presentations produced by Sweet Jams!,
which normally hosts its spoken word
nights at UDairy Creamery Market at the
Market Street location.
Sullivan also noted the city’s burgeoning music scene, including the downtown
Ladybug Music Festival.
“The local music scene revitalized a lot of
what is happening downtown,” he said.
Arts on the Water
While the Creative District is still in its early
stages, the Riverfront Wilmington district is
home to many of the city’s cultural venues,
as well as the Chase Center on the Riverfront event facility, with more than 87,000
square feet of flexible space for meetings.
“Now the only hotel in the district is the
Westin Wilmington, but a few are slated for
the future,” said Jessica Bittmann, director
of sales for the Greater Wilmington CVB.
“One broke ground a couple of months
ago, a Homewood Suites, right on the river
across from the Chase Center.”
For group off-sites, getting creative is a
“We’ve had a lot of inquiries lately for
unique venue options or something out of
the box,” Bittmann said. “A lot want to go
somewhere not a lot of people have seen.”
Located in Riverfront Wilmington is the
Delaware Theatre Company (DTC), the
state’s largest professional theater and a
landmark on the Christina Riverfront. The
389-seat DTC offers a mix of classic and
contemporary plays as well as new works.
Groups can host pre- or post-performance
receptions in the gallery.
Also set in the Riverfront district is the
cutting-edge City Theater Company, which
performs in The Black Box at OperaDela-
ware on the waterfront. Groups can attend
the off-Broadway productions as well as
participate in teambuilding improv work-
For opera buffs, the Riverfront also
hosts OperaDelaware, the only profes-
sional opera company in the state and one
of the oldest in the country. The OperaDel-
aware Studio can host groups for a meeting
or cocktail reception, with views overlook-
ing the Christina River.
Fine arts are represented along the
Riverfront at The Delaware Contemporary,
housed in what was once a railroad passen-
ger car factory and featuring rotating exhi-
bitions from local and international artists.
“The Delaware Contemporary can host
scavenger hunts and events, and can do
outside caterers,” Bittmann said.
Venues open to groups include the Atri-um Lobby, which can accommodate a dinner event for 50 or reception for 300 guests.
GRAND OPERA HOUSE
Just as vibrant and varied as its arts scene, Greater Wilmington is home to a multitude of gardens and outdoor green spaces for groups. Following are
some of the most popular group spots.
Longwood Gardens ( www.longwoodgardens.org),
touted as one of the great gardens of the world, features
a four-acre Conservatory, outdoor gardens spanning
1,077 acres and 86 acres in the Meadow Garden. The
venue offers everything from horticulture displays to
beautiful fountains and inspiring performances.
“Longwood is scenic and features gorgeous fountains likened to those at Bellagio,” said
Jessica Bittmann, director of sales for the Greater Wilmington CVB. “Custom tours get deep
into the art of historical preservation.“
Mt. Cuba Center ( https://mtcubacenter.org), which recently merged with Red Clay Reservation in Northern Delaware, for a total of 1,083 acres, offers groups a two-hour guided tour
with personalized service from a knowledgeable docent. Groups can also arrange classes
such as the Leaf Impression Tile Workshop and Create a Butterfly Garden.
Bellevue State Park ( www.destateparks.com/park/bellevue), a 328-acre state park in the
suburbs of Wilmington in New Castle County overlooking the Delaware River, was named
after Bellevue Hall, the former mansion of William du Pont Jr. Venue options include Bellevue
Hall, outdoor spaces and an equestrian center.
While Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library ( www.winterthur.org) features well-preserved
architecture and indoor exhibits, its 1,000 acres of streams, meadows and forest, as well as
a 60-acre garden, are the highlights. Founded by Henry Francis du Pont, Winterthur’s collection includes American antiques from the country’s early history as well as from the du Pont
family, who once owned the estate. The garden features a reflecting pool, an array of flowers
and statues, and is open to group tours, as is the complex.
Another du Pont family entity, the Hagley Museum and Library ( www.hagley.org) spans
235 acres and is home to a museum, historic mansion, gunpowder mill, library and lyrical
garden. The garden surrounds the Georgian-style mansion and sits along the Brandywine
River. The property can host an intimate lunch for 20 or cocktail party for up to 200, utilizing
a variety of spaces such as the Soda House and Copeland Room.
The DuPont Environmental Education Center ( http://www.delawarenaturesociety.org/
DuPontEnvironmentalEducationCenter) overlooks the 212-acre Russell W. Peterson Urban
Wildlife Refuge, which is home to bald eagles, beavers, dragonflies, turtles, butterflies and
other critters. The center can host small dinners and meetings.
The Delaware Center for Horticulture ( www.thedch.org) offers activities throughout the
year as well as workshops. The DCH’s main attraction is its manicured gardens. The center
also includes an art gallery and grounds overlooking Brandywine Park. Attendees can combine a trip to The DCH with a hike down Brandywine Park’s trails to the river.
Rockwood Park & Museum ( www.nccde.org/431/rockwood-park-museum), in New Castle
County, was built by Joseph Shipley, a Quaker merchant banker. Its Victorian Gothic mansion, constructed between 1851 and 1854, offers a ghost tour as well as a historic garden
tour. The mansion’s Rockwood Parlor can host up to 20 people while the carriage house and
outdoor spaces are also available for groups.
MT. CUBA CENTER