CAPE MAY — Cape May in spring offers a wide variety of delicious tours and activities sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). Come to Cape May to delve into some exciting new food and wine events and some Cape May favorites.
The Cape May Music Festival celebrates 25 years of beautiful sounds by the sea this year from May 25 through June 14. Two very special new events combine great music and great food, in collaboration with Exit 0 International Jazz Festival, and help celebrate this milestone:
Enjoy four sets of jazz performances on an outdoor stage, along with food, beer, wine, spirits and crafts vendors during Jazz At the Estate, and you’ll celebrate the arrival of summer live-jazz-music-style on the lovely grounds of the Physick Estate! Admission is $20 adults, $10 children (ages 3-12). May 31, from 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. This event is co-sponsored by Exit 0 International Jazz Festival and the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC).
June 1, come to Cape May Convention Hall for a benefit musical event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Cape May Music Festival, A Night in New Orleans. With two evening seatings including cash food and beverage service, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., musical guests will feature Kermit Ruffin and the Barbecue Singers and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. June 1, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Table seating is $50 and riser seating is $25. Presented by Exit 0 International Jazz Festival and the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC).
Also part of the Cape May Music Festival are Bach’s Lunches, mini-concerts by members of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, where you can enjoy an elegant Tea Luncheon and intimate afternoon concert under the tent. Admission is $30 per person. Bach’s Lunches are Wednesdays, May 28, June 4 and June 11.
There’s something lovely and refined about sipping wine on a spring afternoon. Taste French wines during Cape May Wine School – Reds and Whites of Provence, at the Washington Inn, 801 Washington St. Discern and appreciate a selection of these fine wines and increase your knowledge of pairings, at 1 p.m. March 29. Admission is $40 per person.
Gather your best girlfriends for a Girlfriends Getaway Weekend, April 25 to April 27. Break out of the winter doldrums and happily put aside that pesky to-do list when you enjoy events that focus on food, wine, fashion and best of all, fun, especially for you and the girls:
Join the Friends of the Physick Estate for A Royal-Tea to kick off Girlfriends Getaway Weekend in the Carriage House Café & Tearoom, 1048 Washington St., April 25 at 3 p.m. Dress for tea and join the Friends for an afternoon of all things British, including a trivia contest to test your knowledge of British royals, past and present, accompanied by a relaxing afternoon tea at the Carriage House Café & Tearoom. Admission is $25 for Friends members and $30 for non-members.
Have you experienced the variety of vineyards flourishing in the Cape May area? Join the Cape May Wine Trail April 26 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and you’ll discover them at your leisure. First enjoy a delicious lunch at the Carriage House Café & Tearoom, then board the trolley that will transport you to the Willow Creek Winery, Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery and Natali Vineyards. You’ll learn all about viniculture and visit each of the tasting rooms. $75 includes lunch, wine tastings at each vineyard and a wine tasting glass. This is a limited event, so please reserve early.
April 27 at 9:30 a.m., it’s Brunch, Bingo & Lace, when you’ll laugh along with your girlfriends as you play a little bingo, enjoy a fashion show by Lace Silhouettes/Cotton Company and compete for prizes, all during a delicious brunch at the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St. Admission is $25.
Enjoy gracious, yet casual, dining at the Carriage House Café & Tearoom on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. with a café menu that includes signature sandwiches, salads, wraps and tea sandwiches, as well as homemade soups and quiche, plus the popular Classic Tea Luncheon and Elegant Afternoon Tea. New in 2014! Crab cakes and loose tea service, featuring specialty teas from the House of Tea in Philadelphia. If you have a busy schedule, everything is available for takeout, too. The Carriage House Café & Tearoom re-opens for the season April 26; open daily 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For reservations call 609-884-5111.
Cape May’s 19th Annual Spring Festival is April 25 through May 4 and features a tempting selection of food and wine events including some popular favorites:
Making its festival return is the Chocolate Championship Tour & Tasting May 3 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. You are the judge as you taste some of the area’s most irresistible chocolate concoctions. Visit participating historic inns and B&Bs, sample their signature desserts and vote for your favorites. You decide who will take home Cape May’s Chocolate Champion title. Those who turn in completed evaluation cards will get recipes by email. Adult tickets are $20; children (ages 3-12) are $15.
If you delight over a good whodunit, you’ll enjoy Murder Mystery Dinners. Join the Impromptu Players as they set the scene for the original mystery, “Revenge is Sweet” and enjoy a four-course dinner as you contemplate the clues, interact with the cast and help solve the mystery as it unfolds on Saturdays, April 26 and May 3, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person. Dinner on April 26 is at Aleathea’s Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean Street; dinner on May 3 is at the Carriage House Café & Tearoom at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. If you prefer to mull over your mystery during lunch, Murder Mystery Luncheons include a three-course meal at Aleathea’s Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St., and the thrill of unearthing clues to the mystery as it unfolds around you. Lunch is $35 per person on Sundays, April 27 and May 4, at 1 p.m.
Ready for an afternoon of good spirits? Try these events that celebrate the flavors of the Cape May area’s outstanding vineyards and brewery:
Savor a glass of wine at the Cape May Winery, 711 Townbank Road as you take a Winery Cellar Tour & Tasting. See how the grapes are grown and learn about the winemaker’s art as you enjoy a barrel-tasting accompanied by cheese and fruit at 3 p.m. every Saturday, plus Sundays starting May 18 and daily starting June 14. Tickets are $20; the event is limited and tickets must be purchased in advance at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth at Ocean Street. If you prefer, explore at your own pace during the Self-guided Wine Trail. Visit Natali Vineyards, Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery and Jessie Creek Winery and taste the unique flavors at each. Offered daily from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $13 and includes a map with the wineries listed. What’s brewing in Cape May? Some great spirits, as you’ll find out on the Self-guided Wine & Brewery Trail featuring three area wineries, Natali Vineyards, Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery, and Jessie Creek Winery, plus the new Cape May Brewing Company. Take a tour at each stop and sample some of their products. Admission is $15 and includes a map with directions. Tours are offered every day except Tuesdays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Join the Friends of the Cape May Lighthouse for “Pork & Pints” 2nd Annual Friends of the Lighthouse Pig Roast, a traditional pig roast at the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge, 569 Seashore Road in Erma. You’ll not only have fun but will help raise funds in support of educational interpretation of the lighthouse. Enjoy beer, prizes, raffles and live music! May 3, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. $20 through May 2. $25 at the door (subject to availability).
To drink or not to drink, that is the dispute between saloonkeeper Patrick Collins and Jennie Wales, staunch advocate of the temperance movement. Enjoy the Luncheon and Temperance Debate, at the Carriage House Café & Tearoom on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, a lively living history program, April 29, at 12:30 p.m. Join Dr. Physick as he attempts to maintain decorum during this spirited debate. Admission is $30 and includes lunch.
The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) is 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.