The Magic of a Longwood Christmas

The Magic of A Longwood Christmas

Chadds Ford and the Brandywine Valley are absolutely striking during late fall and winter. Whenever the holiday season is approaching, I know it’s time to book reservations for one of my most treasured Christmas traditions: visiting Longwood Gardens to see the magical Christmas display. A Longwood Christmas has enchanted visitors for decades -- each year, the designers work from a theme to create a whimsical, festive display that captures the hearts of all who attend. Some of my fondest memories involve walking the grounds at night with my family, sipping a cup of hot chocolate and looking at the beautiful lighted displays. If you are looking for a way to kick off your holiday celebrations or spend quality time with family, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things about this lovely event in this article.

A Luminescent Display

Visitors come from all over the world to see the breathtaking array of lights on display during A Longwood Christmas. The designers outdo themselves every year, adding thoughtful touches of holiday cheer -- no corner of their beautiful estate is left untouched by the magic of the season. This year's theme is fire and ice, and I can't wait to see how the designers interpret this striking dichotomy of concepts. Outside, one area will feature a magnificent display that allows visitors to “fly like Santa’s reindeer,” while others will offer eye-popping, colorful designs that accentuate the already remarkable beauty of the Gardens. Inside, the conservatory is traditionally decorated with lights, poinsettias, and a dramatic, beautiful display of Christmas festivity in the Music Room. Overall, A Longwood Christmas features over half a million lights in total! 

Food & Drink

Longwood offers indoor and outdoor dining and drink options for visitors during this special time of year. Inside, visitors can book a table at Longwood’s fine-dining establishment, 1906, or they can visit The Café for a more family-friendly, à la carte experience. There is extensive seating available inside, where guests can enjoy their meals in the warmth of the dining room and then wander outside for their Christmas adventure. For anyone keen to simply sip a warm drink and walk the grounds, there are hot libation stations throughout, offering both regular and alcoholic drinks. The Beer Garden, usually open throughout the year, is closed during this time. 

Find the magic of Christmas.


For anyone looking to add a magical soundtrack to their visit, Longwood offers a range of festive musical performances that are free with Gardens admission. In the conservatory ballroom, visitors are greeted daily between 2:00 PM and 10:00 PM with magnificent organ music played on the famous Longwood Organ. On Fridays between 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM, the 62-bell, five-octave carillon rings out in the whimsical setting of the Chimes Tower, dazzling passersby with its melodic sounds. For those hoping to hear some traditional Christmas music, the Old Town Carolers, Rob Dickenson and the Brandywine Christmas Minstrels, and the Galena Brass will all make appearances throughout the season – you can see the schedule here

Top Tips

If you're ready to book your tickets, here are some of my favorite tips for making your festive trip to Longwood Gardens easy and enjoyable:

  • Make your reservations early! This event often sells out very quickly. 

  • Dress warmly -- I recommend a hat, gloves, scarf, and a cozy winter jacket. 

  • Wear sneakers or comfortable boots, as there is a lot of ground to cover.

  • Keep in mind that you may need to park in the overflow lot, but shuttles are provided.

  • The weekends are often crowded -- choosing an off-peak time slot will allow you more leisure and space to peruse the displays. 

Let's be merry!

Being outside, sipping a cup of Christmas cheer, and taking in the magic of nature at one of the most beautiful places in the world is certainly my idea of being festive! Have you ever been to A Longwood Christmas, or are you planning to go this year? Let me know in the comments! If you’re looking for Christmas gifts or perhaps a few festive accessories for yourself, be sure to check out our range of beautiful nature jewelry today.

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