A Longwood Christmas Explores the Duality of the Season in Fire & Ice Theme
Stroll through dazzling light displays, horticultural wonders, elegant holiday trees and so much more.
December is just around the corner. And now that those Thanksgiving leftovers are all packed up and the holiday décor is making its way out of storage, it’s about time we give in to the spirit of the season. Crank up that endless stream of Christmas music. Start checking gifts off that shopping list. Load up on those cookie ingredients. And, of course, go pick out that perfect tree.
Like every other holiday season, there’s plenty to keep us busy. From wrapping gifts and prepping for guests to dry-cleaning those beautiful holiday sweaters, it’s often difficult to carve out a little time to just enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. Sure, you can stroll around the neighborhood, looking at the lights and the inflatable reindeer. You can check out stunning local, drive-thru lights displays. But if you want to flood the senses with pure holiday cheer this season, set aside one day and experience A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.
A beloved horticultural treasure known the world over.
For 115 years, Longwood Gardens has stood as the living legacy of its founder, Pierre S. du Pont and his mission to inspire the world through a meticulous combination of horticulture, design, education and the arts. Today, the gardens, fountains, meadows and woodlands sprawl out over 1,100 walkable acres. Often, the expertly-crafted displays pair with educational programs, musical performances and opportunities for community engagement. Longwood Gardens is open to the public throughout the year.
During the holiday season, however, from mid-November through January 9, you can visit for one of the most inspiring exhibits of illumination and horticultural elegance – A Longwood Christmas.
Fire & Ice
The theme this year at A Longwood Christmas focuses on the inherent beauty of opposition and attraction. A stroll through the exquisite gardens, the Conservatory and Exhibition Hall reveals a picturesque study in the colorful interplay between warm comfort and frozen wonder. Enjoy the massive, 22-foot Fraser Fir adorned in red, gold and amber in the East Conservatory. Stop by the Ballroom for the popular children’s Christmas trees. Each display holds hundreds of ice-inspired creations from local schools in opposition to bright, fire-inspired ornaments.
Soak in the stunning variation of colors as you make your way past thousands of poinsettias and cyclamen. Get lost in a holiday winter wonderland among dozens of expertly decorated Christmas trees, sparkling fountains and gorgeous flowers.
Bring the camera and a heart open to the hope and possibility of the season.
And as you venture out onto the garden grounds, take in the sights of half-a-million lights along Flower Garden Drive and through the Meadow Garden. Stop for a break alongside cozy fire pits. Watch lights dance on the surface of the Large Lake. And be sure to check out the famous, 18-foot Gardner’s Tree adorned with handcrafted ornaments and garland.
Of course, no trip to Longwood Gardens would be complete without a stop by the Main Fountain Garden, or the Open Air Theatre. Here, be dazzled by dancing lights and choreographed fountains and your favorite holiday classics. And, if you’ve got little ones in tow, don’t miss the always popular Garden Railway or the Lookout Loft Treehouse.
And a little something extra…
Taking in all the sights and sounds of the season at Longwood Gardens requires a little fuel. Plan ahead and make reservations for an elegant, full-service dining experience at 1906, Longwood’s premier, on-site restaurant. 1906 features a heavily seasonal menu with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Reservations at 1906 require timed admission tickets or membership.
The Café offers a more casual, a la carte menu. Here, you can pick up quick, ready-to-eat sandwiches, hot entrees, snacks and desserts. The selections are tailored for the whole-family dining experience. And The Café offers plenty of outdoor and indoor seating.
Finally, the Beer Garden delivers that ultra-laid-back atmosphere of a brewpub alongside a menu of comfort classics. Try locally-brewed Victory beers along with a host of other local brews. Sip on wine, cider, hot chocolate and more. Dig into fresh, hot BBQ options. Grab a homemade pizza, some sweet snacks, or Longwood’s famous Kennett Square Mushroom Soup.
And, just before you leave be sure to stop by The Garden Shop for a keepsake, a local craft item, or something special for the home. Peruse ornaments for the tree. Take home some extra special Longwood logo apparel. Find it all from jams and honey to kitchen tools and candles. You can even take home a lasting piece of Longwood Gardens with a variety of seeds and seed kits available in the shop.
An easy, sensory-pleasing, Christmas day trip.
A Longwood Christmas runs form November 19, 2021 through January 9, 2022. Entry to the world-renowned Christmas display requires an advanced purchase, timed admission ticket. Tickets can be purchased on the Longwood Gardens website.
Enjoy an unforgettably merry and bright holiday season with a day trip to Longwood Gardens.
1001 Longwood Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348
Featured Image (Top) Courtesy of Longwood Gardens