CAPE MAY – Experience Cape May’s gilded age during Cape May’s 42nd annual Victorian Weekend, sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), and celebrate with a weekend of events highlighting Cape May’s Victorian heritage, including house tours, living history programs, food and wine events, a crafts and antiques show, murder mystery dinners, “The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution” the third lecture in MAC’s annual Lessons of History Distinguished Lecture Series, trolley tours and more, from Oct. 10 through Oct. 13.
Cape May’s Designer Show House returns in 2014-15 for its ninth year with an exciting project that highlights the best of Cape May: the city’s Victorian architecture beautifully preserved, the creativity of those who come here, and the joy of celebrating holidays here. The Ocean Victorian, 25 Ocean St., will open its doors to the public Oct. 10 as the 2014-15 Cape May Designer Show House with the theme “Celebrating Holidays,” presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) and sponsored by DesignNJ magazine. Guided and self-guided tours of the Ocean Victorian will be offered from Oct. 10 through June 14, 2015 at various times. Self-guided Designer Show House Tours are offered daily from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. during Victorian Weekend. Guided Designer Show House Tours are offered at 7 p.m. each evening except Saturday during Victorian Weekend. Each visitor will receive a full-color program book with information about the designers, products and vendors. Admission is $20 after Monday, Oct. 6. Tickets may be purchased in advance through Oct. 6 for $15 by calling 609-884-5404 or by visiting www.capemaymac.org. Dining packages and tour packages are also available.
New in 2014! Stroll around Dr. Physick’s neighborhood on tree-lined Washington Street and hear about the families who lived there and the architecture of the homes during Dr. Physick’s Neighborhood Walking Tour & Tea. Explore one of Cape May’s great mysteries – why the Doctor chose to live in this area of Cape May, then return to the Carriage House Café & Tearoom on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. to enjoy afternoon tea. Offered Oct. 10 at 2:30 p.m. and Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. Admission is $20. The walking tour is offered separately at $10.
Come to the award-winning Mad Batter Restaurant, 19 Jackson St. at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10 for the Mad Batter Beer Dinner featuring Local Craft Beers. This four-course dinner pairs comfort food with local microbrews. Admission is $65 per person. Seating is limited to 60.
New in 2014! The Red Store is designated by New Jersey Monthly magazine food critics as one of the Top 25 restaurants in New Jersey. Owner and chef Lucas Manteca, who grew up in Buenos Aires, brings his extraordinary culinary experience and creativity to each dish. During Cape May Farm to Table With The Red Store, tour-goers take a trolley shuttle, from the Washington Street Mall at Ocean Street, to The Red Store’s farm, Fincas del Mar, enjoy a tour of the farm and then lunch at the Red Store. Offered Oct. 11 at 10:15 a.m. Admission is $45.
Learn about the Great Fire of 1878 that destroyed a large part of what is now Cape May’s historic district during the Cape May On Fire Walking Tour Oct. 11 at 10:30 a.m. This walking tour led by an interpreter, with living history presentations along the way begins at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth at Ocean Street and lasts 1.5 hours Admission is $10 adults, $7 for children (ages 3-12) Tour is limited to 30 participants.
See inside a selection of charming private cottages and homes not normally open to the public during a Private Homes Tour Oct. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission $20; children (3-12) $15.
Historic Inns and B&Bs offer delicious chocolate delicacies for you to taste as you tour their property during the Chocolate Tasting Tour, Oct. 11, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults and $15 for children (ages 3-12).
Join the Impromptu Players who will set the scene for a new original mystery, “Where There is No Will,” during Murder Mystery Dinners offered Oct. 11, Oct. 12 and Oct 13 at 7 p.m. Enjoy a four-course dinner as you contemplate the clues, interact with the cast and help solve the mystery. Saturday’s dinner is at the Carriage House Café & Tearoom at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. Sunday’s and Monday’s dinners are at Aleathea’s Restaurant in the The Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St. $50 per person.
Build up your appetite with a walking tour of the Historic District, and then enjoy a Southern-style breakfast buffet with mimosas at the historic Chalfonte Hotel, 301 Howard St. during the Champagne Brunch Walk Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. Admission is $20, $15 for children (ages 3-12). The Historic District Walking tour is available for purchase separately subject to availability; admission is $10 for adults, $7 for children (ages 3-12).
