Media, Dressed in Holiday Style

Looking for holiday fun? Head to downtown Media! From decorated storefronts and buildings illuminated by night to carriage rides and a chance to whisper your fondest wish in Santa’s ear, the whole borough of Media gets in on the spirit of the season. Here’s what’s happening in Media over the next few weeks.

The borough of Media is aglow for the holidays.

* Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride tonight from 6–9pm. With just a teeny nip in the air, the weather couldn’t be more perfect for snuggling with your loved ones on a ride around the borough. Meet in front of the courthouse; the cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10.

* Kids of all ages can find Santa in his village at the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union, at the corner of State & Olive Streets, today through Friday from 3–7pm and Saturday & Sunday from noon to 4pm. Bring your camera and take all the photos you’d like! On December 20 from 4–7, bring your favorite furry friend to pose with Santa. Use your own camera, or have the Delco SPCA photographer on hand take a photo (free!) and email it to you. (Please consider making a donation to the Delco SPCA if you bring your pet.)

* Visit The Media Theatre for a performance of Dr. Doolittle, starring Philly sportscaster Billy Vargus and a cast of delightful children. Read more about the show here. (Or, drive just a few miles outside of Media for a performance of A Christmas Carol at the Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley.)

* Head to downtown Media on New Year’s Eve for the Community Celebration and Ball Drop at the corner of State & Jackson Streets, with live music by Philly Gumbo. This much-anticipated annual event brings out residents and visitors for dancing in the street and the area’s only ball drop. Music starts at 11pm.

As an added bonus, parking is free in the Olive Street Parking Garage through December, and stores are open late through Christmas Eve. To find out more about these events and other happenings in Media, visit the Media Business Authority website.

Media's merchants get into the holiday spirit! Find winter items like this authentic Flexible Flyer sled at Blueberry Bog.

If you’re like me and have left most of your shopping for the last minute, you’ll find something for everyone on your list in Media’s boutiques, artisans’ galleries, vintage and home decor shops, jewelry and clothing stores, and more. Supporting local, family-owned businesses is a wonderful way to put money back into the community—and if customer service is important to you, it doesn’t get any better than at a small “Mom and Pop” shop.

Need a show-stopping outfit for a holiday party? You'll find just the right fit at one of Media's clothing stores, like Sorella Boutique.

As America’s First Fair Trade Town, Media also prides itself on its stores’ selection of items by local artisans and its focus on fair trade products. In Media, you can shop with the knowledge that your purchases will help provide a living wage for artisans both locally and globally. Such hand-crafted items are special, not mass-produced; if you’re looking for something that’s one-of-a-kind, Media is the place to find it.

Support artisans around the world with your purchase of fairly traded items at stores like Earth & State.

You’ll want to get a bite to eat while you’re shopping or paying a visit to Santa. No trip to Media would be complete without a visit to one of its fabulous restaurants—the only problem is which one to choose! Name it; Media’s got it (seriously). I can’t think of another town where you can walk down the main street and find Italian, Irish, French, Middle Eastern, Asian, Mexican, Continental, vegetarian/vegan, pizza, soup and sandwiches, pub food, and dessert—and I’m sure I’m leaving something out!—just mere steps from one another. And of course, restaurant gift certificates always make a great gift.

One of my favorite restaurants in Media is Diego's Cantina and Tequila Bar. Call 484-442-8741 to learn more about their January 16 Patrón Tequila Dinner.

I’ve gotten to know the faces behind many of the shops and restaurants in Media—the people who put a whole lot of heart and soul into their businesses to create a warm and welcoming environment you’ll want to return to again and again. If you have a chance, pay them a visit. I’m sure you’ll grow to love them, too.

Happy Holidays!

—Michele Kornegay

Note: Street scene photograph by Ralph Nardell Photography.

Oh, Christmas Tree!

One of my favorite family traditions at the holidays is getting our Christmas tree at Linvilla Orchards. For the past three years my husband, son, and I have been hopping on board a hayride, grabbing a saw, and venturing into Linvilla’s fields to pick the best tree we can find. This year we truly outdid ourselves, bringing home our biggest tree yet. And what fun we had finding it!

We are a household of Christmas fanatics. Granted, it’s probably hard to find a person who doesn’t like the holiday season, and having a 10-year-old in the family definitely brings a whole lot of fervor to the month of December. But how many families do you know that wouldn’t buy a house unless it was the perfect “Christmas house”? We stay in the Christmas spirit all year long, purchasing ornaments as souvenirs whenever we’re on vacation or visiting a new place, so the prelude to buying our tree each year lasts for months.

Three years ago we decided to check out Linvilla’s cut-your-own-tree hayride. Prior to that we had changed our tree-buying spot each year, searching for just the right place with just the right tree—and a bunch of Christmas spirit, too. We were looking for somewhere that took the holidays as seriously as we do. Now that we’ve found Linvilla, we’ll never go anywhere else.

