December happens to be one of our favorite months here at Hargrave House. Doylestown is all gussied up for the holidays – from the stately Christmas tree set up in Starbucks’ parking lot at State and Main, to the snowflake ornaments adorning streetlamps, to the larger-than-life dreidel at Hamilton and State streets. It’s just so pretty to walk through town! We also love the long-standing tradition Mercer and Michener museums have of jointly hosting their holiday open houses on the same night. Make sure you set aside a few hours Tuesday evening, Dec. 10, to sample some of their seasonal spirit and maybe check out a few things you’ve never seen at the two cultural institutions. It runs from 7 to 9 p.m. And don’t forget to throw an evergreen branch into the bonfire near Mercer’s log cabin as part of the annual “burning of the greens.” The symbolic gesture allows you to “wish your troubles away” in hopes of a better new year to come – a perfectly pleasant idea!
Have you gotten your tickets yet for the Grace Kelly exhibit at Michener Art Museum? Don’t delay. We hear they’re selling fast and furiously. “From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly – Beyond the Icon” opens Monday. The art museum, celebrating 25 years, will be closed to the public Saturday and Sunday while it gets ready. (There is a special members-only reception on Sunday.)
The museum also has additional programming to complement its exhibition, some with advance registration. “Adorning Grace: Jewelry Fit for a Princess” will be held Nov. 3 and include talks, demos and displays. On Nov. 7, join the lecture series for “Grace Kelly: Beyond the Icon.” And on Nov. 12, the curator’s lecture will focus on Bucks County Playhouse, which is celebrating its 75th year and where Kelly made her stage debut. BCP is the subject of another exhibit opening at Michener the same day.
We’ve also noticed some of the businesses in town have caught Grace Kelly fever. Cowgirl Chile Co. Jewelry’s display window features the many faces of the beautiful 1950s actress. Across the street, L.A.D. & Co. Hairdressing of Distinction offers Grace Kelly cuts. And The County Theater on Nov. 13 plans a 3-D showing of Hitchcock’s “Dial M for Murder.” It’s part of their “Grace Kelly & Hitch Series.”
So, make your plans to visit – the exhibit runs through Jan. 26 – and keep us in mind for your overnight stay.
All set for the Labor Day weekend? We are, though it’s hard to believe that summer has flown by so quickly! Still, even though it might be the unofficial end, there are plenty of fun things going on around town that will keep you busy.
What’s the next fun thing? How about the Doylestown Arts Festival? It’s a week earlier this year – scheduled for Sept. 7 and 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s the biggest festival of the year, with lots of visiting craft artisans, musicians, and food and drink to fortify you as you walk around.
Not into the whole arts scene? Not to worry. Stop by Sunday and you can watch the inaugural Thompson Bucks County Classic, a New Hope to Doylestown bike race featuring 150 professional cyclists. Riders hit the finish line at West Court and Main streets between 2:30 and 3 p.m.
Need more fun? Visit the Polish-American Family Festival and Country Fair nearby at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa. You’ll get rides, crafts, dancing, historical re-enacters, Polish food and more. It’s the last of two weekends, running from noon to 8 p.m. both days.
Whew! All that fun is tiring!
Like games of strategy? Then come on out to Doylestown’s First Saturday Chess. You could learn a few moves while having loads of fun, too!
During summer months, the event is held right next door to Hargrave House in the pocket park behind Doylestown Historical Society. Pop in anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month (Aug. 3 is the next one). Chess sets are even provided. And it’s free and open to all ages.
If you’re a fan of cinema, you definitely should check out this year’s offerings of the New Hope Film Festival. It’s running now through July 21, and there are even a few Doylestown connections.
In its fourth year, this year’s festival boasts a record 108 entries from 17 countries … and a documentary from Antarctica, to boot! According to D. F. Whipple, chairman and CEO of the festival, the goal is to provide an outlet “to nurture filmmakers who have been overlooked or underappreciated in other channels.” That said, with that many selections, there’s bound to be something for everyone’s tastes.
