities from the Peabody Museum, New Haven Free Public Library’s Readmobile and a raptor-rescue organization  -Horizon Wings.CBFestival_15 (1)

There is a Pet Friendly area, with New Haven Animal Shelter, Greater New Haven Cat Project, Little Shop of Howlers, Pups Without Partners and Veterinary Wellness Center.

With so much to do don’t forget the main attraction, enjoying the scenic view of the early blooming cherry blossoms. This family-friendly festival is a great and inexpensive way to bring in spring.

Location: Wooster Square, New Haven, CT 06511
Date: Sun., April 23, 2017
Time: 12 – 5pm
Tel: 203-777-1371
historicwoostersquare.org/cherryblossomfestival.html
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitnewhaven.com

US: Wilson, NC – All Eyes on Wilson’s Main Street – 100 Artists for 100 Days

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They say a “picture’s worth a thousand words” well then the city of Wilson has a lot to say.  From April 8th until July 16th, Nash Street, the main street of Wilson, North Carolina will be transformed into a vibrant gallery of large-scale photographs for the 3rd annual Eyes On Main Street Festival.wilson33

One hundred prominent and emerging photographers from more than 30 countries, will be featured in store front businesses on Nash Street joining forces to help revitalize Historic Downtown Wilson. The exhibition 100 artists for 100 days, will focus on the theme of “Main Street, a Crossroad of Cultures” as interpreted by the individual photographers.Wilson2

The Eyes on Main Street festival will launch on Nash Street from 6 pm –9 pm on Saturday April 8, 2017 with live music. Over the next 100 days there will be a number of festivities to celebrate Wilson’s commitment to the arts.

Several workshops and lectures led by photography professionals will be held during the Festival. To see a list of all FREE events, lectures and workshops: eyesonmainstreetwilson.com/news

Location: Historic Downtown Wilson – Nash Street, NC 27893
Dates: April 8 – July 16th, 2017
Tel: 252-991-4903
eyesonmainstreetwilson.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: wilson-nc.com

US: Palm Beach FL – Celebrate Easter in Style at The Flagler Museum’s Egg Hunt

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Imagine an Easter Egg Hunt on the grounds of the glorious Flagler Museum…The Gilded Age estate was a 55-room winter retreat built in 1907 as a wedding present for Henry Flagler’s 3rd wife Mary Lily Kenan Flagler. Today, Whitehall is a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public as the Flagler Museum, featuring guided tours, changing exhibits, and special programs.

Children are invited to hunt for more than 8,000 eggs on the Museum’s Lawn and in the Cocoanut Grove. The Museum grounds will be sectioned off into age-appropriate areas so everyone, including toddlers, will have an opportunity to participate.

When the Museum gates open at 9am  children  will be visited by the Easter Bunny. Don’t forget your camera as this is a great photo-op with the Bunny and the grandeur of the museum as a backdrop. There will be an Easter Craft Activity Table, where children can engage in Easter-themed art projects, face painting, balloon sculptures, and play a game of Bean Bag Toss.

The egg hunt begins promptly at 10am. The Easter Egg Hunt for children age four and under will be held on the Southeast Lawn with 3,500 hidden eggs. For kids ages five and older the Hunt is in the Cocoanut Grove with 4,500 hidden eggs.  Look for the golden egg to win a special prize.flagler-museum-easter-egg-hunt

To purchase tickets: flaglermuseum.us/programs/easter-egg-hunt

Photo Courtesy of: © Flagler Museum

Location: Flagler Museum, One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach, FL 33480
Date: Sat, April 15, 2017
Time: Gates open at 9am.The egg hunt begins at 10am
Tel: 561-655-2833
flaglermuseum.us
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: thepalmbeaches.com

US: Lexington, MA – China’s Golden Dragon Acrobats: Breathtaking Showmanship of Magical Stunts

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The ancient art of Chinese Acrobatics is an old and long running tradition that began in China well over two thousand years ago. Over its long and rich history it has developed as one of the most popular art forms among the Chinese people.

The Golden Dragon Acrobats represent the best of a time-honored custom that combines award-winning acrobatics, ancestral dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques to create an unforgettable experience of breathtaking skill and spellbinding beauty.Chinese Acobats - Rings

The legendary Golden Dragon Acrobats performs at Cary Hall with their amazing feats of athleticism, daring, heart-stopping stunts and the finesse of the centuries-old art form.This unique cirque spectacular showcases a tour de force of traditional Chinese acrobats highlighting their remarkable skills and physicality.

Boasting the best in gasp-inducing juggling with props as varied as ladders and giant spinning wheels, tumbling and balancing acts, the performers show just why they’re world renowned. Their spectacular artistry and colorful accoutrements are combined with cirque-style acts. The traditional and contemporary musical score and explosive choreography creates an exciting  show of mesmerizing mastery showmanship and breathtaking, magical stunts that is nothing short of phenomenal.Chinese Acrobats - Bike

Location: Cary Hall, 1605 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02420
Date: Sat, April 8, 2017
Time: 3 -5pm
Tel: 617-531-1257
caryhalllexington.com/wordpress1/?projects=the-golden-dragon-acrobats-april-8
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: merrimackvalley.org

US: Wilmington, DE – Become a Junior Paleontologist in a Dinosaur Maze

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Dinosaur Revolution is a traveling exhibition staged  at the Delaware Museum of Natural History. This is a creative learning experience within a maze setting. The interactive maze is mentally and physically engaging and offers a fun and hands-on way to explore the fascinating prehistoric world of dinosaurs.Dinosaur Revolution

Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as visitors can experience reptilian role-play activities by LIVING LARGE. Undertake three Mesozoic Missions spanning 150 million years that dinosaurs ruled the Earth and mimic dinosaur behavior; become a junior paleontologist and find evidence of dinosaur doings while learning why dinosaurs are one of the most successful survivors in earth’s history; and unearth a shocking discovery: dinosaurs may not be extinct!

Dinosaur Revolution blends learning and play, inviting visitors to investigate all things dinosaur while challenging your knowledge, presenting new discoveries, and debunking popular myths.

Location: Delaware Museum of Natural History, 4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE 19807
Dates: until – May 29, 2017
Hours: Mon – Sat: 9:30 – 4:30pm, Sun: Noon – 4:30pm
Tel: 302-658-9111
delmnh.org/event/dinosaur-revolution
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitwilmingtonde.com