Photos courtesy of Betsy Barron Fine Art Photography
Longwood Gardens will put stars in your eyes this holiday season as the gardens are transformed into a magnificent holiday wonderland now through January 6th!
From towering trees adorned with star ornaments to a music room designed to delight any stargazer to more than 500,000 twinkling lights dotting the night sky, the beauty and magic of the holiday season awaits.
Inside Longwood’s 4-acre heated conservatory are 10,000 seasonal plants, including poinsettias accented with amaryllis, lilies, begonias, cyclamen, and hydrangea. Elegantly decorated trees shimmer and sparkle with festive, star-inspired ornaments, many handmade by Longwood staff. In Longwood’s Exhibition Hall, twinkling lights hang from the vaulted glass ceiling over a 64-foot long table dressed for a spectacular holiday gathering.
Throughout the Conservatory guests will encounter 28 decorated trees, some reaching as high as 22-feet, including unusual floral trees fashioned from poinsettias, hydrangeas and agave. More horticultural finery, including swags of exotic plants, Christmas cactus baskets, and living wreaths flourish throughout the Conservatory.
Longwood works its holiday magic outdoors, too. More than 500,000 outdoor lights adorning 74 trees in classical and free-style form styles enchant both young and old. The lighting extravaganza includes the addition of lighting Longwood’s surviving American Elm, select trees in the eastern portion in the Gardens near the picturesque lake and a new fountain of lights in the Main Fountain Garden. 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 as it travels past miniature Longwood landmarks lit for the holiday season. 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.
Music is a seasonal highlight as holiday concerts in the ornate Ballroom include organ sing-alongs on Longwood’s majestic 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ, and evening choral and bell choir performances by area groups. In Longwood’s historic Chimes Tower, the 62-bell carillon plays holiday music every half hour. Strolling performances fill the gardens with holiday music at every turn on weekends. Most performances are included in Gardens admission.
On New Year’s Eve, Longwood offers a variety of performances for the entire family. Organ music fills the Ballroom from 3-8 pm; Rob Dickinson and the Brandywine Christmas Minstrels perform from 2-8 pm; Barbershop Quartet Frank the Dog harmonizes throughout the conservatory from 6-9 pm, while the upbeat Parti Gras performs at the Peirce-du Pont house from 4-9 pm. The Wilmington Handbell Choir rings in the New Year as guests enter the East Conservatory from 4-9 pm.
Be Social with Longwood Gardens
Admission to the Christmas display is by Timed Admission Ticket, with tickets purchased in advance for a specific date and time. There is no admittance to the gardens without a timed admission ticket. Guests should buy their tickets before arriving at the Gardens to ensure admittance. Tickets are available now and can be purchased online at longwoodgardens.org, or in person at Longwood. Please note: Tickets for Peak Days (Saturdays, Sundays and December 26-31) sell out quickly.
For more information, visit longwoodgardens.org.