Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas at Longwood Gardens

Christmas Activities in PA

Can you believe it is December already?  I'm actually excited about this month because of all the Holiday activities that will be happening.

This past weekend we kicked off the holiday season by taking a visit to Longwood Gardens.

I have known about Longwood Gardens for a few years now as it is where the largest Flower and Garden show is in the Spring.  However, during this time of year they have " A Longwood Christmas".  I heard this is absolutely gorgeous at Christmas time and that it is a really big deal.  Afterall, it is one of the "MUST DO" Christmas activities in the area.

                         Here are 5 things to know about Longwood Gardens.

Christmas Activities in PA

1. Admission on a regular day is $23 but during the Christmas Season it is $30. I thought $30 was a little high but figured it would be worth it because there would be some spectacular Christmas displays.

Buying the tickets was a little confusing. They encourage you to buy tickets ahead of time because it might sell out. They will add a $6 processing fee if you order over the phone but no fee if you order online. When you order online you have to pick an arrival time. I didn't really see where this was necessary seeing as once you got there you could come and go and stay all day.  We choose a 1:00 arrival time. We arrived  right at 1:00. Apparently you only have a half hour before your scheduled time or a half hour after your scheduled time to arrive. Entrance is not guaranteed otherwise.

Inside the conservatory. The designs on the floor are made out of apples and cranberries. 

2.  There are two main attractions at Longwoods. One is the Conservatory and the other is the many acres of outdoor gardens.

Here are some pictures of the inside of the conservatory.

 Inside the conservatory there were some Christmas displays and then just other garden displays. There was a section that had trees decorated from local school districts and there was also a music room. In the music room there were Christmas sing along concerts every hour in the afternoon.  We did go to one of the sing alongs while the musician played the organ.

3. After the sing along we were getting hungry so we went to the cafe.  There is a fine dining restaurant that would require reservations, a Cafe, and a Beer Garden, all in the same area.

The cafe was cafeteria style and in my opinion it was quite expensive ( $4 for one cookie, $3.50 for one packet of hot chocolate, $18 for one piece of Salmon (not including any sides).  However, the menu in the Beer Garden was a little more reasonable.

4. It wasn't quite dark enough to really enjoy the outside lights so we decided to go browse in the gift shop for a while.

The gift shop was very lovely but again, lots of over priced goods ($17 for a small tin of lip balm).

5.  When it was dark enough, we took a stroll through the gardens to see the outside lights.

I have to admit that I was sort of underwhelmed by the outdoor lightening in the gardens.  The landscaping  here is beautiful and there was SO much more potential for decorative lights and displays.

The one thing that was pretty neat was the fountain show.  The fountains lit up different colors and danced to the Christmas music.   I guess I expected more displays like this one with music and such.

It was a nice day spent with family and I guess it would be more entertaining for someone who was into horiculture.  I wanted to see more Christmas lights and displays.   In my opinion I don't think this is a "Must Do".  I would skip it and go to Hershey's Christmas Candylane instead!  -M

What are some "Must Do" Holiday displays/events in you area?

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