The holidays are a magical time, but taking time to visit someplace that is decked out for the holidays is always a welcome respite in the midst of the craziness that this season brings.
Longwood Gardens is one local destination we love. We’ve been visiting since my now 15 year old was a tiny boy running around the paths between the luscious garden designs, and up and down the conservatory paths.
Now Longwood is host to several children’s gardens including an indoor garden complete with water to play in, and spiraling secret paths. The also have a lovely outdoor maze and garden, and in addition there are educational efforts and classes constantly to help teach kids about gardening, horticulture, and more.
Longwood Gardens is (fortunately) local to me, but is visited by people from all over the US and world every year. The former residence of Pierre S. DuPont it was a former arboretum that was going to be milled for wood. Mr. DuPont stepped in and purchased the property where the family built a home and crafted gardens, meadows, woodlands, and brought design ideas from France and Italy among other places he visited.
He hosted a holiday party every year for employees (for over 20 years) where children would get gifts from Santa, and the employees would enjoy a magical evening in the conservatory. Longwood eventually opened to the public for the holidays in 1957, and to this day the holiday celebration continues.
Every year the gardens are decked out with 1/2 million lights, handcrafted ornaments made of natural materials, and an extraordinary conservatory all decked out for the holidays. Over 16,000 plants are used in the displays, and over 100 cut trees are on display.
Each year there is a different theme. Can you guess what this year’s theme is?
If you guessed stars, you got it!
Longwood Gardens invited a group of bloggers to come and see a Longwood Christmas last week. It was wonderful to get to see old friends and meet new ones in such a lovely setting. I’ll also admit it was nice to have time to explore without little feet running off. 😉
Philly area bloggers.
Some of Philly’s finest!
It’s not all about the plants though. The conservatory offers some wonderful areas that inspired me for the holiday season.
Glowing ornaments in the fireplace looked like a fire was roaring!
I love that this room had so many holiday touches.
While this wouldn’t work in our house, it was lovely to see a giant tree next to a staircase. I’m bookmarking this in my brain for our next househunt.
Look at this magical holiday table! I love how it’s lighted down the center.
Of course it’s not all about the inside-there was plenty to see outside too!
The entrance enchants you from the moment you arrive.
This amazing light display is artist Bruce Munro’s Field of Light. The photo does NOT do it justice. It was magical.
Tickets are available for timed entrance for a specific date and time, or you can come anytime with a membership. Tickets range in price based on peak and non-peak days from $8 to youth to $25 for adults at peak time.
Experience Gifts that Last:
While you may not be local to Longwood buying the gift of membership to a local garden or arboretum can be a wonderful way to giev a gift that keeps giving all year long.
For local friends, Longwood Gardens offers amazing value for your membership dollars. A family membership costs $120 for a one year membership (which includes two adults and up to four children or grandchildren, 2 guest tickets, and offers a partial tax deduction. The membership can easily pay for itself in two visits. You can also spend slightly more ($150) and be able to bring one guest every time you visit.
For more information on how to join see Longwood Gardens membership page. If you aren’t local check out your local options.
Have you ever been to Longwood Gardens? Do you give experience gifts for the holidays?
Disclosure: In exchange for posting about Longwood Gardens I received a family membership, and attended a special blogger event. All opinions and long-term love of Longwood are my own.