DOVER, DE — The East Coast and the Mid-Atlantic Region are experiencing record cold temperatures and almost everything on TV is a rerun! Don’t suffer from the winter doldrums, get out and have some fun in Delaware’s Capital Region! Here’s a list of the Top 10 Winter Activities:
1. African American History, “Passage to Freedom” — Saturday, February 6, meet at the Old State House on Dover’s Historic Green to hear the forgotten stories of the journey to freedom of Dover’s African-Americans from colonial beginnings to the Civic War. The complicated position of Delaware as a border state during the Civil War is also explored. Free admission, call the First State Heritage Park of Dover for more information at 302-739-9194.
2. Free Historic Dover Walking Tours — Don a warm coat, hat and gloves on Saturday, February 6 and meet at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center at Delaware Public Archives, 121 Duke of York Street in Dover, at 2 p.m. for a free walking tour led by historical interpreters in period dress. For information, call 302-739-9194.
3. Free Valentine’s Activity for Children — “HEARTfelt Valentines” at The Biggs Museum of American Art on Saturday, February 6. Children may create a HEARTfelt Valentine to share with a loved one at 2 p.m. Free, call the First State Heritage Park of Dover at 302-739-9194.
4. Tax-Free Shopping, Indoor Pools, Sportsbetting and Harness Racing — Several of the hotels in Delaware’s Capital Region offer heated indoor pools — AmericInn of Milford and Harrington, Sheraton Dover Hotel, Hilton Garden Inn of Dover, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, and Residence Inn Marriott Dover — so bring the kids and have a great time! All hotels are near shopping, and there’s no sales tax on shopping, dining or entertainment in Delaware. Other activities include post-season football sportsbetting at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and Harrington Raceway and Casino and you can also bet on live harness racing, featuring some of the best standardbred racing in the region.
5. Experience a C-17 Flight Simulator — The Air Mobility Command Museum, one of the nation’s best military aircraft museums, features 24 restored aircraft and the history of military aviation. Try your luck flying and landing (by simulator) one of the Air Force’s largest aircrafts, the C-17. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., free admission. For information, 302-677-5992 or www.amcmuseum.org.
6. Valentine’s Day With Your Sweetie — “Something Sweet” will be presented at Killens Pond State Park on Saturday, February 13 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Celebrate Valentine’s Day, including candle making, chocolate tasting and crafts. Bring a blanket to snuggle up with a loved one during the winter hayride. After the hay ride, warm up back at the Nature Center with some hot cocoa. $5 per participant. 5025 Killens Pond Road near Felton; reservations may be made by calling 302-284-4299.
7. Ahhh…The Spa — What better way to warm up than a trip to the spa? Topper’s Spa, located in Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, features a full-service experience. Visit their website at www.toppersspa.com to view their daily promotions. The Residence Inn is offering a spa package through March 1, 2010 which includes a 30-minute Swedish massage and express facial, mini manicure and pedicure, tanning session and hot breakfast. Suites feature a fully equipped kitchen with granite countertops, comfortable workspace with free WIFI and living room with a queen-sized sofa bed pull-out, along with indoor heated pool and exercise room. For information, www.marriott.com or call 302-677-0777.
8. Family Fun Package — Kids driving you crazy? Sign up for the family fun package at the Sheraton Dover Hotel. In addition to the indoor heated pool, the package includes complimentary meals for kids 12 and under with purchase of adult meal at Chop’s Grille, complimentary welcome snack for children, bonus rollaway bed at no extra charge, and a free in-room movie every night of your stay. For more information, call 302-678-8500 or www.sheratondoverhotel.com.
9. Check Out Delaware’s New Geocaching Trail — You are invited to explore First State History on your own every day — it’s a high tech scavenger hunt! Visit www.visitdelaware.com/geo and download your free geocaching passport today.
10. See Wild Delaware — Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge located near Smyrna is a winter wonderland this time of year. The auto tour route is open sunrise to sunset on a daily basis, except for occasional hunting days. Deer and waterfowl are plentiful, so there’s usually great opportunities for wildlife watching and photography. In February, bald eagles lay their eggs and large flocks of pintail ducks arrive. March brings waterfowl migration of ducks, snow geese and Canada geese. Woodchucks and turtles emerge from hibernation and woodcocks begin their courtship flights. The Visitors Center is open on weekends. For information, call 302-653-6872.
For more information on events, lodging, attractions and museums, visit @link href=’http://www.visitdover.com’target=”_blank”>www.visitdover.com/link or call Kent County Delaware Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-233-5368.