Take the chill off by getting out and about to experience these staff suggestions.
Walk It Off
I began walking and biking more last year, following a recommendation from my physical therapist for my sciatica (thanks, Jon Kennette). New Castle County runs about 250 parks, and many follow waterways and/or offer pastoral connections between subdivisions that are unavailable to cars. My favorites include Talley-Day Park, the Northern Delaware Greenway and various sinuous parks — and their bridges — following Perkins Run, Naamans Creek and Stoney Creek. I triple the positive impact by (not) doing two other things on these healthful trips. I don’t bring my cellphone, so for many minutes all those beeps and chimes are replaced by bird songs and barks. And I do bring a bag, filling more than 60 with trash from the side of the road and the parks. Bottles, cans and fast-food wraps are common debris, and so are a surprisingly large number of floss picks.
— Ken Mammarella, Contributing Writer
The Quoin, Wilmington’s newest boutique hotel, is a luxurious getaway downtown on Market Street. Consider a staycation to break up January’s dark days. With a cafe, an elegant restaurant, a rooftop bar, and a speakeasy right on sight, you might not want to leave.
— Emily Sortor, Contributing Writer
Crawl Out Of Your Nest
Bar crawls are cool, but food crawls are fun (and can be family friendly!) On a winter Saturday, we did a nacho crawl, visiting spots like Santa Fe (Wilmington), Atexquita (Newark) and Two Stones (Christiana). Our goal was to compare and contrast the ‘chos, discovering new favorite restaurants in the process. Three or four people are enough to share lots of food without having to reserve a big table. Span the burbs for a burger crawl, try all the pizzas in Little Italy, or seek out fries at all your usual happy hour haunts—just pick a food that’s easy to share.
— JulieAnne Cross, Contributing Writer
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Thinking of stepping out of your comfort zone this year and trying something new? Take the Lead Dance Studio in Hockessin offers tango lessons. With its precision steps and fierce embrace, this sensual Argentinian dance keeps the body in shape and sharpens the brain. If tango is not your thing, but you like the idea of fun exercise, socializing, and challenging yourself regardless of age and dance skills, professional instructors at the studio will get you started. The studio offers salsa, cha-cha-cha, rumba, swing, jitterbug, waltz, hustle, and the fox trot. Begin with a free introductory lesson then try a group class for $10 or a Saturday dance social for $15, no partner necessary. For more information visit TakeTheLeadDance.com.
— Adriana Camacho-Church, Contributing Writer
Top Vegan Food Hall-Marks
Looking for healthier lunchtime options just got a lot easier Downtown. DE.CO and The Chancery are my go-to options for delicious and quick bites that are all vegan based. First, DE.CO’s Delectablez, featuring gluten free and vegan options, serve up a monster sandwich called “The Problem.” The only problem? It’s so enormous I can’t finish it all in one sitting! Next up is Rooted AF at The Chancery. My favorite there is the curry “chicken” empanadas. Warm, flaky and full of flavor…you won’t know (or care) that you’re eating ‘not chicken.’ Then, you can wash that down with one of their pressed juices, like my favorite, Black AF — a blend of lemon, water, agave, and activated charcoal. DIG IN WILMO!
— Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Contributing Writer
Get To Know Wilma
Wilma’s in Wilmington turns dining into an experience. After duckpin bowling, cozy up to a comforting plate of shrimp and grits and a side of grilled cornbread. (The menu has a New Orleans theme.) The combination of food and fun makes Wilma’s perfect for date night. Visit GoodTimeWilmas.com.
— Pam George, Contributing Writer
A Shop With Sole
Located at 21A Trolley Square, The Locker Sole Shop buys, sells and trades the most sought-after sneakers in the game. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 2 to 7 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 6 p.m. No website yet but check them out on Facebook.
— Bob Yearick, Associate Editor
An Idea That’s For The Birds
Although I wouldn’t describe myself as a “birder,” my interest in birds has grown since I first wrote about the subject in October 2019 [See “Alex and the Near-Death Experience”].
Soon after I purchased a high-end, squirrel-proof bird feeder earlier this year, my yard became a hip hangout spot for area finches, sparrows, juncos and starlings. It’s been fun and educational watching them through my kitchen window.
Occasionally, I see a blue jay or a couple of cardinals fly in for breakfast. In November, I sighted my first tufted titmouse — which might sound funny, but was exciting to see as it had the similar “hairstyle” of cardinals, but wore a more “subdued attire.”
For birds, wintertime signals a scarcity of food options. Which means you too could be popular among our fine feathered friends with the right feeder in your yard. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. Want advice? Call Wild Birds Unlimited in Hockessin at (302) 239-9071.
— Jim Miller, Director of Publications
Sharing A Tasting Secret
Kalbi Asian Bistro (2011 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilm.) is not new but it is still unknown to many. Located on Kirkwood Highway in Elsmere, this cozy little restaurant serves some of the best Asian food in the region, specializing in Korean fare. My personal favorite is dolsot, a choice of proteins served in a hot stone bowl so the rice gets crispy at the bottom. Every entry comes with a variety of Korean sides, and they even have BBQ tables to cook your own dinner.
— Mark Fields, Contributing Writer
A Hidden Treasure
Full of plants, antiques/vintage finds, gemstones, unique and local items, Trolley Square Market is a hidden gem on the second floor of the Trolley Square shopping center. There are gifts for kids and pets, and there’s a rotating local artist display section. The pantry includes snacks, tinctures, recipes, chocolates and candies. TrolleySquareMarket.com.
— Bob Yearick, Associate Editor
A Solute to Delaware’s Military History
The recently-created, non-profit Delaware Military Museum in Pike Creek is the only museum in Delaware dedicated to every branch of the armed forces that served in every armed conflict in which America was involved. The focus is on the stories of Delawareans who fought from Pearl Harbor to Omaha Beach to Iwo Jima to Bastogne and beyond. The museum is housed in a former school and each classroom features a different conflict in American history, from the Revolution to Desert Storm, with extra emphasis on the men and women who served in World War II.
The Delaware Military Museum is located at First Regiment Road, Wilmington, DE 19808. Admission is free and museum hours are 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays and noon to 3 p.m. on the second Saturday of every month. Visit DelawareMilitaryMuseum.org.
— Kevin Noonan, Contributing Writer