By AML Publisher
Photos by Brittany Ostrov Photography
A Christmas fantasy awaits guests to Longwood Gardens near Kennett Square, PA, November 25, 2010 through January 9, 2011. Dazzling floral displays, stunning trees, holiday music, 500,000 outdoor lights, and dancing fountains under the stars are just a few of the highlights of the popular display A Longwood Gardens Christmas. Timed tickets are advised, with tickets issued for specific dates and times. Timed tickets are available now and can be purchased online at www.longwoodgardens.org, or in person at Longwood.
Inside Longwood’s 4.5-acre heated Conservatory thousands of poinsettias accented with amaryllis, Narcissus, begonias, cyclamen, lilies and hydrangea flourish. Elegantly decorated trees shimmer and sparkle with festive flair. In Longwood’s Exhibition Hall, an ornate art nouveau tapestry fashioned from live pink poinsettias and ferns surround a towering 25-foot Douglas fir adorned in raspberry and pink ornaments, preserved pink roses and gilded cones.
The Orangery’s center walkway is resplendent in pink poinsettias and blue coleus accented with paper whites, alyssum and bay laurel.
The East Conservatory hosts traditional red, green and silver Christmas hues, featuring red cyclamen, begonias, Artemisia, Serbian spruce, lilies and more. A towering 28-foot Douglas fir, the largest indoor tree in the display, draws all eyes to the Patio of Oranges where it is dressed with begonias and red glass ornaments.
More horticultural finery, including swags of exotic plants, Christmas cactus baskets, living wreaths, and decorated trees flourish throughout the Conservatory.
Longwood works its holiday magic outdoors, too. More than 500,000 outdoor lights adorning 75 trees in classical and free-style form styles enchant both young and old. The lighting extravaganza (the cords for which would span 39 miles) includes the illumination of two of Longwood’s Treehouses. Fountains dance day and night to holiday music in the Open Air Theatre (weather permitting) beneath glimmering starry snowflakes. Young and old will delight in Longwood’s outdoor train display nestled near the Idea Garden. Natural edible ornaments adorn the Wildlife Tree created especially for Longwood’s feathered and furry friends. The Gardener’s Tree features ornaments crafted from garden findings, including gourds, seedpods, and cones.
Longwood captures the magic of the season—and the music—with holiday concerts, organ sing-alongs and carillon performances. The ornate Ballroom is the setting for daily organ sing-alongs on Longwood’s renovated 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ. Evening choral and bell choir concerts at 7 pm and 8 pm feature favorite area groups, including:
Enjoy Breakfast with Santa on December 11, 12, 18 and 19 in Longwood’s Terrace Restaurant at 8:00 and 9:30 am. An array of breakfast items that are sure to please the entire family await Reservations are required and prices include Gardens admission. Ages 12 & over $40, ages 5-11 $22; Ages 4 and under, free. Pricing for Garden Pass Members are ages 12 and older: $32; ages 5-11: $18. On New Year’s Eve, Longwood will remain open until 10 pm with special festive activities for the entire family. Find fun around every corner with strolling performances by carolers, and a barbershop quartet. Families will enjoy a balloon artist, a kids’ craft station and more! A spectacular 5-minute fireworks display tops off the fun at 8:30 pm. Activities begin at 3 pm.
In anticipation of the popularity of A Longwood Gardens Christmas, admission will be by Timed Ticket, with tickets issued for specific dates and times.
A Longwood Gardens Christmas runs November 25–January 9, 9 am to 9 pm. Timed Tickets allow entry during half-hour intervals throughout the day, from 9 am to 8:30 pm Longwood will remain open until 10 pm on Saturdays and December 26-31. Timed Tickets are on sale now at www.longwoodgardens.org or in person at Longwood.
General Admission prices are $18 for adults; $15 for seniors (age 62+), $8 for students (ages 5-18) free age 4 and under. Complete information is available online at www.longwoodgardens.org.