Suggestions from our staff, contributors and readers
The Great Mushroom Drop
Times Square has nothing on Kennett Square. For the fourth year straight, “The Mushroom Capital of the World” will ring in the New Year with its annual Mushroom Drop on Saturday, Dec. 31. What began as a lark now draws thousands and is a clever way for Kennett to draw attention to its charming downtown. Festivities are family friendly with the only admission charge being a non-perishable food item. Activities begin at 6 p.m.; the raising and lighting of the mushroom begins around 7:30p.m. Visit midnightinthesquare.com.
—Jerry duPhily, Publisher
Holiday Lights Express
This peaceful little train ride on the Wilmington & Western Railroad has become a holiday tradition for me and my family. It takes less than an hour and the kids love riding in the railcar, which is draped with thousands of holiday lights. Most of the homes that are visible from the tracks go crazy with their own holiday decorations as well. Rides start as early as Dec. 9. Looking for a little Santa Clause action? They also offer the “Santa Claus Express” on Dec. 10. Tickets and info at wwrr.com.
—Matt Loeb, Creative Director & Production Manager
The War on Words (the book)
At the risk of sounding outrageously self-serving, this slim paperback makes a great stocking-stuffer, especially for lovers of the language. It’s a collection of every installment of the O&A column from inception in 2007 through 2011, and it charts the debut of popular features such as Department of Redundancies Dept. and How Long, Oh Lord, How Long? The book is available on Amazon, from Ninth Street Books in Wilmington, Hockessin Book Shelf, and outandaboutnow.com, for approximately $10.
—Bob Yearick, Contributing Editor
Schmidt’s Tree Farm, Landenberg, Pa.
Our annual trip to Schmidt’s Tree Farm is now a decade old tradition for my family, and is one of the things I most look forward to each holiday season. Each year we head to the farm in Landenberg, take a tractor ride out into the field, and select and cut down our tree (after arguing over which one is best and whether or not it will actually fit in our house, of course). You’ll spend a little more than you would at Lowe’s or Home Depot, but you’ll support a local family-owned business and get in some wholesome family fun.
—Marie Graham Poot, Director of Digital Media and Distribution