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?




39 comments:

  1. That looks lovely. Too bad they price gouge once you get in. Here the must-do's are brunch under the tree at Macy's (used to be Marshall Field's Walnut Room, Christmas Around the World at the Museum of Science and Industry, Zoo Lights, and a trip to the Botanic Gardens. I've done none of these so far!

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  2. Looks great! I do need to do something Christmasy. I just can't get into the holiday spirit.

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    1. Perhaps when it gets closer the holiday spirit will be upon you!

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  3. Looks like a fun and festive way to kick off the holiday season!

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  4. There's a big Christmas light display in Des Moines (an hour away). It takes about 30-45 minutes to drive through it, and costs $30/car (I think). All the proceeds benefit deserving children, so it's a great event!

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    1. Sounds fun! Is that something you do every year?

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  5. Our last run, which is coming up next weekend. You run through the holiday lights at the local park. Although always crowded, it's also a ton of fun!

    That does sound underwhelming (and expensive when all is said & done).

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    1. Awww I wish our Elf Run ran through Christmas lights!

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  6. What a pretty way to see lights! We have a couple things like this locally that I always enjoy seeing.

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  7. Looks nice but definitely a steep price! I love Zoo Lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. It's FREE and we can walk there from our house!

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    1. Oh the Zoo lights sound fun and you can't be free!

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  8. Most of my town is decorated so I always get to see all the nice lights and decoration on my drive home from work.

    This is no doubt my favorite time of the year. Although it's always super busy, it's a lot of fun too!

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    1. That's nice. I saw lights on my run through town the other evening!

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  9. I have heard such great things about Longwood Gardens from my in-laws and have always wanted to visit there. Maybe we can pull a visit there off this year. Fingers crossed!

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    1. I have heard great things too so that's why I was intrigued.

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  10. Did you do the whole green house? I love the Roses section, it smells like heaven in there! and the orchids are so beautiful!

    My family and I have been going there for Christmas for the last 5 years, we all love it. We especially love the dancing fountains.

    Yes, the food place is expensive, but it is all very tasty. My son got chicken nuggets there and they were really really good! I wish they would do a race through Longwood in the holiday season, it would be amazing!

    and btw, my sister has a bakery in the town nearby longwood.

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    1. I got the chicken and macaroni and cheese and it was good. If The green house was part of the conservatory, yes we went through it all.

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  11. The Conservatory looks really pretty! It stinks that it wasn't as great as it was talked up to be, but at least you can say that you tried it right?

    There's a place called Sturbidge Village in Massachusetts that is an old colonial-era vilage where actors dress up according to the times (I think it's considered a "living museum"). Anyway, they have a Christmas attraction this time of year. Everything is decorated, they have horse-drawn sleigh rides and you can make a Christmas ornament similar to what they would make in that era. It's really neat to check out if you are ever in the area!

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    1. That sounds like " A Dicken's Christmas" I went to one time.

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  12. Since this is my first Christmas at my home, I'm not sure what the town does. When I was visiting my parents last week, we went into their town for the annual tree lighting. The ski resort they're near also does a tree lighting, but we didn't go to that one.

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  13. We have a botanical gardens here as well and they do the same thing. In the evenings they have outdoor lights out. Not just decorating the trees and other things, but they have lighted scenes. One year they had penguins sledding down a hill. I haven't done it in a few years as it seems to have less and less lights. Might have to see if it's gotten better this year.

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    1. I would have liked to seen this place have more scenes like that too!

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  14. This looks like fun but does seem a little pricey! The Botanic Gardens in Denver does a really fabulous holiday lights show that I'm really excited to see again when I'm there for work later this month.
    Hershey's Candy Cane Lane sounds fabulous though!

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    1. Yea, I liked candy cane lane. It was more festive!

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  15. Wow looks like a great spot to visit! Our town does a "house tour" every year where houses are decorated by the Garden Club - some of them are pretty amazing!

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    1. Oh that sounds lovely. Are they historical houses?

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  16. That succulent Christmas tree is amazing! Sounds like, while enjoyable, that was a "one and done" experience, which is OK. We don't have many must do things for Christmas except for our gingerbread house decorating throwdown, but we will be running a little St. Nick fun run tomorrow, and that's always entertaining.

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    1. Yea, it was probably a one and done. O yes, I remember your gingerbread house contest!

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    1. The things that were actually lit up were very nice.

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  18. Sounds like a fun idea, but probably not for everyone! It does sound a little pricey. The decorations look really nice though!

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    1. Yea, we took our Nana and I think she liked it so that made us happy.

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  19. This is on our list of things to do, but I know it is a bit expensive so I think we are skipping it this year. We will get there eventually! Omg I have been to Candy Lane... you couldn't pay me to go there again! (I think I'm a little anti Hershey.)

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    1. Really??? I've been to the Hershey Candy Cane Lane (in the park) and I quite liked it. Then again, it wasn't very crowded when we went. What didn't you like about it?

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  20. The gardens look beautiful during the day and night! I despise overpriced gift shops, by the way! :)

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.