by Paula M. Riley

On April 14, Chestnut Hill businesses will begin a new promotion called Second Sundays.

On the second Sunday of the month, Chestnut Hill retailers and restaurants will offer delicious menus and great promotions. Each month, the Avenue will be alive with musicians, performers and other attractions for residents and visitors alike.

A collaboration between the Chestnut Hill Business Association and Business Improvement District, Second Sundays will offer visitors many reasons to enjoy the ambiance of Chestnut Hill.

“Sunday’s are made for delicious brunches, relaxing walks with family and friends, shopping and enjoying the beautiful spring weather,” said Seth Shapiro, president of the BID “Come for our wide variety of shops, dine at one of our exceptional restaurants, and visit the Morris Arboretum or play in the park. Enjoy life as it’s meant to be, in Chestnut Hill.”

Because it is spring, the first push for Second Sundays will be brunch. Chestnut Hill offers a lot of choices. There’s the outdoor patio at Chestnut 7, where kids eat for free on Sundays or Chestnut Hill Grill & Sidewalk Café. The Grill hosts the best people watching spot on the Avenue and offers a very reasonably priced brunch menu that includes brunch items along with the complete lunch menu.

Cake’s Sunday Brunch in its bright airy atrium on East Highland Avenue features items not available on the menu during the week. Diners can select from an a la carte menu and enjoy entrees such as Belgian buttermilk waffles, brioche French toast, crab cake BLT, Norwegian-style Scottish smoked salmon and Eggs Madame ®C two poached eggs with honey ham and melted Swiss cheese atop a half croissant with saffron hollandaise sauce and home fries.

Just up the Avenue, Tavern on the Hill offers Tavern French Toast with fresh berries and Tavern omelet with asparagus and crab and goat cheese. Drinks specials include $5 Mimosas and Bloody Marys.

After breakfast, there’s shopping. Voted the Best Main Street Shopping in Philadelphia by Philadelphia Magazine, the Chestnut Hill businesses offer multiple promotions and discounts.

On the top of the list of business promotions is The Hill Company and Antique Gallery. The Hill Company offers 15 percent on its entire stock of accessories. Choose from a huge selection of birdbaths, fountains, prints, lamps, vases, spring and summer silk flowers, wreathes, wall décor, candles, weather vanes, and a wide selection of acrylic tableware, placements and napkins for outdoor dining.

The Antique Gallery is giving free appraisals and a 20 percent discount on any purchases. Many other merchants are joining the Second Sunday celebration. Robertson’s Flowers has a special sale on spring blooming plants, A Taste of Olive offers product samplings and will feature balsamic glazes on pound cake, balsamic vinegar over brownies, truffle products and other goodies.

Each Second Sunday, Weavers Way will provide demos of local and new products, cheeses and more and Oxford Circus gives 10 percent off one item with a $75 purchase.

Second Sunday wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the art and beauty of the area. Gravers Lane Gallery, always pleasing to the eye, hosts “Notes & Observations” an exhibition of the jewelry of Ken Bova and works by local artist Leslie Pontz. Bova’s hand-fabricated jewelry is an interesting mix of torched fired enamel, high carat gold and everyday items such as candy wrappers. The Stagecrafters theater presents Lynn Nottage’s “Ruined” ®C winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama ®C on April 14 at 2 p.m.

Woodmere Art Museum stimulates all the senses with its wonderful galleries. On Second Sunday, pianist Andrew Hsu performs Debussy at Woodmere from 3 to 4:30 p.m. For a naturalistic experience, walk off that brunch at the Morris Arboretum on Northwestern Avenue. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, the 92-acre garden features the Big Bugs exhibit, huge sculptures made of natural elements in the shape of ants, ladybugs, praying mantises and more are scattered about the gardens.

Your spring cleaning can be taken care of at Northwestern Stables, which is hosting a Horse and Car Wash from 9 to noon.

Whether for shopping, strolling, dining, people watching or enjoying the beauty of the area, don’t miss Second Sunday in Chestnut Hill.

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