Crafters and antiques dealers from throughout the region display and sell their wares on the lawn of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 12 during Victorian Weekend Crafts & Antiques Show. Admission is free and free parking is available.
Meet “Dr. Emlen Physick” on his Estate’s grounds at 1048 Washington St. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 12 during The Dr. Is In. Ask him about medical practices in the Victorian age – you might be surprised, even shocked! Opt for a guided tour of his house with its theme in 2014: “Dr. Physick Throws A Party!” Admission is $12 for adults and $7 for children (ages 3-12).
Learn about red and white wines of Bordeaux wine in this themed class designed to refine your palate. Cape May Wine School is held at the incomparable Washington Inn, 801 Washington St. 1 p.m. Oct. 12. Admission is $30.
New in 2014! It’s a bountiful buffet for chocolate lovers at The Blue Rose Inn, 653 Washington St.! Enjoy dozens of different chocolate creations at the Chocolate Lover’s Feast, and return for more of your favorites. This is a limited event so reserve early. Offered Oct. 12, at 2 p.m. Admission is $35.
New in 2014! Don’t miss this new tour offered exclusively during Victorian Weekend and Spring Festival. You’ll experience Cape May’s history up close, through the eyes of those who lived it during the Cape May Time Capsule Trolley Tour. Meet characters from the past who visited, lived and worked in Cape May, such as newspaper reporters, and “knowledgeable” women, as your trolley travels through town. Costumed historical interpreters bring to life the town’s Victorian heritage. Offered Oct. 12 at 2:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. and Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. Admission is $22.
The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) brings master storyteller, distinguished constitutional lawyer and award-winning author David O. Stewart to Cape May for the Lessons of History Distinguished Lecture Series. Speaking in this third annual program, Stewart will present “The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution.” The program will be presented Oct. 12, at 4 p.m. at Cape Island Baptist Church, 115 Gurney St. The lecture will be followed by a meet-the-speaker reception hosted by Doug and Anna McMain at The Queen Victoria B&B, 102 Ocean St. This lecture is co-sponsored by MAC and Martel & Associates (Myles & Leslie Martel). Tickets for this limited event are $25 before Sept. 1 and $30 thereafter. The reception is $20.
What did those Victorians wear under all those layers? Find out during the Show Us Your Undies Fashion Show & Brunch at the Carriage House Café & Tearoom on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. Oct. 13 at 10 a.m. Living history presenters from Grand Oak Plantation will present this fashion show with an overview (and underview!) of Victorian clothing and foundations from day dresses to ball gowns, displayed on live models with commentary, accompanied by a delicious brunch. Admission is $25.
Attend world-class theater productions in Cape May with the Cape May Stage and East Lynne Theater Company.
East Lynne Theater presents “Within the Law.” This Broadway sensation had the enviable record of being the most popular and financially successful play to hit New York in 10 years. Part of its charm lies in the fact that it’s a drama, comedy, romance, and mystery all rolled into one hit. Mary Turner, a sales clerk in a big Manhattan department store, is falsely accused of shoplifting. Her pleas for justice solicit a sneer from the store owner, but she warns him that, although she is no thief, if he doesn’t pay his employees a decent wage, there will be more thefts. After her prison term, Mary learns how to fight society and wealth with their own weapons, so she can seek revenge on those who wronged her by staying just “within the law.” Shows are Sept. 17-Oct. 12, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m, with additional show Oct. 12 at 7:30. First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St. Admission: $30 general, $25 seniors (age 62+), $15 students and children 12 and under free.
Cape May Stage presents “Other Desert Cities.” Written by Jon Robin Baitz and directed by Roy Steinberg, Brooke Wyeth returns home to Palm Springs after a six-year absence to celebrate Christmas with her parents, her brother, and her aunt. Brooke announces that she’s about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history – a wound they don’t want reopened. In effect, she draws a line in the sand and dares them all to cross it. Performance schedule is as follows: Sept. 24-Oct. 31, Wednesdays through Saturdays, at 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. The Robert Shackleton Playhouse is located at the corner of Bank & Lafayette streets. Admission is $35 adults, $30 seniors (62+) and $15 students.
Cape May’s 42nd annual Victorian Weekend is sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), a multifaceted, not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. MAC membership is open to all.
For information about MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit MAC’s Web site at www.capemaymac.org.
For information about restaurants, accommodations and shopping, call the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May at 609-884-5508. For information about historic accommodations, contact Cape May Historic Accommodations at www.capemaylodging.com.