In every season, the University of Delaware presents a variety of places and events that will appeal to alumni and their families, from the non-stop toddler to the hard-to-impress teenager. Explore together a world-class mineral exhibit, an impressive art gallery, a radio station. Take advantage of a schedule of lively performances and sporting events. You'll want to show your children or grandchildren your favorite campus spots...and don't forget to discover one or two new ones of your own.
Bedazzle your young friends with a trip to the Irénée du Pont Mineral Museum, located in Penny Hall on Academy Street. One of the top mineral exhibits in the country, the gem room contains a spectacular array of rare specimens. Children can compare fool's gold to the real thing or admire the exhibit's newest addition-a 614-carat kunzite gem. The exhibit is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 4 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4 p.m. Call (302) 831-2926. Items may be viewed on the World Wide Web at http://www.udel.edu/geology/min/index.html
Next, go on a fossil hunt. The Miocene fossil exhibit in the nearby Delaware Geological Survey building includes over 100 specimens recently discovered at one Delaware location. Kids can find the 18 million-year-old fossilized teeth of a rhinoceros and the claw from a chalicothere, an extinct animal that resembled a small horse. The exhibit is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (302) 831-2833. URL: http://www.udel.edu/dgs.html
Saturday, Oct. 25 Space Jam Warner Brothers feature film, with activities following
Sunday, Nov. 16 Babes in Toyland live, on-stage musical adaptation of the classic holiday story
Saturday, Feb. 21 Freedom Train live, on-stage musical production of the Harriet Tubman story
Saturday, March 21 Hercules Disney film, with activity following
Saturday, April 19 Secret Gardenlive, on-stage musical adaptation of the classic story
For location and times, call Alumni and University Relations at (302) 831-2341 to request a brochure.
The Special Collections Department at the Morris Library is an interesting stop for older children. Changing exhibits include unique historic and literary artifacts related to subjects, ranging from gardening to modern literature. Watch for two upcoming exhibits with particular appeal for children. First, "Self Works," including diaries and scrapbooks dating from the 18th-century, is running now through December. Second, "The World of the Child," will showcase 18th-century children's illustrated books, games, schoolbooks and the like.
For families with Delaware roots, Special Collections offers a unique opportunity to research geneological information. "The Delaware Collection" includes church, family and business records, along with historical maps and photographs of the state. The Special Collections staff can provide help with your research and a guide to geneological resources.
The Special Collections Department is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. For information, call (302) 831-2229 or visit the department's web page at www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec
A one-acre habitat trail established behind Townsend Hall allows children to look for birds, butterflies, insects, reptiles and mammals. Ten stations are included in the self-guided tour, which wanders through a naturalized meadow, a wooded area, a miniature wetland and a herbaceous garden. Families or classes can visit the habitat trail, and maps with a wildlife checklist are available. For further information, contact the New Castle County Master Gardeners at UD's Cooperative Extension office, telephone (302) 831-2506.
Don't argue about which radio station to listen to. Go visit one. The campus studio of WVUD (91.3 FM) welcomes alumni, and the staff is happy to show visitors how a radio station operates. See a disc jockey at work. Check out the live recording studio, the news room and the station's huge collection of records, tapes and CDs. In an empty studio, you can put on a headset, test the mike, take a spin in the DJ's chair.
While you're at the station, why not request a song? Maybe you can show your child some of the tunes that were played on WVUD (formerly WXDR and, in its earliest version, WHEN) when you were in school. The station is located in the Perkins Student Center. Call ahead to arrange a visit, at (302) 831-2701. Visit the station's web site at http://www.udel.edu/nero/wvud.html
Isn't it time your grandchildren learned the Delaware Fight Song? Have they experienced the unparalleled taste of a half-time hotdog at Delaware Stadium? Sharing the fun of football with kids has long been a favorite treat for Delaware alumni. There's a spot in the Blue Hen bleachers reserved for you and your favorite young sports fan. Maybe YoUDee will stop by for a visit!
Intercollegiate athletics at Delaware offers 22 sports over three seasons-from baseball to swimming, tennis to lacrosse. While cheering for the Fightin' Blue Hens, you have the chance to give your child or grandchild a close look at Delaware's scholar-athletes.
