Last year when our friends asked us to join them for the Holiday lights celebration at Longwood Gardens, we had no idea what to expect. I’d been to Longwood a few times with the kids, during the day, but never before at evening. So, I saw it as a giant park with a lot to do to entertain kids, and areas to spread out and relax.
It’s hard to find words and phrases to describe our first evening visit. Crazy busy might be one (we went on a Saturday night). Others include entertaining, never-ending, gorgeous, beautiful.
My kids, my husband, our friends, we all agreed it was a wonderful evening. Relaxing in the cold (a rare combination!) it was playful and so very festive. As we left, we were already talking about going back for more in 2012.
I was thrilled to be invited to an event last night. It was a Thursday, so off-peak, and it wasn’t nearly as crowded. The gardens were delightful, really. Last year, I remember walking like a car of a train through the conservatory… looking at each exhibited area for only as long as those in front of me and in back of me allowed. Last night, I had time to sit, explore and to chat with friends.
Longwood Gardens, located in far western-suburban Philadelphia near the town of Kennett Square, is an experience I wish I could have experienced as a child with my grandmothers. Longwood at Christmas is an experience I am so lucky to be able to experience again… and again… I can’t wait to take my kids to see the trains along the Garden Railway. To sip hot chocolate and cider together. To run through the giant tree houses. I’m so excited to go back with them and select our favorite trees. Our favorite lights. Our favorite ornaments.
Because last night’s adventure brought me to Longwood on an off-peak day, I am now certain I’ll do that with our family next month. The ability for families to take photos and to sit, relaxing, in front of enormous trees–it was dreamlike.
If you’ve never been, note that Longwood Gardens is along route 1, about 30 miles from Philadelphia. They’re known for the restaurant, which is cafeteria-style serving, but near-gourmet-style foods, so you can make hours of a visit. They also host events year round, including concerts, fireworks and other entertainment. Longwood Christmas is now through January 6.
If you’re making a day-trip out of your visit from afar, be sure to visit Kennett Square, as I did last night. Kennett hosts well over 20 local restaurants including top rated Talulah’s Table, family friendly La Verona, Asian cuisine Lily’s, the Flickerwood Wine Cellars and many more–making it a great stop for a family outing, date night or girls night. We’ve been fans of Half Moon restaurant for years and Jack’s Way Back Burgers is a favorite of our kids’ (and, admittedly, our) bellies.
There’s also incredible shopping in Kennett Square. From toys to hot fashions, you’ll find everything you need to thoroughly enjoy your day of exploration. Shout outs to two of my favorite shops: Green Eyed Lady and Frolic.
I attended last night’s event as a guest of Longwood Gardens and Historic Kennett Square. In exchange for sharing my experience with you, I’m being gifted a family membership to Longwood Gardens… so I can stop piggy backing on my friends’ visits and start going myself!
© 2012, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.