Things to do on a Rainy Day in Delaware’s Quaint Villages

Rainy days are the perfect opportunity to explore some of Delaware’s Quaint Villages’ indoor museums and attractions. We compiled a great list of places to see throughout Kent County that offers plenty of sights to be discovered for just about any day of the year!

Day 1:

Start your morning with a hearty breakfast at Countrie Eatery, situated on the banks of Silver Lake in Dover. Dive into a local’s favorite with scrapple, omelets, pancakes, waffles and more. Or head to Spences Bazaar & Amish Market open every Tuesday, Friday and Saturdays for Amish made breakfast foods, baked goods, hand rolled pretzels filled with freshly sliced meats, jams, dairy products, sandwiches and more.

 

After breakfast, start your day with a tour and explore Delaware Public Archives in downtown Dover next to Legislative Hall. The Archives is home to more than 95,000 cubic feet of historical documents including photos and goverment records. Take a peek into Delaware's past from early settlement to more recent times. 

Revel the sound of history with early phonographs at the Johnson Victrola Museum. This museum is dedicated to the development of the sound-recording industry and the life achievements of E.R. Johnson, founder of The Victor Talking Machine Company.  See an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures of Nipper the Dog, an international symbol of The Victor Talking Machine Company. Gaze at an authentic Grammy Award that was presented posthumously to Johnson in 1985.

Take a step back in time and tour the 1740s mansion and farm once owned by John Dickinson, one of America’s Foundering Fathers and a signer of U.S. Constitution at John Dickinson Plantation. History comes alive as 18th Century colonial interpreters tell stories about his life, family, and the way of living. Demonstrations and hands-on learning is a key focus of this tour.

Discover one of the most popular attraction in Delaware, the Air Mobility Command Museum. This museum is located next to Dover Air Force Base and offers free admission and parking. Marvel at over 30 historical retired Air Force aircraft, hear past stories from local veterans, experience a flight simulator, air traffic control tower, and much more. Be sure to take home a piece of aviation history with you by shopping at the Museum’s store.

Dine at one of downtown Historic Dover’s local eateries. Grey Fox Grille & Public House and 33 West Ale House & Grill offer something for everyone, including a full-service bar serving local craft brews and more. Grab a coffee to go with homemade treats and baked goods at Governor’s Café, House of Coffi, or Sweets & Treats- all located in Downtown Historic Dover within walking distance of 18th century history.

 

Day 2:

Get up early and head to the Festival Buffet inside Dover Downs Hotel & Casino for a full-service breakfast buffet with a wide section home style cookin’ – something for everyone to try! Afterwards, head downstairs and test your luck at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino with 24-hour gaming, live table games, live harness racing, entertainment, shopping and a luxurious spa.

Make way to the Delaware State Police Museum and learn the insights of enforcement methods, highway safety efforts, and interactive exhibits. Across the way, take a peek into Delaware’s farming and agriculture history at the Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village. Explore over 4,000 artifacts, antique farm machinery & tools, folk art collection and more in downtown Historic Dover.

Hear stories of the past at the Old State House located on The Green. The Old State House was built in 1791 and was home to both state and Kent County Governments. This Georgian-style structure served as Delaware’s Capital until 1933. See works of art by several artist including a larger than life portrait of George Washington painted by Denis A. Volozan.

Enjoy works of art at Biggs Museum of American Art located in Downtown Historic Dover. This museum is home to one of the finest collections of regional silver in the Country! Explore examples of early-American cabinetmakers, American fine & decorative arts, and a variety of art forms and sculptures.

Indulge in the local foodie scene with a slice of pizza and made to order subs at Angelo’s Pizza – great for families on the go! Try the new local hotspot for daily specials on your favorite brunch and lunch entrees with a twist at Brunch N Lunch.  

After lunch, just north of Dover, you will find the quaint village of Smyrna. Discover historical paintings, finishing, documents, fire company memorabilia, antique toys and trains  at the Smyrna Museum and historic Plank House. Head to a musical performance at Smyrna Opera House, originally built in 1870 and is now a fully restored community cultural arts center dedicated to preserving local creativity and visual performing artists. Next, arrange a tour at Historic Belmont Hall – known to be one of the most treasured historical houses in the State of Delaware. Hear stories of the past time of people who have called this magnificent 1773 Georgian Mansion home.

Make a stop into the Quaint Village of Harrington – this Village is known for its rich history in farming, agriculture and railroad infrastructure.

Explore the cultural heritage at Harrington Historical Society’s three museums dedicated to preserving Harrington’s history and prized treasures.  Take a self-guided tour to discover antique farming machinery tools, toys and farming industry memorabilia at Messick’s Agriculture Museum located in Harrington. 

Press your luck at Harrington Raceway & Casino with over 1,700 slots, live harness racing, sports betting, entertainment, 30 tables and a 100-seat poker room. Next to the Harrington Raceway & Casino, you will find Centre Ice Rink at the Delaware State Fairgrounds, home to bumper cars on ice from September to early June. Bump, zoom and spin your friends with Centre Ice Rink’s bumper cars on ice. Afterwards, grab a sandwich to go at Bolo’s Sandwiches, located inside Harrington Raceway & Casino as you make your way to the next Village, Milford. 

Learn about Milford’s charm and history at the Milford Museum. This museum is dedicated to preserving artifacts and collections donated by local families who have called Milford home.  Visit the home of Reverend Sydenham Thorne, an Episcopal clergyman who helped shaped Milford into what it is today at Parson Thorne Mansion. Catch a play or show at the year-round theater, Second Street Players at the Riverfront Theatre. A community theatre located on Milford’s Riverwalk who hosts various programs, musicals, productions and events throughout the year.

Dive into the nature scene at a science-based education center at the DuPont Nature Center at the Mispillion Harbor Reserve. Learn about the Delaware Bay’s nature history and ecology. Marvel at various aquariums featuring live horseshoe crabs, fish, shellfish and terrapins!

After a full day of exploring, fill up at Arena’s Deli & Bar Milford, a family-friendly dining experience known for their made to order sandwiches and waterfront dining on the Mispillion River. Or head to Mama Maria Restaurant & Bar for homemade pasta, pizza, seafood, traditional Italian dishes and more at a popular family owned and operated Italian restaurant since 1985.

There’s always something waiting to be explored in Kent County, especially on a rainy day. Don’t let the opportunities to explore Delaware’s Quaint Villages escape away. Tap into tax-free shopping, indulge in Delaware’s foodie and libation scene and discover something new around every corner rain or shine! We recommend calling ahead to museums and attractions to confirm hours of operation and or to arrange a tour.

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