I was recently invited to get a behind-the-scenes view of A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens with other area bloggers. The event, put together by Longwood Gardens with the help of Steph from Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom, was to introduce bloggers to all that Longwood Gardens and Kennett Square has to offer. The night was fantastic, as Longwood Gardens truly rolls out the red carpet! There was a delicious spread of food and signature Startini drinks were served while bloggers heard from the Longwood Gardens PR team.
It was interesting to learn the history of the Longwood Gardens Christmas exhibit. Longwood Gardens opened their Christmas exhibit in 1957, a throwback to the Christmas celebrations and dinners Pierre S. DuPont would throw for his own family and friends during the holidays. It has been a tradition ever since, and a growing one at that! Last year, over 300,000 visitors flocked to see the lights at Longwood Gardens in the 45 days of Christmas alone.
We had a chance to see the lights and tour the conservatory after our cocktail hour. For those who have never visited, Longwood Gardens is a visual masterpiece: gardens, fountains, architecture. One could spend hours wandering the gardens, and there are fun events every month. I’ve always maintained that Longwood Gardens is truly a family affair, with something for all ages to enjoy. Kids are amazed at the lights, as well as the decorated Indoor Children’s Garden (located in the conservatory). Another great family feature at Longwood is the Garden Railway. If your children love trains, this is the perfect exhibit. A miniature mountainside is created, with several tracks and trains running through bridges and tunnels.
As you might imagine with being so popular, A Longwood Christmas can be crowded depending on when you decide to visit. In the past few years, Longwood Gardens has implemented the Timed Tickets system, which gives visitors an exact time to arrive at the gardens to tour. This has helped make visiting Longwood Gardens during the holidays a better experience for everyone. You can also purchase Timed Tickets in advance. To maximize your experience, consider visiting Tuesday through Friday. These non-peak days are less crowded, allowing you to more enjoy all that A Longwood Christmas has to offer.
Better yet, consider making a day (or night) of your visit to Longwood. Longwood Gardens is located in Kennett Square, a fantastic town worth exploring! Bloggers had the chance to drive the few minutes from Longwood Gardens into downtown Kennett Square. Many of the bloggers had never visited Kennett Square, and were surprised at how much the town had to offer.
We were given a quick welcome at Flickerwood Wine Tasting (wine and cheese included!), and then “let loose” to explore the town. Kennett is the perfect destination after your Longwood visit for a meal and shopping. The many restaurants (including La Verona, who kindly provided great appetizers for the evening) have an eclectic array of cuisines. I enjoyed that there were so many different kinds of shops. If you like clothing, there are stores like Mystique, Frolic! and Chantilly Blue. For gifts, The Mushroom Cap and Cenzia Gifts have a great offering of gifts. Parents love Bedbugzz for the beautiful children’s clothes and fun toys. And for anyone who is into the vintage movement, Scout & Annie is a must-see!
A Longwood Christmas runs now through January 6.
Have you been to Longwood Gardens? Leave a comment and share your experiences and travel tips!
(Thanks to Barb from A Life in Balance for use of her fantastic photos!)
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. In exchange for posting, I was given a membership by Longwood Gardens. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.