Disclosure: I received free admission to Longwood Gardens to conduct my review for this blog post. All opinions stated in this post are truthful and mine alone. Receiving free admission in no way influenced my opinion in this review.
I lived in Pennsylvania most of my life before moving to New Jersey about twenty years ago. Friends suggested for years that we make the trip to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, especially at holiday time. There are things you plan to do and just never get around to doing but this year I was determined to make the trip with my family.
On Monday, December 17th my husband, son and daughter-in-law and I made the trip to Longwood Gardens and I am still in awe of the amazing display of holiday lights and beautiful foliage. This trip is a “must see” for any family.
Longwood Gardens operates year round but my advise to you is to visit during the Christmas holiday season – it is just breathtaking.
The Christmas season at Longwood runs from November 22 to January 6, 2019. Non-Peak Days are Mondays–Thursdays, November 22–December 25, 2018; and every day January 2–January 6, 2019.
A stop at the Conservatory is a must to see where there are thousands of poinsettias, towering Christmas trees all decorated differently, and fragrant flowers all thorough the building. You can spend hours in this one exhibit just marveling over the massive effort it must take for the folks at Longwood Gardens to care for and construct this holiday display.
Bring your walking shoes to stroll around the estate and see the beautiful manicured gardens even in the winter they are an amazing sight to see.
Plan to spend the day there to really get your money’s worth from the trip.
You can leave and come back into the facility with a stamp of your hand. That’s all it takes. We were there most of the day and went outside the Gardens to eat dinner.
Take a break in one of the three dining options offered in Longwood Gardens. Your choice of three dining facilities (see info below) are available. We did manage to eat at The Cafe for lunch but dinner was not so accommodating. We really wanted to eat at 1906 Restaurant but when we arrived at the reception desk we were told we needed a reservation. Unfortunately it does not state so on the website that a reservation to dine is required or we would have made a reservation in advance.
The only other option for us to eat dinner was back at The Cafe which was mobbed. Longwood gets very very very crowded after the sun sets. Most people come out to see the light exhibits and of course they do not start until after the sun goes down. I started to notice the lights slowly coming on around the facility at approximately 4 PM.
Since we were unable to eat inside the gardens we ventured out to an restaurant about 20 minutes from the gardens called La Verona Italian Restaurant. It is located at 114 E. State Street Kennett Square, PA 19348 | Phone: 1-610-444-2244
Now understand that we Italian’s do not usually eat at Italian restaurants since we always feel no one can make it better than we can LOL but I have to tell you the food was delicious and I would highly recommend you visiting La Verona for a meal. The waitstaff was friendly and attentive and the food was to die for. The portions were so big we all had to take the leftovers home with us and let me tell you my son and husband are big eaters and never leave food on their plate. I would make that trip (over 1 hour from my home) just to go to dinner at LaVarona again.
After dinner we went back to Longwood Gardens to enjoy the spectacular light displays all over the gardens. One amazing sight after the other with each corner you turn. I’m telling you I was like a big kid with my mouth dropped in awe!
There are more than 500,000 decorative lights that glitter in the trees and colorful fountain displays set to music in the gardens. Evening choral concerts, strolling carolers, and organ sing-alongs fill the gardens with festive holiday sounds. I was like a child at Disneyland for the first time.
Here is a montage of photos I took at Longwood Gardens and a few short video’s mixed in.
At this point we were all pretty tired and ready to go home. On the way out of the building we passed the huge and amazing gift shop which was all decorated in holiday splendor. You will want to stop there if for no other reason but to see the beautiful display of lights and decorations.
I strongly advise you to make the trip to Longwood Gardens with your family during the holiday season, it’s something you will never forget.
Information on tickets, show times, etc., can all be found on their website at https://longwoodgardens.org
Dinning at the Gardens:
Sun–Thurs: 10:00 am–8:00 pm
Fri–Sat: 10:00 am–9:00 pm
December 21–31: 10:00 am–9:00 pm
1906 – we were told by the receptionist that a reservation is required to eat at this restaurant but it does not state so on the website.
Sun–Thurs: 11:30 am–7:30 pm
Fri–Sat: 11:30 am–8:30 pm
December 21–31: 11:30 am–8:30 pm
Beer Garden (Open November 23–December 31) – this was closed during out visit.
Mon–Fri: 4:00–8:00 pm
Sat–Sun: 12:00–9:00 pm
December 21–31: 12:00–9:00 pm