Longwood Gardens-A Very Retro Christmas Part 3

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. — If you want your Holiday table to look over the top elegant, Jim Sutton, Associate Director of Display Design at Longwood Gardens shows you how to create a holiday centerpiece that is easy and impressive.   

Longwood Gardens is featuring its “A Very Retro Christmas” theme this year! Throughout Longwood’s warm and inviting Conservatory, holiday splendor awaits. Tapping into the nostalgia of Christmases past, guests will experience a fab, festive holiday party scene, a vintage holiday street scene complete with glistening streetlamps and shimmering tinsel garland hanging above, and classic ornaments, shiny décor, and handcrafted elements reminiscent of the ’40s and ’50s merrily mixed throughout the dazzling displays.

Always a highlight, Longwood’s Music Room is decked out in mid-century magic as a sophisticated holiday party scene beckons you inside. The scene is set with blush and mint furnishings amid gold accents, a mirrored bar, and a champagne-colored tinsel tree decorated with glimmering ornaments in white, pink, and green. 

Other must-sees include a towering 24-foot grand fir decorated in traditional red and green finery, and an 18-foot-tall rotating tree boasting vintage lights, red and silver tinsel, beaded garland, and ornaments that grow in size as they progress down the tree.

Young and old alike will delight in the holiday Garden Railway as it travels past miniature Longwood landmarks decorated for the holiday season. The Main Fountain Garden features a 150-foot-long light tunnel with a specially designed light show, and the Chimes Tower basin is home to a 30-foot-tall floating tree, lit and decorated in stunningly icy elements. After gazing upon the scene, warm up at one of two inviting fire pits.

Gardens showcase seven trees lovingly dressed in ornaments crafted by members of local non-profit organizations.

A Longwood Christmas would not be complete without horticultural splendor at every turn. Thousands of colorful poinsettias, fragrant paperwhites, amaryllis, begonias, and other floral finery are highlighted throughout the grand Conservatory. The creativity of Longwood’s expert horticulturists is highlighted in the form of living wreaths fashioned from succulents and other plants, a chandelier featuring white phalaenopsis orchids, and ornaments crafted from a variety plants throughout the eye-popping display.

Outdoor Highlights There are half-a-million reasons to venture outside during A Longwood Christmas as miles of twinkling lights invite guests to take a holiday stroll. Wander down Flower Garden Drive under ribbons of enchanting lights. At the Large Lake discover stars that have seemingly descended from the winter sky and gracefully landed at Longwood. See a giant string of retro holiday lights whimsically tangled and floating on the Small Lake. The always popular Wildlife Tree features birdfeeders craft by Longwood Volunteers using colorful toy building blocks, enticing our furry friends to stop by for a treat.

Outside of the Peirce-du Pont House, a jolly red 1969 ‘Longwood Farms’ truck harkens back to days gone by as it carries freshly cut Christmas trees in its bed, evoking cherished memories of family trips to the Christmas tree farm. The exterior of the International Load Star 1800 truck has been carefully restored by Longwood staff, making for a classic family photo op.

Glowing luminarias line the pools of the Italian Water Garden, while a 24-foot-tall tree fashioned from holiday lights stands proudly in the center. Flicker lights lead guests along the Meadow Boardwalk, culminating in a 200-foot-long shimmering tunnel of lights that changes and morphs into different colors and patterns.

The sounds of the season are also a special part of A Longwood Christmas, from the strolling carolers on select evenings to the daily fountain shows in the Open Air Theatre that feature 750 jets dancing to holiday favorites during 5-minute shows that run throughout the day and evening.

A Longwood Christmas is on view November 17, 2023–January 7, 2024. Admission to the holiday display is by Timed Admission Ticket, with tickets purchased in advance for a specific date and time. Members require free, timed reservations every day. Gardens Premium Members and Innovators do not require reservations. Tickets and reservations are available now at longwoodgardens.org.

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