CAPE MAY — Cape May's 47th annual Victorian Weekend, presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities, celebrates the city's renowned Victorian architecture and history with a long holiday weekend of house tours, walking tours, living history programs, food and wine events, ghost tours, a crafts and collectibles show, murder mystery dinners, trolley tours and more, from Thursday, Oct. 10, through Monday, Oct. 14. Plan now for a visit to this National Historic Landmark city during one of the most glorious times of the year.
The following is a sampling of the events planned for Victorian Weekend:
• The Carroll Gallery exhibit, "The Iconic Cape May Lighthouse: From the Pages of 'The First Resort,'" is a must for visitors during Victorian Weekend. The Cape May Lighthouse in Lower Township has been illuminating darkness over the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay for 160 years. Cape May Lighthouse is the third beacon to guide mariners through the tumultuous waters at the confluence of the ocean and bay. Memories and historic images abound, from the keepers who dedicated their lives to maintaining the light, the MAC preservationists who restored it, and all those who've relied upon it for over a century and a half. Open daily, the Carroll Gallery is in the Carriage House at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. Admission and parking are free.
• The Carriage House Café & Tearoom is a great stop for lunch or afternoon tea. Enjoy gracious, yet casual, dining with a café menu that includes signature sandwiches, salads and tea sandwiches, homemade soups and quiche, plus a Classic Tea Luncheon and Afternoon Tea, with loose tea service and specialty teas from Philadelphia's House of Tea. Takeout is also available. It will be open noon to 4 p.m. daily during Victorian Weekend. Call 609-224-6064 for reservations and information.
• Delve into the realm of the dead on Graveyard, Ghosts and Mansion Combo Tour, a trolley and house tour that will start with a trolley ride to historic Cold Spring Presbyterian Cemetery to see the graves of Dr. Emlen Physick and his family. At the graveyard and on your return to the 1879 Physick House Museum, you'll hear EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) recorded by tour guides and staff there. Your senses might surprise you as you contemplate the evidence of what many say is paranormal activity in the house, and you will have the opportunity to talk to staff about their own experiences. The two-hour tour, beginning and ending at the Physick Estate, will be offered 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10. Admission will be $40.
• Headless photography? Electric corsets? Coffin torpedoes? Explore some of the strange beliefs, superstitions and oddities from the late 19th century — the Victorian era — during Cape Mayhem & Victorian Oddities Trolley Tour, an evening trolley tour through the gaslit streets of Cape May. Tours will leave from the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Offered Thursday, Oct. 10, through Sunday, Oct. 13, nightly, at various times. Admission will be $15 adults, $8 children (ages 3-12).
• Join in the fun during An Afternoon of Victorian Parlor Games at the Carriage House Café & Tearoom. Play the parlor games Victorians played, including favorites such as charades and pass the slipper. Period dress welcome! Dessert will be included with coffee or tea. Cape May Winery wine will also be available for sale for the event 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11. Admission will be $15 adults, $12 MAC members.
Additional trolley tours, house tours, historic sites and more will be available during the weekend.
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 website at capemaymac.org.