Kids might also enjoy stopping to look at the trophy cases in the Bob Carpenter Center and the Delaware Field House lobbies. They can search for the plaque that shows when the late Dave Nelson was elected into the National College Football Hall of Fame, or they can try to find out which Delaware women's basketball player led the NCAA in free-throw percentages in 1991.
Many games are free, and most others offer discounts for children (peanuts and Crackerjacks are extra). To get a complete athletics schedule for yourself and your bleacher mate, call (302) UD1-HENS or check out the web site at www.udel.edu/sportsinfo
You and your children or grandchildren can tie on your skates together at the Fred Rust Ice Arena or the Gold Ice Arena and skim over the same ice used by U.S. national team competitors, world team members and Olympic champion skaters. If anyone needs pointers, sign up for lessons. For the youngest skaters, the arena offers popular parent-tot skating lessons.
And, what child wouldn't like to cheer for skaters on their way to the national, world team and Olympic competitions? Spectacular send-off shows are held at the arena each year. Call (302) UD1-HENS for ticket information (reduced rates for children). And year-round, it's possible to drop in to watch the world-class skaters in their daily practice routine- something that's sure to inspire any young athlete.
The Fred Rust Ice Arena, located next to the Delaware Field House, is one of the best and also most accessible skating facilities in the region. For information about public skating hours, lessons or watching practice sessions, call the rink at (302) 831-2788.
The College of Agricultural Sciences hosts this popular annual event-designed primarily for children-on the third Saturday in April. Come for pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, a plant sale and educational exhibits on the lawns of Townsend and Worrilow halls. For information, call (302) 831-2508.
Is there a young person in your life who would like to get a close look at some authentic Native American masks? How about a 3,000-year-old alabaster vase from an Egyptian tomb? These items are among the almost 6,000 pieces held by the University Gallery, a comprehensive collection housed in the intimate setting of Old College. Because exhibition space is limited, the gallery shows only a small portion of its collection at one time; however, the rest is always accessible by appointment.
A special program for children will be held Saturday, Oct. 25, from 2-3 p.m. during which young people will meet M.I.M. or Museum in Motion, a "time machine" that travels to ancient Egypt and Greece, 18th-century Russia and 19th- century India to bring back objects to the gallery.
The gallery produces five or six special exhibits per year, including excellent interpretive programs for young audiences. The shows are not limited to art and often present subjects with special appeal to children-from baseball to the 30th anniversary of the moon shot. Look for an exhibit of work by the southern black photographer P.H. Polk to open Jan. 6. Because one of Polk's primary subjects was scientist George Washington Carver, the show will incorporate related historic and scientific information, including a "hands-on" room and special workshops for children on photography and making traditional instruments.
Old College itself is reason enough to visit the University Gallery, with its impressive architecture and historic significance as the first building of Delaware College (now UD) that once housed the entire school. The gallery is free and is open Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and on weekends from 1-5 p.m. To learn about current exhibits or to make an appointment for access to the University Gallery collection, call (302) 831-8242 or visit the web page at www.seurat.art.udel.edu
A family day that celebrates the sea is held the first Sunday in October at the College of Marine Studies Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del. Included are research vessel tours, a wave tank, Coast Guard rescue demonstrations, hands-on science exhibits and a sea critter touch tank. For information, call (302) 831-8083.
Your campus hums with music offerings-from jazz to a cappella, Bach to Broadway. Many concerts are free and children are welcome. For the young musician, faculty and student recitals can provide great inspiration and an opportunity to imagine themselves on stage one day. For information and concert schedules, call the Department of Music at (302) 831-2577 or visit the department at www.udel.edu/music/ *
Parking for visitors is available in lots on South College Avenue near the Visitors Center and on Academy Street near Penny Hall. Metered, on-street parking is available and University buildings are handicapped accessible. On central campus, you'll find kid-friendly food courts at both the Trabant University Center and the Perkins Student Center. Begin your visit at the Visitors Center, where alumni and families receive a warm welcome and orientation. Join one of the frequent tours, or simply grab some campus maps and ask to be pointed toward your destination. For complete information about campus events, call (302) UD1-HENS. Visit the University's home page at www.udel.edu
-Mary Button Hopkins