Fun things to do in Delaware: An updating guide for summer and beyond

Andre Lamar
Delaware News Journal

You’ve unretired your air conditioner and box fans. After all, you’re not looking to stay in the house any longer than you have to, because you’ve already enough of that game in quarantine.

And we feel you. So we have gathered a super long list of events and things to do you can check out this summer.

Furthermore, this list will be updated throughout the summer with new activities and ideas, so you can make the most of our newfound freedom.

Here are some upcoming First State events that will be on tap. 

A summer bucket list for Delaware:Don't miss these 15 experiences in 2021

Summer entertainment in Delaware

Billie Eilish, The Killers, Tame Impala & Lizzo: Firefly 2021 lineup announced Firefly Music Festival, one of the most revered in the country, is poised to return to The Woodlands of Dover this fall, boasting major acts that include Megan Thee Stallion, Cage the Elephant, Roddy Ricch, Wiz Khalifa, Diplo, Glass Animals, Machine Gun Kelly and Portugal. The Man.

What could Firefly Music Festival look like? Delaware health officials tell us what they know We’re all unsure how COVID-19 is going to impact Firefly, because the pandemic has been a bit tricky to navigate. But one state official shed some light on the situation.

2012. Michael Franti & Spearhead were some of the biggest crowdpleasers Saturday at the first Firefly in 2012.

Big summer events that will and WON'T happen in Delaware this summer You likely already know big events like the Delaware State Fair and Freeman Arts Pavilion are happening this summer. But don’t let that distract you from other can’t-miss events, including the 34th Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, which plans to host a live audience this year after going virtual in 2020. Not to mention, there are some events that have pulled the plug early due to the pandemic.  

3 Delaware amusement and water parks to enjoy this summer From diving into a water park wave pool to go-kart racing til you drop, you and your kids can enjoy all of that and more without having to leave the state.

10 outdoor activities and places to visit in Delaware in summer 2021 With masks no longer necessary for vaccinated people in most outdoor settings, the summer of 2021 promises to be filled with Delawareans getting outside and making the most of that reward after more than a year cooped up. And we've got some cool places you'll want to go this summer. 

Feel the vibe: Middletown gets Reggae Roots Music Festival A new reggae music festival is coming upstate in July, along with a slew of musical acts. In addition to live music, there will be camping, art vendors, food, shuttle boats and workshops. There’s also going to be kid-friendly activities and panels by NORML, a nonprofit that represents the interests of Americans who use marijuana responsibly.

Rehoboth Beach Bandstand announces 2021 summer concert lineup Whether it's classic rock, swing or soul that gets your foot tapping, the bandstand will host free concerts every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Jake Owen, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Earth, Wind & Fire: Freeman Arts 2021 season announced: The Selbyville venue opens its 14th season with Kashmir: The Live Led Zepplin Show on June 17. Other top acts on tap this season include Fitz & The Tantrums, Train, Indigo Girls, Kathleen Madigan, Steve Earle and Los Lobos, Amos Lee, REO Speedwagon, ABBA, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and many more.

The Grand to host national acts outdoors this summer, plans to reopen venue this fall While The Grand hasn’t had any national acts since the pandemic started, the historic venue is looking to change that this summer, as part of a beefed-up offering of entertainment.

Illuminated Fountain performances will be paired with a variety of music, from country to classical and contemporary pop, as part of Longwood Gardens' Festival of Fountains this summer.

Other things to do

What you need to know about the first outdoor Philadelphia Flower Show A South Philadelphia park will be transformed into a garden paradise of flowers, trees and other plants for 10 days as the first Philadelphia Flower Show ever to be held outdoors kicks off on Saturday, June 5.

Longwood Gardens boasts over 1,700 jets in Festival of Fountains Actor Jason Momoa is getting all the praise for bringing DC superhero Aquaman to life. But you could argue that Pierre S. du Pont, founder of Longwood Gardens, is the King of Atlantis. Daily fountain performances will make a splash this summer, featuring 1,719 jets that spin and dance to music, spouting as high as 175 feet. These fountains are world famous.

Backtrack: Six Delaware locations that are tied to Underground Railroad Delaware is connected to Amazon Prime’s new original series “The Underground Railroad.” How’s Delaware linked to all of this? The First State has a Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, which highlights some of the known freedom routes used by Tubman and the Underground Railroad.

Lewes hopes to become public art destination. Where you can see new installation Lewes’ public art committee started nearly three years ago with a mission of showing folks the city can be artfully competitive. Now you can be the judge of where their progress stands.

A couple enjoy the sunset from the comfort of their beach chairs in Lewes.

Headed to the Delaware beaches? Here's what you need to know about COVID rules and more Outdoor dining remains popular, and several restaurants have added seating in parking lots, sidewalks or additional patios and decks. Learn more about that and lots more beach-related news to plan your trips.

