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Chester County Press

A Brandywine Christmas:

12/01/2015 01:07PM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

The seasons of Chester County seem to click in rhythm to the events on the calendar throughout the year, every year. "A Brandywine Christmas," running through Jan. 3 at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, is no exception.

Events will take place at the Chadds Ford museum throughout the holiday season, and will feature performances by area musicians and local school choirs, a "Polar Express" pajama night, a continuously operating O-gauge model train display, a collection of antique dolls, and thousands of ornaments and decorations handcrafted from natural materials.

The railroad includes nearly 1,000 pieces – locomotives, passenger and freight cars that pass through a small town, past a farm, factories and a carnival. Antique dolls from the museum's collection -- donated by the family of artist and composer Ann Wyeth McCoy -- will be on view in a new display which will depict a sledding party on the hill in front of N.C. Wyeth’s home.

Trees throughout the museum will be adorned with Critter ornaments in forms ranging from dogs to cats to angels, birds and flowers, and in sizes from Christmas tree ornaments to large, tabletop decorations. The annual Critter Sale will take place on Dec. 5 and 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The museum will be open until 9 p.m. on Thursday evenings, Dec. 3, 10 and 17, with musical performances and drop-in creative art activities for all ages. Holiday music will be played by local pianist Jennifer Nicole Campbell on Dec. 3, a harp soloist from the Wilmington String Ensemble on Dec. 10, and a string quartet from Shaw Strings of West Chester on Dec. 17. The cafe will be open until 7:30 p.m. and will serve a special dinner entree.

The Brandywine River Museum of Art is on Route 1 in Chadds Ford. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors ages 65 and older, $6 for students and children over 6; free for children 5 and younger and museum members. For more information and tickets to selected events, call 610-388-2700 or visit

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail [email protected]

Celebrate the holidays at the Brandywine River Museum of Art

The Polar Express Read-Aloud Pajama Night

Thursday, Dec. 3, 7 to 8 p.m.

$15 adults, $8 children

Children are invited to wear their pajamas as they hear "The Polar Express" and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. Tickets are limited.

Critter Sale

Members Preview Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dec. 5 and 6, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Handcrafted Critter ornaments made by volunteers are for sale in the museum’s lecture room. Proceeds will benefit the Museum Volunteers’ Art Purchase Fund, and Art Education and Programming.

Children’s Christmas Party

Wed., Dec. 9, 6 to 9 p.m.

$15, non-member adults; $5, non-member children ages 3-11; free, children age 2 and younger. Enjoy entertainment, costumed characters, face painting, Cookie Land and holiday displays, plus visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Call 610-388-8112 for tickets.

Breakfast with the Trains

Sat., Dec. 12, 8:30 to 10 a.m.

$25 per person

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes visit with the Brandywine River Museum of Art railroad. Discover how the extensive layout, one of the world’s largest, is created and maintained. The event will include a private tour with the railroad’s engineers, special activities and a continental breakfast in the museum’s cafe. Children will receive a Brandywine Railroad souvenir. This event is for children ages 3 and older, accompanied by an adult. Tickets are limited.

Nutcracker "Dance Me a Story" family program

Sat., Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 13, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

$15 adults, $8 children

Children will act out parts of the traditional "Nutcracker" tale and all family members will create keepsake "Nutcracker"-themed wooden ornaments in this program that combines creative movement, dance vocabulary, storytelling and art. Dancer and choreographer Lisa Oster will engage young audiences through her programs designed for children ages 2 through 6, accompanied by an adult.

Christmas with the Dolls family program

Sat., Dec. 19, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

$15 adults, $8 children

Bring your favorite doll to the museum for a morning of creative crafts and light refreshments. Participants will cut and color paper dolls based on the museum’s Ann Wyeth McCoy doll collection, make matching bracelets for themselves and their dolls, and enjoy an informal tea party. This event is for children ages 3 and older, accompanied by an adult.