Most of the films will be shown at the New Hope Arts Center at Stockton and Bridge streets in New Hope, but four will be shown Tuesday, July 16, at The County Theater here in town. The headliner is “Pechorin,” a Russian cinematic piece based on Mikhail Lermontov’s classic Russian novel, “A Hero of Our Time.” The movie took Best Feature Film honors at the 2012 London Film Awards. You can visit The County Theater online for a synopsis and to view the trailer. The evening also will include the short “Saving Bella” by Doylestown-native Alyssa Achuff, which focuses on the friendship between an 80-year-old dementia patient and her 6-year-old granddaughter.
On July 21, history buffs can view the documentary “Geil of Doylestown: Forgotten Explorer” at New Hope Arts Center. William Edgar Geil was the first man to traverse the length of the Great Wall of China and chronicle his journey in the early 1900s, becoming somewhat of an expert on the subject albeit almost unknown in his hometown. A trailer for the film is posted on the website of the Doylestown Historical Society, which houses the William Edgar Geil Collection.
Traditionally, Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, but it’s also a time to commemorate and honor our veterans. Doylestown hosts one of the oldest Memorial Day parades in the nation, so if you’re around town tomorrow, make sure you check out the parade route. There are also flag-raisings scheduled and a tribute to those fallen war heroes. Visit the borough’s website for a complete list of times and places. And enjoy your holiday!
We’ve always been fans of fresh-from-the-garden fruits and vegetables. How can you not be when they taste so good? So we’re thrilled that Saturday marks the season opening of the Doylestown Farmers’ Market right around the corner from us on South Hamilton Street.
The market, sponsored by Buckingham Township Civic Association, is celebrating its 38th year. Bucks County is home to some wonderful farms just down the road from us. Your friendly vendors sell a variety of products. How about some homemade granola or grass-fed Angus beef? Take home some of the all-natural scented soaps or a lovely, fragrant bouquet of fresh-cut flowers (that in itself will win you points with your honey!) You can get a whole list of what you can purchase on the BTCA website.
The market opens at 7 a.m. each Saturday and closes at noon. The last day of the season is the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Enjoy!
If you’re at all familiar with Doylestown, you know we’ve got some darn good restaurants in here town. Here’s your chance to get to know some of the ones you’re not familiar with. Starting today and running through April 21 is Doylestown Restaurant Week. More than 25 restaurants – from Indian cuisine to offerings at a new raw juice bar – are participating. They’re going to have some special menu items and discounted prices. So, let’s eat!
We’ve long known that Doylestown has some of the finest restaurants in the region. We’ve had guests come to stay with us specifically so they could go to dinner at some of them. Well, one of the recent blog posts on the Zagat website – you know, the famed restaurant reviewers? – confirmed our opinions. Domani Star on West State Street was listed as one of the top 10 best Italian restaurants in the Philadelphia area. Readers of the blog voted in a survey, with one of the diners calling Domani Star’s meatballs “to die for.” Here’s a link to the DoylestownPatch story, which also links to the Zagat blog. Congrats to one of Doylestown’s superb eateries!
The crisp morning air, the waning daylight hours and the subtle shift of leaves from green to a faded tone all point to one thing: Fall fast approaches.
Our shopkeepers have joined in, promoting the change of seasons with the wares they offer, too. Take a gander at some of the store windows or stop in at any of Doylestown’s eateries and you’ll step firmly into autumn as well.
Paint N’ Pottery on West Oakland Avenue offers some wonderful dishware, lovingly crafted by you. Turn your handprint into a spooky cat plate for Halloween or a chubby Thanksgiving turkey – functional yet personal. With a chill in the air, you may want to trade in your shorts for a pair of jeans. Monkey’s Uncle on East State Street sports a variety of hoodies suited for the kids. For mom, Lilies of the Field at State and Main offers quite a few chic wraps to ward off the cold. And lest we forget about food and drink (we never do!), stop by Pennsylvania Soup & Seafood House on South Main Street for a taste of their scrumptious and filling Butternut Squash Soup. And check out Chambers 19 Bistro & Bar’s fall drink specials, including Caramel Apple Martinis.
The weather’s still awesome, so give us a call and we’ll help plan your stay in Doylestown. We’ll help you understand why Bucks County is such a special place!