Here's what to do in Ocean City on rainy days Ocean City might be known for its beach and Boardwalk, but guests join in on range of different attractions when the weather is less than cooperative. Visitors can choose from indoor miniature golf, shopping, seeing a movie and more in Ocean City, with additional attractions in nearby Berlin, Snow Hill and Salisbury. You’ll find a fun list of things to do and places to go.

5 Maryland amusement parks to visit with your family this summer Has the last year felt like a roller coaster ride for you and your family? One way to de-stress is to hang with your kiddos on actual roller coasters and other rides this season. You can take a daytrip and visit different theme parks in Maryland and cut loose for a change.

How Rehoboth Beach's Funland amusement park plans to operate this summer Funland is back and it already misses you. This iconic amusement park will continue operating under the plan it implemented last year, by including enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, mandatory face masks and limiting the number of guests in the park through an online booking system. Learn how their updated “ridepass” system works.

How to spend 24 hours in Cape May You don’t have to know how to swim to have a good time participating in most of these activities. If you’re looking for a mix of sophisticated dining, back-country exploring, family-friendly activities and unparalleled beach time, then Cape May is the place - and just a ferry ride away.

Ali Dziedzinski (left) and Melody Lasana from Hundred Acre Farms sell strawberries and other fresh produce last year at the Smyrna Farmers Market on Glenwood Avenue next to Glenwood Cemetery, across from American Legion Post 14.

Delaware farmers markets are back, and we have a daily listing for you It's that time of year where adults get to be a kid in a produce-themed candy store. But don’t forget to bring your tote bag with you to these charming farmers markets on this list.

Nicole Atkins, Dawes, Ani DiFranco & Los Lobos headline XPoNential Music Fest Blues prodigy Christone “Kingfish” Ingram rocked the last XPoNential Music Fest in 2019. Ingram will have an encore this summer when the three-day affair returns, along with performances by Ani DiFranco, Los Lobos, Dawes and Nicole Atkins, just some of the artists announced by WXPN 88.5 FM. Look for updates as event draws closer.

An early look at Delaware State Fair, minus big-name acts due to COVID Headliners TobyMac, Sam Hunt, Tedeschi Trucks Band, I Love the 90’s Tour and Hank Williams Jr. have all been dropped from the 102nd Delaware State Fair, due to COVID-19 restrictions. The festival will still go on, and here's what to expect.

Other entertainment news

Wawa is life and Kate Winslet finally understands that The Delco-based crime thriller “Mare of Easttown” on HBO has been a pandemic favorite. Part of it was because folks really dug the script. The other part was because the star of the show, Kate Winslet, garnered a lot of attention for her Philly accent, plus her debut at Wawa. 

So what does Delco think about Kate Winslet's 'Mare of Easttown' accent? We spoke to Delco locals, plus an assistant professor of linguistics at Michigan State University, about their impression of Kate Winslet’s attempt of the Philly accent on the HBO series “Mare of Easttown.”

Low Cut Connie guitarist, formerly of Delaware, co-creates 'Tough Cookies,' heads to Arden Philadelphia rockers Low Cut Connie will play to an intimate crowd in Arden on Saturday, bringing along their fiery internet show “Tough Cookies.” The web series was co-created by former Newark, Delaware, resident Will Donnelly, guitarist for Low Cut Connie. Find out how Donnelly baked up the show, what his must-have items are at Wawa, and what the pandemic is like from the perspective of a nationally-touring band.

Visitors enjoy the waterfront at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal in Lower Township. Dining and other amenities are being improved, in partnership with Exit 0.

Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal partners with Exit 0 to offer 'resort-style dining' When you take the Cape May - Lewes Ferry in the future, your trip across the water may not be your only adventure.

The 20-year backstory behind Newark-area's new golf-themed brewery The logo for the new Twisted Irons Craft Brewing Co. is a green hop with a golf flagstick atop with a red flag. Learn more about the origins of this logo and craft beer in this story.

Notorious Matusiewicz family is back on Discovery, this time on the crime TV show ‘Web of Lies’ A cyberstalking case involving Delaware's Dr. David Matusiewicz and his family is now streaming on Discovery+ in the series “Web of Lies.” For those who don’t know, “Web of Lies” is a series that unravels tragic stories of deception and manipulation triggered by online interactions. This tragic tale featuring the Matusiewicz family, which involves kidnapping, is a classic example of reality being stranger than fiction. 

Wilmington's inner-city Sinatra singer just landed on national TV. He couldn't care less. A dozen years ago, at 52, Wilmington singer Sean Reilly entered the "Sinatra Idol" contest in Frank Sinatra's hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey, and won. That's when the job recruiter started a new chapter in his overflowing book of life.