Being on a hayride with other folks going to get their tree for the holidays is a special experience. Little ones bundled up for the chilly weather, parents taking pictures, young couples snuggling . . . for a Christmas-lover like me, it’s perfection, plain and simple. As the tractor approaches the field, passengers start scanning the area for “their” tree, the one that will go home with them and become the centerpiece of their family’s holiday celebration.

And here’s the best part about it: Every family has a different idea about what their tree should be. Tall, short, skinny, full—there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to Christmas trees. People scatter in all directions after disembarking from the hayride; cries of “I found it!” and then “Tim-ber!” arise from the field. After they’re cut, trees are taken back to the path, where they’re spirited away by Linvilla’s friendly staff. Then it’s back on the hayride to return to Linvilla, where a warm fire and marshmallows for toasting greet you.

While we waited for our tree to be bundled to go on the roof of our car—and I must give a shoutout to whoever devised this wonderfully efficient system!—we sipped some homemade hot apple cider and browsed through Linvilla’s Garden Center chock full of Christmas decorations, poinsettias, candles, toys, and much more. After a wave to Santa, it was off to the Farm Market for fresh cider donuts. We picked up our tree, returned home, cranked up the Christmas music, and spent the rest of the day decorating the perfect tree for our family, in our perfect Christmas house.

Linvilla’s Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree Hayrides run Monday–Friday, 10am–5pm, and 
Saturday & Sunday, 9am–5pm, through December 23. For something extra-special, enjoy Wassailing Caroling Hayrides on December 15 & 22 at 5pm and 6:30pm (more information on hayrides at the link). Santa visits Linvilla Saturdays and Sundays from 1–3pm; bring your camera!

Don’t want to cut your own tree? Linvilla also has a wonderful assortment of precut trees in all sizes and prices, in addition to greens, roping, and wreaths. For a special treat for someone who made your “Nice List” this year, send them one of Linvilla’s fruit and gift baskets (see the full selection here). And don’t forget to place your holiday order for Linvilla’s renowned baked goods—I recommend the apple caramel walnut pie!

—Michele Kornegay

Rx for Family Fun at The Media Theatre

I knew that a trip to The Media Theatre for its production of Dr. Dolittle would be a real treat for my son, a lover of all things nature- and animal-related. Having reviewed several shows at the theatre over the past few years, I was looking forward to Artistic Director Jesse Cline’s interpretation of this classic story of a man who prefers animals to humans.

As luck would have it, the Philadelphia Zoo On Wheels was making an appearance upstairs before the show. We were able to meet Hardy, an active prehensile-tail skink; Picchu, a lovely (and vocal) blue and gold macaw; Phoebe, a shy hedgehog; and Pinky the nine-banded armadillo. After learning more about these amazing creatures and enjoying a homemade sugar cookie from the cafe, we headed into the theatre for the performance.

As Dr. Dolittle, Bill Vargus commands the stage with a stately and confidant manner that projects just the right mix of compassion (for animals) and disdain (for people). Lauren Cupples gives a strong, soulful turn as Emma Fairfax. Sean Thompson imbues his portrayal of Matthew Mugg with wonder and innocence. The blustery General Bellowes is portrayed with flair by Dan Schiff. Jef Canter is comedy perfection as opportunistic circus-owner Albert Blossom. Spirited ensemble pieces include “My Friend the Doctor,” “I’ve Never Seen Anything Like It,” and “Save the Animals.”

Playing the roles of the doctor’s furry and feathered friends in the show are members of the theatre’s Youth Ensemble. The whole menagerie—including seals, dogs, a chimp, a duck, a fox, a cow, a pig, and more—is a delight! These talented performers are a testament to the theatre’s outstanding education programs. My son was quite interested in finding out more about these young actors. Could I have a budding performer on my hands? I hope so!

Dr. Doolittle will be on stage at The Media Theatre through January 27; visit the link for showtimes and tickets. The Zoo On Wheels will be visiting the theatre before matinee performances for the next three Saturdays.

The holidays are an exciting time at The Media Theatre. A Velveteen Rabbit Christmas, part of the theatre’s children’s series, is also showing each Saturday morning at 11am through December 29 (with an additional show Friday, December 7, at 9:45am). New this year, the theatre is offering a special five-day holiday camp featuring acting, dance, and vocal lessons for kids ages 6–16, starting on December 26. The theatre is also raffling off tickets for a chance to win a trip to London valued at $12,000. Only 200 tickets will be sold (making the odds of winning far better than that Powerball lottery last week); the winner will be announced at the theatre’s annual gala, to be held February 23.

Still looking for a great holiday present? The theatre has gift cards! I can’t think of a better treat for a theatre lover or aspiring actor on your list. Or ask about purchasing an engraved gold star to be placed on the theatre’s Wall of Fame, part of the upcoming remodel of the theatre lobby. I hope you’ll join me in supporting Delaware County’s only professional theatre, and help keep the arts alive!

—Michele Kornegay

Note: Performance photos by Maura McConnell of Maura McConnell Photography in Media.

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Delaware County�s Brandywine CVB  |  1501 N. Providence Rd.  |  Media, PA 19063
Phone: 800-343-3983  |  Fax: 610 627-9207