Longwood Gardens in PA Holiday lights

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FriedClamFanatic
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2008/11/18 16:34:19 (permalink)

Longwood Gardens in PA Holiday lights

About this time of year, I start getting requests for family and friends about how to see the lights at Longwood, since i live about 5 miles away and the person in this house who has 51% of the vote on "what's for dinner" worked there.

So.....if you're going, let me make a suggestion:

Go early! Like 2:00-4:00 in the afternoon before the crowds hit.

Tour the Orangery and the insides first while it is still light out. You can still see the amazing sites and probably not have half the crowd you will find after 5:00. It can take you an hour or more to fully explore it. If they have the figure skating this year (I'm not sure), you might even want to do that first depending on the schedule of performances.

About 4 or 4:30 or so have an "early dinner" in their cafeteria. It is surprisingly good with an array of foods, sandwiches, home-made soups. Not that expensive and they have beer and wine for sale. There is also a sit-down and be served restaurant and it's nice, but for my money, the cafeteria is better, especialy if you have younger ones with you.

By the time you have finished, it will be getting dark and you can stroll the outside to your heart's delight.

If you're done by 6 or 7 and still desire a light something (or decided to forego the cafeteria), the Brandywine Prime in Chadds Ford has some nice appetizers to go with a glass of wine. There's also the Gables on Rt 1 for a drink, but their dinners are more substantial.( The entrance is a little tricky if you're headed North on Rt 1. The Brandywine Pub has sandwiches as well as a full dinner menu.There is a nice Italian place next door. Headed the other way, a not to be missed place is Sovana Bistro on Route 82. You can take the "back way" out of Longwood (eg. right out of the parking lot and keep following the road around to the right until you get to the light) and a left on 926 and it will take you to a light at Rt 82. Sovana Bistro is on your left that way.

Unfortunately, a great roadfood place, Hanks in Chadds Ford, will be closed at that hour, but you might want to get there for lunch before going to Longwood. And just beyond Hank's on the opposite side of the road is the Brandywine River Museum with a wonderful holiday display of Christmas Ornaments made out of local woods and meadows materials.

I have no ownership, sense of pride, or any other interest in any of these places. But since I just had my third phone call today, I thought there must be others who are thinking about these things. Brought to you in the spirit of public interest. Happy Holidays!
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    the ancient mariner
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    RE: Longwood Gardens in PA Holiday lights 2008/11/19 07:39:03 (permalink)
    Thanks Fanatic------We love Longwood --- have visited it 4 times and
    always enjoy it, but never knew about the winter events. Too late to
    change travel plans for this year, but next year is still open. The
    Chadd's Ford trip is always a highlight for my Mary and me. Visited
    in April 2008 to see the millions of tulips of every color--it was
    --------FANTASTIC, FANATIC.
    #2
    FriedClamFanatic
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    RE: Longwood Gardens in PA Holiday lights 2008/11/19 10:12:29 (permalink)
    You're always welcome! I read your last trip report - fantastic. The Holiday lights are very extensive, but if you do come, take my advice to heed. The long line of cars on Southbound Rte 1 trying to get into the parking lot from about 4:30 on is horrendous.

    And there are several eateries you might want to try besides the ones you went to last time. More on that when you're closer to your date.
    #3
    NYNM
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    RE: Longwood Gardens in PA Holiday lights 2008/11/19 10:17:57 (permalink)
    Thanks for the good advice! The gardens are beautiful. They have a great gift shop/bookstore, too.

    Summer time is special with the lighted fountain shows. Brandwine Museum,nearby, is also a treat. I always like to take a walk along the Brandywine Creek after a musueam trip.

    As per food/beverage, hows about some brandywine! (or brandy + wine?)
    #4
    FriedClamFanatic
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    RE: Longwood Gardens in PA Holiday lights 2008/11/19 13:29:03 (permalink)
    I don't know about the brandy, but just up the road from the museum, Eric & Lee Miller at Chaddsford Winery do a nice job, especially on Friday summer evenings with jazz,tastings, and tables for bring-your-own food (they sell the booze!)

    Also in nearby Wilmington?Greenville, there is Winterhur and Hagley Museum. The latter is glorious with daffodils in the early part of April. And Winterhur gardens are almost as spectacular as the house
    #5
    FriedClamFanatic
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    RE: Longwood Gardens in PA Holiday lights 2008/11/20 09:26:30 (permalink)
    By the way, I'm told that Longwood Gardens has implimented "timed admission" tickets this year. Mainly because the traffic overflow near dusk was geeting totally out of hand
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    leethebard
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    RE: Longwood Gardens in PA Holiday lights 2008/11/20 09:29:27 (permalink)
    The lights at Longwood gardens are great...the dancing water timed to Christmas music is a treat...imagine their electic bill!!!!!
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    FriedClamFanatic
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    RE: Longwood Gardens in PA Holiday lights 2008/11/20 15:43:05 (permalink)
    The electric bill is one thing, deer are another! You ever noticed how their beds are immaculate? I live 5 miles from there and all my Azaleas have fences around them and I have given up on tulips, hosta, etc.

    Do you think they have a lot of Venison nights in their restaurant? LOL
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    the ancient mariner
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    RE: Longwood Gardens in PA Holiday lights 2008/11/21 08:56:08 (permalink)
    Deer, deer Mr Fanatic doe you imply the good people at Longwood spend big bucks
    to protect the gardens by having the large pests removed violently. Would the
    ASPCA, the ACLU, PETA, and the XYZ Affair allow such an outrage ---never !!!
    They fawn over the poor creatures of the wild who thrive on your tulips.

    It is really a good question Fanatic---I lived in a deer area and have had gardens
    desimated by those hungry monsters. I wonder how Longwood does it?
    #9
    FriedClamFanatic
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    RE: Longwood Gardens in PA Holiday lights 2008/11/21 16:36:49 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by the ancient mariner

    Deer, deer Mr Fanatic doe you imply the good people at Longwood spend big bucks
    to protect the gardens by having the large pests removed violently. Would the
    ASPCA, the ACLU, PETA, and the XYZ Affair allow such an outrage ---never !!!
    They fawn over the poor creatures of the wild who thrive on your tulips.

    It is really a good question Fanatic---I lived in a deer area and have had gardens
    desimated by those hungry monsters. I wonder how Longwood does it?



    Well, here's a guess....Pierre duPont was the largest and best producer of black powder. I'm sure he knew someone that had a great silencer to test his powder and not wake the neighbors. They are probably using the same thing to this day! Not to mention the 12 foot fence that runs around a lot of the property. You don't notice it, but it's pretty well sealed off, so I suspect that only the stray fool deer gets in there. And he is toast! Or at least served on toast
    #10
    FriedClamFanatic
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    RE: Longwood Gardens in PA Holiday lights 2008/12/21 20:20:29 (permalink)
    I had to make a run to Kennett today (Sunday) for some lovely swordfish from Hill's  (the best in the area, although i like Hadfields for some other things).  It was just getting dusky and the back-up for Longwood was awful.  I should have remembered and taken the back roads.

    Be warned, it can take a 20 minutes to a half hour to get in the parking lot and over to the entrance.
    #11
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