Hillary Chybinski: A Longwood Christmas - What to Know for your Holiday Visiting

Friday, December 07, 2012

A Longwood Christmas - What to Know for your Holiday Visiting

The season is just getting started, and there is still plenty of time to get  your merriment on.  One spectacular way to get in the holiday spirit, is to visit Longwood Gardens

I was invited to Longwood Gardens last week as part of their Star Blogger Program, to view some of their half a million twinkling lights.  That's right - HALF a MILLION.

This year's theme is stars, and they are everywhere in all forms.  Staff and volunteers handcrafted 1,600 star-shaped ornaments out of wood, paper, glass, metal and natural materials.  The entrance to the East Conservatory is filled with 200 hanging stars.

The Conservatory itself houses more than 10,000 holiday plants on display.  Inside, you will also find the Stargazers Study, which is decked out with antique telescopes, star adornments and decorated trees.

My favorite display had to be this lavish table, beautifully set-up for 48 people.  A carpet of green grass runs under a 64 foot long table.  A moss table-runner, silver, china and vases of Begonia 'Barkos,' white Phalaenopsis orchids, dried roses, ferns and silver willow Salix branches fill the table.  In all, 256 live plants adorn this table.

I also enjoyed the Estate Fruit House that holds 13 holiday trees decorated with ornaments designed and hand-crafted by local students.

While I was there, I gathered up some great tips for YOU to use when you plan your visit this Holiday Season.
  • Members get to visit for free, so if you are local, consider adding a membership to your holiday wish list! (individual memberships are only $65)
  • Non-members are required to purchase timed-tickets, and these DO sell-out - so plan accordingly.
  • The displays are both inside and outside - so be sure to dress appropriately.
  • Peak times and days are BUSY. . .try planning an 8pm or later visit!  Or better yet, visit on a non-peak day (weekday).
  • Be sure to check out their website, www.longwoodgardens.org for details and to order tickets.
A Longwood Christmas dates back to December 23, 1921.  The founder, Pierre S. du Pont and his wife, initiated a festive tradition of holiday sharing by hosting parties from 1921 to 1942 for the families of Longwood employees.  Longwood Gardens opened its Christmas celebration to the public for the first time, in 1957. 

This was my first visit, but I can promise you it will not be my last. There is still so much I want to see! Cheers!

catch you soon -
note - as part of the blogger program, I attended a press event and was provided a one year membership to the gardens.  I did not receive any compensation for this post, and as always, all gushing and opinions are my very own.


  1. I had so much fun with you guys, and can't wait to visit again with the family. Plus with a memebership we can go all year long and it will be amazing to see the gardens change with the seasons!

  2. It was such a great night--I just love Longwood. Looking forward to more outings.

  3. Pretty much the coolest Christmas light show ever.